Nominations for the NCRA Board of Directors close on Jan. 20

JCRWeekly_CallforNomsIf making a difference is one of your new year resolutions, there’s still time to step up and nominate yourself or a colleague to serve on NCRA’s 2017-2018 Board of Directors. The deadline to submit a nomination is Jan. 20. Nominations should be submitted to boardnominations@ncra.org.

“I am a believer in giving back, which is why board service at the state and national level were important to me,” said Michele Melhorn, RMR, an official court reporter from Arlington, Va., and former director. “I was handed great mentors, made great friends, and learned a lot about myself.” Melhorn served a three-year term on the Board from 2013-2016.

Service on NCRA’s Board of Directors also offers the opportunity to help shape the Association and have a positive influence on the profession as a whole.

Support NCRA’s mission and consider serving on the Board of Directors

JCRWeekly_CallforNomsDo you have what it takes to help lead NCRA and the court reporting and captioning profession into the future? Or do you know someone who does? Then consider attending a no-obligation board service webinar that will be held Jan. 10, 2017, at 8 p.m. ET, and learn how you can influence the future of the court reporting and captioning profession. Candidates can also dial into the webinar using a phone: United States (toll-free): 877-568-4106 or United States 224-501-3217, access code 114-887-501. The webinar is designed to provide members interested in serving on the board with a better understanding of the process and expectations during the nominating period. The webinar will be recorded and available for viewing after its live presentation.

Learn more about serving on the NCRA Board of Directors.

Don’t miss your chance to vote in this year’s election

Photo by Vox Efx

Photo by Vox Efx

The deadline to join NCRA or provide an updated email to NCRA in order to vote in the 2016 elections is July 15. Learn more about voting here.

Voting begins within two hours after the close of the Annual Business Meeting, which will be held on Thursday, Aug. 4, from 8:30–11 a.m. CT.  Voting is open for 12 hours. The Annual Business Meeting will be live-streamed for members who are unable to attend, and a transcript will be available shortly after the event concludes.

Members can access information about the candidates in contested elections through the NCRA 2016 Election Center. This information includes bios and videos for each candidate. Learn more here.

The NCRA Elections Committee will host a live telephone town hall forum for the upcoming 2016 Board of Directors’ elections on July 14 at 8 p.m. ET. The audio of the town hall will be available shortly after the session concludes. Learn more here.

Note that NCRA uses Constant Contact for email marketing, and opting out of one type of email will result in opting out of all types of emails, including the email that alerts members when voting is open. Contact membership@ncra.org if you are unsure if you’ve opted out of Constant Contact emails.

NCRA Elections Committee to host town hall candidate forum

BoD contested electionsTo assist its members in making an informed decision in the upcoming elections, the NCRA Elections Committee will host a live telephone town hall forum for the upcoming 2016 Board of Directors’ elections on July 14 at 8 p.m. ET.

All candidates running in a contested election will be participating. Members who wish to attend should RSVP at elections@ncra.org in advance to ensure that a sufficient number of phone lines are accessible for call-ins. The town hall will be recorded, and the audio for listening/playback will be available shortly after the session concludes.

The Elections Committee is asking NCRA members to submit questions to the candidates. For more information on how to submit a question to the candidates and the deadline dates, please visit the NCRA Election Center.

NCRA Director Rick Levy, RPR, honored with FCRA’s highest award

NCRA Director Rick Levy accepts the FCRA Distinguished Service Award

NCRA Director Rick Levy (left) accepts the FCRA Distinguished Service Award from FCRA Past President Cathy Phillips

Rick Levy, RPR, a firm owner from Miami, Fla., was recently named recipient of the Emily Mann Distinguished Service Award by the Florida Court Reporters Association (FCRA). The award is FCRA’s most prestigious award and recognizes the recipient for his or her exceptional qualifications and experience in the field of shorthand reporting while contributing in a meritorious manner to the welfare of the association. Levy also serves on NCRA’s Board of Directors.

Levy, a firm owner since 2003, previously worked as an independent contractor for Mudrick, Witt, Levy & Consor, where he handled reporting assignments, including worker’s compensation, personal injury, commercial litigation, and construction defect cases both in depositions and hearings, as well as numerous jury trials.

