10 sessions to attend at the NCRA 2019 Convention & Expo

If you’re already planning to attend the NCRA 2019 Convention & Expo this Aug. 15-18 in Denver, Colo., you are in for a treat! We have a great time planned for all. The schedule has many opportunities for reconnecting with old friends and building your network with new ones, as well as many great learning opportunities.

Haven’t registered yet? You still have time! Online registration is open through July 31.

How Voice Writing Technology Works: Dispelling Myths and Explaining Facts
Tori Pittman, FAPR, RDR, CRI

“Voice writers use CAT software and produce transcripts in much the same way a steno writer does, just with a different input method,” says Tori Pittman, a freelance court reporter and agency owner based in Wake Forest, N.C., who has learned both steno machine and voice reporting systems. “They use macros and briefs and write realtime – and they have the same struggles a machine writer has when dealing with quiet speakers, interruptions, and overtalking. We’ll also discuss the certifications that voice writers may strive for and their general equivalence to steno certifications.

“What I would like my steno colleagues to come away with is an understanding that a voice writing court reporter is also a guardian of the record, performing the same function with a different input method, and that they can be an ally and not an adversary in the preservation of the record,” says Pittman.

Remote Reporting: In a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Judith Lehman, RMR, CRI

“Courts all across the United States are experiencing shortages – sometimes severe – in covering their courts of record,” says Judith Lehman, RMR, CRI, who works with RevoText. “I’ll talk about how the company I work with pairs court reporting talent and skills with cutting-edge technology to offer those courts the services they need – with no transcript backlog issues and no management difficulties, by harnessing efficiency, teamwork, and making time work for everyone.”

Knowledge at the Threshold of Reporting
Dominick Tursi and Joshua B. Edwards, RDR, CRR

“With today’s reporting shortage, it’s important that court reporting program graduates and novice reporters be immediately productive as they cross the threshold into their new career,” says Dom Tursi, an official court reporter who will be presenting a session with Joshua Edwards, RDR, CRR, a court reporter and captioner based in New York, N.Y. “We will be offering real-world knowledge to advanced students and new reporters and giving advice on what to expect on the job. We hope that this will create confidence and immediate employment value. We’ll cover depositions and transcripts, understanding court and captioning, defining colloquy, elements of reporting, and professionalism.”

Roundtable Discussion with Educators & Firm Owners
Kelly Moranz, CRI, and Darlene Williams, RPR, CMRS

“I’m looking forward to the roundtable discussion for educators and firm owners this year at convention,” says Kelly Moranz, CRI, a court reporting instructor in Parma, Ohio, who will be co-hosting the session with Darlene Williams, RPR, CMRS, a freelance court reporter based in New Castle, Del. “Getting educators and firm owners to work together will be essential. 

“We have two goals of this session,” adds Moranz. “First, for the firm owners to inform the educators on their experiences and needs when onboarding new reporters. Second, from the perspective of educators, this is an opportunity to share the program’s best practices and efforts to insure a positive transition from student to reporter.”

How to Teach an NCRA A to Z™ Program
Carolyn Ruiz Coronado, RPR

“If you’ve been worried about how to help our profession right now, I would love for you to come to a session to learn about NCRA’s A to Z Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand program,” says Carolyn Ruiz Coronado, RPR, an official based in Houston, Texas. “This program has made it easy to show someone the basics of shorthand, and during my session, I’ll share the tools and strategies available, as well as tips to help you and your local court reporters create a successful program. The shortage is real and making our work life difficult. NCRA has made it easy for us to help others to try steno for free. Tell your friends you refuse to sit on the sidelines any longer and bring them to this session with you!”

Coaching Callie’s Climb, the Role of Professionals in the Internship Experience
Tambria (Tammy) Kelly, RPR, CRR; Jennifer Sati, RMR, CRR, CRC, CRI; and Callie Sajdera

“Have you ever wanted to mentor, coach, and encourage new professionals or students who intern with you?” asks Jennifer Sati, RMR, CRR, CRC, CRI, a broadcast captioner and court reporting instructor in Dayton, Minn. “It is such an important job to help our newbies successfully transition from school to the workplace, and we put together this session to help you make that happen.”

In this session involving real-life experience, you can witness the evolving roles of both student and professional, from the teaching process to internship and eventually moving into the workforce. 

