NCRA Boot Camp boosts lobbying confidence

NCRA members hit Capitol Hill in full force on Tuesday, May 7, as part of the NCRA Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp. More than 80 attendees shared the importance of the court reporting and captioning professions with senators, representatives, and staff members.

Jocelynn Moore, NCRA Director of State Government Relations, called the day a big success.

“On Capitol Hill, it’s common for constituents to meet with the elected member’s staff for 15 minutes to a half hour,” Moore said. “Our Boot Camp attendees from Montana and Oregon not only met with the staff of a senator for an hour-and-a-half but were also given a private tour of the House and Senate office buildings and were invited to attend a constituent coffee the following day where they discussed the Training for Realtime Writers grant program with both senators Tester and Daines, as well as Congressman Gianforte. After their meetings, Sen. Tester’s staff even took them on another private tour to see the Capitol. As a former staffer on the Hill, I was absolutely amazed. That sort of facetime just doesn’t happen.”

The event started with two days of training with Dave Wenhold, CAE, PLC, NCRA Interim Executive Director & CEO, and Moore.

(Read Dineen Squillante’s “My NCRA Boot Camp experience.”)

“My experience at Boot Camp was simply amazing!” said Rebecca Brewer, RPR, CRR, of St. Louis, Mo. “I find it hard to explain to others, you simply just have to attend to understand the intensity of the training and the wealth of knowledge gained from attending. Dave Wenhold, with his vast knowledge and experience of the legislative process, was able to train the attendees in an easily understandable way, making the Boot Camp that much more enjoyable.”

Wenhold outlined the goals of the event and discussed the nuts and bolts of association work. Wenhold and Moore then talked to attendees about politics on Capitol Hill and how to effectively advocate for ideas and legislation. Moore followed with a presentation about the state of court reporting and captioning throughout the country and how to effectively advocate before state legislatures. NCRA Board President Sue A. Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, Springfield, Ohio, and NCRA President-Elect Max Curry, RPR, CRI, Franklin, Tenn., ended the first day of Boot Camp with a discussion about the state of electronic and digital recording throughout the country.

During the second day of Boot Camp, Mike Goodman, with Cornerstone Government Affairs, Washington, D.C., began the day by talking to attendees about the dos and don’ts of lobbying members of congress. Then attendees broke out into a mock scenario session, in which they were trained to lobby before senators and representatives, and they had the opportunity to testify before a mock congressional committee. The day ended with Wenhold and Moore discussing the proper way to network and what they were to expect on Capitol Hill when lobbying for key legislation.

On Hill Day, NCRA members asked legislators and staff to make sure funds for captioning training are included the next time the Higher Education Act is reauthorized.

Margary Rogers, RPR, CRI, Washington, D.C., and Crystal Pilgrim, RPR, Silver Spring, Md., reported on a successful meeting with Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who represents Maryland, and his Legislative Director Sarah Shenning, who said they supported the reauthorization of the captioning grant money.

“We met Sen. Van Hollen because we arrived 15 minutes early and met him as he walked in for the day,” Rogers said. “The senator asked us why we were there.  We were prepared and answered questions with confidence. We told him about the HEA Act Bill 872, the reauthorization, FIPSE. We informed him that we represented NCRA and that we were court reporters here in Washington, D.C.  He even did the court reporter finger motion and said how fascinating our jobs were.”

First-time attendee Lori McCoin Jones, RPR, CCR, Midlothian, Va., met with staff members for Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Mark Warner, Sen. Tim Kaine, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, and Rep. Elaine Luria.

“Boot Camp was a wonderful experience to bond with other reporters, gather information, and stretch and grow as reporters advocating for our profession,” Jones said.   

Miranda Seitz, Eau Claire, Wisc., also reported a great experience.

“I think as court reporters we feel that we should not interrupt unless we absolutely have to, and as women doubly so. The fact that NCRA has taken on the task of providing this kind of training and experience for their membership that goes so much against our professional instincts is quite the endeavor. The fact that they did it so effectively and at such a pivotal time for our profession … my gratitude cannot be overstated,” she said. “Every single person that I met and networked with within Boot Camp was so genuine and engaging with me, and I did my best to do the same! I’m so glad I seized this opportunity to be able to (learn to) focus, strategize, and implement our collective goals alongside my multidimensional peers.”

See a photos from the event.

