Individual member of the year
Doreen Sutton, RPR
Leadership, team-building, mentoring
Promoting the profession
In February 2016, Doreen Sutton, a freelancer and firm owner in Arizona, reached out to her local community by planning and conducting the NCRA’s A to Z program, at the time available through a colleague Nancy Varallo, RDR, CRR, of Worcester, Mass. Sutton offered this introductory program free of charge for people who were interested in exploring court reporting as a profession. (The A to Z program is a series of lessons by which people can learn the letters of the alphabet on a shorthand keyboard and thereby determine further interest as well as basic aptitude with the steno machine. The A to Z is now part of NCRA’s DiscoverSteno series.) Sutton conducted the program herself over eight weeks and inspired several other reporters throughout the country to offer the program.
“Half of those who enrolled in her program have gone on to enroll in court reporting school, and she has a wait list for her next program,” wrote Varallo in her nomination, noting that Sutton’s assistance built national recognition for the budding program. She also quoted Sutton on the importance of building the next generation of court reporters: “Getting young professionals into this profession is job number one. I have taught, I have mentored, it is part of what I do every day. To be deeply involved in our future generation of reporters, providing guidance and encouragement, and to see their progress and become professionals is the best legacy I can leave.”
In addition, Sutton has run an RPR Boot Camp in Arizona. The RPR Boot Camp helps court reporting students who are nearing graduation and recent graduates prepare for exams. Her encouragement and support has helped many people take those first steps into a fulfilling career.
“She has mentored numerous students since 2010 by providing them with hands-on guidance to help bridge the gap from graduation to obtaining their RPR,” wrote Jen Schuck, RDR, CRR, CRC, Scottsdale, Ariz., one of the many who nominated Sutton for recognition. Sutton has also been deeply involved with her state association. She has spearheaded activities on behalf of the Arizona Court Reporters Association that have included hosting a booth at the guidance counselors’ convention, where she provided promotional materials on court reporting as a profession for high school students.