Live & Recorded Speakers:
StenoFest is the FIRST virtual conference for the court reporting community! That means you'll be able to attend from ANYWHERE, and still retain a part of that in-person experience.
Sign up, log in, experience the future of court reporting conventions. We've put together a 2-day schedule that we believe is the best court reporting lineup ever assembled! Speakers will be LIVE (video), streaming to you in the moment, and taking your questions at the end of their seminars.* And if you need CEUs, this is the place to be! You'll be able to attend StenoFest for a LOW cost, then submit your CEU certificates to NCRA for their fee. 17 hours of CEUs available!
*As indicated on the schedule, up to 5 seminars will be pre-recorded and streamed.
Welcome Hall - Will have access to all areas of StenoFest.
Seminar Hall - All seminars will be presented here.
Vendor Hall - You'll be able to access all vendor booths and interact with them!
Networking Hall - You can mingle with fellow attendees by chat.
Court reporting conferences can be expensive! StenoFest is our attempt to lower the cost to attendees, while creating a satisfying convention experience. We've assembled the best speakers. We've created the lowest cost. We're using the newest technology. We're creating hours and hours of CEU opportunities. We're creating an experience! Spend two days with your steno family!
We're not going to lie - we're not 100% certain how this event will be received. This has never been done before. But thanks to the generous time from our speakers and the backing of our sponsors, we're swinging for the fences! Join us and be a part of court reporting history! In addition, 10% of the profits will go to Project Steno.
Speakers/Seminars: (subject to change)
Dee Boenau, FAPR, RDR, CBC, CCP, CRR, CRC http://www.americaption.com
Deanna "Dee" Boenau is the vice president of AmeriCaption, Inc., and began her career in 1992. Dee has tested her stenographic skills throughout her career by competing nationally and internationally. Dee placed 2nd in the National Speed Contest and 2nd in the National Realtime Contest in 2013 and won the National Realtime Contest in 2010, 2016, and 2017. She placed 2nd in the 2011 World Competition held in Paris and has a total of 32 medals from competing in the NCRA Speed and Realtime Contests. Dee is also the featured captioner in "For the Record: A Court Reporting Documentary."
Seminar - Dee-Mystifying the Path to Improving Your Realtime and Competing to Win - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
In this seminar, Dee will talk about her journey through the years of competing and how finding one’s inspiration to tackle the fear of competing, or testing, is important and fun. She will demystify some long-held beliefs regarding the way one must write steno in order to be an excellent captioner. Dee will share the history of how she changed her writing and how she uses conflict resolution intentionally. She will address the importance of practicing and how competing has added to the memories of a successful career.
Kensie Benoit, CSR https://www.kensiebenoit.com
Born and raised in Texas, Kensie Benoit has been a reporter for five years and is currently an official court reporter in a juvenile criminal court in San Antonio, Texas. Kensie has been a motivational force for students through her popular Facebook page, Court Reporting: StenoLife, and has been a speaker at previous state and national conventions. She also previously taught online classes during the week for SimplySteno and served as a proctor for the Texas state exam, served on the board of directors for the Texas Court Reporters Association, and is a past president of her local association. She believes that was...(read complete bio)
Seminar - Being the Best Version of You - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
Join Kensie Benoit for insight into her life encouraging, supporting and positively affecting court reporters nationwide. She will discuss topics that aren’t always talked about, but that everyone can relate to in terms of personal growth and tips for reaching your maximum potential in work and other areas of life, giving you the secret sauce to excellence. She will suggest approaches to gain a fresh perspective, leading to the success that you desire by taking things to the next level!
Ron Cook, CCR, CSR, RDR, CRR, CCRR, CBC
Ron has been reporting since 1977, freelancing in Los Angeles, where he grew up, for three years, at which time he took over a small agency, which he ran from 1980-1989. He sold the agency in 1990 and moved to Seattle, Washington, where he has been a freelancer and partner in a deposition agency. At the present time Ron is free of his partnership and has been focused on working in the court system down in Los Angeles. His goal is to reside part-time in the Seattle area and part-time near the beach in Orange County, California. Ron passed the RPR in 1977 and the RMR in 1986, and passed the first-ever CRR in...(read complete bio)
Seminar - The Mirror Method - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
Ron will present a steno-writing concept he created called “The Mirror Method,” which will open the doors to writing hundreds of new briefs…without having to memorize any! The ultimate goal of this seminar is to write shorter, write faster, and become the best writer that you can be.
