The National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) presented the 2021 Santo J. Aurelio Award to Laurel Eiler, FAPR, RDR, a court reporter from Brentwood, Tenn. The announcement was made at a special awards luncheon held at NCRA’s Conference & Expo held July 29-Aug. 1 in Las Vegas, Nev.
The Aurelio Award is given to a court reporter with more than 25 years of experience who has given back to the profession and to the court reporting community with no expectation of any reward.
Eiler holds the nationally recognized professional certification of Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR). She is also a Fellow of the Professional Academy of Reporters (FAPR). She began her career in court reporting in 1987, after graduating from the Sarasota County Technical Institute in Sarasota, Fla. In 1991, she was a founding partner of Accurate Court Reporting in Nashville, Tenn., where she continues to work as a freelance court reporter.
At the national level, Eiler has been a member of NCRA since 1996 and has served in numerous leadership positions including as a three-term Director and as 2002-2003 President. She also served as a member of NCRA’s Ethics First Task Force and was actively involved in a number of national legislative initiatives, including the Training for Realtime Writers Act, which responded to the unfunded mandate created by the 1996 Telecommunications Act requiring live captioning of all television programming by the year 2006. The initiative has resulted in successfully securing millions of dollars in funding for the training of realtime reporters. She also has presented nationally and at the state level on a variety of topics and has led legislative workshops.
Eiler has been a member of the Tennessee Court Reporters Association (TNCRA) since 1994, serving as vice president in 1994-1995 and president from 1995-1996. She has also served on and chaired the Association’s Legislative Committee. In 2000, Eiler served as the legislative grassroots coordinator for a successful initiative that passed important conflict-of-interest legislation on the consent agenda of the state House and Senate. In 2008 and 2009, she served as co-chair of the Legislative Committee that worked through two sessions and successfully passed the Court Reporters Licensure Act into law, creating a professional board of responsibility for court reporters. She also served on the Licensing Board Advisory Committee that set up implementation of the board. In 2009 and 2010, Eiler successfully brought another initiative to reinforce the conflict-of-interest language in the law in the face of efforts by insurance lobbying groups that resulted in its removal.
Eiler is credited for playing a key role in revitalizing TNCRA. In addition to writing the Association’s monthly newsletter, she also reinstated and co-chaired TNCRA’s Annual Convention Committee and worked with nationally recognized speakers, aided in rebuilding membership, led the restructuring of the board of directors, and spearheaded the updating of its bylaws and constitution.
Active in the community, Eiler is a past member and chair of the St. Josephs Peninsula Beach Advisory Committee in Gulf County, Fla., and an original member of the organization’s political action committee. She also served as a member of its Public Relations and Marketing Subcommittee and worked closely on the development of the SaveTheCape.com website. Other involvement included writing community outreach newsletters, daily blogs tracking beach restoration projects, and developing strategies to bring together the community and obtain support from elected officials and county residents.