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NCRA member’s decision to donate winnings to support A to Z was ‘no-brainer’

Debi Meredith, RPR, CRR

NCRA member Debi Meredith, RPR, CRR, a freelance court reporter from Missoula, Mont., recently donated her winnings from a 50/50 raffle held at the 2019 Montana Court Reporters Association annual convention. The winnings went to the NCRA A to Z® Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand program.

According to Meredith, the decision was easy.

“Well, it started off with my desire to donate anything I might win to our newest student, so I asked her which gift she would prefer. She said she really didn’t need anything, so I figured I’d just put all my raffle tickets into the 50/50 pot and donate it to the A to Z program,” Meredith said.

Information about Meredith’s generous donation of her $205 winnings was shared with the JCR Weekly by Cindy L. Isaacsen, RPR, an official court reporter from Shawnee, Kan., and a member of NCRA’s Board of Directors. Isaacsen was attending the state convention as a speaker and NCRA representative.

“For me, it was a no-brainer. It cost me next to nothing for the raffle tickets. I’m glad it was such a nice haul! It’s so important for all of us to keep this honorable profession alive,” added Meredith. Like I heard Cindy Isaacsen say several times, ‘It’s the best job you’ve never heard of.'”

Meredith, who has also worked as an official court reporter, said she has loved every minute of her 30-year career. During that time, she has also captioned for the University of Montana graduation ceremonies, for ADA seminars, and currently provides realtime on a regular basis for herself and attorneys. Nearing retirement, along with many of her colleagues in Montana, Meredith said she understands the importance of getting new students and reporters to fill the current void in the profession.

“My daughter is also a court reporter in Montana for 15 years now. It’s so nice to see the young reporters taking over the reins of the association. Anything we can do to further our court reporting and educate the general public about this great profession is of paramount importance,” she added.

As for learning about the court reporting profession herself, Meredith attributes that to her having worked with a woman in California who was going to court reporting school in Santa Rosa. “We started talking and it sounded like a great profession. Two years later, I was reporting. I’ve never regretted my decision.”