NCRA member participates in local VHP project

On Oct. 18, Riverbend.com reported that NCRA member Jill Layton, RMR, an official court reporter from Toledo, Ill., represented the Illinois Court Reporters Association at a recent VHP event hosted by the Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

Read more.

NCRF receives $25,000 grant to support VHP

Marcia Ferranto and Judge Michael Cicconetti

On Sept. 20, the Hon. Michael Cicconetti of the Painesville Municipal Court, Painesville, Ohio, presented NCRA CEO and Executive Director Marcia Ferranto with a $25,000 check in support of the National Court Reporters Foundation’s (NCRF) Veterans History Project efforts during a visit to the Association’s Reston, Va., headquarters.

The grant was generated from money remaining from a class action suit. Funds that go unclaimed in such suits are typically placed in a trust fund by the legal firm representing the plaintiffs. Once the funds have been disbursed, any remaining money is either distributed as grants to nonprofit and charity organizations, or in some cases, returned to the defendants.

“The work that NCRF and the members of NCRA do to help ensure the valuable stories of our war heroes are preserved for generations to come through the Library of Congress Veterans History Project is priceless,” said Cicconetti, who is a past NCRF Trustee and longtime supporter of the court reporting and captioning professions. Cicconetti suggested that the Foundation apply for the grant.

“This grant will go far in helping these committed volunteers to continue to be able to capture these important historical stories for our children and their children to read and better understand and appreciate the many sacrifices those who serve in our military forces make to keep this nation safe and free,” added Cicconetti, who has been recognized nationally and internationally for his creative sentencing strategies.

“It is an honor to have Judge Cicconetti as such a good friend and supporter of the Foundation and its programs and of the court reporting and captioning professions. He understands how important the human factor in these professions is to ensuring an accurate record is made and in the benefits these stenographic skills can provide to the Deaf and hard of hearing,” said NCRF Deputy Executive Director B.J. Shorak.

Since 2003, NCRA members who volunteer their services have worked with NCRF and the Library of Congress to record and transcribe the moving stories of nearly 4,300 U.S. war veterans, building a lasting legacy of the diverse group of men and women who have served our nation during wartime. The interviews are then submitted to the Library of Congress, where they are archived for later use by scholars, students, and future generations.

The interviews have been taken during special VHP days held around the country and hosted by state and local court reporting associations, firms, and individuals. Nationally, NCRF has hosted a number of VHP events as well that have captured the unique and telling stories of veterans from World War II forward, as well as Purple Heart recipients. NCRF has also hosted three Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project events, supported by a grant from the American Society of Association Executives, that used volunteer captioners to enable veterans with varying degrees of hearing loss to be interviewed so their experiences could be chronicled.

“The VHP allows us to highlight a way that we can give back to society as court reporters and captioners by helping to preserve history,” said NCRA Executive Director and CEO Marcia Ferranto. “It also allows us to build a greater awareness of the important work and skills of court reporters and captioners around the country.”

The Foundation will host a VHP event at the Ginger Cove Retirement Community located in Annapolis, Md., near the U.S. Naval Academy, on Sat., Nov. 10. For more information or to volunteer to participate, contact Sharon Davoren, Foundation Assistant, at sdavoren@ncra.org. NCRA members who volunteer for VHP events can earn Professional Development Credits.

New Professional Reporter Grant awarded

Sidnee Baum

NCRF presented the 2018 New Professional Reporter Grant to Sindee Baum, from North Massapequa, N.Y.  Baum said that receiving the New Professional Grant means a lot to her and that she plans to use the funds toward paying off her school loan and to cover the expense of starting out with a professional machine and software.

NCRF awards the annual New Professional Reporter Grant to a reporter who is in his or her first year of work, has graduated within a year from an NCRA-approved court reporting program, and meets specific criteria, including a grade point average of 3.5 or above, a letter of recommendation, and current work in any of the career paths of judicial (official/freelance), CART, or captioning. The grant is in the amount of $2,000.

“For 21 years, I was a federal probation officer. I wrote the pre-sentence reports and sentencing recommendations for the judges and had to be present at sentencings. I was always fascinated by the court reporters and always made sure I stood near them to watch them work their magic on their machines,” Baum said.

