Full Circle

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By Debra A. Lopez, CRA, FAHRA

July 2010–As I prepare to lead my final board meeting and preside over our 38th annual meeting that will be held in Washington, DC, I feel as though I have come full circle. It was a mere 20 years ago that I attended my very first AHRA meeting and it happened to be in Washington, DC! I was a new manager, and knew no one else that would be there, but that didn’t stop me, as I had a lot to learn.  I met two other women in the airport on the way to the hotel shuttle. We quickly became conference buddies and enjoyed the conference, as well as a little sight seeing together. I was in awe at the quality of the program, the expertise and wisdom my more seasoned peers willingly shared, and how welcome everyone made me feel. I have attended all but one annual meeting since that first one, and I am always amazed at how a great meeting becomes even better each year. Most of you know that these meetings don’t just happen. The meetings are great because our members are great! It takes many, many volunteers to maintain the quality of our programs and educational materials. Magic is made when our design teams, committees, authors, roundtable leaders, speakers, proctors, Education Foundation supporters, and both the AHRA and AHRAEF boards work together with our excellent AHRA staff in making our organization the strong and relevant one that it is.

The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.

– Vince Lombardi

It is not easy being an imaging leader in this time of healthcare reform and in an overall tough economy. Despite spending many more than eight hours on the job each day, you still manage to find time to serve your fellow imaging leaders by your contributions. My heartfelt thanks go out to each and every one of you for making AHRA such a vibrant and meaningful organization.

I would like to thank the AHRA Board of Directors as well as the AHRA staff not only for the fabulous work they do, but also for their support and the wisdom they have shared with me. My thanks also to the many AHRA leaders for their faith in me, and for the encouragement they gave me to continue to serve our members: Brenda, Gordon, Roland, Sheila, Robbie, Jeff, Jay, and Penny, among others. I will treasure this experience, but, even more so, I will treasure the wonderful AHRA friendships I have made over the years.

My work, however, is not done. I will continue to serve you as past-president.  We are already putting together an important strategic planning session for the AHRA boards that will occur in September. It is time to once again look at where our organization is in relation to current conditions and trends. Is it time to reshape our organization? Reshaping is not abandoning the basic character of our organization, but intelligently adapting to new and continuously changing realities. It involves refeaturing member benefits; eliminating those that are less important, and even beefing up those our members find of higher value. One thing I am sure of: AHRA will continue to be a trusted source for imaging and leadership content, and a place where we can network with each other as peers. We will continue to be the association of choice for imaging leaders, because YOU are our members!

For those of you able to attend the annual meeting, I wish you safe travels and I look forward to seeing you in our nation’s capital in just a few days. For those unable to make it in person, please remember you can “virtually” join us via the Annual Meeting Blog.

Our last, but certainly not least, featured staff member is Suzee Slatton!

Suzee Slatton

AHRA Department: Accounting Coordinator

Hometown: Topsfield, MA

Family: I live in Marlborough with my youngest son who just turned 18 (sob, sob), two Pekingese dogs, and four ferrets. I also have 2 grown sons, a granddaughter, and another grandbaby due this month.

Background: I started doing accounting back when I was only 10 years old. My father owned a drugstore and my grandmother took care of his books. When she took ill, she showed me what I needed to do to take over for her (mostly “you put that here, and you put that there” and that’s what I did). After high school, I attended North Shore Community College in Beverly, MA and I learned why I “put that there” and I’ve been working in the field in some way or another ever since and loving it!

Interests: Walking, reading, RuneScape (online mrpg), motorcycles, body art, crafts, needlework, and spending time with my children, pets, and granddaughter.

Deb Lopez, CRA, FAHRA is President of the 2009-2010 AHRA Board of Directors.  She lives in San Jose, CA and can be reached at debannlopez@pacbell.net.


  1. Deb,

    It was a pleasure working with you on the board and I’m so happy to see you’ve enjoyed this experience as President. I truly appreciate the time and energy you’ve given us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! – Hazel

  2. Deb

    You’ve certainly done a great job this year and we all appreciate the many extra hours and your experienced leadership. I personally am very thankful to see you continue that effort for our membership thoughout next year, and beyond! Thanks


  3. Deb,

    Thank you for your direction, support, freindship and time. I am proud to have served on the board under your direction and the membership has certainly benefited from your leadership and the investment of your time to their needs. I look forward to continuing to learn from you as out going president, just as you have learned from those who have laid the foundation in front of you for our great association. God Bless you.


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