Search Results for: 2018 convention

Immediate Past President’s final address to the membership at 2018 Convention & Expo

Chris Willette

The following is the speech given by Immediate Past President Christine J. Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC, Wausau, Wis., during the Aug. 2 Annual Business Meeting at the 2018 Convention & Expo in New Orleans, La.

Five minutes is not nearly enough for me to tell you about the accomplishments of NCRA’s volunteers, Board of Directors, CEO, and staff. I will do my best! My apologies in advance to Andrea Couch, our captioner today. I know she will forgive me. Besides, she’s got amazing skills.

Shortly after the last time I stood in front of our membership, the room went dark. I knew then that it was going to be a fantastic year since we had just received a fresh jolt of electricity!

As many of you know, leadership has its ups and downs. I am a firm believer that there are no mistakes in life … only lessons. Challenges present opportunities. By choice, I apply lessons learned and move forward in a positive and constructive manner.

Allow me to share just a few of our accomplishments over the past 12 months.

Immediately following convention, the board set out to vet and hire our new CEO. More than 100 candidates applied. The Board sought a leader with the skill set to get our finances under control and lead our association through a needed transition to position NCRA for a successful future. Marcia Ferranto became a full-time employee of NCRA in October. Marcia brings extensive experience, analytical and fact-based decision-making ability, and a keen focus on success. She possesses an energetic, positive attitude, filled with passion for what she loves to do: manage associations.

Next, on the Board’s agenda — a new Strategic Plan. Vision 2018 was upon us, and we needed a new plan to define who we are, where we are going, how we will get there, and what success looks like. The Board, together with Marcia and staff, debated, brainstormed, and deliberated for countless hours, and we approved the final Plan in May. The SP has three key priorities with specific deliverables and accountability.

The Annual Firm Owners conference — the largest attendance ever — featured an influx of fresh content and networking opportunities.

NCRA’s Legislative Boot Camp was completely revamped. Due to the continued philanthropic work of our Foundation — NCRF — it was a highlight of my year and with great humility that I conducted a Veterans History Project interview of Purple Heart Recipient and United States Marine Veteran Rob Jones at the United States Library of Congress. Google him!

Both the CRC and the CLVS certification processes were updated and brought online for easier member access. A CRC certification fast track was approved for experienced professionals in the captioning field, and a guidebook was also created. Most recently, the Board has approved offering an advanced captioning certification.

The process for schools wishing to gain NCRA approval has been improved and expanded to allow more schools to become NCRA-approved. Speaking of schools, the NCRA A to Z program is doing a fantastic job of getting students into those schools. Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who have given their time to facilitate A to Z classes. We have also created an online course so that anyone anywhere who is interested in learning about the magic of our stenographic skill can do so.

As I said in last year’s address, the financial position of NCRA was of great concern and a matter on which I intended to focus. With Marcia’s expertise, and in conjunction with the finance committee and our CFO, the Board has adopted a new approach to assessing and monitoring our finances. I am quite confident in the new measures in place. In fact, as reflected in our second quarter financials, we are currently tracking on budget for the first time in years.

National Captioners and Reporters Association — NCRA — the proposed name change is the result of in‐depth strategic plan dialogue and the Member Needs Assessment. The new name supports our goals of attracting people to the captioning and court reporting professions and creating a greater awareness of who we are and the beneficial services our members provide. It better reflects the current and future status of the profession. The new name gives better recognition to a growing segment of the Association’s membership: captioners.

Including a tagline to our logo — “Steno: The standard in capturing the spoken word” — maintains our focus on representing the professionals who use a stenographic machine to earn a living.

Change is rarely easy but often necessary. The transition to reality of the current state of our profession requires perseverance and confidence that the future can be better if we apply what we’ve learned and move forward.

The NCRA Board of Directors consists of 14 passionate individuals. My thanks for your dedication. Together with NCRA staff, we create a dynamic and diversified team of subject matter experts. I ask membership to have confidence and understand that we are all in this together. We all seek success and a bright future.

It is hard to believe that a year has gone by. Some days seemed to last forever, while others were gone in the blink of an eye.