Ana Fatima Costa http://www.anafatimacosta.com
Ana Fatima Costa, a former court reporter, is an author, certified coach, and speaker. She is known in the reporting community for her publications and reporter-of-record internships at mock depositions and mock trials in the San Francisco Bay Area. Unlike shadowing, reporting students and newly licensed court reporters are THE REPORTER and learn how to speak up for clarification of the record, mark exhibits, and produce rough drafts. Ana’s articles have been published in CCRA Online, an e-zine publication of California Court Reporters Association (CCRA); The...(read complete bio)
Seminar - Speak Up NOW: The Art of Interruption - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
One of the most significant challenges reporters face is interrupting speakers to ensure the integrity of the record. Some attorneys have unspoken expectations: reporters must write perfectly at all times, and they are to be seen and not heard. In difficult depositions, if a reporter interrupts frequently, attorneys may tell their secretaries to advise the reporting firm not to send that reporter back. Since it is your duty to produce verbatim transcripts, your need for accuracy juxtaposed with the fear of incurring attorneys’ wrath by interrupting creates a dilemma: speak up or drop? This inner conflict results in increased stress, doubt about your writing ability, drops, and/or reliance on audio backup - with devastating consequences if the file is corrupted. In this presentation, we will discuss the “art” of interruption; how to overcome insecurity and defensiveness; quiet the negative voices in your head; and speak up for what you need while managing your emotions -- and the room -- instead of their controlling YOU.
Jade King, International Court Reporter https://jadeluxe.wordpress.com
In her career spanning nearly 20 years, Jade has covered all aspects of stenographic reporting – court reporting, captioning, CART – in most corners of the globe. When she was teaching herself steno in 1999, the biggest challenge she faced was attaching her tripod. In 2017, the biggest challenge she faced was continuing writing while being stung on both eyelids after a nest of bees fell on her head at a Google conference in India. In the intervening years, she has faced many other challenges, including captioning three Olympic Games; reporting a 133-day daily trial with 28 realtime connections; covering...(read complete bio)
Seminar - Steno in a Strange Land - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
Jade comes across more accents every day than most reporters come across in a year. She can hear the subtle differences between Cheung, Chung, Cheng, Chen, Tseung, and Tsung; Lei, Lee, Le, Lai, and Li; Chaudhary and Choudhury. She can use all chopsticks with near aplomb, except those weird square Korean ones. She will share a buffet of highlights, tips and tricks for working internationally, particularly in Asia. She will show demonstrations of remarkably skilled Chinese and Korean stenographers at work, and explain what it’s like working under high pressure alongside a colleague you don’t share a common language with.
If nothing else, she can share the wifi passport for just about every international airport on earth.
Mark Kislingbury, FAPR, RDR, CRR http://www.mkcourtreporting.com/
Mark Kislingbury has not only set the Guinness World Record for “fastest court reporter” with a staggering 360 words-per-minute recorded, but he has also won seven National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) Speed Contests and five NCRA Realtime Contests. Mark was also featured in the documentary, For the Record. Mark has now founded The Mark Kislingbury Academy Of Court Reporting in Houston, Texas, to share his short-writing methods and speed-building techniques with court reporting students who want the absolute best training available anywhere.
Seminar - Write Short - Write Fast! - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
Mark Kislingbury will share his main "secret" that contributed to his phenomenal success in court reporting contests and his Guinness World Record of 360 wpm - writing short! He will explain why writing short is so crucial and then show effective and innovative ways to do so. He believes that you, too, can apply his methods and achieve spectacular results in your reporting skills. He will show you how you can quickly become faster, more accurate, while at the same time less stressed and an altogether happier court reporter, with renewed love for your job.
