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.

Full coverage of the NCRA 2019 Convention & Expo

NCRA 2019 Officers and Board Members

Keep up to date with voting results, award announcements, and more events currently taking place at the NCRA 2019 Convention & Expo in Denver, Colo.

Awards and scholarships

Information about voting

Special events

Media coverage

NCRA President addresses the membership on change

By Max Curry

Change is difficult, but some of our greatest opportunities come from change.

A big change in my life occurred the day I left home for Ole Miss, beginning my journey to become a court reporter. It took me three hours to leave because my mother would not stop crying. She told me how proud she was, that she was looking forward to seeing me graduate from college, that her baby was leaving home, and then she would hug me and start crying all over again. It was a vicious cycle.

After two and one-half hours, we made it to my car. After another 30 minutes of advice, love, hugs, and tears, my daddy grabbed my mother in a bear hug and said: “Son, just get in the car and go or you’re never going to make it to college.”

Once in the car, I looked back. While still holding my mother, my dad raised his arm, waved, and said, “Your mother and I love you, and I am so very proud of you, son.” It was one of the few times I saw tears in my daddy’s eyes.

I will admit I was a typical 17-year-old: I knew everything, and my parents knew nothing. I thought: “Thank God I’m getting away from these two dumb people and can finally live my own life!” It took me five years to realize they were the two smartest, most brilliant people I may ever know.

My parents greatly influenced the trajectory of my life. From them I learned to work smart but work hard, to strive for excellence, to serve others, and to pay it forward. When we give back, we leave our world better than we found it. We must care about the collective good as well! The most important values they instilled in me were a sense of community and service to others!

As I left for college, my life was changing; but my parents’ lives were changing too. I was the last to leave home. Suddenly they had to figure out how to do something they hadn’t done since she was 18 and he was 20 — live their lives together without kids and be Roy and Ruth again. My parents fell in love all over again.

Life is full of change, and change can be good.

But today we must consider the court reporting and captioning industries and what change means for our future. In the past three to four years, our industry has seen great change — particularly in the last year. Change that happens that fast can be scary and seem out of control — but it only seems that way, mainly because as a species we are hardwired to resist change, even to struggle against it.

Our industry is over 100 years young. We have survived and thrived because of that word: Change. As change happened, we have not run from it; we have embraced it and evolved. Our theories evolved from short vowels only to long and short vowels, making our writing more efficient with CAT systems. Then came realtime, and we could provide instantaneous feedback for clients. The first realtime systems were IT labor intensive. We now offer realtime output to iPads and other smart devices, removing the difficult IT process for us and for our consumers. Many reporters and captioners fear some of the changes in our industry, whether it is other methods of reporting or the business approaches of companies and how they integrate other methodologies. And, then, outside influences affect the industries.

While I recognize the dangers and challenges, every day I make the conscious decision to face them head on, to embrace the light, to have a positive outlook, and to work toward constructive solutions that yield results for our industry! I encourage you to do so as well, for darkness is an absence of light, but the truest darkness is the belief that the light will never return. Our light still shines brightly.

My commitment to you as NCRA President is to work tirelessly, to make my presidency count, to work with this Board and other industry leaders to find solutions to the great challenges we face! Some of the smartest people I know are on this Board or are involved in our industry through NCRA staff or other industry leaders affiliated with NCRA. We will find the solutions working together!

Some of these solutions are already in the queue: NCRA 2.0’s commitment to looking at all our processes to ensure we function intelligently and efficiently; the NCRA A to Z™ Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand program addresses our student shortage, and my goal to work with reporter volunteers and state association leaders to implement the program in all 50 states this year, putting us on a clear path to eliminating our reporter shortage in the next several years; as a second step, to engage a marketing firm, much as the nurses did in the 1980s, to update the public image of stenographers and help the public to fully understand what we do and the opportunities in a reporting or captioning career; and our commitment to transparency by opening all the doors and windows of NCRA, offering our Board meetings for members viewing via Zoom. And we are going to do so much more!

