NCRA member wins Cabo trip for supporting the National Court Reporters Foundation

Kim Neeson, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, a reporter and firm owner from Toronto, Canada, won the drawing for a stay at the Villa Del Palmar in Cabo San Lucas for pledging her support of the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) as an Angel. 2018 Angels who pledged before Aug. 30 were eligible for the drawing for the trip, which was generously donated by Denise Paternoster, RPR, an official from Staten Island, N.Y., in loving memory of her husband, Frank Paternoster.

Frank “was my biggest fan as far as my career and attended the Annual Convention with me from 1981 till his death in 2014,” said Paternoster.

The fundraiser debuted before the 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo, and the winner was announced on Facebook Live on NCRA’s Facebook page at 3 p.m. ET on Aug. 31. This is the fourth year that Neeson has pledged as an NCRF Angel.

“While there are many ways we can support our profession and, by extension, our association, becoming an Angel is an important way to provide the tangible funds to support NCRF’s many court reporting and captioning initiatives, including student support, championing technology, and creating programs, like recording the Veteran and Holocaust Survivor stories for preservation,” said Neeson. “I’m so proud to be part of an organization that supports our future but preserves our past. To win the trip to Cabo was simply the icing on the cake!”

Angels donate a minimum of $1,000 within a year to support NCRF’s initiatives, including the Corrinne Clark Professionalism Institute, the Legal Education Program, the Oral Histories Program, and scholarships and awards. Angels receive special recognition for their support on NCRF’s website, at the NCRA Convention & Expo and the NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference, and in an annual ad in the NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting.

If you would like to become a 2018 Angel, please contact April Weiner, NCRF Foundation Manager, or call 800-272-NCRA (6272).

Enter to win a custom-made Luminex from Stenograph

Luminex

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 aweiner@ncra.org.

NCRF announces second Major Gifts donation

The National Court Reporters Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Court Reporters Association, announced that Debra K. and Jeffrey M. Cheyne have become donors of its Major Gifts program at the Silver contribution level.

“The National Court Reporters Foundation promotes so many beneficial services for NCRA’s members and students of our profession that it is an honor to donate to NCRF’s Major Gifts program. Giving back to the profession that has enriched my life feels wonderful. Our profession faces challenges in this time of change, and to me it is a blessing to contribute to the Foundation’s philanthropic programs,” said Debi, who is a CART captioner in Sherwood, Ore.

Major Gifts donors make contributions of $5,000 or more in a calendar year. There are three contribution levels: a Silver contribution, which reflects donations of $5,000 to $24,999; a Gold contribution, which reflects donations of $25,000 to $49,999; and a Platinum contribution, which reflects donations of $50,000 and higher. Donations through the Major Gifts program support all of NCRF’s programs.

“NCRF’s work provides benefits to our members, much-needed support and opportunities for court reporting students, valuable oral histories for our nation’s veterans and Holocaust survivors, support for the global community of record keepers, and more. The Foundation’s programs promote goodwill and great public relations to those we serve,” said Debi.

In addition to supporting the Major Gifts program, Debi and Jeff have donated to NCRF as part of the Angels program. Debi is an 11-year Angel and Jeff is a six-year Angel as of 2016.

“It is important for me to give back to my profession because I believe in our astounding skills and want to do what I am able to ensure that the next generation of realtime court reporters and captioners continues to be the best writers and scribners of history in the making, as we have been throughout all recorded time,” said Debi. “As an attorney, Jeff knows the value of court reporting services and is proud to join me in supporting NCRF through this donation.”

NCRF launched the Major Gifts program at the 2015 NCRA Convention & Expo in New York City, where Veritext made a Platinum donation as a founding Major Gifts donor. Veritext specializes in deposition and litigation support solutions. For information on how to become a Major Gifts donor, email NCRF Deputy Executive Director B.J. Shorak at bjshorak@ncra.org.

2015 NCRF Angels recognized at special luncheon

Angels Luncheon 2015_1A special luncheon held during the 2015 NCRA Convention & Expo in New York earlier this month recognized 130 NCRF Angels for their contributions of $1,000 or more to the fundraising program. Twenty-eight Angels who have donated for ten years were also acknowledged.

The tax-deductible contributions to the program are used to help NCRF support the court reporting and captioning professions through philanthropic activities, including student scholarships, championing court reporter technologies, and encouraging the historic preservation of important stories through the Library of Congress Veterans History Program and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“The Angels Drive program is vital to the future of our profession. The scholarships we provide students, for some, help ensure they can complete their training,” said Tammey Pastor, RPR, a freelance reporter from New York, N.Y., who is an NCRF Trustee and chairs its Angels Committee.

