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Joe Grabowski, RMR - Veritext. Team Spotlight

JOE GRABOWSKI | RMR

Veritext – Maryland

“In my 44 years as a court reporter and agency owner I’ve enjoyed a lucrative profession that provided a constant learning experience on a variety of topics, and afforded me the opportunity to travel across the country and around the world.  I’ve met and worked with a lot of interesting people, many of whom I consider to be great friends and colleagues.”

Joe Grabowski, RMR, principal of Gore Brothers/Veritext began reporting in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area in 1976, and started providing realtime to attorneys and the deaf/hard-of-hearing in the mid 1980’s. Joe has covered depositions in various locations in the United States, Spain, Greece and has taken statements from survivors of WWII German concentration camps in Poland.

Joe is a member of the National Court Reporters Association, past president and board member of the National Network of Reporting Companies, and past president of the Maryland Court Reporters Association. Joe is chairman of the Education Advisory Committee of the Maryland Court Reporters Association, and was appointed by Chief Judge Robert M. Bell to the State of Maryland’s first Court Reporters Committee.

James-Connor-President-RPR-CRR-CSR-CLVS - Veritext

JIM CONNOR | RPR, CRR, CSR, CLVS

Veritext – Indiana

Jim Connor is a 39-year reporting veteran, and owner of Connor Reporting in Indianapolis, Lafayette and Bloomington, Indiana. Jim has also attained his trial presentation certification in both Trial Director and Visionary softwares. He has extensive deposition and arbitration reporting experience, and specializes in international labor union convention reporting. During his reporting career he has worked with every U.S. President since Jimmy Carter, as well as former South African President Nelson Mandela, and former president of Poland, Lech Walesa.

Jim also engages in one-on-one CART reporting for clients with hearing impairments, and does captioning for larger venues such as labor union conventions.

Another of his expertise is reporting press conferences for sporting events including the Indianapolis 500, NASCAR’s Brickyard 400, Formula One, and MotoGP races with immediate turnaround for dissemination to the world’s press and posting on the various sporting websites.

He has been an Eclipse software user since 1993, and in 2012 transitioned to Case CATalyst software to be better equipped to report the terrorist trials at Guantanamo Bay.

Jim definitely considers his current assignment with the GTMO team in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be the highlight of his long career. Reporting the trials of al Nashiri, the mastermind of the bombings of the USS Cole and USS The Sullivans, and the 9/11 terrorists, has been very challenging but extremely rewarding and exciting. He feels honored to play a vital role in these historic proceedings.

In 2019 Jim was elected President of the Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporting (STAR).

Merilee-Johnson, RMR, CRR, CCP, CBC, RSA - Veritext. Merilee's Tips & Tricks

MERILEE S. JOHNSON | RDR, CRR, CRC, RSA

Veritext – Minnesota

“As reporters and captioners we are exposed to new perspectives and information that our everyday personal lives don’t typically offer. What I learn through law, what I learn through interacting with the professionals I meet, and what I learn through the varied cases we hear, opens my eyes to a world beyond my own. Being well-versed in the happenings of today allows me to feel empowered to contribute to a better tomorrow.”

Merilee S. Johnson has been reporting for 21 years and has experience as an official reporter, freelance reporter, and captioner. Currently, she serves as Director of Reporter Relations and Technologies with Paradigm Reporting and Captioning, a Veritext Company.

In addition to her extensive work experience, Merilee is credentialed as a Certified Independent Training Agent with Stenograph. She holds NCRA’s RDR, CRR and CRC certifications, as well as NCRA’s RSA Certificate.

Merilee serves the industry as a member and chair for multiple committees on both the state and national levels. She has a passion for investing in the future of the industry through mentoring and trainings, and currently serves an adjunct instructor at the local court reporting school in Minnesota. She is a resource for reporters at Paradigm, an active trainer for Stenograph, and is also a member of STAR’s Liaison Committee.

Cheryl Mangio, RMR, CRR, CCR, CLSP, CMRS - Veritext

CHERYL MANGIO | CMRS, CRR, RMR, CCR

Veritext – Washington

“I love the court reporting profession because in this fast-paced environment you are constantly learning and growing —  no two days are the same and the challenges are new and oftentimes exciting.”

