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President's Message September 2017
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President's Message
by Geoffrey L. Hunt, AAERT President


As I write to you, many of our family, friends, and fellow members are recovering from the devastating toll of Hurricane Harvey and preparing for the devastation to come from Irma. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them during these very difficult times.

As many of you may already know, I have been re-elected as President of AAERT. I would like to thank the Board of Directors for their confidence in me by re-electing me to this position. I am very excited to be part of our association, our profession, and our future. A great deal of progress has been made over this past year. I am looking forward to continuing our momentum into the future.

I would like to thank Mike Tannen, Maria Tannen, and Sherry Simmons for putting on a great conference in Atlanta. The speakers and subjects covered were all top notch. Everyone provided valuable information about our profession, lifestyles, and insight into how digital reporting and recording are filling the needs of many courts. The week’s activities brought court reporters and transcribers together from all over the country. I think that I speak for everyone who attended when I say that we all received enormous benefits from an educational perspective as well as increased networking opportunities. In other words, it was worth every penny. Make plans to attend our next annual conference in Providence, Rhode Island, June 21 through 23, 2018.

As I reported to you in my last President’s Message, the state of the association is strong. Administratively, we have rewritten our bylaws. Our white paper, Analysis and Advantages of Digital Court Reporting and Recording in the Courts, Deposition, and Administrative Hearings Markets, has been widely distributed. Schools are reaching out to AAERT for approval of their programs. There are an increasing number of states and local governments requiring our certifications, and AAERT certification and CEUs have never been more attainable. What is next?

As has been predicted, the attrition rate of court reporters in state courts continues to increase creating critical problems. Texas and Tennessee are the most recent examples of court reporter shortages. This is a golden opportunity for AAERT and all of our members. Promoting our proven methodology to a vast community of attorneys, judges, contract officers, and court administrators is not an easy task. It takes time, money, and hard work. The good news is we can do it.

It is my goal to not only maintain and build on our accomplishments, but to also prepare for what is ahead. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word prepare as “to make ready beforehand for some purpose, use, or activity.” To prepare for something requires us to look into the future and determine what needs to be done to be ready to meet the demands that it places upon us. As court reporters and transcribers, we prepare for the day's tasks, our families, businesses, and possibly retirement. For AAERT, today we continue to prepare for our roles as electronic court reporters and transcribers now and into the future.

To that end, our committees and volunteers are hard at work. To provide qualified reporters and transcribers to meet the growing demand, our Education Committee is busy reviewing educational programs and selecting for AAERT approval those programs that meet our standards. This committee continues to add more content to the Learning Management System platform with new CEU materials.

The Certification Committee is improving and adding to the test material for our certification tests. Plans are in the works to update our Best Practices Guide. New volunteers have been added to this committee to assist with the increased work load and grading tests. The Government Relations Committee is reaching out to state legislatures and courts educating them about AAERT and our certifications. The Membership Committee continues to offer new membership recruiting packages and to reach out to prospective members. The Communications Committee polishes our image, keeps AAERT in touch with our members and community of clients, and promotes public awareness of digital reporting, transcribing, and associated roles.

Keep in mind that we are all volunteers. Each committee is comprised of volunteer members who dedicate their time and efforts to promote AAERT, our goals, and our focused objectives. Consider volunteering for service on a committee. You will benefit greatly while becoming a more educated professional.

I have every confidence electronic reporting and transcription is the future of court reporting. AAERT is a powerful and dynamic force and is making this happen. We, as an association, are stronger when we work together for a common cause. All we need is to be prepared.

Thank you. It is an honor to be your president for another year.

Geoffrey L. Hunt, AAERT President




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