Angels Luncheon 2015_2“As a Foundation, we support NCRA in its endeavors to attract young talent, our next generation of reporters. The profession has been so good to me, it’s a personal joy to give back and feel that I’m making a difference,” she added.

In addition to a special luncheon at the NCRA Convention & Expo, contributors to NCRF’s Angels Drive program are also listed on the Foundation’s website and receive a special NCRF Angel badge ribbon and pin. Qualified donors receive special five- and 10-year anniversary gifts. All donors are also listed on a flyer that is included in registration packets at the NCRA Convention & Expo and are listed on a poster displayed at the NCRF booth during NCRA events. Other benefits include acknowledgement on a plaque at NCRA headquarters, as well as on a commemorative advertisement thanking them for their support in the JCR.

For information about how to support the work of NCRF, contact B.J. Shorak, NCRF Deputy Executive Director, at 800-272-6272, ext. 126, or bjshorak@ncra.org.

Don’t miss what NCRF has to offer at the 2015 NCRA Convention & Expo

While in New York City attending the 2015 NCRA Convention & Expo, be sure to stop by the National Court Reporters Foundation booth and learn how you can help the association’s philanthropic arm do more through the many programs, scholarships, and grants it offers. The NCRA Convention & Expo is being held July 20-Aug. 2 at the New York Hilton Midtown. The NCRF booth will be located on the 2nd floor.

NCRF quilt 2015NCRF will be holding two fundraising raffles at this year’s convention. For the second year in a row, NCRA member Jane LaPorte of Columbia, S.C., has donated a one-of-a-kind, handmade, origami quilt. The “Past Presidents” quilt is composed of more than 100 different fabrics through a combination of machine and meticulous hand-stitching. The pattern features an array of whimsical characters including women with bikini tops and men with bowties. The quilt would make for a beautiful display or framed as an art piece, or can be used as it is washable and dryable in cold water. Raffle tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25 and will be available for purchase at the NCRF booth or from an NCRF representative.

Also being raffled to benefit NCRF is a Diamante steno machine, which is valued at more than $5,000 and has been generously donated by Stenograph. The machine will be on display at the NCRF booth. Raffle tickets are $50 each or 3 for $125 and can be purchased at the booth or from an NCRF representative. The drawing will be held on Sat., Aug. 1 and the winner, who will have his/her choice of colors, need not be present to win. Stenograph has been a faithful supporter of NCRF since it was formed in 1980.

Visitors to the NCRF booth can also join the many NCRF members who have already committed to donate $1,000 to support the Foundation’s Angel Drive. The gift provides a great tax write-off, and those who donate during the Convention will be invited to attend the exclusive Angels Luncheon on Fri., July 31. Attendees can also learn more about how to join the many current NCRA members who are part of NCRF’s esteemed Legacy Society by designating NCRF as a beneficiary either through a will, an insurance policy, or stock donations.

Other treasures that await at the NCRF Booth include the 2015 New York City Convention Commemorative Pin that will be offered for $5 each, an array of past convention pins available for $1 each, and the popular 2014 San Francisco Convention & Expo pins, available for $5 each. Visitors to the booth can also become part of NCRA history by signing the “Official Convention Register,” a time capsule of sorts, documenting convention attendees since the early 1900s and housed in NCRF’s Robert H. Clark Library at NCRA headquarters in Vienna, Va.

Finally, NCRF is very proud to host its first Corrinne Clark Professionalism Institute educational event in New York by partnering with Macy’s. While designed with students and new professionals in mind, even seasoned professionals will undoubtedly enjoy this session led by NCRF Chair, Jan Ballman, RPR, CMRS, Minneapolis, Minn., and representatives from Macy’s. The session will feature models to demonstrate how to create a powerful business brand using the latest fashion trends. Attendees can earn CEUs and enter to win a Macy’s gift card and a free Macy’s By Appointment consultation.

If you are interested in taking a chance on the quilt or the Diamante machine, becoming an Angel Donor, or joining the Legacy Society, be sure to stop by the NCRF Booth in New York, or contact B.J. Shorak, NCRF Deputy Executive Director, at 800-272-6272, ext. 126, or bjshorak@ncra.org.

Student scholarships help kick-start careers

National Court Reporters FoundationDonations to the NCRF Angels Drive and other fundraising efforts support a variety of activities funded by the Foundation, including the $2,000 Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship, which has benefited court reporting students for nearly two decades.

“This scholarship helped get the ball rolling for my career. I used it to assist with the purchase of my professional steno machine and software,” said Justine Kiechel, from West Chester, Pa., a graduate of the College of Court Reporting in Hobart, Ind., and recipient of the 2014 scholarship.

