Lessons learned at the 2020 NCRA Business Summit

Competitors in the Lost Pines Olympics

Participants left the 2020 NCRA Business Summit with useful information about leadership, security, finances, body language, and the state of the court reporting industry. In between those sessions, they also had time to network with colleagues, spend time at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, and meet Yogi, a friendly 9-year-old alpaca. Extra opportunities for participants included the team-building Lost Pines Olympics and opening and closing receptions.

Speaker Chris Moyseos, an Austin-based wealth management specialist with Morgan Stanley, told participants that whether a person is starting a small business or expanding one, following a roadmap is essential. Focus on profit rather than revenue, with a plan to “use the money to put back into the business,” he advised.

To prepare for financial success when operating a small business, “put everything in place before you need it,” he said. “You have to be really smart with the way you use that line of credit. Banks can be very skittish.”

He also said having a financial plan is essential. “Pay yourself first. You must know your budget. Be prepared: Social security statement, income, other income sources (rental properties, brokerage accounts, insurance accounts). Know when you want to retire. Do you want to leave a legacy? Do you have a plan for long-term care?  Half of your medical bills [could be] in the last two to three months of your life,” he said.

 “As a working reporter and firm owner, I found the seminars to be well worth the cost,” said Kathleen M. Soloaga, CSR, a freelancer in Napa, Calif. “The speakers were informative, interesting, and on topics that I found quite helpful. Prior to attending, I honestly didn’t fully understand the value of networking. This was invaluable as a somewhat new firm owner. Having the opportunity to speak with other firm owners with much more experience than myself and pelt them with questions and receive honest input was invaluable. Thank you so much to all of my ‘victims’! I’ve come back home with a load of knowledge and contacts that will be extremely helpful in running my business. Would highly recommend!”

Registration opens Feb. 20 for the NCRA CLVS Production Exam

Registration opens Feb. 20 for the next Certified Legal Videographer Production Exam being held March 27-28 at NCRA’s headquarters in Reston, Va. Space is limited, so candidates are encouraged to sign up early before registration closes on March 15.

Candidates who attend the March dates may also register for one of two Hands-on Training sessions, which are held prior to the Production Exam.

During the Production Exam, candidates will run the show at a staged deposition and be graded on their ability to follow video deposition guidelines and to produce a usable, high-quality video of the deposition. Candidates must have taken the mandatory CLVS Certification Workshop first, which is available online, and are strongly encouraged to take the Hands-on Training. Candidates are strongly encouraged to complete the educational components first as questions on the exam are developed from the materials provided.

Motivated candidates may also take the CLVS Written Knowledge Test (WKT) in March.

The CLVS Production Exam is administered two times a year: spring and fall (depending on interest). The cost of the exam is $325 for NCRA members and $425 for nonmembers. The Mandatory Certification Workshop, Hands-on Training, and CLVS WKT are covered under separate fees.

To learn more about the CLVS program or to register for the CLVS Production Exam and/or Hands-on Training, visit NCRA.org/CLVS.

NCRA members who hold another credential, such as the RPR, can earn 0.25 PDC each after passing the CLVS Written Knowledge Test and the CLVS Production Exam.

Please contact NCRA by calling 800-272-6272 or email testing@ncra.org for more information.

Register now for the next NCRA Town Hall

Don’t miss out on the next virtual NCRA Town Hall, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22, at 10 a.m. (Eastern). NCRA President Max Curry, RPR, CRI, will be joined by Carol Studenmund, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, president of LNS Captioning, Portland, Ore., and past Chair of NCRA’s Captioning Committee. Conversation will include potential issues and subjects trending in the captioning profession and more.

The NCRA virtual Town Hall meetings also offer members the opportunity to ask questions via the Q&A feature. Questions can also be submitted in advance to lbutler@ncra.org.

Registration for the Feb. 22 Town Hall closes at midnight Feb. 21; so please register now. Members can also catch up on previous Town Halls by clicking here. Only NCRA Members may attend the Town Halls.

Court reporters compete to see who has the fastest fingers in NYC

The Queens Daily Eagle posted an article on Feb. 13 about a group of 15 nimble-fingered students from Plaza College in Queens, N.Y. The students will put their court reporting skills to the test as they compete in NCRA’s Student Speed Contest in honor of Court Reporting & Captioning Week. 

Read more.

Feeling the love for steno across the nation

The Florida Court Reporters Association is sponsoring two billboards for #CRCW20.

