NCRF’s Purple Heart Veterans History Project earns top honors

BowStern representatives Ashleigh Flanders and Amanda Handley hold three awards -- two plaques and a trophy

BowStern representatives Ashleigh Flanders (left) and Amanda Handley (right) hold the Golden Image Awards recognizing NCRF’s Purple Heart Veterans History Project event

NCRF’s efforts to commemorate National Purple Heart Day by hosting a Veterans History Project event during the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo held in Chicago, Ill., last August have earned top honors in the Golden Image Awards sponsored by the Florida Public Relations Association’s (FPRA) Capital Chapter.

The NCRF Purple Heart event recently earned an Image Award, a Judges Award, and a Grand Image Award, which is the highest award given, in the category of Printed Tools of Public Relations-News Release. NCRA’s external public relations firm BowStern, which is based in Tallahassee, Fla., nominated NCRA’s effort for the award.

The Purple Heart event, which was sponsored in part by AristoCat, captured the stories of eight Purple Heart recipients from Chicago and the surrounding area for preservation at the Library of Congress as part of the Veterans History Project collection. The event also drew significant media coverage, including:

More recently, the NCRF Purple Heart effort was showcased in the December 2016 issue of Convene magazine as well as in a May article that appeared in Associations Now.

NCRF has been invited to host a Veterans History Project event at the Military Order of the Purple Heart’s annual convention taking place in mid-August in Dallas, Texas.

For more information about NCRF’s Oral History Program, visit

CAREER: So, now what?

By Timothy St. Clair

You just returned home from the 2016 NCRA Convention; so, now what? What are you supposed to do now? Maybe you were inspired by the Speed Contest champions and contestants, as they were recognized for their extraordinary talents. Perhaps you were challenged by a presenter in one of the many different seminar tracks that you chose to attend. It could have been as simple as the conversation you had with a court reporting student who inspired you with his or her optimism and positive outlook towards joining a very select profession.

Whatever your experience was at the convention, you are now faced with a choice of which path to take. One path is to simply take all of the materials you gathered from the various vendors, the notes you took during your seminar courses, conversations with fellow court reporters or students, and shove them into a drawer, or in the deep recesses of your mind to never be seen or used again? I would suggest that to do so would be a great waste of your time, as well as a waste of the time that so many people gave in preparing the materials for the seminar and organizing the convention into a yearly gathering of court reporters for our educational and emotional benefit.

The other path would be to glean as much wisdom and inspiration as possible from the information you received. Allow me to suggest three easy steps to apply to what you may have heard or experienced from the convention this past weekend: 1) Observation: What did the presentation say to you, or what did you hear the person say? 2) Interpretation: What does the information you heard mean? 3) Application: What am I going to do about what the information says and means?

Let me offer my experience as an example. I attended the Awards Luncheon on Saturday afternoon and listened as the various Speed and Realtime Contest participants and winners were introduced. What did I observe? There were a number of court reporters that participated in the various speed contests.

What did I interpret from this observation? That each of the top six performers (as well as all that qualified) in the various categories were not only talented, but that for them to reach that point in their career took a lot of hard work and dedication.

How am I going to apply this to myself? Now comes what some may interpret as the OC moment, or the rubber meets the road moment. But what it simply means to me is that I need to spend more time refining my writing style and practicing. Why? Not necessarily because I want to participate in a speed contest, but to become more practiced and polished in my profession so that by doing so I can make a positive difference as I perform my job duties.

Please understand you don’t have to have just returned from the national convention to apply any of the above. These are three simple steps that can be applied to any learning experience that you may have had. Often as we attend seminars or webinars the amount of information we have received can be analogous to drinking water from a fire hose. Tons of output, only so much space to receive it. It is my hope that this exercise may provide you with a tangible way to break down into manageable portions that information that you have received.

Timothy St. Clair, RMR, is the owner of St. Clair Court Reporting in South Bend, Ind. He can be reached at



NCRA CEO and Executive Director addresses the membership at the 2016 Convention & Expo

The following is the speech given by NCRA CEO and Executive Director Michael Nelson, CAE, at the 2016 Convention & Expo in Chicago, Ill.

It has been a whirlwind past year since I last spoke to many of you. In that time, I have learned much about the reporting industry: and I still have much to learn. In my many years in the nonprofit world, I have never had the privilege of working for an organization comprised of such passionate and talented members. You are all very talented and skilled. That bears repeating: you are all exceptionally talented and skilled. I say this as I look out into a sea of stenographic virtuosos.

