BJ Shorak to Retire from National Court Reporters Foundation

Reston, Va., Oct. 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the country’s leading organization representing stenographic court reporters, captioners, and legal videographers, today announced that BJ Shorak, Deputy Executive Director of the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF), will retire in January 2019. NCRF is the philanthropic arm of NCRA.  “Today’s announcement does not mark the end of an era for NCRA and NCRF, but rather a step into the future for both organizations as they continue to work together to advance the court reporting and captioning professions,” said Marcia Ferranto, CEO and Executive Director of NCRA.

“BJ has committed the last 28 years of her career to building lasting relationships between NCRF and like-minded organizations, establishing unprecedented programs that benefit our members, students, and the legal profession as a whole and creating a legacy on which the Foundation will continue to grow,” she added.

NCRA Senior Director of External Affairs Mary Petto will assume the NCRF Deputy Director role when Shorak departs in January 2019. Petto, who has been with NCRA for a year, has extensive experience working in the fundraising and foundation arenas. Most recently, she established NCRA’s Corporate Partnership Program to strengthen the Association’s mission to promote and protect the court reporting and captioning professions. Petto has also worked closely with Ferranto and Shorak on developing NCRF’s new strategic plan that aligns with that of NCRA to promote the many career opportunities within the stenographic professions to potential students and the importance of their work to the general public.

“I’ve had the privilege to work closely with Mary over the past year on a variety of fundraising activities for NCRF and am confident that her experience and fundraising talents will carry NCRF on its strategic path well into the future. I am confident that NCRF’s presence in the industry will remain strong and viable with the leadership of Mary and Marcia, who also has extensive experience in the fundraising arena,” Shorak said.


Shorak joined NCRA in 1987 as Director of Research and Technology. She was named Deputy Executive Director of the Foundation in 1992 when it began operating separately from NCRA.  

Throughout her tenure, Shorak has successfully built lasting relationships with organizations and individuals that have led to dozens of meaningful programs, including establishing the Robert H. Clark Library to preserve the history of the court reporting and captioning profession; developing CART guidelines in partnership with the American Judges Foundation; awarding grants to Courtoom  21 at the College of William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Va., to ensure that a stenographic court reporter was on hand to demonstrate the highest level of making the record to the hundreds of visitors each year; and distributing more than $110K in scholarships to court reporting and captioning students and new professionals. Another major achievement under Shorak’s tenure has been the creation of the Foundation’s Oral Histories Program, which serves as the umbrella to such important efforts as the capture and transcription of oral records for the Veterans History Project in conjunction with the Library of Congress and the stories of Holocaust survivors.

Under her leadership, Shorak has also overseen the issuing of grants to deaf and hard-of-hearing organizations in support of realtime and CART services to provide them access to important information; the inception of the Corrinne Clark Professionalism Institute to support new professionals; and the creation of teaching tools under the Legal Education Program to better educate attorneys and others in the legal field about the importance a court reporter plays in making the official record. Fundraising programs under Shorak’s leadership have included the ever-popular Angels program, a Major Gifts program, and the NCRF Legacy Society.

“For more than15 years, through my NCRA Board service, Angel Committee involvement, and a treasured friendship with BJ, I am confident in saying that most people think of her when they think of the Foundation,” said NCRF Chair and NCRA Past President Tami Keenan, FAPR, RPR, CPE, from Battle Creek, Mich.

“Everyone who has had the opportunity to meet or work with BJ knows that she is humble when it comes to talking about her successes but not when it comes to sharing her commitment to NCRF, NCRA, and the court reporting and captioning professions. The relationships and programs she has built with organizations such as the Library of Congress, the Association of Late Deafened Adults, the American Judges Foundation, and others, mark just some of the many high-level successes she has championed during her leadership of NCRF.”

“I know I speak for hundreds of others whose lives BJ has touched through her work with the Foundation, that as she begins this new journey in her life, we will always be grateful for her commitment that has created the legacy she leaves behind: making a difference in the court reporting and captioning professions, and a smile in our hearts and on our faces whenever we think of her,” Keenan added.

In honor of Shorak’s retirement, NCRF has launched a fundraising effort to honor her commitment to the Foundation and to the court reporting and captioning professions. To make a contribution to NCRF in honor of Shorak's 31 years of service to the court reporting and captioning professions, please click here. Donors will be recognized on the NCRF web page.

About NCRF

As a charitable organization, the Foundation relies almost solely on tax-deductible donations, the majority of which come from NCRA members and associated businesses. To donate, or for information on NCRF’s programs, go to, or call 800/272-6272, ext. 152.

About NCRA

The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) has been internationally recognized for promoting excellence among those who capture and convert the spoken word to text for more than 100 years. NCRA is committed to supporting its more than 14,000 members in achieving the highest level of professional expertise with educational opportunities and industry-recognized court reporting, educator and videographer certification programs. NCRA impacts legislative issues and the global marketplace through its actively involved membership. Forbes has named court reporting as one of the best career options that do not require a traditional four-year degree and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the court reporting field is expected to grow by 14 percent through the year 2020. Career information about the court reporting profession—one of the leading career options that do not require a traditional four-year degree—can be found at

To arrange an interview with a working court reporter or captioner, or to learn more about the lucrative and flexible court reporting or captioning professions and the many job opportunities currently available, contact  


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