 “If we genuinely want court reporters to be successful in our field, we must coach and mentor them to the best of our ability so that the future is secure,” adds Tammy Kelley, RPR, CRR, an official court reporter based in Denver, Colo., who will co-host the session with Sati and Callie Sajdera. “The newest reporters are the seeds we nurture today so that we have a thriving harvest of court reporting professionals in our future.”

A Guide to Social Media for Post-Millennials: What to Post, How to Post, Why to Post; including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr
Lauren Lawrence, RPR, and Matthew Moss, RPR

“We’ll be sharing our approach to social media as a means of raising awarenesss of and advocating for our profession, some benefits and pitfalls to navigate, and offering a framework of principles for engaging successfully online,” says Matt Moss, RPR, of Denver, Colo., of the presentation he has collaborated on with Lauren Lawrence, RPR, of Kansas City, Mo. Check out the latest in online marketing techniques from these two up-and-comers in the business.

Cyber Security Incidents and Cases: Protect Your Data!
Matt Gonzalez, Ph.D.

NCRA is excited to have cyber security expert Matt Gonzalez, Ph.D., presenting at Convention. During his session, Gonzalez will explore our growing dependence on technology and refresh you on the latest in cyber security. “Your online presence is a responsibility, requiring awareness, compliance, and vigilance of your data,” says Gonzalez. “I’ll be sharing ways that you can keep yourself safe online, help you figure out who to trust, and what you can do to keep your data protected.”

There Is an Easier Way to Write That!
Johnny Jay Jackson

“I will be presenting regarding what I have learned the last two years in creating a new ‘light’ theory to teach my daughter, a Millennial,” says Johnny Jackson, founder of Stenovations. Jackson has been developing outlines for his daughter that lighten the burden on the reporter and shifts it to software.

 “I have created new training methods and software to facilitate learning steno, as well as thousands of lessons. Most of the seminar time will be spent sharing new concepts of developing steno outlines that are intuitive to write and easy to remember,” says Jackson. “No matter how knowledgeable or skilled a reporter, student or teacher, I believe those attending will learn a great deal — as I have, due to the thousands of hours I have put into this endeavor over the last two and a half years.”

When Life Gives You Lemons
Kristi Johnson

Let Kristi Johnson, a freelance court reporter from Rancho St. Margarita, Calif., share her journey from a near-death, life-changing incident to a successful court reporter and mother. “Coming back to school after the accident, I knew I had to make it as a court reporter, not just for myself, but for my son,” Johnson says. “Keeping a positive attitude was key, as was learning what I could control and what I couldn’t.” Her determination will inspire you no matter where you are in your life.

Interested in learning more about the sessions available at the 2019 NCRA
Annual Convention & Expo? Visit NCRA.org/Convention for the full schedule or to register.

For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Mary Petto, Senior Director of External Affairs at mpetto@ncra.org.

* Schedule subject to change

Don’t miss this year’s Vendor Training Workshops

Kick off this year’s convention excitement by attending one of the supplemental Vendor Training Workshops happening from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 15, just before the official start of NCRA’s 2019 Convention & Expo taking place in Denver, Colo. NCRA’s premier event is happening Aug. 15-18 at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. Space in the workshops is limited, so register now to attend sessions being led by representatives from Stenovations, Advantage Software/Eclipse, Gigatron StenoCAT, and Stenograph.

Stenovations – DigitalCAT

Greta Duckett

Presenting for Stenovations will be Greta Duckett, RPR, CRR, from Montgomery, Ala., a freelance court reporter with Baker Realtime Worldwide Reporting who is licensed in three states and is a certified digitalCAT trainer. She also holds NCRA’s Realtime Systems Administrator certificate. Duckett, who has been reporting since 1995, will provide attendees with a review of the basics and editing commands and progress to realtime commands and the newest features of digitalCAT. A one-hour Q&A session will follow for attendees to ask questions.

Advantage Software/Eclipse – Exploring Eclipse

Jeremy Thorne

Jeremy Thorne, director of research and development for Advantage Software/Eclipse, will spend some time investigating details of how Eclipse can make your work easier and deliver more value to your clients. In his research and development role, Thorne is involved with several products available from Advantage Software, including Eclipse, AccuCap closed captioning, Bridge Mobile litigation support, and the Connection Magic client/server system. He started writing Eclipse in 1987 and has been working on it continuously ever since. Attendees at this session will discover features and options in a hands-on workshop and get a look at what’s in development for the future. Schedule and material are flexible and will be adapted to the needs and aptitude of the group.

