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Mario A. Rodriguez Education Day

  • 18 Mar 2023
  • 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23228

Registration is closed

Welcome spring with VCRA!

Join us on March 18th in the Kelly Education Center at the beautiful Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, Virginia, as we celebrate the start of spring (just a few days early) with an amazing lineup of speakers, good times with friends and free admission to the botanical garden!  

Register Now


$200 VCRA Member Early Bird| $225 VCRA Member Standard Rate

$275 Non-member|$125 Non-reporter/Guest | $50 Student

Note: Ed Day registration fees may be transferred, but NOT refunded. Early Bird not available to Students, Non-Members and Non-Reporters/Guests.

Registration will open at 7:00 a.m.  Programming will begin at 8:00 a.m. with a welcome from your VCRA President, Christopher Reho, RPR, CCR.  

For a list of hotels near Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, please click here.

View PDF Schedule

Topic/Speaker Description Time/CEUs
Registration Open   7:00 a.m.


7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

StenoMasters - Public Speaking for Court Reporters and Captioners

Joshua Edwards, RDR, CRR, CRC

StenoMasters is chartered under Toastmasters International and is the perfect place to get involved in a supportive community of fellow stenographers from all over the country -- and even the world -- to practice the skill of public speaking. The attendees will learn about the importance of timing, preparation, eliminating filler words, speech structure, word choice, body language, and feedback.

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.


Memory Power Part II

Paul Mellor

In today’s business world, having the ability to remember names and faces, beat absent-mindedness, and recall facts and figures puts you at the head of the pack. In this fun-filled session you’ll learn time-tested techniques for recalling names, speaking without notes, and gaining control of your day without the fear of forgetting. When you're skilled in memory all your other skills get better. This program shows how.


  • Attendees will gain skills to recall names and faces.
  • Attendees will implement techniques to build a ‘mental filing system’ to recall information.
  • Attendees will learn how to think quickly and accurately with confidence.

Note: If you attended Paul’s Memory Power presentation at the Celebrate Wellness Virtual Webinar in 2021, rest assured that his in-person presentation is completely different. More interaction, more demonstrations, and no PowerPoint.

9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.


Break Pro Bono Award and Visit with Vendors

10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Running a Court Reporting Firm

Matt Ridge

Today Matt has been asked to speak to us on how the back office of an agency runs.  From the first call of the morning to the last call of the day, Matt will discuss each and all steps to getting through the typical day behind the wheel of a busy court reporting agency.  He will touch on scheduling, from years in advance to ten minutes ago.  He will discuss industry wide norms and VA specific norms.

From client complaints to reporter praise, we will hit on it all from the office perspective with Q & A at the end.

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.


Business Lunch/ Town Hall

Town Hall, Annual Business Meeting and Elections

12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.


Break to Visit the Garden   1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Putting Yourself First: How to Really Be the Most Important Person in the Room

Carol Naughton, RDR; Joshua Edwards, RDR, CRR, CRC

This will be an interactive workshop about how to respond to situations that arise in courtrooms and depositions. The audience will participate through role-playing, observing others, and sharing feedback. This will be a dynamic, first-of-its-kind session. Participants will come away feeling more empowered and confident in their roles as court reporters.

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.



Saba McKinley Roberts, RPR, CRI

Today’s new technology is yesterday’s news. Staying at the top of your game is vital to your success in the court reporting and captioning arenas. We will explore the impact technology has had on our profession and the importance of staying current with new technology to ensure that you support the services you provide your clients. The presentation includes an overview of some of the latest in hardware and software products.

3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Break Tayloe Award 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Panel Discussion: AI Technology and Notary Laws

VCRA Board of Directors

Due to the fact that the only requirement for court reporters in Virginia is to have a valid notary license, it is important that court reporters practicing in Virginia know all of the notary laws. We'll discuss the two types of notary commissions issued in Virginia, the notary rules, and how to avoid the possibility of transcripts being rendered unusable due to improper adherence to the Virginia notary laws.

Artificial Intelligence is making an impact on the field of court reporting & captioning. We'll be demonstrating some AI programs being used and discuss the impact on our profession. We'll also learn the pitfalls of AI and how court reporters can use AI to their advantage.

5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.


VCRA .75 CEU | NCRA .65 CEU | NVRA 6.5 CEU

CASH IS KING when it comes to 50-50 and Heads-or-Tails!

VCRA will once again be holding a 50-50 raffle where the winner will receive half the pot.  Tickets can be purchased throughout the day and there is no limit to the number of tickets you can get. And let’s not leave out the ever-popular Heads-or-Tails game. This is a one-ticket-only-purchase per person but the winner takes home some major greenbacks!

But please remember, all tickets for the 50-50 and Heads-or-Tails are CASH ONLY.

During the Mario A. Rodriguez Education Day, the Virginia Court Reporters Foundation (VCRF) will be holding an online silent auction!  The auction will be open to attendees and non-attendees.  Items being auctioned will be available to view online and in person at our convention.  If necessary, items will be shipped to non-attendees; however, certain items will be pickup only due to size or shipping cost.

If you’re able, please consider donating an item.  If you know anyone else who might be willing to participate or contribute, please share the link with them as well.