I want to express my gratitude to those who have provided encouragement and inspiration. You know who you are! The messages, hugs, and thoughtful gifts brought a smile to my heart and motivated me to persevere. My life has been enriched by the interactions I have had with members, board colleagues, and staff.

I thank God for the ability to work hard, the compassion and drive to give back in service to others, and the perseverance and patience to guide me. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to serve my profession at this level. I am confident that I have contributed to the advancement of our association, and I am proud of our accomplishments. Indeed, it has required hard work, service, and perseverance. Thank you for the honor.

Take a chance to win a new Luminex at the NCRA 2018 Convention & Expo

Attendees at the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo, being held Aug. 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, can take a chance at winning a one-of-a-kind Luminex shorthand machine, valued at more than $5,000 and generously donated by Stenograph for a raffle sponsored by the National Court Reporters Foundation.

Raffle tickets are $50 each or three for $125 and can be purchased at the NCRF booth on the Expo floor. The drawing will be held on Saturday, Aug. 4, at the Member Recognition Gala: Unmask Your Potential masquerade ball being hosted by 2018-2019 NCRA President Sue A. Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRC. The winner need not be present to win.

2018 Commemorative Pin

While visiting the NCRF booth, convention attendees will also learn how they can help the Association’s philanthropic arm do more through the many programs, scholarships, and grants it offers.

Other treasures that await at the NCRF booth include the 2018 New Orleans Jazz it Up Convention Commemorative Pin, which will be offered for $5 each, and an array of past convention pins available for $1 each. Visitors to the booth can also become part of NCRA history by signing the Official Convention Register, a time capsule of sorts that has documented convention attendees since the early 1900s and is housed in NCRF’s Robert H. Clark Library at NCRA headquarters between conventions.

Visitors to the NCRF booth can also be among the first of the many NCRA members who will commit to donate $1,000 or more to support the Foundation’s 2019 Angel Drive. The gift provides a great tax write-off and a myriad of benefits, including a listing on the Angels poster at the booth and an invitation to attend the exclusive VIP Luncheon next year in Denver, Colo.

Danielle Griffin

Finally, NCRF’s Corrinne Clark Professionalism Institute will host Beyond Your Career to Your Profession with presenters: Danielle C. Griffin, RPR; Rachel N. Barkume CSR, RPR; Andrea Couch, CSR, RDR, CRR, CRC; Shelley Duhon, RPR, and Jordan Groves, Montgomery, Ala.

Presenters will offer insight into how to expand your thinking to embrace your profession — a long-standing and proud one, at that. Every profession relies on its members to continue, grow, and to thrive. This session will help to get attendees to think about getting involved and to start thinking about their profession and not just their career.

If you are interested in taking a chance on the Luminex machine, snagging your New Orleans Convention pin, or becoming an Angel Donor, be sure to stop by the NCRF booth in New Orleans or contact April Weiner, Development Relations Manager, at aweiner@ncra.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complete Coverage of the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo

Explore coverage of the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo in New Orleans, La., with the stories below.

Awards and scholarships

Information about voting

Special events

Media

President’s address to the membership at the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo

Sue Terry

The following is the speech given by 2018-2019 NCRA President Sue A. Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, at the 2018 Convention & Expo in New Orleans, La., during the Aug. 3 Premier Session.

Good morning. First, I want to thank each of you for your presence here this morning to kick off the year for our association.

I’d also like to thank and recognize my family for being here with me this morning and for the years of endless support you’ve given me, and a very heartfelt thank-you to my husband of 49 years, Keith, who has been my rock since the age of 13. I’d also like to thank my many friends who have supported me, guided me and placed your faith in me. And last, but certainly not least, thank you to each of our board members who came to the table and shared your passion and wisdom in each of the decisions we were tasked with making this year, and there were many.

How can I begin to tell you all the things that need to be said in such a short time this morning about us and I do mean us! We are all NCRA.

While trying to come up with just the right words to inspire you, I found myself at the Google search bar looking for that inspiration, even resorting to random, silly searches like www.greatinspirationforsueterry.com.

