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  • 14 Jul 2020 8:40 PM | Christopher Reho (Administrator)

    Hopefully this message finds you adjusting to your new normal. It definitely has been a whirlwind of constant changes the past three months and, for most, extremely stressful keeping up with: the informational webinars, online platform trainings, electronic sticker marking, knowing what are the electronic notary rules, will I get unemployment or PPP or EIDL, does this mask offend anyone, and listening to the voices through the computer say, “Can you hear me now?”

    There have been some wonderful and less exhausting events. We’ve had some virtual Zoom happy hours that have been informational and fun. I know some reporters have enjoyed the downtime to visit with family or help family.

    The board of VCRA has been staying very busy for you. You’ll see in this issue a Q & A article about the electronic notary. Though I had a very pleasant conversation with the Commonwealth Notary Commission Office, I was unable to get responses to the questions. It just solidifies for me, as your president, as a reporter, as an agency owner, how our profession has very little guidance even with a notary license. They just don’t know what to do with us. We don’t fit into the typical notary practice. I do plan to have our voices be heard in a different venue, virus or no virus.

    The convention committee has spoken with the hotel and we have peace of mind knowing we can successfully hold our convention with social distancing. Their ballroom is more than adequate to accommodate social distancing for our seminars and meals being served by staff.

    We added a Facebook Members-Only page to help lend clarity when members are reaching out for help or to discuss topics that pertain to Virginia procedures so not to be confused by other wonderful state’s suggestions. Our volunteer seamstresses Michele Eddy, Tasiana Basdekis, and Rose Marie Adams created three different style masks to give to our members. The idea was thought of early on. Once we saw there was no escaping wearing them, the material we had preselected was ordered and they were fast at work.

    We had our first board meeting in person with social distancing in Richmond on June 20. I feel so blessed to have a great board working for us. They are enthusiastic, have tons of ideas, are implementing those ideas, and are always speaking about what is best for the members. With social distancing in place, one of the hardest things to plan for is career education days. We still don’t know what the school schedule is going to look like, but we have some ideas of how to bring attention to our profession.

    On behalf of our members, I wrote to VTLA to remind them to go to VCRA’s membership directory for hiring a court reporter. We have CCRs that take their continuing education serious like they do. Why wouldn’t they want to reach out to you for reporting services first, right? We all stick together to be the best that we can, so why wouldn’t they want the best!

    Also, I wrote on behalf of VCRA to the Supreme Court Task Force on Jury Trials requesting they consider putting a court reporter on their task force to give input on bench conferences, seeing witnesses without a mask to testify, courtroom setup, and the like.

    Finally, I leave you with this little story and thought that popped into my head walking my dog a few weeks ago. We’re going around the lake like we usually do for our afternoon stroll, and I say hello to fellow neighbors passing by. Most are wearing masks. I notice that they don’t look up. They barely say hello. It’s as if looking down will keep them safe. It’s as if not saying a word will keep me safe. We have to take precautions, yes. But we cannot look down. We cannot stay silent. When reporting remotely, if you can’t hear, say something. We have to protect the record. It’s our job. When together in a room, hold your head up high. You are the MVP, as one attorney just told me today. Be the strong protector of the record. Spread your love of the profession, not your germs: get your free member mask.

    Looking forward sharing in an educational and roaring fun time with you October 23 in Lynchburg, VA.



    Donna Linton, RMR,CCR,CLR

    VCRA President

  • 2 Jul 2020 8:34 AM | Christopher Reho (Administrator)

    The membership level "Professional without CCR" has been renamed to "Professional."  Besides the name change, all other aspects of this membership level remain the same.

  • 16 Jun 2020 1:11 PM | Christopher Reho (Administrator)

    The location of the VCRA Board meeting on June 20, 2020, has changed.  The new address is listed below.


    Doubletree by Hilton Richmond Midlothian

    1021 Koger Center Blvd

    Richmond, VA 23235


  • 16 Apr 2020 12:51 PM | Christopher Reho (Administrator)

    We are excited to announce the VCRA Members Group on Facebook, a brand new membership benefit.  This is a private Facebook group for VCRA members only where you can ask questions, get to know your fellow members and have fun!