“Getting started can be expensive. The scholarship definitely made it a little less challenging in that area. It was also an honor to list it on my resume,” added Kiechel, who now works as a freelance reporter in Delaware.

In a letter of thanks to NCRF, 2012 scholarship recipient Cynthia Garcia of Moreno Valley, Calif., a graduate of Sage College Court Reporting School in Southern California, stated that she also used the funds to help purchase a professional steno machine and software. In addition, she noted that being named a recipient helped motivate her to practice more while also building her dictionary.

“One day I hope to be in a position to help students achieve their goals just as [NCRF] has helped me,” Garcia wrote.

“This ever-important scholarship is made possible by the generous donations we receive each year from our members. The donations we receive are a clear reflection of how committed our members are to their profession,” said B.J. Shorak, the Foundation’s Deputy Executive Director.

Recipients for the scholarship are chosen based on a number of criteria, including enrollment in an NCRA-certified court reporting program, passing at least one of the court reporting program’s Q&A tests at a minimum of 200 words per minute, having a grade point average of 3.5 or above, demonstrating the need for financial assistance, and possessing the qualities exemplified by a professional court reporter, including attitude, demeanor, dress, and motivation.

NCRF’s Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship honors the late Frank Sarli, a court reporter who was committed to supporting students at the highest level of their learning curve. Sarli, who was studying to become a professional pianist, turned to a court reporting career when he could no longer afford the tuition to music school. During his career, he opened Accurate Court Reporters in Orlando, Fla., Orange County’s first independent court reporting firm, and was a founding member of the Florida Shorthand Reporters Association. Sarli also served in numerous roles at the national level, including as a director for NCRA. He was also the first Floridian to earn NCRA’s esteemed Distinguished Service Award.

“There’s really no reason a student shouldn’t apply for this scholarship. It’s a simple application process, and it can contribute to your future in the court reporting profession,” said Kiechel.

Later this winter, NCRF will open the application process for students to apply for the Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship, and the winner will be recognized at the 2015 NCRA Convention & Expo., being held in New York City, July 30 – Aug. 2. Learn more about how you can help support the Foundation’s work including the Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship.

Become a 2015 NCRF Angel Donor and help make a difference

National Court Reporters FoundationJoin the ranks of more than 100 of your fellow court reporting peers who have signed up to support the NCRF’s 2015 Angels Donor program and give back to the profession. Tax-deductible contributions to the program are used to help the National Court Reporters Foundation support the court reporting and captioning professions through philanthropic activities including student scholarships, championing court reporter technologies, and encouraging the historic preservation of important American stories through the Library of Congress and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“It is important that we always give back to the profession that has given us so much,” says Bill Weber, RDR, CRR, a past president of NCRA. “This is one small way members who may not be as active as others can participate to help ensure that court reporters will fill their vital role well into the future,” adds Weber, a deposition/freelance reporter from Bethel Park, Pa.

NCRA Board of Directors member Jo Anne Horn Leger, RPR, CRR, an official court reporter from Cleveland, Texas, says she would encourage others to become Angel Donors, especially to help support court reporting students.

“I would ask anyone considering donating if they like court reporting students and like to watch them succeed. Knowing that whatever contribution I make – no matter the size – is going to give benefit to a program I support is heartfelt. This is my career, my livelihood, and I want to give back to my profession” she said.

NCRF Angel Donors receive an array of recognition, including being listed on the Foundation’s website. In addition, donors are recognized during NCRA live events, including the annual Convention & Expo and the Firm Owners Executive Conference. Other recognition includes being listed on a flyer that is placed in registration packets handed out at NCRA’s major meetings, a poster-size signage at the NCRF booth at the Convention & Expo and Firm Owners Executive Conference, and an exclusive NCRF Angel lapel pin. Current-year donors are also recognized at a special Angels-only luncheon held at the NCRA Convention & Expo. The names of donors are included on a plaque displayed at NCRA headquarters and in an annual ad in the JCR that thanks them for their support.

Participating in the Angels Donor program is easy. The minimum donation amount starts at $1,000 and payments to the program can be made on a monthly basis, making participation even easier.

“I realize that monetary contributions are difficult at times, but when I went to the NCRF booth at convention last year and they told me how easy it was to become a donor and that I could do a payment plan … wow, that was like showing me to the discount shoe rack,” says Horn Leger.

“I am proud to make my donation every year, and I feel I am both paying back and paying forward at the same time,” says Ellie Corbett Hannum, RPR, CMRS, a freelance court reporter from Wilmington, Del., and 2013 NCRA DSA recipient.

“The greatest benefit I have found is that the more I give in life, the more that comes my way. When you give something, you open your hands and offer it; in so doing, your hands are opened in a position to receive. A closed fist can’t receive,” Hannum says. “I don’t give because I am looking for the reward, but it just happens that way. I very much enjoy the interaction with my fellow Angels – a wonderful group of people.”

