Write your next story in New Orleans

Join peers and colleagues as they gather in New Orleans, La., to write their next story during the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo being held Aug. 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency. Register now and save on fees and hotel stays and be a part of this colorful city’s tricentennial, “One Time in New Orleans,” which encourages residents and visitors to write their stories about their time in the host city.

“I urge everyone to join us at the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo in New Orleans. This year our host city is celebrating its tricentennial. Let’s join together in this wonderful city and write our next story about how exciting, rewarding, and unique our profession is,” said NCRA’s 2017-2018 President-elect Sue A. Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, from Springfield, Ohio. Terry will be installed as 2018-2019 President during the Premier Session at the Convention.

Attendees will also be part of celebrating New Orleans’ history when they hear keynote speaker Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré (U.S. Army, Ret.), who will take the stage after the installation of officers at the Premier Session. Honoré is 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.” Honoré will share insights into how his striking leadership style aided in coordinating military relief efforts in post-hurricane New Orleans.

This year’s Convention features a lineup of sessions presented by top leaders in the court reporting, captioning, and legal videography fields. Spots are already filling fast for the ever popular sell-out sessions and events including the CRC Workshop, the Speed and Realtime Contests, the CRR Boot Camp, and the Punctuation Workshop. Also popular is the CLVS Certification Workshop, featuring the Intro to CLVS and CLVS Hands-on Training. Throughout the Convention, attendees can earn up to 2.3 CEUs.

Also proving popular is the new 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 Terry. 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 wrongfully convicted. The session will also highlight the importance of old records.

Also on tap are numerous networking opportunities, including the opening and several special receptions, luncheons, coffee breaks on the Expo floor, and special events where vendors showcase the latest in products and services for the court reporting, captioning, and legal videography professions.

“NCRA’s Convention & Expo is the ultimate event to network with your peers, make new connections, and add to your list of friends. Don’t miss this wonderful gathering set in historic New Orleans,” said Terry.

Join other court reporting professionals from around the country and abroad for the 2018 NCRA Annual Convention & Expo. The Convention 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

NCRA headquarters hosts TAC Committee meeting

Members of NCRA’s Test Advisory Committee (TAC) met at the Association’s headquarters in Reston, Va., April 6-8 to vet and approve skills exams for the RPR, RMR, CRR, and CRC. They wrote exams from 8:30-5:30 Friday and Saturday and 9-1 on Sunday, before taking time to view area cherry trees and their blossoms, which were in full bloom.

A total of 87 tests were submitted for review by the Skills Committee and TAC over the weekend, resulting in 71 tests being written and 62 being approved.

Test Advisory Committee

The Skills Test Writing Committee writes content for the RPR, RMR, CRR, and CRC exams, while TAC writes and selects the skills tests for the same certifications. TAC also sets the standards for the RPR and RDR Written Knowledge Tests.

Members of TAC who wrote perfect tests were also recognized at the meeting with a Shirley Award. The award was named for Shirley Hall, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, CRI, CPE, an official court reporter from Pittsburgh Pa., and a former TAC member, who commonly wrote perfect tests. Tests are considered perfect when the word count and syllabic density are flawless, and they are written smoothly by the test taker.

Wade Garner receives Shirley Award from Chris Willette

The following members were recognized with a Shirley Award at the April meeting:

  • TAC Co-chair Wade S. Garner, RPR, CPE, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Anne M. Bowline RMR, CRR, Casper, Wyo., a member of the Skills Content Writing Committee
  • Russell Page, Jr., Washington, D.C., a member of the Skills Content Writing Committee
  • Lisa Reed Wiesman, RDR, CRR, CRC, Fairfield, Ohio, a member of the Skills Content Writing Committee

Other members from TAC who attended the April meeting were:

  • Co-chair Diane L. Sonntag, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, CPE, Oro Valley, Ariz.
  • Robin Cooksey, RMR, Houston, Texas
  • Holly Kapacinskas, RPR, CRR, Debary, Fla.
  • Donna J. Karoscik, RDR, CRR, CRC, Pickerington, Ohio
  • Deborah A. Kriegshauser, FAPR, RMR, CRR, CLVS, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Karyn D. Menck, RDR, CRR, CRC, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Janice Plomp, RDR, CRR, CRC, CRI, St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
  • Kelli Ann Willis, RPR, CRR, Miami, Fla.
  • NCRA President Christine J. Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC, Wausau, Wis., who serves as TAC’s Board liaison.
  • TAC member Rhonda Hall Breuwet, RDR, CRR, Lakeland, Fla., was unable to attend.

