NCRF announces winners of Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship and Student Intern Scholarships

The National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) has announced that Jared Orozco, a student from Sheridan Technical College in Hollywood, Fla., was named recipient of the 2017 Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship. The Foundation also announced that Summer Vaughan, a student from College of Court Reporting in Valparaiso, Ind., and Analisa Arnold from Gadsden State Community College in Gadsden, Ala., are the recipients of the 2017 Student Intern Scholarships.

Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship

“I chose to be a court reporter because I wanted a job that has a relatively flexible schedule to permit me to do volunteer work and dedicate time to being a minister,” said Orozco. “After I finish school, my ultimate goal would be to work in transcribing sermons to expedite their translation so it can be of benefit to people all over the world.” He plans to use the scholarship funds to purchase a much-needed computer as well as CAT software.

Jared Orozco

The Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship is a $2,000 award, given annually to a high-achieving court reporting student. This scholarship honors the late Frank Sarli, a court reporter who was committed to supporting students through years of service on NCRA’s committees and boards that guide the education of court reporting students. Recipients are nominated by their schools and must meet specific criteria, including:

  • having a GPA of at least 3.5
  • passing at least one of the court reporting program’s Q&A tests at a minimum of 200 wpm
  • possessing all the qualities exemplified by a professional court reporter, including professional attitude, demeanor, dress, and motivation

“When called upon to read back in class, Jared summons his talent to imitate accents, ranging from Darth Vader to Southern drawl, to amuse and enthrall his classmates. However, when it comes to integrity, honesty, professionalism, and altruism, Jared is very serious,” said Aurora Joslyn, CRI, an instructor at Sheridan Technical College. Joslyn added: “Now, thanks to the Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship award, Jared can proudly take his place among the ranks of professional court reporters equipped with the tools for success.”

Student Intern Scholarships

Summer Vaughan

“Court reporting has always been the one job that has stuck out in my mind as my ‘dream job.’ I was always discouraged from going into this career because people are very misinformed about the opportunities available for a court reporter,” said Vaughan, who had pursued a paralegal degree before entering court reporting. “Once I began my court reporting internship, I knew I was right where I had always wanted to be. The reporters I interned with have been so welcoming, helpful, and encouraging. Nearly all of them have continued to follow my journey and have cheered me on every step of the way.” Vaughan plans to put the scholarship funds towards professional software and certification fees.

“Summer will be a successful professional because she has grit. She not only has the skill but the mental fortitude, determination, and desire to be an outstanding court reporter. That same grit or perseverance that took her through court reporting school with honors will be what propels her into a highly accomplished career,” said Nicky Rodriquez, the director of admissions at College of Court Reporting. “Summer is very deserving of this scholarship and will, without a doubt, make a positive impact on the court reporting profession for years to come.”

The Student Intern Scholarship is a $1,000 award, given annually to two high-achieving court reporting students who have completed the internship portion of their education. Recipients are nominated by their schools and must meet specific criteria, including:

  • having a GPA of at least 3.5
  • passing at least one of the program’s Q&A tests at a minimum of 190 wpm (if pursuing judicial reporting) or at least one literary test at a minimum of 160 wpm (if pursuing captioning)
  • possessing all the qualities exemplified by a professional court reporter, including professional attitude, demeanor, dress, and motivation

Analisa Arnold

“Not only is the internship experience a great opportunity for easing fears a student may have about moving from the educational environment to the professional realm, but it also gives an in-depth chance to experience the multifaceted scene of court reporting. The most important lesson I learned from my internship process is court reporting is more than just a job; it’s a rewarding career opportunity that benefits so many people,” said Arnold. She plans to put the scholarship funds toward the start-up costs as she moves forward as a professional.

“Analisa Arnold is a well-rounded young lady who has high ambitions and this keeps her motivated to persevere through all the ups and downs as a reporting student,” said Michelle Roberts, CRI, an instructor at Gadsden State Community College. “Her practice habits throughout her stint here in school will assure her a great career as a realtime writer. Her precise writing style will assure her a big platform to display her talents in this field.”

