• Home
  • 2021 ICRA Annual Convention

2021 ICRA Annual Convention

  • Monday, June 07, 2021
  • 12:00 PM
  • Wednesday, June 09, 2021
  • 12:15 PM
  • Holiday Inn and Suites, Council Bluffs, Iowa


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:

Registration is closed



June 7-9, 2021

Holiday Inn & Suites

2202 River Road

Council Bluffs, Iowa

1.3 CEUs

(712) 322-5050 (Mention ICRA Room Block)

Direct link to register with our block-

**This event will not be live streamed or available for viewing after its conclusion.  Everyone will be required to wear masks, and all rooms will be accommodated for social distancing.  Please feel free to reach out if you have questions or concerns.**

Worth Business Equipment will be on site to service your machine!  Please contact them directly to arrange for your annual service.  They will accept walk-ins but only after their scheduled services are complete.



Monday, June 7

12-1 pm – Registration

1-2 pm – Punctuation Refresher, Kara Holland (.1 CEU)

2-2:15 pm - Break

2:15-3:15 pm – Shot in the Dark, State of Nebraska v. Shanna Golyar, Jim Doty, Ryan Avis, Anthony Kava (.1 CEU)

3:15-3:30 pm – Break

3:30-5 pm - Shot in the Dark, State of Iowa v. Shanna Golyar, Jim Doty, Ryan Avis, Anthony Kava (.15 CEUs)

Tuesday, June 8

7:30-9 am – Registration

9-11 am – State of Iowa vs. Dixie Shanahan, Honorable Gregory Steensland (.2 CEUs)

11-11:30 am – Break with vendors

11:30-1:00 pm – NCRA Update, Business Meeting, Installation of Officers, DSA Award

1-2:30 -- Project Steno, Nancy Varallo (.15 CEUs)

2:30-3:30 pm – Technology Session, Cathy Penniston (.1 CEUs)

3:30-4 pm – Break

4-5:30 pm – Mental Health When Faced With Trauma, Justin Cooley, Omaha Fire Department (.15 CEUs)

6-7 pm – Brief Swap, Allison Wise, CSR (.1 CEU)

Wednesday, June 9

9-10 am – Transforming Your Mind to Live Your Purpose, Sarah Bowers, CSR, RPR  (.1 CEU)

10-11 am – Crime Scene to Courtroom-Life as an Ident Tech, Katie Pattee   (.1 CEU)

11-11:15 Break

11:15-12:15 pm – Self-Defense Strategies, Shane Saunders (.1 CEU)




SPEAKER: Kara Holland, CSR, RPR – ICRA InVerbis Editor

Kara Holland is originally from Sioux City, Iowa.  She attended AIB College in Des Moines and graduated in 2007.  After graduating, Kara worked as a freelance reporter in Nebraska.   She worked as an official reporter in Nebraska before accepting an official position in Sioux City, Iowa with the third judicial district where she works currently.  Kara has served on the ICRA board and is the current editor of In Verbis.

Topic:  Everyone needs a punctuation and grammar refresher from time to time.  This session will focus on some of the grammar rules that have maybe gathered some cobwebs over the years.  While discussing punctuation, we will focus on usage of commas, semi colons, and quotation marks.  The grammar section will focus on sentence structure and phrases and clauses and how to identify what’s what in a sentence and how to properly punctuate the tricky nuances of the spoken word. 

2:15-3:15, 3:30-5:00

SPEAKERS:  Jim Doty, Ryan Avis, Anthony Kava

Sergeant-Investigator James T. Doty is a twelve-year member of the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office.  He began his career with the Sheriff's Office in 2007 working road patrol where he became a member of the Bicycle Patrol Unit and a Field Training Officer. In 2012, Doty became a trained Emergency / Crisis Negotiator. The following year he was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division and became a certified Computer Voice Stress Analyst. In 2017, Doty was promoted to Sergeant in the Road Patrol Division.  He transferred back to become Sergeant of CID in 2018.  Sgt. Doty has earned a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology and a Master's degree in Justice Administration and Crime Management.

Dep. Ryan Avis - Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office

Deputy Ryan Avis began his career as a Detention Officer with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office in 2006.  In 2008, he transferred to the Uniformed Division as a Deputy working road patrol and served as a Field Training Officer and an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) / Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) Instructor.  Avis joined the Criminal Investigations Division a year later where he specialized in sexually-motivated crimes, worked as a hostage negotiator, and performed examinations as a Certified Voice Stress Analyst.  Avis studied Criminal Justice at Iowa Western Community College and is a member of both the Iowa Domestic Violence Sex Assault Response Team (DVSART) and the Southwest Iowa Child Protection Assistance Team. Dep. Avis is now assigned to the Court Security Division.