Mirabai Knight, CRC, RDR http://www.openstenoproject.org/
Mirabai Knight, RDR, CRC is a senior captioner and strategic partner with White Coat Captioning, a boutique captioning firm specializing in medical and technical material. Her favorite subjects to caption are Immunology, Epidemiology, Microbiology, and anything to do with free and open source software. She is also the founder of the Open Steno Project, an initiative to produce free and open source stenographic software, hardware, and training tools.
Seminar - Steno in the Future - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
This seminar will address the advances in technology coming in the next 5-20 years, with a focus on how it will affect stenographers. The underlying message will be that stenographers have to keep their personal skills at a high level. Mediocrity will cause other technologies to seep in. Excellence will secure our position for years to come.
Ted Morin https://tedmor.in/
Ted Morin is a Canadian software engineer working at SHOEBOX Audiometry, a high-tech hearing start-up. One difference between him and his coworkers is that he uses a steno machine full-time to write code. Ted is heavily involved in the Open Steno Project and acts as lead maintainer for Plover. Self-taught in 2014, he's an advocate for spreading stenography to as many people as possible, and is currently writing a free theory textbook called Art of Chording.
Seminar - Giving up the Computer Keyboard for Steno - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
From prose to emails to code, there's so much more we can do with our steno machines. I stopped using a keyboard as much as I could years ago, replacing it full-time with my steno machine. I share the wonders I discovered and the challenges I faced while going "cold-turkey." I'll share some necessary briefs to help get around your computer and navigate documents, solutions to common problems, the joy of being unchained from one-hundred-odd keys, and some future-facing ideas that could help power a new type of computer user.
Anissa Nierenberger, RPR, CRR, CRC, CRI https://www.learntocaption.com
Anissa Nierenberger has pursued her passion for captioning into three distinct areas; Anissa Captions, her proprietary software Dictionary Jumpstart, and training and education programs. Anissa discovered captioning when she was just 14 years old after spending a career day with a reporter in court. Determined to become a stenographer, she pursued her goal and within a year of graduation from court reporting school, she began captioning for TV stations across the United States and Canada. In 2000, Anissa founded Dictionary Jumpstart, a realtime dictionary-building software that has helped hundreds of reporters...(read complete bio)
Seminar - No More Transcripts – Say YES to CART and Captioning - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
Transcripts... you despise them, and they’re the burnout factor of your passion. The growth for CART captioners and broadcast captioners will outpace court reporters beyond 2018! Don’t be left behind! We’ll start with 5 Things to Improve your Realtime. Transitioning into a new, exciting career is a matter of taking things one step at a time. Reinvigorate your passion today!
Tori Pittman, BA, FAPR, RDR, CRI, CVR-CM-M, RCP http://pittmanstenography.com
Tori is a former machine writer (RDR) who transitioned to voice writing due to injury and is now master-level certified in that method (CVR-CM-M) and has participated in three Intersteno Competitions using voice. In each of the three, she came away with the gold medal in the speed competition for voice practitioners and, in 2017 in Berlin, finished third overall in the speed competition behind two amazing steno writers. Tori has a BA in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and runs a small freelance agency based in Wake Forest, North Carolina. She and her husband, Al (former deputy sheriff and...(read complete bio)
Seminar - The International Stage – Intersteno - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
This presentation will introduce Intersteno and their biennial Congresses, exploring all the different aspects of a congress as well as a discussion of the organization of Intersteno, its subgroup IPRS, and how reporters and captioners from the US fit into the grand scheme of Intersteno.
Glyn Poage, RDR, FAPR https://projectsteno.org/
Glyn is a retired official court reporter from the 166th District Court in San Antonio, Texas. Glyn’s passion for court reporting education led him to operate two court reporting schools in Texas. Glyn served on the board of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) for several years. He is a Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR), a Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR), a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters (FAPR), and, in 2013 was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the Texas Court Reporters Association.
