New NCRA CEO announced

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Daily Record (Baltimore, Md.) posted an announcement on Oct. 2 about Marcia C. Ferranto being named NCRA’s new Executive Director and CEO. The piece was generated by a press release issued by NCRA on Ferranto’s behalf.

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Small group, big learning at the NCRA State Leadership Conference

Group shot of the NCRA Leadership Conference attendees

Photo by Lindsay DeWaide, RMR, CRR

NCRA’s State Leadership Conference, held in late May in St. Louis, Mo., was the first to bring to bear the full weight of the national association to a regional event.

“Beyond a doubt awesome,” said Linda M. Dattilo, RPR, executive director for the Missouri Court Reporters Association, of the new regional focus. “I attended the [national-level] NCRA State Leadership Conference many years ago and NCRA Legislative Boot Camp, and I got far more out of this conference. Perhaps it was the smaller number of attendees or the terrific leaders who put the conference on. All I know is I have a lot of ideas now for the Missouri Court Reporters Association that I can’t wait to get working on.”

The smaller group size was cited as being conducive for greater learning and better camaraderie by many of the participants. The conference included presentations by NCRA President Tiva Wood, FAPR, RDR, CMRS; President-Elect Chris Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC; Interim CEO & Executive Director Dave Wenhold; and Manager of State Government Relations Matt Barusch.

“I was presented with so much information, such as learning how to run an effective board meeting, understanding budgets, the nuts and bolts of association work, and how to communicate effectively with our members,” said Dana Webb, president-elect of the Tennessee Court Reporters Association. “The knowledge I derived from this conference will truly be invaluable as I embark on becoming president of the Tennessee Court Reporters Association, and it will help me to make the most of my leadership role to better our association and our profession.”

“They taught us so many helpful tools in leading an effective board meeting, recruiting new association members, ideas about promoting our careers to high school students, and so much more,” agreed Jill Pilkington, RMR, who is president-elect of the Nebraska Court Reporters Association.

“The regional leadership conference in St. Louis was, in my opinion, time and money well spent,” said Lance Boardman, RDR, CRR, who is a director for the Ohio Court Reporters Association. “It was gratifying to know that much of what is recommended by NCRA as to how to run a state organization the Ohio Court Reporters Association has already implemented. On the other hand, there was much that I, as an individual, did not know about processes and procedures. I think there is generally a fairly large knowledge gap between people’s perception of how things are run and the reality, and that gap, for me at least, has now been mostly filled.”

The conference was designed to provide state leaders with information about working as an association that is often not easily found elsewhere, including how to fulfill their roles as state leaders in line with industry best practices. In addition, state leaders exchanged information about what is going on in their states to build connections between organizations and individual state leaders.

“As a newer member to our State Board, I met some great leaders in our profession,” said Jackie Rupnow, RPR, CRI, who is part of the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association board. “I loved that Tiva and Chris played an integral part of this training. Their insight was invaluable. I left this conference having made some lifelong friends, but, best of all, it reenergized me in wanting to do more for our profession and be a better leader. I would recommend this conference to anyone interested in gaining more insight into how to become a more effective leader.”

As Boardman summed up: “The best part of all: I got to finally meet some longtime online friends and made a lot of new ones from around the country.”

State leaders learn tips for good governance

JCR publications share buttonThe second in a series of webinars being hosted by NCRA addressed the topics of association governance and what is required in terms of service by volunteer board members. The webinar, held Oct. 26, is part of a continuing series of sessions developed by NCRA to help improve and expand the skills and abilities of state leaders.

Issues discussed in the webinar included the importance of transparency in governing, effective organizational structure, the legal and fiduciary responsibilities of board members, and best practices for volunteer leaders. In addition, the webinar also provided tips on avoiding conflicts of interest and provided an overview of members’ responsibilities to the association.

“As a younger leader, I don’t have as much experience in the industry as most of my colleagues, so it’s nice to soak up as much knowledge as I can to be an effective leader for my state,” said Danielle Murray, RPR, an official court reporter from Olathe, Kan., who attended the recent webinar.

“We’re all experiencing similar problems, and it’s so helpful to be able to come together as a profession and bounce ideas and solutions off one another,” added Murray, who serves as secretary of the Kansas Court Reporters Association.

The first webinar, held in September, focused on leadership and provided a general overview of the traits of a good leader, tips to be successful in a leadership role, and more.

NCSA new webinar kicks off with high attendance

On Sept. 28, NCRA hosted the first in a series of webinars designed to address a wide range of topics and issues specific to helping to improve and expand the skills and abilities of state leaders.

The first webinar, which drew some 50 attendees from across the nation, focused on leadership, and provided a general overview of the traits of a good leader, tips to be successful in a leadership role, and more. The webinar was specifically designed to aid in the development of leaders in NCRA’s National Committee of State Associations (NCSA).

The kickoff of the series was a great success. As leaders, we are always striving to improve our skills so that we can build stronger associations that will benefit our members,” said Mary P. Bader, RPR, an official court reporter from Medford, Wis., and chair of the National Committee of State Associations. “We want to grow and flourish. This monthly webinar series is designed to help us do just that. Our first webinar generated a buzz of conversation and camaraderie.”

According to Rhonda Eubanks, CRR, an official court reporter from Marietta, Ga., and president of the Georgia Court Reporters Association, who attended the first webinar session, the presentation provided valuable insight on how to successfully lead and direct without being overbearing as well as how to get the best out of people by talking to them in a flattering and appealing manner.

“I think these sessions will help the state leaders to be on the same page and have a direction and goal.  They will provide the guidelines to help relieve some stress of the leaders,” said Eubanks. She also encourages leaders who might think the sessions can’t help them, to think again.

“Don’t say no until you try it. Some things you may already know or do. This goes without saying about everything.  But if you can gain even some knowledge from the small amount of time these sessions take, it will be well worth it. I don’t know about everyone else, but I can’t be a leader on my own. I need help and resources, and I’m not afraid to say so.”