September 2018 –
Where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday I was in Scottsdale being sworn in as President. Midyear in Chicago has come and gone. The Midyear convention was fabulous and filled with interesting speakers and information on new technology. The Chicago reporters hosted the hospitality suite, which offered plenty of food and drinks and was topped off with hilarious stories and a lot of belly laughs. And now here we are only a few short weeks away from USCRA’s Annual Convention in Virginia. This year has flown by faster than an auctioneer turned lawyer arguing a motion hearing. It’s hard to believe that my time as President is almost over. It has been an incredible experience that I will look back on fondly.
This year the Executive Committee has been diligently working on creating a Policy and Procedures Manual to guide the future officers and board members of USCRA. To create this manual, we asked Committee Chairs to send us a list of their responsibilities. If you are reading this and just realized you haven’t sent your report to me, please send it now.
We decided to create this manual because we wanted a comprehensive guide to assist our future leaders in performing their duties. Unfortunately, as reporters retire, their knowledge of committee service, policy, and procedure retires with them. Along with being guardians of the record, we also need to be guardians of USCRA’s future.
Last October, one of the items Brenda Fauber gave me as the incoming President was USCRA’s cell phone. I had no idea that there was a cell phone or that the President was responsible for answering it. All these years I thought it was Bill answering all of the phone calls! Imagine my surprise when Brenda pulled out the phone and gave it to me. I am pleased that a number of the calls I answered have been reporters looking for information. It has been a great way to learn and to meet some of the members of USCRA. I also had the privilege of calling reporters and asking if they want to be more involved in USCRA.
As a reminder, if you are reading this and wished you were more involved in USCRA, all you have to do is send an e-mail to your Circuit Representative or an Executive Committee member. You can find all of their e-mail addresses in the back of The Circuit Rider or online at USCRA.org. Many people ask what benefits do you get from USCRA? This question has been asked and answered more times than I can remember. But over the past months, I have gotten a better understanding of what benefits you receive as a member.
One of the greatest benefits I received from being a participating member of USCRA is the confidence to believe in myself when accepting challenges that seemed unfathomable to me a few years ago. Quite often people don’t take on challenges because they don’t think they are qualified. If you go through life only accepting a challenge if it is convenient, then there will be no growth in your life. You deny yourself the chance to expand your knowledge base and perspective. When you look at the lives of the past presidents of USCRA, you’ll find they are involved in their state associations, NCRA, their homeowner associations, or running family businesses, all of this outside of being a court reporter and an USCRA volunteer.
As I reflect on my time on the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors, I realize how much I learned from those who have stood in these shoes before me and how important it is for me to help those who follow me. We are in the process of electing the officers who will guide USCRA in 2018-2019 and the Circuit Reps who will keep USCRA’s membership informed. Please get involved and stay involved. Your active participation is crucial to your organization and your profession. Join a committee and volunteer. Everyone can make a difference.
If you have not done so, I encourage all of you to join USCRA’s Facebook page. By being a member, you can follow discussions related to our profession and inquire of other members about topics that may be happening in your district. Quite often issues come up in one district and shortly after that you are dealing with it in your own district.
I hope to see all of you at our Annual Convention in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Tysons Corner is just outside of Washington, DC. Terri Martin and Jan Davis have planned an amazing convention. The local reporters are already working on the hospitality suite. You can find the convention schedule and other pertinent convention information in this issue of The Circuit Rider. You can also find the information on our web site as well as links to the registration form. I want to thank you for allowing me to serve as President. It has been an honor to represent USCRA this past year.
USCRA President 2017-2018