Volume 3 | June 19, 2020
SOUNDBYTES
Your Glimpse of Everything You Need to Know About
What's Happening at AAERT
2020 Annual Membership Meeting
Thursday, June 25, 2020 | 1 - 2 pm EDT | ZOOM

All AAERT Members are invited to join us for the Annual Membership Meeting to celebrate a successful year and hear reports on the State of the Association. Due to gathering restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's meeting will be held via ZOOM. REGISTER HERE .

Our Annual Membership Meeting will feature a review of the association's finances, an overview of the past year, a look at the year ahead; and the official announcement of the results of our recent election. We look forward to this virtual gathering and celebration!
A Salute to Our Retiring Directors

Betsy Ertel of SpeedType in Apopka, Florida became an AAERT director in 2014. She was appointed to the board to help lead efforts to create educational programs for legal transcriptionists and digital reporters. Betsy was elected to the board for a full term later that year. During her time on the board, she held the positions of Vice President and Treasurer. She served as chair of the Education Committee and led the group in developing an approved schools program, educators alliance, and an internal CEU program on AAERT’s learning management system. In addition to her work on education, she served on the membership, annual conference, executive forum, and industry leader committees/initiatives. Betsy is an expert in the field of transcription and text expansion technology, operating as a successful medical transcriptionist and business owner since 1971. She has been CEO and owner of SpeedType since 1998. She has spoken at numerous conferences and events including AAERT's annual conference and executive forum. Betsy originally learned about court reporting and legal transcription while attending the Stenotype Institute of Jacksonville. When joining AAERT, she stated she felt a warm welcome and was excited to share her experience working with educators in the medical transcription industry with AAERT. Betsy is going to take the next year to focus on her business and its expansion in international markets while remaining involved with AAERT.

Thank you, Betsy, for your significant contributions to the association. We look forward to your continued involvement .
Linda Rohman of General Reporting Services (GRC) in Lincoln, Nebraska was elected as a director in 2017. Her incentive to run for the board was to represent colleagues and businesses similar to GRS located in the Midwest. She served as chair of the Bylaws Task Force and led the group through a very thorough and complicated process to update the association's bylaws. Another significant contribution to the association is Linda's work to create the written Policies and Procedures document, which was adopted by the board in January 2020. Linda's first career was as a civil trial attorney and shareholder in the firm of Erickson & Sederstrom, P.C. While raising her two sons, she became a transcriptionist for GRC and in 2013 purchased the company formerly owned and operated by   Joyce Hasselbalch, who has been a corporate AAERT member for many years. Linda is certified in the State of Nebraska and provides both certified reporting and transcription services. She shared she has learned more about the industry as a member of AAERT and through meeting members from across the country. Recently, Linda was appointed to a task force in the state of Nebraska to work with judges and court personnel from all levels of the court system to review and update statutes, regulations, and procedures relating to court reporting and transcription in Nebraska. 

Thank you, Linda , for the significant contributions you have made to the association. We are very happy your experiences have led to this incredible opportunity for you to influence the development of digital reporting in Nebraska, one of the early adopters of electronic reporting in the 1970s.
From the President's Desk

Dear Members,

The year 2020 will be one that none of us will forget for many reasons. This has been a year that has tested our ability to adapt to change in so many ways, It has put a great strain on anyone's ability to be resilient. Last week as part of our AAERT Webinar series, Amy Nitza, Ph.D. from SUNY New Paltz, our featured speaker, spoke about the effects of trauma and stress. A timely and excellent presentation I highly recommend you check out on the Learning Management System for CEUs or just to learn about the ways we are affected by events around us that are out of our control.  
 
The conference committee's theme, "Navigating the Seas of Change," was selected long before they had any idea how accurately that theme would be reflected in our daily lives still today. I'd like to thank them for all the hard work they have completed this year, and for pivoting so quickly to provide the planned conference content in a virtual form. The webinar series has been a huge success. Our first webinar had over 480 registrants and just over 400 attended the two-hour session, an incredible attendance! With our webinar platform in place, we will be offering a new topic every two weeks through August. We encourage you to watch for email notifications on upcoming webinars or check our Facebook page.

