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President's Message - January 2015
by: Buck Ewing

Dear AAERT Members,

I hope you are well and happy. I can guarantee that 2015 will be a year of great change for us.

Our industry is expanding. Change is everywhere. Many courts have issued RFPs for digital recording equipment, at least three companies are developing innovative workflow software, almost all recording companies produce stand-alone reporting systems, and digital reporting is springing up everywhere.

AAERT also is on the move. Every committee is working hard on new initiatives. Our goal is to strengthen our position as the premier association for electronic reporters and transcribers in the world.

Here is some of what we are doing:

1. Detailed Committee Responsibilities and Authority. By clearly defining committee responsibilities, we are pushing decision-making down as far as possible to the committee level so tasks can be completed quickly. Also, we want to attract more members to join our committees, contribute, and grow.

2. Rebranding of the AAERT Image. Over the past several months, the Communications Committee examined more than 350 logo designs. Two weeks ago the board chose the new AAERT logo and byline. Now the Committee is turning to the redesign of our website and social media. You will be able to see this rebranding for the first time at our June 25-27 conference in Minneapolis, witnessing the unveiling of our new AAERT logo, byline, website, and social media imagery. Join us.

3. White Paper. The Government Relations Committee has done an extraordinary job in describing the features, benefits, and cost of digital recording, reporting, and transcription. This important white paper is currently under final revision. When completed, it will be used to inform legislators and decision-makers around the country about the value of our method.

4. Standards. The Education Committee has prepared a comprehensive list of standards for the court, government contracting, and freelance markets. They are currently being reviewed. We will soon adopt these standards in order to evaluate the completeness of a curriculum offered by any school that is seeking AAERT endorsement.

5. Online Certification. We have been offering online testing since January 2014. The Certification Committee now is working to enhance this online capability by exploring tester control of audio, video, and word processing, and in enabling automatic grading.

6. Continuing Education Units. Because technology is constantly changing, keeping up to date is an important individual responsibility. Continuing education helps us remain professional. We are developing a more comprehensive list of ways for members to earn their CEU credits.

7. Surveys, Member Categories. The Membership Committee has conducted several surveys to learn more about the membership and the effectiveness of our newsletter, website, and social media. Also, it is analyzing member categories and pricing. The results of these analyses will be presented at the annual conference in Minneapolis. We hope to see you there.

8. The Second Executive Forum, March 13-14, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. The Executive Forum is designed as a way for owners, executives, and vendors to exchange information. Our first Executive Forum was held last year and it was an overwhelming success. Register early. It’s a great opportunity to network, learn, and answer questions. Two hours are scheduled on Saturday afternoon for networking, and all vendors are invited to demonstrate their products and services, the time allotted depending on the number of vendors. See the calendar on our website for details.

9. The Annual AAERT Conference, June 25-27, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Conference Education Committee has developed a comprehensive plan, is well ahead of schedule, and is in a position to deliver an outstanding conference and educational program. Share your experiences with colleagues and spread your net wider. Keep an eye out for coming details.

May 2015 bring you good health and good work.

With best wishes and regards,

Buck Ewing
President, AAERT  



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