2017 Tri-State Convention


Anissa R. Nierenberger
RPR, CRR, CRC, CRI (NCRA combined the CBC and CCP to be the CRC as of Jan. 1)

Anissa Nierenberger, RPR, CRR, CRC, CRI began her captioning career in 1992. Within a year after she graduated from court reporting school, she began captioning for TV stations across the U.S. and Canada.

Anissa founded Dictionary Jumpstart, Inc., in 2000. Her company’s dictionary-building software has helped hundreds of reporters improve their dictionaries and allowed reporters to ease into different areas of reporting, including captioning and CART. She has also published the “Drug Speller,” which is in its third year of publication and is updated annually.

NCRA has approved five of the eight Dictionary Jumpstart (DJ) modules for PDCs.

Anissa is the immediate past President of MAPCR (Michigan Association of Professional Court Reporters) and has been a member of NCRA for over 20 years. She has presented seminars on realtime, captioning, dictionary building, and Dictionary Jumpstart to state associations, workshops, and schools across the country.

For realtime reporters, an up-to-date dictionary in tip-top shape is a must. Whether a newbie or novice, DJ can help build, clean up, and enhance dictionaries. A reporter’s realtime is only as good as his/her dictionary. With realtime becoming the standard in the reporting industry, it’s time to hop on the bandwagon and secure your reporting future.


Margie Wakeman Wells has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California Santa Barbara; did graduate work in education and linguistics at UCLA; and is certified as a CRI, Court Reporting Instructor. She holds a life teaching credential from the State of California and is into her sixth decade of a teaching career that includes high school Spanish; Peace Corps training; community work with Spanish-speaking women and senior citizens; and, since 1976, court reporting.

Margie has taught speedbuilding from theory to the exit speeds and everything in between and has helped design programs, write theory, and develop curriculum. Her love of English led her to a career teaching grammar, punctuation, spelling, word pairs, proofreading, and transcript production.

After a thirty-year career at a bricks and mortar school in Los Angeles, nine years with an online program, and ten years of proofreading reporter transcripts, Margie currently teaches English courses through Margie Holds Class, an online program she has designed and is managing, in addition to speaking at conventions and conferences and writing books.

Under the auspices of NCRA and various state and local reporting organizations, Margie has provided answers to the question “What do I do with this crazy, convoluted English in my transcript?” in over 300 seminars for reporters. In addition, she has shared her knowledge and ideas in numerous teacher and student seminars and writes articles for state newsletters.

Her published works include

  • Court Reporting: Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation: This book represents the culmination of these many years of work with English in relation to the court reporting transcript. Published in 2010, the book has become the definitive work in the field. It is often quoted by reporters and teachers alike on sites like Facebook and has been adopted by several court reporting programs as their choice of textbook for teaching students to punctuate.
  • Workbook: This book accompanies the text and provides practice exercises (with answers) to reinforce the concepts presented in the text.
  • Word Pares, Pears, Pairs: This book contains 2,000-plus word pairs with definitions, parts of speech, usage examples, and idiomatic expressions for the words and provides the only source for researching an alternate spelling for a word that simply doesn’t fit in a sentence.
  • All Things English: This book/workbook is intended to improve basic English skills for anyone who wants to work a few minutes a day on a vocab word, a spelling word, an idiom, a word pair, and a fun English fact.
  • Practice Really DOES Make Perfect: This series of eight practice books on various machine writing issues provides drills to improve accuracy in writing.

Margie has two grown sons and lives with her husband, Bill, in Culver City, California.

Merilee S. Johnson, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP

Paradigm Reporting & Captioning, Inc.

Director of Reporter Relations and Technologies

Realtime Systems Administrator

Realtime Reporter and Captioner

Stenograph Certified Independent Training Agent

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

Merilee has served the industry at the state and national levels, where she currently serves as a member of NCRA’s Education Content Committee, as well as Chairs the Technology Committee for the Minnesota Association of Verbatim Reporters and Captioners (MAVRC), as well the Realtime Task Force for NCRA.  She has been a member of NCRA for nearly 20 years, and has been a speaker at several state association conventions as well as the NCRA’s National Conventions in 2013 and 2016.

In addition to her involvement with state and national organizations, she has a long history of mentoring students and reporters both locally, and through NCRA’s virtual mentor program.  Currently she works as an Adjunct Instructor at Anoka Technical College teaching Realtime Technology and works closely with Stenograph by serving on STAR’s (Society for the Technical Advancement of Reporting) Liaison Committee.