Call for 2019 DSA nominations: Recognize that special professional

Has a peer or colleague gone above and beyond to support NCRA and the court reporting and captioning professions? Then consider nominating that person for NCRA’s 2019 Distinguished Service Award (DSA). The deadline to nominate someone for NCRA’s 58th DSA is March 15.

The DSA is the highest honor NCRA can bestow on a member. It 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 or service at a state court reporters association or in the field of public relations or public affairs. Award winners are recognized at the NCRA Convention & Expo.

“While attending the convention I had no idea I would be receiving this great honor. I do recall that about four years ago my dear friend Louis Rennillo sent my name in to be nominated. But not having heard about it again, I didn’t think about it,” said 2018 DSA recipient Heywood (Woody) Waga, FAPR, RMR, CRR (Ret.), a retired court reporter from Montclair, N.J. “I just thought the DSA Committee had so many more names of people more deserving of this great honor. I still feel that way. There are great reporters who have been overlooked,” he added.

“When the description of the recipient was being announced, all of a sudden I realized they were talking about me. My daughter, Lauren Schechter (a great CART reporter), was sitting next to me and smiling; she said, ‘Dad, go get your award.’”

Only voting members of NCRA or recognized court reporting associations can submit nominations that will be eligible for consideration. In addition, nominations must include information supporting why the nominee should be considered. Finally, DSA candidates cannot be an active member of the DSA Committee or the NCRA Board of Directors.

The purpose of the Distinguished Service Award is to encourage and recognize work amounting to distinguished service by individual members for the benefit of the reporting profession. A recipient of the DSA:

  • Must be a Registered Member of NCRA in good standing or a Registered Retired Member who was a member in good standing upon retirement
  • Cannot be an active member of the DSA Committee or an active officer or director of the Association
  • Must have been involved in NCRA affairs on an extensive level, along with service to state and other reporting associations, public affairs and public relations, writing for association publications, and the advancement of the profession

“Receiving the DSA has meant the depth of accomplishment to me. There is no greater reward than to be recognized by your peers. It came to me at a particularly sensitive period in my career. I had retired a short while ago, and I truly missed the involvement and challenges to overcome. I guess that’s for others to do their own way. I respect that,” Waga said.

“I hope that other professional members would think of worthwhile candidates to receive this great award in the future and send in their nomination. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to say, ‘I love the profession of court reporting as well as this great association representing the interests of all its members.’”

Voting members of NCRA may submit nominations through an online form, by email to dsa@ncra.org, or by mail to NCRA, Attn: DSA, 12030 Sunrise Valley Dr., Reston, VA 20191, by March 15. Click here for more information.

Honor someone with NCRA’s highest award: The Distinguished Service Award

Nancy Varallo recognized with NCRA Distinguished Service Award

Nancy Varallo received the 2017 NCRA Distinguished Service Award

NCRA’s Distinguished Service Award (DSA) recognizes the distinguished work and service of an individual member for the benefit of the court reporting and captioning professions, including service to NCRA as a member, a committee member, a director, or an officer of the Association. It is also often viewed as the highlight of the recipient’s career. The deadline to nominate a candidate is Feb. 9.

“What an honor to be NCRA’s 2017 DSA recipient! The thrills of that day won’t soon be forgotten — seeing my family members appear as if by magic as my name was announced, the applause of my peers, the sentimental video created by my good friend Bill Weber and my father, and my own ‘aha’ moment when I realized my husband, Ed, had kept this wonderful secret from me,” said Nancy Varallo, FAPR, RDR, CRR, a freelance reporter and firm owner from Worcester, Mass. Varallo is also a past president of NCRA.

DSA recipients are also recognized for other displays of notable work, including contributing to the JCR or service at a state court reporters association or in the field of public relations or public affairs. Award winners are recognized at the NCRA Convention & Expo.

“I realized how my involvement in NCRA followed the example of so many leaders who served before me. I felt a real sense of gratitude for the mentors who had helped me along the way: first my dad, my court reporting mentor; and my mom, my feminist role model,” Varallo said.

“I also realized the gratitude I had for the inspiring leaders I’ve been privileged to know throughout my almost four decades of volunteerism. Those leaders blazed the trail! They set the bar for excellence. They taught me the responsibilities that come with commitment, the importance of doing my best, always, and to be ever mindful that a leader is always a role model. I take that seriously. I’ve sought to be a good and thoughtful leader, and I hope I’ve helped to empower others to take the reins of leadership. That would make me happy,” Varallo added.