I want to thank StenoCAT for their collaboration with my predecessor, Sue Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, and NCRA by redeveloping their steno app for the iPad. This allow us to economically have steno writer keyboards available so we can roll out our NCRA A to Z program without a shortage of machines being a hindrance. I also want to recognize the teams at Stenograph and ProCAT for providing student writers for the program as well. We are having remarkable success with the online program already thanks to these folks! Thank you, StenoCAT, Stenograph, and ProCAT — and your amazing support staffs! With our volunteers and our vendors working together, we are going to cure our shortage and profession image issues in short order.

Many people fear automatic speech recognition (ASR) and its key component, which is artificial intelligence (AI). It threatens our captioning siblings more than judicial reporting, but the threat is real to both components of our industry. However, while ASR is making advancements with technology, the reality is, so are we.

The technology we rely on has evolved over the years, and it continues to do so today. In the not-so-distant future (perhaps three to five years from now) our CAT systems will include advanced AI chips. Imagine with me for a moment. As a professional stenographer, you show up for court with your writer and laptop and write the proceedings, and advanced AI software in your CAT system will follow behind you. When you hit the period or question mark, AI goes to work. It compares the audio to the words you wrote. When it completes the review and verifies every word is as you wrote it or has made changes where it deems appropriate as verified to the audio, it will then go back and apply both hard-set English rules to the sentence and the more fluid and flexible court reporting English rules. By the time you have completed the next sentence, AI is ready to move on to that sentence and go to work.

At the conclusion of the session, perhaps all day in court with 300 pages, AI will have flagged maybe 30 or 40 things you need to verify. Within 10 to 15 minutes of the end of court, you could complete the transcript and be ready to send it out electronically.

Similarly, a captioner could soon use such advanced AI CAT software tools to provide near perfect captioning.

Imagine: In five years, we could see a world of highly efficient and accurate stenographic writing aided by AI tools providing near instantaneous, highly accurate products to our consumers and clients.

Now, with this system, how would stenographic reporters and captioners possibly be leveraged out of this industry by technology? I would argue the reverse is true: Advanced technology married with the high skillset of a professional stenographic reporter or captioner will make us even more essential in judicial reporting and captioning arenas, practically making ourselves an irreplaceable component.

While many people fear AI, I remind you it is a tool, no different than a hammer or a screwdriver … or a stenographic machine. It benefits and grows our industry, creating for us a brilliant future. Some may argue this is a pipe dream. But great change starts with great imagination and lofty goals. What I described is a technological change, the same change that got us where we are today!

Make no mistake: we are under attack and are being threatened from all directions. This organization, NCRA, is the only national organization ready to promote and protect the stenographic means of making a record or captioning, period. Is this organization perfect? No, it is not; it is made up of people, and as people, we are all flawed. But the NCRA 2.0 Board has worked effectively together this past eight months, will continue to do so this year, and will work to ensure this organization functions in a financially sensible and efficient manner, setting us up for nothing but success. I understand why some reporting and captioning members have left NCRA over the years and why other court reporters and captioners have declined joining. However, I state again, this Board is dedicated to making the necessary changes to bring this organization back to a pinnacle of stature, but we cannot do it without you. As the leader of our industry this next year, I ask every stenographic reporter and captioner to come home to NCRA and stand with us. You are needed! The best way to confront these threats is to stand together, unified in a common message and a common goal: Promoting and protecting the stenographic means of reporting and captioning as the gold standard! This is our mission!

It is never too early to join your state or national professional association. I encourage our students to become student members, to be engaged, to get involved in your future career now! Reporting and captioning are evolving and changing, leading to remarkable opportunities. I am committed to court reporting and captioning’s future. I believe our future is nothing but bright, and the better days lie ahead! I am excited and honored to be your President and to be part of the change that is NCRA 2.0, and I look forward to working with each of you as we make this journey together!