Seminar - Learn About Project Steno - 20 Minutes
Project Steno is laser-focused on one goal: Get students into court reporting school and graduate them in a timely manner into the field. Learn about the project and how you can get involved!
Joe Strickland, RPR, CRR, Chief Reporter, U.S. House of Representatives (retired)
Joe grew up in California, living as far north as Sacramento and eventually graduating from high school in San Diego. He received his university degree and court reporting training in Texas. Joe began his reporting career in 1990 as a closed-captioner for KVIA-TV News in El Paso, Texas. He moved to Washington in 1991 as a freelance reporter and CART provider, and joined the House of Representatives as an Official Reporter in 1993.
He became Chief of the Office of Official Reporters in 2005, with primary responsibility for recruiting, hiring, training, scheduling, and overall supervision of the House’s 43-person reporting...(read complete bio)
Seminar - Stories from Washington, D.C. - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
When I interviewed Joe for the documentary, For the Record, I felt that he would be a great subject for a documentary of his own! Now, Joe will share his favorite stories from his time as Chief Reporter of the House - experiences in the U.S. Capitol, recording history as it’s made. This will be a Q&A with Marc Greenberg, with additional questions asked by StenoFest attendees.
Michael Scire, RPR, CMRS & Richard Scire, RPR https://www.martiniandamovie.com
Long Island natives Richard S. Sciré, RPR, and Michael A. Sciré, RPR, CMRS, are twin brothers and two of the eight Official Court Reporters in Florida’s Twelfth Judicial Circuit. They stenographically report the felony court hearings and trial proceedings in The Judge Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center in Sarasota, FL. Michael serves as Lead Reporter, overseeing the four reporters in Sarasota. Richard serves as Vice President for the Florida Court Reporters Associations’ Board of Directors and is the editor for The Florida Reporter, the magazine for the Florida Court Reporters Association. Michael serves as...(read complete bio)
Seminar - Not quite a seminar...but they'll be popping up :)
Keep your eyes open - you'll spot them!
Melanie Sonntag, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC https://planetdepos.com
Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag has been reporting nearly 40 years as an official, freelancer, firm owner, and occasional CART provider. She loves the reporting profession and nurtures her enthusiasm with the company she keeps and the relationships she cultivates. She's given countless seminars for reporters, students, vendors, and educators. Melanie has served in numerous state and national leadership positions, including as president of NCRA, and became a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters in 2001.
Seminar - Your Wide-Ranging Ripples - and Benefits Thereof - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
Whether you're a joiner or a lurker, a contributor or a leader, the professional colleagues you associate with develop your trajectory. Learn the benefits and pitfalls of joining users groups, state and national associations, and purely social gatherings, be they virtual or physical. What do you contribute to the overall collection and what do you take away? What are you missing that you could be gleaning? What skills are you acquiring to keep you at the top of your game? How do you find the right fit?
Heidi Thomas, FAPR, RDR, RMR, CRR, CRC
Heidi has been a court reporter since 1978, and a broadcast and CART captioner since 1989. A former Director and past Secretary of GSRA, and former member of the Board of Court Reporting for the State of Georgia, she has served for many years on the faculty/training staff of the National Court Reporters Association. She served for 6 years on the NCRA Realtime Certification Committee, which developed the Certified CART Provider (CCP) and Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC) certifications. She was also part of the team that developed the Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) certification. Since 2008, she...(read complete bio)
Seminar - Vicarious Trauma - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
Whether you’re a Judicial Reporter or Realtime Captioner, you are constantly being bombarded by negative and/or disturbing information. Are you simply an impartial, unemotional conduit for the information? Or do you experience more of a person’s emotional pain than you consciously realize? As empathic people in a helping profession, Vicarious Trauma is something that affects each of us. Let's learn a bit about what that looks like, how we can recognize it, and how being aware of self-care strategies can help us manage it.