“When I was getting close to thinking of retiring and what I wanted to do as a second career, the thought of becoming a court reporter popped in my mind one morning. I spoke to NCRA member Anthony Frisolone, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, CRI, one of the court reporters in my courthouse and a court reporter instructor, who thought the idea was an awesome fit for me. He even offered to be my mentor and helped me through the emotional roller coaster that court reporting school entailed. Well, I’m happy to share that I retired from my career as a federal probation officer as of September 1, 2017, and passed my last mentored exit speed tests that same week and graduated from school,” she added.

Baum, a graduate of the online program at College of Court Reporting (CCR) in Valparaiso, Ind., is the 14th recipient of NCRF’s New Professional Reporter Grant. She was recommended by Jessica Vivas, client services manager and reporter liaison for Magna Legal Services based in New York.

“If Magna could only choose one goal, it would be to support and serve our clients to the best of our ability. Sindee Baum embodies this philosophy and is respected by our clients. We consider Sindee to be an asset to our court reporting team, and we look forward to working with her well into the future,” Vivas said.

For court reporting students getting ready to finish their programs and start their professional careers, Baum offers the following advice: “Practice like your life depended on it. Getting those last speed tests passed takes the most work and dedication out of all the tests you will take in school. Also, while completing your internship hours, make sure you are asking lots of questions and gaining as much experience as you can in various settings so that you will be able to hit the ground running at graduation and become a working reporter.”

To learn more about NCRF’s scholarships and grants, visit NCRA.org/NCRF/Scholarships.

NCRA member Donna Cascio wins Angels drawing

Donna Cascio

NCRA member Donna Cascio, FAPR, RDR, CMRS, a retired official court reporter from Somerset, Pa., was the lucky winner of the 2019 NCRF Angels drawing for a weeklong stay in one of three luxury resorts in Mexico.

“When B.J. Shorak and April Weiner from the Foundation contacted me, I just couldn’t believe it,” Cascio said. “I was sent the Facebook Live link and watched the video and saw B.J. read my name – ‘Donna Cascio from Pennsylvania!’ — I could tell she was excited for me and it really felt good. B.J. has been a jewel and a treasure for the Foundation. When you have someone as dedicated, as persuasive, and as sweet as she is carrying the message of support for students, a person just can’t say no,” she added.

Cascio said she has been in touch with Denise Paternoster, RPR, who donated the weeklong stay at the choice of one of three Mexican resorts in Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, or Nuevo Vallarta, to learn more about the properties and schedule her trip. Paternoster, an official court reporter from New York, N.Y., is also an Angel donor and serves on NCRF’s Angels Committee.

Cascio, who retired in March after 45 years as an official court reporter, said she and her husband have long been supporters of NCRF and its programs but noted that becoming a 2019 Angel donor marked just their second time at that level.

“I have been encouraged to support NCRF by my association and friendship with wonderful veteran reporters who make such support a priority in their lives — people such as Tiva Wood, FAPR, RDR, CMRS, and Jan Hamilton, RDR, both former NCRF Chairs; Marjorie Peters, RMR, CRR; Kathy DiLorenzo, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC; Amy Bowlen, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC; and Lisa Nagy-Baker, FAPR, RDR, CRR,” Cascio said.

“My friendships with the teaching staff at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh — Mary Beth Johnson, CRI; Val Cox, CRI; and Barbara Lightcap, RDR, CRI — convey to me the support necessary for reporting students. We all understand the importance of our profession and do what we can to support reporter education and students,” Cascio added. “After 45 years as an official reporter, this trip will be a wonderful way to celebrate retirement — choosing a time unconstrained by a court schedule.”

The Angels Program continues to be the most impactful component of the National Court Reporters Foundation’s annual campaign, as it supports four key initiatives that are advancing the court reporting and captioning professions:

NCRA member in the news

The Ocala Star Banner posted on Sept. 3 that NCRF appointed NCRA member Catherine J. Phillips, FAPR, RMR, CMRS, a freelance court reporter from Ocala, Fla., to serve a three-year term on its board of trustees. The post was generated by a press release issued on Phillips’ behalf by NCRA.

Read more.