The current board's term is coming to a close. The Annual Membership Meeting will be held on June 25, 2020 at 1 pm ET. All members are welcome to attend and we encourage you to register in advance for this year's virtual annual meeting. Following the meeting, the new directors, Lisa Luciano and Aimee Robinson, will be installed and the new board will select new officers for the coming year. I want to thank the current board members for their work this year on a few very significant projects to reset the association for future growth and success.

In January, we welcomed Holly Cargill-Cramer, Executive Director, and Aric Aery, Managing Director, from Association Development Group (ADG) to manage the daily operations of the association. The financial position of AAERT is stable. We have increased opportunities for AAERT testing and working on expanding opportunities for members. We reached out to industry leaders to assist in an advisory capacity for future market studies and strategic planning. Our membership numbers have remained stable, despite the impact of COVID on many. We maintained stability for the association during, frankly, serial chaos as you all have seen in your own lives. We're still standing. We're still here for you. Stay tuned. Next year will get better. Thank you all for your support!

Janet Harris, CER, CET, CDVS
President
Do you receive financial statements from your accountant and not understand what those documents are telling you about the condition of your business? This seminar will help you understand the real purpose of financial reports such as profit & loss statements and balance sheets and how to use these reports to more effectively manage your business. In addition, we will show you how to use a simple cash flow model that will help you do a better job of managing your cash. You will learn:

  • What to look for when you are reviewing a profit & loss statement or balance sheet.

  • How to understand how much cash is in the business and how to effectively

  • manage your cash for any large expenses you may have coming in the future.

  • How to determine the value of your business, if you’re considering selling it.
Our Presenter
Mike Huntley has 30+ years of experience growing and managing successful teams for businesses that are competing globally, having done business everywhere in the world except Russia and Eastern Europe. Mike has worked in industries such as oil and gas, aerospace, consumer and security electronics and, medical devices, as well as professional services and the nonprofit sector.  

As a non-accountant, Mike has had to learn how to understand financial reports so that he could more effectively manage his businesses and it's from this experience that he has built this workshop to help other business owners and managers understand their financials in a very practical manner to make them more effective as leaders.
Welcome New
AAERT Members!
Welcome Newly
Certified Members!
Carson Axtman of Portland, OR
Danielle Barone of Royal Palm Beach, FL
Ramona Boggins of Rocky River, OH
Smantha Browne of Los Angeles, CA
John Cordi of Columbia, SC
Crystal Childers of Lufkin, TX
Patricia Deneen of Pinckney, MI
Rebecca Diemer of Fargo, ND
Elaine Flanagan of Marco Island, FL
Melanie Gaines of Buford, GA
Caitlin Garces of Houston, TX
Kelly Hipp of Bismark, ND
Cassandra Jackson, Sugar Hill, GA
Melynda Jardine of Commerce Township, MI
Tris Johnson of Winder, GA
Lois LaCorte of Chicago, IL
Veronica Mackin of Jacksonville, FL
Karen Overholt of Harrison Township, MI
Beatrice Rigby of Baltimore, MD
Rebecca Roberts of Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Greg Salina of Spokane, WA
Frank Schallock, Chuckey, TN
Kiara Schmidt of Las Vegas, NV
Dawn Siegfried of McCook, NE
Heather Smith of Lexington, NE
Michele Valliere of Cape Coral, FL
Kathleen Varanese of Houston, TX
Sarah Veach of Woodford, VA
Misty Watkins of London, KY
Debbi Zasada of Channahon, IL
Karen Andersen, CER of Mt. Pleasant, SC
Paige Beckham, CER of Hawthorne, FL
Andrea Beilke, CET of Jacksonville, FL
Samantha Browne, CER of Castaic, CA
Mackenzie J. Carlsson, CER of Richmond, VA
Joanne Ellie, CER of New Port Richey, FL
Mitchell Gibson, CER of Royal Palm Beach, FL
Talia Horn, CER of Louisville, KY
Anna Laura Kastama, CER of Seattle, WA
Alexa Kraft, CET of Fargo, ND
Regan Lohr, CER of Ewa Beach, HI
Sarah Luke, CER of Greenwood, SC
Cathy Maupin, CER of College Grove, TN
Adieren Narro, CER of Tallahassee, FL
Steve Owen, CER of Fortworth, TX
Pamela Pitts, CER of West Palm Beach, FL
Matthew Prindiville, CER of Bellevue, WA
Louanne Rawls, CER of Wellington, FL
Rebecca Roberts, CER
of Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Natalie Sullivan, CER of Haverhill, MA
Rodney Swendener, CER of Portland, OR
Sandra Tuizer, CET of New York, NY
Kathleen Varnese, CER of Houston TX
Kayla Weber, CER of Seattle, WA
Tech Corner
from AAERT Communications Committee Chair Benjamin Jaffe

