Photo One: Veritext Principal Rosalie Kramm, San Diego, presents “Don’t Settle for Easy: The Value of Doing Hard Things” | Photo Two: Veritext Principals and friends Todd Mobley, Dayton; Sandra Cooper, Kansas City; Jan Ballman, Minneapolis enjoying STAR | Photo Three: Incoming STAR President/Veritext Principal Andrea Wecker, Boise; Principals Andrew, Jim and Joanne Connor, Indianapolis | Photo Four: Susie Salenger Smith and mom Ellen Salenger
By Jan Ballman – FAPR, RPR, CMRS
STAR, also known as the Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporting, held its annual conference at the beautiful Westin Spa and Resort in Savannah, Georgia October 19 – 20th. The convention was themed “The Place To Be, No Matter Who You Are,” and content offerings included the latest in software advancements and tools by Stenograph for its users; one-on-one training sessions for reporters with Stenograph trainers; a soul-stirring keynote delivered by former court reporter Dr. Bill Oliver; an update on court reporter recruitment, graduation rates and placement; exit strategies for agency owners; practical search engine marketing principles; the changing culture of court reporting; as well as understanding the importance of customer service and the value of doing hard things. Perhaps the lightest and brightest STAR offering this conference: A seminar given by second-generation court reporters who shared the challenges, rewards, fun(ny) times and great memories of families where court reporting “runs in the blood.” Panel member and court reporter Susan Salenger Smith even brought along her 83-year-old former court reporter mom, Ellen Salenger, to see this presentation! It was both surprising and wonderful to see so many seminar audience members present who also had court reporters in their families.
No STAR conference is complete without “Irv’s Place,” a nod to longtime court reporter, former firm owner and STAR supporter Irv Starkman from Philadelphia who for years upon decades would be The Host With The Most at each and every STAR conference and serve as World’s Best Bartender in the STAR Hospitality Lounge. Irv suffered a debilitating stroke this year and was therefore unable to be present for STARCON22…but that didn’t stop him from appearing at Irv’s Place via Zoom, giving his friends and fans a chance to see him, say hello, and wish him well.
Veritext proudly sponsored the opening reception, and Veritext leaders stepped in to serve as requested and needed: Principals Rosalie Kramm, Todd Mobley, Dave Roberts and Jan Ballman presented seminars; while Veritext Principal Andrea Wecker was sworn in as STAR President, Principal Bill Roberts was sworn in as Vice President, and Principal Todd Mobley was sworn in as (perennial) STAR Treasurer.
An announcement was made at the conference that The Varallo Group, led by court reporting icon Nancy Varallo, will be taking over as STAR’s new association management company. Nancy’s brother George Catuogno will be the STAR’s new Executive Director.
STARCON23 will be held next fall in San Diego, California! The planning starts now! Don’t miss it!