NCRF volunteers raise more than $7,000 during remote Phone-a-thon events

Since 2012, nonprofit organizations and charitable donors across the globe have celebrated Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is a movement to kick off the charitable season and takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. On Giving Tuesday 2017 (Nov. 28), 10 Arizona court reporters gathered at the office of Griffin & Associates to make phone calls on behalf of the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF).

Donations support NCRF’s programs, including scholarships for students; an annual grant for a working reporter in his/her first year out of school; the Oral Histories Program, including the Veterans History Project; and the Legal Education Program.

“What we would love to see as a movement for NCRA is a culture of giving to NCRF and promoting that as something that we all embrace: reporters supporting reporters. [Giving to NCRF] is one way to do it, and we know exactly where our money is going: to our future (students) and doing good (oral histories),” said Pamela Griffin, RPR, CRR, CRC, owner of Griffin & Associates, and her daughter Danielle Griffin, RPR, NCRF Trustee; both of Phoenix, Ariz.

In addition to both Griffins, the callers at the Giving Tuesday Phone-a-thon were:

  • Laura Ashbrook, RMR, of Tempe, Ariz.;
  • Tammy Pastor, RPR (Ret.), past NCRF Trustee, of Chandler, Ariz.;
  • Kate Roundy, RPR, of Phoenix, Ariz.;
  • Merilyn Sanchez, FAPR, RMR, CRR (Ret.), past NCRA President and past NCRF Chair, of Chandler, Ariz.;
  • Carolyn Sullivan, RPR, of Gilbert, Ariz.;
  • Doreen Sutton, FAPR, RPR, and NCRA Vice President, of Scottsdale, Ariz.;
  • Teresa VanMeter, RMR, of Gilbert, Ariz.; and
  • Wilma Weinreich, RPR, of Phoenix, Ariz.

Combined, this event and NCRF’s annual remote Phone-a-thon hosted by Stenograph in October raised more than $7,000. The callers at the October Phone-a-thon were:

  • Kathie Grove, RPR, CRR, CLVS, of Wheaton, Ill.;
  • Joan McQuinn, RPR, CMRS, and past NCRF Trustee, of Rockford, Ill.; and
  • Jacqueline Timmons, FAPR, RDR, of Darien, Ill.

This year’s Phone-a-thon at Stenograph was special because it marked the 10th anniversary of the company hosting NCRF for its annual remote Phone-a-thon.

“We at Stenograph have long been fortunate to have a great relationship and partnership with both the NCRA and the NCRF. We appreciate and support the worthy objectives of the NCRF and are honored to have been able to assist in these efforts for so many years,” said Jeremy Steele, president of Stenograph.

The Griffins emphasized that if the Phone-a-thon callers missed, you can still give to NCRF.

“Many of us are coming to a point in our career where we are ready to retire. Now is the time for that extra push to continue giving and incorporate new ways to contribute. Our family runs on the motto, ‘you get what you give,’” said Griffin and Griffin. “Let’s make this season a giving season, and even if you weren’t able to contribute for the phone-a-thon, the lines at NCRA headquarters are open for donations!”

Donations to NCRF are 100 percent tax deductible as charitable contributions, and donors may make a donation by calling 800-272-6272, or by mailing a check to NCRF at 12030 Sunrise Valley Dr., Suite 400, Reston, Va., 20191. Visit for more information.

The November/December issue of HLAA magazine features NCRF’s HOHH Project

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyThe latest issue of the Hearing Loss Association of America’s membership magazine features an article about the Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project in an article authored by April Weiner, Manager of the National Court Reporters Foundation. NCRF launched the program, which is funded by an innovation grant awarded by the American Society of Association Executives.

Read more.

Members give back: Honoring U.S. veterans

A family of four dressed for chilly weather pose outside in front of a suburban house

Michelle Keegan with her two sons and her husband, who served in the infantry in Operation Desert Storm

By Michelle Keegan

Over the years, I have transcribed many interviews of veterans through the Library of Congress Veterans History Project and the National Court Reporters Foundation. I feel honored to be able to take part in such a worthwhile program. Every interview brings a new understanding of the sacrifices that our veterans have made. Often I am left in awe by the courage that these men and women showed at such a young age when called to defend our nation. More times than not, after I finish transcribing an interview, I immediately want to transcribe another. I find that as the veteran recounts his or her story, I become mesmerized. I often find that I’m laughing along with the veteran to the funny stories that are remembered, and I get teary eyed along with the veteran when he or she relates some of the more difficult memories.

