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President’s message: Rolling down the river … Destination: NCRA



In my March President’s column, I spoke about change and its inevitability, and how arising out of that change, there is opportunity and growth.

I received an email from a former colleague indicating “… there’s a lot going on, so I’m sure you’ve been crazy busy!” And while I say that crazy busy is an understatement — insanely busy may sum it up better — it has been an honor to be at the forefront of the growth over this year within NCRA and our profession, and to see the reward that hard work, determination, and dedication brings forth.

At this time, we welcome our new Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Michael (Mike) Nelson to the NCRA family. You probably read a bit about his background in the news release, and his first column as CEO/Executive Director is in this issue of the JCR. He is a talented executive with a strong background in association management, financial stewardship, and strategic thinking. We are lucky to have him to take the reins at NCRA, and I know I speak for the entire Board when I share that we are excited about what the future holds under his leadership.

To the Search Committee members, my wonderful Board of Directors, to our esteemed legal counsel, and our unbelievable Interim CEO/ED, Wendel Stewart, and the rest of the NCRA staff:  Thank you for a job well done and for the tremendous effort you put forth to make Mike’s arrival a reality. I know NCRA, our membership, and our profession are in good hands, and we should be proud!

Along with welcoming Mike onboard as our new executive leader, I want to announce another celebration underway. In early 2014, the Board approved placing our NCRA Vienna, Va., headquarters building on the market for sale. The time was right. Experts advised that with the expansion of public transportation in that area, it would be wise to consider selling the investment that we made in the headquarters building in the early 1990s. Indeed, it was. With five solid offers, negotiations continued well into the fourth quarter of 2014, and the sale was finalized late in the year.

With the sale behind us, we evaluated the future needs of NCRA and began searching for a headquarters that would speak to our forward-looking, contemporary association and its staff. We wanted something impressive, a headquarters location that would make a statement. Let me tell you what, the process has been insanely busy, but the end result, without a doubt, is going to be stunning.

The new NCRA headquarters will be located in a contemporary area of Reston, Va., just down the road a bit from our Vienna location and not too far from Dulles International Airport. The architects have dreamed up an office that captures the essence of stenographic court reporting, and our long, proud history will be on display for all those who visit.

Speaking of visiting, it is my privilege to extend to each of you an invitation to the “grand opening” at our new location and building, 12030 Sunrise Valley in Reston, Va.  With construction already underway and a late-summer move-in date expected, the NCRA Board of Directors and our dedicated staff and leadership will host a grand opening in conjunction with our November 2015 Board Meeting, which is scheduled for the second weekend in November. The exact date and time will be conveyed in the near future, but please save the date now and plan to attend.

In addition to being a showpiece for the profession in general, our new NCRA headquarters will allow us to conduct a wide range of meetings and events in our own space. It will be a headquarters we can all be proud of and we’re looking forward to conducting the business of committees, the Board of Directors, and other strategic alliances in a place we plan to call home for many years.

Excitement. Energy. Focus. Those are just three words that sum up my feelings about Mike joining our family, about the move to a new location, and about where our association and profession stand today. Has it been insanely busy? Yes. Would I change it for the world? Heck, no. I know for certain that we are moving down the road by uniting together and embracing the opportunities as they come our way. Actually, we have done better than that. We are creating the opportunities, and we are the driving force behind our futures, the future of NCRA, and the court reporting, captioning, and legal videography professions.

Sarah E. Nageotte, RDR, CRR, CBC, is NCRA’s president.