Stenograph announces winner of the Milton H. Wright Scholarship

In a press release issued March 6, Stenograph announced that winner of a new scholarship that honors Stenograph’s founder, Milton H. Wright. The scholarship, which is awarded through a partnership with NCRF, was given to Lisa Wurtinger, a student at Anoka Technical College in Anoka, Minn.

Read more.

New NCRF Trustees inducted

The National Court Reporters Foundation’s newly elected Trustees began their three-year terms on Aug. 12 after being inducted into service at the Foundation’s annual Board of Trustees meeting taking place in conjunction with the 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas, Nev.

The following individuals were elected to serve on the 2017-2018 NCRF Board of Trustees: Danielle Griffin, RPR, Phoenix, Ariz.; Karen G. Teig, RPR, CRR, CMRS, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Sandy VanderPol, FAPR, RMR, CRR, Lotus, Calif.

Danielle Griffin represents the future of the profession and can aid NCRF in its continued focus on helping students finish court reporting school and new reporters acquire the opportunities to thrive in the profession. She grew up in the court reporting field, working in her mother’s firm in Phoenix from the time she was in middle school, an experience that gives her more in-depth understanding of the business and profession than the average new reporter. As a new reporter with diverse experience and contacts, Griffin commits fully to everything she does. Griffin comes from a culture of volunteerism and strong fundraising experience and understands the value of networking and using those contacts to help make whatever she’s tasked with successful.

Karen Teig has extensive experience volunteering and serving on boards in both her personal or professional life, and she has had specific training on how to advocate for a philanthropic project. This has given her a thorough understanding of what it takes to be both a worker and a leader. She has served on numerous state and national committees; is a past state and national board member; and is past president of her state association. Teig has a true spirit of giving back and has been a long-time supporter of NCRF, whether promoting NCRF during state rep visits, transcribing histories for the VHP program, helping raise funds through her service on the Angels Drive Committee, or donating to NCRF through the Angels program.

Sandy VanderPol is a committed volunteer who has contributed extensively to the profession by writing articles, giving presentations, and serving on many court reporting association committees and boards. She has strong leadership experience, having been president of both her local and state court reporting associations. VanderPol’s accomplishments are well known as the recipient of NCRA’s Distinguished Service Award, and she is highly respected within the NCRA membership for her work ethic, ability to think outside the box, and intimate knowledge of and passion for the profession.

The new Trustees will be joining NCRF Chair Nancy Hopp, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRMS, St. Louis, Mo.; Secretary Debra Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC, Woodland, Utah; Debra K. Cheyne, M.A., CSR, Sherwood, Ore.; Jane Fitzgerald, RMR, Pleasant Hill, Iowa; Tami Keenan, FAPR, RPR, CPE, Battle Creek, Mich.; Cregg Seymour, Baltimore, Md.; and Nancy Varallo, FAPR, RDR, CRR, Worcester, Mass.

Read all the news from the 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo.

NCRF announces 2016 student scholarship winners

The National Court Reporters Foundation has announced that Natasha Jones, a student from Hoffman Estates, Ill., who attends Prince Institute – Great Lakes, was named recipient of the 2016 Robert H. Clark Scholarship. The Foundation also announced the two recipients of the 2016 Student Intern Scholarships: Aspen Keech, a student from Pittsburgh, Pa., who attends the Community College of Allegheny County, and Stephen Sudano, a student from Bohemia, N.Y., who attends the Long Island Business Institute.

Annually through 2019, NCRF will randomly draw one recipient of the Robert H. Clark Scholarship from nominations that have been submitted to receive a $1,800 scholarship to support the remainder of his or her education. Students are nominated by instructors or other officials at their schools. To be eligible, nominees must be NCRA members, enrolled in an NCRA-certified court reporting program, have passed at least one of their program’s Q&A tests at 200 words per minute, and possess a GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, among other criteria. Jones is the second recipient of this award.

“I’m so excited and grateful to be the recipient of this scholarship. This scholarship will be very helpful in paying for my education,” said Sudano. “It feels really great to be entering a profession that includes such quality people. I’ve already met so many helpful and encouraging reporters through interning.”

