Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR, FAPR, CSR

President

Melanie is honored to be selected to continue serving STAR members and looks forward to assisting in STAR’s increased visibility and collaborative efforts.  She’s a Certified Realtime Reporter with Planet Depos based in their Chicago office and a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters. 

Reporting since 1979 as a freelancer, official, firm owner, and occasional CART provider, she’s served in leadership positions since the early 1980s, including as president for Wyoming, Colorado, and the National Court Reporters Associations.  Her “extreme sport of choice” is competing in speed and realtime contests.  She’s earned several medals, placed 2nd at NCRA, and won Colorado’s and Illinois’ speed contests multiple times. 

Melanie serves on the advisory board for MacCormac College in downtown Chicago, the oldest reporter training program in the country, and remains passionate about the work of the National Court Reporters Foundation, especially their Angels program, focused partially on student scholarships and legal education.  She’s given countless seminars over the years to reporters, students, faculty, vendors, and the general public.  In her “spare time,” she loves to travel and hike – especially to anywhere with gorgeous scenery, waterfalls, or wide open spaces.  

STAR’s members are its most important asset, and Melanie welcomes the opportunity to get acquainted with and continue to serve even more of them in the upcoming year.

 


 

Susan E. Ingraham, RPR

Vice President

Susan began her reporting career in 1982 as Ingraham Reporting Service.   In 1988, Susan joined with Marilyn Jones and Sandra Dieringer to form Midwest Reporting Service.  Angela O’Neill joined the group in 2011. 

Susan has always felt it important to stay on the cutting edge of technology so that the record will be clear, concise, and accurate.  Susan also firmly believes in the power of networking.  To that end, she was involved with TAACT, its successor organization, and then at the time of TAACT’s merger with STAR, became a board member during the transition period.  She has been on the Liaison Committee since May of 2000 and is currently serving as Secretary of the Board, with that expiring 10/2017. 

STAR has played a major role in her professional and personal development and business success.  She is grateful for the opportunity to serve current and future members of STAR. 

Susan and her husband, Jeff, are active members in their church and community.  Susan is also part owner in an F45 work-out studio in Celina - ask her about it.  They have two adult daughters, both married, and four grandsons.

 


 

James Connor, RPR, CRR, CSR, CLVS

Secretary

Jim Connor, RPR, CRR, CSR, CLVS, is a 39-year reporting veteran, and owner of Connor Reporting in Indianapolis, Lafayette and Bloomington, Indiana.  Jim has also attained his trial presentation certification in both Trial Director and Visionary softwares.  He has extensive deposition and arbitration reporting experience, and specializes in international labor union convention reporting.  During his reporting career he has worked with every U.S. President since Jimmy Carter, as well as former South African President Nelson Mandela, and former president of Poland, Lech Walesa.  

Jim also engages in one-on-one CART reporting for clients with hearing impairments, and does captioning for larger venues such as labor union conventions. 

Another of his expertise is reporting press conferences for sporting events including the Indianapolis 500, NASCAR’s Brickyard 400, Formula One, and MotoGP races with immediate turnaround for dissemination to the world’s press and posting on the various sporting websites. 

He has been an Eclipse software user since 1993, and in 2012 transitioned to Case CATalyst software to be better equipped to report the terrorist trials at Guantanamo Bay.

Jim definitely considers his current assignment with the GTMO team in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be the highlight of his long career.  Reporting the trials of al Nashiri, the mastermind of the bombings of the USS Cole and USS The Sullivans, and the 9/11 terrorists, has been very challenging but extremely rewarding and exciting.  He feels honored to play a vital role in these historic proceedings.

 


 

 

Todd A. Mobley

Treasurer

Todd Mobley joined the firm of Mike Mobley Reporting in January 1994.  He graduated from the University of Dayton in 1993 with a degree in Accounting.  Upon graduation, he went to work for The Analytical Sciences Corporation (TASC) where he served as a consultant to the Department of Defense and Department of Energy regarding the estimation of costs for environmental cleanup efforts. He also worked on a document management project for the Air Force in the C-17 litigation that electronically saved millions of exhibits.  At the time, it was the largest conversion of paper exhibits to electronic exhibits ever.

In 1994, he joined Mike Mobley Reporting, full time, after many years of helping out on a part-time basis. He currently is the President, accountant, and videographer for the firm.  He received his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Dayton in 1997 with a focus on Entrepreneurship.

Todd has served on numerous committees for NCRA over his 20+ year career. He was also active in the Ohio Court Reporters Association, where he served on the Legislative Committee and is on the Liaison Committee with the attorneys who represent the Ohio Court Reporters in legislative matters.  He has been involved with these matters since 1996. Todd has served as STAR Treasurer from 1998 through his current term in 2016.  He has become known as treasurer-for-life.