Gigatron StenoCAT – It’s all about optimization

Rick Louie

Attendees at the Gigatron StenoCAT session will learn how to optimize their hardware, StenoCAT software, and realtime for the best performance of all components working in synchrony. The session will be led by Rick Louie, supervisor of StenoCAT product support, who has more than 25 years of StenoCAT product experience in areas of quality assurance, senior technical support, and training.  Over the last 23 years, Louie has conducted numerous training seminars for the StenoCAT Users Network, California Court Reporters Association, and Deposition Reporters Association of California, as well as at previous NCRA conventions. He is also an instructor at South Coast College of Court Reporting and a former court reporting student.

Stenograph – New features and enhancements

Cindi Lynch

Stenograph’s training program manager Cindi Lynch has trained thousands of court reporters, captioners, CART providers, scopists, teachers, and students all over the English-speaking world on a variety of CAT and other software for machine shorthand professionals for the past 30 years.  She manages Stenograph’s Certified Independent Training Agent Program, is the author of the nine Case CATalyst Self-Study Guides, and created the Exceptional Extras files and documents included with Case CATalyst. She wrote and programmed the Integrated Video Training video lessons and the Essential Skills course practice files included with Case CATalyst. Lynch also serves as a primary online liaison for Stenograph on Facebook and other social media sites for court reporting professionals and students, and she is a primary resource at StenographHelp.Askbot.com.  She will teach attendees how to make the most of the exciting new features in Case CATalyst Version 20, including RealTeam, and help them take their Case CATalyst skills to the next level by learning how to work with greater ease and efficiency than ever before!

While no equipment is required, reporters who prefer not to have to haul equipment to the convention will still benefit from this class. Detailed, printed handouts with step-by-step instructions will be provided. For attendees who want to bring equipment, there will be some power strips provided; however, to ensure you can conveniently plug in a laptop computer, we recommend you bring your own extension cord and power strip. There is no need to bring your writer.

Register now to be guaranteed a seat in your favorite vendor’s training session. Be sure to also reserve your hotel room for the Convention. Support NCRA and help keep rates for member events low by staying at the host hotel. Not only do you enjoy special lodging pricing, but you’ll also enjoy great amenities including continental breakfast on Friday and Saturday. Plus, staying at the host hotel puts you right at the site of all the exciting happenings including networking opportunities, educational sessions, the Expo floor, and this year’s keynote speaker, the well-known Erin Brockovich, consumer advocate and environmentalist who served as the inspiration for the movie that carries her name.

2019 NCRA Convention & Expo Student Track Sessions

Read the presenter bios here.

Check out this year’s NCRA Convention & Expo student sessions. We bring back a couple of old favorites and two new sessions. Students also get a chance to kick off the weekend with a students-only breakfast where they can get an overview of the convention and make connections with other students. Don’t miss the Meet and Greet with the NCRA Board of Directors.

Steno Speed Dating

As the seminar’s name implies, it will consist of 10 stellar reporters sitting with a small group of students for 10-minute long “speed dates.” The students will have 10 minutes to ask their questions before switching off to the next reporter for their next “date.”

Presenters:  Jo Ann Bryce, RMR, CRR, CSR, FCRR;  Amie First, RDR, CRR, CRC, CPE; Mike Hensley, RDR; Debbie Kriegshauser, FAPR, RMR, CRR, CLVS, RSA, IL-CSR, MO-CCR; Saba McKinley, RPR, CRI, CSR; Alan Peacock, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC; Margary Rogers, RPR, CRI; Kelly Shainline, RPR, CRR; Lindsey Stoker, RPR, CRC; Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC, CSR(A); and Doug Zweizig, RDR, CRR, FCRR.

You Want Me to Do What? I Didn’t Learn That in School….

Court reporting is more than putting words on a page.  In this seminar you will learn some common transcript preparation pitfalls young reporters encounter and how to avoid them.  The presenter will share some tricks of the trade, as well as helpful research tools and how to use them.  Come for the information but stay for the “goodies.”

