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DSC 0227 1aIt’s 2018 and we have hit the ground running.  I can’t believe we are so far into the new year already.  I am wondering where the time goes and how it can pass so quickly!

I hope you were able to attend “Write Your Future” in Birmingham.  If you didn’t, you missed a great conference.  The weather tried to trip us up, but we persevered and were able to put on 5 CEUs each day as planned.  Conferences are not only a great way to get your CEUs but also a fun way to keep in touch with your colleagues.  We received a lot of positive feedback regarding the venue and food.  We were blessed to host Ed and Nancy Varallo as our keynote speakers for the weekend.  They are incredible speakers (and people).  Their dedication to our profession and to students is admirable.  Nancy spoke about the A to Z Program she created as well as Project Steno, a scholarship program for students who complete A to Z.  Project Steno will pay two years of tuition for a student to attend court reporting school.  I’m happy to report that an Alabama student is now enrolled in Project Steno!  We have also completed two A to Z programs here in Alabama.  We need to be sure we continue to invest in the future generation of court reporters in order to preserve our profession. 

I would like to take a moment to thank you for allowing me to take the reins of leadership of ACRA.  I take my role very seriously.  I realize you expect me to lead ACRA well and that is what I will strive to do.  ACRA has a fantastic board that works well together.  We are on a positive track and truly enjoy serving together.  We welcome our new District 4 Director Teri Stewart.  You will get to know her better in her article included in this edition of our newsletter.  Thank you, Teri, for making a commitment to serve ACRA! 

There is room for you to be involved in your association as well.  We have various committees that are accomplishing great things right now.  Be a part of writing our future.  Don’t wait on the sidelines and let someone else do the job you were meant to do!  I have learned that it takes all kinds of different personalities to make a creative, effective impact on our association.  Please take a moment to look over the committees listed as you read this edition of our newsletter.  If anything grabs your attention, don’t hesitate to contact your district director, the committee chair, or any board member.  We would love to include you!

It is important to keep yourself in the loop of everything that is happening with legislation related to our profession.  Georgia is facing a serious bill that would in essence make their audio available to the public.  Virginia is seeing success in fighting anti-contracting.  We must stay vigilant and be ready to fight for our profession.  Although we can’t afford to hire a lobbyist, we certainly have plenty available – every reporter in our state.  We can make a difference just by making our presence known and giving voice to our concerns about different legislation that could impact us.

On that note, I’m so happy to update you on what I reported about at “Write Your Future.”  Some board members and myself were able to attend Proclamation Day in Montgomery and witness Governor Kay Ivey sign our Court Reporting & Captioning Week Proclamation.  It was such an honor.  You will see the proclamation and our photos as you continue reading our spring edition.  I hope you were able to share your love for what you do during this week of national recognition of our profession.

Lastly, I want to encourage you to grow personally and professionally in some small way every day.  Stay in a growth mindset no matter your age or your circumstances.  Ed Varallo offered tips to help us reach out toward our next certification.  I once heard a coach say to make your goal every day to be just 10 percent better than the day before.  We don’t have to make big changes to make big change – start small and stay committed.  Let your District Director know the ways in which you’re growing so we can all benefit from each other. 

I wish you a safe and happy spring!



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