Cheryl Mangio started her career as a freelance court reporter in 1981 after graduating from court reporting school in record time. She was one of the first Certified Real Time Reporters (CRR) in Washington State — a coveted designation — and reported numerous high-profile and technically challenging cases for many years. She took the helm as a partner with YOM: Full Service Court Reporting to manage their growing business and to lead the firm in trend-setting technology. Cheryl and YOM were at the forefront of introducing online access technology to the legal industry in early 2004, and continue to be earlyadopters of the latest technology. She engages in learning opportunities with like-minded business leaders across the nation and particpates in many associations.

Cheryl is dedicated to the court reporting and the legal profession. She oversees the operations of YOM, A Veritext Company, ensuring that processes and deliverables exceed expectations; but her priority is educating and supporting court reporters, lawyers, and legal staff on technology, deposition procedures, and legislation.

Kim Neeson - RMR, CRR, CCP, CBC, RSA - Veritext

KIM NEESON | FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC

Veritext – Toronto, Canada

“I love being a witness to so many people’s stories and experiences.  Through my career, I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of very smart people trying to outsmart each other…watching the tactical and strategic parts of litigation is fascinating to me.  Another great benefit:  my vocabulary is huge!”

From the courts to the freelance world, Kim Neeson has done it all.  Kim was one of the very first adopters of realtime technology, and she has moved with it as it has morphed from a big black box with lots of cables, to wireless realtime.  At the pinnacle of Kim’s career, she and her group were the first to provide realtime reporting at the first-ever multi-jurisdictional bankruptcy hearing of Nortel Networks, which took place simultaneously in Toronto and Delaware courtrooms using videoconferencing and other technologies.

Kim has written and spoken widely about all things court reporting and loves to answer questions from court reporters of all vintages.

Julia Obien, RPR, CCR, CSR, CLSP, CMRS, CBT - Veritext

JULIA OBIEN | RPR, CMRS, CCR, CSR

Veritext – Washington

“I have worked in the court reporting industry for literally decades, starting with some experience in voice writing and then the bulk of my career as a steno and then firm owner.  To have a lucrative career in a job where you learn something every day, continue to be challenged in, and meet and work with many fine people is a gift worthy of sharing with others.”

Julia Obien started her career in the court reporting industry reporting for many years in contract work with the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals and other State and Federal agencies. With a growing clientele and a commitment to stay at the forefront of technology, Julia began working in the freelance court reporting market and went on to enjoy an illustrious career as a freelance stenographer and achieved many certifications. She was constantly in demand by clients because of her poise, attention to detail, professionalism, and dedication to customer service in the deposition arena. As YOM grew, Julia was called upon to redirect her expertise and energy to providing daily hands-on leadership and guidance to clients, reporters, and staff.

Julia is committed to adopting the latest technology, and shares her knowledge with the legal community through daily interactions with staff, reporters, and attorneys.

BILL ROBERTS | RPR, RPR, CRR, CLVS, CMRS

Veritext – South Carolina

“What I love about court reporting is that each day is a new adventure…different assignment locations; diverse, exciting and educational subject matters; the ability to meet new people; and finally the flexibility to create my own schedule.  What’s not to love?”

With over 40 years of court reporting experience, Bill Roberts is known as South Carolina’s leading expert in litigation services and technology. He has been in the forefront of emerging technology and was the first reporter in South Carolina to offer Realtime court reporting technology.

Before merging with Veritext in 2019, Bill founded A. William Roberts, Jr. & Associates in 1980. After graduating from the Stenotype Institute in Jacksonville, he was the official Court Reporter for the Ninth Judicial Circuit of South Carolina. Bill is a Registered Merit Reporter, Certified Realtime Reporter, Certified Legal Video Specialist, and Certified Manager of Reporting Services.

Under his leadership, AWR/Veritext has become South Carolina’s premier court reporting firm with a commitment to fast, accurate and friendly service. Bill lives in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
with his wife Karen, who is a principal in Veritext. His oldest son David is a principal in Veritext; his middle son Mike is a court reporter with Veritext; and his youngest son Andrew is a television news producer in Indianapolis.

