Deadline Jan. 17 for special room rate for the 2020 NCRA Business Summit

Space is filling up and the special room block rate deadline is looming for accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas, site of the NCRA 2020 Business Summit. The deadline to take advantage of the special hotel room rate for single/double occupancy of $209 per night for attendees plus tax ($237.73) ends Jan. 17, and rooms are filling fast. There will be no extensions to hold these special prices; so don’t delay. Book now and you can also enjoy additional savings when the resort fee of $35 is reimbursed by the hotel upon check-in.

In addition to hearing from topic savvy experts on the latest in business trends proven to help increase business for firms of all sizes, attendees at the 2020 NCRA Business Summit will also receive a copy of the coveted 2019 Firm Owners Benchmark Survey. On hand to discuss the findings of this latest survey, supported by some 250 respondents, will be NCRA Executive Director Dave Wenhold, CAE, PLE.

Wenhold will share his insights into what the 2019 survey says about the business of court reporting and captioning, where markets are expected to go, and how they are changing to fit the times. The session is sure to spark insightful discussion about the trends firm owners can anticipate for the future.

This year’s Business Summit lineup of exciting and informative presenters will send attendees home armed with the latest and most innovative strategies for business success in 2020 and beyond, while networking opportunities will help firm owners expand their professional spheres of influence. Highlights include:

A two-part session that will be presented by Chris Williams, co-founder of Wide Awake Business. Since 2008, nearly 5,000 business owners have relied on her sales and marketing expertise to boost their sales by more than $538 million. Below is a description of what her presentations will cover.

Five steps to an easier, simpler, more profitable business – Part 1

Imagine this. Your business bursts with all the customers you want. They come more easily than in the past. You love working with them, and they love working with you. They pay … and on time! Your business isn’t overwhelming you or stressing you out. At least not most of the time. If this sounds too good to be true – it isn’t. In this workshop, Chris Williams will share the specific steps that have led more than 5,000 of her clients to generate more than $628 million in new revenue. Your business can be easier, simpler, and more profitable with the strategies you can start implementing before you leave the Business Summit.

Five steps to an easier, simpler, more profitable business – Part 2

In this session, Chris will provide templates and tools that you can use to set yourself apart from the competition so that you’re the first call people make when they’re looking for reporting services. You’ll also walk away with a simple, low-cost system for generating a steady stream of referrals for your business so the pipeline is never empty. Learn five ways to “overcome the overwhelm” and make your business easier, simpler, and more profitable. Williams will provide the roadmap to make sure that 2020 is your most successful year ever.

Click here to hear from Williams herself about what she has to share.

Other speakers include:

Keynote speaker, the energetic Karim R. Ellis, founder of Empowered Education, a company devoted to developing both organizations and individuals. Ellis is a dynamic motivational speaker with 10 years of experience in the arena of speaking, training, and coaching, He takes great pride in cultivating leaders and champions, and his sole desire is to unlock an atmosphere of greatness in the lives of the people he connects with on a daily basis. Ellis will share with attendees his insights into successful leadership creation and development.

Cathy O’Neal, communications director for Levitt Pavilion Arlington, an outdoor concert venue that presents more than 50 free concerts a year, has planned a fun and enlightening look at how social media can be changed from chore to tool in a firm’s business plan for success. O’Neal holds a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, where she also serves as an adjunct professor in the Communications Department teaching media writing, public relations management, and public relations case studies. She will share with attendees successful social media strategies to help build business.

According to O’Neal, social media can help you gain visibility, reputation, and clients. She will cover the who, what, when, where, and why of social media from the vantage point of a seasoned communications pro who just finished her year with a 3.2 million Facebook reach! O’Neal will help attendees learn how to weed out the stuff they don’t need, focus on the stuff they do need, analyze real-world examples, and help them walk away from the session with action items they can put in practice immediately to start building the social media presence they want. To learn more about what O’Neal has to share, watch her video here.

Ron Comers, a former FBI agent and current advisor on corporate security risks through Charted Risk, LLC, will present “Protecting Your Firm from Scams & Data Breaches,” and offer tips on how firms can keep their files and other information safe in today’s cyber-savvy world;

Chris Moyseos, a financial advisor and financial planning specialist with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, will lead a session on financial planning and managing personal wealth.

Opportunities throughout the three-day event to provide attendees with the chance to expand their networks, engage with old friends, and build relationships with new ones.

Located on more than 400 acres along the banks of the Colorado River, the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa offers a variety of amenities and activities for attendees and their guests to enjoy during their stay. The recreational amenities attendees can enjoy include: A full-service spa, salon, and fitness center; two tennis courts; an 18-hole golf course; hiking, biking and jogging paths; horseback riding; a video arcade; a water park; a meet-and-greet with the facility’s mascots; and more.

Be a part of the NCRA 2020 Business Summit when it kicks off with a fun and exciting team-building activity followed by an opening reception.

