Cyndi Tumlin, CCR, RPR President Alabama Court Reporters Association “Gracious goodness and sakes alive,” as my blessed grandmother and all-time favorite human would say — ACRA has gone virtual. We’re all in, and there’s no turning back. I can’t speak for Jennifer Kissic, our President-elect who planned the entire fantastic virtual zoom event, but I definitely think it was thrilling and all the other wonderful adjectives you can conjure to be a part of history in the making. Not all things COVID have been bad. The Board has discussed possibly hosting some form of virtual event for at least the last five years. The obstacles surrounding actually pulling that type endeavor off seemed insurmountable – the platform, all the hoops and jots and tittles required to verify attendance virtually to get the CEUs approved – it was all daunting to say the least. And then COVID-19 pandemic … Technology improved tremendously in those years, the world turned upside down, and what had before felt impossible, suddenly was encouraging, happening, and doable. And as fate would have it, Jen, who is the most perfect person on the Board for this type job, grabbed that bull by the horns and said, “Yes, I can.” A huge shoutout to Wally Lowery and Fred Lilly with the Judicial College and AOC for their assistance in helping make this happen. I cannot tell you how grateful and thankful I am that our membership also adopted the “Yes, I can” attitude and turned out, attended, and participated in ACRA’s first-ever virtual event. YOU GUYS ABSOLUTELY ROCK!!! I personally had a great time being the Walmart greeter, used car salesman, half-baked emcee throughout the day. As I said at the end of day, I hope you enjoyed the event, learned something helpful during the sessions, and had a good laugh – and I’m okay if it was at me or with me. Laughter is the Best Medicine for the soul, and, folks, these days, we absolutely need all the good mojo and laughter we can muster. It was top priority for the ACRA Board of Directors during 2020 to ensure that the membership, as well as every licensed court reporter in the State of Alabama, had the opportunity to receive NCRA pre-approved CEU credits for the 2021 calendar year to meet their licensure requirements – ‘Rona or not. Every one of you are the driving force behind every decision, every contact, every meeting attended, every email and phone call returned, every committee served on through NCRA and through our state government and AOC. I have personally always taken the stance that, whether freelance or official, we are all a part of the Alabama Unified Judicial System. Freelancers have the front end of lawsuits covered that make up the lawsuits on our daily dockets in the courts of Alabama and elsewhere. Officials have the actual court proceedings of those same lawsuits covered to their conclusion. We are the Guardians of the Record – every one of us – regardless of our daily practice in stenography. There was overwhelming support for the virtual event, and ACRA intends to continue in years to come. With that said, WE ARE STILL HOSTING IN-PERSON EVENTS. Our hope is to offer a mix of both in the future. It really is the best of both worlds – In Person for those that enjoy connecting with friends and colleagues across the state and Virtual for those that prefer the virtual platform or have conflicts. COVID-19 will continue to be an important factor to consider when setting events, but rest assured that your ACRA Board is working hard to make sure that in-person events resume. I think I say it or something similar at the close of every article. Alabama absolutely has the very best court reporters that the industry has to offer. We are up to the task, whatever that task may be. Keep the Faith. Stay strong. Stay in touch with each other and offer help and assistance to each other. Always Remember: We Will Get Through This and Be Better For It!! We Are Always Better and Stronger Together!!
Mission Statement
“The mission of the Alabama Court Reporters Association is to serve our members and the profession of court reporting by promoting ethical practices, advocating certification, and providing continuing education for verbatim shorthand reporters.”
For The Record
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