President's Message

 
When I graduated high school, one of my first jobs was working in a large law office as a legal secretary. This was the first time I had been exposed to the field of court reporting.

You never know when one small thing you say to another person might spark an interest and desire to become a court reporter.

 I frequently needed to schedule the services of a court reporter, and I eventually became friends with several of the people who reported depositions at the office. The more they talked about all the different cases they reported, the more I started thinking about becoming a court reporter.

Then I was subpoenaed for jury duty. The judge’s court reporter wrote all of our names on this skinny piece of paper, and then the same paper was passed around to the jury so we could see what the notes looked like. I now was hooked. All these years later, I still remember that trial.

When I had the opportunity to move to a different city and begin court reporting classes at the American Institute of Business in Des Moines, Iowa, I jumped at the chance to see if I had what it would take to become a court reporter. Two years later, I passed the last required test of testimony at 225 words per minute and now would be able to graduate with my associate’s degree in Court Reporting. The year was 1987, and there were not many job opportunities in the Midwest, but there were firms on the East Coast who needed reporters, so my husband and I moved to Virginia, and we now have been here almost 31 years.

You never know when one small thing you say to another person might spark an interest and desire to become a court reporter. Nationwide, we need to attract more people into the field of court reporting. One way to do this is by explaining to others what we do and that court reporting is a great career choice.

Our Public Relations committee has been busy coordinating the last-minute details before VCRA appears as an exhibitor at the Virginia School Counselor Association Conference being held in Hampton on October 17 – 19, 2018. Thank you to all the reporters who have volunteered to help with the exhibit booth. This is a multi-day event, and we would not have been able to commit to appear at this conference without you.

Our next A – Z Program class will begin in Richmond on October 16, 2018, and continue to meet weekly for 5 weeks.

The Education Day Committee has a fabulous array of speakers planned for March 23, 2019. Please mark this date on your calendar now because you will not want to miss this event. We will begin the day with Julia L. Bammel, who will talk to us about Finding your Inner Ninja. Tori Pittman will give us a live demonstration on voice writing and speak about how steno and voice writing are more alike than different. Our keynote speaker is Jeffrey Breit, who was one of 15 attorneys on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee overseeing all the litigation involving the BP Oil Spill in New Orleans. Al Sternberg will be discussing real criminal cases and putting us to work by solving these crimes. Back by popular demand, Mary Ann Payonk will continue her discussion on the value of becoming a better court reporter.

VCRA will be hosting a pub crawl beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 27, 2018, in Scott’s Addition in Richmond, Virginia. If you are in the area, we hope you will stop by and join us for a while.

The year of 2018 is certainly one that I will never forget. Each year, we have continued to incorporate new ideas and events. We are hopeful the career fairs and school counselor conferences will bring new reporters into the field. The A to Z Program has already been a proven success, and we plan to continue to offer it, but we do need more volunteers. Will you join me in investing in our future?

 

Warm Regards,
Leslie Etheredge, RMR, CCR
VCRA President
president@vcra.net

 
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