Presenter:  Darlene Williams, RPR, CMRS

Darlene Williams

Good Reporter/Bad Reporter

This audience-participation skit touches on professional etiquette and mannerisms in conducting oneself at work. Learn the tools of the trade to win over clientele for freelance work or get hired for overflow work in a judicial proceeding. Why some people “have it” and others just simply don’t. Be prepared to laugh!

Presenters: Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, and Debbie Kriegshauser, FAPR, RMR, CRR, CLVS, RSA, IL-CSR, MO-CCR

Student Jeopardy

A fun and interactive “Jeopardy” game that will cover such topics as: the history of court reporting, spelling, homonyms/synonyms, vocabulary, and courtroom procedures. Students will learn some of the trickier English and grammar rules that we encounter every day and will be quizzed on the types of questions found on the RPR Written Knowledge Test. Be on the team who answers the most questions correctly and win a prize!

Presenters: Debbie Kriegshauser, FAPR, RMR, CRR, CLVS, RSA, IL-CSR, MO-CCR, and Phoebe Moorhead, RPR, CRR

Find full event schedule here

Register here

Hurry, savings for early convention registration end today

The special savings on registration fees for the 2019 Convention & Expo happening Aug. 15-18 in Denver, Colo., end today. Don’t miss this opportunity to take advantage of the special pricing of a $50 discount on the full registration.

While taking advantage of this opportunity to save, be sure to reserve your hotel room for the Convention at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. Support NCRA and help keep rates for member events low by staying at the host hotel. Not only do you enjoy special lodging pricing, but you’ll also enjoy great amenities including continental breakfast on Friday and Saturday. Plus, staying at the host hotel puts you right at the site of all the exciting happenings including networking opportunities, educational sessions, the Expo floor, and this year’s keynote speaker the well-known Erin Brockovich, consumer advocate and environmentalist who served as the inspiration for the movie that carries her name.

Don’t miss your chance to save on registration fees, hotel rates, and be in the middle of the excitement planned for court reporters, captioners, legal videographers, and scopists, including the two-day CRC Workshop and CRC Exam, the ever-popular CRR Boot Camp, full-day vendor training workshops, and the Punctuation Workshop. And remember, throughout the Convention attendees can earn up to 1.175 CEUs.

Other highlights include such ticketed networking opportunities as the Opening Reception, the Awards Luncheon, and the Member Recognition Gala. The annual Realtime and Speed Contests are also expected to sell out quickly, so don’t delay registering for these special events!

For more information about the 2019 NCRA Convention & Expo, or to register, visit NCRA.org/Convention. Don’t let procrastination make you miss the special pricing in effect through May 15 that will get early registrants a $50 discount on the full registration.

For sponsorship information please contact Mary Petto, Senior Director of External Affairs, at mpetto@ncra.org.

A Convention to Remember

Attending an NCRA Convention & Expo is a great experience for students. Last year, students attended special sessions teaching them proper courtroom behavior, online skills testing, professional working tips, and more. These students share their experiences attending their first national convention. 

Marina Garcia

Marina Garcia

Alvin, Texas

Alvin Community College

As court reporting students, our gospel is to practice, practice, practice; but sometimes we forget how equally important it is to surround ourselves with positive support and mentors. As a student, frustration becomes our normal.  We need some type of fresh air to regain our motivation, and that is exactly what I experienced at the 2018 NCRA Convention. The ambience is inspiring, electric, and most of all, fun. It was exactly what I needed to regain my motivation from burnout.

My biggest takeaway from the convention was seeing my future self in these amazing reporters because they, too, were once in our shoes. It was an honor to listen to the special guest speaker, witness the winners of the speed and realtime contests, and attend the student sessions to meet other reporters and students from all over the nation. The convention unravels the real world of court reporting and captioning outside of our classrooms to show us how worthwhile it is to work hard, never give up, and never stop trying to improve our skills. I’m already looking forward to attending as many conventions as I possibly can.

Ezra Campbell

Ezra Campbell 

Athens, Ga.

Studying for his RPR

Attending the 2018 NCRA conference in New Orleans, La., was a special experience for me for a couple of reasons. For one, it was my first court reporting conference, and I attended as a student. I was overwhelmed at first, but it proved to be a great learning experience.  I did not regret putting myself out there and meeting other students, as well as many knowledgeable working reporters and captioners. The kicker came with the fact that it was located at the Hyatt Regency, where I used to work as a barista. It was both a familiar and an exciting environment, and I came away even more determined to launch my career.

