OCEA President Lezlee Neebe Retires

Dear OCEA member,

This week OCEA President Lezlee Neebe will retire from her position as a Court Clerk III at the Orange County Superior Court, as well as her position as OCEA President.

As an OCEA member since her first day with the Court in 1992, Lezlee’s rare blend of dedication, determination, and encouragement has been a driving force at OCEA. Not just as President—but for the nearly 27 years she devoted to you as a member of the Board of Directors, and before that as an OCEA steward.

When Lezlee was elected OCEA President in 2013, we had just successfully fought the illegal layoffs of OCEA members in the City of Costa Mesa and the anti-worker Statewide initiative Prop. 32. It was an unprecedented mobilization of OCEA’s strength and solidarity, and the pace of those times set the tone for Lezlee’s tenure as President.

Known lovingly as “Madman” by Board and staff, Lezlee’s moniker exemplifies her love of the Union and the Labor Movement. In her time with OCEA, she also notably served as Secretary of the OC Labor Federation; Board Member for the Heroes Hall veteran's museum at the OC Fair; Chair of the OCEA Health & Welfare Trust; OCEA PAC Secretary; and as a member of on numerous Court and County Bargaining Teams over the years.

In her first address as OCEA President, Lezlee wrote something that rings just as true today, an inspirational reminder which I know will continue to carry us through our future challenges and successes: “Without every single one of us, there is no OCEA. Our unity makes us strong, and with that strength comes responsibility to be active and participate.”

I hope you will remain as inspired by these words as we are, and that this moves you toward the type of exemplary involvement modeled committed workplace leaders like Lezlee.

An election was held at this week's Board meeting and a new OCEA President was elected—Judy Bowling, OCEA First Vice President and a Senior Investigator in the Orange County Public Defender’s office.

Please join me in congratulating Lezlee on her immeasurable contributions to OCEA, and Judy on becoming our new OCEA President.

In Solidarity,

Charles Barfield
OCEA General Manager

Publication Date: July 22, 2022