For all of your remarkable talents, I feel there is a tendency to be hesitant about adapting to the changes that occur in the market place. In the midst of consistent change surrounding the profession, it is easy to cling idly to the practices of the past.

As we all know, our profession is very unique in the services we provide and the important role we play in the judicial process, aiding the deaf and hard of hearing community, and ensuring that history is captured accurately. But in terms of evolving and expanding, our profession is not so different from any other profession.

Consider how industries are impacted by external forces. Consider today’s taxi industry which is under fire for failing to adapt. As the popularity of Uber has rapidly grown, spurred by service that is more dependable, more affordable, and the experience of cleaner rides, the taxi industry has instead turned to legal suits and calls for legislation to stop the competitor. The result? Some well-established companies, like Yellow Cab in San Francisco, have fallen into bankruptcy — not very pretty, but rather an ugly response to an unwillingness to adapt to change.

Alternatively, think about the anxiety felt by the newspaper industry in the late 1980s when the daily news was put at the fingertips of consumers via the Internet. Despite proclamations that the newspaper industry would die, it has not. It has just changed. Rather than accepting the impact the Internet would have on business, the industry instead chose to adapt to those changes. Despite the claims they were going to cease to exist, they instead flourished. They flourished because rather than fighting the challenge of the Internet, they chose to embrace it, offering their readers online subscriptions and a greater immediate access to real time breaking news. The newspaper industry rose beyond its historic attachment to the printing press in favor of digital means to bring news to its readership. How many of you today got your news from the Internet?

Our profession is not dying. It is changing. Like the newspaper industry we have to be cognizant of those changes, and be ready and willing to adapt, otherwise we face the path of the taxi industry.

NCRA is a collection of independently-mindset special interest groups: officials, firm owners, freelancers, captioners, videographers, and real time folks, each with the understandable focus on their bit of turf. That’s just business. But if you are in this profession, you have a responsibility to protect this profession. You have a responsibility to promote this profession. You have a responsibility to usher in the next generation of reporters.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

We need to collectively address the challenges we face right now. We have a shortage of students and if we collectively fail to face that challenge then we collectively fail to adapt to change — change that could mean fewer firms, fewer officials in the courtroom, and fewer CART and captioning providers in the future.

Our profession is one of vast opportunity but that opportunity will soon dwindle if we do not embrace a commonality of working together to ensure a future for today’s professionals and tomorrow’s.

I know each of you can adapt to change because in the year I have been with NCRA I have watched you embrace and learn as new technology comes along.

Jack Welch, past CEO of GE and author of Winning, a #1 Wall Street Journal and international best sellers wrote: Control your destiny or someone else will.

Let’s control our destiny now. I ask that each of you stand up, right now, with me for our profession. Please raise your right hand if you are committed as I am to the future of our profession. I now deputize everyone in this room to make the commitment to aid in our growth and future by working to recruit the next generation of reporters. It is vital that we marshal all efforts toward the critical outreach necessary to apprise high schoolers, veterans, career changers, and others about the benefits of a career in reporting.

Here at convention we are launching new toolkits and resources for schools to help them in their quest to identify, recruit, retain, and graduate talented and competent students who can fill the growing opportunities coming in the near future. But to supplement those toolkits, the schools need you to help spread the word about this wonderful, viable, and unique profession.

We must have live, animated people visit classrooms/employment centers, etc. and aggressively advocate for the profession. We have 16,000 active members in NCRA, and approximately 50 staff and board members. We need to recruit more of the rank and file members to showcase the profession for there are 320 times as many members as staff and board members. Just think about that.

If we are going to survive, it is imperative that we recruit new students. I believe we can and will survive because I believe that each of you, our NCRA membership, understands that no matter what specialized areas we may work in, we have one single common goal — to protect, nurture, and grow this profession.

Remember, the windshield of your car is far larger than the rear view mirror. What am I’m saying is, the future is large, and the past is behind us. Our focus must be on tomorrow: not yesterday.

The future of reporting depends upon the actions we take today.

Let me share with you some evidence of a commitment to the future of our profession.

Several months ago, a name that many of you know, our GR consultant Dave Wenhold and I were brainstorming on ways to demonstrate our commitment to a strong future for the profession. We are both passionate about students as well as equally engaged about the importance of a strong presence on Capitol Hill. Strength in both areas is critical to a bright future for our court reporting profession.