  • Regular Registration ends Jan. 31, 2020
    Member: $1,075; Nonmember: $1,250; Additional Firm Employee: $950; Spouse/Guest: $250
  • Last-Minute Registration: Feb. 1–9, 2020
    Member: $1,125; Nonmember: $1,300; Additional Firm Employee: $1,000; Spouse/Guest: $300

For more information and to register for the 2020 NCRA Business Summit, visit NCRA.org/BusinessSummit.

Breaking news! Room block pricing for 2020 NCRA Business Summit extended

The special hotel room rate for NCRA’s 2020 Business Summit has been extended until Jan. 17. The single/double occupancy rate is $209 per night for attendees plus tax ($237.73).  There is no better rate for a stay at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas, host site of the 2020 Business Summit, Feb. 9-11. Plus, attendees who book now will also enjoy additional savings when the resort fee of $35 is reimbursed by the hotel upon check-in. This special room rate will not be extended again, so if you haven’t booked your stay yet, do it now.

Located on more than 400 acres along the banks of the Colorado River, the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas, offers a variety of amenities and activities for attendees and their guests to enjoy during their stay. The recreational amenities attendees can enjoy include: A full-service spa, salon, and fitness center; two tennis courts; an 18-hole golf course; hiking, biking and jogging paths; horseback riding; a video arcade; a water park; a meet-and-greet with the facility’s mascots; and more.

This year’s Business Summit lineup of exciting and informative presenters will send attendees home armed with the latest and most innovative strategies for business success in 2020 and beyond, while networking opportunities will help firm owners expand their professional spheres of influence. Highlights include:

A two-part session that will be presented by Chris Williams, co-founder of Wide Awake Business. Since 2008, nearly 5,000 business owners have relied on her sales and marketing expertise to boost their sales by more than $538 million. Below is a description of what her presentations will cover.

Five steps to an easier, simpler, more profitable business – Part 1

Imagine this. Your business bursts with all the customers you want. They come more easily than in the past. You love working with them, and they love working with you. They pay … and on time! Your business isn’t overwhelming you or stressing you out. At least not most of the time. If this sounds too good to be true –it isn’t. In this workshop, Chris Williams will share the specific steps that have led more than 5,000 of her clients to generate more than $628 million in new revenue. Your business can be easier, simpler, and more profitable with the strategies you can start implementing before you leave the Business Summit.

Five steps to an easier, simpler, more profitable business – Part 2

In this session, Williams will provide templates and tools that you can use to set yourself apart from the competition so that you’re the first call people make when they’re looking for reporting services. You’ll also walk away with a simple, low-cost system for generating a steady stream of referrals for your business, so the pipeline is never empty. Learn five ways to “overcome the overwhelm” and make your business easier, simpler, and more profitable. Williams will provide the roadmap to make sure that 2020 is your most successful year ever.

Click here to hear from Williams herself about what she has to share.

Other speakers include:

Keynote speaker, the energetic Karim R. Ellis, founder of Empowered Education, a company devoted to developing both organizations and individuals. Ellis is a dynamic motivational speaker with 10 years of experience in the arena of speaking, training, and coaching, He takes great pride in cultivating leaders and champions, and his sole desire is to unlock an atmosphere of greatness in the lives of the people he connects with on a daily basis. Ellis will share with attendees his insights into successful leadership creation and development.

Cathy O’Neal, communications director for Levitt Pavilion Arlington, an outdoor concert venue that presents more than 50 free concerts a year, has planned a fun and enlightening look at how social media can be changed from chore to tool in a firm’s business plan for success. O’Neal holds a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, where she also serves as an adjunct professor in the Communications Department teaching media writing, public relations management, and public relations case studies. She will share with attendees successful social media strategies to help build business.

According to O’Neal, social media can help you gain visibility, reputation, and clients. She will cover the who, what, when, where, and why of social media from the vantage point of a seasoned communications pro who just finished her year with a 3.2 million Facebook reach! O’Neal will help attendees learn how to weed out the stuff they don’t need, focus on the stuff they do need, analyze real-world examples, and help them walk away from the session with action items they can put in practice immediately to start building the social media presence they want. To learn more about what O’Neal has to share, watch her video here.

Ron Comers, a former FBI agent and current advisor on corporate security risks through Charted Risk, LLC, will present “Protecting Your Firm from Scams & Data Breaches,” and offer tips on how firms can keep their files and other information safe in today’s cyber-savvy world;

Chris Moyseos, a financial advisor and financial planning specialist with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, will lead a session on financial planning and managing personal wealth.

Attendees of the 2020 NCRA Business Summit will also receive a copy of the 2019 Firm Owners Survey Report. More than 200 firm owners responded to this survey, sharing insights about their firms, including how the latest trends are impacting court reporting, captioning, and legal videography firms, and what the outlook for the future holds. NCRA Executive Director Dave Wenhold, CAE, will present the findings.