Todd has been married to Angela Mobley since 2000 and they have three children, Michael, Marilyn and Mary Margaret.  Todd coaches his son’s football, basketball and baseball teams and coaches both daughters in basketball and soccer.  In his free time Todd likes to camp, hike and fish with his family.  He also loves to read with his interest focused mostly on WWII history.

 


Merilee S. Johnson, RMR, CRR, CBC

Director

Merilee S. Johnson has been reporting for 19 years and has experience as an official reporter, freelance reporter, and captioner.Currently,she serves as Director of Reporter Relations and Technologies with Paradigm Reporting and Captioning.  In addition to her extensive work experience, Merilee is credentialed as a Certified Independent Training Agent with Stenograph.  She holds NCRA’s RDR, CRR, CBC, and CCP certifications, as well as NCRA’s RSA Certificate.

Merilee serves the industryas a member and chair for multiple committees on both the state and national levels. She has a passion for investing in the future of the industry through mentoring, teaching, and training. She has a long history of mentoring students and reporters and currently serves as an Adjunct Instructor teaching Realtime Reporting and Technology. She is a resource for reporters at Paradigm, an active trainer for Stenograph, and is also a member of STAR’s Liaison Committee.

 


 

 

Lisa Knight, RDR, CRR, RSA, FAPR

Director

Lisa Knight is a veteran reporter with more than 33 years of experience.  She began her court reporting career in Colorado as an official reporter in district court.  She has worked in the US Bankruptcy Court, as well as working as a staff freelance reporter in the Denver metro area.

Lisa became an independent contractor in 2006.  She specializes in technical realtime assignments, taking her skills and realtime equipment all around the globe.  She has worked in South Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe, and most places in between.

Lisa is very active in state and national associations.  She was president of the Colorado Court Reporters Association in 1995 - having received their Distinguished Service Award in 2002.  She has been the chair and co-chair of NCRA’s TRAIN Task Force and Education Content Committee, as well as serving on the Realtime Systems Administrator Committee and the Technology Committee.  She is a frequent contributor to the JCR as well as a speaker at conventions.   She is also a member of the Stenograph beta test groups for the Luminex, iCVNet, and Case CATalyst software, as well as a member of the Stenograph Software Development Liaison Committee.  She is currently serving her first year on the Board of Directors of STAR.

Lisa holds various certifications and credentials, ranging from Registered Diplomate Reporter, Certified Realtime Reporter, and Realtime Systems Administrator.  She was recently inducted as a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters.

 


 

Marjorie A. Peters, RMR, CRR, RSA

Director

2017 marks Marjorie Peters’ 31st year in court reporting.   Since starting January 1986 as an official, then employee and IC CART/captioner and freelance agency reporter, she is currently the President of Marjorie Peters Court Reporting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Marjorie has always believed that technology advances the reporting profession for both the reporter as well as the clients we service in a compelling way, regardless of which specialty you may practice, whether you’re an agency owner or employee. 

Beginning in 1999, Marjorie joined the PCRA Board of Directors as a district representative, and has served with PCRA Board or on NCRA committees since that time.    She has always been a continuous supporter of Community College of Allegheny County Court Reporting program as well.  Meeting and networking with reporters across her state and the country since 1999 is not only fun, but valuable learning experience. 

Since attending her first STAR convention, Marjorie felt very strongly that STAR has the greatest members, as well as an organization of forward looking reporting professionals dedicated to bringing the best technology and business practices now and in the future for reporters and clients, and will commit her time to support the growth of STAR and its members.      

 


 

Janette M. Schmitt, RPR, CCR, CSR (WA)

Director

Jan Schmitt is the owner and founder of Schmitt Reporting & Video, Inc.  After graduating from the Court Reporting Institute in Portland, Oregon, Jan set out, guns blazing, on her court reporting career and has owned her own firm ever since.  She reports realtime daily and is a member of STAR, NCRA, WCRA (Washington Court Reporters Association), OCRA (Oregon Court Reporters Association), an Ethics First participant, an NCRF Angel donor, and a mentor to court reporting students. 

Jan is passionate about her career and believes that membership in STAR has been crucial in her firm’s ability to provide and implement the newest in industry technology.  Jan plans to be instrumental as a STAR Board Member, participating in and attending STAR meetings and working diligently to increase membership and promote awareness of the many benefits a STAR membership provides. 

