The Creative Content Task Force (CCTF) was created in 2021 to assist with identifying and providing content that can be shared internally and externally to help promote the stenographic court reporting and captioning professions. Among the group’s charges is the promotion of NCRA committees and the work their members are doing to help move the professions into the future. To meet this charge, CCTF Chair Anthony D. Frisolone, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRI, reached out to committee chairs with several questions to learn more. These profiles will appear periodically in the JCR Weekly.
Focus on: NCRA Education Content Committee
Chair: Sheri Smargon, RDR, CRR, CRC, CART captioner and freelancer from Riverdale, Fla.
Vice Chair: Doug Zweizig, RDR, CRR, official reporter from Wilmington, Del.
Committee Description: The Education Content Committee identifies, develops, and organizes live and distance learning educational opportunities for NCRA members.
CCTF | Briefly, what are some of the main initiatives this committee is especially focused on this year?
SS | Every year, this committee is charged with brainstorming ideas on the seminars and topics we think the membership wants to learn about. All the committee members are charged with thinking about what’s happening within the profession and how best to promote the profession with professional development.
CCTF | What drives the committee members to feel so passionate about the work this group is doing?
SS | We are all learners in some capacity, whether that is the different terminology we hear every day or if it’s how to become more productive or learning how to place self-care at the top of our daily agenda. The committee members have those goals in mind when thinking of ideas for seminars.
CCTF | What impact do the committee members hope their work meeting the charges of this group will have on the profession on NCRA members?
SS | We hope that the seminars we propose for presentation will enrich your working life, your professional or personal life, or just bring some stress relief to your day and leave you with a smile on your face. The committee members work diligently to ensure that all the seminars we propose have a value and a purpose that will enrich every member’s life in some way.
CCTF | As chair and vice-chair of the Education Content Committee, what is the one message you would like to share with NCRA members about getting involved in committee work?
SS | This committee is very vibrant. The personalities and the experiences of my fellow committee members are invaluable tools that we build upon when we are trying to come up with seminar suggestions. And even once we come up with the suggestion, we then have to figure out how to bring that seminar to life. We may propose a seminar topic but have no idea how to bring it into reality. That’s where having a group of people with diverse backgrounds and interests is invaluable.
CCTF | Please feel free to include any additional comments you think will add to this profile.
SS | Before I became heavily involved in committee work at the national level, I would go to conferences and think the seminars just “magically appeared.” I had no idea how the seminars, topics, and presenters actually got to the point where they were in front of us, sharing their wisdom. It would be a great benefit to any committee, especially ours, to know what the members wanted to see, what skills they wish they had or what they want to improve upon. Looking at the agenda and saying, “There’s nothing here that interests me,” doesn’t help NCRA form a symbiotic relationship built on professional development. We need the membership to tell us what they want to see presented and by the same token, tell us what they’re tired of seeing. And if you really want to help, join a committee. Join our committee! We’d love to have you!
Interested in joining an NCRA committee? Find out more information about NCRA committees and how to volunteer at NCRA.org/volunteer.
Anthony D. Frisolone, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRI, is an official court reporter for the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York. He can be reached at Anthony.firstname.lastname@example.org.