Together we would like to make a gift to the NCRA Foundation to support student scholarships. However, we have a challenge to everyone today. We have $5,000 that we would like to give to the Foundation… Here is the way it works… the NCRA PAC actively raises funds during this Convention. For every dollar that you give to the PAC, Dave and I will give a comparable amount to support student scholarships. If the PAC raises $3,000 during this Convention, Dave and I will donate $3,000 to student scholarships. If the PAC raises $5,000, then we give $5,000 to the future of the profession. Over the next 2 days, join us in this challenge. Stop by the PAC booth and make a donation, and take our money.

Dave and I are “putting” up. Will you?

Thank you.

President’s address to the membership at 2016 Convention & Expo

The following is the speech given by 2016-2017 NCRA President Nativa P. Wood, RDR, CMRS, at the 2016 Convention & Expo in Chicago, Ill.

When you look at me, which type of athlete do you think I was in high school – a basketball player or a figure skater?

I ask because on many occasions, the Dauphin County Court Administrator would introduce me as “Oksana Baiul,” the slight, graceful Ukrainian figure skater who won the gold medal at the 1994 Olympics.

I know what you’re thinking, “How could anyone confuse Tiva with an Olympic figure skater?”

It’s because this court administrator was amazed –mesmerized – at what I did every day. What I did as a court reporter, she said, was the equivalent of landing a triple axel, triple toe loop combination — and I made it look easy. You and I know differently. We know that it can be ridiculously hard.

As I accept the responsibility to serve as NCRA’s president, I want to be clear: What we have ahead of us as an organization and profession is exactly that — ridiculously hard.

Think about how hard we worked to get through school. Think about the passion and the energy that is present among us. And think about what we can accomplish together if we can harness that passion and that energy  and then put it to practical use.

This isn’t figure skating. It’s not an individual sport. We need to be a team and no one can sit on the bench. Each of us has a role to play.

Earlier this year at NCRA’s Firm Owners Executive Conference, I was inspired by a speaker who talked about the power of storytelling.

People love stories. More than facts and figures, a great story can deliver a powerful message; it can inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

Each of us knows what it is like to face something ridiculously hard, meet that challenge, and come out on top. It’s part of our stories.

There are three areas, three priorities, where we must excel, where our story can lead us to success. The first priority is getting more students enrolled in court reporting programs. The second is getting a higher percentage of court reporters to be NCRA members. The third is for all of us to improve our Business IQ.

Court reporters have played a vital role across history as guardians of the record.

  • Our story includes the court reporters in Nuremberg, Germany, who did the crucial work of keeping a verbatim record of Nazi war tribunals.
  • Our story includes the court reporters doing similar work during the Rwandan trials in Arusha, Tanzania.
  • Our story includes the reporters who provided realtime captioning on 9/11.
  • And our story incudes court reporters who today are taking down every word at terrorist proceedings in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

There is honor in what we do every day. We play a key role in ensuring that every person has access to justice, access to basic services. It’s not all glamorous. We have front-row seats for some of the most gruesome, most heartbreaking parts of life – murder trials, rape trials, child-custody battles, and every manner of civil proceeding. At the same time, many of us take part in depositions that have real impact on not just our legal system, but on the global economy. Captioning? We are in the center of the action.

Every day someone finds new applications for our skills, such as helping presidents and presidential candidates practice speeches and debate skills, companies providing instant-access to transcripts of press conferences, helping some of the world’s most interesting people capture their memoirs, sharing their stories.

None of this happened easily. At times, it has been ridiculously hard.

It has taken resolve, limitless patience, heroic fortitude, endless endurance, a sharp brain and – yes – those very nimble fingers.

And we do it in a seemingly effortless way with no grandstanding, no spotlight. We just do the job.

We have much to be proud of from our past. But if we don’t invest some real energy – some substantial effort – in our future, there won’t be enough reporters for our profession to continue playing such a substantial role in our society.

So, priority one – and this is critical – is student recruitment. Two years ago, NCRA commissioned a study, the Ducker report, which illustrates our challenge in stark terms. Just three years from now, there will be a gap of 5,500 between the population of stenographic court reporters and the demand.

Without a steady supply of new reporters, every facet of our profession will be negatively affected. The door will be opened for alternative means of capturing the spoken word to prevail.

