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  • VCRA Zoomvention 2020: Moving Forward Together

VCRA Zoomvention 2020: Moving Forward Together

  • 14 Nov 2020
  • 8:00 AM - 4:15 PM
  • Zoom


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VCRA Zoomvention 2020: Moving Forward Together

Join us for the VCRA Zoomvention 2020 on November 14th from the comfort of your home.  It will be an all-day online convention filled with informative speakers, prize drawings and fun!  Our keynote speaker is Pilar Gerasimoan award-winning health journalist and author of The Healthy Deviant: A Rule Breaker's Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy World Register today!

Register Now


The day will begin at 8:00 a.m. with a welcome from your VCRA President, Donna Linton, RMR, CCR, CLR.  Breaks will be taken between sessions, during which time award and prize winners will be announced. 

Download PDF Schedule

 Topic/Speaker  Description Time/CEUs 

Techy Tips and Tricks

Kristina Tan

Explore various tools, gadgets, and shortcuts to make our jobs faster, better, and easier new technology implemented in September of 2020 for remote depositions!

8:05 to 9:35 a.m.


How To Write Technical Jobs With Ease

Michele Eddy

Ever wonder how you’ll ever be ready to write a technical job with ease, without sweating bullets, without feeling like you want to throw in the towel at the end of the day? I’m here to help by sharing with you my personal system for preparing for a technical job, whether it’s a pharmaceutical case or an intellectual patent case involving chemical terminology. We will then take the time during this session not only to go through the steps, but to put these skills into practice by simulating a real deposition experience. Bring your thinking cap and your machines and laptops, and let’s get down to business.

10:00 to 11:30 a.m.


Healthy Deviance

Pilar Gerasimo

In this talk, I’ll offer an eye-opening look at the true nature of our current health challenges, and I’ll present some practical suggestions for embracing Healthy Deviance as a means of escaping our unhealthy culture’s deadly vortex.

11:45 to 12:45 p.m. 


How the Sausage is Made in the General Assembly

John Stirrup

John will explain how a bill works its way through the House and Senate to become law including patrons, writing a bill, the committee process, crossover day.

He'll describe the importance of keeping in contact with our legislators and forming and enhancing a relationship, when it's best to meet with them, how to schedule through their legislative aid, how to keep your talk with them brief and concise.

2:00 to 3:00 p.m. 


View from the Hill

Sindie Bragg & Lori McCoin Jones

Join Sindie Bragg and Lori McCoin Jones as they recap what happened in Richmond with VCRA's attempt at obtaining licensure of Virginia court reporters. We will go over what we wanted to accomplish with our bill as well as give a rundown of our presentations before the Judicial Subcommittees of the Senate and House. Finally, we'll talk about where we go from here and what we see in the future regarding court reporter licensure in Virginia.

We will also be having a Q & A segment after our presentation. Questions can be submitted before the presentation by emailing vcraexecutivedirector@gmail.com, or you will be able to post questions during the presentation.

3:15 to 4:15 p.m.


VCRA .60 CEU | NCRA .60 CEU | NVRA 6.0 CEU

Win Amazing Prizes

By registering for the VCRA Zoomvention 2020, you will be automatically entered into drawings to win one of three amazing prizes!  Winners will be drawn throughout the day.

Echo Dot (Gen 3)

($99 value)

Donated by Veritext

Stealth Ultra High Power USB High Gain Stereo Omnidirectional Microphone

($369.95 value)

Donated by Sound Professionals

One Hour Free Catalyst/Eclipse Training

Donated by Dave Stanley

50/50 Raffle for COEF Fund

We will be holding a 50/50 raffle during the VCRA Zoomvention 2020.  Tickets are $1 each.  Buy as many tickets as you want for a chance to win 50 percent of the total pot.   The other 50 percent of your generous participation goes to the Carolyn M. O'Connor Education Fund.

Tickets can be purchased when you register for the convention.

Virtual Social

Join us for a post-Zoomvention social from the comfort of your couch.  Kick off your shoes and be ready to chat with your favorite fall beverage and snacks!

Time: 4:30 p.m. until ?


Pilar Gerasimo

Pilar Gerasimo is an award-winning health journalist, founding editor of Experience Life magazine, and co-host of the top-rated The Living Experiment podcast. She formerly served as senior vice president of Healthy Living for Life Time Fitness, as lead health editor at the The Huffington Post, and as chief creative officer for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Pilar speaks, consults, and teaches workshops all over the world. Her work has earned attention from the New York Times, Mindful and Best Self magazines, Thrive Global, Blue Zones, and many other leading media outlets.

John Stirrup

John T. Stirrup has enjoyed a distinguished career of achieving successful legislative and public policy accomplishments, managing government affairs practices, leading grassroots efforts and winning public affairs strategies.  He has worked with a wide range of elected officials in the Executive Branch, United States Congress, state and county governments and the private sector. 

