I can’t believe it’s already April and only a few more weeks until we’ll all be gathering in Biloxi for our 46th MCRA Annual Spring Convention and Seminar. I would like to take a moment to express gratitude on behalf of all of the members of our association to Theresa Lumley, our Continuing Education Chair, and also to Linda Beasley, MJC Program Manager, for all of the hard work and long hours they put in this year and every year to make this all come together so beautifully. Also please allow me to say thank you to all of our committee members who have dedicated their time to volunteer. Your work is crucial to the success of our association, and you are all appreciated.
We have a very exciting lineup of speakers this year. I hope you all enjoy yourselves as you learn, grow, and network with your fellow reporters. I look forward to welcoming Danette Butler-Horne to the office of president. Over the last several years, Danette has held many offices within our association. While serving as president-elect over the past year, she has been there for me repeatedly to answer questions, encourage, and offer advice. We are truly blessed to have her taking the reins for 2017/2018. I wish her every success in the upcoming year. I would like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your 2016/2017 MCRA president.
Professionalism Measured by Excellence and Ethics.
— Becky Lynn Logan, RPR, CCR
MCRA President, 2016-2017
Volunteer service is sometimes a thankless job. For the second time in its 50-year history, MCRA has established an award that will be presented to an outstanding MCRA member who has demonstrated unwavering loyalty to this association and profession, demonstrated outstanding leadership, dedication, service, and commitment to MCRA, and for tackling the challenges in the court reporting profession thus allowing court reporters of Mississippi the opportunity to shine and prosper.
The Kay Ferguson Award is in honor of the Late Kay Ferguson who was instrumental in the development and growth of MCRA as well as other areas of Mississippi Court Reporting
Ms. Kay worked in the Mississippi State Courts for 48 years, with 13 years with the Mississippi Workmen’s Compensation and the rest of the time with the Mississippi Chancery Court with Judge Joe Stennett and Judge Stuart Robinson. She was a Chairman with the NSRA (which is now NCRA), an MCRA Committee member, Vice-President, and President. She was a native of Crystal Springs, MS; graduated from high school there; and received her BS Degree from Mississippi College for Women in 1955.
Ms. Kay was very active in MCRA. She produced printed newsletters to the association – this was way before computers, email, text messages, and Web sites. She was active in the 1976 legislative efforts to get a pay raise for officials. They were trying to get a boost to $14,000 a year from the ceiling stipend of $9,600. Every chance she could, Ms. Kay would encourage the MCRA members to join the National Association. NSRA answered Kay’s call for assistance on some things, and Kay thought it would be really something if all MCRA members were also NSRA members – to be the first state to show such support in return.
In 1974, Ms. Kay was asked by Mississippi Governor Bill Waller to serve Mississippi in the capacity of Commissioner on the Mississippi Criminal Justice Standards Commission. This Commission had the tasks of studying the criminal justice system and its effect on crime rates as well as a few other tasks. Kay also received correspondence from Lieutenant Governor Gandy and Governor-Elect Finch on various topics, including speaking to MCRA members at conventions.
Also in 1974, Ms. Kay was extensively involved as a member of the Task Force of an In-Depth Study of Court Reporter Practices in Mississippi. She was also a key player in the establishment of the court reporting program at Ole Miss. She along with a few others traveled to Temple University to visit their court reporting program as well as held meetings at Ole Miss with Deans, professors, and key people from Chicago and Philadelphia.
In a letter dated July 17, 1975, from James M. Pierce, Courts Specialist, in the Division of Law Enforcement Assistance of the Office of the Governor, stated, “If this matter is successfully concluded, I feel that all of the court reporters as well as court personnel in general, owe you a beer or a medal or something for your acute interest and for your leadership in getting something started in this field that can result in a much improved court reporting system and a much improved overall court system.”
Ms. Kay is no longer with us. She passed away in December of 2012. I only wish I knew her and about her achievements sooner so I could thank her in person for everything she has done for us, and definitely buy her a beer during what her generation called “The Attitude Adjustment Hour” – or what we call Happy Hour now.
I’m very proud of MCRA for establishing this award. This year’s Kay Ferguson Award goes to a reporter who has been reporting for 28 years and has been an MCRA member for 27 of those years. This leader was Co-chair of the CE Committee from 1998-2000, Committee Chair from 2000-2003, VP 2003-2004, 2004-2005 President Elect, 2005-2006 President, 2005 she served on the the MJC Search Committee, 2012-2016 CE Committee Chair, and she has been a mentor to students for so long we couldn’t calculate that!!
We could never say thank-you enough to this year’s recipient.
It is my absolute honor to award the highest honor given to an MCRA member, the Kay Ferguson Award, to an awesome behind-the-scenes HUGE contributor of our association…..Ms. Theresa Lumley.
Congratulations to Rick Barry of Meridian, Elected President-Elect of The Mississippi Bar. Rick’s term as President-Elect will begin at the conclusion of the 2016 Annual Meeting held in July.
Photo: MCRA President Melinda Bowers presents MBA President-Elect Rick Barry with a cake.
Join MCRA at Easely Amused for an abstract painting of our steno keyboard Thursday, October 22nd, 2015, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The class accommodates 40 artists; so reserve your spot ASAP, as we’re sure these seats will go fast. Once we have 40, we’ll start a waiting list to fill any cancellations. Your spot is secure once we receive your $40 class fee.
The fastest method to reserve your spot is through our online store here –> mscra.com/store/. Once there, click on “general payment” and pay $40.
*** Bring your wine; we’ll have the cheese and grapes! ***
For Ridgeland location, please visit easelyamused.com or MCRA’s Upcoming Events section on our home page.
MCRA looks forward to seeing you there!