NCRA’s 2020 Court Reporting & Captioning Week kicked off on Feb. 8, and members, state associations, and schools report that participation is in full swing. With this year’s theme, For the Love of Steno, activities being shared range from securing official proclamations recognizing the week to news articles in the media, from billboards and advertisements to contests, presentations, and more. Below is a glimpse of some of what’s happening across the country.

An official national proclamation has been secured by U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of Wisconsin. Kind is a co-sponsor of bi-partisan legislation introduced in December 2019 that will reauthorize a grant program to encourage careers in realtime writing and court reporting.

At the state and local levels, official proclamations have been secured by the following:

  • Michigan Court Reporters Association
  • Nevada Court Reporters Association
  • Ohio Court Reporters Association
  • Texas Court Reporters Association
  • Bexar County (Texas) Court Reporters Association
  • Wisconsin Court Reporters Association

For the second consecutive year, NCRA has issued its own challenge that calls on all state affiliates to help celebrate 2020 Court Reporting & Captioning Week by securing an official proclamation recognizing the week by their state governor or a state lawmaker. States that submit a copy of their official state proclamation recognizing the week to pr@ncra.org will be entered into a drawing to win one free 2020 Convention & Expo registration. A downloadable sample proclamation is available on NCRA’s Court Reporting & Captioning resource page.

Fun times

Plenty of fun activities have also been planned to celebrate the week. For example, members of the Florida Court Reporters Association (FCRA) are encouraged to mark the week by making a donation to the state association and be entered into a drawing being held at the end of the week for a chance to win a free registration to the state association’s annual convention being held in Key Largo, July 17-19.

Members of the New York State Court Reporters Association in the Buffalo area will celebrate during a happy hour on Feb. 13, which will bring together officials, freelancers, captioners, students, judges, lawyers, deputies, and others.

Members of the Texas Court Reporters Association (TCRA) have an entire week scheduled with events including the following daily social media campaigns:

  • Feb. 8 – Stylin’ Saturday: Post a photo of themselves in a T-shirt or cap
  • Feb. 9 – Steno Sunday: Photo of your steno machine (Does yours have a name?)
  • Feb. 10 – Meme Monday: Share a court reporter-related meme
  • Feb. 11 – Testimony Tuesday: Share interesting/funny testimony you’ve reported
  • Feb 12 – Where are you Wednesday: Post a picture of your workplace
  • Feb. 13 – TCRA Thursday: Your favorite photo of a TCRA event
  • Feb. 14 – Finally, Friday: “It’s the Weekend” picture
  • Feb. 15 – Spelling Saturday: Share your cringe-worthy photo of bad spelling or bad punctuation

TCRA members will also have the opportunity to visit with court reporting students at San Antonio College, while attending a happy hour and a special breakfast for steno reporters and captioners.

Wisconsin Court Reporters Association members are encouraged to print and display the governor’s official proclamation recognizing the week, as well as share what they love about their jobs on social media, showcase what they do at a school demo or community event, reach out to media outlets, set up a display in the lobby of their courthouse or office, offer to give a jury or attorneys a realtime demonstration, and more.

Shout it out

Advertisements and billboards have also popped up this year in honor of the week. The FCRA sponsored two billboards promoting the profession. One billboard is in Orlando and the other is in Tampa.

To help spread the word, eCourt Reporters, based in Burlington, Wis., is running an advertisement on radio station WTMJ620 about the importance of using stenographic court reporters and captioners to ensure accuracy in the courtroom, the depo room, and in the captioning of live events. Representatives of the firm will also be promoting the court reporting profession, along with live stenographers, at the American Bar Association Tech Show in Chicago, Ill., and at industry events being held in Iowa and Wisconsin. The company also has a television appearance scheduled for March to promote the profession.

Additional activities

Members of the California Court Reporters Association produced a video to circulate during the week explaining how an official court reporter makes the official record and plans to share it on social media and with judges, attorneys, and other parties.

At Cuyahoga Community College, Cuyahoga, Ohio, where the court reporting program is experiencing a record enrollment this semester, students will hear a “surprise” speaker hosted via WEBEX so those locally and around the country can listen in. Students will also be taking shifts in the main galleria of the college to staff a prize wheel and steno machine station. Passersby who try out the steno machine then have the chance to spin the wheel for a prize.

Once again, the National Congress of State Associations (NCSA) is offering members the chance to win event registrations and more for promoting the court reporting and captioning professions beginning now and culminating at the end of the official week.

The NCSA State Challenge offers a friendly contest among state associations and individual NCRA members to spread the word about the benefits of choosing a career in court reporting or captioning. The 2020 NCSA State Challenge marks the sixth year the gauntlet has been thrown down. Winners will receive a variety of prizes ranging from complimentary NCRA event registrations to vouchers for continuing education.