One memory that was recounted recently was by a veteran of the Air Force. He said that a bunch of guys got together and decided to go into town, and they bought a kitchen sink. And they took the kitchen sink with them. They had tipped off the photographers who went along that when they got to the target, they were going to dump the kitchen sink down on the target so the headlines would read in the paper that the Nazis got hit with everything and the kitchen sink. That’s a true story.

I have recently met with the head of the local Veterans Administration to start a Veterans History Project that will interview our city’s veterans. It is my hope that the veterans of our city will share their stories through the Veterans History Project so that we as a society may gain a better understanding of what their experiences in wars were like, what they did as they integrated back into society, and how they are able to cope with and overcome some of the difficult memories that they have. I hope that by hearing these stories, we as a society will not forget that throughout our history, our country has needed protection, and these men and women bravely answered the call. And many of them are our neighbors.

Veterans Day may have come and gone this year, but one way that we as court reporters can give back is by volunteering to transcribe the stories of a veteran. NCRA and, through it, NCRA members have been working with the Library of Congress since 2003 both to record and transcribe the stories of the diverse group of men and women who have served our nation.

Michelle Keegan, RMR, CRR, is a freelance reporter from Quincy, Mass. She can be reached at

For more information about the Veterans History Project, please visit, or contact April Weiner, Foundation Manager, at

NCRF accepting nominations for Frank Sarli Memorial and Student Intern scholarships

The National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) is now accepting nominations for the Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship and the Student Intern Scholarship. The deadline for both these scholarships is Dec. 1.

Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship

NCRF’s Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship of $2,000 has benefited court reporting students nearing graduation for 20 years. The award honors the late Frank Sarli, a court reporter who was committed to supporting students at the highest level of their education. Sarli, who was studying to become a professional pianist, turned to court reporting when he could no longer afford the tuition to music school. During his career, he opened Accurate Court Reporters in Orlando, Fla., Orange County’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 the first Floridian to earn NCRA’s Distinguished Service Award.

“This scholarship helped me immensely because I was able to use some of the funds for my professional machine, which helped me enter the workforce without being in debt, the first leg of my RPR, and my airfare to attend the NCRA Convention in Chicago, which was incredibly inspiring and motivating for a new reporter/recent grad,” said Nicole Bulldis, RPR, an official court reporter in Pasco, Wash., and the 2016 recipient of the Sarli scholarship.

Court reporting students must be nominated by an instructor or advisor and meet a number of specific criteria to be eligible, including:

  • enrollment in an NCRA-approved 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 GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale,
  • demonstrating the need for financial assistance
  • possessing the qualities exemplified by a professional court reporter, including attitude, demeanor, dress, and motivation

Submit a nomination for the Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship

Student Intern Scholarship

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
  • having a grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • attending an NCRA-approved court reporting program

A generous annual donation from the Reis Family Foundation helps fund these scholarships.

“Receiving [this scholarship], was a financial boon for my transition from student intern to working reporter,” said Stephen Sudano, a freelance court reporter from Bohemia, N.Y., and one of the 2016 recipients of the Student Intern Scholarship. “A career as a freelance court reporter requires a substantial investment to get off the ground. This scholarship helped pay for my professional equipment, and I appreciate it to this day.”

Submit a nomination for the Student Intern Scholarship

NCRF’s scholarships and grant are supported by donations to the NCRF Angels Drive and other fundraisers. To learn more about these scholarships, and to find the nomination forms, please visit

NCRF: Getting to know NCRF’s Major Gifts donors

In 2015, the National Court Reporters Foundation initiated a new program to allow people interested in the court reporting, captioning, and legal video professions the opportunity to support several programs devoted to maintaining and promoting those professions and aiding students and new professionals through several educational initiatives. NCRF currently maintains several programs to promote court reporting and captioning. Two prominent programs are the Legal Education Program and the Oral Histories Program, which both help practitioners showcase their unique skills to clients and the public. Other favorites support the growth of students and new professionals in the field, such as the Student Initiatives Program and the Corrinne Clark Professionalism Institute.

