NCRA announces 2017-2018 slate of nominees

NCRA announced the slate of nominees selected by its Nominating Committee to serve in 2017-2018. NCRA’s membership will vote on the nominations at the 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo, Aug. 10-13, in Las Vegas, Nev.

The slate of officers includes:

  • President-Elect: Sue A. Terry, RPR, CRR, Springfield, Ohio
  • Vice President: Doreen Sutton, RPR, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Debra A. Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC, Woodland, Utah

Also nominated to serve three-year Director terms are:

  • Meredith A. Bonn, RPR, Webster, NY
  • Robyn M. Hennigan, RPR, CRI, Springfield, OH
  • Tonya J. Kaiser, RPR, CMRS, Fort Wayne, IN

Christine J. Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC, Wausau, Wis., will automatically succeed to the office of President.

Five minutes with Realtime Champ Dee Boenau

Deanna Boenau_2016 Realtime ContestThe JCR reached out to Dee Boenau, RDR, CRR, CRC, a broadcast captioner in Sarasota, Fla., about her Realtime Contest win, the importance of realtime, practice tips, and using the spotlight to promote the profession.

What appealed to you about competing in the speed and realtime contests?

I’ve always competed just as a way to see how my skills have improved. It’s fun and exciting to see how the changes I have made to my theory over the years have increased my speed and accuracy.

 Do you have a preference on which one you would prefer to win?

I like to win the Realtime Contest because realtime writing is what I do, and I believe realtime translation is the lifeblood of court reporting and captioning. However, I would not mind adding the prestigious title of Speed Contest Champion to my achievements and having my name added to the historical list of greats in our profession.

 How do you find the two contests different?

I write both contests in the mind-set of realtime. There really is no difference to me other than the faster speed and the opportunity for editing in the Speed Contest. Nerves can be devastating, though, in the Realtime Contest. If the nerves creep in during the Speed Contest, I know I have a chance to edit it. I guess I am a little harder on myself just before the Realtime Contest because of nerves.

Have you been practicing for the upcoming contests?

I do practice close to the time of the contests. I simply don’t have the time to practice year-round. I prefer to actively use my skills in the real world and to further enhance my ability to make a living. Whether I am reporting or captioning, I always review my work. I can’t stress enough to captioners the importance of reading one’s work and looking up what one missed. Over the years, too, practice would be boring to me because it was always the same dictation tapes. Now there are new programs on the market, like ev360 Ultimate, that take practicing to a whole different level and make it fun, too. The last couple of years I’ve been practicing more because of the program.

What advice would you have for a person who has never been in a speed contest before? How can they get started?

Just do it. Sign up and jump right in. The contests may humble you and inspire you at the same time. You could be the next Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC, or Julianne LaBadia,  RDR, CRR, CRC.

You’ve received quite a lot of coverage based on your wins in the past few years. What has that been like? Do you have any advice for other reporters or captioners who find themselves in the limelight?

When I found myself in the limelight, I spoke with passion. I love writing on the steno machine; it is my favorite piece of technology. Without the steno machine, I could not do my job as a reporter making a record and as a captioner providing communication accessibility to thousands of people. You can’t go wrong talking about what you love because it all comes so naturally. When I first won the Realtime Contest, I was thrilled with the machine I was using and enjoyed talking about it and the technology behind it. When a person speaks with such passion about his or her profession and the advancing technology, it can only inspire others to inquire about court reporting or captioning.

Is there any advice you can give to other NCRA members on how each of us can be an advocate for our profession?

Be the best you can be. Stand up for what is right. Keep the professional image alive.

Any questions we missed or should have asked?

I want to thank NCRA and the Contests Committee for continuing to support the contests. It is a huge undertaking and a sacrifice of convention time for the committee members. I’ve heard that they are often grading papers when people are returning from late-night festivities. Admittedly, the contests are a large part of the reason why I’ve attended the convention 17 years in a row. Yes, I learn from the seminars, but the contests give the convention the wow factor. Thank you, NCRA, past sponsors, and any future sponsors!

Read our interview with Speed Champ Jeff Weigl.

Mark your calendars with learning opportunities through NCRA


Photo by Dafne Cholet

Make your plan to earn CEUs and tackle your educational needs this year. Whether you are working toward earning your RPR or your cycle ends Jan. 31 or Sept. 30, NCRA can help you get ahead.

In addition, NCRA members can 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 — 9/30/16 cycle extension deadline

Feb. 12-14 — 2017 Firm Owners Executive Conference, Tucson, Ariz.

March 1-31 — Registration period for April RPR, RDR, CRC, and CLVS Written Knowledge Tests

April 5 — Second quarter online skills test registration opens

April 8-20 — RPR, RDR, CRC, and CLVS Written Knowledge Test dates

June 1-30 — Registration period for July RPR and CLVS Written Knowledge Tests

July 5 — Third quarter online skills test registration opens

July 8-20 — RPR and CLVS Written Knowledge Test dates

Aug. 10-13 — 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo, Las Vegas, Nev.

