Kendra Johnston wins the NCRA September membership renewal campaign

Kendra Johnston, RMR, CRR, Charleston, S.C.

Our congratulations to Kendra Johnston, RMR, CRR, of Charleston, S.C., who was randomly chosen among all those who renewed their NCRA membership in September to win a $300 Amazon gift credit. The renewal rewards continue: renew in October for your chance at a $100 prize.

When asked about why she initially joined NCRA, Johnston explained,”I became a member of NCRA (then NSRA)  because I wanted to be involved and learn all I could about my profession. I’ve attended many of the seminars, enjoyed spending time with other reporters, and learned so much from them.”

Johnston shared about her passion for the court reporting profession:

“I’ve been reporting for over 35 years and still love it, find it challenging and rewarding. I love working with familiar clients and meeting new people. I’ve had the opportunity to travel nationally and internationally. I went from typing transcripts from my notes all the way to realtime. Every job is an opportunity to improve my skills, brief on the fly, edit from my writer, learn.  It never gets boring!”

Renew early to win

Members who renew their NCRA membership by Sept. 30, 2019, will be entered into a drawing to win a $300 Amazon gift card. In addition, you’ll be in the running for any of the other smaller prizes offered in October. Renewing early and online helps NCRA save money by decreasing printing and mailing costs and keeps your Association functioning smoothly.

NCRA membership includes many great benefits:

  • Subscriptions to the JCR Magazine and the JCR Weekly
  • Access to multiple certification programs with discounts on Written Knowledge and online Skills Tests
  • A listing in the NCRA Sourcebook, the largest directory of court reporters, captioners, legal videographers, court reporting instructors, and proofreaders and scopists
  • Access to discounted group insurance programs through Mercer for business and personal insurance including liability and errors and omissions
  • Significant savings on can’t-miss networking and educational events at the NCRA Business Summit (Feb. 9-11, 2020) and the NCRA Convention & Expo (Aug. 6-9, 2020) 
  • First-class online educational opportunities

Members who renew in September enjoy the following benefits:

  • It’s green; less mail to you.
  • It’s clutter-free; fewer reminder emails to your inbox.
  • It’s beneficial; your benefits are not interrupted.

Renewing is easy and available online at NCRA.org/renew or by calling 800-272-6272.

Past NCRA member Lynn T. Jones passes

The Billings Gazette reported on Aug. 22 that past NCRA member Lynn T. Jones, 97, died on Aug. 19. Jones was the first stenograph (machine) court reporter in Montana.

Read more.

‘I know you’re exhausted, but you can do this’

Elise Townes, RPR

Elise Townes, RPR, a freelancer from Rockford, Mich., posted the following in the Facebook group “Encouraging Court Reporting Students.”

Why do you love court reporting? Share your reasons with us at jcrfeedback@ncra.org and post with #whyilovecourtreporting.

Tonight was a pretty big night for me. I just submitted my very first transcript to the attorneys! This has all been about seven years in the making. I’m a single mother, and this whole process has not been easy!

I felt like it took me forever to get out of school. My school (The College of Court Reporting) was fantastic! I just had to work while I was in school and had two young children, so it took me a bit longer. 

After that, it took me a few more years to become certified. It was tough finding time and energy to practice, especially not being in school. I finally decided to quit my work and focus solely on practicing for the last leg of the RPR, and it worked. I was finally certified in December of last year and then earned my CSR certification right after.

I was a teen mom (twice). I have had to struggle immensely for this, and it’s all been to give my kids the life they deserve. They’re the reason for all of it. A few months ago, I accepted a job as an official reporter in Colorado and made the huge move from Michigan.

I’ve only been working for a month, but it feels so amazing to be able to say I finally made it and to tell all of you that YOU CAN DO THIS. Don’t give up!!! I know you’re exhausted. I know you’re feeling burnt out. I know it feels like it’s taking forever. Persevere and power through because you’ve got this, and it’s worth it!!

