NCRF announces new Trustees

The NCRA Board of Directors has elected the following individuals to serve on the 2018-2019 National Court Reporters Foundation Board of Trustees:

  • Mary P. Bader, RPR, Eau Claire, Wis.
  • Michael A. Bouley, RDR, Tucson, Ariz.
  • Catherine J. Phillips, FAPR, RMR, CMRS, Ocala, Fla.

The newly elected Trustees will begin their three-year terms on Aug. 4 after being inducted into service at the Foundation’s annual Board of Trustees meeting taking place in conjunction with the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo being held Aug. 2-5 in New Orleans, La.

The new Trustees will be joining current NCRF Trustees:

  • Chair Nancy Hopp, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CMRS, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Chair-elect Tami Keenan, FAPR, RPR, CPE, Battle Creek, Mich.
  • Secretary Debra Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC, Woodland, Utah
  • Debra K. Cheyne, M.A., CSR, Sherwood, Ore.
  • Jane Fitzgerald, RMR, Pleasant Hill, Iowa
  • Danielle Griffin, RPR, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Teresa Kordick, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, CRI, CPE, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Cregg Seymour, Baltimore, Md.
  • Karen G. Teig, RPR, CRR, CMRS, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Sandy VanderPol, FAPR, RMR, CRR, Lotus, Calif.

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.

New captioning company in Idaho

NCRA members Andrea Couch, RDR, CRR, CRC, and Anissa Nierenberger, RPR, CRR, CRC, CRI, are the owners of a new captioning company, IdaCaption, located in Boise, Idaho.  IdaCaption provides on-site and off-site CART and broadcast captioning services.

Read more.

Want to vote? Sign up now

NCRA’s Constitution & Bylaws permits members to cast their votes on bylaws amendments via secure online means, even if they can’t attend the Annual Business Meeting at the Convention & Expo. But to exercise the right, members must have an active email address on file in NCRA’s membership database. This will enable NCRA to keep you informed if an amendment is coming up for a vote and provide information on how to register and cast your vote online. Members who are eligible to vote will be able to sign on to the secure website and then vote through a private, secure link during the 12-hour voting period.

Please make sure that NCRA has an active email address in the database by July 15. Contact the Member Services and Information Center at 800-272-6272, or update your NCRA account at NCRAsourcebook.com and follow these instructions:

  1. Log in with your Member ID number and password. If you forgot your password, click on the “Forgot/Reset Password” link to follow the instruction prompts.
  2. Select “My NCRA” and then “My Main Profile.”
  3. Make any necessary changes to your email address.
  4. Click “Save” at the bottom of the screen to save your updates.

In order to be able to vote on the amendments, individuals must join NCRA or provide an updated email to NCRA by July 15. Voting will occur in conjunction with the NCRA Annual Business Meeting in New Orleans on Thursday, Aug. 2.

Members may cast their votes via their phones, tablets, or computers. Voting will begin within two hours after the close of the Annual Business Meeting, which will be held on Thursday, Aug. 2, from 8:30-11 a.m. CT. Voting is open for 12 hours.

10 reminders about the importance of earning and maintaining certifications

Marybeth Everhart

As a follow-up to NCRA’s first Celebrate Certification Month held in May, the article below written by Marybeth Everhart, RPR, CRI, CPE, national marketing manager for Realtime Coach, is meant as a reminder of the importance of earning and maintaining certifications.

Everhart is also on the schedule to present at NCRA’s 2018 Convention & Expo being held Aug. 2-5 in New Orleans, La. Her sessions will include: “Certification: Everything You Wanted to Know and More”; “Online Testing Skills”; and a special vendor showcase that will focus on the latest developments with Realtime Coach.


By Marybeth Everhart

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, certification is “proof or a document proving that someone is qualified for a particular job,” and those credentials are typically on display after the professional’s name.  When you see “MD,” “RN,” or “CPA,” you know that those folks have not only completed a higher level of education but have also studied for and passed a rigorous exam. Professional credentials, or those cryptic initials behind someone’s name, identify that individual as someone dedicated to his or her chosen profession and prepared to uphold a certain set of standards. It signals to the world that this person has achieved something of note or importance. Most people certified in their profession will say that attaining that certification was the single most important step they took in career development.