Be a part of the NCRA 2020 Business Summit when it kicks off with a fun and exciting team-building activity followed by an opening reception.

  • Regular Registration ends Jan. 31, 2020
    Member: $1,075; Nonmember: $1,250; Additional Firm Employee: $950; Spouse/Guest: $250
  • Last-Minute Registration: Feb. 1–9, 2020
    Member: $1,125; Nonmember: $1,300; Additional Firm Employee: $1,000; Spouse/Guest: $300

For more information and to register for the 2020 NCRA Business Summit, visit NCRA.org/BusinessSummit.

Make the resolution to boost your business in 2020

NCRA’s 2020 Business Summit, taking place Feb. 9-11 at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas, is the perfect event to kick off that resolution to boost your business in the New Year. No matter what size firm you own, operate, or manage, this event is NCRA’s premier gathering for anyone looking to grow their business, expand their markets, and boost their overall success.

The 2020 schedule is packed with engaging sessions and presentations sure to motivate and invigorate all attendees. Below is just a glimpse of what attendees can expect:

How to create massive success before you roll the dice

Presenter and Keynote Speaker: Karim R. Ellis

Ellis will share the five peak performance principles that the audience can use to create an identifiable vision that works. When you need clarity and direction to help fulfill mission and purpose, his presentation will be your GPS system and, ultimately, your roadmap to success! Learn about Ellis’s breakthrough that led him to master the core principles, which he will share with you and will give you the tools you need to set and master an achievable vision for success!

Sidenote: This two-part presentation is interactive, and Ellis will call on volunteers from the audience to participate. Prizes will be given.

Fight back and prepare! How to protect your company (and yourself) from common and unforeseen events

Presenter: Ron Comers

After this session, your view of your personal and company’s security will never be the same — and that’s a good thing. Right now, cybercriminals are trying to find ways to steal your data and hard-earned money. If you are not prepared, unforeseen events may threaten your ability to continue operations. Whether it is phishing, ransomware, spoofing of emails, credit card skimmers, hurricanes, or power outages, you can take steps to insulate yourself from the dangers of the digital world. Former police officer, FBI agent, and diplomat Ron Comers will talk about some of the sophisticated ways that criminals are targeting you and how to ensure continuity of operations for what matters to you. In addition, Comers will offer you tactical strategies to make you less of a target while traveling. Take plenty of notes; this seminar is worth its weight in gold.

Social media boot camp

Presenter: Cathy O’Neal

What social media should I use? When should I post? How often? What should I say? Do I have to answer every stupid comment? Can’t someone else just do it for me?

Social media can be just one more chore, or it can help you gain visibility, reputation, and clients. Learn the who, what, when, where, and why of social media from a seasoned communications pro who just finished her year with a 3.2-million Facebook reach! Weed out the stuff you don’t need, focus on the stuff you do need, analyze real-world examples, and walk away from the session with action items to start building the social media presence you want immediately. Click here to hear more about what O’Neal has to offer.

Attendees of the 2020 NCRA Business Summit will also receive a copy of the 2019 Firm Owners Economic Survey and hear firsthand what the findings mean during a session led by NCRA Executive Director Dave Wenhold, CAE. More than 200 firm owners responded to this latest survey, sharing insights about their firms including how the latest in trends are impacting court reporting, captioning, and legal videography firms and the outlook for the future.

Also on the program is Chris Williams, co-founder of Wide Awake Business, established in 2004 to help companies grow. She will lead a two-part presentation, which will focus on how to create an easier, simpler, more profitable business. The sessions will cover how to:

  • Spend less time second-guessing yourself and seize the right opportunities
  • Ooze authority and confidence when you speak with prospects
  • Feel fulfilled because your “Big Why” engages more people
  • Enjoy your bank account statements
  • Lead more, build your team, and personally do less of the “do”
  • Head out on your vacation without taking calls and putting out fires every day

Attendees also won’t want to miss the financial planning session lead by Chris Moyseos, a financial advisor and financial planning specialist with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Moyseos began his career more than 30 years ago in London in the banking/finance sector.

Still not convinced that attending NCRA’s 2020 Business Summit can help build your business? Just listen to NCRA President Max Curry, RPR, CRI, a freelance court reporter and firm owner from Franklin, Tenn., and find out why he has attended this event for the past 14 years.

According to Curry, “If building your business in 2020 and beyond is important to you, then attending the 2020 NCRA Business Summit should be a priority.”

Finally, the NCRA 2020 Business Summit offers an abundance of networking opportunities like no other, ranging from receptions to group activities sure to help you expand your professional and personal connections.

Hurry and register now to take advantage of the special hotel room rate for single/double occupancy of $209 per night plus tax ($237.73). These special hotel rates end on Jan. 8, 2020.