Max Curry, RPR, CRI, is NCRA’s President. He can be reached at president@ncra.org. This is an abridged version of NCRA’s 2019-2020 President’s speech as given at the NCRA 2019 Convention & Expo.

Bruce A. Matthews Honored with NCRA 2019 Distinguished Service Award

2019 NCRA Distinguished Service Award Honoree Bruce Matthews
2019 NCRA Distinguished Service Award Honoree Bruce Matthews

The National Court Reporters Association announced Bruce A. Matthews, FAPR, RDR, CRR, a retired court reporter from Lakewood, Ohio, as its 2019 Distinguished Service Award (DSA) winner. Matthews was honored at a special awards ceremony held at NCRA’s annual Convention & Expo taking place in Denver, Colo.

The NCRA DSA recognizes the distinguished work and service by an individual member for the benefit of the court reporting profession, including service to NCRA as a member, a committee member, a director, or an officer of the association. Other displays of distinguished work include contributing to the JCR, service at the state or local court reporters association, or in the field of public relations or public affairs. Award winners are nominated by their peers and are recognized at NCRA’s Convention & Expo.

Matthews began his career in 1973 after graduating from Clark State College. Among Matthews’ most notable reporting assignments has been covering Kent State Grand Jury hearing, the bankruptcy trial of American businessman Daniel H. Overmyer, numerous toxic shock syndrome cases, a lower Lake Erie Antitrust case, and patent depositions. He also took the deposition of Art Modell, former owner of the NFL Cleveland Browns on why the NFL Oakland Raiders should not move to Los Angeles, Calif.

Matthews has also presented numerous seminars about technology, ethics, and realtime.

Active at the national level, Matthews is a past president of NCRA and has served on a number of the Association’s committees as a member or as chair including the Legislative, Resolutions, Finance, Nominating, Realtime, Contests, Convention and Constitution & Bylaws committees. He has also served on numerous advisory and task forces, and is a past NCRA Secretary-Treasurer, and past chair of the National Court Reporters Foundation Board of Trustees.

At the state level, Matthews is a past president of the Ohio Court Reporters Association (OCRA) where he has served on numerous committees. He is also involved in the state’s A to Z(TM) Intro to Machine Shorthand program.  

He is the recipient of numerous awards including the past president’s awards from OCRA and NCRA, and the Past Chair Award given by NCRF. He is the only member of OCRA to have received the Glenn Stiles Distinguished Service Award and the Martin Fincum Award in the same year.

Matthews and his wife, Deborah, have three daughters and one son.

Local college launching court reporter program in response to growing shortage

NCRA members Jennifer Dunn, RPR, an official court reporter from Creve Coeur, Mo., and Cindy Taylor, a freelance court reporter from St. Charles, Mo., are featured in a story aired by KMOV Channel 4 on July 30, about the launch of a new court reporting program at St. Charles Community College in response to the nationwide growing shortage of professionals.

Read more.

Good question: What does a court reporter do?

NCRA member Tari Kramer, RMR, CRR, CPE, an official court reporter from Charlotte, N.C., was featured in a story that aired June 28 by WBTV Channel 3 about the job of a court reporter and how the steno machine works.

Watch here.

My (not-so-secret) life as a weekend rock star

By Patricia Nilsen (with Kiki Kim)

Patricia Nilsen

As a lifelong fan of Mötley Crüe, the glam-metal band that became famous in the 1980s, my dream as a child was to someday meet the band. In the mid-2000s, an inspirational Mötley Crüe reunion show at Madison Square Garden in NYC gave me this wacky idea to start an all-girl Mötley Crüe tribute band. The fact that I played zero instruments seemed just a minor detail at the time. A friend of mine — blonde, like the Crüe’s lead singer — loved the idea and said she could sing. I thought: “Done, here we go!” And Girls Girls Girls was born. I asked my husband for a bass guitar for my 31st birthday, and he obliged with a shiny pink bass and the words he would probably one day come to regret: “You better actually play that thing.”