My NCRA Boot Camp experience

By Dineen Squillante

Sen. Patrick Leahy and Dineen Squillante

I signed up for Boot Camp, because I come from a state with no association. Having limited resources and many concerns about the future of our profession, I wanted to learn how to advocate effectively and appropriately for stenography.   NCRA Interim CEO Dave Wenhold, CAE, PLC, and NCRA Director of Government Relations Jocelynn Moore took us through the dos and don’ts of getting our legislatures behind us, and NCRA board members took our teams through perfecting our mission through role playing.  

Our team bonded quickly and strategized together. The task that seemed impossible and intimidating became fun and attainable. We all pulled from our unique strengths and conquered our mission, each contributing in our own way. Each member of our team grew more confident as the mock day progressed. At the end of the day we were all exhausted. At the same time, we were much more comfortable in the shoes we were about to wear.

When we got to Hill Day, sadly our team had to disperse and stand on our own. But every single member of our team was ready and had an over-the-top successful day. In fact, every member from every other team I spoke with had a hugely successful and exciting day. We grabbed the ear of our representatives and senators across the United States in full force! I feel like everyone who attended and/or had a part in pulling Boot Camp together lifted all of us to a higher level of confidence in advocacy. We all had exciting stories to tell about our meetings on the Hill, and, actually, how easy it was to advocate for what we believe in. 

I had the honor to meet with the following Vermont representatives: Sen. Patrick Leahy and his legislative correspondent, Jeff VanOot; Rep. Peter Welch’s legislative aide, Alexandra Morris; and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ floor coordinator, Ihna Mangundayao. All of these folks are extremely busy and graciously took time out to hear our message.

Every one of us has taken home new friends, allies, and important contacts from across the nation. Now, more than ever, we need to be confident in pushing to make sure humans stay in the chair. 

Thank you to the NCRA board, Dave, and Jocelynn for all the hard work you’ve put in to making us stronger advocates! Together we are mighty!

Shout out to my fellow Team Hotel members! Kimberly Cottrell, Quincy, Ill.; Kimberly Duran, RPR, Albuquerque, N.M.; Pam Fuller-Goold, RPR, Blanchard, Okla.; Janice McMoran, RDR, CRR, Granbury, Texas; Debbie Peterson, RPR, Prior Lake, Minn.; Kelly Shainline, RPR, CRR, Walnut Creek, Calif.

#stenoarmy

Dineen Squillante, RPR, is from Arlington, Vt.

Hone your advocacy skills at NCRA’s 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp

Hurry! Registration closes April 5 for NCRA’s 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp taking place May 5-7 outside of Washington, D.C. This event promises attendees the ultimate in training to help them become highly effective leaders and advocates for the court reporting and captioning professions.

The cost to participate in the 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp is $225 per NCRA member and $175 for a second member attending from the same state. The nonmember rate is $325. Registration ends on April 5. Attendees are encouraged to book a room at a special rate of $239 per night at the host hotel Embassy Suites in Old Town Alexandria, Va. The special rate includes a cooked-to-order breakfast along with a nightly reception with appetizers and drinks. Remember, staying in the host hotel helps keep the registration costs of NCRA events low, so book now. The deadline to book in the room block at the special event rate is April 11.  To take advantage of this special rate, see the link at the end of this article.

A major component of successful advocacy is building good relationships through communication with lawmakers. NCRA’s Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp devotes a significant portion of the program’s focus to helping attendees learn the ins and outs of doing just that by providing the groundwork to design strategies and offering the opportunity to test those strategies through role-playing. Attendees will be broken into groups, given roles, and provided with a scenario so they can practice their lobbying skills. They will also have the opportunity to participate in mock hearings and earn prizes for the best presentation.

Other highlights on the 2019 schedule include a session about the do’s and don’ts of lobbying that will be led by Mike Goodman, vice president of Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. Goodman, former chief of staff for Rep. Ron Kind (Wisconsin), will teach attendees how to speak to legislative staffers and their bosses and what to do and not to do when advocating for the profession. Additional sessions will focus on the nuts and bolts of association work; politics 101; understanding NCRA’s 2019 federal initiative; the state of the court reporting, captioning, and legal videography professions; how to mobilize a membership; successfully use grassroots advocacy; and more.

Click here to read more about what the 2019 Leadership and Legislative Boot Camp has to offer as well as more about the presenters.

Remember: Registration closes on April 5, so don’t wait! Secure your spot now.

To take advantage of the special host hotel rate, click here or call 1-800-EMBASSY and reference group code: MLV.