NCRA’s Major Gifts donors saw a benefit to supporting NCRF and its many programs. The JCR invited those eight donors to explain why they decided to support NCRF and what they see for the future of the profession.

Platinum Donor ($50,000+)

Headshot of an NCRF Major Gifts donor: a man in a suit in front of an office window with an urban background

Adam Friend

Adam Friend
Senior Vice President, Business Development

Why did you decide to donate to NCRF?

As a company we had decided that we wanted to support the industry in a major way, particularly in support of investing in the long-term prosperity of our profession. In my discussions with Jan Ballman, FAPR, RPR, CMRS [then chair of the Foundation], I learned that the NCRF was looking to launch the Major Gifts Program. We thought that making a meaningful donation as part of this program would not only have a major positive impact on our industry, but also be publicized in a way to encourage others to contribute, which would amplify the effect of our gift.

How do you think that donating to NCRF helps the profession?

The NCRF has a noble mission with passionate and influential individuals dedicated to the long-term prosperity of our industry, as well as acting in a charitable way to support beautiful projects. The Corrinne Clark Professionalism Institute, in its support of student recruitment and development, addresses a mission-critical need of our industry: educating the next generation of reporters who will be the future of the industry. The Student Initiatives Program similarly supports student engagement and development. Other programs such as the Oral Histories Program generally promote the visibility and reputation of the industry and the important role it plays in the legal system.

What would you tell other people about NCRF, and why they too should support it?

The court reporting industry has provided a livelihood and prosperity for many people, including reporters, business owners, and the staff they employ. Veritext believes that it is not only in our interest to promote the future of our profession, but also our duty to give back in gratitude and provide the opportunities for those generations that follow similar opportunities to build careers and thrive in this great profession.

What do you see as the future of the profession?

Stenographic reporting is an amazing skill and special talent that has always been and will continue to be valued by courts, litigators, the CART and captioning community, and others. While technology should continue to enhance the efficiency and quality of the process of converting the spoken word into the written one, the human element is and will always be central. We believe that the future is bright but we collectively should invest in ensuring that there are enough reporters to meet expected demand.

Silver Donors ($5,000+)

Headshot of an NCRF Major Gifts donor: a black and white image of a woman in professional attire

Jan Ballman

Jan Ballman, FAPR, RPR, CMRS
Paradigm Reporting & Captioning
Minneapolis, Minn.

As past chair and long-time supporter of NCRF, have you gained any more insight into NCRF and its purpose than you had before your service?

Serving on the Board of Trustees of NCRF was an amazing experience that opened my eyes even more to the good work of the Foundation. To know the Foundation is to love the Foundation! The more I saw firsthand the impact their programs had on our profession, the more I was driven to support NCRF at a higher level.

Do you have a favorite NCRF program?

My very favorite NCRF initiative is the Veterans History Project (VHP). This year, my firm will host its 8th Annual VHP Day. We held our first one in conjunction with my first year of service on the NCRF Board, and there was just no question that it would become an annual event. I now refer to it as “my favorite day of the year at Paradigm.” To participate in capturing veterans’ service stories for the Library of Congress as a way of honoring them for their service to our country is an amazingly meaningful opportunity!

Headshot of an NCRF Major Gifts donor: A woman in professional attire

Paula Behmke

Paula Behmke, RPR
San Francisco, Calif.

What motivated you to become a Major Gifts Donor?

We have to look to ourselves — the reporter and firm — to ensure the viability of our time-honored profession. The NCRF fills this need by its philanthropic endeavors.

There are many times that I’ve left an NCRA event meaning to make a donation when I returned home, but kept putting it aside. This year I made sure I followed through and am happy with the decision of giving back!

What value does NCRF hold for you?

For me, NCRF exemplifies integrity, collaboration, and dedication. As the charity arm for the profession, the Foundation helps us by providing programs that raise our profile, such as the Legal Education program, which helps court reporters explain what we do for our clients and the importance of our integrity in preserving the record. I believe that by working together with the Foundation, we can do great things.