Located on more than 400 acres along the banks of the Colorado River, the beautiful Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas, offers a variety of amenities and activities for attendees and their guests to enjoy during their stay. The recreation amenities attendees can enjoy include: A full-service spa, salon, and fitness center, two tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course, hiking, biking and jogging paths, horseback riding, a video arcade, a water park, a meet-and-greet with the facility’s mascots, and more. Plus, if attendees book at the special NCRA room rate before Jan. 8, the activity fee of $35 is waived.

  • Regular Registration: Dec. 10, 2019 – Jan. 31, 2020
    Member: $1,075; Nonmember: $1,250; Additional Firm Employee: $950; Spouse/Guest: $250
  • Last-Minute Registration: Feb. 1 – 9, 2020
    Member: $1,125; Nonmember: $1,300; Additional Firm Employee: $1,000; Spouse/Guest: $300

For more information and to register for the 2020 NCRA Business Summit, visit NCRA.org/BusinessSummit.

Let the warmth and beauty of 2020 NCRA Business Summit venue inspire you

The NCRA 2020 Business Summit offers more than just networking and learning. Located on more than 400 acres along the banks of the Colorado River, the beautiful Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas, offers a variety of amenities and activities for attendees and their guests to enjoy during their stay.

Among the recreation amenities attendees can enjoy include: A full-service spa, salon, and fitness center, two tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course, hiking, biking and jogging paths, horseback riding, a video arcade, a water park, a meet-and-greet with the facility’s mascots, and more. Plus, if attendees book at the special NCRA room rate before Jan. 8, the activity fee of $35 is waived. And don’t forget, register for the event by Nov. 30 and save an additional $100.

Besides the beauty of the Austin countryside and warm temperatures typical of Texas, attendees at the 2020 NCRA Business Summit can also expect to enjoy a schedule that offers informative, inspiring, and insightful sessions led by leaders in the business industry.

Ron Comers, a former FBI agent and currently an advisor on corporate security risks through Charted Risk, LLC., will present “Protecting Your Firm from Scams & Data Breaches,” and offer tips on how firms can keep their files and other information safe in today’s cyber-savvy world.

Comers earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of South Florida and a master’s degree in business continuity, security, and risk management from Boston University. Prior to working for the FBI, Comers was a police officer with the Stratford Police Department in Connecticut. He entered duty as a special agent of the FBI in 1995 and was assigned to the Boston, Mass., division, where he worked bank fraud and drug investigations and also served as a member of the division’s SWAT team.

Over the course of his career, Comers has served in a variety of divisions as an FBI agent, overseeing a number of stateside and international investigations.

In 2010, he served as an acting ALAT in Afghanistan in 2010 and as a member of the Major Crimes Task Force charged with developing the investigative capabilities of Afghan law enforcement. For his service, he received the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security.

Other speakers include Cathy O’Neal, communications director for Levitt Pavilion Arlington, who will lead a session about successful social media strategies to help build business; a financial planning session led by Chris Moyseos, a financial planner who will discuss succession and financial planning; and NCRA Interim Executive Director Dave Wenhold, CPE, who will present the findings of NCRA’s 2020 Firm Owners Economic Outlook Survey.

Make plans to mosey on over to the 2020 NCRA Business Summit

The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas, is the setting for the 2020 NCRA Business Summit taking place Feb. 9-11. No matter what size firm you own, operate, or manage, this event is NCRA’s premier gathering for anyone looking to grow their business, expand their markets, and boost their overall success. Register by Nov. 30, 2019 to take advantage of discounted pricing.

“Intense, energizing, inspiring, educational, and fun, that’s what the 2020 NCRA Business Summit promises attendees no matter what size their firm is. Plan to expand your sphere of colleagues while networking in beautiful Austin, as well as hear from a variety of experts in the areas of successful customer base building, honing effective leadership skills, and more,” said NCRA President Max Curry, RPR, CRI, a freelance court reporter and firm owner from Franklin, Tenn. “If building your business in 2020 and beyond is important to you, then attending the 2020 should be a priority.”

Karim R. Ellis, Keynote Speaker

In the lineup this year is keynote speaker Karim R. Ellis, founder of Empowered Education, a company devoted to developing both organizations and individuals. Ellis is a dynamic motivational speaker with 10 years of experience in the arena of speaking, training, and coaching, He takes great pride in cultivating leaders and champions, and his sole desire is to unlock an atmosphere of greatness in the lives of the people he connects with on a daily basis. Ellis will share with attendees his insights into successful leadership creation and development.

Also on the program is Chris Williams, co-founder of Wide Awake Business, established in 2004 to help companies grow. She is also the co-author, along with Martha Hanlon, also co-founder of Wide Awake Business, Customers Are the Answer to Everything, and most recently of Customertopia. Williams and Hanlon have been called one of the foremost authorities on in how to get and keep customers.