    To join, simply click the link below and request to join the group.  Of course, you need to be a member of VCRA (Join here). The $50 Membership Drive is still running!

    Join Now!

    With warm regards,

    The Virginia Court Reporters Association Board of Directors


    Policies and Procedures:

    • The VCRA Members Group is to be utilized in a manner that encourages informative and effective communication and discussion.

    • Members are encouraged to share advice, ask questions, and share ideas with each other respectfully and professionally.

    • Administrators and moderators have discretion to remove posts that do not comply with these policies. Posts that are deemed personal, business, or political attacks will be removed immediately.

    • The opinions expressed by members of the group do not reflect those of the VCRA.

  • 15 Apr 2020 1:04 PM | Christopher Reho (Administrator)

    I certainly didn’t think I would be writing my first President’s Message as your president without having our convention and annual board meeting. These are definitely unique times we’re living through, and as one reporter, Anita Glover pointed out, would rather be reading about them in history.

    The Roaring ‘20s we are living in a very different way than we imagined. We’re certainly not able to live it up with themed gatherings or even able to celebrate momentous occasions. This virus has affected us all in our professional lives as well. Yet I have noticed how so many have reached out with support, financial information, free trainings, free dictations, free grammar classes, discounts on maintenance and remote services, and the list goes on. You see the evidence daily of what a great group of professionals we are, helping each other, supporting each other, despite some differences of opinions we had prior to the virus on licensure, methods, rates.

    Times like these can bring out the worst in people, as the expression is used. It’s panic. It’s normal. A lot of reporters are geared to feast or famine, and it seems this is a famine none of us have seen. But we are all in this together. We’re not the only profession that is having to adjust and adapt. One thing to keep in mind to adapt is living in the moment. Life doesn’t wait for us to get over our imaginary fears and worries. It’s going to keep moving on. Move on with it is what you have control over. Take this time now to embrace new technology so you can move on with it. Remote depositions might become a more routine avenue for deposing out-of-state witnesses after all of this is over with to save attorneys’ clients’ money for travel. It will save you as the reporter the cost of parking, high tolls, wear and tear on your vehicle. And it is certainly going to give you more quality time at home and time to get your transcripts out faster. I know, for me, that is something I want to embrace.

    VCRA has been working hard to help get the Governor to enter an emergency order to allow those having difficulty obtaining their electronic notary to keep the wheels of justice rolling along and keeping us a part of it. VCRA has been helping members and nonmembers successfully submit their electronic notary applications. VCRA has written to the VA Lawyers Weekly to let them know that many of VCRA’s members have their electronic notary license and are Zoom proficient and ready to work for their subscribers. VCRA has been here to answer your questions the best we can. We want to thank all of the members for your contributions and suggestions towards these efforts, especially Linda Kia and Misty Klapper.

    Your new VCRA board wants to thank all of our registrants, speakers, vendors and sponsors for your patience while we successfully worked through the logistics in the most cost-effective way possible to move the convention to October. We are so looking forward to seeing everyone there and the fall leaves will be a hit as well as our speakers.

    We still have a ways to go to get through this quarantine. Please feel free to reach out to VCRA for any help you may need or suggestions you have. We wish you much good health and happiness and please don’t forget…wash your hands.


    Donna Linton, RMR,CCR,CLR

    VCRA President

  • 14 Apr 2020 10:30 AM | Christopher Reho (Administrator)

    The VCRA is running a membership drive!  If you are brand new to the VCRA or if you were previously a member but haven't been a member for the past three years, you're qualified to join for only $50 (with CCR, $75).  If that wasn't incentive enough, your membership will be valid through July 1, 2021!

    So what are you waiting for?  Join the association that is fighting for court reporters in Virginia, and take advantage of Early Bird member pricing for our 2020 Convention this March!  See you in Lynchburg!

    What Membership Does For You

    - VCRA fought off electronic recording going into Williamsburg and Norfolk courts.
    - VCRA helped to push through SB 545, stopping contracting and keeping impartiality.
    - VCRA has socials for reporters throughout the state to stay in touch.
    - VCRA gives you opportunities for CEUs and special training.
    - VCRA keeps you informed of legislative matters that concern you and your career.
    - VCRA members get exclusive access to our quarterly newsletter.
    - Remember, numbers speak volumes.  As individuals, we’re weaker; together, we’re stronger.