Sept. 1-30 — Registration period for October RPR, RDR, CRC, and CLVS Written Knowledge Tests

Sept. 30 — Submission deadline for CEUs and PDCs for members with a 9/30/17 cycle ending

Oct. 5 — Fourth quarter online skills test registration opens

Oct. 7-19 — RPR, RDR, CRC, and CLVS Written Knowledge Tests

Court Reporting & Captioning Week (Feb. 11-18), 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 the NCRA Facebook and Twitter pages as they are available. Watch for more information in the JCR, in the JCR Weekly, and on for registration, deadlines, and other ideas to earn continuing education.

NCRA’s 2016 Convention & Expo: Something for everyone

Convention-JCRcom-BoxAdOnline registration for NCRA 2016 Convention & Expo happening at the Hilton Chicago, Chicago, Ill., Aug. 4-7, closes July 29, so hurry and register now to participate in the vast array of continuing education sessions, networking opportunities, certification preparation workshops for the Certified Realtime Reporter and the Realtime Systems Administrator, and, of course, all that’s new on the Expo floor.

Whether you are an official, freelancer, broadcast or CART captioner, legal videographer, educator, student, or legal services provider, this year’s schedule has something to help you be the architect of your future. Plus attendees who need CEUs can earn up to 2.45 of them with a full registration and optional workshops.

Among the educational session highlights are:

Freelancer business 101. Presenters: Lisa DiMonte, RMR, CMRS; Jan Ballman, RPR, CMRS; Marjorie Peters, RMR, CRR; and Dave Tackla, CLVS

Compassion fatigue and job stress. Presenter: April Kopp, LCSW, MFA

Your cloud-based office. Presenters: Nancy Bistany, RPR and Kim Neeson, RPR, CRR, CRC

The secret business of court reporting. Presenter: Debbie Bridges Duffy, RPR

Beyond the captions:  Captioner roundtable. Presenters: Merilee Johnson, RMR, CRR, CRC; Bill Graham; and Deanna Baker, FAPR, RMR

90 apps in 90 minutes. Presenter: Sara Wood, CAE

Tax tips for court reporters. Presenter: Charlotte Ogorek

Best practices for realtime reporting. Presenters: Jason Meadors, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC; Christine Phipps, RPR; and Sandy VanderPol, FAPR, RMR, CRR

Anywhere, anytime:  Online testing. Presenter: Marybeth Everhart, RPR, CRI, CPE

Are you an independent contractor or an employee? Presenter: Chris Wojcicki

Video equipment configuration:  Real world equipment setups. Presenters: Richard Hayden, CLVS, and Jason Levin, CLVS

In addition, students, educators, and school administrators will enjoy a selection of sessions tailored specifically to their interests and needs.

Other highlights for the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo include professional speaker and humorist John Wagner, who will address the topic of “Pride in the Profession” when he takes the stage as the keynote presenter during the Premier Session; the national Speed and Realtime Contests; the installation of NCRA’s 2016-2017 Officers and Board of Directors; and the presentation of the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award bestowed by NCRA. Networking opportunities will include receptions, the annual awards and NCRF Angels luncheons, and the President’s Party.

Remember, the deadline for online registration is July 29. For more information and to register for the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo, visit

Continuing coverage for the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo

Convention-JCRcom-BoxAdDon’t miss a single piece of news! Explore continuing coverage of the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo, held Aug. 4-7 in Chicago, with the stories below.

Continuing coverage

Awards and scholarships

Information about voting

Continuing education and certification information

Special events

Convention preparation

More information


Enter to win a custom-made Luminex from Stenograph


Image by Stenograph

Attendees at the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo, being held Aug. 4-7 at the Hilton Chicago, can take a chance at winning a custom-made Luminex shorthand machine. This prize, valued at $5,300, has been designed and generously donated by Stenograph for a raffle sponsored by the National Court Reporters Foundation.

The one-of-a-kind machine will be revealed at the NCRF booth. Raffle tickets are $50 each or three for $125 and can be purchased at the booth and from NCRF representatives. The drawing will be held on Saturday, Aug. 6, at The Places You’ll Go Gala, and the winner need not be present to win. (The winner may choose from other available colors if he or she prefers.)

While visiting the NCRF booth, convention attendees will learn how they can help the Association’s philanthropic arm do more through the many programs, scholarships, and grants it offers. The NCRF booth will be located in the Expo Hall.

Other treasures that await at the NCRF booth include the 2016 Chicago 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 NCRF members who will commit to donate $1,000 or more to support the Foundation’s 2017 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 Angels Luncheon next year in Las Vegas.