I’m sure that every president of this association before me has stepped into their board experience with a vision of how their leadership is going to make a difference, how they are going to improve the profession and better the organization. I know in my heart that is true, and I thank every, single past president of this organization who has stepped up to serve and given freely of their personal time. Thank you. Would every person who has ever served on a state or national committee, board, or task force, please rise. All of you are our true unsung heroes.

I’d like to briefly share with you a bit of my background and passion for reporting. My career began like many of yours. I graduated from a local, small-town court reporting program. The program I attended was self-pay, so I had to write a check monthly. I struggled to make those $65-a-month payments and wondered each time I wrote the check if I could hang in there just one more month. I’m so thankful I did stick with it, because it was a life-changer. My final total investment in a phenomenal career was $845, plus the cost of my first new steno machine, a “manual” blue Hedman Stenoprint at a cost of $135, which I paid $90 down and the remaining balance spread over three months. It included a dust cover and two-year warranty. My, how times have changed!

Students here today, listen up. That initial investment has afforded me the opportunity to meet and work with people in every walk of life, from gang members to factory workers, from environmental specialists to the top physicians and surgeons in the world. I’ve been able to be the ears of hard-of-hearing professionals by providing realtime translation for them to enable them to “hear” their meetings and conferences. My $845 investment also afforded me the opportunity to serve as a realtime reporter producing transcripts for President Obama and Vice President Biden at Camp David. How incredible is a career in court reporting!

Each of us can tell our own inspiring stories, and we all have similar experiences we can share. We must begin to look for opportunities everywhere to tell our stories. Your story may just be the one that motivates someone to join our ranks or inspires a student to pass that next speed hurdle.

That’s what I’m going to ask you to help the NCRA board with today, shaping our future, writing our stories. I can’t do it alone, and neither can this board. We need your help.

There are challenges we face as an industry, and I’d like to discuss at least a couple of them this morning.

  1. Shortage of new students into our profession. While NCRA has undertaken some innovative solutions to address this problem, such as disseminating information on our Discover Steno website, providing brochures, aptitude tests and other tools to aid our schools, what we can’t do is be the eyes and ears in your community. We’d ask you to go to the Discover web site and review the materials, then go into your communities and host informational events to promote our A-to-Z initiative. It’s going to take a hefty grass roots effort to increase our numbers. I know many of you have gone into high schools, church youth groups. The National Honor Society has estimated there are over one million students participating in their organization. Think of it; one million of the nation’s brightest students. Will you consider sponsoring a small reception at their induction ceremonies to celebrate and mingle with them, their parents and their teachers? You can offer to caption their induction ceremony speeches so they can actually then experience firsthand the vital services we perform. This would give us access to students who have already demonstrated both an academic GPA of 3.5 or above, and also the character of the four pillars of the National Honor Society; scholarship, service, leadership and character. It would give us access to exactly the kind of student we are looking to recruit and gain wider awareness of our profession.
  2. NCRA governance. We are an organization ripe for culture change. We must begin to think differently and find ways to build upon our strengths and improve upon our weaknesses. I believe we can greatly improve NCRA governance, and I will be working hard to do that this year.
  3. My first order of business as NCRA President was to work with Max, our President-Elect, and Marcia Ferranto NCRA’s new Executive Director and CEO, to restructure NCSA into what we hope to be the Congress of Court Reporting. We believe the states and their leaders are the cornerstone of NCRA. I, along with our Board, believe in our members, and that together, we can create a stronger NCRA. New regional directors have been selected, and we will be asking them to work with us to craft a new framework for NCSA, designed by you, our states, that will add much additional input to the NCRA board to guide us in our decisions so that we are cognizant of your concerns and desires when deliberating. This new NCSA will have a much stronger voice in the affairs of your
  4. Exploring new markets for our services. There are many new and unexplored opportunities in the captioning industry, and it promises great growth. I will work with Marcia Ferranto and our board to explore some of those opportunities in some new markets this year. I read one survey recently of businesses who estimated their captioning needs for video would grow by 74% in the coming year. There are 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. Almost five billion videos are watched on Youtube every, single day. Let’s be sure we are at the forefront of these video captioning opportunities.
  5. Protecting our officialships. We must remain vigilant and aggressive in providing education and building relationships that assists us in keeping steno as the preferred method of capturing the record so that we can protect the rights of all litigants who pass through the courtroom doors.
  6. Provide strong support for our freelance community by providing educational seminars and resources to enhance their businesses, as well as encouraging and promoting better communications between our freelancers and the firms they serve.

