Dress for Success Lunch

Connect Series: Meet Alyssa Corcino

Alyssa is a Client Services Associate at our Vancouver office. She hasn’t been with us very long but has already become a great asset to the office and we all love her cheerful and can-do spirit. So it was our great honour to ask her to join some of us at the 10th annual Dress for Success Luncheon on Wednesday, November 2nd. Why was it an honour? Read on to find out.

Can you tell us what led you to your current role here at Veritext?

I recently moved to Vancouver from Ottawa in May 2022. After passing along my resume to everyone I knew in the city, Kris Bergado got back to me and referred me to Veritext for a Client Services Associate role. Kris is a family friend who currently works as Litigation & Mediation Support Coordinator.

… and what do you love about working here?

I love working with my team and having supportive managers. Liking my colleagues makes a huge difference in my disposition in the workplace. I also enjoy coming into the office every day as I get to interact with the staff, management, couriers, etc. After two years of working from home, I had missed the daily in-person interactions that I used to have in school and at work.

Leading up to the Dress for Success Luncheon, we did a call out for donations and got a great response.  We hear you have a close connection to the organization, and we would love to hear this story.

My mom, Lynette, is on the Board of Directors at Dress for Success Ottawa. She was a client of Dress for Success when she moved to Canada in 2010. After finding a job, my mom decided to volunteer for the organization as she felt that they do important work in helping women start and develop their careers. She was a dedicated volunteer for a few years, and eventually Dress for Success invited her to be on the Board of Directors.

Lastly, Veritext’s corporate values are respect, ethics, collaboration, accountability, and professionalism. Can you tell us which of these values resonates most strongly with you and why?

I highly value accountability both in my professional and personal life. It is important to know what you are responsible for and take ownership of the impact of your actions. I have noticed that open communication and having clear expectations of each member leads to a high performance from the team. Luckily, I belong to a team that practices accountability every day.


It always helps to hear first-hand how an organization like Dress for Success truly helps women from all walks of life and situations.  

We are still accepting donations at the Vancouver office for Dress for Success until November 9th! Please consider dropping off some gently used business attire next time you’re in the area!

And thank you, Alyssa for sharing your story with us.

The Advocates Society

Strengthening the profession through advocacy and mentorship.

This past year, as we’ve expanded to become a Canadian national enterprise, we’ve truly enjoyed fostering new relationships in our various communities while continuing to strengthen others.

For our team at Veritext Canada, supporting the Advocates Society is a natural fit.

With their focus on facilitating mentorship in the coming term, the AS is working to provide an environment that “fosters creativity and provides support” within the legal community.

Recently, we had the pleasure of attending the Advocates Society gala in Calgary and last night we were able to connect once again in Toronto. It was a much-needed chance to celebrate together, and to honour successful careers, and, most importantly, begin to reconnect.

Connection. Isn’t that what it’s really all about?

Advocates Society End of Term Gala Toronto

Clearly, over the past many months our industry has shifted how (and where) we work and like many other professions, our systems and structures have been shaken to the core. Fortunately, our collective passion for justice has remained firmly intact, driving courts to utilize leading-edge solutions and adapt to virtual and hybrid practices to stay productive and connected.

As we emerge from this period of transformation, we also know that the repercussions of this pandemic will be felt for months, even years to come – and so, it becomes a meaningful exercise to hold on to the progress we’ve made and to look for the silver linings in the process.

One such glimmer of hope is the absolute joy of reconnecting with colleagues and friends in the real world, knowing how far we’ve all come!

Thank you to the Advocates Society for inviting our team to these important events and for the part they play in providing mentorship and actively supporting the development of young lawyers across Canada

As a growing company, we will continue to align with others whose main goal is to shape the future of our industry in all its facets in a collaborative way. We often mention our focus on community over competition because despite the challenges and hurdles we all face, what remains is the strong foundation upon which our work thrives. Shaky foundations make for precarious futures, so finding the fortitude that remains is not only necessary but absolutely essential.

We Are Not Alone: Why Mental Health Matters

To merely say that Covid-19 has added a fresh layer of stress over whatever else we all deal with daily is probably an enormous understatement.

