Cosby trial puts court stenographer in spotlight

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyIn a June 15 post on his blog, Carl Hessler Jr., a journalist who covers the Montgomery County (Pa.) Courthouse, praised the professionalism of NCRA member Ginny Womelsdorf, RPR, who reported the Bill Cosby trial. Hessler highlighted the extensive readback that Womelsdorf was asked to do and included positive reactions to her hard work from Twitter.

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NCRA member recognized for new certification

JCR logoThe Observer-Reporter, Washington, Pa., posted a press release on June 17 announcing that NCRA member Amanda Lundberg, RPR, CRC, recently has earned the nationally recognized Certified Realtime Captioner certification. The press release was issued by NCRA on behalf of Lundberg.

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NCRA member in the news

JCR logoThe Fresno Bee (Calif.) posted an announcement on June 4 about NCRA member Lesia Mervin, FAPR, RMR, CRR, CRC, earning the Certified Realtime Captioner certification. The announcement was prompted by a press release issued by NCRA on Mervin’s behalf.

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NCRA members shares their role in judicial system with homeschool students

JCR logoNCRA members Cyndi Larimer and Mindie Baab recently explained their jobs as official court reporters as part of a mock trial that a handful of National Home School students participated in. The mock trial was included in an article posted by the Claremore Daily Progress, Claremore, Okla., on March 31.

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NCRA member gives back and gets back

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Left to right: Tunch Ilkin, J. Dax Parise (holding award), and Craig Wolfley

Earlier this month, NCRA member J. Dax Parise, CLVS, was honored with the Locker Room Leadership Award from Light of Life Rescue Mission, a nonprofit homeless shelter based in Pittsburgh, Pa. Parise was recognized for his commitment to providing promotional video services at events and activities benefiting individuals and families experiencing housing crises. He was presented the award by former NFL Pittsburgh Steelers players Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley. Parise is the president of Veritas Legal Services in Pittsburgh, which has been in existence for 15 years and offers a wide range of court reporting, legal videography and videoconferencing services.

The JCR Weekly reached out to him to learn more about his volunteer work, what motivates him, and why he does what he does.

How did you become involved in Light of Life Rescue Mission?

A close friend approached me with a problem: Light of Life Rescue Mission had served as a beacon of hope for the homeless, the hungry, and those struggling with addictions since 1952, but no one was aware of the great work of this Pittsburgh-based nonprofit. I toured the mission’s facilities, and learned more about its programs and its people. I knew I had to find a way to help spread the stories of both the successes and challenges that those involved with Light of Life experience on a daily basis. Video work is my wheelhouse; it was a logical choice for me. I could visually share these inspirational stories.

How long have you been working with the group?

We’ve been volunteering for Light of Life since 2009.

What types of promo videos do you supply them with?

To raise awareness about a cause, you often need to demonstrate the problem. However, that doesn’t mean awareness videos need to be sad to make a point. Our videos tend to introduce viewers to the problem and then ask them to be a part of the solution. We share stories of those who have completed recovery programs. We also highlight ways to give back and personal tales of volunteers and community members. These videos bridge an emotional gap and highlight the life-changing effects of Light of Life in both an informative and inspirational way.

What is the most rewarding return for you from volunteering?

Light of Life is based in Pittsburgh, where I live and work. My work with them gives me the chance to make a direct impact on my community, to be a part of something bigger than myself, and to use my particular skills for a greater good.  

Did you know you were going to receive the Leadership Award?

My role is typically much more behind-the-scenes, so I was surprised to find out Light of Life planned to honor me! They reached out about a month ago and presented me with the award on May 12 as a part of an awareness event to promote their Memorial Day weekend walk to end homelessness.

What does it mean to have received the award?

While I certainly do not do what I do for recognition, being recognized by such an inspirational organization truly was an extraordinary moment. I was touched and so pleased I can use my passion to celebrate Light of Life’s work.

What would you tell others about why volunteering is important?

Volunteering for Light of Life has allowed me the opportunity to meet and work with phenomenal people, from diverse backgrounds, striving toward a common goal. These projects have helped me to better understand the community where I live and given me perspective on how the world really is. I’ve learned to employ gratitude in my daily life, and my volunteering shows my two sons just how critical it is that we help those less fortunate than us. For young people, volunteering is an excellent way to network, learn how to be a leader as well as a part of a team, and to build a resume.

Do you volunteer for other organizations?

Yes, we donate to other organizations regularly, but Light of Life has become so much more than a charity to Veritas Legal Services. They have become a part of our family.

Former NCRA Board member Arlene Sommers passes

JCR logoThe Heritage Florida Jewish News posted an obituary on May 19 for Arlene Phyllis Sommers, past president of the Florida Court Reporters Association and a past NCRA Board member.

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Kislingbury tops list of Intersteno internet keyboarding contest

Intersteno logo -- a globe spinning on a pencil as an axisMark Kislingbury, FAPR, RDR, CRR, of Houston, Texas, placed first in Intersteno’s Internet Keyboarding Competition, held April 17 through May 9 via its website, in the single language category. Kislingbury recorded a total of 9,200 strokes with only 15 errors total. The second-place winner made 7,357 strokes.

The keyboarding competition consists of writing by machine or typing by keyboard as many words as possible of a selection provided visually on the screen. As part of the format of the contest, the text is automatically entered into an online computer program, which matches the original text against what the competitor entered for scoring.

In the Seniors section, Tori Pittman, FAPR, RDR, CRI, of Wake Forest, N.C., placed 72, and Donna Linton, RMR, of Ashburn, Va., placed 84, The Seniors section includes any competitor over the age of 21. Pitman is also chair of NCRA’s Intersteno Task Force.

NCRA member Michelle Grimes passes away

JCR logoNCRA member Michelle Lynn Grimes, a freelance reporter from Villa Park, Ill., passed away Thursday, May 11. She was employed by Planet Depos in St. Charles, Ill.

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Longtime court reporter considered icon to retire after 53 years

JCR logoThe DecaturDaily.com posted an article on May 11 about the retirement of court reporter Morris Anderson after 53 years on the job.

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NCRA member named SBA Florida District 2017 Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year

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Christine Phipps, third from the left, at the SBA South Florida District 2017 Awards

Christine Phipps, RPR, owner of Phipps Reporting, West Palm Beach, Fla., was recently honored with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s South Florida District 2017 Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year Award. Phipps also serves on NCRA’s Board of Directors. The award recognizes her personal efforts and achievements in not only business but also advocating and advancing business ownership for Florida entrepreneurs.

Each year since 1963, the U.S. President has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of Small Business Week during which SBA recognizes outstanding small business owners and advocates for their personal successes and contributions to the nation.

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