In closing tonight, I would say that this board has navigated some very rough waters this year. However, I’ve learned that in life, the things that go wrong are often the very things that lead to change and bring greater successes that couldn’t even have been imagined without the newfound wisdom those experiences teach us. This year, I plan to listen a lot. There’s going to be immense talent around me, and I plan to spend a lot of time listening as this board arrives at the very best decisions they can make for you. I plan to listen to you, our members, for without you, we cease to exist.

I would ask you to spend the remainder of our convention celebrating one another, not as captioners or freelancers or firm owners or videographers, but as professionals, united in our purpose and supporting our association. Thank you.

NCRA 2018-2019 Officers Installed at Annual Convention & Expo in New Orleans

NCRA’s 2018-2019 officers and Board of Directors were installed during the premier session held Aug. 3 during the Association’s 2018 Convention & Expo taking place Aug. 2-5 in New Orleans, La.

The newly elected officers include:

  • President: Sue A. Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, Springfield, Ohio
  • President-elect: Roy (Max) M. Curry, Jr., RPR, CRI, Franklin, Tenn.
  • Vice President: Christine Phipps, RPR, North Palm Beach, Fla.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Debra A. Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC, Salt Lake City, Utah

In addition, four new members of NCRA’s Board of Directors were also installed to serve three-year terms during the event. They include:

  • Stephen H. Clark, CRC, Washington, D.C.
  • Cindy L. Isaacsen, RPR, Shawnee, Kan.
  • Karyn D. Menck, RDR, CRR, CRC, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Cathy Penniston, RPR, CRI, Ottumwa, Iowa

Keith Lemons

Yolanda Walton

Also installed to serve a one-year term were:

  • Keith Lemons, FAPR, RPR, CRR, a freelance court reporter from Brentwood, Tenn.
  • Yolanda Walton, RPR, an official court reporter from Norwalk, Ohio

 

 

Returning directors include:

  • Kristin M. Anderson, RPR, San Antonio, Tex.
  • Meredith A. Bonn, RPR, Webster, N.Y.
  • Tonya J. Kaiser Dunn, RPR, CMRS, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • NCRA Immediate Past President Christine J. Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC, Wausau, Wis.

Read more.

You can still register on-site for the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo

Although online registration for NCRA’s 2018 Convention & Expo is closed, you can still register on-site for this premier event taking place Aug. 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, in colorful New Orleans, La.

On-site registration opens Thursday, Aug. 2, at 7 a.m. and closes at 6:30 p.m. Registration is open on Friday, Aug. 3, and Saturday, Aug. 4, from 6:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Don’t miss the excitement of this year’s Convention & Expo with highlights that include:

Keynote speaker Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré (U.S. Army, Ret.), a 37-year veteran of active service who served as the commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, during which time he became known as the “Category 5 General” for his striking leadership style in coordinating military relief efforts in post-hurricane New Orleans. In addition to sharing insights into his leadership skills with attendees at the premier session, Honoré will write his military story in a special Veterans History Project event. His story will be preserved at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., as part of its VHP program.

An all-inclusive schedule is sure to appeal to anyone in the court reporting, captioning, and legal video professions, and in the educational arena.

Dozens of vendors will showcase the latest in new products and services specifically for the court reporting and captioning professions, including software, equipment, support services, new products, and more.

Other schedule highlights include workshops, business sessions, and Learning Zones that will offer attendees added opportunities to mingle and network; the National Speed and Realtime Contests; and the Member Recognition Gala. Throughout the Convention, attendees can earn up to 2.3 CEUs.

