President's Message

The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity for the Virginia Court Reporters Association.

While many hours have been devoted towards lobbying for the passage of what will be known as Title 17.1-1000 through 17.1-1005 of the Code of Virginia, we now need to move forward and help our membership and others spread the word about the new law going into effect on July 1, 2018.

While many hours have been devoted towards lobbying for the passage of what will be known as Title 17.1-1000 through 17.1-1005 of the Code of Virginia, we now need to move forward and help our membership and others spread the word about the new law going into effect on July 1, 2018.

Karen Hart was this year’s recipient of the Frank G. Tayloe Award. Karen was the originator of the idea behind the new legislation. She believed it could happen and knew the right people to contact, namely Senator Mark Obenshain, Carol Naughton, and the leaders within the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. These were the people who got the ball rolling and devoted countless hours towards the ultimate goal of passage of the Senate Bill. Thank you for the generosity of your time and persevering, even when it looked like the odds were against us.

I would also like to extend a special thank you to Dave Wenhold, who was NCRA’s Director of Government Relations and Public Policy for 20 years. Dave worked with us behind the scenes, and then he put us in touch with John Stirrup, VCRA’s lobbyist, who we retained on February 1, 2018. Less than one month later, on February 28, 2018, the vote passed 74 Y – 24 N in the Virginia House of Delegates. Then the waiting game began until Governor Ralph Northam signed the legislation on April 6, 2018.

Thank you to all the court reporters and others who wrote and called their State Representatives in favor of the legislation. Our elected General Assembly loves to hear from their constituents. At the end of the day, this was the main reason Chapter 10 of Title 17.1 passed in the General Assembly and will now become the law.

As the president of the Virginia Court Reporters Association, I am mindful of the trust you have placed in me, and I will always put my best effort forward. Within this year’s Board of Directors, we have a wealth of experience and knowledge amongst us, and I am looking forward to working with this great group of court reporters.

Our newest board members are Gwenda Applegate, Sabrina Bell, Cynthia Bragg, Lori McCoin Jones and Grace Lengmueller, and our Student Liaison is Stephanie Barnes. Our returning board members are Michele Eddy, Rachel Cramer, Donna Linton, Carol Naughton, Melissa Custis and Cherrylynn Gerardo. Welcome to each one of you and thank you for your commitment to serve on this year’s Board of Directors.

VCRA has some new programs we are beginning this year. The first is promoting and helping to coordinate the A to Z program developed by NCRA. This is a six to eight- week introduction to a machine shorthand course. We have one course which just began on April 14th in Vienna, and there will be a course beginning this summer in Virginia Beach. The two instructors are Michele Eddy and Janet Collins, respectively.

If you have a steno machine gathering dust in your closet, please consider donating it. If you would be interested in teaching one of the A to Z programs, let us know. All the training materials necessary to use during the program are already available, and we plan to transfer the machines from one course to the next.

This year we will be attending the 2018 Virginia School Counselor Association Conference held in Hampton, Virginia, from October 17-19, 2018. We were invited to be an exhibitor during the three days. This event traditionally attracts over 600 school counselors and administrators from around the state. Please consider donating a few hours of your time in Hampton. We will be looking for volunteers and will have more details as we get closer to October.

We will continue to hold our VCRA socials throughout the year in different locations throughout the state. Education Day will be held next year again at the Jepsen Center in Richmond, Virginia. The date will be March 23, 2019.

If you are not yet a member of VCRA, please consider joining the Virginia Court Reporters Association. We are only as strong as our membership, and we can do great things when we all are working together towards a common goal.

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

 
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