Anthony Kava - Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office

Anthony "Karver" Kava's job title is long and confusing so he refers to himself as a Tactical Computer Geek.  Kava is a life-long hacker and works for the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office doing digital forensics examinations, investigating cybercrime, and fighting for the security of the Sheriff's Office's computer systems.  Kava has also served as a sworn Special Deputy and a Forensic Examiner on the Iowa Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force since 2009. In his past life, Kava endured over fifteen years of IT work with an emphasis on security.  He holds multiple cyber security and forensics certifications, testifies as an expert witness in state and federal court, enjoys public speaking (even if the audiences don't), and mentors students to use their hacking skills for good.

Topic:  State of Nebraska v. Shanna Golyar - Just a mile from the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office in Council Bluffs, Iowa, a woman is shot during a nighttime stroll in a public park.  It's the latest in a bizarre series of events, three years into a five-year missing persons investigation.  Bringing a killer to justice, after years of digital impersonation, will take thousands of hours of investigative work, dozens of search warrants, hundreds of pages of reports, and, finally, two weeks of testimony leading to a conviction for premeditated murder in a case without a body.  This case was featured in the following television programs: September 2017 Dateline NBC episode, "Scorned", December 2018 Oxygen network Snapped, April 2019 Investigation Discovery network True Conviction, and October 2020 20/20 ABC epsiode.



SPEAKER:  Judge Steensland

Judge Steensland, Council Bluffs, was appointed to the bench October 7, 2005. He earned his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Iowa in 1973 and his law degree from Drake University in 1976. He was in private practice for fifteen years and served in the public defender's office for fourteen years. Judge Steensland is a member of the Iowa State and Pottawattamie County Bar Associations. He was actively involved in establishing a Drug Court in Pottawattamie County.

Topic:  Judge Steensland will discuss his role as the defense attorney in this riveting case about the role domestic abuse plays when it leads to murder.   The southwest Iowa woman fatally shot her abusive husband in 2002 and left his decomposing body in a locked bedroom for more than a year.  At the time of Duty's trial in 2004, attention was brought to the plight of domestic abuse victims and whether Iowa could do more to support those in need


SPEAKER: Kellie Paschke, ICRA Lobbyist

Kellie will discuss the current status of any pending legislation in the Iowa House and Senate related to court reporters in Iowa and the Judicial Branch, as well as our pending issues for officials and freelancers.

Topic:  Lobby efforts and the status of Iowa court reporters with the budget issues we face in FY22




SPEAKER:  Allison Wise, CSR 

Allison Wise is an official court reporter in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where she’s worked for 16 years.  Allison has served on the Judicial Tech Committee as well the ICRA board.

Topic:  Allison will discuss options and tips for backing up your data and keeping it secure!

4:00-5:30 p.m.

SPEAKER:   Justin Cooley, Omaha Fire Department Captain

Topic:  After Justin lost a coworker to suicide he began speaking to first responders and groups about the importance of mental health    As reporters we experience a significant amount of stress and vicarious trauma.  Justin’s session will focus on coping tips, the importance of reaching out, and how to help those close to you if they are struggling.


SPEAKER:  Allison Wise, CSR

Topic:  Join us for a session on sharing your favorite brief forms for a variety of topics!  Let’s help each other write short.



SPEAKER:  Sarah Bowers, CSR, RPR

Sarah is a Realtime Court Reporting instructor at Des Moines Area Community College.  Previous to teaching, she served as an official reporter with the Fifth Judicial District for 12 years and a freelance reporter with Susan Frye.  Sarah is writer and motivational speaker at heart.  She became a Certified Life Coach, earning her certification with The Life Coach School, located in Allen, Texas, in 2019.  Her current passion is writing a book and helping others realize they have the power to create the life they want no matter what has happened in the past or today. 


SPEAKER: Katie Pattee

Katie has worked as a crime scene technician since 2006.   Her primary job responsibilities include collecting and processing evidence, fingerprint analysis, attending autopsies, and testifying in court.  Katie recently received Civilian of the Year award. 

Topic:  Katie will discuss her role from crime scene to courtroom and various techniques used at her job including collecting and processing evidence, fingerprint analysis, and testifying in court.


SPEAKER:  Shane Sanders

Topic:  Kravv Maga, (known as “Contact Combat” in Hebrew) is the official self-defense and fighting system used by the Israel Defense Forces, Israeli Police, military, anti-terrorism units, and numerous law enforcement agencies worldwide. Krav Maga is a highly evolved system of combat. Developed and continually enhanced during years of conflict, Krav Maga emphasizes easy-to-learn techniques that have been battle-tested in real life confrontations.  Shane will teach us self-defense and safety tactics. 

Chief Master Shane Sanders is an 8th degree Black Belt in the art of Songahm Taekwondo. He is a certified instructor with ATA Martial Arts International, a certified Warrior Krav Maga instructor, a Warrior X-Fit Kickboxing instructor, and a Safety Net Kids instructor. (Safety Net Kids is a program that educates children regarding child safety and abuse prevention.)

© 2015 by Iowa Court Reporters Association.   
"ICRA" is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 703 Elm Court, Dallas Center, IA 50063

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software