I was working as a full-time federal official in the Southern District of New York in Manhattan — a pretty busy gig, if you’re not familiar with it. Lacking the time for lessons to start with the fundamentals, I essentially learned online. I also couldn’t be bothered to learn how to use a pick — my fingers had always been fast on the machine, so I went with what I knew.

I had been noodling at home for a few months when I saw an ad for a ladies’ rock camp, which seemed like a good place to meet my future bandmates. Most importantly, I needed a guitarist that could really shred. Sadly, the guitarists at camp were more Jewel than Lita Ford. I did, however, meet a wannabe drummer who did finance by day and just came for fun: Kiki Kim. She and her friend invited me to ditch camp at lunch to get a beer – rock ’n’ roll already! Over drinks, I told her my idea, which she probably laughed off as a “Sure, I’ll join your (finger quotes) band.” We exchanged business cards, and that was likely the last she thought she’d ever hear from me.

To find the last piece of the puzzle, my graphic-artist husband photoshopped our faces over an iconic photo of Mötley Crüe with a blank over guitarist Mick Mars’ face and the words “YOUR FACE HERE.” I used the picture in an ad containing the same language Mars used for his own ad in search of the band that would eventually become Mötley Crüe: Seeking “loud, rude, and aggressive [fe-male] guitarist.” Months went by with no reply, and I was ready to hang it up when I finally got the call. Denise “D” Mercedes, who had played in a famous influential punk band called The Stimulators in the 1980s, hadn’t played in 20 years but loved our ad so much that she said: “I just gotta see who these chicks are!”


We were now a full band, and it was time to play. In contrast with my sweet and innocent idea of practicing in my city apartment, D, our lone professional musician, knew how to find rented rehearsal-studio space. And, boy, could she shred. My friend couldn’t sing over the loud guitar and was gone by morning. My finance-professional beginner drummer took one look/listen at D and wanted to follow suit. Fortunately, my powers of persuasion were as strong as my will to start this band, and I convinced her to stay at least temporarily (spoiler alert: she stayed for good). And now we were on the hunt for a new singer. The three of us continued rehearsing for months until we found one.

Our first gig was at a club in Jersey, where we played the owner’s birthday party. We hired a party bus to shuttle our friends from New York City for the show, and it was an incredible time! Little did I know that what seemed like the culmination of a dream was only just the beginning. Over the next two years, we played almost 50 shows. I spent two to three weekends a month in a van, visiting new cities, making new friends, and rocking my heart out.

I was living three distinct lives: Patricia, band manager and court reporter; Patty, wife, New Yorker; and Nikita Seis, Goddess of Bass. My life as a court reporter wasn’t much different except that I took more Fridays off and spent Monday watching the black nail polish slowly chip from my nails, in a daze, with a smile on my face and bags under my eyes. We had enough adventures to fill a book. Our rise was fast, as was our fall. The potent mix of four women with strong and distinct personalities led to a dramatic breakup.

During our time off, one member moved on to form a different band, and I had my first child. During maternity leave, I created a photo book of our time together as a band that made us nostalgic and drew us back together, supposedly with new insight into what went wrong and how to change it. Three years after our breakup, a reunion show was in the works, and I was newly pregnant with baby number two. Four months later, I squeezed into my stage clothes (with much lower heels!), and we packed Brooklyn Bowl with a crowd as eager for our return as we were. Everyone was flying high, so I found a replacement bassist and continued just managing the band from home. Now that I had more time, I was able to take the management role more seriously and brought us to new markets, better money, the cover of The Village Voice, and our first international tour in Mexico.