Hit me with your best webinar

Since hitting the scene in the mid-1990s the popularity of webinars to share information has defied all communications trends. Their use has more than rapidly grown, thanks to the platform’s ability to allow presenters a cost-effective mode to reach large and specific groups of online viewers from a single location and offers participants the ability to interact with presenters.

Erminia Uviedo, RDR, CRR

NCRA offers a variety of both live and recorded webinars that members can use to earn continuing education units. But it’s not just the participants who benefit from the value of webinars; the presenters do as well.

“I love webinars,” says Erminia Uviedo, RDR, CRR, a freelance court reporter from San Antonio, Texas, who was tapped by NCRA to present in a webinar about promoting and recruiting for the court reporting and captioning professions. “I think they are so informative and educational. Court reporters’ and captioners’ schedules are so hectic that it is sometimes hard to get away to a convention. Webinars make a very convenient and flexible way to educate and earn continuing education credits,” Uviedo said.

Steve Lubetkin, CLVS

Steve Lubetkin, CLVS, managing partner of Lubetkin Media Companies in Cherry Hill, N.J., said he presented his first webinar for NCRA after a conversation with staff when he finished his CLVS practical test. The conversation, he said, was about how highly he thought of the program. Since then, he has produced and hosted three webinars for NCRA.

“I enjoy being able to share some of the practical experience I’ve gained producing video and managing my business. I’m proud of some of the tricks I’ve learned to streamline the work, and it’s rewarding to have peers say they appreciate the ideas as well,” Lubetkin said.

Uviedo agreed. “Lending your expertise to other reporters is one of the greatest givebacks you can contribute to the profession.  Many of us are self-employed and do not have an employer to guide and/or train us. Training and guidance via webinar is an excellent way to educate our professionals,” said the 23-year veteran of court reporting.

According to Lubetkin, depending on the topic, preparing and creating a webinar can take some work on the presenter’s part. “For my webinar on the deposition audio chain, I think I spent two or three hours shooting the b-roll I used to illustrate part of the one-hour program. For the others, I spent several hours each on screen shots and display materials,” he noted.

Uviedo encourages others to volunteer to host webinars for NCRA to help increase educational opportunities. “I would say that your webinar is imperative for the busy working reporters who are unable to attend conventions and also reporters who are looking for guidance on information throughout the year. You can just go to NCRA’s webinar website and look for the topic you need training on, and voila! It’s a win-win for both the reporter and NCRA,” she said.

“Webinars are great when people can dedicate the specific time period for the live learning, and engage in interaction with the instructor and participants, but they are also valuable as on-demand recorded programs that people can go back to over and over to review concepts and techniques,” added Lubetkin, who has been a legal videographer since 2014 and earned his CLVS in 2016.

NCRA is always looking for professionals to share their expertise with our membership. Presenting a webinar is a great way to build your résumé, gain a platform for your ideas, and contribute your knowledge to the NCRA Continuing Education library. Presenters may advertise their business at the end of their presentations and will be compensated. For more information, contact egoff@ncra.org.

Effective Oct. 1, 2018, New Exam Retention Policy

NCRA places a high value on the standards it sets for the professional certifications it offers.  As part of the Association’s commitment to maintaining these high standards and better serving its members, effective Oct. 1, 2018, a three-year time requirement on completing the components needed to earn a certification will be put in place on the recommendation of the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (CAPR).

Under the current system, NCRA does not put any expiration on already-passed requirements earned towards a certification. In an effort to align our policies with certification best practices, an exam retention policy has been approved. Enacting an exam retention policy strengthens our compliance of best practices for our accreditation through ACCET (Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training).

Why the change?

CAPR, which is responsible for the development and administration of continuing education programs and credential examinations, reviewed the current policy, which allows Skills Tests (SKT) and Written Knowledge Tests (WKT) scores to remain valid indefinitely. Members of the Council made the recommendation to place a three-year requirement on completing the components needed to earn a certification. Benefits of the new policy are that candidates are highly likely to maintain their skills while completing all requirements and that candidates will be more likely to pass all requirements for reporter certifications because their skills (speed and/or accuracy levels) will be at their highest.

How it works

Under the new policy, candidates for certification, who have taken any mandatory certification education requirements or passed any SKTs or WKTs, have until Nov. 1, 2021, to pass the remainder of requirements for the certification for which those requirements apply.