After the Ducker report was released, NCRA launched an aggressive awareness campaign for the profession, known as the CRTakeNote program. It was effective in raising awareness, but it was only a beginning. We must cast even more attention on our profession and then convert those prospects into students.

NCRA has developed a toolkit to help schools do just that.

But converting prospects to students can’t just be the schools’ responsibility. If you and I truly care about our profession, it is our duty to play a role.

Here’s what we know: a working reporter reaching out to prospective students, and telling our story  – that scenario makes the biggest and best impression on prospective students. Using our individual stories as a marketing tool to high school students, middle school students, school counselor associations – any group from which we can get an invitation – that is what we need from all of you.

It’s our story, and it resonates. Talk about the remarkable places this profession has taken you – which we’ll celebrate Saturday night. Talk first-hand about how this is a technology-driven profession, how it has provided financial stability for your family.

Schools are eager to have your involvement, to access and leverage your story.

What’s my story about getting involved with court reporting? Well, it involves a water tower, several cans of spray paint, two very unhappy parents who paid for my prank, for which I had to reimburse to them, and the attorney who lived across the street.

Well, maybe we won’t use that story! But your story —your story will work. Your story will encourage someone like you to enroll in school.

We don’t have to do this. The easier route would be to say that time has passed our profession by. We could ride out our time in court reporting together and take no responsibility for the profession’s future.

But I don’t want to do that. Neither do you.

It won’t be enough to get energized here in Chicago. It won’t be enough to write a check and feel like you’ve made your contribution (although NCRF is always happy to take your check as a charitable donation).

This is going to be ridiculously hard. But, as an organization and as a profession, we must rise to the challenge.

It will take an urgent and sustained effort to repopulate our schools and replenish our ranks. It will take a full community effort.

For that community to be at full force to take on such a formidable challenge, we need more NCRA members. That is priority number two.

In the digital age, membership growth is a challenge for many organizations. But there is no question that the problem is more acute for NCRA than for other organizations. Our challenges require that we access the voices — the passion and the energy — of every court reporter.

You and I are in a unique position to lend a hand. Our stories about how NCRA has connected with us personally, how it has enhanced our careers in many different ways, those first-hand stories from fellow reporters can connect in a profound way to supplement NCRA’s efforts.

Some think one-dimensionally about NCRA. It’s just a magazine. But they are wrong. It’s so much more:

  • It delivers information you can’t get anywhere else,
  • It’s a community, yielding career and business opportunity,
  • It’s an advocacy body, protecting our profession,
  • And it’s a connection to best practices.

Your engagement shows that you care about your profession.

Why did I join NCRA? A seasoned reporter asked me to get involved in my state association, which then led to my involvement with NCRA. That’s all he had to do: He asked me.

He then mentored me for 30 years until his death last year. He showed me his love for the profession and how being connected could make a difference, but it also was my responsibility. His professional colleagues were his family, and so they became for me. His dedication was infectious; igniting a spark in me to get involved.

Now, I encourage you to share your stories about NCRA to convince others to join.

The third priority I’d like to talk about is Business IQ.

My siblings work in careers that involve sales either primarily or secondarily. They value their reputations, how their colleagues perceive them. They’re always looking to get better, to keep pace with the competition.

I used to thank God I’m not in sales. But I am in sales – and so are you. I’ve been in sales my whole career:

  • Convincing judges and commissioners that a stenographic record was best.
  • Encouraging colleagues to embrace technology.
  • And, now, as I have migrated to the freelance side of the business, using sales to acquire clients.

Whether you’re a firm owner, a contract reporter, official, or captioner, you can up your game with regard to your Business IQ. Come out from behind the machine and be better sales people. We should be out there every day promoting our skills, our repertoire of services, our profession. We should be looking at business metrics, aspiring to meet standards of best practices; exploring new types of services; making investments in technology; and finding new applications for our skills. We should care about how our profession is perceived among those we serve. Each time we go above and beyond to please a client, each time we find innovative solutions, we take one step forward in protecting and enhancing our profession as a whole, telling our story.

We have a great story to tell. Use that story to enhance your career. Use that story to help NCRA recruit a new member. Use that story to help our schools recruit more students, strengthening our profession at its greatest time of need.

Let me finish with one last story. Our son, Patrick, just graduated from high school in May. As a family, we were personally invested in Patrick’s experience in school. Patrick might say perhaps a little too much.

As it is with a lot of things in life, the day-to-day grind sometimes obscured the progress Patrick was making.