Phipps Reporting acquires Accurate Stenotype

Phipps Reporting has acquired Accurate Stenotype, a 43- year-old Tallahassee-based court reporting firm. “Aligning with firms like Accurate who share our core values is part of our strategic plan to become one of the strongest firms in the industry. This acquisition further enhances our commitment to quality stenographic services and ethics,” said Christine Phipps, RPR, President and CEO of Phipps Reporting based in West Palm Beach.

Read more.

Weigl, Zweizig return as national champs

NCRA 2019 Speed Contest winner Jeff Weigl
NCRA 2019 Speed Contest winner Jeff Weigl

Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC, from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, won the 2019 Speed Contest, held on Aug. 14, during the NCRA 2019 Convention & Expo in Denver, Colo. His overall accuracy rate was 97.54 percent, or 87 errors total. This is Weigl’s third win in the Speed Contest. In second place overall for Speed was Patricia Nilsen, RMR, CRR, CRC, CRI, of Nashville, Tenn., and in third was Traci Mertens, RDR, CRR, CRC, of Belleville, Ill.

Doug Zweizig, RDR, CRR, of Baltimore, Md., is the new Realtime Contest champion. Zweizig previously won the contest in 2006 and 2015. Mark Kislingbury, FAPR, RDR, CRR, of Houston, Texas, earned second place overall in the competition, and Weigl placed third overall.

NCRA 2019 Realtime Contest Champion Doug Zweizig
NCRA 2019 Realtime Contest Champion Doug Zweizig

The Speed Contest consists of three legs: literary at 220 wpm, legal opinion at 230 wpm, and testimony at 280 wpm. Contestants have a total of 90 minutes per leg for transcription.

The Realtime Contest consists of two legs: literary at 200 wpm and testimony at 225 wpm. Contestants must turn in an ASCII file immediately following the end of dictation.

In both contests, contestants must receive 95 percent accuracy to qualify; accuracy also determines the winners.

Educator of the Year awarded

Margaret (Peg) Sokalski-Dorchack, RMR, a court reporting program director for MacCormac College in Chicago, Ill., was given the 2019 CASE Award of Excellence. The announcement was made at NCRA’s Convention & Expo being held in Denver, Colo., Aug. 15-18.

NCRA’s CASE (Council on Approved Student Education) Award of Excellence recognizes the important role student education plays in the court reporting profession and honors educators for their dedication and outstanding achievement and leadership. Recipients are nominated by an NCRA member.

Sokalski-Dorchack has been a member of NCRA for almost 40 years. She is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. After being honorably discharged, she began the court reporting program at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in Cuyahoga, Ohio, under the leadership of Dr. Angela Hergenröeder, the first recipient of NCRA’s outstanding educator award. 

Sokalski-Dorchack earned the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification while still in school and completed her associate’s degree. She worked as an official reporter in one of Ohio’s courts. Dr. Hergenröeder asked her to teach an evening class at Tri-C during her first year as a reporter, and it was clear that this was where Sokalski-Dorchack’s passion lay. She went back to school and finished her bachelor’s degree in technical education and earned her master’s degree in business education. While working as a reporter, she also earned her Registered Merit Reporter (RMR) certification.

Sokalski-Dorchack moved to the Chicago area with her family and taught at Triton College; Career Colleges of Chicago; and MacCormac College full-time, where she has spent a total of 22 years, the last being in her current position as the program director of the court reporting program. She has published Speed Advantage Q&A, two volumes of Q&A tests for speeds of 80 to 130 words per minute. She is currently collaborating with colleagues on an updated version of a theory text.

Sokalski-Dorchack is also a recipient of the Illinois Outstanding Educator Award awarded by the Illinois Court Reporters Association.

