Allow us to introduce to some, and reintroduce to others, Ron Harrison, the Managing Director for our Northern California offices. With more than three decades of experience in the industry, Ron has honed his skills across various companies and roles. His passion for arts and culture enhances his ability to engage with our diverse range of clients. As a skilled conversationalist and adept problem-solver, Ron excels in navigating the complexities of maintaining order in our office operations, schedules, recruitment, and client relations. Let’s get to know Ron a little better with an anecdotal Q&A:

Tell us a little bit about your professional background:

I got my start in the court reporting profession working for a mom and pop court reporting company in San Francisco – Combs & Greenley. I was on a waiting list for a job as an English teacher in San Francisco shortly after moving here from Florida. To pay the bills until a teaching job opened up, I answered an ad in the San Francisco Chronicle for a job as a proofreader.  When I went in for an interview with one of the company owners, he told me, “We just purchased computers and we’re requiring all the reporters to stop dictating and start producing their transcripts by computer.” Would you be interested in managing our computer operations?” I signed on to that with no idea what I was getting myself into, and I’ve stayed with this amazing profession ever since. From computer manager, I was promoted to office manager, and when the mom-and-pop company sold to Legalink, I was promoted to VP of Operations for the San Francisco office. Legalink eventually became Merrill and after a couple of years with Merrill, I left and started working at Esquire as General Manager of the San Francisco office. There I worked with Derek Berg and Ashley Walton until they left Esquire in the early 2000’s. I stayed with Esquire until mid-2016, when I joined Aptus as Managing Director for Northern California – the best career move I ever made!

My mentor told me:

Don’t try to make all your money on one depo. By that, I believe he meant that you need to provide great service and charge clients a reasonable rate. Don’t overinflate bills with superfluous or hidden charges. Clients know when they’re not being treated fairly. You’re going to make a nice living in this business if you treat your clients with respect.

Song on your current playlist:  

A bunch of songs by Irma Thomas, a New Orleans R&B singer who’s been around since the sixties and Sofi Tukker, a great EDM DJ duo – Tukker spins the records and Sofi sings. 

Your most memorable meal:

Salt encrusted fish under the stars in Majorca.

On your bucket list:

India is high on my list. None of my friends are interested in visiting with me, but I am fascinated by the culture. I love Indian food and Bollywood movies and I can’t wait to go to India to see everyone dancing in the streets in colorful apparel.

Recently checked this off my bucket list:

Australia.  It was a wonderful experience.  Sydney is beautiful and I felt completely safe everywhere.

Best kept secret in your city:

Cinderella Café. It’s a Russian restaurant that has been around forever.  Locals know it well, but it’s in a remote neighborhood so it’s not on the tourist itinerary. Their borscht and stuffed cabbages are delicious. Also, Tank Hill is a great place to get a view of the city. The view is as nice as Twin Peaks, but it’s not overwhelmed by tourists like Twin Peaks is. Plus, it just happens to be two blocks from my house.

My current obsession:

I’m obsessed with the future of San Francisco. My city is going through troubled times, but we’ve been here before and we emerged better than ever. I know that the new San Francisco will be fantastic. It’s just going to take some time to figure things out and get some of our problems solved. I already feel like there’s movement in a positive direction.

Book on your nightstand:

Sapiens, a Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.

A little something extra:

I’m a bit of an Italophile. I’ve been to Italy probably 14 or 15 times (I’ve lost count). I speak a decent Italian which quickly becomes even better after a few hours in Italy.

Meet Briana Reilly, a shining star within the Aptus Court Reporting team who has recently been honored as the Top Producing Salesperson for 2023! Her vibrant personality, compassionate nature, and unwavering determination for excellence make her an invaluable member of the Aptus Family. Let’s delve into some anecdotal insights about Briana to further acquaint you with her remarkable character.

Tell us a little bit about your professional background:

I entered the court reporting field nearly a decade ago, beginning as a receptionist. As I become familiar with the various roles, I discovered a passion for business development and providing support to the legal community. The journey has been very fulfilling, and my favorite aspect has been building lasting relationships over the years.

My mentor told me:

Invest in your mind, invest in your health, and invest in your skills – no one can take these away from you. 

Song on your current playlist:  

Attrape-rêve by Polo & Pan   

Your most memorable meal:

It would have to be when my grandpa taught me how to make his famous slow cooked ribs and then enjoying them together. If he was hosting, you could guarantee he’d serve a huge rack of ribs as an appetizer followed by more meat from grill! 

On your bucket list:

I’d love to hike Mt. Whitney one day! I really enjoy being outside and pushing myself, but I need to work on acclimating to higher altitudes.

Recently checked this off my bucket list:

I went to Italy for the first time last summer and it truly was everything I dreamed of! It was hard to leave but I was quickly reminded by the taxi driver on my way to the airport that I get to go home to one of the best cities in the world— and it’s true! 

Best kept secret in your city:

Living in Bankers Hill offers the advantage of being within walking distance of numerous picturesque sights and restaurants. I frequently walk across the charming bridges in the area, with the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge being a must-visit “secret spot.” I suggest enjoying a pint at Pure Project or a special treat at Extraordinary Desserts nearby after your walk.