It wasn’t always easy; sometimes it was ridiculously hard. There were times when it felt like together we took two steps forward and one step back.

But he got there. And I don’t know that I have ever been prouder than watching Patrick receive his diploma. So, there I am, sitting at his graduation and the motto of the school keeps running through my head: Ad summum bonum. “For the greater good.” I couldn’t help but think about how that is such an appropriate motto for NCRA and for our profession.

Each of us needs to find new ways to harness our energy and passion, to utilize the immense pride that we have for our profession. We need to take active steps to protect, preserve, and advance our profession – not just for ourselves, but for those following in our footsteps. We need to summon our energy and passion to do those things that are ridiculously hard – and do so for the greater good.


Keynote speaker shares tips to break through comfort zones by laughing

John Wagner spoke about getting out of your comfort zone during NCRA's premier session

John Wagner spoke about getting out of your comfort zone during NCRA’s premier session

Professional speaker and humorist John Wagner entertained attendees at the Premier event held Aug. 5 during NCRA’s Convention & Expo at the Hilton Chicago, Chicago, Ill., Aug. 4-7. He tackled the issue of getting out of your comfort zone.

“You are the architect of your future. You need to recognize that there are two basic behaviors – things we can really control like what we do and what we think – that we can use to help us break through our comfort zones,” he said.

Wagner noted that change is not only throughout our society but within every profession, and further suggested that by through the power of engagement, we can help reduce stress caused by change and expand our comfort zones.

Wagner spent his time on stage engaging the audience by having them participate in fun activities that led to belly laughs and asking for and offering help to the person beside them.

“Humor is a powerful tool we can use to help relieve stress and connect socially. Supporting those social networks is critical in helping to get past the edge of our comfort zones,” he said.

Wagner, who has helped thousands across the country laugh and learn through the use of humor, has presented more than 500 professional programs to clients that have included the American School Counselor Association, BFGoodrich, Blue Cross Blue Shield, General Electric Co., Honda Motor Co., IBM, the IRS, Toyota, and others. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Cincinnati and is a licensed clinical counselor and a nationally certified counselor, and he also is certified in reality therapy.

Other highlights of the Premier Session included the installation of NCRA’s 2016-2017 Board of Directors, the recognition of guests from outside the United States, as well as VIPs, certification holders, and past presidents. In addition, 2016-2017 NCRA President Tiva Wood, RDR, CMRS, delivered her first address as the Association’s new president.

Attendees at the convention were also treated to an array of sessions and educational workshops designed to help them increase their professional experience and hone their skills. Among some of the sessions were:

The secret business of court reporting, led by Debbie Bridges Duffy, RPR, told attendees was to embrace personal productivity. “I stopped feeling overwhelmed when I started feeling the effects of personal productivity.” She offered a story, saying that learning to be intentional about her planning and goals helped her focus her attention on what is most important in her personal and business lives.

“Have an intention and a plan for everything you do. I create a space in my day, my week, and my month for everything I want to do,” she continued. She also suggested that attendees be deliberate about networking.  “You don’t always have the time to see the people you want to, so be intentional. There is power talking to everyone and asking them questions. Listen to what they need,” she said.

Anissa Nierenberger, RPR, CRR, CRC, CRI, led a session called Terminate transcript turmoil in which she shared how small changes such as getting in the habit of correcting untrans in your dictionary immediately after you find them, can equal big results, especially if the same mistake pops up with every edit of a transcript.

In another session, a panel of NCRA members addressed Working from home: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Attendees at this session learned more about the pros and cons of balance life when your office is at home and garnered some tips such as setting up your desk in a way that’s comfortable or changing the way it is to make it feel more inspiring to you; ensuring you have some time set aside during the day to do some activities to keep from feeling isolated, and  which addressed the pros and cons of balancing work and life when your office is at  home; and learning to structure your schedule around your kids so you can still enjoy a great career and not be absent from their lives.

According to NCRA’s newest member, Stephanie Weaver, who walked into the 2016 Conference & Expo, “I’m here because the NCRA conference represents the crème de la crème.”