Each year, NCRF awards two $1,000 scholarships to students who have completed or are currently performing the required internship portion of their court reporting program. They must also meet other specific criteria, including current membership in NCRA, enrollment in an NCRA-certified court reporting program, and a GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. A generous annual donation from the Reis Family Foundation helps fund these scholarships. Keech and Sudano are the 23rd and 24th recipients of this award.

To learn more about NCRF’s scholarships, visit

Deadline nears for Altruism Award nominations

TursiNominations are now being accepted for the Santo J. Aurelio Award for Altruism, the highest honor awarded by the National Court Reporters Foundation. The deadline for nominations is July 6.

The Aurelio Award, which is presented each year at the NCRA Convention & Expo, is bestowed on a long-time court reporter who has given back selflessly to the profession or community. The nominee must be an NCRA Participating or Registered member or a Retired Participating or Registered member, have demonstrated altruistic behavior, and have been a working reporter for at least 25 years.

“I struggle greatly to find words sufficient to describe the sense of vindication this award has provided me. I guess as appreciation for all that reporting has given my family and me, for nearly 55 years I have tried to give back by helping students and colleagues – although often in the face of apathy, even criticism. Receiving the Aurelio Award for Altruism has provided solace that I have been doing the right thing, and for the correct reasons,” said Dom Tursi, CM, an official court reporter from Central Islip, NY., who was honored with the Aurelio Award in 2015.

“In the life of a professional, few things are as meaningful as receiving peer recognition. Humbled, honored, vindicated – these descriptors best convey my heartfelt reactions when I received NCRF’s Aurelio Award. That this group of extraordinarily compassionate people chose me was truly humbling. Knowing that among these were some of our finest, most accomplished professionals made me proud to be so honored. At least on par with these feelings is a sense of knowing that my steno notes of life have been clear and accurate,” he added.

For questions or more information about the Santo J. Aurelio Award for Altruism, contact B.J. Shorak, NCRF Deputy Executive Director, at 800-272-6272, ext. 126, or at

Nominate now.

NCRF: Trustees provide vision and direction

National Court Reporters FoundationThe National Court Reporters Foundation promotes and supports the interests of the court reporting pro­fession. NCRF accomplishes its mission through the philanthropic programs it administers for the benefit of students, “new” court reporters, and all members of the National Court Reporters Association, as well as by providing the Legal Ed seminars that many NCRA members have presented to lawyers and law students, by preserving the oral histories of America’s veterans, and by supporting the international community of record keepers.

These are ambitious and worthy goals. NCRF does all this through the generosity and service of NCRA members, the NCRF Angel donors, its phone-a-thon and auction programs, the work done by the NCRF Board of Trustees, and the support of the professional staff of NCRF: Oral Histo­ries Program Coordinator Beth Kilker, NCRF Deputy Executive Director B.J. Shorak, and NCRA Executive Director Jim Cudahy.

Nominations are now open to serve as a Trustee on the Foundation board, a three-year position elected by NCRA’s Board of Directors. Now is the time to step forward for the betterment of your profession. Nomina­tions will be accepted through January 17, 2014. (See the ad on page 34 for more information.)

The word philanthropy means loving humankind; being a humani­tarian; and doing good deeds. All of us want to leave the world a better place. Here’s your opportunity to contribute for the good of our profes­sion.

Attaining proficiency as a court reporter requires great focus, flex­ibility, dedication, concentration, and persistence, and these are the same characteristics of a natural leader. What we do as court reporters, realtime writers, and captioners is truly an amazing skill set. You already possess most of the necessary qualifications trustees are asked to provide: solid thinking, diverse perspective, vision, commitment, and maybe even fund­raising.

I am an eight-year NCRF Angel, a long-time Angel Committee mem­ber, and one of the newest members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. I’ve found that “giving” makes my heart soar! There’s just no limit to the good feeling of simply doing good deeds. When I was approached to be an Angel, then to be an Angel Committee member, and then to be a Founda­tion Trustee, part of me wondered, “What can I contribute? How will I find the time? Who, little ol’ me?”

I remember how I felt before passing that last 225 test required to be­come a graduate of the College of Legal Arts in Portland, Ore. How daunt­ing and seemingly insurmountable that last barrier appeared to me. But then I stretched and bounded over that last mountain.