Learn the do’s and don’ts of effective advocacy at NCRA’s Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp

Registration closes April 5 for NCRA’s 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp taking place May 5-7 outside of Washington, D.C. State leaders, don’t miss this opportunity to hone your leadership and lobbying skills at NCRA’s premier advocacy educational event designed to teach you how to be an effective leader for the court reporting and captioning professions and experience what it is like to advocate on Capitol Hill.

If you are a state leader or are aspiring to become one, this event is for you.

“Everyone who moves up to the vice president position in our state association gets the option of going to NCRA’s boot camp, and that is my next role come April,” said Rebecca Brewer, RPR, CRR, a freelance court reporter from St. Louis, Mo., who is attending this year’s Boot Camp for the first time. “I will be attending with the president-elect of our board. I hope to get insight into the do’s and don’ts of talking to our legislators and learn the skills to help me be a good leader on our board, as well as gain some tips on how it all works at the Capitol.”

The cost to participate in the 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp is $225 per NCRA member and $175 for a second member attending from the state. The nonmember rate is $325. Registration ends on April 5. Once an attendee registers, they will receive a confirmation email with a link to book a hotel room at a special rate of $239 per night at the Embassy Suites in Old Town Alexandria, Va. The special rate includes a cooked-to-order breakfast along with a nightly reception with appetizers and drinks. Remember, staying in the host hotel helps keep the registration costs of NCRA events low, so book now. The deadline to book in the room block is April 12.

Brewer and other attendees will learn more about the do’s and don’ts of lobbying in a session that will be led by Mike Goodman, vice president of Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. Goodman, former chief of staff for Rep. Ron Kind (Wisconsin), will teach attendees how to speak to legislative staffers and their bosses and what to do and not to do when advocating for the profession.

Other sessions will focus on the nuts and bolts of association work, politics 101, understanding NCRA’s 2019 federal initiative, the state of the court reporting, captioning, and legal videography professions, and how to mobilize a membership and successfully use grassroots advocacy, role playing, strategizing, and more.

“The legislative and regulatory landscape is always changing at the state and federal levels,” said Debra A. Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC, a freelance court reporter from Woodland, Utah, and NCRA’s Secretary-Treasurer. This year’s Boot Camp will mark the sixth one Dibble has attended.

“NCRA’s Leadership and Legislative Boot Camp arms you with the tools and techniques you need to keep balanced on that changing landscape and be better able to educate lawmakers and regulators, so they can make the right decisions when addressing issues that relate to the court reporting and captioning professions,” she added.

Click here to read more about what the 2019 Leadership and Legislative Boot Camp has to offer as well as more about the presenters.

Remember: Registration closes on April 5, so don’t wait! Secure your spot now.

Register now for the premier advocacy education experience

If you are a state leader or are aspiring to become one, don’t miss NCRA’s 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp happening May 5-7, outside of Washington, D.C. Registration is now open, and spots are filling fast. This event is NCRA’s premier advocacy educational event designed to teach state leaders how to be effective for the court reporting and captioning professions and experience what it is like to advocate on Capitol Hill.

“This is absolutely the best investment state associations can make in their leadership teams,” said Phyllis Craver Lykken, RPR, a freelance court reporter from Yakima, Wash., who has attended NCRA’s Boot Camp before. She noted that the Washington Court Reporters Association (WCRA) is planning to send at least one of its future leaders to “muscle up” at this year’s event.

The cost to participate in the 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp is $225 per NCRA member and $175 for a second member attending from the state. The nonmember rate is $325. Registration ends on April 5. Once an attendee registers, they will receive a confirmation email with a link to book a hotel room at a special rate of $239 per night at the Embassy Suites in Old Town Alexandria, Va. The deadline to book a room at the special rate ends on April 12.

Craver Lykken said that, while serving as WCRA president, a bill was introduced in the state legislature to eliminate the state’s mandatory Court Reporting Practice Act.

“Our association was without a lobbyist at the time, and although we were blindsided and utterly panic-stricken, we were able to swing into action and utilize literally every aspect of the steps several of us had been trained to undertake by attending NCRA’s Boot Camp,” she said. “Working together, our board was able to quickly mobilize reporters from across the state into a boots-on-the-ground grassroots effort to convince members of the legislature that dismantling our existing law would be a big mistake. We succeeded in the very first hearing and saved our Court Reporting Practice Act. We could not have done that without the necessary training. This year it’s been expanded to include more aspects of leadership training. Fantastic idea! I’ve attended it three times, learning something new every single time.” 