And be sure to stop by the National Court Reporters Foundation booth to enter a raffle to win a one-of-a-kind Luminex steno machine.

For more information about NCRA’s 2018 Convention & Expo or to see the schedule, visit NCRA.org/Convention.

 

Follow the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo online

Whether you are on-site or holding down the home front during the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo, Aug. 2-5 in New Orleans, La., be sure to follow along with all that’s happening at special sessions, networking events, the Expo floor, and more by checking in with the JCR.com, Facebook, and Twitter.

Throughout the Convention, NCRA will be posting updates on the JCR.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter using #NCRA18. Follow along for important information for attendees as well as breaking news for members who are keeping up with the action from home. Everyone is encouraged to join the conversation and share their stories from New Orleans.

For those attending the Convention, the official app will also keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings. The app is available in the Apple app store and on Google Play.

The 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo is the place to earn new certifications

Professionals seeking to add nationally recognized certifications to their résumés can choose from several opportunities to work toward them at the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo being held Aug. 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, in New Orleans, La.

This year’s scheduled event is all-inclusive, offering workshops, sessions, and Learning Zones sure to appeal to anyone working in the court reporting, captioning, or legal videography professions, and offering added opportunities for attendees to mingle and network.

Go for that certification

For those interested in learning how to pass the Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR), a three-hour-long boot camp is available on Aug. 2. The CRR is recognized in the industry as the national certification of realtime competency. Taught by Kathryn Sweeney, FAPR, RMR, CRR, who helped develop the boot camp program, the course has enabled many to successfully pass the test on the first take. Sweeney is a freelance reporter and agency owner from Acton, Mass.

In the course, Sweeney explains the testing requirements, covers NCRA’s What is an Error?, discusses what is not an error, and talks about the new online testing process. She also offers tips for self-preparation, including what to have on test day, what to do and not do on test day, and how and why candidates fail. Participants in the session should bring their equipment with them so they can take a couple of practice tests and learn how to adjust their system settings and dictionary entries. Skills testing for the CRR is offered online.

Going for the Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) certification? There’s a 10-hour Workshop for this being held Aug. 2 and Aug. 3, and it’s the first step toward earning the CRC. The workshop will help prep you to be ready to take the Written Knowledge Test being offered at this year’s Convention & Expo. The required Skills Test can be taken anytime online.

Leading the CRC workshop are Carol Studenmund, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, a broadcast captioner based in Portland, Ore., and Heidi Thomas, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, a CART captioner from Acworth, Ga.

Attend the Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS) Certification Workshop on Aug. 4 for an overview of what it means to be a legal videographer. The workshop also includes a hands-on segment to help candidates better prepare to take the mandatory workshop offered online and the required in-person production exam held twice a year at NCRA Headquarters in Reston, Va.

The CLVS program sets and enforces standards for competency in the capture, use, and retention of legal video and promotes awareness of these standards within the legal marketplace.

Learning Zones

This year’s schedule also features an array of Learning Zones designed to appeal to attendees across the board. For example, current CLVSs are encouraged to attend the sessions Deposition Audio – Teamwork between the Court Reporter and Videographer, Market Yourself, and Adding PIP to your video deposition.

Students who attend will have the opportunity to participate in a Steno Speed Dating session, a special meet and greet with NCRA’s Board of Directors, an online skills testing prep, and hear from the perspective of a new professional what they didn’t learn in court reporting school.

Other Learning Zones feature business-related sessions such as Financial Wellness in the Gig Economy, Ethics Jeopardy, and Secrets to Success as a Freelancer.

NCRA’s 2018 Convention & Expo is the largest annual gathering of court reporters, captioners, scopists, legal videographers, trial presenters, students, and other legal services professionals.

Register now for the 2018 NCRA Annual Convention & Expo before July 23 to avoid late fees. Reserve a hotel room at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans using NCRA’s special discount rate by July 6 and get a free breakfast on Friday and Saturday (a $75 value).

To jazz things up even more, check out this party playlist of songs selected by NCRA staff to get everyone excited to meet in New Orleans!