These statements apply to all professions where certifications are attainable, court reporting included. If you’ve thought about that next NCRA certification but haven’t made the move yet, here are 10 reasons why you should:

  1. Certification demonstrates commitment to your profession. Receiving a certification shows your peers, supervisors, and the general public how committed you are to your reporting career, along with how well you perform to set standards. Certification sets you apart as a leader in your field.
  2. Certification enhances the overall image of the profession. NCRA certification programs seek to grow, promote, and develop certified professionals who can stand “out in front” as examples of excellence in the industry. Think of those you admire in this field and make note of the credentials they display, with pride. It’s unlikely that any of them lack a string of letters after their names.
  3. Certifications are portable. Those credentials can travel with you anywhere and can open doors to employment opportunities you may not have even considered yet. An RPR, for instance, is preferred for many officialships and signals to freelance firms that you can be trusted with their clients and challenging jobs. Currently, 22 states either accept or use the RPR in place of their state certification or exam.
  4. Certification builds self-esteem. NCRA certifications create a performance standard for the profession. You’ll see yourself as a certified professional who has some control over his or her own professional destiny and find a deep sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment.
  5. Certification establishes professional credentials. Since it recognizes your individual accomplishments, certification stands above your résumé, serving as an impartial, third-party endorsement of your knowledge and expertise. When the public looks for individuals qualified to perform certain services, they seek individuals – like you – who have achieved certification. You can bet that firm owners and court personnel will favor those with credentials over those without.
  6. Certification improves career opportunities and advancement. Certification gives you the “edge” when being considered for a promotion or other career opportunities. Certification clearly identifies you as a person who can adapt to changes in work, technology, business practices, and innovation.
  7. Certification helps you market your services. Since certification is a voluntary professional commitment to our industry, it’s a clear indicator of your willingness to invest in your own professional development. The process of maintaining your certification exposes you to the constantly changing environment this profession faces and helps provide the tools needed to anticipate and respond to those changes. Being certified in today’s reporting environment is as important as it’s ever been.
  8. Certification provides for greater earnings potential. As a certified professional, you can expect many benefits, but in today’s downsized, rightsized, topsy-turvy working world, salary increases speak for themselves. Official reporters often receive a pay raise by attaining their realtime certification, and certified freelancers typically are given the better, higher paying jobs.
  9. Certification improves skills and knowledge. Achieving certification highlights your individual competence by confirming proficiency, knowledge, and career commitment. The Written Knowledge Tests require research and study to familiarize yourself with current reporting technology, as well as reporting and professional practices. The Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) demonstrates your proficiency at entry-level reporting skill and knowledge, while the Registered Merit Reporter (RMR) establishes not only your continued commitment to the profession, but also your interest in reaching and sustaining an exceptional level of skill and knowledge.  The Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR) and Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) authenticate your realtime skills to yourself and those seeking your services and expertise.
  10. Certification offers greater professional recognition from peers. Hear that applause? It’s all for you! As a certified professional, you can expect increased recognition from your peers for taking that extra step in your professional development. Let’s face it, we all like to add those ribbons to our name badges at convention — the longer the list, the better!

On any given Sunday: Volunteer live-captioning on Sunday service

The Sun Sentinel aired a story on its website on June 6 that features NCRA member Ninette Bulter, RPR, CRR, CRC, a freelance court reporter from Orlando, Fla., talking about volunteering to live-caption Sunday church services.

Watch the story.

Earn CEUs and certifications while in New Orleans

NCRA’s 2018 Convention & Expo being held Aug. 2-5 in New Orleans, La., at the Hyatt Regency, New Orleans is the perfect event to earn CEUs or even prepare to add a new certification to your resume.

With a wide range of sessions and workshops to choose from, attendees at this year’s event can earn up to 2.3 CEUs.  Workshops include the ever popular CRC Workshop, the CRR Boot Camp, the Punctuation Workshop, and the CLVS Certification Workshop, which features the Intro to CLVS and CLVS Hands-on Training.

This year’s schedule is chock-full of cutting-edge educational sessions led by some of the profession’s key leaders and experts. Take a sneak peak at some of what’s being offered below in the words of the presenters.

