NCRF is pleased to introduce the Angels community to Angel Gatherers Committee member Melanie L. Humphrey-Sonntag, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC. Melanie is a contracted freelance realtime reporter with Planet Depos in Chicago, Ill. We sat down with Melanie to learn a little more about her and her connection and commitment to the Foundation.
NCRF: So how long have you been engaged in and with the Foundation?
Sonntag: I’ve known of the Foundation nearly my entire career and always tried to carve out a small donation. I’ve worked on several phone-a-thons and was privileged to be part of the 1993 opening of the Robert H. Clark Library at NCRA’s headquarters. When I was on the NCRA Board of Directors, I worked closely with the Foundation and served as a trustee while I was NCRA vice president.
NCRF: Are there other Foundation programs you’ve volunteered for?
Sonntag: I’ve volunteered for various events and fundraisers for NCRF, worked briefly on the Major Gifts campaign in 2003 or 2004, and have been gathering Angels since the program’s inception.
NCRF: Have you held other roles at NCRA?
Sonntag: Yes, multiple NCRA roles. I’ve been a member since 1979, committee service since early 1990s, chief examiner for more than 10 years, I’ve attended multiple state leadership events, I was an NCRA director in 2005, vice president, president elect, president 2010-2011, and past president. I also became a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters in 2001.
NCRF: Why are you an Angel donor?
Sonntag: The Angels program is an exceptional way to be able to give back to my beloved profession and help populate the future reporting workforce. To quote Forrest Brown, “Court reporting has been very, very good to me. It provided a great living for my family. The least I can do is give a little back.” With the ability to pay an Angels pledge monthly, to have a feel-good tax deduction, to enjoy the recognition and warm fuzzies that Angels receive, and to know I’m helping preserve the evolution of our timeless profession is amazingly gratifying. I was blessed to discover and enjoy this career for my entire adult life–the least I can do is give a little back.
NCRF: Why is serving on the Angel Gatherers committee important to you?
Sonntag: By serving on the committee, I can help others find their philanthropic way to the Foundation and learn about its good works, including student scholarships and the Corinne Clark Professionalism Institute to help new reporters bridge the career gap. The Thoughtful Tributes program pays homage to the giants who have gone before us, and the Legal Education program continues to highlight and improve our efficacy with our clients. The Foundation really is the feel-good arm of NCRA, and I’m proud to support it with my perpetual Angels donation as well as being part of NCRF’s Legacy Society, making sure the Foundation’s good work will continue long after I’m gone.