The Fearless Stenographers Conference ‘22 Recap (Day 1-3)

On Day 1 of the conference, we held our “Speed in the City” contest, which was open to all to participate. Composed of a 280 wpm Q&A, 260 wpm Jury Charge, and a 220 wpm Literary, the competition presented a rare opportunity for those who have always wanted to compete on a state or national level to get their feet wet and test the waters. The contest also provided extra motivation for reporters preparing to take the RMR at 260 wpm, allowing them to zone in on their writing in a speed contest environment. Legal Profession Networking Mixer. On Thursday evening, the “Legal Profession Networking Mixer” took place at The Ballroom at Bayou Place, located in downtown Houston. In terms of selecting an offsite location for the exciting event, Shaunise Day endeavored to ensure that our steno professionals would experience an unforgettably unique moment as they celebrated who they are and what they do as reporters. As the guests entered the venue, entrance stairs customized with “Steno in the City” décor transported them to the meeting space.   The exquisite aesthetics of The Ballroom at Bayou Place complemented Shaunise’s vision for the exciting first-time event. Our stenos enjoyed capturing selfies in a 360-degree photo booth. The room, adorned with a stunning backdrop featuring “STENO” in marquee letters, lit up the space. A “Fearless Stenographers” ice sculpture with purple lighting was also on display as were custom backdrops for more picture-taking, including an archway with balloon décor. Shaunise sought to ensure that the entire city would know about the “Steno in the City” weekend event. Every detail mattered and no stone was left unturned, resulting in a magical night for the legal profession.   Throughout the evening during the networking mixer, Steno Correspondent and Host, Kendra Mills, conducted short interviews with special invited guests and reporters. You can check out the videos in the gallery at Guest Speakers. To open up the event, attendees were graced by the presence of a special guest and speaker, Judge Carlos Moore, Esq, immediate past president of the National Bar Association and partner at the Cochran Law Firm. An attorneys’ conference convened during this same weekend, and Judge Moore was kind enough to adjust his busy schedule in order to make an appearance and speak at our networking event, which we deeply appreciated. Judge Moore spoke eloquently about our judicial system and the importance of having a stenographic court reporter take down the verbatim record. Proclamation Ceremony. Next up, Mayor Sylvester Turner declared “Steno in the City Week, March 24th to March 26th, 2022.” The declaration was presented by Edward Pollard, Esq, Houston City Council Member, District J. Mr. Pollard graciously presented and dedicated this important proclamation to stenographers across the globe. We offered a special thank you to Alvin Byrd, a dear friend of Shaunise Day, for assisting with this process.   Guest Speakers (cont’d). Our next special guest at our networking mixer was the Honorable Judge Linda Marie Dunson, 309th District Family Court, Harris County Civil Courthouse. Showcasing the Houston 19, also in attendance was Judge Lashawn A. Williams, Civil Court at Law No. 3 and Judge Lori Chambers Greg, Texas 262nd District Court. Judge Dunson, who has attended prior “Steno in the City” events, also participated in the first-ever “Steno Judicial Career Fair “ conceived and organized by Shaunise Day via Zoom during the height of the pandemic. In fact, “Steno in the City” partnered with KIPP Academy to host several career fairs during the pandemic where Judge Dunson engaged with students regarding exciting career options within the judicial system. Consistent with Shaunise Day’s mission to “network, network, network,” our next special guest speaker was Derrick A. Reed, Esq, partner at the Stephens Reed & Armstrong, PLLC, law firm. Understanding that networking is absolutely vital to our profession, Shaunise mined her vast personal contacts in order to attract members of the legal community to this groundbreaking event. The next special guest who spoke at our networking event was our beloved stenographer Stacey E. Raikes, RMR, CRR, who did a fabulous job representing and advocating for court reporting and captioning professionals. We also received a few remarks from the National Court Reporters Association immediate past president Debbie Dibble, and past president Carl Sauceda. Live Band Performance. What came next eyes have not seen nor ears have heard. This may have been the first-ever steno-related networking event to have a live band perform. Jazz Songstress Kiora Michelle of Houston, Texas, entertained us with several tunes. The steno community networked, enjoyed delicious appetizers and drinks, and danced the night away. On the first night of the conference, it was abundantly clear that our mission to create a magical, memorable evening for all was accomplished. DAY 2 Since this was the first day of the actual conference, we wanted to kick it off in an exciting and novel way. Toward this end, we held a “Steno All-Star Keynote” featuring an array of steno-related keynote speakers. Festooned with an all-star theme, this portion of the event provided an outlet for powerful voices within our profession. Handpicked and armed with a special purpose, each speaker in the empowering lineup encouraged, uplifted, and inspired our steno community. Keynote Speaker Presentations. We are proud to say that “Steno in the City” currently has a list of 136 legends, veteran stenographers with more than 40 years of service to our profession. It was our mission to showcase several at this important event. As such, steno legend Brenda Countz, still going strong after 53 years in the profession, presented at our event. Next up was Allie Hall, stenographer and steno advocate, who works unceasingly hard for our profession. In fact, Allie rolled up her sleeves and took on a leadership role at the event as she resolved some unforeseen technical glitches. With a huge heart for students, colleagues, and all things steno, Allie is an MVP in our world. A New Record. And, lastly, since the conference was held in Houston,