Don’t let the deadline to enter to win a weeklong stay in Mexico fly by

Villa del Palmar in Cabo San Lucas

Midnight on Aug. 29 is the deadline to pledge support for NCRF by becoming a 2019 Angel donor and to be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a weeklong stay in one of three luxury resorts in Mexico.

Angels who pledge or sign up for recurring donations by Aug. 29 will be entered into a drawing for a weeklong stay at their choice of one of three Mexican resorts in Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, or Nuevo Vallarta, generously donated by Angel and Angels Committee member Denise Paternoster, RPR.

Villa del Palmar in Puerto Vallarta

The Angels Program continues to be the most impactful component of the National Court Reporters Foundation’s annual campaign, as it supports four key initiatives that are advancing the court reporting and captioning professions:

Sign up online or by filling out a 2019 Pledge Letter.

Villa del Palmar in Neuvo Vallarte

“Please support the NCRF, the National Court Reporters Foundation, by contributing to the future of court reporting and captioning. Being an Angel makes a substantial difference in the programs and our efforts going forward to address the issues our profession is experiencing. Offering your financial support to NCRF as an Angel also continues the support of the programs we have led for many years: The Veterans History Project, the education of attorneys in Making the Record, and new professional and student scholarships. Be an Angel!” said Sandy VanderPol, FAPR, RMR, CRR, NCRF Trustee and Angel.

Be entered into a drawing for a weeklong stay in Mexico when you pledge as an NCRF Angel

The Angels Program continues to be the most impactful component of the National Court Reporters Foundation’s annual campaign, as it supports four key initiatives that are advancing the court reporting and captioning professions:

“My love for our profession began when I was about five years old and taught myself how to play the piano. I loved the language of music! Then I learned another language, that of stenography; music to my ears that enabled me to share this amazing art with the hard-of-hearing and deaf in courtroom settings. What we do through the National Court Reporters Foundation helps ensure that our noble profession continues to be vibrant and relevant today, tomorrow, and into the future. Being an NCRF Angel keeps our amazing art thriving,” said Debra Cheyne, NCRF Trustee, Angel, and Chair of Angels Committee.

Angels who pledge or sign up for recurring donations by Aug. 29 will be entered into a drawing for a weeklong stay at their choice of one of three Mexican resorts in Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, or Nuevo Vallarta, generously donated by Angel and Angels Committee member Denise Paternoster.

Sign up online or by filling out a 2019 Pledge Letter.

“Please support the NCRF, the National Court Reporters Foundation, by contributing to the future of court reporting and captioning. Being an Angel makes a substantial difference in the programs and our efforts going forward to address the issues our profession is experiencing. Offering your financial support to NCRF as an Angel also continues the support of the programs we have led for many years: The Veterans History Project, the education of attorneys in Making the Record, and new professional and student scholarships. Be an Angel!” said Sandy VanderPol, FAPR, RMR, CRR, NCRF Trustee & Angel.

A – Action for our profession
N – Now is the time
G – Get involved
E – Energize our efforts
L – Look forward

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The industry supports NCRA to advance the future of court reporting and captioning

NCRA’s newly launched Corporate Partnership Program has drawn the commitment of six organizations serving or representing the court reporting and captioning professions.

NCRA welcomes the following companies as corporate partners:

NCRA’s Corporate Partnership program, which ranges in levels of sponsorship from $10,000 to $100,000, aids in business and workforce development efforts by NCRA and the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF).

“NCRA’s mission is to deepen the skills and opportunities of the court reporting and captioning professions through certification, mentorship, scholarships, leadership training, and professional development,” said CEO and Executive Director Marcia Ferranto.

“Right now we need to focus on the next generation of captioners and court reporters by illustrating that these professions are viable and lucrative career opportunities. While we recognize that there are various methods being used to capture the spoken word, NCRA’s focus is to ensure that both the general public and the legal industry understand that stenography is by far the most effective and desired method and that NCRA is focused on closing the shortage gap of stenographers nationally. Our Corporate Partners are a key part of the sustainability and growth of these initiatives,” Ferranto said.

A standard development strategy in the trade association industry, the Corporate Partnership program was created to enable NCRA to serve its members and provide value without raising dues, as well as assist NCRA in acquiring the knowledge, resources, and funding needed to advance the professions into the next decade.

