NCRA member in local media for A to Z program

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyGood Morning Rochester, Rochester, N.Y., aired a piece on Sept. 19 that featured NCRA Director Meredith A. Bonn, RPR, an official court reporter from Webster. The story highlighted what Bonn does as well as emphasized the current need for court reporters and captioners. A second story that also featured Bonn provided insight into what it takes to enter the profession and included information about the A to Z programs she leads in her area.

Esquire finds court reporters predict progress for the profession

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyNCRA Immediate Past President Tiva P. Wood, FAPR, RDR, CMRS, was one of several professionals quoted about their predictions for the future of the profession in a press release issued on Sept. 19 by Esquire Deposition Solutions, Atlanta, Ga. Wood and others were interviewed during the 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo held in August in Las Vegas, Nev.

Read more.

Thanks to the leaders who have already hosted A to Z programs

Who is the leader in your state? Help us cover the country by hosting an A to Z program in your area!

Kerry Anderson, RPR, Atlanta, Ga. 6/27/17
Lori Baldauf, RMR, Appleton, Wis. 4/12/17
Douglas Bettis, Canton, Ohio 8/23/17
Sandra Boe, RMR, Genessee Co. N.Y. 6/3/17
Meredith Bonn, RPR, Rochester, N.Y. 6/27/17
Vonnie Bray, RDR, CRR, Billings, Mont. 9/23/17
Misty Bubke, RDR, CRR, Sioux City, Iowa Fall 2017
Cayce Coskey, RPR, Wichita Falls, Texas 9/12/17
Kim Farkas, RPR, CRR, Henderson, Nev. Fall 2017
Theresa Fink, RMR, CRR, Rapid City, S.D. 8/1/17
Allison Hall, RMR, CRR, Tulsa, Ok. 11/1/16
Yvette Heinze, RPR, Great Falls, Mont. 9/23/17
Lorreen Hollingsworth, RPR, Wellesley, Mass. 4/30/17
Debra Isbell, RDR, CRR, CRC, Mobile, Ala. 6/3/17 and Birmingham, Ala. Fall 2017
Andrea Kingsley, RPR, Easton, Conn. Fall 2017
Cyndi Larimer, Claremore/Pryor, Ok. 3/7/17, 10/18/17
Donna Lewis, RPR Washington, D.C. 9/9/17
Kathy May, RPR, Memphis, Tenn. Fall 2017
Lois McFadden, RDR, CRR, Hamilton, N.J. 9/1/17
Patricia Moretti, RPR, CMRS, Detroit, Mich. 3/25/17, 8/5/17
Tami Morse, RPR, Tulsa, Ok. 1/24/17
Shelley Ottwell, RPR, Muskogee, Ok. 6/20/17
Lynn Penfi eld, RPR, CRR, Rhinelander, Wis. 8/1/17
Angela Ross, RPR, Sacramento, Calif. 9/16/17
Leslie Ryan-Hash, Wichita Falls, Texas 9/12/17
Janette (Jan) Schmitt, RPR, Vancouver, Wash. Fall 2017
Nancy Silberger, Lynbrook, N.Y. 6/28/17
Kathleen Silva, RPR, CRR, Andover, Mass. 5/1/17
Margaret Sokalski, CRI, Chicago, Ill. 7/1/17, Fall 2017
Darlene Sousa, RPR, Stoneham, Mass. 1/24/17, Fall 2017
Doreen Sutton, FAPR, RPR, Phoenix, Ariz. 2/16/17
Rivka Teich, RMR, Brooklyn, N.J. 4/1/17
Donna Ulaub, RMR, CRR, Chicago, Ill. 6/10/17 and Elmhurst, Ill. 7/1/17
Nativa Wood, FAPR, RDR, CMRS, Harrisburg, Pa. Fall 2017


A to Z: Recruiting the next generation

Creating our own success


Oneida County court reporter holding free class to raise more interest in field

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyOn Sept. 14, WJFW Newswatch 12, Rhinelander, Wis., ran a story about the A to Z Program sessions that NCRA member Lynn Penfield, RPR, CRR, is running. According to the article, “Anyone in the Northwoods who is interested in learning more about court reporting can sign up, although you should at least be a junior or senior in high school.” Sessions begin Oct. 17, and the article includes information to sign up. Penfield, who is an official in Harshaw, is running the program because she “considers [court reporting] the best job she’s ever had, and she wants to get more people interested in her field.”