Book on your nightstand:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Original article written by Henrik Edberg, and posted on The Positivity Blog

“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.”
Lionel Hampton

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Marcel Proust

Maybe the simplest and most effortless habit for living a happier life is to take one or a few minutes every day to focus on what is already here and that you can be grateful for in your life.

It can help you to…

  • Lift your mood and boost motivation very quickly.
  • Find the things in your life that you want to focus even more of your time and energy on.
  • Not just take things for granted and to find joy even during the tougher times.

It is simply a great habit to cultivate that demands little but gives much back.

So this week I’d like to explore 5 small tips that you can use to cultivate more gratitude and happiness in your life.

1. Pause and look around yourself.

A first simple step to build the gratitude habit is simply to pause in your everyday life and to ask yourself questions like:

  • What can I be grateful for in my life today?
  • Who are 3 people that I can be grateful to have in my life and why?

If you cannot come up with several things or people every day then that is OK. If you find one thing or one person then that is great too. Don’t get hung up on the numbers.

Just take a few minutes and see what you come up with.

Try to not repeat the same things too often. Instead, try to think of more things and people you can be grateful for in your life.

2. Look towards yourself.

Don’t just look outward.

Take a look at yourself too. A habit of being appreciative and grateful towards yourself is a simple way to improve self-esteem and self-confidence.

Ask yourself:

What are 3 things I can be grateful for about myself?

It could be that you were a good father/mother/friend in a moment of crisis this week. It could be that you finally got done with that task you had been procrastinating on.

Your self-gratitude does not have to be all about achievements at work or in school for example.

You can simply be grateful for your good sense of humor or that you help people out a lot by being a good listener from time to time.

3. Take a closer look at the very smaller things or what you may take for granted.

Don’t just focus on the big and obvious things you can be grateful for.

Think about what very small things you can be grateful for too.

Like the plant just in front of my laptop that I am writing these words on.

It is not a remarkable plant. But its simple beauty in the vibrant green color, how it keeps growing on just a little water and sunshine and the faint smell of nature is something simple I feel grateful for.

Another thing that I am grateful for today – that I may sometimes take for granted – was my lunch. It was a few potatoes with some grilled chicken and a dollop of sauce. It was delicious.

And, more importantly, I don’t have to go hungry. I am in the very fortunate position of being able to eat lunch every day.

Ask yourself:

  • What is one very small thing that I can be grateful for today?
  • What is one thing I may usually for granted that I can be grateful for?

Opening your eyes to the small and daily things you can appreciate lets you truly see more of the simple beauty in life.

4. Do it early or late in your day.

But how do you get the gratitude habit to stick and not just become one of those things you forget about or abandon after a few days?

Two things that I have found effective are:

  • Take 1 minute in the morning to get a good start to your day by finding 3 small or big things you are grateful for in your life.
  • Take 1-2 minutes each evening and use a journal to write down maybe 3 or 5 things you are grateful for about your day, about yourself or about your life.

Try one of these tiny time commitments every day for a week and see how it impacts your thoughts, feelings and life.

5. Express your gratitude.

Don’t just keep the gratitude on the inside. Express it.

Make other people happier too – and help them to perhaps pay it forward later on – by expressing how you are grateful for having them in your life.

Plus, their smile and the joy in their eyes when you tell them this will make you happier too.

Now, that gratitude could just be a small sentence. But it can have a big impact on someone’s day, week or even life sometimes.

So tell the people in your life.

Tell them in person tonight. Or write an email or a letter to someone a little further away in the world. Or send a small text message right now.

Lori Bacon Headshot

With over 20 years experience in the industry, we are elated to have Lori Bacon now serving in the capacity of our newly created Reporter in Charge role.  Learn more about Lori’s personal and professional background with a fun Q&A.

Tell us a little bit about your professional background:

Upon receiving my CSR license, I decided to go into freelance reporting as a deposition reporter because of the flexibility. It was the perfect job when we were raising our kids. I worked exclusively for one agency for over 20 years. Once the kids were grown, I decided to go into the operations side of the business and eventually landed my position here at Aptus. In November of this year, it will be 7 years that I have been at Aptus!

Song on your current playlist:  

“23” by Sam Hunt

Your most memorable meal:

My favorite meal is steak & lobster at Captain Jack’s in Sunset Beach.

On your bucket list:

I want to go to Europe in the next year or two with my daughter.

Recently checked this off my bucket list:

We went to Disneyland with our 4-year-old grandson without his mom or dad.  What a special memory ?

Best kept secret in your city:

We live in Dana Point, which is the dolphin & whale watching capital of the world.  There are tour boats that go out daily from the Dana Point Harbor.

Book on your nightstand:

Where the Crawdads Sing.  (I need to finish this before I see the movie!)

Anything else you want people to know about you:

Besides my family, I have a tremendous love for animals – big & small.   At one time I had 2 pot-bellied pigs, 1 pony, 2 dogs, 3 cats and a guinea pig.  I have scaled down now to one cat, Charlie!

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