Please consider the challenges you’ve triumphed over and the op­portunities you’ve received in your career as you contemplate becoming involved in the philanthropic programs of NCRF. The Foundation needs leaders who will provide vision and direction. How about you?


Debra (Debi) K. Cheyne, M.A.
NCRF Trustee
Angels Committee Member

In your Association: NCRF- Get to know us

National Court Reporters FoundationMaybe you’re like I was a few years ago: Familiar enough with the National Court Reporters Foundation to know it did good things — isn’t that what foundations do? — but not quite familiar enough to be able to list three reasons why I was an Angel, which is a donor who supports the Foundation with an annual donation of at least $1,000.

Or maybe you’re someone who has heard the acronym NCRF but never really knew what it was all about and, therefore, never felt particularly compelled to support it with your time or resources.

Well, either way, I’m here to deliver a message: Your Foundation wants to be your new best friend!

Like best friendships, reciprocity is always a cornerstone. Any one-way street usually dead-ends at some point. But relationships where you both give and get back seem to be the most rewarding.

In a nutshell, here’s what there is to love about your Foundation:

NCRF supports students and new professionals. We’ve all been there, and it goes without saying that the scholarships, grants, and complimentary NCRA memberships provided by NCRF are credibly needed and appreciated by the future of our profession: court reporting students.

The Veterans History Project and the Legal Education Program are two NCRF initiatives that stand on their own in terms of the value they add to our communities. But the extra value they add to NCRA members through the awesome marketing opportunities they create is definitely underestimated and underleveraged. Also, did I mention you can obtain free PDCs by participating in these programs?

Each year, through the Santo J. Aurelio Award for Altruism, NCRF recognizes and honors one outstanding court reporter at the Annual Awards Luncheon at convention whose altruism throughout his or her service to our profession has been extraordinary and exemplary. Always powerful and moving.

And hot off the press: As a result of a recent strategic planning session NCRF is creating new and exciting tools and initiatives for court reporters to use not only in marketing themselves and their firms but also in touting the profession as a whole.

As you can see, NCRF creates and supports projects and programs that support court reporters, our profession, and our communities. Pretty noble work, right? What’s not to love? And it is all made possible by the financial support of NCRA members and other generous donors. So, here’s to the engagement of every member with NCRF and to a long and prosperous relationship rooted in mutual support.

NCRF: what will my money be used for?

For the last two years, I’ve chaired the Angels Committee and am often asked, “What will this money be used for?” Angels are our major donors, at $1,000 and higher, so of course they want to know their contributions are being used wisely.

At first, I wonder how people don’t know about the Foundation and all it does for our profession. I mean, we’ve been around for 33 years. But then I realize that most reporters are usually so busy that we often don’t have time to really read the JCR or NewsFlash. NCRF also has a bit of an identity crisis, because people may know about our programs but think that NCRA is doing them.

NCRF is really the members’ foundation. Everything we do is to support NCRA members. Every member counts ✔to NCRF, and we strive to count to the members. So, what do we do with donations? When I tell you, I know you’re going to say, “Oh, I’ve heard of that!”

How about the Veterans History Project ? Need PDCs to meet your certification requirements? You can earn them by transcribing a veteran’s history through VHP.

How about scholarships for court reporting students? NCRF awards the Frank Sarli and grants Student Intern Scholarships, as well as grants to a New Professional Reporter. How about free memberships in NCRA for students if they transcribe veterans’ histories?

Or how about free teaching tools so that you can offer a seminar to end-users on how to make a good record? You know they don’t get it in law school!

How about supporting NCRA at Intersteno so that our profession is represented in the global community?

All of our donors make these programs — and more — possible. But it takes money.

That’s why we have the Angels Drive and hold fun events at Convention and other conferences. In 2012, Stenograph donated a beautiful Diamante that NCRF raffled off, raising more than $11,000 for the Foundation. Whoops, they did it again! They donated a Diamante for NCRF to raffle at NCRA’s 2013 Convention in Nashville. Stenograph has been a faithful supporter of NCRF since we were formed in 1980, and we can’t thank them enough.

As Merilyn Sanchez mentioned in this column last month, NCRF’s Board of Trustees is undertaking a new strategic plan. We’re working closely with NCRA to connect NCRF’s activities more tangibly and directly to the needs and priorities identified by NCRA members. You matter to us, and we want to matter to you! Keep watching. We’re excited to announce how we’re going to do that.