    Those who qualify:

    • People who have never been a member of the VCRA
    • Former members who have not had an active membership for the past three years

    To receive the discount: 

    Enter VCRASTRONG in the box marked "Enter discount code" on the application. 

    Click here to join now!

    (Eligibility will be confirmed before application is approved.  Discount only applies to Professional with/without CCR applicants.  If you have any questions, please reach out to the Executive Director at executive-director@vcra.net.)

  • 24 Mar 2020 7:40 PM | Christopher Reho (Administrator)

    Dear VCRA Members, Convention Registrants, Sponsors and Vendors,

    Our 2020 court reporting convention has now been rescheduled to October 23 to 25, 2020. The season might be different, but the rest of the convention will be identical to all planned events and speakers from March. Our keynote speaker will be Mark Kislingbury, along with featured speakers Jim DeCrescenzo from Project Steno, Michele Eddy, and NCRA representative Yolanda Walton.

    Total Event CEUs: NCRA 1.2/NVRA 12.0

    VCRA members with a CCR designation and CEU cycle expiring on June 30, 2020, the deadline will automatically be extended to January 31, 2021.

    NEW DATES: October 23 to 25, 2020

    SAME LOCATION: The Virginian Hotel, Lynchburg, Virginia

    Current registrations for the original March convention will automatically transfer to the rescheduled October convention.

    While we hope to see all of you in October, we know there may be some who might have prior commitments or will be unavailable in October. If you are already registered but unable to attend the rescheduled convention, please email admin@vcra.net to request a registration cancellation and refund. If you weren’t able to attend in March but now will be able to join us in October, please visit our website at vcra.net for registration details.

    Hotel booking link:

    Book Now

    Please note: The cut-off date for reserving rooms in the discounted room block is 4:00 p.m. on September 23, 2020.

    Thank you for your patience this past week while VCRA coordinated rescheduling with The Virginian Hotel and our speakers. We appreciate all our sponsors and are looking forward to seeing our vendors and attendees soon.


    With warm regards,

    The Virginia Court Reporters Association Board of Directors

  • 24 Mar 2020 4:49 PM | Christopher Reho (Administrator)

    Greetings VCRA voting members,

    With the postponement of our 2020 convention, our annual business meeting is also being postponed, which is when our election of officers and directors typically takes place. In order for your new Board of Directors to begin serving its membership and fulfilling their duties and responsibilities, the Nominating Committee of the Board of Directors would like to hold our elections electronically. While our current Bylaws do allow for electronic voting, they also require that at least 20 voting members be present at a meeting where elections are held.

    In light of the governmental ban on meetings of 10 or more people pursuant to the outbreak of COVID-19, the entire Board met via Zoom on March 21, 2020, and voted to propose to the membership to suspend, for these special purposes only, Article IX, Section 3(b) and Section 4 of the Bylaws. Our complete Bylaws can be located here, but the pertinent sections regarding the election read as follows:

    Section 3 – Voting

    b) Voting of the membership by proxy on any issue, or for officers and directors, shall be permitted when such action is authorized by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Board of Directors and such proxy is delivered with the notice of the meeting and shall be permissible by mail, e-mail, or fax.

    Section 4 – Quorum of Professional Members

    At the annual business meeting or any meeting of this Association, twenty-five percent (25%) of voting members present, in person or by proxy, constitute a quorum, provided that no fewer than twenty (20) voting members are physically present. The action of a majority of the voting members at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall constitute the action of the voting members.

    We are asking that you consider this e-mail as notification of our intent to hold elections in this manner. If you would like to submit any write-in candidates to be considered for election on the board, please send an e-mail to Liz Phillips at vcraexecutivedirector@gmail.com by April 2nd, 2020.

    The complete ballot with instructions will be available April 3rd, and there will be a 48-hour window in which to cast your vote. Mail-in ballots will be made available upon reasonable request. Announcement of voting results will be posted by April 7th.

    Please see the introduction to the incoming officers and directors below.


    With warm regards,

    The Virginia Court Reporters Association Board of Directors


Call or Email Us

757-447-4375

info@vcra.net

 

Address:

PO Box 12317

Norfolk, VA 23541


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