 

Theater Captioning 101

Linda S. Hershey, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, Chattanooga, Tenn.

There is nothing quite as exciting as seeing live theater – Les Miserables, Wicked, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  Whether you are tackling a play on Broadway, a traveling production, a local theater performance, or even a performance at a high school, access means so much to so many people. This seminar will cover the different types of productions, the equipment needed, placement of equipment, working with a director, how to use the script, how to prep, and the other nuts and bolts of theater captioning. Attendees will also find out about specific ethics that must be considered, including copyright issues. This session will have plenty of time for specific Q&A.​

 

Being Proactive, Not Reactive

Cindy L. Isaacsen RPR, official court reporter from Olathe, Kan.

Do you feel unprepared and not sure what to do when state and local government want to get rid of us? Are you prepared to fight? This will be an interactive, fun, and encouraging session about what we all can do to be proactive to protect our jobs through educating our legislators, community leaders, judges, lawyers, and the general public. I’ll give many examples of how each one of us can assist our state boards and our state and national associations. Be prepared to laugh, be inspired, encouraged, and take some great ideas home to share with your association and other reporters. There will be a Q&A session,  as well as prizes distributed throughout the session!

 

The Good, the Bad, and the Embarrassing!

Teresa Evans, RMR, CRR, freelance court reporter and agency owner, Charleston, W.V.

Have you ever misspelled a word in a transcript and were humiliated when you realized it was too late to correct it? Since we make our living with words, we’ve got to get them right! Don’t embarrass yourself with lack of knowledge or depend upon spellcheck or a proofreader to cover your rear. There are things you just have to know, and we will teach you in this advanced homonym seminar!

See if you can pick out the errors in this sentence: “He was a trooper, the way he handled his forced immigration to another country, based solely on his principles.” If you don’t see two errors, you need our course. Make it a goal this year to showcase your knowledge and make everything you write perfect.

 

The Challenges of Online Teaching 

Jeff Moody, President, College of Court Reporting, Valparaiso, Ind.

Many reporters and prospective students do not believe that the court reporting skill and knowledge can be developed in an online college environment. Jeff Moody, president of the College of Court Reporting in Valparaiso, Ind., will demonstrate how everything a teacher does in a brick-and-mortar classroom can be done effectively online. Moody, with members of his staff and some students, will conduct an interactive discussion/demonstration regarding online teaching. The advantages and disadvantages regarding online distance education will be discussed. Participants will be registered in an online learning management system (LMS) to interact with teachers using proven academic and skill-development methodologies. Topics will include motivation, testing, attendance, feedback, professionalism, interaction, and camaraderie between teachers and students in teaching all required court reporting courses. Attendees can bring their laptops to this seminar.

 

Attendees also won’t want to miss the new Saturday night Member Recognition Gala that will feature a wonderful night of dinner, drinks, dancing, and celebrating NCRA members. The Gala and a special VIP reception are both being hosted by President-Elect Sue Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC. Guests are free to dress up or dress business casual for the gala and are encouraged to join in celebrating the profession along with sharing their stories.

Other notables on this year’s schedule include a student learning zone that features a special meet-and-greet with NCRA’s Board of Directors; Ethics Jeopardy, where participants will have fun while testing their knowledge; a look at the future of court reporting; and a special presentation that showcases the Innocence Project New Orleans, which works to free the wrongfully convicted. The session will also highlight the importance of old records.

And don’t forget the numerous networking opportunities that range from coffee with the vendors on the Expo floor to nightly receptions.

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

 

Join NCRA in June and you might win a Kindle Fire

Anyone who joins NCRA for the first time in June will be entered into a drawing to win a Kindle Fire.