Chris Williams, Speaker

Williams will provide a two-part presentation, which will focus on how to create an easier, simpler, more profitable business. The sessions will cover how to:

  • Spend less time second-guessing yourself and seize the right opportunities
  • Ooze authority and confidence when you speak with prospects
  • Feel fulfilled because your “Big Why” engages more people
  • Enjoy your bank account statements
  • Lead more, build team, and personally do less of the “do”
  • Head out on your vacation without taking calls and putting out fires every day

The 2020 NCRA Business Summit program also offers a number of networking opportunities throughout the three-day event to provide attendees with the chance to expand their networks, engage with old friends, and build relationships with new ones. The event kicks off with a fun and exciting team-building activity followed by an opening reception and dinner.

Registration is now open and those who register by Nov. 30, 2019, can take advantage of discounted pricing:

  • Early Access Registration: Oct. 15 – Nov. 30, 2019
    Member: $975; Nonmember: $1,150; Additional Firm Employee: $850; Spouse/Guest: $200
  • Regular Registration: Dec. 1, 2019 – Jan. 31, 2020
    Member: $1,075; Nonmember: $1,250; Additional Firm Employee: $950; Spouse/Guest: $250
  • Last Minute Registration: Feb. 1 – 9, 2020
    Member: $1,125; Nonmember: $1,300; Additional Firm Employee: $1,000; Spouse/Guest: $300

A special hotel room rate for single/double occupancy for attendees is $209 per night plus tax ($237.73) and the resort fee is waived. Hurry, these special hotel rates end on Jan. 8, 2020. Deadline to register to attend is Jan. 31, 2020.

For more information and to register for the 2020 NCRA Business Summit, visit NCRA.org/BusinessSummit.

How to set yourself up as a new freelance reporter

The JCR Weekly recently reached out to Michael Hensley, RDR, chair of NCRA’s New Professionals Committee about what makes a good freelancer and what you need to know in the first few years as a freelancer. If you’re new or considering transitioning from another area of the profession, consider his insights into his first few years as a freelance reporter.

JCR | Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Michael Hensley, RDR

MH | I am a freelance deposition reporter, and I’ve been doing that for a little over three-and-a-half years now. I’m currently located in Dublin, Calif., which is an eastern suburb of San Francisco. My home location is a great spot because I’m equidistant from most major areas for work in Northern California. I’ve covered assignments as far north as Sacramento, as far east as Stockton, and as far south as Monterey. I’ve even gone down to Southern California to cover assignments as well.

I still maintain a license for Illinois, and I recently obtained my CSR for Nevada. So I am able to accept assignments in those regions. I’m open to traveling for a lucrative opportunity. It’s part of what makes me a successful freelancer, in my opinion.

JCR | What was tough for you when you first started working?

MH | I found it difficult to keep up with the workload when I began. My intent was to take on as much work as possible to earn the income I wanted. What I failed to keep in mind was that I needed to still make time to produce transcripts as well as cover depositions. I had many nights where I slept very little to try to stay on time with production deadlines. Fortunately, I’ve learned how to allocate my time and resources to manage that more smoothly, even in such a way to be able to take vacations occasionally.

JCR | Did you have a mentor when you started?

MH | I have had mentors at every level of my education and career. To this day, I still have those I go to and seek advice. I was very fortunate to have some amazing individuals share their knowledge with me along my journey. I worked in a court reporting firm while finishing my education, and I feel that experience gave me a wealth of knowledge that would have taken me years of trial and error to figure out.

Even so, I’m the kind of person who likes to learn things by doing. I feel that making mistakes is the quickest and most valuable way to learn how you can perform a task with greater success. I learned by asking a lot of questions along the way. I then took that information and applied it to my own ideas and processes to develop a system that works for me. I’m continually evolving and growing to sharpen my skills and abilities so that I can be at the top of my game.

JCR | What do you think is the hardest part of starting out?

MH | I think the hardest part of starting out is learning how to interact with others in the profession. There is a certain way to communicate with attorneys; there’s another way you speak with reporting agencies; and there’s a way for you to connect with colleagues. Any of these encounters feels awkward at first. However, if you keep doing it over and over and pay attention to what things you do right and what things you can improve, then you eventually find the way that works best for you to get the job done.

JCR | You’re giving a session called Freelancer Starter’s Kit for NCRA on Tuesday, July 30. How did this session come about?

MH | As part of my efforts with NCRA’s New Professionals Advisory Committee, we are striving to produce content and educational resources to assist individuals who are new to the profession. I often hear many new reporters asking questions such as, “I got my license. Now what do I do?” Entering the freelance arena can be overwhelming at first, and I’m hoping to share what I’ve learned with others so that they can begin a career or a transition smoothly.

JCR | What do you hope people will take away from your session?

MH | I hope participants will gain the confidence they need to operate as an independent entity so that they can enjoy the experience and thrive. While it can be overwhelming, even fearful, working as a freelance reporter is ultimately a thrilling adventure. It is truly liberating to have a sense of control over your destiny, and it is so rewarding to see a direct payoff from your hard work.

