2018 changes to Bylaws create new elections processes

Following the 2018 NCRA Annual Business Meeting, members voted to change the procedures for holding elections of members to the Board of Directors. Those changes will go into effect with the 2019 election process.

Overall, the changes will affect the timing of elections and when candidates are elevated to office. Since elections will continue through electronic means, please watch for email notices from NCRA in June and July.

More specifically, the Bylaws changed the following:

  • Members will now be able to vote for a time period of 24 hours instead of only for 12 hours.
  • Voting will occur at least 30 days before the Annual Business Meeting. (Although the timing of the 2019 Annual Business Meeting has not yet been set, the expected dates for the 2019 NCRA Convention & Expo are Aug. 15-18.) See timeline below.
  • Voting on changes to the NCRA Constitution & Bylaws will not take place at the same time as the elections of members to the Board of Directors. Bylaws will continue to be voted on after the Annual Business Meeting, and members will be able to vote on Bylaws amendments for 24 hours.

In addition, if there are more candidates than the number of open seats for Director, candidates will no longer need to specify that they are opposing a specific candidate for a Director’s seat. This will also allow as many candidates who want to run for a seat to do so. Candidates will be elected to the Director seats by plurality of the votes; that is, the Directors’ seats will be filled by the candidates receiving the most votes in descending order. For example, if there were two openings for Directors and five nominees on the ballot, the two candidates who receive the most votes would fill the two available positions.

Finally, the Board of Directors will gradually reduce the number of Directors from nine to six over the next few years. To put this into place, Directors will be nominated to fill two Director seats instead of three. Directors will continue to be elected to three-year terms. (The exception: If additional seats are made available because of a Director’s elevation to Officer or for other reasons, additional candidates will be sought and nominated to complete the remainder of the term.)

This change to six Directors is expected to be completed in three years.

Members interested in nominating a colleague or hoping to serve on the Board may wish to attend a webinar on January 9, 2019, 8 p.m. ET. Contact Laura Butler at boardnominations@ncra.org to learn more about the webinar. Read more information on nominations.

Other amendments that were put into effect following the 2018 Annual Business Meeting do not affect the election procedure.

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.

Nominations for NCRA Board of Directors sought

Serving on the NCRA Board of Directors is an excellent opportunity to use your leadership skills to help advance the premier organization that continues to empower the court reporting and captioning professions. As a Director, you will serve with others as fiduciaries to steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies as well as by making sure NCRA has adequate resources to advance its mission.

“Clearly the greatest benefit of serving on the NCRA Board of Directors is the personal satisfaction that you are giving back to a profession that has provided us a rewarding lifetime career,” said Debra Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC, a freelance court reporter from Woodland, Utah, and NCRA’s Secretary-Treasurer.

“Serving on the NCRA Board provides an unequaled opportunity to be instrumental in protecting, developing, and shaping the future of our beloved profession. The NCRA Board creates an environment for personal development and growth through opportunities to both teach and learn, instruct and listen, grow individually while building others, and protecting the past while creating the future. The value cannot be measured nor calculated,” Dibble added.

Nominations and recommendations can be submitted to boardnominations@ncra.org by Jan. 19, 2018. As a courtesy, please contact your candidate directly prior to submitting his or her name.

Anyone interested in seeking future Board service can attend a no-obligation orientation webinar on Jan. 10 at 8 p.m. ET. This webinar will help you gain a better understanding of the process and expectations of serving on the Board. For more information about the orientation, contact lbutler@ncra.org.

2018 nominations sought; deadlines near

Nominations are now being accepted for the Fellows of the Academy of Professional Reporters, the NCRA Board of Directors, and the Distinguished Service Award. Now is the perfect time to step up and nominate yourself or a colleague to serve or be recognized for his or her commitment to the profession and to NCRA.

Fellows of the Academy of Professional Reporters

Members of the 2017 class of Fellows of the Academy of Professional Reporters was recognized at the 2017 Convention & Expo. Nominations for 2018 Fellows are due Dec. 31.

NCRA’s Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters is seeking nominations for its Fellows of the Academy of Professional Reporters (FAPR). The deadline to nominate a candidate is Dec. 31.

Membership in the Academy symbolizes excellence among NCRA members. The designation of FAPR represents an individual’s dedication to the court reporting and captioning professions and expresses the highest level of professional ethics. Candidates must have been actively reporting for at least 10 years and have attained distinction as measured by performance. This performance could include publication of important papers, creative contributions, service on committees or boards, teaching, and more.

“It is an honor to carry the distinction as a Fellow in my profession’s national association. Much of the time and energy devoted to my beloved profession and association has been behind the scenes; when I learned I had been awarded the Fellow, it let me know that my hard work and dedication had been not only noticed but appreciated,” said Sarah Nageotte, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, an official court reporter from Jefferson, Ohio. Nageotte was inducted as a Fellow in 2017.

“There’s a quote that says, ‘Volunteers are not paid — not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.’ Taking the time to recognize a colleague through a nomination is one way to say thank you for always giving for the betterment of all. If you don’t nominate someone deserving, who will?” added Nageotte, who is also an NCRA Past President.

To nominate an individual, view the full criteria and download a nomination form at NCRA.org/Fellows. For more information, contact Cynthia Bruce Andrews at candrews@ncra.org.

Board of Directors

Serving on the Board of Directors is an excellent opportunity to use your leadership skills to help advance the premier organization that continues to empower the court reporting profession. As a Director, you will serve with others as fiduciaries to steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies as well as by making sure NCRA has adequate resources to advance its mission.