The last couple of years have been hard on all of us.   We have all been trying to manage our work, our families, and our lives in a constant state of worry.   This goes for everyone – those lucky to have not gotten sick, for those who have battled the illness or frankly for ANYONE who has known ANYONE afflicted by this virus.   The effects of this crisis run deep. Deeper than we may even yet realize.

With the lifting of many mandates and rules across the country, many of us have simply decided that we have had enough of worrying.   However, is it enough to decide? Does it matter? The infection rates are still high – I have three of my family sick with it right now.   The worry is still warranted

The term ‘selfcare’ has been thrown around a lot but still seems to be connected mostly to spa days and mediation.   A nice bath, while relaxing, is probably not going to help you very much as you plunge into the next day of worry, compounded by the previous day of worry.   

The theme of this year’s Canadian Mental Health Week is Empathy.   Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, and sadly according to a recent study our empathy for others is at an all time low.   As they say, crisis can breed contempt. Out of necessity, we go inward and we tend to focus on our own. The survey conducted by the CMHA found that only 13 per cent of Canadians were feeling empathetic.  This is a drop of 10% since the beginning of the pandemic.

This is not hard to understand.  It is hard to feel for others when we ourselves are struggling.   But empathy does indeed start with us.  It must. If we can truly understand and respect what is happening within ourselves, we can indeed see that same struggle within others.

The first thing to remember is, you do not have to do this alone.  Due to the pandemic, many of us have felt isolated and cut off from our friends and family, even our neighbours and co-workers.  Reach out.  Reach out. Reach out.

If you are fortunate enough that your employee benefit plan may have mental health resources available… use them.  The CMHA website is filled with valuable resources too, like this Mental Health Meter.

Other resources include:

We are not alone and there is nothing shameful about the challenge of mental health issues.   Now, more than ever, be empathetic with yourself – when you take care of yourself first, that care will reflect upon those around you who perhaps are also struggling.

April Showers Bring May Flowers

April has been a busy month.  Spring is springing, blossoms are blossoming and things are going full tilt at Veritext Canada.

With everything going on, the people in our world keep mentioning that time feels like an illusion right now. Where are the days going?

For our team, the focus continues to be on expanding our presence and client resources across Canada. Our days and weeks have been spent honing in on growth and development, on connecting with our clients and on fostering our team in order to provide a best-in-class experience from coast to coast.

Last weekend, our Director of Reporting, Leanne Kowalyk hosted a webinar with NAIT’s own Janice Plomp on how to use AccelerWriters and Power Defines.  Finding ways to support the professional growth of our reporters is key. A supported team is a successful team, so mentorship and learning are always on our minds. Watch this space for information on upcoming webinars for Reporters in the next few months.

We also want to congratulate Leanne for her new role as a member of the Captioning & Court Reporting Program Advisory Committee at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).  This position enables her to collaborate with the NAIT program leadership and provide input, advice and guidance in the development of their Captioning and Court Reporting Program.

Speaking of NAIT, congratulations to first-year court reporting student Myung Kyu Kim and second-year court reporting student Desislava Kancheva, recipients of the annual Veritext Legal Solutions Court Reporting Student Scholarship for 2022. We can’t wait to see what you achieve in your budding careers!

With restrictions loosening across the country, Megan Ejack, Director of Marketing & Communications, Canada, took the opportunity to head to Alberta this week to meet the teams in Calgary and Edmonton.  She also attended the Advocates Society Annual Gala in Calgary last night with our Regional VP, Christ Pratt and we were proud to be a sponsor of this event.  

Learning the particular nuances of each market across the nation is an important factor in driving how we approach new, innovative solutions for clients and truly understand the needs of each respective region. We’re looking forward to meeting all of our clients over the coming months so we can properly assess the direction we need to go. If you have thoughts, comments or suggestions, please reach out to anyone on our team.

On that note, we want to thank you for your ongoing support of our exciting path forward as we continue to forge a sustainable future for our industry. Though the days may be racing along, we know we’re not alone in wanting to affect change and delve deeper into the needs of our colleagues, associates and clients.

“Community over competition” has become a bit of a mantra for us as we navigate the past, present and future…. Together.