NCRA member benefits include:

  • A listing* in both the print and online versions of the NCRA Sourcebook
  • A subscription to the JCR magazine and the JCR Weekly online newsletter
  • Access to multiple certification programs with online skills tests designed to make you more money
  • Take advantage of NCRA member discounts for exams and premier events
  • Access discounts for a variety of suppliers, with no cost to sign up, through the NCRA Saving Center
  • Save on NCRA Store items like the RPR Study Guide, a comprehensive guide written by testing experts
  • Stay protected with Mercer insurance, including cyber liability insurance, health insurance, equipment insurance, pet insurance, and errors and omissions insurance
  • Member pricing to can’t-miss networking and educational events at the NCRA Convention & Expo (Aug. 2-5, 2018)

 

 

Parker Burton

New NCRA member and court reporting student wins Kindle

In April, Parker Burton, from Atlanta, Ga., won the drawing for a Kindle Fire 8 by joining NCRA. Burton is a first quarter student at Brown College of Court Reporting in Atlanta, Ga. The JCR reached out to him to learn more about why he is pursuing a career in court reporting and what advice he has for other court reporting and captioning students.

 

JCR | Why did you choose court reporting as a career?

Burton | My initial inspiration of court reporting was from my aunt who was a long-time court reporter who lived in New Orleans, La. However, since being enrolled at Brown College, my current inspirations have been my awesome instructors,  Todd Vansel and Bob Tanner, CRI, who have been guiding me and offering the best advice on improving my skills and helping guide my career paths.

 

JCR | What is your current speed?

Burton | As a first quarter student, my speed at this point is at only about 30 wpm but I am working on it daily to get that up little by little weekly.

 

JCR | What inspired you to join NCRA?

Burton | Very shortly after I started school, I joined NCRA because I am very excited to attend the upcoming convention in my hometown of New Orleans, and to network with other professionals in the field.

 

Joining NCRA is easy and available online at NCRA.org/join. Members can expect to receive their membership card via email within approximately two weeks of renewing if they have a valid email address and have not previously opted out of Constant Contact email messaging.

 

12 Constitution & Bylaws amendments to be voted on at Annual Business Meeting

NCRA members will have the opportunity to vote on twelve amendments to the Constitution & Bylaws during the Annual Business Meeting on Aug. 2. The proposed bylaws amendments are available through NCRA’s website. The amendments range from minor, including cleaning up some repetitive language, to more substantial, such as streamlining the voting procedures for amendments and elections. In addition, one amendment proposes changing NCRA’s name to National Captioners and Reporters Association to be inclusive of the captioning profession.

NumberNameBenefitAdditional Information
1Voting for Officers and Board of DirectorsIncreases the voting window for elections to 24 hoursArticle
2Voting on Bylaws AmendmentsIncreases the voting window on Bylaws amendments to 24 hoursArticle
3Clarification of electoral processAttaches the preparation of the slate of nominees to the election process instead of the conventionArticle
4Elections when more than two candidates are running for the same positionAllows Voting Members to choose from among all duly nominated candidatesArticle
5Number of Directors on the BoardSupports financial integrity of the Association and creates more efficiencies
6Clarification of the timing of terms of officeTies the timing of the office to the Annual Business Meeting
7Elimination of requirement to include a consumer or public member as part of the Council of the Academy of Court Reporters (CAPR)Removes a requirement to have a public member on CAPR
8Clarification of electronic mail votingSimplifies the language
9Removal of reference to electronic voting in a business meetingSimplifies the language
10Definition of Voting MembersSimplifies the language, as all Voting Members vote by electronic means
11Name changeBetter reflects the current and future status of the professionArticle
12Meeting referenceEstablishes Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised as the parliamentary authority for all NCRA business meetings

The Constitution & Bylaws permits all eligible NCRA voting members to vote through electronic means on Bylaws amendments and contested Board of Directors elections. Members who are eligible to vote will be able to sign in to the secure website and vote through a private, secure link during the 12-hour voting period, which should open within two hours of the end of the Annual Business Meeting. Members who are interested in voting must have an active email address on file in NCRA’s membership database.

Members attending the Annual Business Meeting will also be voting on new members of the Board.

The Annual Business Meeting will take place at 8:30 a.m. CT on Thursday, Aug. 2. The Annual Business Meeting will be held in conjunction with NCRA’s Convention & Expo in New Orleans, La. Eligible voting members will check in and receive a ballot and information starting at 8 a.m.