Parker Burton

Parker Burton
Atlanta, Ga.
Brown College of Court Reporting

In August of 2018, I had the opportunity to attend my first NCRA convention as a student. Admittedly, I was quite nervous about what to expect, who I would meet, whether the professionals would have time to entertain my questions, and whether I would feel like an outcast among the other students. I am happy to report that my preconceived notions were all incorrect. After attending the convention in the vibrant city of New Orleans, La., I was more motivated by my fellow students and armed with more advice than I could ever have hoped to obtain.

I would encourage all students who are members of NCRA to make it a priority to plan early to attend the next NCRA convention, in Denver, Colo. There is so much information to gather and networking to be done that will be beneficial to your future endeavors, both as a student and then as a professional.  All the information you learn in school is valuable, but the experience of attending an NCRA convention and sharing ideas, successes, struggles, and helpful hints with like-minded people from across the country and beyond will help accelerate your skills and encourage you to push further.

See you in Denver!

Logan Kislingbury

Logan Kislingbury

Houston, Texas

Mark Kislingbury’s Academy of Court Reporting

The 2018 NCRA convention in New Orleans, La., was my first convention experience as a court reporting student and NCRA member. I’ve been to plenty of conventions in the past with my dad, but I treated them only as vacations. One of the biggest changes that I noticed as a student was what the convention hall really provided. What was once a place full of seemingly endless booths of free candy, popcorn, and freebies, became a small city, because I understood what each booth was and what that company stood for. The main benefit of the convention hall changed from candy to networking. I met a lot of passionate people who each had different stories and were so happy to see a new student entering the field. Leaving with more than 15 business cards felt great; I’m very excited to keep in contact with these people in the future! 

Another part of the convention I’d never experienced was taking classes. I participated in some student classes where I learned about the differences between freelancing and officials, how realtime worked, and what you can do with it, and the huge world of opportunities that becoming a court reporter opens. I made friends with other students who know the struggles and accomplishments of school just like I do. Plenty of court reporters volunteered their time just to help us and answer our questions solely because they care so much about the profession. I had so much fun and learned so much in New Orleans last year. And I’ll do it all again in Denver this year!

NCRA PAC’s state-to-state friendly fundraiser competition

By Shaunise Day

It’s time to plan NCRA’s 2019 Political Action Committee fundraiser that will take place at the annual convention in Denver, Colo. State associations, let’s all bring some excitement to the NCRA Convention for a friendly state-to-state competition and start thinking of exciting ways to pack your gift baskets with unique items that represent your state. This is your chance to show off your state pride.

The NCRA PAC is the association’s and the member’s direct lifeline to the legislative community that will decide the outcome of the organization’s initiatives in Congress. Having a presence on Capitol Hill is critical when working to promote the profession on the national level, and NCRA PAC is an important vehicle through which the Association can deliver NCRA’s message to members of Congress for our 15,000 members.

For the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo, several state associations and NCRA members contributed to the fundraiser by submitting gift baskets that contained unique items that represented their states. Not only was the fundraiser fun for state associations and the NCRA members who participated, but it also brought awareness to this important cause. About 13 states made gift basket donations that showed their state pride.

Since this was PAC’s first year of introducing this new and exciting fundraiser, and as a PAC committee member, I decided to donate a basket that represented all things California. The basket contained sports paraphernalia, non-perishable foods, wine, shot glasses, and a host of other California-related items. I was proud to submit a basket from my state in hopes that it would support a great cause and encourage states to participate in future fundraisers.

All states that participated did a great job, and we thank you! PAC was extremely proud of the turnout. Participants had to be present for the raffle and claim your winning basket. Although I donated a basket on behalf of my state of California, and on behalf of my state association CCRA, I also purchased raffle tickets to support PAC.

As Matthew Barusch, NCRA’s then Manager of State Government Relations, pulled the raffle tickets, I couldn’t believe that my ticket was called. I was so excited to win the raffle, but there was no way I was comfortable with winning my own basket and taking it back to California. I wanted to give another NCRA member the opportunity to enjoy the goodies from California. Matt thought it would be a great idea if I pulled the next winning raffle ticket. Mike Miller, FAPR, RDR, CRR, had the next winning ticket and was declared the winner of the raffle. I had a chance to catch up with Mike, and he shared with me that he enjoyed all the contents from California.