You can earn 0.125 CEU by attending the Freelancer Starter Kit, which will be held July 30, 7 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. (ET). This session is sponsored by NCRA’s New Professionals Committee, which Hensley chairs. Webinars do not need to be viewed live. They can be purchased now and viewed within a 30-day window of presentation date. They will also be available for purchase later as E-seminars.

Put your business in the spotlight with the 2019-2020 NCRA Sourcebook

The May 1 deadline is approaching fast for submitting business directory listings or display advertisements for inclusion in the printed 2019-2020 NCRA Sourcebook. The NCRA Sourcebook is the premier directory of court reporting, captioning, legal videography, and other related service sources, making it the perfect resource to easily connect with the right provider for the job. It’s distributed at legal industry events and at conferences held for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and is mailed to NCRA members and advertisers at the end of the summer.

Members are listed in this printed directory for free and can add their listing in additional cities for only $99 each. To really spotlight your business, however, exclusive to NCRA members is the opportunity to advertise in the business directory section of the Sourcebook.

“When we need to find a reporting firm in a city outside of California where we don’t have a contact to rely on, we go to the NCRA Sourcebook to find a firm,” said NCRA member Antonia Pulone, owner of Pulone Reporting Services in San Jose, Calif. “We advertise there because we assume other firms do likewise, and so they will find our firm for referrals in Northern California.”

There are two options to choose from when considering promoting your company in the business directory. Advertisers who opt for a premium listing in the Sourcebook will be listed alphabetically by state and city. In addition, premium business ads also include the company’s name, address, email address, website, and a description about the services they offer. Premium listings are available in black ink only for a cost of $250. For an additional cost, firms can also be listed under additional cities and states.

NCRA members also have the opportunity to upgrade their business listing to a box listing.The box listing includes everything in a premium listing but with the addition of a logo or photo, the option to list under multiple cities, and the option to use an original designed or JCR court reporting listing advertisement. In addition, box listings are available in full color ink. This option is only $395.

Other options include display advertising ranging from one-sixth of a page to an advertorial and a full-page display advertisement. Additionally, there is advertising space offered on the inside front, inside back, and back cover of the Sourcebook.

For more information about placing your ad and showcasing your business, download the NCRA 2019 Media Kit or email Mary Petto at mpetto@ncra.org.


How to start your own Facebook practice group

Daily practice can make a big difference. That’s not new information to any court reporter or captioner. The hard part isn’t knowing you need to practice; it’s making the time to do it.

Some reporters have found that joining a Facebook practice group helps them make it happen. A recent story in the JCR about a group led to others expressing interest in starting groups of their own. Rich Germosen, RMR, CRR, a  freelance court reporter from New Brunswick, N.J., who leads a practice group, has some ideas for people who are starting their own group. Germosen’s group is a 100-day group. Members make a commitment to practice 100 days in a row, although some members have gone on longer.

“I’m not sure what made me pick 100 days, but it’s a nice round number,” he said. “It’s more than 50 days. It seems like it won’t be easy to do, and it’s not. It’s a challenge.”

Kathryn A. Thomas, RDR, CRR, CRC, a captioner from Caseyville, Ill., joined Germosen’s group to help her practice. “I joined after the [2017] Vegas convention, and I’m on my 536th day as we speak,” Thomas said. “I joined because I need increased accountability to keep up my skills. About a month after I joined, I was installed as president of the Illinois Court Reporters Association, and this is a way to ensure my skills don’t degrade amidst all the goings-on of my two-year term. I’m the type that if I go a day without writing something, I can feel it the next day, and my captioning consumers don’t deserve that.”

Start off with a public Facebook group while you attract members. When you have the right number, you can make the group secret. Too many members will make the group unmanageable.

“If I have 200 or 300 folks participating, it would be a full-time job,” Germosen said. “So if you’re looking to build it up, make it public and they will come.”

Germosen says 100 is a good number of members for the group. That’s a small enough number that the moderator can recognize all of the members, and they can be a close-knit group. He was the only moderator for his group for a long time, but he has recently added another person.

Members of the group are promising to practice every day and post about it when they do. The moderators are paying attention to who is practicing and who isn’t.

“We are on the honor system,” Germosen says. “I take their word for it that they say they are on day X. I do audit folks from time to time just to make sure their days are adding up if I notice unusual numbers in their posts. Some folks drop off at day 3. I’ll keep an eye on them and hope they jump into it by week 6 or so before removing them. There is a way to sort the members list by join date. You can scroll that list and see if a member has been silent or hasn’t been posting because it’ll show ‘three recent posts’ or ‘five recent posts.’ This will show next to the member’s name. I look at this and check on folks with no activity to see if they’ve been posting. Then I may remove them if it’s been several weeks.”

Thomas said seeing the practice posts definitely motivates her. “I thought it would be harder to remember to do daily practice, especially over the holidays,” she said. “But when I see group members post their practice on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, etc., it reminds me.”