Passing test scores will expire after three years if a candidate fails to complete the additional requirements to earn that certification. If an education component/test score expires, the candidate will need to repeat the education component or successfully retest before being able to earn the certification.

Certifications with Education Eligibility Requirement

  • Certification Seminars and/or Workshops: Once an attendee has completed the CLVS Mandatory Seminar, CRC Workshop, or other education as a mandatory component of a certification process, he or she has three years from the date of completion to successfully complete the other requirements to earn that certification.
  • Should three years lapse from the date of completing the education component without successfully passing the other requirements, the education will expire, and the candidate will be required to retake the education component to earn the certification.

Certifications with only Written Knowledge Test and Skills Test Requirement

  • Written Knowledge Tests and Skills Tests: Once a candidate has successfully completed a Written Knowledge Test or Skills Test with a passing score, he or she has three years from the date of the exam to successfully complete the other requirements to earn that certification.
  • Should three years lapse without successfully passing the other requirements, the test score will expire, and the candidate must retake the test prior to earning the certification.

The new Exam Retention Policy is effective October 1, 2018. Any person with an existing history of passed educational components or passed tests will have three years to complete the remaining components and earn their certifications. All pre-existing passed test histories will have an expiration date of November 1, 2021. After October 1, 2018, any person passing a required education component or a skills or written knowledge test will have an expiration of three years from the date of the official pass.  Have additional questions? View the Exam Retention Policy FAQs.

Celebrate Certification Month with savings

May is Celebrate Certification Month at NCRA; and in honor of this first-time observance, members and students can save. The cost to take the online Skills Tests for the RPR, RMR, CRR, or CRC have been reduced. But hurry, the savings ends today, May 16!

 

Students taking the RPR Skills Test will pay $60 for each leg, while members will pay $75 for each RPR or RMR Skills Test leg. In addition, members can take advantage of a discounted price of $175 for the CRR or CRC Skills Tests, while students will pay only $145 for a CRC Skills Test.

 

Members can also save this month on NCRA’s webinars and e-seminars in honor of Celebrate Certification Month. For a 60-minute webinar or e-seminar, NCRA members now pay $55 compared to a nonmember price of $79. In addition, the price for a 90-minute webinar or e-seminar has been lowered to $75 for NCRA members. Nonmembers will pay $99 for the same 90-minute product.

 

Additional weekly specials can be found in the NCRA store during Celebrate Certification Month. This week, members can save 20 percent off all downloads through May 21. Other discounts include:

  • May 22-28 – 10% off entire store
  • May 29-31 – 10% off P-133 Morson’s Guide

 

Throughout the month, NCRA members and students have been flooding social media with posts celebrating the benefits of certification and the achievements of themselves and others who have gone the extra mile to put more letters behind their names. Be sure to read the profiles of a number of members who shared what motivated them to earn NCRA certifications in the May issue of the JCR. Find out more about how earning NCRA certifications have benefited their professional success, as well as get advice on how you can prepare to earn that dream certification.

 

Find out more about NCRA’s webinars and e-seminars and be sure to visit the Celebrate Certification Month page for resources you can use to mark the month-long campaign.

WKT committee reviews test questions at NCRA headquarters

From left to right: Amy Davidson (NCRA) Allison Kimmel (Co-Chair), Lynette Mueller, Laura Brewer, Geanell Adams, Cindy Cheng (Pearson VUE), Wade Garner (Co-Chair), Angie Starbuck

On May 4 and 5, members of NCRA’s Written Knowledge Test (WKT) Committee worked with Cindy Cheng from Pearson VUE to update questions in the Association’s item bank for the RPR and RDR certifications. Six of the committee members met at NCRA’s headquarters in Reston, Va.

Committee members who gathered at NCRA’s headquarters to update questions included:

  • Geanell C. Adams, RMR, CRR, CRI, Raymond, Miss.
  • Laura P. Brewer, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, Los Altos, Calif.
  • co-chair Wade S. Garner, RPR, CPE, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • co-chair Allison Kimmel, RDR, CRR, CRC, Marysville, Ohio
  • Lynette L. Mueller, RDR, CRR, Germantown, Tenn.
  • Angela R. Starbuck, RDR, CRR, CRC, Columbus, Ohio
  • Susan Veres, RMR, CRR, CRC, Viroqua, Wis. (attended remotely)

Over the course of the meeting members reviewed, reworked, reworded, or completely revamped over 423 questions. Committee members also worked remotely prior to the meeting reviewing hundreds of items in the bank in preparation for the group review.