Finally, NCRF’s Corrinne Clark Professionalism Institute will host Business 101 for court reporters. This session will offer real-world advice from a panel of successful reporters, firm owners, and managers, who will share their hard-won insights and guidance on building a successful freelance career. This session will be led by NCRF Chair-elect Nancy Hopp, RDR, CRR, CMRS, of St. Louis, Mo.

If you are interested in taking a chance on the Luminex machine, snagging your Chicago Convention pin, or becoming an Angel Donor, be sure to stop by the NCRF booth in Chicago or contact April Weiner, NCRF Foundation Manager, at

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 if you are unsure if you’ve opted out of Constant Contact emails.

Don’t miss out on NCRA Convention & Expo registration and hotel savings

Photo by City of Chicago

Photo by City of Chicago

Don’t miss the chance to save on registration and hotel fees for the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo being held in Chicago, Ill., Aug. 4-7, at the Chicago Hilton. Act before July 9 to take advantage of regular registration costs. After this deadline, late fees as high as $150 will be added to entire registration package selections until registration closes on July 29. Increases will include $25 for students, $125 for NCRA members, and $150 for nonmembers. Save an additional $50 per night by booking your hotel reservations under NCRA’s discount rate by July 12.

The 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo will offer attendees four days of top-notch educational sessions, specialized workshops, valuable networking opportunities, and the chance to celebrate the court reporting and captioning profession and its many heroes.

Professional speaker and humorist John Wagner will address the topic of “Pride in the Profession” when he takes the stage as the keynote presenter during the event’s Premier Session. Wagner, who has helped thousands across the country laugh and learn through the use of humor, has presented more than 500 professional programs to clients that have included the American School Counselor Association, BFGoodrich, Blue Cross Blue Shield, General Electric Co., Honda Motor Co., IBM, the IRS, Toyota, and others.

In addition to the keynote presentation, the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo also features an array of sessions geared to this year’s theme of members being the architects of their future. There will be special sessions and presentations specifically for students and educators and, as always, a vendor-packed Expo Hall and numerous networking opportunities. Convention is also a great place to earn a new credential through the Certified Realtime Captioner Workshop, the Certified Legal Video Specialist Seminar, the Certified Realtime Reporter Boot Camp, the Certified Reporting Instructor Orientation, and the Realtime Administrator Systems Workshop.

Among the many networking sessions on the schedule for this year’s Convention & Expo are the “Only New Once” and the Opening Receptions on Aug. 4, the CART and Captioning and Legal Videographer Receptions on Aug. 5, and scheduled coffee breaks with vendors throughout the convention. Other events include the Awards Luncheon on Aug. 6 followed by The Places You’ll Go Gala that evening.

Concurrent sessions on the schedule will also offer sessions that explore the latest trends and issues following realtime, judicial, business, and vendor tracks. Attendees taking part in the realtime track, for example, will learn about the latest in new and upcoming captioning legislation and regulations, ethics, online testing, how to create a successful future, and more.

Plan to come early and cheer on colleagues registered to compete in NCRA’s National Speed and Realtime contests on Aug. 3 and 4, respectively. Make plans to stay late as well and help mark National Purple Heart Day on Aug. 7, by volunteering to participate in a special Veterans History Project being hosted by the National Court Reporters Foundation in conjunction with local chapters of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

For more information, to see the schedule at a glance, or to register for the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo, visit For more information about the National Purple Heart event, contact NCRF Manager April Weiner at

Stay up to date with every piece of convention news.

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 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.

MacCormac College to host “A Toast to Court Reporting”

Students practicing steno

Photo by Crystal Wiley-Brown Photography

Senior leadership, students, and faculty from the court reporting program at MacCormac College, Chicago, Ill., are hosting an open reunion/reception for alumni and professionals attending the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo, taking place Aug. 4-7 at the Hilton Chicago.

This evening of celebration and appreciation will take place Fri., Aug. 5 from 6-8 p.m. at the college’s campus located in the heart of historic downtown Chicago at 29 E. Madison St. – minutes from the convention site. Students from the college’s court reporting program will be on hand to help lead walking tour groups to the school from the Hilton Chicago for the reception.

MacCormac College is the premier two-year, private, non-profit institution in the State of Illinois, approved by the National Court Reporters Association and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Founded in 1904, MacCormac is home to the oldest court reporting school in the nation.

In addition to its associate degree program in court reporting, MacCormac College also offers continuing education programs, such as CART and captioning. The continuing education programs were specifically designed for working reporters who are interested in boosting earning potential, bolstering credentials, and growing their career. The entire program taught by accomplished, widely recognized faculty contains three modules, each held on Saturdays to accommodate a full-time work schedule.

To RSVP and for more information about “A Toast to Court Reporting” reception, contact Jenny Dick at, or visit the MacCormac College booth in the convention Expo Hall.

For more information or questions about MacCormac’s continuing education program, contact Peg Dorchack at