This is not Penfield’s first experience with her local media. In 2016, she was featured in a piece about court reporting on WHFW-Channel 12, and in 2017, she was presented with a proclamation signed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker during Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

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Norwalk woman nationally recognized for court reporting

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyOn Sept. 11, the Norwalk Reflector posted an article announcing that Marie Fresch, RMR, CRC, a freelancer and CART captioner in Norwalk, Ohio, had earned the Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) certification. The article explained the requirements for earning the CRC, provided some background on captioning, and shared a few highlights from Fresch’s career.

The article was generated by a press release issued by NCRA on Fresch’s behalf.

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NCRA member Eleanor Ross passes away

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyPast NCRA member Eleanor Ruth Hennessy Pinard Ross, of Westfield, Pa., passed away Sept. 4. Throughout her career, she worked for the Portland, Maine, bankruptcy courts, the federal court based in Baltimore, Md., and the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C. She is survived by her three daughters and their families.

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The JCR Awards recognize innovative business strategies and more

The JCR Awards offer the perfect way to showcase innovative and successful business strategies from the past year. For the third year, the JCR staff is seeking stories that bring to life new and inventive ways that NCRA members change the way they do business, serve their communities, and help promote the professions of court reporting and captioning.

Nominations are currently being sought for several subcategories, such as best-in-class stories for: Marketing and customer service; Leadership, teambuilding, and mentoring; Use of technology; Community outreach; Service in a nonlegal setting; and Court Reporting & Captioning Week (2017) initiative. In addition, NCRA is looking for a group and an individual who show excellence in more than one category for an overall “Best of the Year” award.

Any current NCRA member in good standing, with the exception of students, may be nominated for these awards. Court reporters, captioners, videographers, scopists, teachers and school administrators, and court reporting managers are all eligible for nomination as well as groups, such as firms, courthouses, or court reporting programs. Self-nominations are accepted. More information about specific criteria for each of the categories is available on the JCR Awards Entry Form.

To enter, submit a written entry to the JCR between 300 and 1,000 words explaining the strategies implemented and why they were successful. Ancillary materials, such as photos, may also be submitted with the nomination. Nominations will be considered based on the best fact-based story. Please be prepared to offer documentation, verifiable sources, or other assistance as needed to be considered for these awards. The stories of the finalists will be published as featured articles in the March 2018 issue of the JCR.

Nominations are due by Oct. 31.

Read about the winners from 2017 and 2016.

NCRA member recognized

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyOn Sept. 3, The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Ind.) announced the election of NCRA member Tonya Kaiser, RPR, CMRS, to the NCRA Board of Directors. The announcement was generated by a press release issued by NCRA on Kaiser’s behalf.

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NCRA, TCRA, and TEXDRA working to assist members affected by Hurricane Harvey

A green steno machine and "TX" in white letters are imposed over the state of Texas in black

Image from the Reporters Helping Reporters GoFundMe campaign

It’s been more than a week since Hurricane Harvey took its toll on Houston, Texas, and surrounding communities. Although the rains may be over, the devastation and cleanup is expected to remain a long-term issue. NCRA, the Texas Court Reporters Association (TCRA), and the Texas Deposition Reporters Association (TEXDRA) want those affected to know that the organizations are already working to help.

In an effort to help ensure that member services are not interrupted during this difficult time, NCRA will offer flexible financing for dues and extensions on CEU requirements needed by those immediately affected by Harvey.

In coming weeks, NCRA staff will also begin following up on members in areas affected by the storm to offer additional support and resources. Members needing assistance can also reach out directly to NCRA by emailing or calling 800-272-6272.

NCRA is also encouraging individuals or firms to support relief efforts by donating funds to Reporters Helping Reporters, a GoFundMe campaign established by TCRA that will provide aid to members affected financially. To date, the site has surpassed its $10,000 financial aid goal.

NCRA also encourages individuals who want to donate used equipment or individuals affected by the hurricane who need equipment to visit the TEXDRA website for donation and request checklists and forms. Gift cards can also be donated via the TEXDRA website for distribution to members in need. Other links on the website include TCRA’s GoFundMe page, information about volunteer opportunities through the Red Cross, and tips on what to do next in the event of a disaster written by NCRA member Kelly Hanna, RMR, CRR, CMRS, a reporter and agency owner in Houston who has been flooded twice before. There is also information on how to donate to the Red Cross and the United Way Relief Fund.