NCRA also thanks those committee members who were unable to attend but who have contributed remotely throughout the year:

  • Vonni Rae Bray, RDR, CRR, Laurel, Mont.
  • Jessica Lynn Davis, RPR, Brandon, Miss.
  • Carrie Marbut Robinson, RPR, CRR, CRI, Hokes Bluff, Ala.
  • Katherine Schilling, RPR, Richmond, Va.
  • Sheri Smargon, RDR, CRR, CRC, Riverview, Fla.

NCRA’s premier certifications rely on the hard work of our volunteer subject matter experts. Please join us in thanking the WKT Committee and consider volunteering your time and expertise for an NCRA committee.

 

Get to know the NCRA slate of nominees

NCRA’s Nominating Committee has offered its candidates for the 2018-2019 Board of Directors. The following outlines the candidates’ qualifications for members to prepare for voting. As provided in the Bylaws, additional nominations were possible if received within 60 days after publication of the Nominating Committee slate. The date by which additional nominations were to be received was May 5. No additional nominations were received. The following slate of Officers and Directors will be elected by acclamation to their respective offices during the Annual Business Meeting in New Orleans, La.

Nominations will be presented to the NCRA membership for vote on Thurs., Aug. 2, at the Annual Business Meeting, 8:30–11 a.m. Central Standard Time, as part of the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans. In accordance with NCRA’s Bylaws, the President-Elect automatically succeeds to the office of the President.

 

President
Sue A. Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC
Springfield, Ohio

Sue A. Terry, a court reporter from Springfield, Ohio, holds the nationally recognized professional certifications of Registered Professional Reporter, Certified Realtime Reporter, and Certified Realtime Captioner. A Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters, she has been a court reporter since 1975. Throughout her career, Terry reported arbitrations, court proceedings, conventions, administrative hearings, large environmental cases, patent cases, and tobacco cases, among others.

As a trainer, Terry helped many reporters transition to realtime. During the 1980s, she taught at the Stenotype Institute. At the national level, Terry has served as Director and also Vice President. She was co-chair of NCRA’s Technology Evaluation Committee and a member of its TRAIN (Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide) Committee. She is a past chair of the DiscoverSteno Task Force.

Terry was president of the Ohio Court Reporters Association (OCRA) and the StenoCAT Users Group and received both groups’ Distinguished Service Award. She has served on committees for Gigatron Software Corporation, LiveNote for the Thompson West Corp., and for the Clark State College of Court Reporting in Springfield. She has extensive experience as a presenter, speaking before OCRA, NCRA, the StenoCAT Users Group, and the Ohio Supreme Court, among others.

 

President-Elect
Max Curry, Jr., RPR, CRI
Franklin, Tenn.

Roy M. (Max) Curry, Jr., is a court reporter from Franklin, Tenn., with more than 29 years of experience. Curry, who owns Elite Reporting Services of Tennessee, taught court reporting to students at Tennessee Career College in Nashville for 14 years. He holds a Bachelor of Court Reporting degree (B.C.R.) from the University of Mississippi. Curry has been an NCRA member for 33 years. He has presented seminars, both live and via the Internet, for NCRA and served as a test proctor for the Association’s RPR and RMR tests for several years. He has also served on NCRA’s Freelance Reporter Community of Interest Committee, two years on the Education Content Committee, and two years on the Budget & Finance Committee. He holds the national professional certifications of Registered Professional Reporter and Certified Reporting Instructor.

At the state level, Curry served as president of the Tennessee Court Reporters Association (TNCRA) twice. He has served in every officer position of TNCRA, as well as a Board Director for a combined 15 years of service. Curry has also served as the chair of Tennessee’s Convention Planning Committee on two separate occasions. He conducts seminars and educational classes for TNCRA and other state associations.

 

Vice President
Christine Phipps, RPR
North Palm Beach, Fla.

Christine Phipps is a court reporter from North Palm Beach, Fla., with 25 years of experience. She owns Phipps Reporting, Inc., headquartered in West Palm Beach. She holds the national professional certification of Registered Professional Reporter and the Realtime Systems Administrator certificate. She is also a licensed court reporter in New Jersey and Tennessee. She is an Eclipse software trainer.

At the national level, Phipps has co-chaired NCRA’s Technology Committee and Freelance Community of Interest Committee and served on the Association’s Strategic Alliance Task Force, Education Content, and Vendor Task Force committees. Phipps participated in the rewrite of NCRA’s Deposition Handbook, is a frequent contributor to the JCR, and is a speaker at conventions. She has also served as a director for NCRA.