2016 Realtime Contest results

Realtime Contest

2016 Realtime Contest results


Place   Errors Percentage
1 Deanna Boenau, RDR, CRR, CRC 11 99.489%
2 Ronald Cook, RDR, CRR, CRC 11 99.483%
3 Amanda Maze, RMR, CRR, CRC 21 99.022%
4 Mark Kislingbury, RDR, CRR 24 98.850%
5 Donna Karoscik, RDR, CRR, CRC 26 98.800%
6 Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC 27 98.767%
7 Douglas Zweizig, RDR, CRR 26 98.739%
8 Dana Hayden, RMR, CRR 32 98.528%
9 Judith Walsh, RDR, CRR, CRC 31 98.517%
10 John Wissenbach, RDR. CRR, CRC 35 98.344%
11 Laura Kooy, RDR, CRR 45 97.911%
12 Chase Frazier, RMR, CRR, CRC 49 97.694%
13 Lance Boardman, RDR, CRR 58 97.217%
14 Diane Kraynak, RMR, CRR 60 97.178%
15 Karyn Menck, RDR, CRR, CRC 64 97.067%
16 Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR 62 97.050%
17 Rich Germosen, RMR, CRR 65 96.933%
18 Tami Frazier, RMR, CRR 73 96.578%
19 Kathy Cortopassi, RMR, CRR, CRC 90 95.761%



Place   Errors Percentage
1 Deanna Boenau, RDR, CRR, CRC 4 99.600%
2 Ronald Cook, RDR, CRR, CRC 5 99.500%
3 Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC 6 99.400%
4 Donna Karoscik, RDR, CRR, CRC 8 99.200%
4 Amanda Maze, RMR, CRR, CRC 8 99.200%
5 Dana Hayden, RMR, CRR 9 99.100%
6 Mark Kislingbury, RDR, CRR 15 98.500%
7 Laura Kooy, RDR, CRR 16 98.400%
7 Karyn Menck, RDR, CRR, CRC 16 98.400%
8 John Wissenbach, RDR. CRR, CRC 18 98.200%
9 Judith Walsh, RDR, CRR, CRC 19 98.100%
9 Douglas Zweizig, RDR, CRR 19 98.100%
10 Chase Frazier, RMR, CRR, CRC 23 97.700%
11 Diane Kraynak, RMR, CRR 28 97.200%
11 Jennifer Schuck, RDR, CRR, CRC 28 97.200%
12 Kelly Linkowski, RPR, CRR, CRC, CPE 31 96.900%
13 Tami Frazier, RMR, CRR 32 96.800%
13 Rich Germosen, RMR, CRR 32 96.800%
14 Jennifer Dunn, RMR, CRR, CLVS 33 96.700%
15 Karla Sommer, RMR, CRR, CRC 34 96.600%
16 Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR 35 96.500%
17 Lance Boardman, RDR, CRR 37 96.300%
18 Bernice Radavich, RDR, CRR, CRC, CPE 38 96.200%
19 Kathy Cortopassi, RMR, CRR, CRC 43 95.700%
20 D. Keith Johnson, RDR, CRR, CRC 45 95.500%
20 Suzanne Kelly, RDR, CRR, CRC, CPE 45 95.500%
20 Stanley Sakai, CRC, New York, NY 45 95.500%
21 Janice Plomp, RDR, CRR, CRC, CRI 47 95.300%




Place   Errors Percentage
1 Ronald Cook, RDR, CRR, CRC 6 99.467%
2 Deanna Boenau, RDR, CRR, CRC 7 99.378%
2 Douglas Zweizig, RDR, CRR 7 99.378%
3 Mark Kislingbury, RDR, CRR 9 99.200%
4 Deanna Dean, RDR, CRR 12 98.933%
4 Judith Walsh, RDR, CRR, CRC 12 98.933%
5 Amanda Maze, RMR, CRR, CRC 13 98.844%
6 John Wissenbach, RDR. CRR, CRC 17 98.489%
7 Donna Karoscik, RDR, CRR, CRC 18 98.400%
8 Lance Boardman, RDR, CRR 21 98.133%
8 Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC 21 98.133%
9 Dana Hayden, RMR, CRR 23 97.956%
10 Chase Frazier, RMR, CRR, CRC 26 97.689%
10 Debbie Amos Isbell, RDR, CRR, CRC 26 97.689%
11 Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR 27 97.600%
12 Laura Kooy, RDR, CRR 29 97.422%
13 Patrick Mahon, RMR, CRR 30 97.333%
13 Karen Tyler, RDR, CRR, CRC 30 97.333%
14 Diane Kraynak, RMR, CRR 32 97.156%
15 Rich Germosen, RMR, CRR 33 97.067%
16 Tami Frazier, RMR, CRR 41 96.356%
17 Kathy Cortopassi, RMR, CRR, CRC 47 95.822%
17 Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR, CRC 47 95.822%
18 Karyn Menck, RDR, CRR, CRC 48 95.733%
19 Stephanie Battaglia, RMR, CRR 50 95.556%
20 Paula Campbell, RDR, CRR, CRC 53 95.289%
21 Carolyn Cox, RPR, CRR, CPE 54 95.200%