Finally, thank you to everyone who supports NCRF. We can’t do it without you!

Want to become an Angel? Contact me at or — we’re always happy to hand out halos!

Attention students: Free NCRA memberships from NCRF

Through NCRF’s Student Initiatives Program, court reporting students can earn a free student membership in NCRA just by transcribing two histories under NCRF’s Oral Histories Program. It’s that easy! Sign up now, and NCRF will pay your dues so that you receive the benefit of a full year of membership — free! Contact Beth Kilker, OHP program manager, at 800- 262-6272, ext. 174, or by email at bkilker@

NCRA’s membership “made the promise”

2013 marks the 10th anniversary of NCRF’s official partnership with the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress. NCRF called on NCRA’s membership to “Make the Promise” and complete 3,000 transcripts during this anniversary year.

According to NCRF and the Library of Congress, NCRA members not only met but exceeded the goal of transcribing 3,000 veterans’ oral histories for VHP. To date, 3,018 transcriptions have been returned to the Library of Congress for the Veterans History Project.

National Court Reporters Foundation Awards 2013 Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug 10, 2013—The National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF), the charitable arm of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the country’s leading organization representing stenographic court reporters and captioners, today recognized Justine Kiechel, a court reporting student from West Chester, Pa., as the recipient of the $2,000 2013 Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship, at a special awards luncheon held during NCRA’s 2013 Convention & Expo., being held in Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 8-11.

“Each year the Foundation is honored to award this scholarship to a deserving student to help them facilitate their education,” said B.J. Shorak, the Foundation’s deputy executive director.

“This ever-important scholarship is made possible by the generous donations we receive each year from our members during several of our annual fundraising activities. The donations we receive are a clear reflection of how committed our members are to their profession.”

NCRF’s Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship honors the late Frank Sarli, a court reporter who was committed to supporting students at the highest level of their learning curve. Kiechel, a student at the College of Court Reporting in Hobart, Ind., is the 17th recipient of the scholarship. Recipients are chosen based on a number of criteria, including enrollment in an NCRA-certified court reporting program, passing at least one of the court reporting program’s Q&A tests at a minimum of 200 words per minute, having a grade point average of 3.5 or above, demonstrating the need for financial assistance, and possessing the qualities exemplified by a professional court reporter including attitude, demeanor, dress, and motivation.

Sarli, who was studying to become a professional pianist, turned to a court reporting career when he could no longer afford the tuition to music school. During his career, he opened Frank Sarli’s Accurate Court Reporters in Orlando, Fla., OrangeCounty’s first independent court reporting firm, and was a founding member of the Florida Shorthand Reporters Association. Sarli also served in numerous roles at the national level, including as a director for NCRA. He was also the first Floridian to earn the NCRA’s esteemed Distinguished Service Award.

NCRF supports the court reporting and captioning professions through philanthropic programs funded by annual charitable contribution activities such as a phone-a-thon and the Angels Drive, which recognizes individuals or firms who commit to donate at least $1,000 to the Foundation in a 12-month timeframe.

Among the initiatives the Foundation supports is the Legal Education Program, which facilitates the education of the legal profession about the role of the court reporter through “Making the Record,” a court reporter-led seminar launched in 2010. The program focuses on the value of stenographic reporting and technology. Under the Legal Education Program, NCRF has also partnered with NCRA at the biennial Court Technology Conferences, sponsored by the NationalCenter for State Courts, to ensure court reporter technology is before key players in court administration.

NCRF’ Oral Histories Program (OHP) raises public awareness about the court reporting profession by focusing on capturing and transcribing the poignant oral histories of American wartime veterans through the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project (VHP). NCRF coordinates with NCRA members to complete transcripts of the interviews and submit them to the Library. In the 10 years that NCRF has partnered with VHP, more than 2,880 transcripts have been submitted to the Library, as well as to other program partners, including the National Equal Justice Library at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., the Center for Public Policy & Social Research at the CentralConnecticutStateUniversity, and the Illinois State Library.

NCRF’s CART Services Program showcases the work of Communication Access Realtime Translators by providing grants to consumer organizations, such as the Association of Late-Deafened Adults. CART providers offer live-event captioning and personalized service for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.