2019 Realtime Contest results

OVERALL COMBINED SCORES

Place %
1Doug Zweizig, RDR, CRR  98.4%
2Mark Kislingbury, FAPR, RDR, CRR 97.45%
3Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC 97.3%
4Traci Mertens, RDR, CRR, CRC 96.5%
5Linda Riffle, RDR, CRR, CRC 95.45%

LITERARY

Place Errors %
1Dee Boenau, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC 899.2%
2Jeffrey Weigl1498.6%
3Doug Zweizig1598.5%
4Mark Kislingbury1898.2%
5Diane Kraynak , RMR, CRR, CRC 2697.4%
6Patrick Mahon, RMR, CRR2897.2%
7Karla Ray, RMR, CRR, CRC, CRI3097%
7Traci Walker, RMR, CRR, CRC3097%
8Kathy Cortopassi, RMR, CRR, CRC3796.3%
8Traci Mertens3796.3%
8Patricia Nilsen, RMR, CRR, CRC, CRI3796.3%
9Ron Cook, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC3996.1%
10Linda Riffle4195.9%
11Sheri Smargon, RDR, CRR, CRC4595.5%

Q&A

PlaceErrorsPercentage
1Doug Zweizig1998.31%
2Mark Kislingbury3796.71%
2Traci Mertens3796.71%
3Jeffrey Weigl4596%
4John Wissenbach, RDR, CRR, CRC4995.64%
5Linda Riffle5795%

* Contest results are preliminary.

2019 Speed Contest results

OVERALL COMBINED SCORES

Place Percentage
1Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC 97.54%
2Patricia Nilsen, RMR, CRR, CRC, CRI 97.15%
3Traci Mertens, RDR, CRR, CRC 96.86%

LITERARY

PlaceErrorsPercentage
1Jeffrey Weigl1998.27%
2Kathy Cortopassi, RMR, CRR, CRC 3197.18%
3Traci Mertens 3796.63%
4Karen Tyler, RDR, CRR, CRC3996.45%
5Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR 4396.09%
6Diane Kraynak, RMR, CRR, CRC 4795.72%
6Kathryn Thomas, RDR, CRR, CRC4795.72%
7Patricia Nilsen4995.54%
8John Wissenbach, RDR, CRR, CRC 5295.27%
8Doug Zweizig, RDR, CRR5295.27%

LEGAL OPINION

PlaceErrorsPercentage
1Patricia Nilsen1598.69%
2Traci Mertens4596.08%
3Jeffrey Weigl5195.56%

Q&A

PlaceErrorsPercentage
1Jeff Weigl1798.78%
2Traci Mertens3097.85%
3John Wissenbach3797.35%
4Patricia Nilsen3997.21%
5Diane Kraynak5696%
6Donna Urlaub6095.71%

* Contest results are preliminary.

NCRA Elects 2019-2020 Officers at Annual Convention & Expo in Denver

2019-2020 NCRA Board of Directors
2019-2020 NCRA Board of Directors

The National Court Reporters Association announced that the following members have been elected and installed as 2019-2020 officers:

  • President: Max Curry, RPR, CRI, a court reporter and firm owner from Franklin, Tenn.
  • President-elect: Christine Phipps, RPR, a court reporter and firm owner from North Palm Beach, Fla.
  • Vice President: Debra A. Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC, a freelance court reporter from Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Kristin Anderson, RPR, an official court reporter from San Antonio, Texas

In addition, two new members of NCRA’s Board of Directors were also installed to serve three-year terms during the event. They include: Lance Boardman, RDR, CRR, Cleveland, Ohio, and Heidi Thomas, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, Acworth, Ga.

Also installed to serve two-year terms were Keith Lemons, FAPR, RPR, CRR, from Brentwood, Tenn., and Yolanda Walton, FAPR, RPR, from Norwalk, Ohio.

Jason Meadors, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, from Fort Collins, Colo., was installed to serve a one-year term.

Returning directors include: Meredith A. Bonn, RPR, CRR, Webster, N.Y.; Cindy Isaacsen, RPR, from Shawnee, Kan.; Cathy Penniston, RPR, CRI, from Ottumwa, Iowa; and Sue A. Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, from Springfield, Ohio, NCRA Immediate Past President. The officers were installed during the 2019 NCRA Convention & Expo being held in Denver, Colo., Aug. 15-18.