Bill is committed to the recruitment and training of new court reporters and has mentored many individuals considering court reporting as a career, helping them to thrive in this field of endeavor, many of whom have gone to achieve the highest levels of certification in court reporting. Bill’s outside activities include leadership in a local men’s ministry and Kairos Prison Ministry as well as the Walk to Emmaus. He is an avid car collector and motorcycle enthusiast.

CHRISTINE RANDALL | CSR, RPR

Veritext – California

“Court reporting has been an amazing journey for me over the years.  Every day is new, different, and challenging.  I have loved working with the clients, reporting interesting cases, and the camaraderie with my fellow reporters.  Becoming a court reporter is one of the best decisions of my life!”   

Christine Randall, CSR, RPR, is the President of Wood & Randall/Veritext, headquartered in Bakersfield, California.  Christine began her reporting career in 1981 when computer-compatible theory was in its early years. After moving to Bakersfield in 1982, she became one of the first computerized reporters in Bakersfield. In 1990 Christine became a partner in what now is known as Wood & Randall and managed and reported as its lead reporter through 2007. After carpal tunnel surgery and the need to work “on the business” and not “in the business,” she has continued on managing the firm with a mantra of “Moving Forward with Technology and Excellence.”

Christine began her service work in 1998 as the District 8 representative for the Deposition Reporters Association of California (DRA). Between 1998 and 2004 she chaired various committees and was the convention chair in 2002. Christine has also been a member of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) since 1981 and for the last several years has been an NCRF Angel. She also has participated as a delegate on its Russia trip in October of ’08. And in 2012 she was honored to serve on the Executive Search Committee with Past President Doug Friend. Together with Todd Mobley and Rosalie Kramm, she also has served as a co-chair of the Firm Owners Conference in Laguna Niguel in 2013. With her mind always on technology, she also served on the New Markets Committee in 2014-15.

As a long-time Stenograph user, Christine is also a member of the Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporting (STAR). In 2007 she co-chaired its yearly three-day convention in La Jolla, California. She became a STAR board member in 2009, and she co-chaired the yearly convention in Lake Tahoe the following year. Christine became the president of STAR in 2013-2014.

Christine is quite active in her local community as well. She currently holds a board position with Westec, a nonprofit organization that administers the court reporting program for Taft College. Not only does Westec train future court reporters, but it also trains students in a wide range of occupations, including oil field workers and correction/police officers. She is currently the board’s secretary. Christine is the only court reporter or firm owner sitting on the Westec board and routinely meets and mentors the students. She also works closely with Westec staff trying to meet and/or coordinate their needs and holds a finishing class in her office as a courtesy to the school yearly. This is truly a unique position that allows her to assess, bond, and work with future court reporters and help them with career decisions.

JUDY M. STEVENS | RPR, CMRS, CPE

Veritext – Colorado

“In an industry where change can happen at lightning speed, I’m committed to being a lifetime learner and I love sharing what I learn with others.  All of us were beginners at one point and it’s exciting for me to see and help others grow in this business that I love.”

Judy Stevens has been a firm owner in Denver since 1994 before becoming part of Veritext in 2019.  She began her career as a court reporter in Tucson, Arizona before moving to Denver, Colorado.  In 2000, Judy earned the highly coveted designation of Certified Manager of Reporting Services (CMRS) by the National Court Reporters Association while building her firm, mentoring her team and also serving on the board of her state association and volunteering through the Alliance of Professional Women.

Over the years, Judy and her firm have been recognized by the Denver Business Journal as one of the “Top 10 Fastest Growing Denver-Area Private Companies” and she has been nominated by the Denver Business Journal for its “Outstanding Women in Business” award on numerous occasions.  In addition, Judy was recognized by NCRA with its prestigious “Excellence Award for Leadership and Team-Building” and has authored many articles for the JCR magazine.  Judy is also quite active in her teaching/mentoring role as a regular guest lecturer at both Arapahoe Community College and the University of Denver Law School.