For more information about the 2018 NCRA Annual Convention & Expo, or to register, visit NCRA.org/Convention.

For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Mary Petto, Senior Director of External Affairs at mpetto@ncra.org.

 

 

2018 NCRA Convention & Expo student track sessions

Read the presenters bios here.

Steno Speed Dating

Steno Speed Dating (noun): An organized social activity in which students seeking information and networking opportunities have a series of short conversations with working reporters and captioners. This is a great opportunity to sit down and talk with professionals in a round of “Speed Dating.” You will have 10-15 minutes with each reporter or captioner to ask all the questions you have always wondered about. Find out what keeps these professionals motivated and passionate about their careers.

Presenters:  Ron Cook, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, Rich Germosen, RMR, CRR, Karla Sommer, RMR, CRR, CRC, Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, Kathryn Thomas, RDR, CRR, CRC, Karen Tyler, RDR, CRR, CRC, Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR, Doug Zweizig, RDR, CRR

Ron Cook, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC

Rich Germosen, RMR, CRR

Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC

Kathryn Thomas photographed with Sen. Tom Harkin

Kathryn Thomas, RDR, CRR, CRC, photographed with Sen. Tom Harkin

Karen Tyler, RDR, CRR, CRC

Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR

Doug Zweizig, RDR, CRR

 


What I didn’t learn in School: From the New Professionals’ Perspective – Do’s and Don’ts
You’ve just graduated from Court Reporting School and now you’re certified. Reality kicks in and you aren’t sure about the necessary steps for landing your first deposition or applying for an officialship. Does your resume stand out? Should you commit to one firm only? Is venting on social media a good idea? Come hear from a panel of stellar new professionals to learn all you need to know before entering the real world of reporting.

Presenters:  Aimee Edwards-Altadonna, Michael Hensley, RPR, Celeste Poppe, RPR, Isaiah Roberts, RPR, Katherine Schilling, RPR

Aimee Edwards-Altadonna

Michael Hensley, RPR

Celeste Poppe, RPR

Isaiah Roberts, RPR

Katherine Schilling, RPR

 


Good Reporter/Bad Reporter
This audience-participation skit touches on professional etiquette and mannerisms in conducting oneself at work. Learn the tools of the trade to win over clientele for freelance or get hired for overflow work in a judicial proceeding. Why some people “have it” and others just simply don’t. Be prepared to laugh!

Presenters:  Debbie Kriegshauser, FAPR, RMR, CRR, CLVS, CRC, Susan Moran, RMR

Deborah Kriegshauser, FAPR, RMR, CRR, CLVS

Susan Moran, RMR

 

 


Online Skills Testing

In this seminar, Marybeth Everhart will review the entire online testing process, from registration to completion – soup to nuts, you might say. What equipment will you need? Where can you test, and when? Who is ProctorU and how are they involved? For answers to these questions and more, you’ll want to attend this seminar!

Presenter:  Marybeth Everhart, RPR, CRI, CPE

Marybeth Everhart, RPR, CRI, CPE

2018 NCRA Convention & Expo student track speaker bios

The following reporters and captioners will be speaking as part of the student track at the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo. The event will run Aug. 2-5 in New Orleans, La.

Read the session descriptions here.

Ron Cook, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC

Ron Cook is a veteran deposition reporter who owns his own agency in Seattle, Wash. He won the 2016 NCRA Realtime Contest Q&A leg and was one error away from being crowned the 2016 NCRA Realtime Champion.

 

Aimee Edwards-Altadonna

Aimee Edwards-Altadonna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Communications from California State University, Monterey Bay. She has been working as a freelance reporter covering Northern California since the fall of 2014. She has participated in state and national conventions as well as in software user groups for a number of years. She is proud to be involved as part of the volunteer leadership of California Court Reporters Association representing freelance reporters throughout the state.