She is the recipient of a number of business awards, including Woman of Outstanding Leadership by the International Women’s Leadership Association and Most Enterprising Women of the Year by Enterprising Women magazine. She was included in Inc. magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies in America in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

 

Secretary-Treasurer
Debra A. Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC
Woodland, Utah

Debra A. Dibble is a 28-year court reporter veteran who has worked as a deposition reporter in Salt Lake City, Utah, since 2002. She holds the nationally recognized professional certifications of Registered Diplomate Reporter, Certified Realtime Reporter, and Certified Realtime Captioner, as well as qualifying on the National Speed Competition and National Realtime Competition multiple times. Dibble has also worked as a reporter in Memphis, Tenn. She has been a broadcast captioner and CART provider since 2010.

At the national level, Dibble has served as an NCRA Chief Examiner. She served as a delegate to the National Committee of State Associations from 2008 to 2012. She also has served three terms on NCRA’s Board of Directors and is currently serving the last year of a three-year term as Secretary-Treasurer.

In 2010, the Utah Court Reporters Association (UCRA) honored her with its Distinguished Service Award. Dibble has also served in numerous volunteer positions at the state level, including as a director and president of UCRA.

 

Director (three-year term)
Stephen H. Clark, CRC
Washington, D.C.

Stephen H. Clark is a captioner based in Washington, D.C. Clark worked as a freelance court reporter in Nebraska from 1985-1987 and in New Hampshire from 1987-1997. In 1997, he transitioned to a realtime broadcast captioning career. In 2006, Clark started Home Team Captions, a firm that provides onsite and remote captioning and CART services in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, as well as nationally and internationally.

Clark also provides onsite and remote training for sports captioning, CART, and broadcast captioning for experienced professionals and recent graduates who are starting a career in captioning.

At the national level, Clark has been a member of NCRA since 1983 and currently serves as co-chair of its Broadcast and CART Captioning Committee. He also holds membership in the Maryland Court Reporters Association and the Virginia Court Reporters Association. He is past president of the New Hampshire Court Reporters Association.

Clark is a graduate of Lincoln School of Commerce in Lincoln, Neb., and holds an associate’s degree in court reporting. He also holds the national professional certification of Certified Realtime Captioner.

 

Director (three-year term)
Cindy L. Isaacsen, RPR
Shawnee, Kan.

Cindy L. Isaacsen began her career in 1988 as a freelance court reporter in Clarksville, Tenn. In 1990, she worked as a freelance court reporter in Schweinfurt, Germany. She has also worked as a freelance court reporter at Fort Polk, La., and for several firms, including Welker & Associates in Clarksville and AAA Court Reporting Company in Overland Park, Kan. Isaacsen worked as an official court reporter for the 36th Judicial District Court in DeRidder, La., and currently serves as an official court reporter for the 10th Judicial District Court in Olathe, Kan.

At the national level, Isaacsen served on NCRA’s Election Committee in 2016-2017 and as a regional representative for the National Committee of State Associations (NCSA). She currently serves as NCSA’s Vice Chair.

At the state level, Isaacsen is immediate past president of the Kansas Court Reporters Association, having also served as vice president and as secretary. She has served as a speaker for events sponsored by the Oklahoma Court Reporters Association and the Colorado Court Reporters Association. Isaacsen is a graduate of the Stenograph Institute of Texas and holds the professional certification of Registered Professional Reporter.

 

Director (three-year term)
Karyn D. Menck, RDR, CRR, CRC
Nashville, Tenn.
Karyn D. Menck, Nashville, Tenn., has worked as a freelance court reporter, a closed captioner, and a CART provider. She has also been a firm owner. Her work has included remote captioning for hundreds of television stations, ballgames, and religious meetings. She has also provided onsite closed captioning for conventions, stadium events, theater productions, and classrooms. From 2000-2015, Menck provided pro bono CART for meetings of the Nashville Chapter of Self Help for the Hard of Hearing/Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). Menck is the recipient of the first annual Gwyndolyn Ann Pace Advocacy Award from the HLAA, Nashville Chapter, and the Professional of the Year Award from the Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities.

Menck has been a frequent competitor in NCRA’s National Speed and Realtime Contests and has placed numerous times in all legs of each event. She currently serves on the Association’s Test Advisory Committee and Certified Realtime Captioner Certification Committee.