Getting to Know Us

If you have been connecting with the firms across our Canadian division, you may have noticed a new link when you visited the Amicus, Ace, Neesons or Royal websites. We are happy to welcome you to our new Veritext Canada blog!

The Reportex team has used this blog not only to highlight our innovative services and solutions but also to help people understand the vision and passion that has driven the company to where it is today. Many of these posts fall under our (R)evolution series and use the hashtag #shapingthefuture — and these are more than catchphrases. We have been committed to being the driving force of change and advancement when it comes to legal services and court reporting in Canada. It is our goal to support a sustainable future for our industry.

It is why we are now proud to be a part of Veritext Legal Solutions. We know we can do great things together.

Through the profiles in our Connect Series, our blogging platform has also been used to showcase the many talented people who are key parts of the engine that keeps this amazing machine running. We hope to keep this initiative going and highlight the many outstanding people across our teams in Canada and the US. We are all in this together now.

The blog is here to keep you — our clients and colleagues — informed of any changes or updates to our services. We also want to communicate more with and about the incredible reporters and other independent contractors — editors, proofers, scopers, technicians and everyone else that makes up the organization. Also watch this space for information about webinars and seminars that we are hosting or sponsoring.  

And we want to make sure we stay relevant to meet your needs in your own legal community. If you have stories or suggestions to share, please do not hesitate to reach out to me – Kerry Sauriol – at [email protected].

Enjoy.

Welcome to International Women’s Day 2022

by Kerry Sauriol, Marketing Coordinator


March 8 is International Women’s Day, and the Government of Canada’s theme for 2022 is Women Inspiring Women.

It also marks my one-year anniversary with the company. There have been massive changes since then — Reportex is now Veritext Canada — but the one constant has remained: each of our offices across Canada (Reportex, Ace, Royal, Amicus and Neesons) is run by an empowered and largely female-led team, and it is always exciting to see such strong roles continuing to develop and influence this industry for everyone involved.

Over the last few decades the job market has seen drastic changes to the types of employment available. According to Statistics Canada over 2.6 million people describe themselves as self-employed, and approximately 40 percent of them are women. 95 percent of court reporters and transcriptionists in Canada are female. 

Born in 1860, Georgina Alexandrina Fraser was Canada’s first female journalistic stenographer. She also taught young women to do the same. However, it took a lot longer for women to enter the legal services in Canada, and their struggle is aptly described in this Maclean’s article from 1954:

“SEVEN years ago, two energetic but penniless young women freshly out of His Majesty’s services were suddenly faced with the sobering [a]nd dismaying realization that they were once [a]gain living in a man’s world.

Ethel Zatyko and Rena Pettypiece had taken a twelve-month course in the hope of becoming court stenographers. They decided to pursue their chosen vocation in Alberta, which they regarded as a province of oil booms and millionaires. They wrote letters of application to court officials. But when the answers came, their hopes were dashed: the RCAF might recruit women wireless operators, but Alberta doesn’t allow women court reporters.

The girls were stunned and indignant, but never tearful.

They decided to go to Alberta anyway and show what women can do.”

Things have changed in Alberta and the rest of Canada. 

The passion and belief in what we do has not changed. It is what pushes the people here to evolve and continue to look to the future of court reporting in Canada as we connect with like-minded people and organizations across the country. 

The passion and belief in what we do also drives us to encourage and support court reporters to be the best in their field. We are excited to be planning more workshops and continuing education opportunities across Canada.  

The passion and belief in what we do drives us to ensure the best technologically relevant services for our clients. Legal services are evolving quickly, thanks to many outside forces, and we are here to make sure you are ready to face them all. 

Our name and logo may have changed, but our core values and commitment to this industry have not changed. Today we support many women-focused initiatives across Canada, including West Coast LEAF, Dress for Success, TLABC Women Lawyers Retreat and ACTLA Women’s Legal Forum. Our commitment to the future is to continue to inspire and support women (and men) to be the best they can be and to always dream big.  

Meet NAIT Student Karen Collis


Because we are passionate about court reporting and its crucial role in the legal industry, we have long supported NAIT and their excellent Captioning and Court Reporting program. Leanne Kowalyk, realtime court reporter and director of court reporting, will be speaking to NAIT students on February 15th  about her experiences and career, and she also managed to interview a current student about their experience with the program.  

