A couple weeks ago, I was setting up my equipment for a deposition that was set to start shortly. The witness and her attorney were already in the room, and, as I’m sure you’ve all experienced, she took interest in my equipment. “So, you can type really fast?” she asked. I explained to her that, yes, I can write at 225 words per minute. She told me she can type at about 60 words per minute, and I said that’s probably about what I can type on a keyboard, but the steno machine allows for much greater speed. She then said, “Wait, you were serious about 225 words per minute!?” I laughed and explained that all stenographers have to write at this speed to keep up with the spoken word, and I described the three different legs we have to pass for the speed portion of the RPR. At this point, the attorney interjected and said, “Really? I didn’t know that.”
This interaction underscored for me what I think we all know. While the court reporting community, both voice and steno, emphasizes certification and obtaining greater and greater credentials, large segments of the legal community are still unaware of the standards that underpin what it means to be a competent professional in our field. I know that our association and others have tried to educate attorneys about our profession, but there is still work to be done. After all, in my opinion, it’s our skill, knowledge and dedication to continuing education that separates us from the other options encroaching on our field today.
When I became president in March of this year, one of the principal goals for my presidency was adding greater value for members of the VCRA. To this end, we recently announced that VCRA Day will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2022. VCRA Day is a celebration of our association and its members and will consist of a webinar with informative speakers in the morning and unique socials held all over the Commonwealth in the afternoon. Best of all, this event is free for all VCRA members and students! That means 0.25 NCRA- and NVRA-approved CEUs available for free to every member. I hope you all decide to attend the webinar, and I hope you’ll consider attending one of the socials as well. It will be great to get together with friends and colleagues once again!
I can’t stress enough how important each of you are to the continued success of VCRA and its mission to advocate for court reporters within the Commonwealth of Virginia. As president and also having been a member of NCSA (National Congress of State Associations) for a number of years, I have heard firsthand the struggle that many state associations are having adding and retaining members. I have even heard about associations at risk of dissolving due to lack of interest. We’re fortunate to have an active member base willing to step up, volunteer for outreach efforts and serve on the VCRA Board and committees. But we can’t rest on our laurels. We have to work every day to increase our numbers, and member benefits like VCRA Day play a huge role in accomplishing that. You can help the cause by sharing our posts on Facebook and other social media platforms. It only takes a second, but it helps a lot!
VCRA will be an exhibitor at the upcoming Virginia School Counselor Association conference in Hampton on October 19th through 21st. This three-day event pulls in counselors from all grade levels plus administrators, social workers and others. We are happy to be returning to this event, as it’s a great opportunity to showcase court reporting to the people advising students and other career seekers in Virginia. Thank you to all the volunteers helping with this event!
VCRA’s Mario A. Rodriguez Education Day is scheduled for March 18th, 2023, at a new venue, the Kelly Education Center at the beautiful Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, Virginia. We’ll have more details in the coming months. Please save the date!
I hope you enjoy the cool fall weather in our beautiful Commonwealth and have a wonderful holiday season.
Christopher D. Reho, RPR, CCR