“NCRA is not just your professional association. NCRA is your professional family. We want everyone impacted by Hurricane Harvey to know that we are here to help you in any way we can,” said NCRA President Christine J. Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC, a court reporter and firm owner from Wausau, Wis. “Your NCRA and NCRF Board members and their staffs are holding good thoughts for you and your families and friends as you work through these trying times.

A veteran’s oral history, not recorded

By Connie Psaros

Besides his family, my dad is most proud of his service to his country. He served in the Navy during World War II on the U.S.S. Vicksburg as a gunner. When the Japanese signed the Instrument of Surrender aboard the U.S.S. Missouri on September 2, 1945, my dad was able to witness it, though from a distance, from the U.S.S. Vicksburg, one of many ships in Tokyo Bay that historic day.

My siblings and I registered our dad to be included in the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Along with a donation, we submitted his name, a picture of him in uniform, and a short description of his service. We took a family trip soon after the memorial opened in 2004, and he was so proud to punch his name into the on-site registry, “Tony T.D. Moy,” and see his bio appear. He walked slowly around the whole memorial, taking in all its grandeur. He read every inscription on every column, every brick, finding particular satisfaction with the Pacific Pavilion, a monument dedicated to those who served in the Pacific arena as he did. He was hoping that maybe he’d run into a fellow shipmate, but that did not happen. He was so grateful that he was able to experience the memorial firsthand. We took many pictures. It was a trip to remember.

With all this in mind, I thought it would be a fitting tribute to record his story for NCRA’s Veterans History Project. I went to visit him with my list of questions. My intent was to ask him the questions before we actually went on the record at a later date. I thought this would give him time to formulate his answers and refresh his memory, seeing that the war had ended decades ago.

I was amazed at his recall. He remembered lying about his weight so he could enlist. He was underweight then; not so much now! He remembered boot camp, the food, his fun times on leave, the ship, the endless nights keeping watch, always at the ready for any trouble. He had yellowed news clippings, pictures, his ID, and letters thanking him for his service from the president and other dignitaries.

Things were going well until the saddest memories started to take focus. He remembered his buddies and some who made the ultimate sacrifice. Tears welled up in his eyes. Memories, 70 years old, came flooding back, like it was yesterday. Mom and I were shocked at this very rare show of emotion. He could not continue.

Dad, like so many of his era, had never spoken about the war before my attempt to interview him, and he hasn’t spoken of it since. I could not bear to put him through it. He had suffered enough. He had survived and was living a happy life, thankful for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon him since his time in the service, most notably his marriage, 65 years now, to his dear wife, Josephine, and his six grandchildren.

Dad, now 93, delights in wearing his “glory hat” on outings to restaurants, the grocery store, or doctor appointments. It is one of his prized possessions. It is emblazoned on the front with the words “National WWII Memorial.” It gives him great pleasure when a complete stranger notices his hat, shakes his hand, and thanks him for his service. Or when a stranger notices his hat and patiently steps aside to hold the door for him. The letters he receives from school children around Memorial Day give him so much joy. Sweet gestures, all so appreciated.

Dad returns the favor whenever he sees a veteran, a veteran of any war. Although sometimes a bout of shyness overcomes him, he still manages to approach and inquire. “Are you a vet?” If the answer is yes, they exchange brief histories before he offers the vet one of the hundreds of faded blue stars he and Mom have personally cut out from retired flags. The star is accompanied by a saying that reads: “I am a part of our American Flag. I have flown over a home in the U.S.A. I can no longer fly. The Sun and Winds have caused me to become tattered and torn. Please carry me as a reminder that you are not forgotten.” He always has a star or two in his pocket in case he runs into a fellow patriot.

The war shaped Dad in so many ways. He experienced so much pain in such a short time, a lifetime ago. He is against all war. He dislikes politicians who have no personal experience on the battlefield who rush to send our nation’s treasure into harm’s way. War is not the answer.

I wanted my dad’s personal history to be recorded in the Library of Congress, but it is not to be. And that’s okay. He served with honor, and that is enough. He will be forever linked to the Greatest Generation, and it doesn’t get better than that.

Connie Psaros, RPR, CMRS, is a freelance reporter in Boston, Mass. She can be reached at