What drew you to the industry of court reporting and brought you to the Captioning and Court Reporting program at NAIT in the first place?

My mom has been in the industry for over 40 years, so I’ve been surrounded by court reporters my entire life. To be honest, I had no interest in pursuing it myself. It wasn’t until my sister decided to go to NAIT for Captioning and Court Reporting that it became a possibility. At some point I started scoping for them and saw how fun of a job it was. I saw how every day is different and how there are always opportunities to learn something new. I decided to take the A to Z program, and the rest is history. I’ve been loving learning this new skill and can’t wait to start.

What is your dream job within the industry that you hope to work towards?

I think once I’ve built up my experience and have confidence in my writing ability, I would love to do court work. I’ve always had an interest in criminal cases and true crime, so knowing I’m in an industry that could get me in the room is super cool. One of the reasons I knew court reporting was something I would love to do is because you get to help people. Everyone deserves their voice to be heard and their day in court. Having the ability to be that neutral party in the room that writes it all down would be amazing.

Which part of the program have you enjoyed the most so far?

I loved our law classes with Janice Plomp. I had a general curiosity and a very basic understanding of our law system going into the class from high school. It is so beneficial to know what someone is talking about within a dictation. It was a great opportunity to hear some incredible stories from Janice. Hopefully, one day I can use my knowledge from that class to avoid jury duty!

Conversely, what has been the most challenging piece of reporting school, and how did you overcome it?

The transition from theory into speed-building was probably the hardest thing to overcome. I put so much time into practicing theory, but it wasn’t clicking for me as fast as I had hoped it would. Then suddenly I had to switch my practice from drills to trusting that the theory was there. Those first few speed tests were terrifying.

The amount of pressure I put on myself to do well did not help me to do well. It took me a few months to calm down and trust that I knew what I was doing.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given along your journey?

Much like when I was younger, I continue to be surrounded by court reporters, and they are always so quick to share tips and tricks to get through the program. One that stands out is that each test is an opportunity. An opportunity to learn new vocabulary, new briefs and new ways to write. It helped change the way I looked at tests. Whenever I failed one — which continues to be quite often — it was crushing. I put so much onto those tests that when I failed, it was a direct reflection of myself. Once I was able to find the positives in every opportunity, a failure meant another chance to learn more.

What advice do you have for anyone looking for a new career?

Don’t think about how long it takes to get into a new career. My granny gave the best advice about this. When my uncle wanted to go back to university for teaching, he said he would be 30 years old by the time he graduated. In response she said, either way you’ll turn 30; it’s up to you if you turn 30 with a degree or without one. This is something that I’ve applied to all aspects of my life. I’m going to be turning 28 in March, and even though I’m one year past when I was hoping to graduate, I’m always going to be ahead of the version of myself that chose not to go back to school. The best thing to do is to change your perspective and take the plunge.

Should Auld Acquaintance …

On this eve of a special day for many and as the year rolls slowly to a close, many will reflect on what we have left behind. Sadly, thanks to this terrible pandemic this may be extremely painful for many. However, here at Reportex, 2021 did bring about many exciting developments and news, and thanks to that we now can look toward a new year with enthusiasm for what these developments will bring for us and for court reporting across Canada.

In this light, we asked some of our leadership team to look into their crystal balls and share their feelings on what 2022 will bring us.

Leanne Kowalyk, Director of Court Reporting

My thoughts are that as we glide into 2022, we will learn to collaborate across the country as one team, work through interprovincial designations and build communication structures between offices. I’m excited to integrate our teams of staff, reporters and editors and see those new relationships bud and grow into a strong nationwide team. I also hope that by the end of next year we will have streamlined some of our platforms and services across the country.

Kim Neeson, Regional VP, Eastern Canada

My 2022 crystal ball says more Zooming ahead! While we start to creep back into “normalcy,” the pandemic seems to have other plans for us, now with the Omicron variant. While we wait for people to get their booster shots on board — or maybe their first shots! — we’ll continue to provide services remotely for at least the winter months. The pandemic has had its silver linings for us — getting lawyers on the tech track much faster than any of us could have done trying to move them one at a time and having the ability to demonstrate that remote litigating does work, and works well! And that’s good news for all of us in the reporting world, where our reporters can spread their wings and provide services to a number of our clients in various regions. 