 Marybeth Everhart, RPR, CRI, CPE

Marybeth Everhart has been reporting since 1980 and writing realtime since 1992. She has been a freelance reporter in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area; an official reporter in Brisbane, Australia; has provided CART services to such organizations as Self Help for Hard of Hearing People and the Neurofibromatosis Foundation; captioned for Gallaudet University; managed a large, multi-office freelance firm; taught court reporting at all levels; and trained on numerous CAT systems over the years. Everhart is now the national marketing manager for Realtime Coach and works closely with reporting schools, firms, and court systems to increase speed and improve accuracy for students and working reporters. Everhart is as a contributing editor to the JCR (Journal of Court Reporting) and the Eclipse Users Group Newscache.

 Rich Germosen, RMR, CRR

Rich Germosen is a Certified Realtime Reporter with more than 24 years of experience covering high-end realtime assignments nationwide, especially in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. He holds the NCRA Realtime Systems Administrator certificate. Hehas consistently qualified in the NCRA National Speed and Realtime Competitions from 2012 through 2016, and in 2016, he received a 3rd place medal in the Deposition Reporters Association Realtime Contest in the 190 wpm Q&A.

Michael Hensley, RPR

Michael Hensley joined the profession of court reporting in a somewhat unique way. His schooling was done entirely online. Not once did he set foot in a classroom at a brick-and-mortar facility. His education provided him with a unique perspective relating to the court reporting education process that allows him to embrace technology in every aspect of his career. In his experience as a reporter, he has covered various types of proceedings including depositions for cases involving wrongful death, patent law, medical practice, and technical expert testimony. Hensley is a member of NCRA’s New Professionals Advisory Committee, which advocates for involvement in local and national associations as well as certification and professional development. He finds joy in giving back to the profession of court reporting by encouraging other reporters to continually sharpen their skills and by offering guidance and education for various technologies available to professional court reporters and students alike.

Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC

Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag has lived and breathed reporting since she discovered the profession as a junior in high school. It is the only career she has ever had, and in her more than 35 years of reporting she has worked as an official, freelancer, firm owner, and occasional CART captioner. She has served on many committees and boards, including as president of the Wyoming, Colorado, and National Court Reporter Associations. She is a perennial contestant in state and national speed and realtime contests, having placed as high as 2nd in NCRA’s Speed Contest twice. She has also won the Colorado and Illinois contests numerous times. She has given seminars to students, reporters, vendors, and the public since 1993. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for MacCormac College, in Chicago, Ill., the nation’s oldest reporting program. In 2015, Humphrey-Sonntag transitioned to Planet Depos, an international reporting firm. She is now a full-time realtime reporter in the firm’s Chicagoland branch, where she loves interacting with attorneys in the field and reporting varied and interesting cases.

Debbie Kriegshauser, FAPR, RMR, CRR, CLVS, CRC

Debbie Kriegshauser is currently a federal official reporter with the U.S. District Court in St. Louis, Mo. She has been a reporter since 1980 and has worked in all phases of the reporting profession. She also has served on numerous national and state committees, including her current service on NCRA’s Test Advisory Council.

 

Susan Moran, RMR

Susan Moran has been a federal official in St. Louis, Mo. for 20 years. Prior to that, she worked as a freelancer for four years. She received her RPR in 1992 and her RMR in 1999. In 2005, Moran received the FCRR (Federal Realtime Reporter) designation.

 

Celeste Poppe, RPR

Celeste Poppe is a freelance deposition reporter in California. She received her California license in February  2017 and received her RPR shortly after that in April 2017. Before becoming licensed, Poppe was an office manager at a small CSR-owned agency that gave her great insight into what agencies expect out of reporters and also what drives them crazy. She volunteers her time to students and new professionals in guiding them to be successful reporters. She also serves on event committees for the California Deposition Reporters Association and volunteers as a subject matter expert for the written exams with the California Court Reporters Board. She has also been published in the JCR (Journal of Court Reporting).

Isaiah Roberts, RPR

Isaiah Roberts is currently an official reporter in the 11th Judicial Circuit of Illinois. After obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from Illinois State University in 2013, Roberts attended the Mark Kislingbury Academy of Court Reporting before starting his job as an official in April of 2016. He currently serves as the Legislative Representative for the Illinois Court Reporters Association and is an avid member of NCRA.

