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Volunteers matter

“Volunteers are what make organizations like NCRA function. Without them, the Association would be a shell of itself. They get things done without compensation and often without thanks but do it for the greater good,” says Anthony D. Frisolone, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRI, an official court reporter for the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York. Frisolone chairs the Creative Content Task Force and the Public Relations/Outreach Task Force.

NCRA relies on many volunteers to reach its goals — from creating questions and legs for tests to creating professional development content for webinars and national events like the NCRA Conference & Expo, from promoting the profession to people who are unaware of its many advantages to the creation of materials that you can use to remind your clients of the reasons a stenographic court reporter or captioner is the best choice in court, the deposition room, or for live broadcast. Without their time, knowledge, and dedication, many projects or programs would not come to fruition. If you have taken advantage of any services or products of the Association, know that you’re benefiting from the work of other members who have decided to step up to make these programs and projects for you.

Judy Lehman, FAPR, RMR, CRI, a reporter based in Shelbyville, Ill., and chair of the Contests Committee, says the committee benefits from both the veteran reporters who bring their “incredible experience and credentials” as well as several reporters new to the committee who “offer a fresh perspective and energize our efforts.”

“ConCom creates and administers the annual Speed and Realtime Contests plus from time to time a Guinness challenge — the extreme sports of the court reporting world. It is no mean feat to strike a balance between appropriately challenging content and ‘gettable’ contest take,” explains Lehman. “Among our dedicated members are champion writers, certified reporting instructors, seasoned test writers and dictators, and the most hard-working graders you can imagine. Balance those qualities with that fresh perspective and energy I mentioned, and you really do have a winning combination. Thank you, ladies, one and all! Guys, you are welcome, too. All you need to do is sign up!”

Sometimes the experience is practical. For example, the Contests Committee combs through a number of proposed literary, legal opinion, and two-voice dictation files, trying to find the best takes for each section of the contest, writing up the legs to figure out if there are places where the words might create boundary issues that could be smoothed out and determining which words might be given as part of a list just prior to the reading.

The Technology Committee too brings their real-world experience to their choices for suggested education and article topics, which can range from a deeper dive into the tech needed for remote work to reminders about ways to keep your files secure.

In other committees the experience of the committee members may not be related to their jobs, but to more personal achievements. For instance, the Creative Content Task Force and Brand Ambassadors Council are loaded with many members who have taken the time to develop an online presence and who bring their experience and the weight of their personal following to help disseminate information about the professions. As Frisolone, who chairs the Creative Content Task Force, notes: “The two task forces that I cochair and chair are assembled of some of the most talented, wise, experienced people I have ever met. Our monthly meetings are lively and generate great ideas that are taking form, and I am excited to see what comes from them.”

Wondering how you can show your appreciation to the many volunteers who keep NCRA projects and programs running? While committee members are always grateful for the kudos, we can always use more hands — after all, the proverb “Many hands make light the work” hasn’t lasted this long for no reason. Why not step up and volunteer!

To be a part of an NCRA committee, all you need to do is let us know. Committees begin their work immediately following the NCRA Conference & Expo. Committee appointments are generally made before the annual Conference. You can volunteer at any time, as we may have openings throughout the year. If we don’t have an opening, we will keep your name on file for the following year. This is a great way to be a part of something that matters to you. Find out more information about NCRA committees and how to volunteer at — and while you’re there, you can look up the members of your favorite committee and email them a personal thank-you.