But two years later, the wheels fell off again, and the band broke up for all the same reasons and more. In total, we played exactly 100 shows in 16 states before I moved to Nashville, when I thought that chapter had finally ended. In December 2018, I was a freelance reporter who hadn’t played in three years. Thanks to maintaining our presence on social media, we had continued to receive inquiries from random clubs and people who wanted us to play their brother’s barbeque for chump change. But then I got the email: Netflix wanted us to play a private party in Hollywood for the premiere of the upcoming biopic about Mötley Crüe, The Dirt. It was contingent on all four members of Mötley Crüe signing off on us. Phone calls were made, singers auditioned, and the bass was officially out of the case. We landed the gig with about seven weeks to get our act together!

The film producers chose four songs and would decide if the crowd liked us enough for an encore — no pressure! Before the show, we were thrilled to hear that Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil and drummer Tommy Lee were in the house. We hit the stage in front of a capacity crowd at the world-famous Whisky a Go Go and ripped into our namesake song, “Girls Girls Girls.” The energy was electric; it felt amazing. During our fourth song, “Kickstart My Heart,” Tommy Lee and the actor who played him in the movie came dancing down the stairs and made their way to the stage, leading to the cue to play our encore, “Live Wire.”

Watching the drummer who made this music famous air-drumming to my band was a moment I will never forget. After the show, Tommy told us our set was “dope,” and we all went home smiling from ear to ear. I share this story because it all began as a crazy idea I had. The most I imagined was playing a gig for our friends at a real New York City venue. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would create something bigger than myself, and that 13 years later, it would still be going. As court reporters, we tend to think that our job is our life and that we don’t have time for anything else. But one of the greatest benefits of this career is the flexibility, and we can do what we choose in our off-time. Choose big. Dream big. And don’t be surprised when your dreams come true.

Patricia Nilsen, RMR, CRR, CRC, is a freelance reporter with Alpha Reporting in Nashville, Tenn. She can be reached atpatricianilsen@alphareporting.com. For more on Girls Girls Girls, check out the band at www.girlsgirlsgirlsnyc.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/girlsgirlsgirlsnyc. Girls Girls Girls drummer Kiki Kim helped with this story.

NCRA member and CART captioner honored

Kristen Wurgler

Recently the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Student Life, honored NCRA member Kristen Wurgler, RPR, with the Wisconsin Idea award, recognizing her work and commitment at the institution for having a positive and significant impact on one or more communities beyond the borders of the campus.

Wurgler, a CART captioner from Cottage Grove, Wis., works at the university’s McBurney Disability Resource Center alongside a team to provide remote services to deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) students as an option for their captioning accommodation.

“I was incredibly honored to just be nominated, let alone win,” said Wurgler. “It means the world to me because it came from colleagues for whom I have the greatest respect. I feel blessed to be in the company of people who are deeply committed to being of service to others and believe that all people deserve equal treatment,” she added.

In a speech delivered at the award ceremony, it was noted that Wurgler’s work on campus, while often behind the scenes with little recognition, is integral to advancing access for students with disabilities.   

Get to know the NCRA Slate of Nominees

NCRA’s Nominating Committee has offered its candidates for the 2019-2020 Board of Directors. The following outlines the candidates’ qualifications for members to prepare for voting. As provided in the Bylaws, additional nominations were possible if received within 60 days after publication of the Nominating Committee slate. The date by which additional nominations were to be received was May 12. No additional nominations were received. The following slate of Officers and Directors will be elected by acclamation to their respective offices during the Annual Business Meeting in Denver, Colo. In accordance with NCRA’s Bylaws, the President-Elect automatically succeeds to the office of the President.

President-Elect
Christine Phipps, RPR
North Palm Beach, Fla.

Christine Phipps, RPR
Christine Phipps, RPR

Christine Phipps is a Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) and president of Phipps Reporting, based in North Palm Beach, Fla. She is the current Vice President of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). She received her associate degree in court reporting from Broward State College, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and worked as an official court reporter for the first two years of her career. She spent the next 15 years working internationally as a freelance realtime court reporter.
Phipps is also an Eclipse Trainer, holds the Realtime Systems Administrator certificate, and has served as Chair of NCRA’s Technology and Freelance Committees, as well as on numerous other committees. She participated in the rewrite of NCRA’s Deposition Handbook, is a frequent contributor to the JCR, and has been a speaker at national and at state conventions.