A 12-month sponsorship with NCRA provides benefits back to its corporate partners, such as advertising, event tickets, memberships, and publicity. As the drivers of the value proposition of the program, NCRA has created a win-win for everyone.

To learn more about the NCRA Corporate Partnership Program, visit https://www.ncra.org/utility-pages/about-ncra/corporate-partners or contact Mary Petto at mpetto@ncra.org or 703-584-9022.

NCRF announces 2018 Robert H. Clark Scholarship and New Professional Reporter Grant recipients

The National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) has announced that Sindee Baum, from North Massapequa, N.Y., was named recipient of the 2018 New Professional Reporter Grant. The Foundation also announced that Sydney Lundberg, a student from Des Moines Area Community College in Des Moines, Iowa, is the recipient of the 2018 Robert H. Clark Scholarship.

 

Sindee Baum

New Professional Reporter Grant Winner

Baum said that receiving the New Professional Grant means a lot to her and that she plans to use the funds toward paying off her school loan and to cover the expense of starting out with a professional machine and software.

“For 21 years I was a federal probation officer. I wrote the presentence reports and sentencing recommendations for the judges and had to be present at sentencings. I was always fascinated by the court reporters and always made sure I stood near them to watch them work their magic on their machines,” Baum said.

“When I was getting close to thinking of retiring and what I wanted to do as a second career, the thought of becoming a court reporter popped in my mind one morning. I spoke to Anthony Frisolone, one of the court reporters in my courthouse, who thought the idea was an awesome fit for me. He even offered to be my mentor and helped me through the emotional roller coaster that court reporting school entailed. Well, I’m happy to share that I retired from my career as a federal probation officer as of September 1, 2017, and passed my last mentored exit speed tests that same week and graduated from school,” she added. Frisolone, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, CRI, is an NCRA member, official court reporter, and court reporting instructor.

NCRF awards the annual $2,000 New Professional Reporter Grant to a reporter who is in his or her first year of work, has graduated within a year from an NCRA-approved court reporting program, and meets specific criteria, including a grade point average of 3.5 or above, a letter of recommendation, and active work in any of the career paths of judicial (official/freelance), CART, or captioning. Baum, a graduate of the online program at College of Court Reporting in Valparaiso, Ind., is the 14th recipient of NCRF’s New Professional Reporter Grant. She was recommended by Jessica Vivas, client services manager and reporter liaison for Magna Legal Services based in New York.

“If Magna could only choose one goal, it would be to support and serve our clients to the best of our ability. Sindee Baum embodies this philosophy and is respected by our clients. We consider Sindee to be an asset to our court reporting team, and we look forward to working with her well into the future,” Vivas said.

For court reporting students getting ready to finish their programs and start their professional careers, Baum offers the following advice: “Practice like their life depended on it. Getting those last speed tests passed takes the most work and dedication out of all the tests you will take in school. Also, while completing your internship hours, make sure you are asking lots of questions and gaining as much experience as you can in various settings so that you will be able to hit the ground running at graduation and become a working reporter.”

 

Sydney Lundberg

2018 Robert H. Clark Scholarship Recipient

“Receiving this scholarship means to me that I will be able to finish school and begin working as a reporter even sooner. I am currently in the last part of my program, and this support will allow me to purchase professional equipment that will give me the last boost I need to graduate,” said Lundberg, who added that she heard about court reporting as a career through a family member.

“My aunt is a captioner, and I was inspired by how she was able to capture the spoken word, work from home, and be so successful. After I graduate, my plans include working for a freelance firm in Des Moines, Iowa. I also plan on continuing to learn things about the profession, building my dictionary, and continuing to work on speed,” Lundberg said.

The $2,000 Robert H. Clark Scholarship is named for the late Robert H. (Bob) Clark, a court reporter from Los Angeles, Calif., who was dedicated to preserving the history of the profession. In 2015, Clark’s family made a generous donation to NCRF to honor him, and NCRF created the new Robert H. Clark Scholarship. Lundberg is the fourth recipient of this scholarship.

 

To learn more about NCRF’s scholarships and grants, visit NCRA.org/NCRF/Scholarships.