Firm Owners Executive Conference showcases new markets and adjusting to change


Enjoying Opening Reception

Hundreds of the profession’s top leaders and firm owners gathered in Orlando, Fla., this past weekend for NCRA’s 2014 Firm Owners Executive Conference. The event overwhelmingly focused on how to capitalize on new market opportunities, respond to change, and shape firm strategy to succeed well into the future.

“There’s always change afoot in our marketplace and we need to keep pace, and what better way to stay abreast of market trends than by mingling with the leaders of our profession,” said Nancy Varallo, RDR, CRR, NCRA president.


Keynote speaker Ari Kaplan signs books for conference attendees

Educational sessions at the conference included a presentation by keynote speaker Ari Kaplan, Esq., who explored the reinvention happening in today’s legal marketplace; a panel of legal clients who provided an open and honest feedback session about how court reporting firms can better serve them and become an indispensable component of their teams; a lively discussion about new markets into which court reporting firms are venturing; and the presentation of the fourth annual Firm Owners Economic Benchmark Survey.


Jim Cudahy, NCRA CEO and Executive Director, and Nancy Varallo, NCRA President

The event also featured the popular Vendor Speed Dating session where sponsors had the opportunity to quickly inform the audience about their latest offerings. The event also provided many valuable networking opportunities for maximum information sharing among agency leaders.

Watch for more coverage of the 2014 Firm Owners Executive Conference in future issues of the JCR Weekly and in the April issue of the JCR.

NCRA Firm Owners Conference this weekend in Orlando, Fla.

Excitement is building for the NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference, being held this weekend in sunny Orlando, Fla. This year the sessions will focus on expansion, both in terms of relationships with current clients and building into new markets, two areas that are especially important in the current economic climate. Attendees will get to discover the latest trends in the industry, discover new vendors, learn how to offer new services, and be inspired by keynote speaker, Ari Kaplan, Esq. And after all that work, the closing reception and Super Bowl party will be a fun way to celebrate with new friends and contacts. Walk-in registration will be available; please visit the website for more info.


Next year’s conference will be from Feb. 8 – 10, at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, Calif. Mark your calendars now!

Unlock your firm’s success at Firm Owners 2014

NCRA Firm Owners Conference


Headlining the 2014 conference will be nationally recognized speaker Ari Kaplan, Esq., owner of Ari Kaplan Advisors. Kaplan provides consulting to individuals and organizations interested in creating deeper connections with law students, lawyers, legal administrators, and other legal professionals. In his keynote address, he will address the ongoing and dramatic shift in the manner in which lawyers practice, value their effort, and deliver their services, how that shift is driving a new model for creating opportunity to propel the industry forward, and what impact those changes will have in how court reporting operate.

Kaplan, who was recently named to the inaugural Fastcase 50 list of innovators in the law, served as keynote speaker for the 2010 American Bar Association TECHSHOW and has shared ideas with students and professionals throughout North America and the United Kingdom. He is the author of the highly acclaimed books, The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career through Creative Networking and Business Development and Reinventing Professional Services: Building Your Business in the Digital Marketplace. He has also been recognized in the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog, the Chicago Tribune, the Miami Herald, the New York Post, the ABA Journal, Above the Law, the National Jurist, the Chicago Lawyer, and the California Recorder, among other publications.

Owners and managers of court reporting, CART, and captioning firms of all sizes are making plans to meet in sunny Florida, the site of NCRA’s most prestigious event, the 2014 Firm Owners Executive Conference, taking place Jan. 31 through Feb. 2 at beautiful the Ritz-Carlton, Orlando Great Lakes.

Last year, more than 200 owners and managers attended the 2013 conference, and according to NCRA, the 2014 conference is on track to draw an even greater number of attendees.

“The NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference is the preeminent gathering for today’s business owners looking to improve their bottom line and stay ahead of the curve in their marketplace,” said Joe Grabowski, RMR, owner of Gore Brothers Reporting & Video Services, which serves the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area. Grabowski is chair of NCRA Firm Owners Community of Interest.

“Attending is one of the best investments firm owners can make in their businesses. The invaluable knowledge and insights shared during the program’s many networking opportunities, sessions, and panels that are led by those at the top of their business games provide the perfect collaborative environment to learn how best to  keep their companies in the forefront of the markets they serve.”


The opening reception will be kicked off by NCRA President Nancy Varallo, RDR, CRR, and will set the stage for the 2014 event and serve as the first of many networking opportunities scheduled throughout the program. The Firm Owners Executive Conference will also include vendor-sponsored breakfasts and coffee breaks.

Other highlights slated for the 2014 event include the popular Vendor Speed Dating session, where attendees can familiarize themselves with a wide range of new technologies and business tools during short visits with vendors. Also on the schedule is a client focus group of various law firm personnel who will answer questions posed by moderators and the audience about the types of litigation support services that are important to them, what needs they have the most trouble filling, and how their firms go about filling those needs.

The New Markets Task Force will also host an open discussion session designed to generate information and ideas about ways to identify and reach out to potential new market areas and under-utilized markets, while another session will feature a review and the latest information relating to The Health Insurance Portability Act of 1996, better known as HIPPA.

The findings of the Fourth Annual Firm Owner’s Economic Benchmark Survey will also be presented by Jim Cudahy, NCRA’s executive director and CEO. Each year the survey aids in providing an industry outlook and year-over-year performance comparisons. The 2014 survey will also include insights from questions that were especially designed to assess new potential revenue streams and service areas.

As always, the conference will wrap up with a closing reception and a favorite networking Super Bowl XLVIII party. Attendees will enjoy great company, food, and beverages while cheering on their favorite team during the game that will be played on a large screen television.

“Everyone I talk to tells me how excited they are to attend NCRA’s Firm Owners Executive Conference because of the opportunity it provides for sharing and learning with each other and the best in the business,” said Varallo. “I would encourage every owner or manager, no matter what the size of your firm, to attend this one-of-a-kind event that caters specifically to the needs of this segment of our profession,” she added.

For more information about the 2014 Firm Owners Executive Conference or to register for the event, visit