Photo of NCRF Major Gifts donors: A man and a woman dressed as tourists are up close and personal with a koala in a tree

Jeffrey and Debra Cheyne

Debra K. Cheyne, CSR, M.A., and Jeffrey M. Cheyne
Sherwood, Ore.

As a long-time supporter of NCRF, what drew you to the Major Gifts program?

The desire to promote the welfare of others drew me to NCRF’s Major Gifts program, an opportunity to make a positive contribution for the betterment of our profession, the professional court reporters, captioners, CART and broadcast captioners, and students that NCRF programs support.

The Greek word “philanthropy” literally means “love of humanity,” and it is an honor to be a donor to a foundation whose mission and philanthropic programs exemplify the very meaning of the word.

How do you want NCRF’s programs to help the future of the profession?

NCRF programs help ensure that our profession as guardians of the record remains vital. The Foundation works in conjunction with NCRA to support court reporting students, both through the NCRA student membership oral history transcription program and various scholarships awarded annually to aspiring students and new professional court reporters.

The adage “It is better to give than receive” takes on a special meaning with NCRF, for by giving to the Foundation’s programs, I receive the gift of promoting our realtime profession. Now that’s a major gift!

Photo of an NCRF Major Gifts donor: A husband and wife in formal dress -- as if for a wedding -- gaze at each other

Robert and Mary Fabrize

Robert O. Fabrize
West Palm Beach, Fla.

Your donation was in memory of your wife. Can you tell us a little bit about her?

I met Mary Geus Anderson Fabrize in 1950, about the same time I met my first wife, Val. They were great friends. Val and Mary had studied together to be court reporters. Val and I stayed in touch with Mary and her family over the years. Mary and I both lost our spouses. Our long-time friendship brought us together, and we got married.

Mary had worked in federal courts, but after a stroke in 1984, she retired from reporting and began her teaching career, which she loved.

What made you want to commemorate her with a Major Gifts donation?

Teaching was tremendous for Mary. Because of her 36 years as a working reporter, she felt she could be a better teacher and provide a more in-depth perspective to her students.

NCRF has supported students in many ways over the years, and so now, my support of NCRF means that Mary can continue to support court reporting students into the future.

Headshot of an NCRF Major Gifts donor: a woman in profressional attire poses in front of a studio background

Nancy Hopp

Nancy Hopp, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CMRS
St. Louis, Mo.

As current chair of NCRF, what would you share about the Foundation and why you became a Major Gifts donor?

I’ve always been proud of NCRF’s work, especially the Veterans History Project.  My father was a WWII veteran, and his wartime experiences stayed with him to his deathbed. It is of paramount importance to preserve these first-person legacies.

What I did not know before being NCRF chair was how this project benefited the reporting community. Last year, a few other reporters and I interviewed veterans on Purple Heart Day, and we garnered more than $250,000 in free media coverage. NCRF’s careful stewardship and savvy leveraging of donations inspired me to step up from the Angel level to being a Major Gift donor.

Another of my favorite NCRF programs is the Legal Education Program. NCRF offers a PowerPoint presentation on how to make a record. I’ve presented this program to law school litigation classes, bar associations, and law firms. Not only is it fun to share my “insider” knowledge, but it positions me as a subject-matter expert.

Rest assured, NCRF’s programs are carefully designed to draw positive attention to the reporting profession.  In my mind, that’s a big win-win!

Photo of NCRF Major Gifts donors: A man and a woman in professional attire stand side by side in an office

Christine Phipps and Richard Applebaum

Christine Phipps, RPR, and Richard Applebaum, RMR
West Palm Beach, Fla.

Christine Phipps responded to the questions for herself and Richard Applebaum.

What motivated you to become a Major Gifts Donor? 

I had been so blessed in my career that it was important to me to not just take from it, but to give back. I had a duty and responsibility to take part in ensuring its future for others, so they too can make their dreams come true and provide for their families. The thing is, I set out to give and ended up getting so much more, not only professionally but innumerable life lessons from others. I keep trying to give and do more, and yet I still feel like I am getting more than I am giving. So that’s why I decided to make a Major Gifts donation. I also wanted to make a very clear statement that I support our Foundation.

What value does NCRF hold for you? 

