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President's Message - July 2014
by: Buck Ewing

It was great! Last month at the Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando, we celebrated our 21st annual conference with the highest turnout ever. The sessions were well-designed, and the Grand Cypress was an inviting environment for easy gathering and great conversation. We also held our first Executive Forum for Vendors. Five of the industry’s leading court recording and reporting equipment companies—FTR, JAVS, Liberty, Veri-Core, and Visionary—presented their latest software and hardware, all demonstrating new portable reporting kits.

We want to again thank our keynote speaker Matt Benefiel, Trial Court Administrator for the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida; our session presenters, Richard Ballard, Anne Pelini, CER, CET, Jim McMillan, Tonie Wallace, Lisa Hubacher, Steve Townsend, and Tony Douglass; our vendors and sponsors for making the conference more affordable to all; our Conference Committee Chair, Michele Lilley, CET; and our staff, Executive Director Mike Tannen, CSEP and T-TEAM staff member Sherry Simmons, CER for making this conference such a great success.

This April and May we conducted our election online. 20% of the membership participated. Voters in the election were also given the opportunity to fill out a survey, and the results of that survey were very positive. The 2014/2015 board of directors are Jim Bowen, CER, Immediate Past-President; Geoff Hunt; Margaret Morgan, CER, CET; Rick Russell; Ray Vetter, CER, and your two new members, Dena Page, CET and Steve Townsend. To our three departing directors, Michele Lilley, CET; Janet Harris, CER, CET and Tina Schaeffer, CER, CET, I extend my great appreciation for their goodwill and many contributions during their tenure. On behalf of the entire Association, I want to personally thank Jim Bowen again for his hard work during his last two years as President.

Our industry is at a tipping point, and our Association is, too. We have much work ahead of us. Projects we are engaged in include: the ongoing development and improvement of our online certification process, creating continuing education credits, developing curricula and approval processes for educating reporters and transcribers, producing a new logo, upgrading our website, completing a white paper to describe the benefits of our method, engaging with vendor partners, and sharing information among executives.

I invite you to join in, contribute, and learn. We have much to do, and you can help. We welcome new members to our committees and subcommittees, but even performing a single task such as writing an article or sharing important news with the Association can help. If you would like to jump in, e-mail me or call. I can guarantee you there is no better way to increase your knowledge and skills than by participating. I would like very much to hear from you.

Buck Ewing
President, AAERT  



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