Michele Luther-Krug, COTA/L, SCADCM, CDRS
Describe your journey of leadership. Where and when did you begin? What made you want to be involved in OTA leadership?
I graduated from Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan, in 1980 with an Associate Degree in Applied Science/OTA Program. After practicing for several years I became involved in presentations for the Michigan Occupational Therapy Association, hospital in-service, and community presentations. This work helped to lead me into roles working on committees for the Area Agency on Aging; National Highway Traffic Safety, Secretary of State and association/organization leadership roles.
Did you have mentors? If so, how did s/he become your mentor?
I have had several mentors and people who I collaborated with who helped me to grow further than I imagined. Susan Robosan Burt, Sally Ryan, Lindsey Lawrence, Susan Pierce, Maseline Horton to name a few.
How did your mentors help you become a leader or a better leader?
They helped challenge me to find answers and to push me to find the ability within myself through inspiration, belief, and example.
What pitfalls or obstacles have you had in your journey to become a leader? What surprises did you encounter?
As with any encounter, those that challenge us personally and are difficult are the experiences which help us grow the most. I learned when to voice a concern and when to listen very quickly.
Why is OTA Leadership important? How does OTA leadership benefit the profession?
OTAs are able to benefit from leaders who have risen from their own backgrounds because they have a better understanding of the struggles that OTAs face professionally. We need more OTAs to make a presence in leadership roles to inspire more OTAs to join not only leadership but membership and enroll in OTA programs.
What advice would you give someone who is considering a leadership journey? What are some first steps that OTAs who are just starting out can take?
Volunteer to be a member of a community committee or give a presentation in the community. Network from there in an advocacy role focusing on the things you believe in. This passion and interest will help facilitate the voice needed to advocate for the group you are leading and inspire members to support you.
How do you plan to continue your leadership?
I am interested in teaching, would like to earn the ROH, publish articles, and participate in research.