Small group, big learning at the NCRA State Leadership Conference

Group shot of the NCRA Leadership Conference attendees

Photo by Lindsay DeWaide, RMR, CRR

NCRA’s State Leadership Conference, held in late May in St. Louis, Mo., was the first to bring to bear the full weight of the national association to a regional event.

“Beyond a doubt awesome,” said Linda M. Dattilo, RPR, executive director for the Missouri Court Reporters Association, of the new regional focus. “I attended the [national-level] NCRA State Leadership Conference many years ago and NCRA Legislative Boot Camp, and I got far more out of this conference. Perhaps it was the smaller number of attendees or the terrific leaders who put the conference on. All I know is I have a lot of ideas now for the Missouri Court Reporters Association that I can’t wait to get working on.”

The smaller group size was cited as being conducive for greater learning and better camaraderie by many of the participants. The conference included presentations by NCRA President Tiva Wood, FAPR, RDR, CMRS; President-Elect Chris Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC; Interim CEO & Executive Director Dave Wenhold; and Manager of State Government Relations Matt Barusch.

“I was presented with so much information, such as learning how to run an effective board meeting, understanding budgets, the nuts and bolts of association work, and how to communicate effectively with our members,” said Dana Webb, president-elect of the Tennessee Court Reporters Association. “The knowledge I derived from this conference will truly be invaluable as I embark on becoming president of the Tennessee Court Reporters Association, and it will help me to make the most of my leadership role to better our association and our profession.”

“They taught us so many helpful tools in leading an effective board meeting, recruiting new association members, ideas about promoting our careers to high school students, and so much more,” agreed Jill Pilkington, RMR, who is president-elect of the Nebraska Court Reporters Association.

“The regional leadership conference in St. Louis was, in my opinion, time and money well spent,” said Lance Boardman, RDR, CRR, who is a director for the Ohio Court Reporters Association. “It was gratifying to know that much of what is recommended by NCRA as to how to run a state organization the Ohio Court Reporters Association has already implemented. On the other hand, there was much that I, as an individual, did not know about processes and procedures. I think there is generally a fairly large knowledge gap between people’s perception of how things are run and the reality, and that gap, for me at least, has now been mostly filled.”

The conference was designed to provide state leaders with information about working as an association that is often not easily found elsewhere, including how to fulfill their roles as state leaders in line with industry best practices. In addition, state leaders exchanged information about what is going on in their states to build connections between organizations and individual state leaders.

“As a newer member to our State Board, I met some great leaders in our profession,” said Jackie Rupnow, RPR, CRI, who is part of the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association board. “I loved that Tiva and Chris played an integral part of this training. Their insight was invaluable. I left this conference having made some lifelong friends, but, best of all, it reenergized me in wanting to do more for our profession and be a better leader. I would recommend this conference to anyone interested in gaining more insight into how to become a more effective leader.”

As Boardman summed up: “The best part of all: I got to finally meet some longtime online friends and made a lot of new ones from around the country.”