“Rick has served the board in every position, including as president,” wrote FCRA member Holly Kapacinskas, RPR, CRR, a freelance reporter from Debary, Fla., who nominated Levy for the award. “He has always stepped up to help any committee, board member, or FCRA member when asked because, as he says, ‘I know how hard it is to get someone to say they’ll help, so I’m willing to help.’”

Kapacinskas also noted in her nomination of Levy that he has worked tirelessly in his passion to encourage, mentor, promote, and sponsor students. She said that Levy also actively gives presentations at court reporting schools, bar association meetings, and to law school students.

“To be selected by one’s own peers to be awarded my state association’s highest award is the ultimate honor and one I will cherish forever,” Levy said.

“Being chosen to receive the Emily Mann Distinguished Service Award this year is very humbling as I hold the past recipients of the award in the highest esteem and am honored to now be among them. To be recognized by your state association for all your time, hard work, and true dedication is very appreciated and validates the many hours I have given to FCRA over the many years,” he added.

At the national level, Levy has also served on NCRA’s Nominating and Elections committees, the Freelance Community of Interest, the New Markets Task Force, and as Chair of the Firm Owners Executive Conference.

“Rick, in his quiet manner, is always encouraging and promoting reporters and the court reporting profession and has contributed greatly to the welfare of FCRA over a sustained period of time, which is what this award is about,” Kapacinskas also wrote in her nomination of Levy.

The FCRA Distinguished Service Award is named in honor of the late Emily L. Mann, a longtime member of the association. During her career as a court reporter, Mann also led presentations at NCRA events, taught court reporting to students for more than 40 years, and authored a number of textbooks about court reporting. She passed away in 1999 at the age of 88.

NCRA Board candidates’ videos now online

Your vote counts. There are three positions coming up for the election at the August NCRA Annual Business Meeting. The positions are Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, and one of the director’s positions for the 2016-2017 Board of Directors.
The candidates for Vice President are Doreen Sutton, RPR, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Sue A. Terry, RPR, CRR, Springfield, Ohio.
The candidates for Secretary-Treasurer are Debra A. Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC, Woodland, Utah, and Michele Melhorn York, RMR, Washington, D.C.
The two candidates who are running for one of the three-year director positions are Christine Phipps, RPR, North Palm Beach, Fla., and Huey Bang, RMR, CRR, Pass Christian, Miss.
Learn about each candidate on the NCRA website, including their biographies and the candidate questionnaires. As a voting member, you can also view each candidate’s video. Click NCRA 2016 Election Center and log in with your member ID# and password.
Voting will open Aug. 4, 2016, for 12 hours following the NCRA Annual Business Meeting. Members who are eligible to vote will receive an email in advance with information on how to vote.
Please make sure that we have an active email address for you in our database by July 15. Contact the Member Services and Information Center at 800-272-6272, or update your NCRA account at NCRA.org. Look for “Renew or update your record” under the Membership Tools category.

Additional Board of Directors nominations accepted until May 9

The 60-day period during which additional nominations may be submitted for the Board of Directors has begun. Additional nominations must be received by 5 p.m. ET on May 9. Only voting members in good standing, i.e. those voting members who are current in their NCRA dues obligations, are eligible to sign a petition (Article VIII, Section 8c). All signatures will be verified by NCRA. If a petition is received at the deadline and it is determined that there are less than 100 signatures of voting members in good standing, the petition will be disregarded. If you wish to have signatures verified prior to the deadline, NCRA must receive the petition and signatures by May 2. If you have further questions, please contact Laura Butler at lbutler@ncra.org.

Immediate Past President Sarah Nageotte encourages service on the NCRA Board of Directors

JCRWeekly_CallforNomsThe date for the submission of nominations for the 2016-2017 Board of Directors is drawing near!

Do you have what it takes to help lead NCRA and the court reporting and captioning professions into the future? Or do you know someone who does? NCRA voting members should submit their nominations — or nominate themselves — no later than next Tuesday, Jan. 19.

NCRA needs candidates for the board who believe in NCRA’s mission and are willing to be active in their governance roles. The tasks we have before us have never been more important than they are today, and service on the board is a sure way our members can have a valuable part in moving NCRA and our profession into the future.

Learn more about board service, including the job descriptions for each Board of Directors position, on NCRA.org/nominations. You can also view an informative webinar designed to provide members interested in serving on the board with a better understanding of the process and expectations during the nominating period.