NCRF is the true charity arm of NCRA.  It is my hope that others will step forward and make major gifts to NCRF so that we can broaden the scope of programs we offer, perhaps even provide financial support to our students in lieu of the government funding that gives our industry so many problems due to the disconnect between learning a subject and becoming proficient in a skill.

Photo of an NCRF Major Gifts donor: A smiling woman faces the camera

B.J. Shorak

B.J. Shorak
Vienna, Va.

Why did you decide to donate to NCRF?

NCRF has been a huge part of my life for almost three decades, and it has afforded me so many opportunities and has given me rewards beyond measure. It’s a huge part of who I am. I’ve learned so much and met so many wonderful people along the way, and my life is truly much richer for the experience.

For these and many other reasons, I wanted to show my appreciation though a Major Gifts donation.

In your position as NCRF’s Deputy Executive Director, you have a unique perspective of the court reporting, captioning, and related professions. How do you think that NCRF will help the profession flourish in the future?

NCRF’s role is mandated by its Articles of Incorporation.  Simply put, NCRF exists to support NCRA’s mission and goals through education and research.  Since its creation in 1980, and since it became autonomous in 1992, NCRF’s leadership has always developed its vision and programs to support NCRA.  We develop our programs based on NCRA’s strategic goals, and we will continue to do that.

Supporting NCRF is like an investment in your future.  The Foundation constantly seeks to create programs of significance to the profession. To do so, it needs the support and generosity of donors like the ones interviewed here.

Consider including the NCRF Major Gifts Program as you plan your budget for next year. More information on the many benefits of becoming a Major Gifts donor is available at, or contact NCRF’s Deputy Executive Director B. J. Shorak by email at or  by phone at 703-584-9026.

WCRA honors NCRA President Chris Willette through NCRF donation

In August, the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association (WCRA) honored Chris Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC, on becoming NCRA’s 2017-2018 President through a generous Thoughtful Tribute donation to the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF). Willette, who was installed as NCRA President in August during the Association’s Convention & Expo in Las Vegas, Nev., is from Wausau, Wis., and is a past president of WCRA.

“WCRA made a donation in honor of Chris Willette’s NCRA presidency to help promote all the wonderful things that NCRF does for our national association, such as the Corrine Clark Professionalism Institute, the Legal Education Program, the Oral Histories Program, the Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project, and the Angels Program,” said Sheri L. Piontek, RMR, CRR, CRC, an official court reporter from Green Bay and current president of WCRA.

“Chris Willette has a longstanding history of giving back to our profession on both the state and national levels. WCRA wanted to acknowledge those accomplishments in a way that will continue those efforts as Chris has demonstrated countless times,” she added.

NCRF’s Thoughtful Tributes program provides donors the opportunity to honor important people in their lives, whether personal or professional.

For all donations received, no matter the amount, NCRF sends an acknowledgment of each gift to the honoree(s) directly or to the person’s family, as appropriate. For donations of $250 or more, the names of both the donor and the honoree are listed on NCRF’s Thoughtful Tributes website and appear on a plaque displayed at NCRA headquarters. All donations to the fund are 100 percent tax deductible as a charitable contribution.

For more information or to donate, contact B. J. Shorak, NCRF Deputy Executive Director, at, or call 800-272-6272.

NCRA member wins Cabo trip for supporting the National Court Reporters Foundation

Kim Neeson, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, a reporter and firm owner from Toronto, Canada, won the drawing for a stay at the Villa Del Palmar in Cabo San Lucas for pledging her support of the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) as an Angel. 2018 Angels who pledged before Aug. 30 were eligible for the drawing for the trip, which was generously donated by Denise Paternoster, RPR, an official from Staten Island, N.Y., in loving memory of her husband, Frank Paternoster.

Frank “was my biggest fan as far as my career and attended the Annual Convention with me from 1981 till his death in 2014,” said Paternoster.

The fundraiser debuted before the 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo, and the winner was announced on Facebook Live on NCRA’s Facebook page at 3 p.m. ET on Aug. 31. This is the fourth year that Neeson has pledged as an NCRF Angel.