Phipps was awarded the 2014 Most Enterprising Woman of the Year, Game Changer of the Year, and U.S. Small Business Administration’s South Florida District 2017 Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year Award. Her company has also made Inc. magazine’s 5000 list every year since 2014, making her the first honorary member of the Inc. 5000 in the court reporting industry. Phipps has also received numerous other business awards and was featured on the cover of Wealth & Finance magazine.

U.S. Small Business Administration’s South Florida District 2017 Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year Award.

Vice President
Debra A. Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC
Woodland, Utah

Debbie A. Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC
Debbie A. Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC

Debra A. Dibble is a 28-year court reporter veteran who has worked as a deposition reporter in Salt Lake City, Utah, since 2002. She holds the nationally recognized professional certifications of Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR), Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR), and Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC); she has also qualified in the National Speed and National Realtime Contests multiple times. She also holds NCRA’s Realtime Systems Administrator certificate. Dibble has also worked as a reporter in Memphis, Tenn. She has been a broadcast captioner and CART provider since 2010.

At the national level, Dibble has served as an NCRA Chief Examiner. She served as a delegate to the National Committee of State Associations from 2008 to 2012, in addition to service on numerous other committees. Dibble also served six years on NCRA’s Board of Directors including a three-year term as Secretary-Treasurer. She has also served as a presenter at the national and state levels.

At the state level, Dibble is a past president of the Utah Court Reporters Association and was honored in 2010 with the organization’s Distinguished Service Award.

Kristin M. Anderson, RPR
Kristin M. Anderson, RPR

Secretary-Treasurer
Kristin M. Anderson, RPR
San Antonio, Texas

Kristin Anderson is an official court reporter in San Antonio, Texas, for Bexar County Civil District Court. With more than 19 years of experience, she has worked both as a freelance reporter in Kansas and Missouri and as an official court reporter for the states of Illinois and Kansas. Anderson worked for the United States District Court Western District of Texas from 2013 through 2017 and holds the nationally recognized professional certification of Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) and has her Federal Certified Realtime Reporter (FCRR) designation with the United States Court Reporters Association (USCRA).

At the national level, Anderson is a past chair of the National Committee of State Associations and served on that committee in various capacities from 2006 through 2014. She also served on the Veterans Liaison Committee of NCRA’s New Professionals Committee, the Membership and Telemarketing Committee, and the Steno Opportunities in the Courts Task Force.

At the state level, Anderson has served in numerous positions and on various committees for the Kansas Court Reporters Association, including as president for two terms. She served on the Texas Court Reporters Association Convention and Ethics Committees in 2015-2016. Anderson is a member of the Bexar County Court Reporters Association, Texas Court Reporters Association, Texas Depositions Reporters Association, The Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporting (better known as STAR), and USCRA.

DIRECTORS
Several people were nominated for directorships of varying lengths in accordance with the changes made to the Constitution & Bylaws last year as well as some directors moving into positions as officers.

Director (three-year term)
Lance A. Boardman, RDR, CRR
Cleveland, Ohio

Lance Boardman, RDR, CRR
Lance Boardman, RDR, CRR

In his 35 years as a court reporter, Boardman has been a freelance reporter, a state official, and an independent contractor. He is now a federal official court reporter for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division. He holds the nationally recognized professional certifications of Registered Diplomat Reporter (RDR), Registered Merit Reporter (RMR), Registered Professional Reporter (RPR), and Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR).
At the national level, Boardman has served on NCRA’s Education Content Committee and as a regional director on the National Committee of State Associations Governing Committee.

Boardman has been a member of a number of state associations over the years, as well as USCRA, The Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporting (better known as STAR), and Texas Depositions Reporters Association. He most recently served as a district director and then secretary on the Ohio Court Reporters Association Board of Directors.