2016 Speed Contest results

Speed Contest

2016 Speed Contest results


Place   Errors Percentage
1 Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC 52 98.588%
2 Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR, CRC 91 97.516%
3 Karen Tyler, RDR, CRR, CRC 99 97.263%
4 Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR 101 97.238%
5 Jennifer Dunn, RMR, CRR, CLVS 101 97.199%
6 Douglas Zweizig, RDR, CRR 121 96.647%



Place   Errors Percentage
1 Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC 6 99.455%
2 Deanna Boenau, RDR, CRR, CRC 10 99.091%
2 John Wissenbach, RDR. CRR, CRC 10 99.091%
3 Amanda Maze, RMR, CRR, CRC 12 98.909%
3 Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR 12 98.909%
4 Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR, CRC 13 98.818%
4 Karen Tyler, RDR, CRR, CRC 13 98.818%
5 Lorie Kennedy, RMR, CRR 16 98.545%
6 Kathy Cortopassi, RMR, CRR, CRC 21 98.091%
7 Jennifer Dunn, RMR, CRR, CLVS 22 98.000%
8 Mary Schweinhagen, RDR, CRR 23 97.909%
9 Bernice Radavich, RDR, CRR, CRC, CPE 24 97.818%
9 Anthony Trujillo, RMR, CRR 24 97.818%
10 Ronald Cook, RDR, CRR, CRC 26 97.636%
10 Tami Frazier, RMR, CRR 26 97.636%
10 Suzanne Kelly, RDR, CRR, CRC, CPE 26 97.636%
11 Chase Frazier, RMR, CRR, CRC 28 97.455%
12 Kimberly Greiner, RMR, CRR 30 97.273%
13 Rich Germosen, RMR, CRR 32 97.091%
14 Paula Campbell, RDR, CRR, CRC 36 96.727%
14 Kathryn Thomas, RDR, CRR, CRC 36 96.727%
14 Douglas Zweizig, RDR, CRR 36 96.727%
15 Allison Hall, RMR, CRR 39 96.455%
16 Alan Peacock, RDR, CRR, CRC 42 96.182%
17 Joyce Casey, RDR, CRR, CRC 46 95.818%
18 Darlene Fuller, RMR, CRR 53 95.182%
19 David Collier, RMR, CRR 54 95.091%



Place   Errors Percentage
1 Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC 26 97.739%
2 Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR, CRC 45 96.087%
3 Douglas Zweizig, RDR, CRR 46 96.000%
4 Jennifer Dunn, RMR, CRR, CLVS 49 95.739%
5 Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR 54 95.304%
6 Karen Tyler, RDR, CRR, CRC 57 95.043%



Place   Errors Percentage
1 Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC 20 98.571%
2 Karen Tyler, RDR, CRR, CRC 29 97.929%
3 Jennifer Dunn, RMR, CRR, CLVS 30 97.857%
4 Lorie Kennedy, RMR, CRR 31 97.786%
5 Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR, CRC 33 97.643%
6 Bernice Radavich, RDR, CRR, CRC, CPE 35 97.500%
6 Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR 35 97.500%
7 Douglas Zweizig, RDR, CRR 39 97.214%
8 Rich Germosen, RMR, CRR 45 96.786%
9 John Wissenbach, RDR. CRR, CRC 49 96.500%
10 Tami Frazier, RMR, CRR 50 96.429%
11 Joyce Casey, RDR, CRR, CRC 55 96.071%
12 Paula Campbell, RDR, CRR, CRC 59 95.786%



Jeff Weigl new speed champ; Dee Boenau wins realtime

Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC, from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, won the 2016 Speed Contest, held on Aug. 3, during the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo in Chicago. Weigl turned in a 220 Literary with six errors, a 230 Legal Opinion with 26 errors, and a 280 Q&A with 20 errors to earn the crown. In second place overall was Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR, CRC, of St. Charles, Ill., and in third was Karen Tyler, RDR, CRR, CRC, of Shreveport, La.