I encourage all voting NCRA members to reach out to their fellow members in their local areas and state associations and recommend candidates. NCRA cannot thrive without the service of highly qualified volunteers. Please consider participating by volunteering to serve on the board or by recommending someone you believe can make a difference in our future.

Submit all nominations to boardnominations@ncra.org. Please be sure, as a courtesy, to directly contact the person you are planning to nominate prior to submitting their name.

The Nominating Committee and I sincerely thank you for your participation!

Immediate Past President Sarah E. Nageotte, RDR, CRR, CRC

Jefferson, Ohio

Save the date for great NCRA learning opportunities

calendar

Photo by: Dafne Cholet

NCRA staff members are planning great ways for members to earn CEUs this year. NCRA members can also earn CEUs by passing the skills or written portion of certain tests, such as the RMR, RDR, CRR, or CLVS exams. Here is a short selection of dates and events (dates are subject to change).

Jan. 31             Cycle extension deadline

March 11-13   CLVS Seminar and CLVS production skills test, Reston, Va.

March 19-20   NCRA Board of Directors Meeting, Reston, Va.

March 20-22   2016 NCRA Legislative Boot Camp, Reston, Va.

April 4-20        RPR, RDR, CRC, and CLVS written knowledge test dates

April 17-19      2016 Firm Owners Executive Conference, San Juan, P.R.

July 9-21          RPR and CLVS written knowledge test dates

Aug. 4-7           2016 NCRA Convention & Expo, Chicago, Ill. (includes the Legal Video Conference, the CRC Workshop, and the National Speed and Realtime Contests)

Sept. 30           Submission deadline for CEUs and PDCs for members with a 9/30/16 cycle ending

Oct. 7-19         RPR, RDR, CRC, and CLVS written knowledge tests

Court Reporting & Captioning Week (Feb. 14-20), Memorial  Day (May 30), and Veterans Day (Nov. 11) are also all good opportunities to schedule Veterans History Project Days to earn PDCs. And don’t forget that online skills testing is available year round.

In addition, NCRA is planning webinars throughout the year, which will be announced in the JCR Weekly and on NCRA social media as they are available. Watch for more information in the JCR, the JCR Weekly, and on TheJCR.com for registration, deadlines, and other ideas to earn continuing education.

NCRA opens its new doors to members

DSC_0048_BThe NCRA Board of Directors met Nov. 14-15 to discuss the business of moving the association forward. Among other topics, the board approved an update to the Code of Ethics and the Policies and Procedures Manual. In addition, the board approved an update of charges for the Nominating Committee to ensure that the committee will be able to find strong candidates for future slates. The board voted to shift the fiscal year from Oct. 1–Sept. 30 to Jan. 1–Dec. 31 beginning in 2017.

“Our Board Meeting was very productive, thanks to our talented staff who provided thorough and succinct information on a variety of topics, which enabled all the hardworking and dedicated board members to make well-informed, fact-based decisions on many different issues affecting our DSC_0065_Btimeless profession and NCRA,” said NCRA President Steve Zinone, RPR, an official court reporter from Canandaigua, N.Y.

Members from around the area and around the country came to visit NCRA headquarters for an open house on Saturday evening. The open house gave the attendees an opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the new space as well as see where the day-to-day running of the association takes place. About 80 people attended, including the board, members of the association, staff, and family members. Photos from the event are available on Facebook.

“NCRA’s new headquarters is organized, efficient, and welcoming and quickly felt like a home away from home during the two days I spent there,” said Cheryl Haab, RPR, a freelancer reporter from DSC_0046_BVan Nuys, Calif. “Not only is the space a laudable testament to reporting history and technology with its impressive displays of machinery throughout the office, but the headquarters also nicely represents the level of professionalism that we have come to expect from our parent organization. On walls and desks and whiteboards throughout, the brilliants minds at NCRA have left evidence of their continuous brainstorming for the profession with Post-it notes, advertising concepts, and timelines delineating the history — and future — of our profession. I encourage any reporter in the area to take a few hours to stop by the new world headquarters and meet the friendly faces who staff it.”

NCRA’s offices have been designed to accommodate any members who are in the area and need a place to work, whether to simply check email or conduct business. With some advanced notice, all members are welcome to drop by and enjoy their “home office away from home.”