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President's Message July 2019
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President's Message
by Jan Harris, CER, CET, AAERT President

 

Welcome to our new board members, Jennifer Burke and Jay Gross! Though both are newly elected directors, each has a long history with AAERT as active members. I'm happy to serve with them as AAERT's new president, along with members Betsy Ertel, Vice President; Jennifer Metcalf Razzino, Secretary; and MaryBeth Burke-Dring, Treasurer. Thanks to Geoff Hunt for his service to AAERT as president and a director. Geoff worked with our Conference Committee to ensure a wonderful time was had by all in Kentucky where members were "Keeping on Track with Technology." Though Rick Russell is leaving the board as a director, he will continue to serve as Government Relations Chair. Rick served on the board as AAERT Treasurer and Vice President. I am glad Rick will continue to be actively involved.

For me, it was a reminder of the track we've been on as technology has changed our industry. Over the past 25 years, we witnessed the transition from analog to digital systems. The day I transferred data electronically, rather than burning a CD to ship to a client, felt like magic! The first time I used a noise reduction filter was a thrill. Technology has allowed us to become more effective and efficient, when you take the time to learn how it works and are willing to adapt to the changes it will bring. Digital reporting and transcription needs reliable technology as well. If you missed this year's conference, many of the sessions discussing these topics and more will be posted on our LMS for CEU credits. Even if you are just looking for answers about the latest features available to digital reporters and transcribers and their users, check out our Learning Management System videos.

This year featured ASR (automated speech recognition) technology and exhibitors showcased live transcription. We visited the Jefferson County Courthouse and viewed a courtroom where a video recording system is used to capture the court record.

Regardless of the blend of technology we each use, we gathered as a group of committed individuals who are intensely interested in the process of capturing and producing verbatim records. For some, the track of technology offered new options and for some, it generated some uncomfortable feelings about their future. How do I fit in? Will there be a job for me with ASR or if a video courtroom comes to my town? The feeling in the room was a mixture of excitement and uncertainty, and open discussions on how the court reporting industry is changing. We are seeing significant developments in new technology and we've arrived at a juncture for change in our industry. In preparation for my first board meeting as president I reviewed several organization documents and found the following:

"All industries face disruptive forces from time to time. However, it is not often that an industry faces a confluence of forces that all point to rapid and dramatic shifts such as we expect in the court reporting market. Technology improvements combined with long-term demographic trends and a sudden change in the economic imperatives for courts, law firms and private litigants will accelerate the adoption of digital recording in all traditional court reporting markets. These forces are highly disruptive and will create both huge risks and huge opportunities. Individuals and companies prepared to take on the challenges will thrive in this new competitive landscape. Those that are not prepared will struggle."

This was written seven years ago in AAERT's 2012 Strategic Plan, predicting this shift in 2018.

More recently at the AAERT Executive Forum the well-known Marty Block, our keynote speaker said, "A Paradigm Shift is underway in the verbatim text industry, and as a result, you shall share many additional mutual issues.”

It's 2019, folks, it's here and we're in the midst of it. Our members are used to change and know how to adapt. We welcome you to learn about new opportunities with digital court reporting, so we can meet the needs of the industry.

This year the board is working on increasing educational opportunities for you by approving online programs and brick-and-mortar school curriculums offering digital reporting and transcription. We are reviewing the Strategic Plan and planning for the future to increase our membership and update our certification testing programs. Join us and let's work together for a successful future for us all.


Jan Harris, CER, CET, AAERT President

janet.harris@escribers.net


 

 

 

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