Moderators might also want to recognize milestones such as one week, two weeks, 100 days, etc. “I’ll reply with a picture of a funny cartoon on day seven,” Germosen said. “If you’re on day 14, I’ll reply with a pic that says ‘Week 2,’ and same for week three. For day 27, I’ll reply with a Yankees 27 banner. For day 50, you get one of a series of ‘half’ pics; then once you’re on day 90 I’ll post a link to Europe’s ‘The Final Countdown’ song, and then day 100 I’ll post any series of ‘100 Day Club’ pics or banners and put them on ‘the finishers’ list,’ which is a list I have of all finishers going back to 2014 and the date they finished.” 

Germosen said one rule is that everyone needs to be supportive of everyone else in the group. As admin, he likes everyone’s Facebook practice posts and keeps the page free of drama. He said it’s also important for the admin to set the example with practicing. No slacking.

Thomas agrees about the supportive nature of the group, “It’s brought me closer to the individuals in the group itself, and it’s wonderful to celebrate together as they win or qualify for contests around the nation,” she said. “Occasionally someone will recommend a TED talk to the group to practice, and I’ve learned some things through practicing those.”

“What the page does is you see others posting, and you think to yourself that you should be practicing too,” Germosen said. “It’s nice to have a community around you of others doing the same thing you’re doing … trying to improve.”

2019 Business Summit: Too good not to share

If you’re the owner of a court reporting or captioning business of any size, NCRA’s 2019 Business Summit being held Feb. 1-3 in San Diego, Calif., is the event for you. NCRA is so excited about this year’s slate of cutting-edge sessions that it is not raising the price of onsite registration. In addition, the host hotel, the beautiful Manchester Grand Hyatt, is keeping the special rate room block open until rooms sell out.

Don’t miss this special offer to attend the one-of-a-kind event designed to help you boost your business. Register today.

Read more about the sessions and speakers below:

Understanding common issues all business owners face

Join a panel of experts representing a cross section of leaders from the court reporting and captioning professions. Whether you are a firm of 1 person or 1,000, the challenges and opportunities you face are likely shared with others in the industry. This panel discussion will touch on many of the issues faced by businesses throughout the industry, regardless of size. Topics to be discussed will include working with millennial reporters and lawyers, managing generational differences in your workforce, the ways various systems and technologies can streamline your production, common HR issues, the pros and cons of succession planning, protecting your website and data, how to identify great talent, and more. This valuable seminar is designed to provide you with “aha” moments and takeaways for efficiency and profitability.

How storytelling can boost your business

Ann marie Houghtailing, entrepreneur, storyteller, and business coach, will present her Storytelling & Business Development session. Houghtailing, who launched her practice as a business development expert in 2009 with only $5 in her pocket, a MacBook, and a truckload of tenacity in the worst economic climate of her life, developed the Corporate Alliance Partner for the Institute for Sales and Business Development at the University of San Diego, Calif., just one year later. Today, she holds the reputation as one of the most sought-after business development and storytelling experts in the country and speaks regularly on narrative leadership and how to use storytelling as a tool of influence in business with her trademarked Narrative Imprinting process.

Court reporting in the 21st century

Speaker and past NCRA Director Mike Miller, FAPR, RDR, CRR, is a freelance court reporter from Houston, Texas. As a follow-up to his Tough Love sessions, which have been held at national and state conferences throughout the United States, Miller will lead a seminar called “Tough Love Part 2,” which will challenge the most sacred beliefs about the business of court reporting with a focus on why being stuck in 1985 isn’t going to alleviate any of the issues faced by agencies and reporters in the 21st century.

Simple shifts can lead to extraordinary outcomes

Also on the schedule is Eunice Carpitella, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, who will serve as keynote speaker. She will address the practical idea that simple shifts in our routine patterns of interaction and mindset make it possible for business leaders to include, engage, and unleash everyone in solving problems, driving innovation, and achieving extraordinary outcomes.

Community engagement and how it helps your business

A session titled “Civic Best Practice: Corporate Community Engagement,” led by Jan Ballman, FAPR, RPR, CMRS, of Minneapolis, Minn., and Rosalie Kramm, RPR, CRR, of San Diego, Calif., will explore why corporate community engagement is considered one of the best practices in today’s business environment and how to be successful at it. Find out more about the benefits businesses gain by integrating community engagement into their business plans, such as boosting employee commitment and recruitment. Gains also include raising awareness of the services and products the companies provide and securing reputations as leaders in the community. The session will culminate with a special Veterans History Project (VHP), as an example of just one of many wonderful ways to showcase the services and skills your business provides while giving back to those in the community.