“While there are many ways we can support our profession and, by extension, our association, becoming an Angel is an important way to provide the tangible funds to support NCRF’s many court reporting and captioning initiatives, including student support, championing technology, and creating programs, like recording the Veteran and Holocaust Survivor stories for preservation,” said Neeson. “I’m so proud to be part of an organization that supports our future but preserves our past. To win the trip to Cabo was simply the icing on the cake!”

Angels donate a minimum of $1,000 within a year to support NCRF’s initiatives, including the Corrinne Clark Professionalism Institute, the Legal Education Program, the Oral Histories Program, and scholarships and awards. Angels receive special recognition for their support on NCRF’s website, at the NCRA Convention & Expo and the NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference, and in an annual ad in the NCRA’s Journal of Court Reporting.

If you would like to become a 2018 Angel, please contact April Weiner, NCRF Foundation Manager, or call 800-272-NCRA (6272).

NCRF Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project captures Purple Heart recipients’ stories

Two women, one holding a plaque in the shape of a scroll, stand in front of a banner reading "America's Combat Wounded Veterans -- Purple Heart Recipients." The wording is wrapped around an image of the Purple Heart medal in front of a bald eagle whose wings turn into the American flag.

April Weiner and Nancy Hopp accepted a plaque on behalf of NCRF from the Military Order of the Purple Heart

The National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) hosted a third Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project initiative on Aug. 14 at the 86th Military of Order of Purple Heart (MOPH) 2017 Convention held in Dallas, Texas. Volunteer court reporters and captioners from the Texas Court Reporters Association were joined by a number of volunteer interviewers including NCRF Chair Nancy Hopp, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRMS, from St. Louis, Mo., to help chronicle the service experiences of nine veterans from a number of different military branches and different wars, which will be transcribed for the U.S. Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP).

The event was also featured in two segments that aired on KDFW-DAL Fox 4 News.

“I’m proud of the work court reporters and captioners have done to preserve veterans’ stories,” said Hopp during a presentation to attendees at the MOPH event. “We owe it to you brave men and women to make sure your stories live on for the benefit of your families, historians, and the American people.”

In her remarks, Hopp shared that her own father was drafted in the infantry in his late 20s and served in Europe during World War II. He received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during his active service.

“Over the course of his life, my dad would tell us isolated anecdotes from his wartime experiences. In 1998, when he was 83 years old and on his deathbed, I flew to Florida to visit him in the hospital. When I arrived, he took off his oxygen mask, and he proceeded to knit together all those little war stories he had shared over the years into one compelling and poignant narrative of his experience,” Hopp said.

Noting that her father’s story was an amazing tale of terror, courage, and, most of all, a strong sense of duty, Hopp added that she was struck at the time by how he would not let himself die until he had a chance to unburden himself of experiences he had had 50 years earlier.

Back view of a conference room with a seated audience -- mostly men and some wearing commemorative military service hats. A woman stands at the podium in the front of the room. On the projector is a black and white photographer of a smiling young man in uniform, probably circa the 1940s

Nancy Hopp shares a few words about her father (pictured) at the Military Order of the Purple Heart convention

“I so wish I could have preserved his story both for posterity and as evidence of the personal sacrifices he made,” said Hopp as she encouraged those in the audience to share their stories for the Library of Congress program.

NCRF’s work promoting VHP programs like the Hard-of-Hearing Heroes initiative is important because it helps veterans who have never spoken of their service share their stories, said Kimberly Xavier, RDR, CRR, CRC, CMRS, CRI, an official court reporter from Arlington, Texas, and a U.S. Air Force veteran, who volunteered at the MOPH event.

“As court reporters, we sometimes are too focused on the financial side of what we do, but (volunteering) is giving back. Anyone thinking of participating in one of these events should just jump right in and do it. It’s well worth it,” added Xavier.

For volunteer interviewer Mark Kiernan, from The Colony, Texas, participating in the Hard-of-Hearing Heroes event was extremely gratifying especially since his own son was wounded during service in Afghanistan. He attended the event with his wife, Therese Casterline Kiernan, RMR, CRR, a freelance court reporter who volunteered to capture the stories of the veterans he interviewed.