For more information about how to become an NCRF Angel Donor and give back to the court reporting and captioning professions, visit NCRA.org/NCRF.

 

Record number of Angels sign up at Convention

Each year at the NCRA convention, NCRF promotes the current-year Angels and asks donors to sign up for the next year so that donors can have more than a full year of promotion and thanks. When NCRF started doing this several years ago, about 10 Angels signed up for the next year. Last year, NCRF had a record of 41 sign-ups, but at this year’s Convention  in San Francisco, the record was shattered with 61 Angels making the commitment to support the Foundation. NCRF is working on exciting new programs for NCRA members, so this support is very exciting—and vital.

Read more to see a list of these donors and to learn more about the Angels program and its benefits.

NCRF recognizes support for programs, grants, and scholarships

The National Court Reporters Foundation recognized the four students who had received scholarships and grants through its programs during the Saturday Awards Luncheon at the 2014 NCRA Convention & Expo. The Foundation raises money to support the court reporting and captioning professions, and one of its programs seeks to recognize the burgeoning potential of students and new professionals.

In 2014, NCRF offered Student Intern Scholarships worth $1,000 each to two students: Kelly Greer of the Community College of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, Penn., and Rebecca Russo of Gadsden State Community College, Gadsden, Ala. Jessica D’Agostino of Lake Worth, Fla., was awarded NCRF’s 2014 Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship, and Shannon Bevin, a court reporter from Whitestone, N.Y., is the 2014 recipient of NCRF’s New Professional Reporter Grant; they each received $2,000.

The NCRF chair, Merilyn Sanchez, RMR, CRR, recognized the many donors who raised funds  for scholarships to three students and a grant to a new working court reporter in a speech at the Awards Luncheon. NCRF raises money through many activities, such as the Vacation Property Silent Auction at this year’s NCRA convention, and the Angels Program. The 2014 Angels were invited to a special lunch on Friday. Fifty-nine Angel signed up to support NCRF in 2015, which is the most sign-ups at a Convention.

NCRF: Trustees provide vision and direction

National Court Reporters FoundationThe National Court Reporters Foundation promotes and supports the interests of the court reporting pro­fession. NCRF accomplishes its mission through the philanthropic programs it administers for the benefit of students, “new” court reporters, and all members of the National Court Reporters Association, as well as by providing the Legal Ed seminars that many NCRA members have presented to lawyers and law students, by preserving the oral histories of America’s veterans, and by supporting the international community of record keepers.

These are ambitious and worthy goals. NCRF does all this through the generosity and service of NCRA members, the NCRF Angel donors, its phone-a-thon and auction programs, the work done by the NCRF Board of Trustees, and the support of the professional staff of NCRF: Oral Histo­ries Program Coordinator Beth Kilker, NCRF Deputy Executive Director B.J. Shorak, and NCRA Executive Director Jim Cudahy.

Nominations are now open to serve as a Trustee on the Foundation board, a three-year position elected by NCRA’s Board of Directors. Now is the time to step forward for the betterment of your profession. Nomina­tions will be accepted through January 17, 2014. (See the ad on page 34 for more information.)

The word philanthropy means loving humankind; being a humani­tarian; and doing good deeds. All of us want to leave the world a better place. Here’s your opportunity to contribute for the good of our profes­sion.

Attaining proficiency as a court reporter requires great focus, flex­ibility, dedication, concentration, and persistence, and these are the same characteristics of a natural leader. What we do as court reporters, realtime writers, and captioners is truly an amazing skill set. You already possess most of the necessary qualifications trustees are asked to provide: solid thinking, diverse perspective, vision, commitment, and maybe even fund­raising.

I am an eight-year NCRF Angel, a long-time Angel Committee mem­ber, and one of the newest members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. I’ve found that “giving” makes my heart soar! There’s just no limit to the good feeling of simply doing good deeds. When I was approached to be an Angel, then to be an Angel Committee member, and then to be a Founda­tion Trustee, part of me wondered, “What can I contribute? How will I find the time? Who, little ol’ me?”

I remember how I felt before passing that last 225 test required to be­come a graduate of the College of Legal Arts in Portland, Ore. How daunt­ing and seemingly insurmountable that last barrier appeared to me. But then I stretched and bounded over that last mountain.

Please consider the challenges you’ve triumphed over and the op­portunities you’ve received in your career as you contemplate becoming involved in the philanthropic programs of NCRF. The Foundation needs leaders who will provide vision and direction. How about you?

 

Debra (Debi) K. Cheyne, M.A.
NCRF Trustee
Angels Committee Member