President's Message

Greetings!  I hope everyone is enjoying a safe and relaxing summer.   Thank you, HOLLY GOODWIN and DEVIN WILLIAMS, along with all of our excellent contributors, for your hard work in bringing us another great edition of the OCRA “In Brief” newsletter. 

While reading an article written by Mary Beth Griggs and published in the online magazine “The Verge,” I couldn’t help but see some similarities to court reporting and what’s been happening in the Pacific Northwest this summer.  Referring to one side effect of the record-setting temperatures, the title was "Why roads in the Pacific Northwest buckled under extreme heat."  The gist of the article is that when our roads were planned and built many years ago, extreme heat due to climate change was not a consideration. One paragraph states, "Should I really be designing something based on information in the past which may no longer be relevant? Or should I design it based on what we project for the future?"  

While we have done a great job over the past 20 years of adapting our writing, updating our equipment, and supporting the research and development necessary to remain "state of the art" when making and producing a record, we do need to look ahead to keep our industry relevant and viable.

The article continues, "When a massive storm or an earthquake or any other disaster hits, some things will break, no matter how well designed they are.  At that point ... the question becomes how do you recover from that quickly? That requires different sets of resources and planning, like making sure materials are available and workforces are trained to respond immediately."

We have many challenges ahead of us, but I believe our highest priority should be student recruitment.  Unless we, as veterans of the profession, assist in creating a new workforce, our marketing efforts will be in vain.  People may believe a live court reporter or captioner is a far superior choice, but they will have to settle for electronic recording or artificial intelligence if one isn’t available.   It’s happening now across the country in the courts, depositions, and broadcast media.

The article goes on to say, "We have the information and the technology to make it happen. The bigger question ... is whether people are willing to put the money and resources into infrastructure that can withstand the coming storms...."

PROJECT STENO will be presenting at our VIRTUAL FALL CONVENTION on October 23, 2021.  Some of the topics covered will be student recruitment and how vital it is to the continuation of our profession, the latest information on artificial intelligence and digital technology both locally and nationally, what to tell our clients and the public when asked "Why stenography," and a seminar covering basic reporting tips and more advanced business topics.

ANNE DUFFEY, heading up the Public Relations Committee, is requesting that members submit images of themselves writing on their steno machines for our marketing PowerPoint.  A $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE will be awarded for the winning photo!  Time is of the essence so please contact Anne for details.

Our BYLAWS COMMITTEE is working hard on changes to shrink the size of the board to reflect the needs of the association. Stay tuned for the draft that will be disseminated in September to be voted on at the annual meeting on October 23, 2021.

The NOMINATING COMMITTEE is currently seeking interested members for the positions of upcoming president and vice president.  Even if you do not have board experience, we have some great leaders who will be happy to help you every step of the way.  Please contact RYAN WHITE, GENIE KELLY, CHERYL HAASE, SARA WILSON, or any BOARD MEMBER if you would like to volunteer or nominate another member for service.

The machine reporting profession has done a great job of keeping our infrastructure sound and strong. We still provide the best option for capturing the spoken word and preserving the record. Let's see what we can do to carry this industry forward for the next generation.

See you in October!

Kelly Polvi, CSR, RDR, FCRR, President

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