By: Jan Ballman, RPR, CMRS
I have been employed full-time in the court reporting industry since 1981, and over the past three decades I have been pleased, privileged and proud to serve our industry as well as the legal profession in many different roles and capacities through various wonderful organizations. But as I look back, I can say without a doubt that my most rewarding service by far has been these past five years with the National Court Reporters Foundation.
NCRF is the philanthropic arm of the National Court Reporters Association. Often referred to as “The Feel-Good Board” because the good work we do really does feel good, our role and goal is to support the reporting and captioning professions through philanthropic activities which are funded through charitable donations.
As the 2015-2016 Chair of the Board of Trustees, I was honored and, to be honest, beyond excited to depart from the Minne Apple this summer and head to The Big Apple for the 2015 NCRA Annual Convention, as there was so much in store for the Foundation.
On Friday, July 30th, NCRF unveiled the Corrinne Clark Professionalism Institute, an initiative created by the Foundation to develop and deliver curriculum to our students and our industry’s newest reporters on what it means to be a true professional in the court reporting and captioning arenas. Our goal is to tap into the rich experience available within our membership as well as leverage outside consultants and speakers to continually deliver content through the Professionalism Institute that enriches our newest reporters, particularly with regard to the various nuances and layers of both tangible and intangible habits, behaviors and mindsets that result in success in our industry. We cannot thank enough our generous benefactor for whom the Professionalism is named: Corrinne Clark, wife of Robert H. Clark, for whom the NCRF Historical Library is named. Mr. Clark’s cousin, Donna Hamer, reached out to NCRF with an amazing donation on behalf of Mrs. Clark, wishing to honor Corrinne’s love of Robert, the court reporting industry and the Foundation. This photo with Donna was taken just prior to the very first seminar presented by the Corrinne Clark Professionalism Institute in Manhattan on July 30th.
It was also my tremendous honor to present native New Yorker Dominic M. Tursi, RDR, with the National Court Reporting Foundation’s highest honor, The Santo J. Aurelio Award for Altruism, at the Awards Luncheon on August 1st. Dom’s contributions to our profession are literally too numerous to delineate, but suffice it to say the entire ballroom, and particularly his fellow New Yorkers in the audience, erupted with cheers and ovations on a level you only see when one is tremendously respected, admired and beloved. You can tell by the look on Dom’s face that he was not only taken aback by this honor but also very humbled, yet there truly was no one more deserving to be on that stage and receiving that award, along with the attendant peer accolades, than Mr. Dom Tursi.
The most exciting moment of the entire convention for me personally came up on that same stage just a few moments prior when NCRF was presented with a check for $50,000 by Adam Friend, Sr. Vice President of Business Development for Veritext Legal Solutions. This unsolicited, amazingly generous donation to the Foundation became the catalyst for creating a new giving platform within the Foundation, now known as the NCRF Major Gifts Program.
What compelled Veritext to make such a significant contribution to NCRF? Adam responds. “Our industry has experienced much growth and change over the years, and the NCRF has always had an important, positive impact. We at Veritext believe that it is critical to invest in the next generation of reporters and other professionals who are interested in building a career in the reporting industry. We are very excited about this opportunity to give back, and encourage others to become Major Gifts Donors as well.”
With Veritext providing the initial donation, it is NCRF’s hope that others in the industry will follow their bold lead and choose to support the profession via a pledge to our new Major Gifts Program. Paradigm can certainly be counted upon to do so!