PROMOTING THE PROFESSION: Passion for captioning and court reporting showcased at high school career day

Cindi Lynch

Earlier this spring, Cindi Lynch, training program manager for Stenograph, based in Elmhurst Ill., and Sharon Vartanian, RPR, a district sales manager for the company, spent a few hours promoting the captioning and court reporting professions at a career day held at Prospect High School in Saratoga. Calif. Lynch, who is well-known for her enthusiasm for the court reporting profession, has a sister-in-law who teaches English at the high school. She passed along Lynch’s information to one of the school’s career specialists. Lynch was asked if she would give a presentation to a group of their students, and she readily accepted. Vartanian, who represents Stenograph in the area, and Lynch also enlisted the help of NCRA member Maggie Ortiz, manager of the court reporting program at West Valley College in Saratoga, Calif., and Tobi Giluso, a high-speed student from the program.

Sharon Vartanian

 

JCR | What did you do to prepare?

SV | Cindi put the word out on social media and spoke with people working with the A to Z program and with Project Steno to get their input on similar presentations they had done in the past. Cindi took that information and then put together a brief presentation based on the information she had gathered.

CL | Sharon thought it would be a great idea if we asked the court reporting program at the local college to also participate in the presentation, and she took on the task of gathering representatives from West Valley College to join us.

 

JCR | What was the event like?

SV | Cindi’s presentation focused on what a court reporter is, where and how reporters, captioners and CART providers work, and the basic principles of machine shorthand.

Tobi captioned the presentation. She did an excellent job, and the high school students were able to see firsthand the skills of a reporter/captioner. (Tobi has passed all her qualifiers and will be taking the state exam this July.)

Maggie Ortiz, court reporting program manager, talked about West Valley College’s specific program and gave current information about earning potential in the local area. In 2017, West Valley also started offering a free court reporting course through Silicon Valley Adult Education. Maggie explained how the high school students could immediately take advantage of this free course before graduating high school to learn the theory of steno writing. The course is designed to give students a head start in the West Valley court reporting program.

There was a small, but very interested, group of juniors and seniors in attendance, as well as parents, teachers, and teacher aides. We were pleased that we had a wide range of panelists to answer questions during the Q&A session. Maggie addressed school questions, Tobi answered student and CART questions, and Sharon was able to address working as a freelance court reporter.

 

JCR | How did it go? Did people seem interested?

CL | We were really pleased with the presentation and how warmly it was received. Both the students and the adults were very interested. We were asked a lot of thoughtful, smart questions and it was clear to us that they had paid close attention to the information they’d been given.

We brought a few Luminex writers with us. At the end of the presentation, the students eagerly waited in line to have their first experience of writing on a steno machine.

 

JCR | You are both such professionals, you’re probably prepared for anything. But did anything surprise you? Can you tell us about that?

CL and SV | No surprises. We put a lot of effort into being well prepared. We were delighted we had male and female attendees.

One person we had consulted while preparing for the presentation advised us to bring food, especially candy for the kids. We rewarded the attendees for asking questions by giving them candy bars. While we know rewarding for candy works, we were amazed at how well it works.

 

JCR | What advice would you give others about telling people about careers in court reporting and captioning?

CL and SV | Show your passion for the profession; it’s infectious. The attendees appreciated the fact that all of us who spoke at the event had been around the profession most of our lives and were excited to talk about it. When you love what you do, it definitely comes through. Convey how much support they can expect from the court reporting community. Communicate how much we need them and want them to join us in this fabulous career.

 

JCR | Is there anything else you would like to share?

CL and SV | We were well-received by the teachers and career specialist at Prospect High, and they expressed an interest in having us come back in the future to talk to additional students. They also asked for more information from Maggie so that they could partner with West Valley College. This made us very happy. We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome from our presentation!

 

Cindi Lynch can be reached at CLynch@Stenograph.com. Sharon Vartanian can be reached at SVartanian@Stenograph.com.

NCRA member to discuss the Torah and American law at upcoming luncheon

The Reporter Group posted an article on May 31 announcing that NCRA member Aaron Alweis, RPR, CRR, CRC, an official court reporter from Binghamton, N.Y., will serve as a guest speaker at the June 9 Beth David luncheon program. Alweis will be joined by an attorney to discuss “The Torah and American Law: Perspectives on Capital Punishment.”

Read more.