Director (three-year term)
Heidi C. Thomas, FAPR, RMR, CRR, CRC
Acworth, Ga.

Heidi C. Thomas, FAPR, RMR, CRR, CRC
Heidi C. Thomas, FAPR, RDR, RMR, CRR, CRC

Heidi C. Thomas, FAPR, RDR, RMR, CRR, CRC, has been a court reporter since 1978 and a broadcast and CART captioner since 1989. She holds the nationally recognized professional certifications of Registered Merit Reporter (RMR), Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR), Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR), and Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC). She is a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters (FAPR).

At the national level, Thomas served for six years on the NCRA Realtime Certification Committee, which developed the Certified CART Provider (CCP) and Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC) certifications. She was also part of the team that developed the Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) certification. She also served as a member of the NCRA Captioning Regulatory Policy Committees. She has been a member of NCRA’s Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (CAPR), which deals with certification and education issues. Thomas has served for many years on the faculty/training staff of NCRA.

At the state level, Thomas is a former Director and past Secretary of the Georgia Shorthand Reporters Association (GSRA) and former member of the Board of Court Reporting for the State of Georgia. She has also served as a presenter at the national and at the state level.

There are two openings for a two-year term, and the nominees are:

Director (two-year term)
Keith Lemons, FAPR, RPR, CRR
Brentwood, Tenn.

Keith Lemons, FAPR, RPR, CRR
Keith Lemons, FAPR, RPR, CRR

Keith R. Lemons is a freelance court reporter, a former firm owner, and an official court reporter. He has been a court reporter for 37 years. He holds the nationally recognized professional certifications of Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) and Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR). He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters (FAPR).

At the national level, Lemons has chaired NCRA’s Scopists Task Force and has served on the Constitution & Bylaws, Technology, and Realtime Systems Administrator committees. He has been a contributor to the JCR for many years. He has also served as a presenter at the national and at the state levels.

At the state level, Lemons is a past president of the Wyoming Association of Shorthand Reporters and the Tennessee Court Reporters Association.

Director (two-year term)
Yolanda Walton, FAPR, RPR
Norwalk, Ohio

Yolanda Walton, FAPR, RPR
Yolanda Walton, FAPR, RPR

Yolanda has been an official court reporter for Huron County, Ohio, Common Pleas Court for 31 years and is a past president of the Ohio Court Reporters Association (OCRA). She has been instrumental in helping the OCRA stay the course as one of the leading court reporting and captioning associations in the country.

Yolanda has received the OCRA Glenn W. Stiles Distinguished Service, Martin Fincun, and Diplomat Awards for her outstanding service to the profession and association.
At the national level, Yolanda has been a member of NCRA since a student and has served on numerous committees, including as a National Committee of State Associations Committee Delegate. She also has attended every NCRA convention since 1992.

She holds the nationally recognized professional certification of Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) and is a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters (FAPR).

There is one opening for a one-year term, and the nominee is:

Director (one-year term)
Jason T. Meadors, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC
Fort Collins, Colo.

Jason T. Meadors, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC
Jason T. Meadors, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC

Jason T. Meadors is a firm owner who began his career in court reporting while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1975-1978. He has worked as a freelance court reporter and an official reporter and has owned his own firm since 1989. Meadors holds the nationally recognized professional certifications of Registered Professional Reporter (RPR), Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR), and Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC). He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters (FAPR).
During his career, Meadors has reported in nearly two dozen states as well as in China, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, South Korea, and Taiwan.

At the national level, Meadors has served on numerous NCRA committees, as well as on the Board of Directors and as Secretary-Treasurer. He is also a contributor to the JCR magazine and has presented at the national and at the state level.

His volunteer service has included numerous positions with the Colorado Court Reporters Association, including as its president.

Local court reporter lobbies lawmakers for reauthorization of training grants

The Herald-Whig posted an article on May 13 about NCRA’s Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp participant Kim Cottrell, an official court reporter from Quincy, Ill.

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