“I would absolutely do this again. I think it is important that people learn and understand how much those who seserve — and their families, too — sacrifice. When my son was injured, the first person I saw in the hospital said to me that everyone now needs to learn a new normal. Hearing a veteran’s story could be the learning experience of a lifetime,” added Kiernan.

Other court reporters, captioners, and interviewers from Texas who volunteered their time to support the NCRF event included:

  • Kacie Adcock, RPR, CRR, CRC, a broadcast and CART captioner from Arlington, and her husband, Ryan
  • Mellony Ariail, RMR, CRR, CRC, an official court reporter from Corinth
  • Jennifer Collins, a captioner from Fort Worth
  • Terra Gentry, RPR, CRR, CRC, a freelance reporter from Rockwall
  • Lisa Hundt, RPR, a freelance court reporter and firm owner from Dallas
  • Brynna Kelley, RPR, CRR, a broadcast captioner from Dallas
  • Brian Roberts (interviewer)
  • Vicki Smith, RPR, a freelance court reporter from Lewisville
  • Vonda Treat (interviewer)
  • Kathleen Ullrich, RPR, CRR, a CART captioner from Seguin
Four people sit around a table -- two are in coversation while the other two write the conversation on a steno machine and provide captioning

(l->r) Kimberly Xavier records an oral history while Nancy Hopp asks veteran Benny Duett questions and Jennifer Collins provides CART.

The veterans interviewed included:

  • Richard Chenone, New Berlin, Wis., who served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and earned the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals for his service.
  • Benny Duett, Meridian, Miss., who served as a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam and earned the Purple Heart, the Vietnam Campaign, and the Vietnam Service medals for his service.
  • James Gordon, Stone Mountain, Ga., who served as an E6 in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and earned the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the National Defense, the Vietnam Service, and the Vietnam Campaign medals for his service.
  • Bill Grumlett, San Antonio, Texas, who served as a captain in the U.S. Army in Korea and Vietnam and earned the Purple Heart, the Vietnam Service, and the Korea Service medals for his service.
  • Robert Hunt, Cordova, Tenn., an E5 (sergeant) in the U.S. Army who served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and earned two Purple Heart medals for his service. Hunt was accompanied by his golden retriever service dog, Baron, during his interview.
  • Kevin Hynes, New Bern, N.C., a captain in the U.S. Air Force who served in Vietnam and earned a Purple Heart, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Airman’s Medal, two Bronze Stars, and an Air Medal for his service.
  • Robert Lance, location not given, who served as a sergeant major E9 in the U.S. Marine Corps in Korea and Vietnam and earned a Purple Heart medal for his service.
  • Leonard Lang, Blanchard, Okla., an E5 in the U.S. Army who served in Korea and Vietnam and earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star medal for his service.
  • Bobby McNeill, Charlotte, N.C., who served as a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam and earned the Purple Heart, National Defense Service, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign with Device, and Meritorious Mast medals for his service.

NCRF’s Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project initiative specifically seeks to interview veterans with hearing loss with the help of CART captioning. Hearing loss is among the most common service-related injuries due to constant exposure to loud noises in training and in combat, and it tends to worsen over time. In addition to preserving these veterans’ stories for the VHP, the Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project introduces CART captioning, which is a service that may benefit these veterans in their daily lives.

NCRF launched the Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project at the Hearing Loss Association of America’s headquarters in Bethesda, Md., in February, where five veterans with varying degrees of hearing loss chronicled their service experiences. In June, seven veterans were interviewed during the 2017 Hearing Loss Association of America’s Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. NCRF is seeking volunteers to participate at a fourth event in October during the Association of Late-Deafened Adults conference being held in Orlando, Fla.

NCRA members have been listening and taking down veterans’ stories since NCRF partnered with the Library of Congress in 2003 to have court reporters transcribe veterans’ stories from their collection of now more than 100,000. In 2007, members were asked to preserve the stories of veterans who hadn’t yet recorded their histories through personal interviews and VHP Days. To date, NCRF has submitted more than 4,100 transcripts to the Library of Congress.

NCRF’s Hard-of-Hearing Heroes initiative is supported by an Innovation Grant from the American Society of Association Executives Foundation. For more information, please visit, or contact April Weiner, Foundation Manager, at

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.