Margary Rogers, RPR, CRI, an official court reporter and CART provider from Washington, D.C., has been attending NCRA Conferences since the 1990s. We checked in with her on what she’s looking forward to this year, her memories from past Conferences, and some pro tips for making the most of the experience.
JCR | Is this your first NCRA Conference & Expo?
MR | No. I have been attending NCRA Conferences since the late 1990s when I was in court reporting school.
JCR | What are you most looking forward to?
MR | This year what I am most looking forward to is the first ever Transcribe-A-Thon, sponsored by NCRF. It’s going to be so exciting to be in person with colleagues as we transcribe historic records and letters from freed slaves as a part of the Freedmen’s Bureau Project from the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Most of these letters were written in cursive, and we will have the opportunity to serve by transcribing these records/letters and be a part of preserving history. This is a great opportunity to earn PDCs.
I love the camaraderie, the laughter, and having fun in the sun with people who love the court reporting profession as much as I do. I am also excited about meeting our future court reporters, the students. There are many great seminars that the Student/Teacher Committee has planned for the students. It’s going to be fun, enlightening, and magical.
JCR | Do you have plans to meet up with friends or colleagues?
MR | Of course. I plan to meet up with friends I practice with in the various practice groups I am in and others I have befriended from previous NCRA Conferences. I have plans to meet up with many members of the “Steno Fitness Challenge ‘til Orlando 2022! Exercise for 15 minutes a day” Facebook group. I am also looking forward to meeting and seeing friends and colleagues that I only know via social media. As Chair of the NCRA Membership Committee, I hope to meet as many NCRA members as I can, especially any new 2021-2022 NCRA members.
JCR | Have you been to Orlando before?
MR | I have been to Orlando many times with family and friends. I have a daughter who loves Florida and Disney. I recommend visiting Disney Springs and taking the water taxi over to some of the great restaurants there.
JCR | Any advice for a first-time student attendee?
MR | Stay at the host hotel. Have fun! Download the NCRA app to connect with students, reporters, and to navigate the Conference. As you soak up the sun, soak up all the great information that you receive from the Conference. Try to attend every student seminar. The Student/Teacher Committee has planned some great seminars with you in mind. Join in on the social and networking events. Come to the NCRA Membership Committee table if you need any help navigating the Conference. Connect with other students. Everyone is cheering you on to succeed in your court reporting journey, so don’t be shy. Introduce yourself to others.
JCR | What are some of your favorite memories from past NCRA Conferences?
MR | I met Carl Sauceda, FAPR, RMR (Ret.), the first African American President of NCRA, while I was still in college obtaining my BS degree in court reporting in Providence, R.I. My friend and coworker Debbie Moye-Fuller, I believe, sponsored me to attend the NCRA Convention in Boston, Mass., where Sauceda was being installed as President.
I took the train from Providence to Boston. I remember being so proud as I was riding on the train, thinking “the first Black President of NCRA, wow” — never thinking I would get a chance to speak directly to him. But I distinctly remember him introducing himself to me and inviting me to sit at his table, the head table, during his acceptance speech. I was sitting at the VIP table, the head table, with his wife and son, y’all. I felt so out of place and proud at the same time. He was so encouraging and inspiring. Mr. Sauceda gave me hope and a hunger to be the best that we can be by serving our profession, sacrificing for our profession, and smiling through it all.
My second favorite memory is when I hosted High Tea for High Achievers for court reporting students in Denver, Colo., during the NCRA Conference. I have a friend who resides in Denver who also owns a tea shop/restaurant in Denver which was not far from the hotel. There were 25 court reporters and business owners who sponsored 25 students to dine at the restaurant with a meal, tea, desserts, and gifts. They were also encouraged and inspired by many court reporter speakers, leaders, and influencers in the profession.
JCR | Anything else you would like to add?
MR | I made the mistake last year of staying at another hotel for the first couple days of the Conference — the worst decision ever! I would advise that, to alleviate the stress, save yourself some time and a headache by staying in the host hotel, the Hyatt Regency Orlando. Going back and forth to change clothes, etc., by staying in another hotel is not worth it. Remember: This is a time to relax, celebrate, learn, and connect.
Orlando, here we come! Don’t forget to stop by the NCRA Membership Committee table and say hello. Our goal is to make everyone feel welcome and appreciated.
Margary Rogers, RPR, CRI, is chair of the NCRA Membership Committee and an official court reporter and CART provider from Washington, D.C. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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