Katherine Schilling, RPR

Court reporting is Katherine Schilling’s second career, after having spent seven years as a translator of Japanese comics and video games in Los Angeles, Calif., and the Silicon Valley. After three years at West Valley College’s court reporting program and still with her qualifier to pass, Katherine opted instead to work under a one-year contract across the country in Richmond, Va., where a few months of experience under her belt helped her to pass the RPR, followed shortly thereafter by the California CSR. Schilling loved working in the Washington, D.C., area where she considered every day on the job to be a “waking dream.” At her two-year anniversary as a working reporter, she had the opportunity to marry her love of court reporting and Japanese culture by relocating to Tokyo, Japan – a lifelong dream of hers. There she has been taking realtime depositions in Japan and throughout Asia.

Karla Sommer, RMR, CRR, CRC

Karla Sommer has been a court reporter in the Wausau, Wis. area for the past 32 years. She began her career as a freelance reporter. After five years of freelancing, Sommer was appointed as an official reporter for the state of Wisconsin, a position she has held for 27 years. She has also worked as a part-time captioner, and she continues to provide CART services when needed. Sommer holds the Registered Merit Reporter, Certified Realtime Reporter, and Certified Realtime Captioner certifications. She is currently the past president of the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association and is serving on NCRA’s Nominating Committee as well as the Association’s Skills Writing Committee.

Kathryn Thomas, RDR, CRR, CRC

Kathryn A. Thomas is a captioner in the greater St. Louis, Mo., area and is currently president of the Illinois Court Reporters Association. She provides captioning to individuals, stadiums, webcasts, conventions, and wherever it’s needed.

Karen Tyler, RDR, CRR, CRC

Karen Tyler has worked as an official court reporter in state and federal courts in Shreveport, La., and as a freelance reporter. She became a firm owner in 1994 and then transitioned to the Western District of Louisiana. Tyler assisted in setting up the first paperless and realtime-ready courtroom in northern Louisiana in 1998. After bombing the infamous NCRA Speed and Realtime Contests held in Dallas, Texas, she garnered her courage and competed again in 2013, where she qualified in all three legs, and won second in the Q&A, and also qualified in both legs of the realtime contest. In 2014, she qualified in all three legs of the speed contest, won third in the literary, and qualified in both legs of the realtime contest. In 2015, she qualified in all three legs of the speed contest, and in 2016, she won third overall in the speed contest, second place in the Q&A, and qualified in realtime Q&A. Tyler is the owner of Karen Tyler Reporting in Shreveport, La.

Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR

Donna Urlaub has been working as a court reporter for 49 years and also owns her own agency. She was an Illinois speed and realtime champion in 2013, 2015, and in 2017. She has been a perennial medalist in NCRA’s speed and realtime contests and won third place at Intersteno in 2015. Urlaub has been a presenter at NCRA, the Illinois Court Reporters Association, and STAR.

Doug J. Zweizig, RDR, CRR

Douglas J. Zweizig is a 1989 graduate of Central Pennsylvania Business School (now Central Pennsylvania College). Zweizig earned his Associate’s degree and moved from a small town to Philadelphia, Pa., where he began work as a freelance court reporter. Initially covering car accidents and workers’ compensation matters, he worked his way up to medical malpractice, public hearings, and more. A limited amount of CART work was interspersed in those years, something he found most rewarding. In 2001, Zweizig began as an official court reporter in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia. He covered a wide range of work including drug cases, assaults, and especially homicide trials. On the civil side, he covered medical malpractice, mass tort pharmaceutical cases, construction, and discrimination. After many rewarding years there, he accepted a position in the U. S. District Court for the District of Maryland, where he’s currently working. There he handles criminal matters, including large drug conspiracies, racketeering, bank fraud, and occasionally a murder trial. On the civil side, he covers patent cases, maritime, discrimination, and more. Zweizig has several medals in speed and realtime contests, winning NCRA’s Realtime Contest in 2006 and 2015.