Look for more opportunities, especially in realtime as more clients become exposed to this technology and appreciate its value. If you’re a reporter who hasn’t made the realtime plunge yet, now’s the time! 2022 is your year!

Megan Ejack, Director of Marketing & Communications

My hope for 2022 is that we continue to align as a community, sharing our expertise, finding ways to provide mentorship and opportunities and especially helping to sustain this incredible industry for years to come. We continue to face challenges both in our legal system and in our world, but we’re also on the cusp of some exciting and innovative developments across the board. So in my opinion, now is the time to come together to work to create a better and more hopeful future for everyone.   

And from all of us to all of you, we wish you happy holidays and a safe and wonderful new year.

Meet Jenn Kendall, Director of Human Resources


Jenn is the Director of HR, responsible for the hiring, onboarding, performance management and training of our teams across Canada. Our director of human resources has had diverse experience applying HR programs in a lawful, fair and consistent manner in many industries across four provinces. She has specialized in change management, organizational structure, business development, start-ups and expansions. She also has training and experience in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, suicide intervention and conflict resolution. Outside of the corporate world she has been teaching yoga and meditation for nearly 15 years.

At Reportex our core values of team, mentorship, equality, community and industry are central to what we do. Veritext’s mission and corporate values dovetail nicely with our already solid foundation. Together we aim to be respectful, ethical, collaborative, accountable and professional. Can you tell us which of these values resonates most strongly with you and why?

It’s pretty challenging to pick just one as I think they are all essential components to building healthy, cohesive teams and an environment where all feel welcomed, valued and appreciated.

For today I will focus on respectful. A workplace, regardless of size and service, provides employment to people of varying backgrounds, belief systems, perspectives, ethnicities, etc. Each one of those individuals will have a different role and level of responsibility within the organization. Each one also has an equal right to be there and to have an important contribution to make in the overall success of the organization. While we aren’t required to like everyone we work with, there is an expectation that each individual can come to work and be treated respectfully. Without a basic level of respect for our co-workers, the ability to complete the requirements of each of our positions and our overall job satisfaction become significantly impacted, having a long-term and lasting impact on the individual and the business itself.

Based on your experience and knowledge what is the key element to maintaining a strong team during stressful times like COVID-19 and corporate transitions?

I would say there are two things that are essential: 

The first is empathy — an understanding and appreciation that everyone navigates and copes with change and unknowns in a very different way. The way we might do it isn’t how someone else would do it. That doesn’t make it wrong. When everything is going well, we have a tendency to appreciate the characteristics that make us different and unique. When faced with challenges, it becomes easier to lose sight of those same qualities and harder to appreciate them. 

The second is giving our co-workers the benefit of the doubt. Each and every one of us is doing the best we can. While I would say this is true all the time, in difficult times it becomes vitally important to bring this front of mind. 

We talk quite a bit about wellness and self-care on our blog and internally through our Teams channels. Do you have a favourite way to recharge or any tips for staying healthy mentally and physically?

As a trained yoga and meditation teacher those are my initial go-tos and have been for the past 15 or so years. If I’m not on the mat, I can be found wandering somewhere out in nature.

Lessons from the Past

by Kerry Sauriol, Marketing Coordinator

When my youngest was about seven years old, she asked if we could attend the Remembrance Day ceremonies in person down at the Cenotaph. Given that my grandfather as well as many other family members of mine served in WWII, I was happy that she was taking so much interest in this somber event, and off we went to pay our respects.

But as the years have gone by since the end of that war, so has the disconnect, especially for those of us who have been fortunate to live lives uninterrupted by strife.  

It is hard to reflect on the horrors of the past when conflict still plagues much of this planet. It feels as though the lessons that should have been learned have been forgotten. 

It is hard to reflect on wars that are fading into history when we are all so wrapped up in our daily lives — especially these last couple of years as we have navigated the pandemic. 

But as Terry Kelly says:

Take two minutes, would you mind?
It’s a pittance of time
For the boys and the girls who went over
In peace may they rest, may we never forget why they died
It’s a pittance of time