She is a graduate of Gadsden State Junior College in Gadsden, Ala., and holds an associate’s degree in court reporting. Menck also holds the professional certifications of Registered Diplomate Reporter, Certified Realtime Reporter, and Certified Realtime Captioner.

 

Director (two-year term)
Cathy Penniston, RPR, CRI
Ottumwa, Iowa

Cathy Penniston, Ottumwa, Iowa, spent 30 years as an official court reporter for the state of Iowa before receiving a realtime captioning training grant and transitioning into remote television broadcast captioning. She has worked as a freelance court reporter and a CART provider. Penniston currently teaches reporting classes at the Des Moines Area Community College. She also works as an independent broadcast captioner. In addition to teaching and captioning, Penniston provides remote realtime of court proceedings in Arizona, Colorado, and Idaho.

Penniston served as president, vice president, and secretary of the Iowa Court Reporters Association. She volunteered for the annual National Court Reporters Foundation phone-a-thon fundraising campaign and the Veterans History Project.

Penniston received Iowa’s Roy Voelker Memorial Award for Distinguished Service. She also received the Indian Hills Community College Vision Award Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014.

Penniston holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Clarke University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Iowa Wesleyan College, an Associate’s Degree from Indian Hills Community College, and an Associate’s Degree in Court Reporting from the American Institute of Business. She holds the national professional certifications of Registered Professional Reporter and Certified Reporting Instructor.

Notice of Annual Business Meeting

The NCRA Annual Business Meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. CT on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in conjunction with the NCRA Convention & Expo in New Orleans, La.  Registration will begin at 8 a.m. CT in the meeting room.

The Constitution & Bylaws permit all eligible NCRA voting members to vote through electronic means. Eligible voting members should make sure that the email address in NCRA’s database is current and active by July 15, so that they can receive notices on the process for voting online on Bylaws amendments and Board of Directors elections between two candidates (if any). Members who are eligible to vote will be able to sign on 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. Results will be verified by a third party.

To make sure NCRA has a current email address, contact NCRA’s Member Services and Information Center at 800-272-6272 or update your NCRA account through NCRA.org.

To be able to vote via the Web, individuals must join NCRA or provide an updated email address to NCRA by July 15.

PAC Your Baskets: NCRA PAC Fundraiser at 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo

Contributing to the NCRA PAC (Political Action Committee) is an important way you can shape how the court reporting and captioning professions are addressed at the federal level. That makes this year more important than ever. With the 2018 midterm elections coming up, NCRA has an opportunity to cultivate new alliances in the federal government and to ensure that members of Congress who know the importance of court reporters and support the court reporting profession in the United States stay in office.

To raise PAC funds to help our allies in Congress in 2018, NCRA PAC is holding a Gift Basket Extravaganza at this year’s 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo in New Orleans. We are asking our state associations to donate a gift basket to NCRA PAC. Ideally, a gift basket would showcase the uniqueness of your state and your association’s pride in it! Each state that contributes a gift basket will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a free registration to the 2019  NCRALegislative Boot Camp.

Here’s how it works: Each state association that donates a gift basket has a chance to win a registration to the 2019 NCRA Legislative Boot Camp. Which state wins the NCRA Legislative Boot Camp registration is based on which basket is the biggest draw at Convention. Convention attendees who contribute to NCRA PAC in exchange for raffle tickets will vote by putting their raffle tickets in a bowl for the basket they want to win. If donors want your state’s basket, they will put their tickets in the bowl, and the winner of the basket will be chosen randomly. The basket that accumulates the highest number of tickets wins the 2019 NCRA Legislative Boot Camp registration.

If you have any questions about the 2018 NCRA PAC Gift Basket Extravaganza, contact Matthew Barusch at mbarusch@ncra.org.

NCRA hosts first Town Hall

Marcia Ferranto, NCRA’s Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, hosted the first quarterly town hall meeting on Saturday morning. Ferranto presented an update about the Association followed by a question-and-answer period with members.

Following the event, members sent very positive feedback, including:

“I think it’s a terrific idea to have these quarterly Town Halls. It was good for all members to meet the new Executive Director. I liked the unscripted nature of the event.”

“The Town Hall was a good vehicle for members to be better informed about how our Association is advocating for us, but it also alerts us about the struggles our board and staff are facing as we move into the future. I hope these webinars will continue throughout the year.”

“My thanks and appreciation for the positive, informative, and motivational Town Hall today. I can’t wait to be part of this new path!”

“Fantastic presentation!”

“This is exactly what membership needs. Proud to be an NCRA member.”

NCRA members can access the Town Hall recording.