He served as a political appointee in the Reagan Administration, serving in Congressional Relations positions.  Subsequently, he moved to Capitol Hill and served as Chief of Staff to then Representative Dr. Tom A. Coburn.  During his tenure with Congressman Coburn, Mr. Stirrup was named a John C. Stennis Fellow. 

Since leaving Capitol Hill, he has represented private and public sector clients before Congress, the Administration, the Virginia General Assembly, regulatory agencies, local governments and international organizations. 

He was elected to serve on the Prince William County, VA Board of Supervisors, representing the Gainesville District, in 2003 and re-elected in 2007.  His colleagues elected him Vice-Chairman in 2008.

Upon leaving the Board of Supervisors, he was appointed, by the Governor, to a five-year term on the Virginia Commission on Local Government.    

A frequent lecturer at George Mason University’s Graduate School of Public Policy, he is often asked to address audiences on current public policy issues.  He has appeared on multiple news outlets including all the major national and local television networks to discuss public policy issues of the day.

His philanthropic work includes serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hylton Performing Arts Center and on the Boards of the Manassas Battlefield Trust and the Heritage Hunt Golf Classic.

Michele E. Eddy, RPR, CRR, CRI, CLR, Realtime Systems Administrator Certificate

Michele has been a freelance court reporter for over 30 years, beginning her career in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1989, then moving, in 2009, to the D.C./Northern Virginia area. She has been a Certified Realtime Reporter since 2000 and earned the Realtime Systems Administrator Certificate in 2012.

Michele works as a high-volume reporter in deposition, trial, or arbitration settings on almost a daily basis, providing interactive realtime, rough drafts, daily copy, or rush transcripts. This past year, Michele had the privilege of serving as a temporary Reporter of Debates for the U.S. Senate for several weeks, quickly learning the basics of Case Catalyst software in order to have a part in creating the Congressional Record on a daily basis.

Michele and her scopist use Eclipse software, often working together in the cloud through Connection Magic. Creating a job dictionary and auto-briefing is one of Michele’s favorite tools to writing realtime effortlessly. Good knowledge of Eclipse software enables her to provide stress-free rush transcripts, whether it's knowledge about block files and automatic indexing to create title pages and indexes quickly or editing tricks to produce fast rough drafts or a final product.

While in Ohio, Michele served as an instructor in the court reporting program at Cuyahoga Community College during the 2006-2007 academic year.

From 2014 through 2016, Michele participated in the Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide (TRAIN) program for the Virginia Court Reporters Association, providing realtime and technical training to fellow reporters. She has also conducted software-related seminars at VCRA’s Education Day. In March 2015, she was awarded the Frank G. Tayloe Award by VCRA. From 2016 to the present, she has served on the Board of VCRA as Vice President, Secretary, and Director, currently chairing the Education Committee, having conducted several A to Z classes and has led efforts to bring awareness of our profession at the Virginia School Counselor Association’s annual conference in Hampton Roads, Virginia, in October 2019 and October 2018.

Kristina Tan

Kristina is a certified court reporter and authorized Eclipse trainer based in Richmond, Virginia.  Prior to becoming a court reporter, she worked as a resource coordinator at South Coast College in Orange, CA, training students and working court reporters in how to optimize their setups.  She has conducted many presentations regarding using technology to help work efficiently, the most recent one being NCRA's Connect Virtual 2020.  She enjoys sharing her passion for the profession through education and technology.

Lori McCoin Jones, RPR, CRR

Lori graduated from Reporting Academy of Virginia in Richmond in 1992 and began her freelance career in the Richmond area. In 2012, she accepted a position in the Superior Court of Forsyth County, North Carolina, as an official. After leaving her official position, she freelanced in North Carolina from 2014 until she returned to the Richmond area in 2016.

She attained the NCRA RPR certification in 2004.  Lori served as a board member of VCRA from 2011 to 2012, and then from 2018 to present, where she currently holds the position of Vice President. She was awarded the Frank Tayloe award in 2019.  She also served as a NCSA representative from Virginia from 2019 to 2020.

Sindie Bragg, RPR, LCR, CCR

Sindie attended the Court Reporting Institute of Dallas, after which she moved to Roanoke, Virginia to begin her court reporting career. She had plans to move to Washington, DC and pursue reporting in the House or Senate; however, fate had other plans when she met her husband and moved to Southwest Virginia. Sindie ran a small reporting firm in Abingdon, Virginia for 12 years.

In 2002 she took a break from reporting to finish raising her children, and she returned to the reporting field in 2014. She is again operating a small firm in Abingdon where she covers work in Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee. Sindie has been serving on the board of the Virginia Court Reporters Association for three years and just began serving as a NCSA representative with NCRA.

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