A live interview will capture the story of Rear Adm. Ronne Froman, USN (Ret.) for the VHP. In addition to serving 31 years in the U.S. Navy, Froman was the first woman to serve as commander of the U.S. Navy Region Southwest. In her last Navy job, she also served as the director of ashore readiness for the chief of naval operations, responsible for nearly 90 Navy stations and bases around the world with a $7 billion budget. As a change agent, Froman’s careers have spanned the military, public, private, and nonprofit businesses.

Super Bowl LIII: New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams

Get your game on during the Super Bowl Party that will close out this year’s event – another great reason to stay overnight Sunday for an extra few days to really get to know this one-of-a-kind city. This is a great chance to relax and network with fellow business owners.

Don’t wait. Make plans to attend now

The 2019 Business Summit, formerly the Firm Owners & Executives Conference, promises to engage attendees with content, insight, the latest in business trends, and networking opportunities that will all result in boosting business. This year’s informative and cutting-edge sessions have been chosen specifically to provide the freelancers, firm owners, and managers attending with the latest tools and techniques for growing their business. And finally, plan on staying later to enjoy what beautiful, sunny San Diego has to offer in February.

Remember, onsite registration rates are not being raised, making this one-of-a-kind event more accessible to everyone who wants to attend. Plus, the Manchester Grand Hyatt is keeping the special rate room block open until rooms sell out.

Catch the savings on registration for NCRA’s 2019 Business Summit before it ends

Act now and save! Online registration savings for NCRA’s 2019 Business Summit being held Feb. 1-3 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in beautiful San Diego, Calif., ends Jan. 20, and onsite registration and pricing starts Jan. 21. In addition, the hotel room block is still available on a first-come, first-serve basis so be sure to book now!

The 2019 Business Summit, formerly the Firm Owners & Executives Conference, promises to engage attendees with content, insight, the latest in business trends, and networking opportunities that will all result in boosting business. This year’s informative and cutting-edge sessions have been chosen specifically to provide the freelancers, firm owners, and managers attending with the latest tools and techniques for growing their business.

Here’s a glimpse of what’s happening onsite at this event:

Community engagement and how it helps your business

A session titled “Civic Best Practice: Corporate Community Engagement” will explore why corporate community engagement is considered one of the best practices in today’s business environment and how to be successful at it. Find out more about the benefits businesses gain by integrating community engagement into their business plans, such as boosting employee commitment and recruitment. Gains also include raising awareness of the services and products the companies provide and securing reputations as leaders in the community. The session will culminate with a special Veterans History Project, as an example of just one of many wonderful ways to showcase the services and skills your business provides while giving back to those in the community who have served their country. The live oral history will capture the story of Rear Adm. Ronne Froman, USN (Ret.). In addition to serving 31 years in the U.S. Navy, Froman was the first woman to serve as commander of the U.S. Navy Region Southwest. In her last Navy job, she also served as the director of ashore readiness for the chief of naval operations, responsible for nearly 90 Navy stations and bases around the world with a $7 billion budget. As a change agent, Froman’s careers have spanned the military, public, private, and nonprofit businesses. Rear Adm. Froman will be interviewed by Jan Ballman, FAPR, RPR, CMRS, of Minneapolis, Minn.

How storytelling can boost your business

Ann marie Houghtailing, entrepreneur, storyteller, and business coach, will present her Storytelling & Business Development session. Houghtailing, who launched her practice as a business development expert in 2009 with only $5 in her pocket, a MacBook, and a truckload of tenacity in the worst economic climate of her life, developed the Corporate Alliance Partner for the Institute for Sales and Business Development at the University of San Diego, Calif., just one year later. Today, she holds the reputation as one of the most sought-after business development and storytelling experts in the country and speaks regularly on narrative leadership and how to use storytelling as a tool of influence in business with her trademarked Narrative Imprinting process.

Court reporting in the 21st century

Speaker and past NCRA Director Mike Miller, FAPR, RDR, CRR, is a freelance court reporter from Houston, Texas. As a follow-up to his Tough Love sessions, which have been held at national and state conferences throughout the United States, Miller will lead a seminar called “Tough Love Part 2,” which will challenge the most sacred beliefs about the business of court reporting with a focus on why being stuck in 1985 isn’t going to alleviate any of the issues faced by agencies and reporters in the 21st century.

Simple shifts can lead to extraordinary outcomes

Also on the schedule is Eunice Carpitella, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, who will serve as keynote speaker. She will address the practical idea that simple shifts in our routine patterns of interaction and mindset make it possible for business leaders to include, engage, and unleash everyone in solving problems, driving innovation, and achieving extraordinary outcomes.

Don’t wait. Register now and save

Remember, online registration for the 2019 Business Summit closes Jan. 20, 2019, and onsite registration and pricing starts Jan. 21, 2019. And don’t forget, also making a comeback is the Super Bowl Party to close out the event – another great reason to stay overnight Sunday for an extra few days to really get to know this one-of-a-kind city. And finally, plan on staying later to enjoy what beautiful, sunny San Diego has to offer in February.