Local court reporting firm owner Jan Ballman joined peers in calls for donations
VIENNA, Va. —The National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF), the charitable arm of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the country’s leading organization representing stenographic court reporters and captioners, today announced that Jan Ballman, a court reporting firm owner from Minneapolis, Minn., and NCRF secretary/treasurer, served as one of this year’s volunteers to help raise donations that will be used to fund many of the Foundation’s programs.
This year’s annual event brought together eight volunteers from the NCRA membership at its headquarters in Vienna, Va., where they made more than 3,000 phone calls to colleagues over three days. The annual phone-a-thon is one of the Foundation’s largest fundraising events and typically raises more than $50,000 each year.
Ballman was joined by: Bonnie Shuttleworth, a court reporting instructor from Crestwood, Ill.; Cecilee Wilson, a captioner and CART provider from Kaysville, Utah; Teresa Kordick, a court reporter from Des Moines, Iowa; Jackie Timmons, a court reporter from Darien, Ill.; Sharon Fox, a court reporter from Bismarck, N.D.; Cathy Penniston, a captioner and CART provider from Ottumwa, Iowa; Lisa DiMonte, a court reporter from Great Falls, Va.; and Joan McQuinn, a court reporter from Rockford, Ill.
“I serve as secretary and treasurer of the Foundation so I feel personally committed to supporting its work, and I totally believe in what the Foundation does,” said Ballman who was a freelance court reporter for 21 years prior to opening her own firm. She holds the professional certification of Registered Professional Reporter, (RPR), and is a three-time phone-a-thon volunteer.
“NCRF could not exist without the volunteer support we receive. It’s the volunteers who raise the money for our programs,” said B.J. Shorak, deputy executive director of the Foundation. “We appreciate the busy schedules that court reporters keep, so when they take precious time from work and family to help support the Foundation, it just shows the strong commitment they have to their profession.”
NCRF launched its annual phone-a-thon in the mid-1990s and has relied on using member volunteers to make the calls rather than an outside company because of the high success rate of the peer-to-peer outreach, said Shorak.
“Court reporters appreciate talking to one of their own and recognize that the Foundation and its work must be important if so many volunteers annually make the trip to Vienna to staff the phones. The event also provides a wonderful networking opportunity at both ends of the receiver. Many times our volunteers are able answer questions a member might have about the Foundation, NCRA, or even the profession.”
NCRF supports the court reporting and captioning professions through philanthropic activities, such as the Legal Education Program, which facilitates the education of the legal profession about the role of the court reporter through “Making the Record,” a court reporter-led seminar launched in 2010 and geared toward law students, attorneys and judges. Under the Legal Education Program, NCRF has also partnered with NCRA at the biennial Court Technology Conferences, sponsored by the National Center for State Courts, to ensure court reporter technology is before key players in court administration.
NCRF’s Oral Histories Program (OHP) raises public awareness about the court reporting profession by focusing on capturing and transcribing the poignant oral histories of American wartime veterans through the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project (VHP). NCRF coordinates with NCRA members to complete transcripts of the interviews and submit them to the Library of Congress. In the 10 years that NCRF has partnered with the Library’s VHP, NCRA members have submitted more than 2,850 transcripts, as well as additional transcripts to other program partners, including the National Equal Justice Library at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., the Center for Public Policy & Social Research at the Central Connecticut State University, and its latest partner, the Illinois State Library.
The Foundation also sponsors prospective court reporters through its Student Initiatives Program, which provides several scholarships and awards, including the New Professional Reporter Grant. The student program also encourages future court reporters to become involved within the profession’s community by inspiring students to participate in VHP.
NCRF’s CART Services Program showcases the work of Communication Access Realtime Translators by providing grants to consumer organizations, such as the Association of Late-Deafened Adults. CART providers offer live-event captioning and personalized service for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
The Foundation also supports NCRA’s participation in Intersteno to make certain the organization is able to represent the court reporting and captioning professions globally.
As a charitable organization, the Foundation relies almost solely on tax-deductible donations. They are our lifeblood, and we cannot exist without them. The majority of NCRF’s support comes from NCRA members and associated businesses. That’s why NCRF offers various giving options, from dues check-off to our phone-a-thon(s) to our annual Angels Drive to a vacation property auction. You can also support NCRF through your estate planning by becoming a member of NCRF’s Legacy Society. To donate, or for information on NCRF’s programs, visit www.ncra.org/ncrf, or contact Deputy Executive Director, Ms. B. J. Shorak, at
NCRFoundation@ncra.org, or at 800/272-6272, ext. 126.
The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) is internationally recognized for promoting excellence among those who capture and convert the spoken word to text for more than 100 years. NCRA is committed to supporting its more than 19,000 members in achieving the highest level of professional expertise with educational opportunities and industry-recognized court reporting, educator and videographer certification programs. NCRA impacts legislative issues and the global marketplace through its actively involved membership. Forbes has named court reporting as one of the best career options that do not require a four-year degree, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the court reporting field is expected to grow more than 5 percent in the coming years. For more information, visit www.NCRA.org.