In memoriam: William Greenley

William S. Greenley, 70, passed away on Oct. 30 as a result of a heart attack.

A memorial was held on Nov. 8 in Petaluma, Calif. In attendance were his family — his wife, son, daughter, and two granddaughters — and his many friends and colleagues.

Bill Greenley was a well-respected visionary and leader in the court reporting profession. An icon. Bill was a principal in one of the largest deposition/court reporting firms in San Francisco, Combs & Greenley, Inc., from 1980–1997; was affiliated with Merrill Legal Solutions from 1997–2008; and he was the principal at William Greenley Consulting from 2008–2015.

As a pioneer in court reporter technology, Bill was instrumental in the development and the implementation of a broad spectrum of technological services to his many clients, colleagues, and other firm owners. Examples of such technological pursuits include developing RB Software, of one of the most premiere deposition office software programs, pioneering the implementation of realtime reporting and the training of court reporters in realtime writing and interactive realtime, and forming Video Solutions, one of the first-ever video deposition services.

Bill was on the ground floor in starting National Network Reporting Company as well as, in the mid-1990s along with his partner Ken Combs, forming an alliance of independent California firms, AlterNet. The AlterNet group included Frank Nelson in Santa Barbara, Ray Eggebraaten in Fresno, Bob and Paula Killion in Los Angeles and Eureka, and Diane Saunar in San Diego.

In addition to running a successful business, Bill was very generous with his extra time and volunteered to serve the court reporting profession at both the national and state levels. Bill served on the board of the National Court Reporters Association, developed and chaired for many years the Technology Evaluation Committee, and was on the development committee of the Realtime Systems Administrator program and the Trial Presentation program. Much of Bill’s volunteer time included, both at the national and state conventions, the presentation of numerous seminars relating to court reporting technology. Bill often could be heard dictating the licensing exam for the California Court Reporters Board.

Bill has been honored and awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the California Court Reporters Association and is a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters.

Bill will be remembered for many things, especially his sincerity, integrity, passion, professionalism, nurturing, kindness, and, above all, his genuine love for court reporting. Bill will be missed by the thousands of court reporters he has inspired!

Sandy VanderPol, RMR, CRR

Lotus, Calif.

Bill Greenley — committed to quality, fair play, team work, and a loyal friend to many. Bill and I were both contemporaries and professional counterparts. We each built a freelance entity, Bill on the West Coast and me on the East. After many years of growth, Bill and Ken Combs sold their firm to a large corporate acquirer. At approximately the same time, my business partner and I sold our firm to another conglomerate. Bill and I would joke over our new vocabulary emanating from corporate America: rollup, due diligence, EBITDA, etc.

While 3,000 miles separated us geographically, our professional and personal values were closely mirrored. Being a good husband, father, grandfather, and friend were important name tags. Sitting next to Bill at an NCRA convention, while his jacket adorning his name tag was over his seat, I found a way to cover his name tag with “Great Friend” instead of his own name. Hours later, Bill called me and said, “I knew it was you.”

After our businesses were acquired, Bill and I would chat telephonically and at various business and association meetings during the year. We both became industry consultants for our respective acquiring companies, the definition of which is complicated. It was a convoluted idea, a dream shared by two boys, only to awaken to the fact we were no longer boys. We shared in the maturation process, aka getting older. In comparison, Bill was healthier, better to look at, and a more charming persona. I’m sad, real sad to say that Bill beat me to the finish line of life. It would have been real nice to have shared a business card, a shingle, and office with this great guy and unique individual. It would have been an elegant swan song — as gratifying as it is to know that Bill and I referred to each other as friends.

Heywood (Woody) Waga, RMR, CRR (Ret.)

Montclair, N.J.