AAERT is introducing a new regular addition to the SoundBytes Newsletter, Tech Corner. This dive into technology will showcase gadgets useful to electronic reporters and transcriptionists while giving helpful tips and tricks. If you have a piece of technology you love and want to share or always wanted to know more about, email aaert@aaert.org with the subject line Tech Corner and we may feature you and your technology in a future installment. Additionally, feel free to post your technology related questions and comments on our Facebook group .
Webcams
Due to recent worldwide events, the webcam or web camera has become a piece of technology that we use every day. Whether it is to video chat with family or friends, connect with colleagues, or attend legal proceedings, this technology is being used more than ever before. That little tiny dot on the top of your smartphone or laptop screen has never had as much attention as it does now. That is why we thought it would be a good topic for our first Tech Corner.
 
Types: There are two main types of webcams, internal and external. Internal webcams are everywhere, built into your laptop screens, smartphone, tablets, and even some smart TVs. External webcams usually sit on top of a monitor or stand and connect to your computer via USB or firewire. As a rule of thumb external webcams, especially from reputable brands, produce a higher quality picture than internal webcams. But here is the catch: You get what you pay for. Smartphone developers have paid big to develop better and better cameras on their phones and tablets, while computer developers have, in general, not invested. And although the difference between a $25 knockoff webcam and a $50 or $60 name brand webcam might not seem like a lot, there is a huge gap in quality.
 
Resolution: Don’t be fooled by claims of High Definition, Super High Definition or Ultra Clear HD as these are often just a marketing spin. You would be better off looking deeper into the specs and seeing the actual resolution or number of lines from top to bottom. As a general rule, 480 bad, 720 better, 1080 ideal, 4K or 3840 even better, but overkill. These resolutions can be grouped in 3 categories, Standard Definition (SD) for the 480 or less resolution, High Definition (HD) for 720 and 1080 and Ultra High Definition or 4k for 3840 or more resolution.
Field of View: The Field of View (FOV) refers to how wide of an angle the camera can see. There is no ideal FOV but you should consider your surroundings. The lower the number of degrees the wider the camera can see. So a 50 degree is a tighter picture than a 30 degree. Now you might say I can just zoom in, but that is not a good option. Very few webcams have an optical zoom, what you are doing with a digital zoom is making each pixel bigger. A 2x digital zoom is equivalent to reducing the resolution of a 1080 camera to a 540 camera. But tighter is not always better either. If it is too narrow of a FOV you will have to move away from the camera to be better in frame.

Sound: I will keep this simple. Do not use computer audio and it is better to not use the webcam audio. Buy yourself a good headset or earbuds with mic, but that is a different Tech Corner all together.
 