 


 

Karen L. Tyler, RDR, CRR, CSR, CCR, CRC

Director

Karen Tyler, CCR(LA), CSR(TX), TCRR, RDR, CRR, CRC began her court reporting career in 1979 as an official reporter with the First Judicial District Court in Shreveport, LA. In 1983, Karen entered into the freelance arena under the tutelage of her mentor, Ray Hanrahan, with Hanrahan Reporting Service. During her tenure there, Karen was the court reporter for the FDIC litigation involving thirteen failed banks — all closed in one day.

In 1993, she opened what became the largest court reporting firm in north Louisiana, Karen Tyler Reporting. In 1997, United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana implemented the first all realtime, all paperless courtroom. For three years, Karen assumed the role of the federal reporter and provided realtime to judges, staff, and counsel and aided counsel in the use of paperless technology.

Karen then spent three years away from court reporting as her children attended high school. This time holds wonderful memories of danceline competitions, ballet recitals, and football booster club shenanigans; but as the children went off to college, the love of writing called Karen back to court reporting.

2003 brought the phenylpropanolamine (PPA) MDL litigation, and Karen was asked to head the north Louisiana discovery. Karen Tyler Reporting reopened its doors in September of that year and has again become the firm attorneys seek for realtime and court reporting needs. 

The NCRA Speed and Realtime Contests bug bit Karen in 2013, and at Nashville she earned second in Q&A, qualifying in Literary and Legal Opinion. Karen also qualified in both legs of the Realtime Contest. 2014 in San Francisco, Karen earned third in Literary and qualified in the two other legs. She also qualified in both Realtime legs and also qualifying in Realtime. Her biggest achievement to date occurred in 2016 in Chicago, where she won third overall with a second place finish in the Q&A. Karen is, admittedly, a steno nerd!!

Karen has been married to her husband, D. G. “Jerry” Tyler, for 35 years, and together they have three amazing children: Claire, Paige, and Peyton. Karen and Jerry are proud grandparents of Makai, Mira, and “grand puppies,” Tupelo, Fritz, and Grady. Karen enjoys gardening, needlepoint, and tennis but especially time with family. She has served as president of the Shreveport Association of Ladies Tennis, president of Pierremont Oaks Tennis Club, and head of the Student section of NCRA.  She is a member of the Louisiana Court Reporters Association and Texas Court Reporters Association.

 


 

 

Donna M. Urlaub, RPR, RMR, CRR, CSR (IL)

Director

Donna Urlaub is currently enjoying her 48th year as a reporter, 32 of them as an owner and working reporter at Urlaub Bowen & Associates in Chicago. 

She has served on the Illinois CSR Board, is currently on the Advisory Board of MacCormac College in Chicago, and a member of ILCRA, NCRA, and STAR, recently contributing to the STAR-dot-STAR newsletter. 

Donna entered her first speed contest in 1987, and has been hooked ever since. Having seen the benefit of marrying basics along with the technology we enjoy today, Donna has used her knowledge and the knowledge of venerated colleagues to help reporters write shorter, cleaner, edit faster, and extend their work lives through less wear and tear. She has presented her writing tips at STAR, the Illinois Court Reporters Association, Tennessee Court Reporters Association, and to just about anyone who will listen. 

Donna is a perennial medalist in the ILCRA and NCRA speed and realtime contests.  She just added Intersteno to her list of accomplishments, having come in 3rd at the competition in Budapest. 

When she’s not working, Donna enjoys reading books, running, and strength training.  She’s married, and the proud grandmother of three. 

 


 

Linda S. Fifield, MBA

Immediate Past President

Linda Fifield is not a court reporter but got involved in the court reporting profession when Doris Wong bought the first CAT system from Baron Data back in 1977.  Now holding the position of vice president at Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., she heads the finance, marketing and social media departments for the firm.  Although her current positions no longer allow her to be involved in CAT on a daily basis, she still has a love for CAT software and looks forward to sharing the latest and greatest with the company’s staff of reporters.  

Linda is a member of NCRA and STAR.  She has served on the boards of the Baron Users Group (1990-1993) and the Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporters (1993-1995) and is currently serving on the STAR Board and Liaison Committee with Stenograph.  Staying active in these organizations, she has been seminar chair at many conferences, given seminars on CAT and management practices, and has written articles for the JCR and Star.Dot.Star.

Linda is a big supporter of the performing arts, serving on various boards and fundraising committees.  She also helps out as webmaster and Facebook administrator, knowing how important it is to have a social presence.  She has helped raise thousands of dollars each year in support of the performing arts programs. 

Linda is married to Doug, just-retired Captain on the SL INNOVATOR, and is the mother of two amazing children, Samantha and Tyler.  When not working, Linda enjoys reading, watching the NE Patriots, gardening, and long walks on the beach. She holds a BA from Salem State College and an MBA from Suffolk University.