SPOTLIGHT ON SAUNDRA O'HARA, ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER

Posted by Judge Robert Bacharach on 08/16/2012

The Federal Bar Association proudly puts its spotlight on Saundra O’Hara, the Court’s Administrative Manager!

She grew up on a farm in Canute, Oklahoma, with her two sisters and one brother. There, she learned many life-skills — chopping cotton, feeding the chickens, working in the garden, and doing whatever needed to be done. From the family farm, Saundra attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University and Baylor University and ultimately obtained a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in business from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). While in San Marcos, Saundra worked as a tax accountant and finished her requirements for the CPA certification. Then she became an accounting instructor at Texas State University. The following year she and her family moved to Iowa when her husband, John, was hired at the University of Iowa as a football coach.

Saundra’s Oklahoma adventures began through happenstance. In 1992, Saundra was working as a senior accountant in the Business Department at the University of Iowa. John had recently passed away and she wanted to move to Oklahoma because her mother and two sisters were here. Saundra’s sister (Judy) learned about a newly created job in the courthouse for a "budget analyst." Judy knew that the job would be perfect for Saundra and told her about it. Luckily, Saundra applied. Bob Dennis, the Court Clerk, quickly recognized Saundra’s exceptional abilities and hired her. Saundra began on August 17, 1992 — exactly twenty years before her retirement will go into effect.

Saundra enjoys traveling and has had an opportunity to visit 42 of the states. That number will grow soon because her fiancee, Duane Boardman, is also retired and shares Saundra’s love of traveling.

Saundra has a wonderful family. Her two sons live in Texas, and her daughter resides in Tulsa. Saundra is also the proud grandmother of seven grandchildren ranging from 17 years old to a 3-month-old.

She has treasured her 20-year service with the Court. Through her extensive work with the budget, Saundra has had a unique opportunity to see all the phases of the court operations and had the challenging task of keeping all of the operations afloat with limited funds.

 All will miss Saundra, as she is a true professional and exudes warmth and enthusiasm to everyone in her path. Bob Dennis says of Saundra:

Being one of the first federal courts in the nation to implement the then-new "decentralized budgeting process" back in 1992, our court was given special authorization by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to hire a "Budget Analyst" to implement new procedures. Because of Saundra’s superb accounting background, we hired her for the position and have been very thankful ever since. We got the right person for the job. Saundra is an excellent employee and exemplifies the values of grace, dignity and elegance. Because of her work ethic, dedication to duty, and expertise, Saundra has advanced from Budget Analyst to Budget Manager and ultimately to Administrative Manager. She is a delightful person to work with and she will be sorely missed by the entire Court family.

The FBA agrees and, for that, puts its spotlight on the Court Family’s Saundra O’Hara. We will miss you, Saundra!