Light:  For any video camera light is both your friend and your enemy. Light especially coming from above and in front of you is good, light behind you is bad. So try and avoid having your back to a window, glass door or mirror. Additionally, try not to sit directly under a strong light source like a recessed light, it will look like you are in a scary movie or that you have raccoon eyes. 

Operation: Your webcam should be about 2.5 to 3 feet away from you or at least at arm’s length, to make it simple. The camera should be level with your eyes so you may have to stack your laptop on a few books or put your external webcam on a shelf. It is ideal to be positioned directly in front of the camera and have your screen just below it so you can look at the other participants without having to turn your head. Also, turn the lights on in your room. The darker the room the harder the camera has to work and the worse the image is going to look.

When you are not using your webcam it is a good idea to cover it. You just never know these days and it is be tter to be safe than sorry.
The Nature of Words
from Laurel H. Stoddard, CET

I wonder if anyone has done a study correlating size of vocabulary with whether one is an auditory or visual learner. As a visual learner, I have accumulated my treasury of words primarily through reading. Just in terms of encountering words, it seems to me that readers have the greater opportunity. Only after I passed 55 or so did I get tired of asking myself, "What was that word I was going to look up?" and I started writing down unfamiliar words as I encountered them while reading. Now of course I keep a list in my phone, which serves as my auxiliary brain.

I recently ran across bricolage, a very recent addition to the English lexicon. It came into English usage from the French around 1960, according to Merriam-Webster. It originates from the French verb bricoler , to putter about, to tinker. How could I not have known this word? Puttering about is one of my favorite activities, as well as making do with whatever is at hand to recombine the pieces into something new, which is the primary definition of bricolage. The word was brought into anthropology by Claude Levi-Strauss, who used it in his book "The Savage Mind" in 1962. He adapted it to refer to characteristic patterns of mythological thought.

To me, bricolage speaks to using what you have on hand, always a good practice, to my mind. A synonym much longer in usage but from the same region of the world is gallimaufry, originally a culinary term, meaning a stew made with whatever meats were available; it was in use in the middle of the 16th century as the Middle French gallimafree . Less elegant but from the same time period is hodgepodge, originally hotchpotch, from the original Middle English hochepot, by way of AngloFrench, from hocher, to shake, plus pot, pot.

Hodgepodge seems to me to have something of the pejorative about it, of being a mess, something undisciplined. So the next time someone describes your form of interior design as a hodgepodge, tell them no, it's a gallimaufry, a bricolage. Much more elegant.
What's Up with the Membership Committee?
An Update from Membership Committee Chair Aimée Robinson, CET

So much of our world has changed in the last few months, and sadly, we will not be meeting in Long Beach, California this year.  Nonetheless , the Membership Committee had an exciting year. We had a blast on our monthly calls planning, brainstorming, crossing things off our list, only to return to them again. We had the honor of meeting regularly with the ADG team and have a clear direction of where we are headed. Our members are so important to us and we want to keep up with the changing needs of everyone in our industry.  

So what does the Membership Committee do? We brainstorm ideas to encourage industry professionals to join AAERT and then keep them around after they do join. We try to make sure that members are aware of all the benefits of an AAERT membership such as the Learning Management System, LMS, to earn CEUs from the comfort of their own home. Our Committee also reaches out to members who have allowed their membership to lapse. Our goal is to always learn new methods of keeping our members engaged in our Association.
 
Other things we are working on include creating a New Member Packet that will welcome new members, assist them in navigating the website and guide them through the certification process. We are also really excited to announce that the Professional of the Year will be returning. This honor is given to a reporter or transcriber who has gone above and beyond in helping our Association and/or our industry. Nominations will open in January. Stay tuned for details!

The Membership Committee is always looking for new ideas and new members. We want to stay current with all aspects of our industry. If you have an idea or are looking for a committee to be a part of, email staff at aaert@aaert.org. We are a committee just for you, our wonderful members!  
.......................... Stay Safe