The 2019 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp will kick off with a session that will cover what attendees need to know about participating in the event. Other sessions will focus on the nuts and bolts of association work, politics 101, understanding NCRA’s 2019 federal initiative, more about the state of the court reporting, captioning, and legal videography professions, and how to mobilize a membership and successfully use grassroots advocacy — and that’s just the first day!

Click here to read more about what the 2019 Leadership and Legislative Boot Camp has to offer as well as more about the presenters.

“Boot Camp is a truly immersive experience. If there’s one thing you need to know in advance, it’s don’t plan on bringing any work with you or doing any sightseeing during the event. You’ll be busy every single minute,” said Liz Harvey, RPR, CCR, a freelance court reporter from Seattle, Wash., who has attended before.   

“The fact that Boot Camp is held in our nation’s capital makes it especially inspiring. To be able to take the training we received and immediately put it into action on Capitol Hill is truly rewarding. It’s an experience you won’t duplicate anywhere else,” Harvey added.

Remember, registration closes on April 5 so don’t wait! Secure your spot now.

Why I attended NCRA’s Boot Camp — and you should too!

By Cindy Isaacsen

The first time I went to Boot Camp, I was excited and terrified. I had heard so many things about it – and I was thrilled to finally have the opportunity to learn how to advocate for the profession.

When I arrived at Boot Camp, it was everything I could have ever expected and more. I was taken out of my friend zone and my comfort zone, and I was put with a table full of strangers who were also my peers. We all worked harder in those few days’ time than I ever had. I was stressed and exhausted and exhilarated. One might wonder where can you get all these emotions and feelings? Go to Boot Camp, and you’ll understand.

Boot Camp ends with a trip to visit our state representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Dave Wenhold, CAE, PLC, NCRA’s Interim Executive Director, and the other NCRA staff members who presented several of the sessions for the training portion that year, had thoroughly prepared us for what might come our way, how to present our agenda, and what to do when we were rushed or forgot what to say. When we got to the Hill, I was terrified. But we had our assignment, and we were as prepped as we could be. We talked to our representatives or their staff members, and we gave our spiel and were well received. I was completely stoked about what I had learned, and I was ready to bring what I learned back to my home state and my association and see what it could do for us.

I went back for a second round of Boot Camp because I felt like, “Well, if I got a lot the first time, what might I get the second time?” I was impressed with how much I remembered, but I was able to really work on my weaknesses and help others in the group feel more confident and excited about the task in front of us. I took my good friend Dani Murray, RMR, CRR, with me this time, and we killed it. We both worked hard in our groups. I was able to be more of a mentor to the newbies in my own group, and it felt good. It really is true when they say that to really reinforce what you’ve learned, you should teach it and share it with others.

If I could tell reporters and leaders one thing, it would be go to Boot Camp! It’s the one leadership opportunity that can change your life — not only in the court reporting profession, but in all aspects of life. You become a better leader, and your confidence soars.

Just as an example, after this training, the state employees, including me, were trying to get a raise as we hadn’t had one in 10 or 15 years. We went to our capitol and we tracked down our local representatives to encourage them to vote for the raise. One of the people we had to talk to was a rather tough cookie. I saw her and asked to talk to her, but she kept walking, so I locked in step with her and I talked to her all the way to the door where I couldn’t go past. I turned around and all the leaders of this group had their mouths wide open, couldn’t believe that I took her on.

If you are ready to really make a difference in your profession, don’t miss this chance to learn how to be a great advocate for yourself and for your profession.

Register at NCRA.org/BootCamp.

Cindy Isaacsen, RPR, is an official from Olathe, Kan., and a member of the NCRA Board of Directors. She can be reached at Cindy.Isaacsen@jocogov.org.

Become an expert advocate and leader for your profession

The 2019 NCRA Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp promises to provide attendees with an experience like no other when it comes to learning firsthand the power of advocacy and the influence good leadership can achieve.

The 2019 event is May 5-7. It will include two full days of training, exploration, and hands-on activities designed to give everyone who attends the takeaways necessary to become successful advocates and leaders in the profession at the local, state, and national level. Training will end with role-playing and mock interviews to help prepare attendees for the final day of the event that culminates on the third day with visits with Washington, D.C., lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The site of the 2019 event is the Embassy Suites by Hilton in historic Old Town Alexandria, Va., just outside of Washington, D.C. Anyone in the court reporting, captioning, or legal videography professions wanting to grow and hone their advocacy and leadership skills should make plans to attend the 2019 NCRA Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp.

Watch the JCR Weekly and JCR magazine for more details and information about registration for this one-of-a-kind event.