Dee Boenau, RDR, CRR, CRC, of Sarasota, Fla., took top honors in the Realtime Contest, the second time she has earned the title. Boenau’s 200 Literary leg had only four errors and the 225 testimony had seven. Ron Cook, RDR, CRR, CRC, of Seattle, Wash., took second place overall in the competition. Amanda Maze, RMR, CRR, CRC, of Brighton, Colo., placed in third for the Realtime Contest.

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.

William Greenley posthumously honored with NCRA 2016 DSA recipient

Late court reporter from Sacramento, Calif., becomes 55th to earn national award

 CHICAGO, Aug. 5, 2016 — The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the country’s leading organization representing stenographic court reporters, broadcast and CART captioners, and legal videographers, today bestowed its highest honor, the 2016 Distinguished Service Award, posthumously to past member William Greenley, who was a seasoned freelance reporter, official court reporter, and firm owner from Petaluma, Calif., at a special awards ceremony during its annual Convention & Expo held Aug. 4-7 in Chicago, Ill. Greenley’s wife, Willy, accepted the award for her late husband, who passed away in October 2015.

NCRA’s 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.

“It’s really hard to express properly how we feel,” said Greenley. “I met Bill in 1968. He was just back from Viet Nam, waiting to finish his tour of duty. That same year we married and moved to southern California, for him to go to college. A friend’s sister told him about court reporting and how some people completed school in two years. He thought it was worth a try, and in less than two years he passed the California Shorthand Test.”

Greeley added that after retirement her husband spent time taking care of and being the best Papa to his two granddaughters, Mina and Lani. He also got very involved in volunteering at Jack London state park near their home and in playing tennis.

For more information, visit For more information, visit Career information about the court reporting profession—one of the leading career options that do not require a traditional four-year degree — can be found at

About NCRA

The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) is internationally recognized for promoting excellence among those who capture and convert the spoken word to text for more than 100 years. NCRA is committed to supporting its more than 16,000 members in achieving the highest level of professional expertise with educational opportunities and industry-recognized court reporting, educator and videographer certification programs. NCRA impacts legislative issues and the global marketplace through its actively involved membership. Forbes has named court reporting as one of the best career options that do not require a traditional four-year degree and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the court reporting field is expected to grow by 14 percent through the year 2020. For more information, visit

NCRA 2016 voting results announced

The Annual Business Meeting was held Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, at the Chicago Hilton, Chicago, Ill. Members who were not able to attend the meeting in person were able to follow the discussions live or review them after the fact via a realtime feed to the Internet.

Three contested elections for officer or board positions and a series of amendments to the Association’s Constitution and Bylaws were presented at the meeting. As provided for in the Bylaws, all NCRA Voting Members were able to vote online. Voting closed at 11:30 p.m. Central time, Aug. 4.  1164 (9.5%) of 12195 electors voted in this ballot.

Congratulations to NCRA’s 2016-17 Board of Directors

Wood advances to Presidency

President-elect Nativa P. Wood, RDR, CMRS, FAPR (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) automatically advances to the office of 2016-17 President.

Sue Terry elected Vice President

Votes cast:

  • Doreen Sutton, RPR (Scottsdale, Ariz.): 492 (44.8%).
  • Sue Terry, RPR, CRR, FAPR (Springfield, Ohio): 606 (55.2%).

Debra A. Dibble elected Secretary-Treasurer

Votes cast:

  • Debra A. Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC (Salt Lake City, Utah): 747 (69.8%).
  • Michele Melhorn York, RMR (Arlington, Va.): 323 (30.2%).

Christine Phipps elected Director

Votes cast:

  • Christine Phipps, RPR (North Palm Beach, Fla.): 550 (52.6%).
  • Huey Bang, RMR, CRR (Pass Christian, Miss.): 496 (47.4%).

Uncontested elections

Also elected by acclamation at the Annual Business Meeting were:

  • Christine J. Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC (Wausau, Wis.) as President-Elect
  • Kristin M. Anderson, RPR (San Antonio, Texas) to a three-year term as director; and
  • Max Curry, Jr., RPR, CRI (Franklin, Tenn.) to a three-year term as director

Voting results for the 2016 proposed bylaws amendments

To pass, bylaws amendments must receive at least two-thirds (2/3) affirmation by the Voting Members who voted by electronic means. All proposed amendments passed.  The full text of the amendments is available here.