CEO’s Report on spring 2018 NCRA Board Meeting

By Marcia Ferranto

NCRA’s meeting of the Board of Directors last week marked tremendous progress as we work together toward accomplishing the mission of the National Court Reporters Association. Our Board is hard at work moving the vision of the organization forward. I am pleased to share some of the accomplishments of the meeting.

Several NCRA members chose to attend and state their position in person regarding third-party contracting. The session was live captioned for members interested in the topic so they could follow along. After hearing from a professional cross section of our membership, including firm owners, freelancers, state association leaders, attorneys, and leaders from larger multi-service companies, the Board announced NCRA’s official position on the topic:

  1. NCRA’s government relations department will continue to support and assist our affiliated state associations and members in accomplishing their industry-related legislative objectives.
  2. NCRA will continue to offer resources and information to affiliated state associations and members regarding contracting legislation.
  3. NCRA will refrain from providing public testimony.

In new business, the Board and guest members warmly welcomed NCRA’s lobbyist, Erik Olson. Olson described the current political climate and how it is likely to affect outcomes over the coming two years, and how in 2018 we will begin to develop strategy to proactively influence a federal legislative agenda on behalf of court reporters around the nation.

I announced the launch of a quarterly Town Hall for NCRA members as a platform for me to engage directly with members who can call into a live meeting. The NCRA Town Halls will begin in April.

Following the conclusion of the Board meeting, we moved right into the final leg of our three-year strategic planning session. It is 90 percent complete, and I can share with you that the 2019–2021 Strategic Plan will be centered on three critical pillars:

  • Building and operating a sustainable business and financial model.
  • Positioning the profession and association for the future.
  • Increasing demand for NCRA certifications.

The strategic plan will be unveiled in August during the business meeting that will be held in conjunction with the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo in New Orleans.

The NCRA Board meeting last week was my second opportunity as Executive Director and CEO to experience the passion and dedication of this incredible organization. I thank you for your warm welcome and continued support. Working together, the Board of Directors, state leaders, members, and staff will achieve great success through hard work and focused execution as we continue the work of the leaders before us to advance the profession and make NCRA the leading authority on court reporting and captioning.

Marcia Ferranto is the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Court Reporters Association.

Save the date for great NCRA learning opportunities

Photo by: Dafne Cholet

NCRA staff members are planning great ways for members to earn CEUs this year. NCRA members can also earn CEUs by passing the skills or written portion of certain tests, such as the RMR, RDR, CRR, or CLVS exams. Here is a short selection of dates and events (dates are subject to change).

Jan. 31             Cycle extension deadline

March 11-13   CLVS Seminar and CLVS production skills test, Reston, Va.

March 19-20   NCRA Board of Directors Meeting, Reston, Va.

March 20-22   2016 NCRA Legislative Boot Camp, Reston, Va.

April 4-20        RPR, RDR, CRC, and CLVS written knowledge test dates

April 17-19      2016 Firm Owners Executive Conference, San Juan, P.R.

July 9-21          RPR and CLVS written knowledge test dates

Aug. 4-7           2016 NCRA Convention & Expo, Chicago, Ill. (includes the Legal Video Conference, the CRC Workshop, and the National Speed and Realtime Contests)

Sept. 30           Submission deadline for CEUs and PDCs for members with a 9/30/16 cycle ending

Oct. 7-19         RPR, RDR, CRC, and CLVS written knowledge tests

Court Reporting & Captioning Week (Feb. 14-20), Memorial  Day (May 30), and Veterans Day (Nov. 11) are also all good opportunities to schedule Veterans History Project Days to earn PDCs. And don’t forget that online skills testing is available year round.

In addition, NCRA is planning webinars throughout the year, which will be announced in the JCR Weekly and on NCRA social media as they are available. Watch for more information in the JCR, the JCR Weekly, and on for registration, deadlines, and other ideas to earn continuing education.

NCRA opens its new doors to members

DSC_0048_BThe NCRA Board of Directors met Nov. 14-15 to discuss the business of moving the association forward. Among other topics, the board approved an update to the Code of Ethics and the Policies and Procedures Manual. In addition, the board approved an update of charges for the Nominating Committee to ensure that the committee will be able to find strong candidates for future slates. The board voted to shift the fiscal year from Oct. 1–Sept. 30 to Jan. 1–Dec. 31 beginning in 2017.

“Our Board Meeting was very productive, thanks to our talented staff who provided thorough and succinct information on a variety of topics, which enabled all the hardworking and dedicated board members to make well-informed, fact-based decisions on many different issues affecting our DSC_0065_Btimeless profession and NCRA,” said NCRA President Steve Zinone, RPR, an official court reporter from Canandaigua, N.Y.

Members from around the area and around the country came to visit NCRA headquarters for an open house on Saturday evening. The open house gave the attendees an opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the new space as well as see where the day-to-day running of the association takes place. About 80 people attended, including the board, members of the association, staff, and family members. Photos from the event are available on Facebook.

“NCRA’s new headquarters is organized, efficient, and welcoming and quickly felt like a home away from home during the two days I spent there,” said Cheryl Haab, RPR, a freelancer reporter from DSC_0046_BVan Nuys, Calif. “Not only is the space a laudable testament to reporting history and technology with its impressive displays of machinery throughout the office, but the headquarters also nicely represents the level of professionalism that we have come to expect from our parent organization. On walls and desks and whiteboards throughout, the brilliants minds at NCRA have left evidence of their continuous brainstorming for the profession with Post-it notes, advertising concepts, and timelines delineating the history — and future — of our profession. I encourage any reporter in the area to take a few hours to stop by the new world headquarters and meet the friendly faces who staff it.”

NCRA’s offices have been designed to accommodate any members who are in the area and need a place to work, whether to simply check email or conduct business. With some advanced notice, all members are welcome to drop by and enjoy their “home office away from home.”