Steno in the City, Washington, D.C., which allowed steno reporters a unique opportunity to gather with one another to celebrate us, was a resounding success.
The Steno in the City blueprint just needed a team to assist with bringing the vision alive. Linda Giles was instrumental in this process. She offered guidance throughout the entire organizational and event-planning process, for example, how to put on an event, secure contracts with venues and vendors, and negotiate hotel rates. Margary Rogers, RPR, CRI, RSA, BCR, came through in a clutch as she assisted with organizing, decorating, and providing resources and countless D.C. area connections. With the expert guidance of these two amazing ladies, it surely would have been impossible to pull off this monumental nationwide event, and we are grateful for their guidance and support. The Steno in the City event offered two full days in our nation’s capital to connect with our steno stars. A networking event was held on Friday evening where stenographers from all over the nation convened. The event featured special guest speakers, including The Honorable Chief Judge Robert E. Morin, Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Washington D.C., and Veda Rashaeed, Esq. The event, once just a seed that would eventually bloom into the full-blown vision, allowed us to forge many connections, friendships, and sisterhoods, many of which will play out over a lifetime. Among the attendees was Stenograph LLC. Their presence enabled reporters from across the country to check out their latest equipment and obtain answers to software questions. And though some were not able to attend this monumental event in person, Stenograph was gracious enough to create a few video clips for folks to view remotely. The purpose of Steno in the City’s networking events is to empower one another. As an antidote to the pervasive negativity that exists in today’s society and, unfortunately, in the profession, we are all about positivity and lifting each other up.
Case in point is Joe Strickland, RPR, CRR, CRC, who hails from the District of Columbia. Joe was instrumental in vetting possible venues for our event in D.C. In case you haven’t already, listen to episode 3 of the podcast with Joe, one of the best this profession has to offer, and learn from the voice of experience that worked for two decades in our nation’s House of Representatives. Joe has had an amazing career, and we have much to learn from him. Next in our lineup was the steno queen, Sabrina Lewis, CCR, RDR, CRR, Federal Official Court Reporter, and Kensie Benoit, CSR, Official Court Reporter, 290th District Court. During the mixer part of the event, we shared the video clips that they’d created on why they loved court reporting and were attracted to the profession, which were most inspiring. Steno in the City held a few exciting raffles at the event. The sponsored raffles were courtesy of Eclipse and Case Catalyst software training, Stenograph, StenEd, Margary Rogers, Samuel Fannin, and Shaunise Day. Following the viewing of the video clips and raffles, event attendees continued to network over delicious appetizers, and our bartender kept the drinks flowing. The celebration continued with countless photos and videos followed by our steno lovers hitting the dance floor and celebrating in style.
Vendors for our event included The Loft D.C.; LA Prima Catering; Red Velvet Cupcakes; Bar Ro’d Mobile Bartending Services; Photography by LeRoy Armstead; Videography by Admin McMilan; D.C. Superior Court; Tonya Coleman-Fannin, Silver Platters Delights Catering; and Eclipse Entertainment Group. The sponsors who donated the items that were included in our Steno in the City Swag Bagwere NCRA, Stenovator, Pengad, and Shaunise Day. Once the planning process was complete and the costs associated with holding the event were determined, sponsors were easy to attract. We stand on solid ground with steno and would never partner with corporations whose agenda included replacing us with digitals. To be fair to all parties, I had decided to fund the event on my own. In fact, I funded the lion’s share, 95%. However, I would also like to personally acknowledge the contributions of the amazing stenographers who came forward as sponsors either before or after they’d learned what I’d done. Although I am the type to keep these matters to myself, when asked, I will happily share credit where credit is due and remain grateful for their support. Besides myself, the sponsors of the Steno in the City event include Linda Giles, Kim Xavier, Jeannin Alexis, Diane Salters, Margaret Clark, Virginia Dodge, and Lisa Migliore Black.
A special shout-out to Tanya Fannin. Tanya’s many contributions were invaluable. She was like a second mom throughout the entire planning process. For example, in terms of the catering aspect, Tanya was in charge, making sure that everything was in order from soup to nuts. In addition, she was responsible for the agendas, cards, and posters. Though we originally hadn’t planned on the posters, Tanya insisted otherwise, which we’re glad she did. And at the end of the event, she shared that she was already looking forward to helping with the next one. Not only was Tanya instrumental in ensuring the success of the Steno in the City D.C. event, she accomplished it all while on dialysis. Concerned for her health, we’d tell her no, and she’d say yes. You couldn’t stop this lady even if you wanted to. We are grateful for Tanya’s indomitable spirit and immense heart. Unfortunately, Tanya is no longer with us. However, we know that she is in heaven organizing and taking charge. May she rest in peace.