I would like to encourage every state association to participate and get involved. At your next round table board meeting, start thinking of unique items that you can donate to represent your state.

This year at Convention, visit the PAC table in the vendor hall. Support us by purchasing raffle tickets and dropping your raffle ticket in the basket of your choice.

Shaunise Day, of Oakland, Calif., is a member of NCRA’s Political Action Committee. Questions about PAC can be address to Director, State Government Relations Jocelynn Moore at jmoore@ncra.org.

Erin Brockovich to Address 2019 Convention Attendees

Erin Brockovich

NCRA is pleased to announce that the keynote speaker for its 2019 Convention & Expo taking place Aug. 15-18 in Denver, Colo., will be renowned consumer advocate and environmental activist Erin Brockovich. She will deliver the keynote address on Friday morning as part of the Premier Session, which will also include the installation of officers.

“I am excited to welcome Erin to our event and look forward to hearing her insights, which will set the stage for the rest of Convention. Having a speaker of Erin’s caliber is one way that the NCRA Board of Directors is working hard to fulfill the promise of taking NCRA to the next level with NCRA 2.0. Of course, I look forward to welcoming every attendee to Denver and sharing with all of you this wonderful learning and networking experience. The 2019 Convention & Expo promises to be a one-of-a-kind event,” says President-Elect Max Curry, RPR, CRI, who will automatically ascend to the presidency during Convention.

The movie Erin Brockovich turned Erin from an unknown legal researcher into a 20th-century icon by showcasing how her persistence was the force behind the largest medical settlement lawsuit in history. She continues to fight and uses her notoriety, knowledge, and dedicated spirit to encourage others to stand up and make a difference.

In addition to a diverse line-up of sessions for court reporters, captioners, legal videographers, and scopists, the 2019 Convention & Expo will include the two-day CRC Workshop and CRC Exam, the ever-popular CRR Boot Camp, full-day vendor training workshops, and the Punctuation Workshop on Thursday afternoon. Throughout the Convention attendees can earn up to 1.175 CEUs.

In addition to education, the NCRA Convention & Expo is known for its networking. Make sure to reserve your space for the highly anticipated ticketed events, including the Opening Reception, where you can meet and mingle with the Board of Directors, the many supportive vendors who make your jobs easier each and every day, and the members in attendance who are looking to make connections, too; the Awards Luncheon, where many NCRA members are recognized for their accomplishments; and the Member Recognition Gala, during which members can enjoy a night of dinner, drinks, and dancing. The annual Realtime and Speed Contests are also expected to sell out quickly, so don’t delay registering for these special events!

For more information about the 2019 NCRA Convention & Expo, or to register, visit NCRA.org/Convention. Take advantage of the special pricing in effect through May 15 that will get early registrants a $50 discount on the full registration. Attendees are also encouraged to reserve hotel rooms for the Convention at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. Staying at the host hotel not only gets great amenities for registered attendees (including continental breakfast on Friday and Saturday), but it also helps NCRA keep rates for events reasonable for everyone.

For sponsorship information please contact Mary Petto, Senior Director of External Affairs, at mpetto@ncra.org.

NCRA gets you more than you think

NCRA offers members many different ways to invest in their futures, support the profession, and thrive in their careers. According to NCRA’s 2017 Member Needs Survey, members join NCRA for many reasons, including gaining access to national credentials, supporting the profession, and connecting with a national organization.

If you want to get the most out of your membership, consider how NCRA benefits you.

Respect from your clients, employers, and peers

Clients, employers, and peers know that people connected to a professional organization are more likely to know about and adhere to industry standards, ethical codes, and current policies — and NCRA members are the same in this regard. By being a part of the NCRA community of professionals, your clients, employers, and professional colleagues understand that you have made a commitment to your career and have a stake in maintaining the standards of the profession. Be proud of your commitment.

Showcase your NCRA membership with the NCRA member logo

Maximize your professional investment by marketing your achievements and membership. Did you know that NCRA offers a distinct NCRA member logo for use by NCRA members? You can include the NCRA member logo on your advertising, business, and other similar promotional materials as a way to denote your membership in the Association.