Dom Tursi, CM http://www.domtursi.com/
Dom is now in his 56th year of reporting. He has spent the last 21 years in federal court - on Long Island, New York. For the preceding 15 years, he was a freelance reporter and principal, with offices on both coasts of the United States, Hong Kong and in London, reporting assignments from Cairo to The Philippines. For the 20 years before that, he was an official reporter in the New York State court system. One of the first East Coast reporters ever to use a computer for transcription, he wrote realtime as early as 1985. Dom is one of the first reporters to internationally telecommunicate steno, delivering 36 running days of...(read complete bio)
Seminar - Evolution of Machine Shorthand - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
This lecture begins with an explanation of early attempts to create a mechanized shorthand device, in the early 1800s in France, Germany, and Italy. It proceeds to describe some 50 shorthand machines around the world, concentrating on “The Important Three” in America, and underscores the two earlier practical machines – in England and Italy.
Nancy Varallo, RDR, CRR http://thevarallogroup.com
Nancy began her court reporting career as a freelancer in 1979. As owner of The Varallo Group, she offers a suite of services designed to help court reporters and firm owners achieve business success. Varallo is a marquee name in court reporting, with a rich and proud history dating back to 1937. Nancy, a court reporter, educator and business owner, carries on the Varallo tradition of excellence with her company’s longstanding commitment of time-honored values of quality, service and accountability. Nancy was the 2013-2014 President of the National Court Reporters Association and...(read complete bio)
Seminar - Trends in Court Reporting - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
Maybe Scarlett O’Hara had a point when she said, “Oh, I just can’t think about that today. I’ll just go crazy if I do. I’ll think about it tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.” But don’t bet on it. There’s always change afoot in our marketplace and we need to keep pace today! Nancy will discuss with us the changes and trends impacting today’s court reporting professionals.
Ed Varallo, RPR, RMR, CRR, FAPR http://edvarallo.com
Ed comes from a family of court reporters and began his career straight out of high school. In 1965, on his 19th birthday, he became the youngest person ever to pass the Certificate of Merit exam (now the RMR). Best known for his speed contest accomplishments (a perfect score on the 280 Q&A in 1975, the first-ever perfect score in a national speed contest) he has six times been NCRA’s National Speed Champion, winning three years consecutively, 1974-76, ten years later in 1986, again in 1996, and again in 2006 — a unique speed contest record. Ed began his career as a freelancer in Philadelphia. After...(read complete bio)
Seminar - How to Pass a Test, In Spite of Your Nerves - 60 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
Everyone is nervous on test day. You can’t banish nervousness. The trick is to write well despite being nervous — and you can do that! Let six-time National Speed Contest Champion Ed Varallo (no stranger to test day nerves!) describe for you the several simple, common-sense techniques he has discovered that allow you to be at your best on test day — no matter what!
Fun & Games!!!!
Are you ready to have some fun and win some cool steno-related stuff! Games and contests will be sprinkled all throughout StenoFest - don't worry, you'll find them :) We'll even have a leader board so you can see who's at the top. So brush up on your steno trivia and keep your eyes and ears open - game on!
Fun & Games!!!!
They will pop up all over the place! Between seminars - IN seminars - vendor booths - the Networking Hall - under your bed! Okay...not under your bed. But everywhere else! Lots of cool prizes to give away - some big, some small - something for everyone!
For the Record - Court Reporting Documentary https://www.courtreportingmovie.com
The better they are at their job, the more invisible they become. For the Record takes us into the world of the usually unnoticed court reporters, live captioners and CART providers. From a group of dedicated captioners who worked around the clock on 9/11 to ensure those with hearing impairments were kept informed, to Stan Sakai, a young CART provider redefining the craft for the next generation, For the Record takes us beyond the traditional idea of a court reporter and into the lives of the "keepers of the record."
Presenter - Marc Greenberg - 80 Minutes - 0.1 CEU
For the Record had its world premiere at South by Southwest (Austin, TX), one of the most prestigious film festivals in the country. From there, it travelled to Hot Docs (Toronto, Canada) and the Sarasota Film Festival. It’s now been placed in over 100 school libraries across the country, used as educational tool for the industry.
The live event is over, but you can still catch all 17 seminars on-demand from February 15-17. And you'll still get all those awesome CEU hours!