Remember to share how you celebrate the week by sending information about and photos of your event to NCRA’s Communications Team at pr@ncra.org. Everyone is also encouraged to share his or her activities on social media using the hashtags #CRCW20 and #DiscoverSteno.

And don’t forget, be sure to check out NCRA’s resources for 2020 Court Reporting & Captioning Week for the most up-to-date materials designed to help you celebrate the week and beyond.

Happy 2020 Court Reporting & Captioning Week! We look forward to sharing your stories.

City proclamation honors court reporters

KSAT-TV, San Antonio, Texas, posted a story about an official proclamation handed down to local court reporters by a district judge recognizing NCRA’s 2020 Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

Read more.

NCRA members from Alabama promote Court Reporting and Captioning Week

Members of NCRA and the Alabama Court Reporters Association Cindy Greene, RPR, Alan Peacock, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, and Taylor Nouwen, a recent court reporting school graduate, were featured in a piece that aired on local Fox 10 news on Feb. 7 about their jobs and the need for more recruits to the profession.

Watch here.

2020 National Court Reporting & Captioning Week continues to raise awareness about career opportunities

Yahoo Finance posted a press release on Feb. 8 issued by NCRA announcing the 2020 Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

Read more.

NCRA 2020 Business Summit registration still open

Last-minute registration is still available for the NCRA 2020 Business Summit, taking place Feb. 9-11 at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas. Register now to ensure you don’t miss the exclusive firsthand look into the 2019 Firm Owners Economic Trends and Outlook that is only being presented at this event. The findings paint a picture of the state of the profession and offer the latest insights into business trends and what’s expected for the future of court reporting and captioning firms. The findings will be presented in a special session led by NCRA Executive Director Dave Wenhold, CAE, PLE.

Learn more about why the industry is growing, see how trends compare to previous years, and find out why so many of the more than 200 firm owners who participated in the survey are optimistic about continued growth in the future. And remember, the Firm Owners Economic Trends and Outlook will be made available only to attendees of the NCRA 2020 Business Summit.

Key findings of the 2019 outlook include:

• More than half of firms grew their revenue this year, and 60 percent are feeling positive about the economy.

• Even though most firms have few full-time employees, many are working with other professionals to cover jobs and rely on outsourcing administrative and other professional tasks, including videography.

• Firm owners are turning down work when there are more assignments than reporters, but this shortage may be an opportunity to mentor and support aspiring reporters who are writing between 180-200 wpm, especially to help cover personnel shortages.

• The stenographic industry is based on relationships, with work mostly secured by word of mouth or referrals, and the client base is still grounded in the legal industry, although nearly a quarter of firms indicated that nonlegal work is growing.

Be a part of the fun when the event kicks off with a friendly round of Lost Pines Olympics, and take advantage of this and the many other networking opportunities that will be offered.

This year’s 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 Williamsco-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. Click here to hear from Williams herself about what she has to share.

The keynote speaker is 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.

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.

In addition, attendees will enjoy many opportunities throughout the three-day event 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.

  • 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.

NCRA 2020 Business Summit regular rates end Jan. 31

If you haven’t registered yet, hurry and do it now! Don’t miss the chance to join other attendees at the NCRA 2020 Business Summit when they kick off the event with a friendly round of Lost Pines Olympics. The 2020 event is taking place Feb. 9-11 at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas. Regular registration rates end Jan. 31.

The Lost Pines Olympics is a team-building challenge that pits two teams against one another in a friendly go at a relay-type race that features seven stations with various tasks. Stations include:

  • Dizzy bat
  • Soccer dribble
  • Corn hole toss
  • Archery target
  • Giant cup stacking
  • Inflatable horse relay
  • Teambuilding skits

Be a part of the fun and camaraderie this activity will generate and take advantage of the numerous networking opportunities that the Business Summit will offer. And don’t forget the amazing speakers scheduled this year who will share insights about the latest in using social media to build your business, the best financial planning tips, a firsthand look at the NCRA 2019 Firm Owners Benchmark Survey, and more.

This year’s Business Summit line-up 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. Click here to hear from Williams herself about what she has to share.

Keynote speaker is 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.

Ron Comers, a former FBI agent and current advisor on corporate security risks through Charted Risk, LLC, who 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, who will lead a session on financial planning and managing personal wealth.

In addition, attendees will enjoy many opportunities throughout the three-day event 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.

  • 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.