The NCRA member logo can only be used to designate individual membership, as only individuals can be members, and should not be used by companies or firms or in a way that implies a company is a member.

The NCRA member logo is not the same as the NCRA logo. If you are currently using the NCRA logo, please seek permission to use it, remove it from your materials, or consider whether the NCRA member logo would serve your purposes. More information about how members can use the NCRA member logo is part of NCRA’s Procedures & Policy Manual, which is available on NCRA.org. To access the most current version of the NCRA member logo, visit NCRA.org/Logos.

How to show off your NCRA credentials correctly

NCRA members who have earned an NCRA certification may use the certification or its abbreviation in their marketing materials as long as they maintain CEUs and pay annual dues. Be sure to enhance your marketing materials and website with your NCRA member and credential logos.

Discounts on office supplies, payroll services, movie tickets, and more

According to Chase Cost Management, workers in the legal professions spend an average of $1,000 per person per year on office supplies. That is a lot of folders, pens, and sticky notes. If those figures hold true for the professions of court reporting and captioning, NCRA members can easily recoup their annual NCRA membership dues just by taking advantage of the discounts available from Office Depot through the NCRA Saving Center.

NCRA Saving Center discounts at Office Depot provide members with savings up to 80 percent off office essentials. Some recent deals include expanding file folders that cost only 70 cents each. That’s a savings of $2.80 each. If you bought 100 file folders, you could recoup the cost of your NCRA membership in file-folder savings alone. Of course, other types of office supplies are available at discounted rates. To sign up for this benefit that is included in your NCRA membership, visit NCRA.savingcenter.net.

Other discounts available to NCRA members through the NCRA Saving Center include accounting and payroll services, access to a collection agency, credit card processing services, and discounts on entertainment deals, car rental fees, and access to telemedicine, health insurance, and prescription drugs.

Connected to colleagues

Through NCRA social media pages, through NCRA events, and through JCR stories about members across the country and around the world, you learn more about what is going on in the profession and how your colleagues take on problems. NCRA members take to NCRA’s official Facebook groups to pose questions and offer solutions on day-to-day challenges, offer support for bad days and congratulations for milestones, and share the latest news affecting the professions. NCRA events offer informative presentations and inspiring speakers to break you out of the everyday grind and help you take the next step for you. NCRA’s publications give you nuggets of wisdom from other professionals that can help you build your career.

On your way to certification

No matter how you learn, we’ve got you covered. NCRA, in conjunction with Realtime Coach, offers a series of both videos and articles on the ins and outs of online testing. These videos and articles aid in preparing candidates for successful online skills testing. Your NCRA certification identifies you as a person interested in self-improvement, a career-minded individual, and a member of the professional community.

Year-round education opportunities

NCRA offers several ways to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) that offer the information you can use in your career, whether you are an official, freelancer, business owner, captioner, or legal videographer. From the inclusive and collaborative NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference for independent contractors, small agency owners, and large firm executives to the annual NCRA Convention & Expo for everyone; and from live webinars to many series of e-seminars that you can access whenever and wherever you choose, NCRA’s extensive library has you covered.

Get the most from your membership

Your NCRA membership offers so much more than you might think — from member-exclusive discounts to networking opportunities to career-enhancing certifications. Is your membership up-to-date? Check your membership and profile information, including your email address, so you don’t miss announcements and news from NCRA. Visit NCRA.org to update your profile by April 15 and be listed in the printed 2018-2019 Sourcebook. Contact membership@ncra.org with questions.

Plan ahead for learning opportunities through NCRA


Photo by Dafne Cholet

Mark your calendars and plan your learning path with NCRA through 2018. NCRA offers opportunities to earn CEUs in a variety of ways, from certification to webinars to live events. NCRA is your one-stop shop for your educational needs, whether you are working toward your next certification, your cycle ending date, or another goal.

Keep in mind that NCRA members can 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):

Court Reporting & Captioning Week (Feb. 10-17), Memorial Day (May 30), and Veterans Day (Nov. 11) are also all good opportunities to schedule Veterans History Project Days to earn PDCs, although members and students are invited to participate throughout the year. 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 the NCRA Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages as they are available.

Watch for more information in the JCR, in the JCR Weekly, and on TheJCR.com for registration, deadlines, and other ideas to earn continuing education.

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.