Voting members of NCRA or of recognized court reporting associations may submit nominations through an online form, by email to dsa@ncra.org, or by mail to NCRA, Attn: DSA, 12030 Sunrise Valley Dr., Suite 400, Reston, VA 20191. Nominations must include information supporting why the nominee should be considered. DSA candidates cannot be an active member of the DSA Committee or the NCRA Board of Directors. The deadline to nominate a member for NCRA’s 56th Distinguished Service Award is Feb. 9.








NCRA Convention & Expo: Ellen Corbett Hannum received NCRA’s Distinguished Service Award

Ellie Corbett Hannum (left) receives NCRA's 2013 Distinguished Service Awardfrom NCRA Immediate Past President Tami Keenan (right).

Ellie Corbett Hannum (left) receives NCRA’s 2013 Distinguished Service Award
from NCRA Immediate Past President Tami Keenan (right).

NCRA awarded veteran member and court reporter Ellie Corbett Hannum, RMR, CMRS, of Unionville, Pa., the 2013 Distinguished Service Award.

“Our recipient jokes and claims to have been born with a servant’s heart. I think that’s absolutely correct as evidenced by the numerous committees and task forces served on, both within and outside of our profession. One of her nomination letters stated, ‘There are those of us who do what we can and those of us who do everything they can for this profession,’” said Merilyn Sanchez, RMR, CRR, who presented Hannum with the award. Sanchez, who received the DSA in 1997, is a court reporter from Phoenix, Ariz., and chair of the National Court Reporters Foundation.

Hannum, a court reporter for more than 33 years, served as owner and president of Corbett Reporting in Wilmington, Del., before it was acquired by Veritext. She is currently affiliated with the Mid-Atlantic division of Veritext.

For many years, Hannum has been a volunteer for NCRA, where she has served as a member and as chair of NCRA’s CMRS Committee. She also served as a member of its Nominating, Strategic Planning, Meeting, and Judicial Advocacy committees. In addition, Hannum served two terms as chair of the National Court Reporters Foundation, as well as a three-year term as a Trustee.

At the state level, Hannum is a two-time past president of the Delaware Court Reporters Association and has served on many of its committees and task forces. She has also served on the board of the Baron Users Group and as editor of Buggie, the group’s member publication. She continues to contribute articles to it and other court reporting– related publications. She also served on the Supreme Court of Delaware’s Task Force on Court Reporting Certification. In addition to her professional service, Hannum has served on numerous charitable boards in her community, including as secretary to the board of directors of Social Venture partners, a philanthropic organization, and as secretary of the board of directors for the Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of Delaware.

“The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor our association bestows upon a member, and having worked side by side with Ellie over the years, it was particularly meaningful for me to present it to her,” said Sanchez.








Ellie Corbett Hannum Named NCRA 2013 DSA Recipient

Ellie Corbett Hannum (left) receives NCRA's 2013 Distinguished Service Award from NCRA Immediate Past President Tami Keenan (right).

Ellie Corbett Hannum (left) receives NCRA’s 2013 Distinguished Service Award
from NCRA Immediate Past President Tami Keenan (right).

NASHVILLE, Tenn., — Ellie Corbett Hannum, RMR, CMRS, of Unionville, Pa., a veteran member and court reporter for more than 33 years, was presented with NCRA’s coveted Distinguished Service Award (DSA), during the Premier session held today at the 2013 Convention & Expo. The DSA is the highest honor NCRA bestows on members.

Hannum was recognized for her distinguished work and service 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.

Hannum, a court reporter for more than 33 years, holds the professional certifications of Registered Professional Reporter (RPR), Registered Merit Reporter (RMR), and Certified Manager of Reporting Services (CMR). She is also a certified LiveNote Reporter. For nearly 32 years, she served as owner and president of Corbett Reporting before it was acquired by Veritext. She is currently affiliated with the Mid-Atlantic division of Veritext.

“The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor our association bestows upon a member, and having worked side-by-side with Ellie over the years, it was particularly meaningful for me to present it to her,” said Merilyn Sanchez, RMR, RPR, CRR, and FAPR, a court reporter form Phoenix, Az., who presented the award to Hannum.