Click Here to Donate

This auction will support The Carolyn M. O’Connor Education Fund. The Carolyn M. O’Connor Education Fund was established in 2013 to assist students hoping to enter the court reporting field.  Donations are tax deductible.

The party starts early! 

We will be holding a pre-Education Day social in Richmond on the evening before Ed Day, Friday, March 17th at 5:00 p.m.  Location will be announced soon.  Save the date, and plan your arrival to Richmond accordingly.  Join us for a little networking and a lot of fun!

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden offers year-round beauty on a historic property with more than 50 acres of spectacular gardens, dining, and shopping. A classical domed conservatory is the only one of its kind in the mid-Atlantic. More than a dozen themed gardens include a Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Asian Valley and Cherry Tree Walk.

Your registration for the Mario A. Rodriguez Education Day comes with free admission to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden!  We will take a one-hour break at the conclusion of the Business Lunch/Town Hall so that you can explore the garden without missing a minute of the event.

Joshua Edwards, RDR, CRR, CRC

Joshua Edwards is co-owner of StenoCaptions LLC, charter member of StenoMasters, and past president of the New York State Court Reporters Association. As a full-time CART captioner, he works in accessibility providing high-quality stenographic captioning for all types of events such as college classes, public and private events, board meetings, Broadway plays, and lectures, as well as captioning the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards four years in a row. In 2021 Joshua chartered StenoMasters (stenomasters.com), the first online Toastmasters public speaking club for stenographic court reporters, captioners, and students everywhere.

Paul Mellor

Paul Mellor, author of Finding the Keys, was a finalist in the USA Memory Championship, where he recalled the names of over 90 people in less than 15 minutes, remembered in exact order over 100 single-digit numbers after a five-minute study, and recalled the exact order of a shuffled deck of playing cards after less than a three-and-a-half minute review. His engaging and energetic programs have been delivered to audiences in all 50 states, including programs to NCRA and to many of NCRA state associations. A Communications graduate of Western Carolina University, Mr. Mellor is also the author of You're Almost There, chronicling his journey as having run a marathon (26.2 miles) in all 50 states.

Matt Ridge, CLVS

Matt began in the court reporting industry in 1998 in Pacifica, California, punching holes in transcripts and archiving master deposition videotapes for a busy reporting agency at the onset of video depositions.

In 1999 he became a CLVS and the office manager.  The office then moved into downtown San Francisco where he became the office manager and finally the director of operations.

In 2014, with his wife and two young kids in tow, he moved to Richmond where he joined Halasz Reporting & Video as their production manager. Matt created a production department and office setting to handle the typical calls to book, reschedule, and cancel depositions. He brought on a receptionist and production coordinator to handle all aspects of transcript production and billing. He has a hand in all aspects of the daily norms of a reporting office and is there each day from 9-5. He has videotaped 100s of depositions over his 25 year career and has had a hand in, in some form or fashion, thousands of depositions.

He has videotaped depositions in over nine different states and Bermuda.

He has scheduled and booked reporters, videographers, and interpreters for international depositions in over 13 countries.

From the airlines losing his equipment while en route to a video deposition in Bermuda, to waiting for MC Hammer to not show up for his deposition in San Francisco, Matt always has the reporter's best interest in mind. He is a reporter's videographer and a reporter's office manager. He was trained by a reporter and has always had their backs when on the job, training new videographers, on the phones with clients, or managing the office.

Matt is a member of NCRA, VCRA, and the Richmond Paralegal Association.

Carol L. Naughton, RDR, RSR, CCR

Carol is an Official Court Reporter for the United States District Court in Norfolk, Virginia. Prior to her current position, Carol worked as a freelance court reporter for 27 years in the markets of Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; Appleton, Wisconsin; and lastly, Norfolk, Virginia. Carol is a graduate of Bryan College of Court Reporting in Los Angeles, California.

Carol is the current chairperson of NCSA (National Congress of State Associations) and has served on various NCRA committees over the last nine years.

Carol is a past president of the Virginia Court Reporters Association and continues to serve on the legislative committee of VCRA.

Saba McKinley Roberts, RPR, CRI

Saba McKinley Roberts is a freelance court reporter and holds a degree in court reporting from Downey Adult School, Downey Calif., in 1990. She holds the nationally recognized professional certifications of Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) and Court Reporting Instructor (CRI). She is also licensed and certified in the states of California and Tennessee.

Her professional experience includes providing stenographic reporting and transcription services for all court-related hearings in Los Angeles County, and on staff providing CART captioning services to students at Long Beach City and El Camino colleges and the University of California, Los Angeles. She launched her own agency, Divine-Scripts, LLC in 2014. Since moving to Tennessee, she has rebranded her agency with the name McRob Realtime Reporting, Inc.

At the national level, McKinley Roberts has presented on CART captioning and her Realtime Mastery program. She also served on NCRA’s Captioning Committee from 2011 through 2020.

At the state level, McKinley Roberts is a past chair of the California Court Reporters Association’s (CCRA) Mentoring Committee, and she served on the organization’s board of directors from 2013-2015. She has also served on CCRA’s Captioning Committee and holds membership in the Deposition Reporters Association.

McKinley Roberts has also authored numerous books on CART and realtime skill building.

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