The 2017-2018 NCRA Board of Directors

“After serving on NCRA committees and task forces, observing and respecting NCRA’s leaders, as well as holding several offices with my state association, I decided to challenge myself and seek a position on NCRA’s Board,” said R. Douglas Friend, FAPR, RDR, CRR, a freelance reporter an agency owner from Vancouver, Wash., and a Past President of NCRA.

“A joy of serving on the NCRA Board is attending state conventions and making presentations. Besides meeting reporters who became friends around North America, I also gathered confidence in public speaking. As a firm owner, this helped in speaking to groups of attorneys, legal assistants, and paralegals,” added Friend.

Nominations and recommendations can be submitted to boardnominations@ncra.org by Jan. 19, 2018. As a courtesy, please contact your candidate directly prior to submitting his or her name.

Anyone interested in seeking future Board service can attend a no-obligation orientation webinar on Jan. 10 at 8 p.m. ET. This webinar will help you gain a better understanding of the process and expectations of serving on the Board. For more information about the orientation, contact lbutler@ncra.org.

Distinguished Service Award

Nancy Varallo recognized with NCRA Distinguished Service Award

Nancy Varallo recognized with the 2017 NCRA Distinguished Service Award

NCRA’s Distinguished Service Award is often viewed as the pinnacle of a member’s career. 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.

“In 2015, at the NCRA Convention & Expo in New York City, I was humbled that I had been nominated and had been chosen to receive the DSA,” said Sandy VanderPol, FAPR, RMR, CRR, a freelancer and firm owner from Lotus, Calif.

“This award was such an honor, and I will always remember the ceremony and the many emotions that passed over me when my name was called. I tell you this because I want each of you to take the time to reflect upon what this award means to the recipient. Nominate a person you consider worthy, and be proud that you have been a part of the process,” she 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., 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.

Marcia C. Ferranto named NCRA Executive Director and CEO

NCRA has announced that Marcia C. Ferranto, a nonprofit executive with more than 25 years of experience, has accepted the position of NCRA CEO and Executive Director. Along with her experience, she brings vast knowledge in the areas of leadership, relationship building, membership growth, and finance.

“Ferranto’s energy and passion are contagious. Her respect for members and staff, her intelligence and financial acumen, and her fresh ideas grabbed the attention of the board,” said NCRA President Chris Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC.

Prior to joining NCRA, Ferranto served as President and CEO of the Women’s Transportation Seminar International and the Women’s Transportation Seminar Foundation in Washington, D.C. During her tenure with WTS, she worked closely nationally and internationally with the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Labor, as well as federal, state, and local officials.

Other highlights of her tenure include a 100 percent growth in the organization’s membership, significant increases in its sponsored events, an increase in leadership programs to aid local chapters, and the development of an executive leadership roundtable that helped WTS link its membership to some of the most influential women thought leaders in the industry.

Ferranto has experience as an independent consultant assisting companies and nonprofits with strategic development. She also has strong branding skills.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Widener University in Chester, Penn., and is a graduate of the Museum Leadership Institute, Getty Leadership Institute. She has also served as a guest speaker at the New York University’s Master’s Program at the Steinhardt School of Education, Department of Art & Art Professions.

Read more.

NCRA member recognized

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyOn Sept. 3, The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Ind.) announced the election of NCRA member Tonya Kaiser, RPR, CMRS, to the NCRA Board of Directors. The announcement was generated by a press release issued by NCRA on Kaiser’s behalf.

Read more.

Webster court reporter elected to NCRA leadership

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Monroe County Post reported on Aug. 30 that Meredith Bonn, RPR, of Webster, N.Y., was elected to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors for the National Court Reporters Association. The story was generated by a press release issued by NCRA on Bonn’s behalf.

Read more.

Sutton notches pro Fellowship

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Town of Paradise Valley Independent and the Scottsdale Independent both reported on Aug. 30 that the National Court Reporters Association awarded Doreen Sutton, FAPR, RPR, fellowship in the Association’s Academy of Professional Reporters. Sutton is a freelance court reporter and firm owner from Scottsdale, Ariz., and NCRA Vice President. The stories were generated by a press release issued by NCRA on Sutton’s behalf.

Read more.

2017-2018 NCRA Board of Directors announced

AMBI5599Christine J. Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC, a freelance court reporter from Wausau, Wis., was installed as NCRA’s 2017-2018 President during the Premier Session held Aug. 11 as part of the 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo. The event took place at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. Nativa P. Wood, FAPR, RDR, CMRS, a freelance reporter from Mechanicsburg, Pa., will now serve as Immediate Past President having passed the gavel to Willette.

In addition, Meredith A. Bonn, RPR, Webster, N.Y.; Robyn M. Hennigan, RPR, CRI, Springfield, Ohio; and Tonya J. Kaiser, RPR, CMRS, Fort Wayne, Ind., were installed as new directors. They will serve three-year terms.

Read more.

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

Nominations for the NCRA Board of Directors close on Jan. 20

JCRWeekly_CallforNomsIf making a difference is one of your new year resolutions, there’s still time to step up and nominate yourself or a colleague to serve on NCRA’s 2017-2018 Board of Directors. The deadline to submit a nomination is Jan. 20. Nominations should be submitted to boardnominations@ncra.org.

“I am a believer in giving back, which is why board service at the state and national level were important to me,” said Michele Melhorn, RMR, an official court reporter from Arlington, Va., and former director. “I was handed great mentors, made great friends, and learned a lot about myself.” Melhorn served a three-year term on the Board from 2013-2016.

Service on NCRA’s Board of Directors also offers the opportunity to help shape the Association and have a positive influence on the profession as a whole.