President's Message:

 

Laura Landerman, RDR, CRR, FPR-C
2022-2023 Florida Court Reporters Association President

          If you missed this year’s annual convention on Hutchinson Island, you missed a
great convention with the perfect theme: Passport to the future: write your own ticket.
What does it mean to write your own ticket — and do YOU have this power? You
sure do. As your new FCRA president, I’d like to share with you a little bit about who I
am and how I wrote my ticket that landed me where I am today.

          Let’s rewind back to 1979, junior high school, when a skinny, shy, 14-year-old
was given an assignment in civics class by one of her favorite teachers, Mr. McCall.
The assignment was to research three careers: one you are very familiar with; one you
want to be when you “grow up,” and one you know nothing about. She had taken
ballet, tap and jazz her whole life, so of course a dance instructor was the clear first
choice – the career she knew a lot about.

          For the career she wanted to be? Well, being as she was also in braces for
about as long as she had been dancing, she wanted to be – nope, not that highly paid
orthodontist. Oh, no. She wanted to be an orthodontic tech like Mickie, whom she had
grown very fond of after all those years of wearing braces.

          So how do you pick a career to research if you don’t even know it exists? Well,
that favorite teacher, Mr. McCall, made a suggestion: How about court reporting?
Unbeknownst to that skinny, shy, 14-year-old, this was her passport to the future, and
she was about to write her own ticket. That skinny, shy, 14-year-old girl was me.
A few years later, in my senior year of high school, I decided a career as a court
reporter would be my future. I enrolled in the court reporting program at a vo-tech
school in Orlando, Florida, in 1984. I immediately fell in love with the steno machine from
the first day of court reporting school. I remember learning the theory and being fascinated at how
that combination of letters makes words and phrases and that some day I’d be “writing” 225
wpm. I completed the program in 1986 and have been employed full-time as a
freelance reporter ever since.

          Since the day I started this wonderful profession, I set career goals. It’s so
important that we all set goals – setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term
motivation. Sometimes we just need that extra push of motivation to get something
accomplished, and when you set goals, it motivates you to accomplish them. These can be
long-term or short-term goals. Maybe your goal is to be a realtime writer. Maybe your goal is to
be an international court reporter and travel the world doing what you love. Maybe your goal is
to shorten your writing. Maybe your goal is to attain skills certification. Maybe your goal is just
to find the balance between work life and personal life. Maybe your goal is to run a marathon.
Whatever your goal, you have the power to achieve that goal.

          Every incoming FCRA president has goals they want to achieve during their presidency.
A goal of mine is to double FCRA’s membership. For 61 years, FCRA has been committed to
steno and voice writers in our state. We are very fortunate to have an incredible lobbying team

          in Tallahassee, Corinne Mixon and Diana Ferguson of Rutledge Ecenia, who follow closely
what’s happening with legislation and work closely with The Florida Bar on our behalf. FCRA
has had a seat at the table for many discussions that affect court reporting in our state. We
also have a very committed schools committee, who travel across the state to participate in
events to promote court reporting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been approached by
other state associations who are in awe of FCRA and all that we accomplish for our members.
However, we are a voluntary association that relies on our membership to make these initiatives
come to fruition. A strong association with a united front unstoppable.

          I would ask your help in achieving my goal of doubling our membership. If each of you
will get two friends to join, we will double our membership in no time. Dues have been lowered
to $250, and we offer quarterly payment plans. There’s no better time to join FCRA.

Click here to Join now. FCRA Membership Application PDF.pdf

          I’d like to thank all of you, our members, for entrusting me to lead our association. My
passion for this profession runs deep, and I promise to work hard for all of you and continue to
be a fierce advocate for verbatim stenographic and voice reporters. If any of you have anything
you want to chat about or goals you’d like to see our association achieve, please feel free to
reach out to me personally or any of our hard-working board members. We cannot do
everything for everyone all the time, but we will listen and do everything possible for reporters in
our state.


          Here's to a successful year!

          Laura J. Landerman, RDR, CRR, FPR-C