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President's Message July 2018
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President's Message
by Geoffrey L. Hunt, AAERT President


I am very pleased to say that the AAERT 25th annual conference was a spectacular hit. Congratulations to Mike Tannen and his conference committee for pulling together this special occasion.

I would also like to welcome our new board members, Janet Harris and Marybeth Burke-Dring. Jan is a founder of AAERT and a past president. Marybeth is a freelance firm owner from New Jersey providing court reporting and transcription services. I look forward to working with each of these talented ladies.

Congratulations to Gail Armstrong, our Wagner-Fuss award recipient. Those of you who know Gail appreciate the endless amount of work she provides AAERT as Communication Committee Chairperson. Once again, thank you, Gail.

Two of our board members’ terms ended this year: Buck Ewing, past president and Lisa Dees, board member. My sincere thanks and gratitude to these two dedicated individuals for their contributions to AAERT and electronic reporting and transcription.

There are many benefits and take-aways from attending our annual conference. The educational seminars, learning about new technologies, networking with fellow members, and vendors are just a few of the things that I benefitted from. Most importantly, it offers our members an opportunity to stay in touch with our world of court reporting.

I want to thank our vendors for participating and sponsoring our events. For the Record was represented by Tony Douglass and Fraser Wyatt. Their seminar, Transcript Management in the Digital Era, provided a glimpse into their new project management program for the courts. This interactive platform enables the courts to track the transcription process from the first order through payment to the transcriber.

New technologies were presented by Betsy Ertel, SpeedTypeTM, and Sarah Flynn, founder of the International Realtime Court Reporting Institute. Both demonstrations provided a glimpse into how we can work more efficiently and at the same time earn more money. SpeedType’s macro building features can improve your typing speed 60-80%. Taking a brief course offered by the International Realtime Court Reporting Institute can improve your transcription speeds up to 180 words per minute. Both technologies offer you more money in your pockets.

For those preparing to take our CET exams, Tips for Passing the Transcriber Practical Exam and Using Federal Formatting was presented by our expert members, K.C. Corbin CER, CET; Beth Grice, CER, CET; and Sherry Simmons, CER. This program offered helpful tips into how to prepare for the challenging CET Practical exam.

For the first time, we had in attendance court reporting agencies and reporters from all methods of court reporting. The eyes of the court reporting world are on us. The shortages of stenographic reporters that we have been anticipating are upon us. The courts and private court reporting agencies are looking to electronic reporting and transcription to fill the increasing demand for our services.

All of these factors lead us to the same conclusion; AAERT needs to assume a greater role in the future of court reporting. The courts need our services. Lawyers need our services.

To that end, your board of directors and committees are hard at work. Certification Committee is improving the testing process. A thorough review of our testing procedures is under way by K.C. Corbin and her committee members. A new member to our team is Andy Davidson. Andy is a retired official reporter from the Delaware court system. He is working under the guidance of Mike Tannen and Sherry Simmons. His role is to review our Best Practices Guide and suggest updates and modifications.

Education of new reporters and transcribers has never been more critical. To help meet the impending demand, our Education Committee is reviewing school curriculums to ensure they meet our AAERT-approved school standards. The greater the number of approved schools, the greater the number of boots on the ground.

The Government Relations and Membership Committees have solid foundations in place to carry out their roles. They will stay the course this year and build on the progress they have accomplished this past year.

AAERT has a strong group of dedicated volunteers promoting our profession. We need your help in this movement. Improve your skills and knowledge of your profession by volunteering to work with a committee. There has never been a better time to be an electronic reporter or transcriber.

Lastly, I want to thank the AAERT board of directors for re-electing me as President for the coming year. It is truly an honor and a privilege to serve our profession.

Geoffrey L. Hunt, AAERT President




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