Patricia K. Graves founded Caption First in 1989 in Chicago, IL. She is president, CEO and lead writer of Caption First. In addition to providing CART and captioning services, Pat’s responsibilities include overseeing all facets of Caption First, leading the growth of Caption First to more than $2.5 million annually, and recruiting new team members.
A graduate of Triton College, where she earned a degree in Court & Convention Reporting, Pat is a certified court reporter. She holds multiple certifications from The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) including Registered Professional Reporter (RPR), Registered Merit Reporter (RMR), Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR), Registered Diplomat Reporter (RDR), Certified CART Provider (CCP), and is an NCRA Fellow. Pat was a court reporter in New York, South Carolina, and Illinois, and has more than 25 years’ experience providing CART and captioning services across the United States and around the world.
Pat has been involved with NCRA since 1977 and has served on many committees. Pat served as a member of the NCRA Board of Directors from 2010 to 2013. She served as a member of the NCRA CART Task Force for three years, chairing the committee for two of those years. In 2003, Pat became one of the founding members of the Realtime Certification Committee, and served on the CART Community of Interest, where she was a member, then chair. Since 2004, Pat has served as Board Member, Secretary-Treasurer, Vice President, President, and Immediate-Past President of the Colorado Court Reporters Association. Pat also served as a member of the Advisory Committee for Ad Hoc Rules and Regulations for the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Pat has taught both on the local and national levels on CART and captioning for court reporters and consumers. In 2000 she was listed in Today’s Chicago Woman as one of the 100 Women Making a Difference. Pat is widely published and has spoken at many conferences around the world on bringing spoken communication via CART and captioning to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and to those whose native language is not English.
Roy K. Graves is the vice president for Technology and Finance. He joined Caption First in 1990 on a part-time basis, then on a full-time basis beginning in 2003. As Vice President, Roy oversees all financial aspects of the company, as well as the development and implementation of current and emerging technologies.
Roy earned his bachelors degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He served with honor in both the US Navy and the US Air Force Reserves. In addition to his stellar military career, Roy has an extensive list of work experience which includes computer programmer, engineer, engineering supervisor, technology director, and accounting director.
Roy has been instrumental in bringing Caption First to international audiences by studying various technologies and creating ways in which CART and captioning services are delivered worldwide. He has provided technical support and in many international venues among 18 countries including Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Switzerland and others.
Roy is active in his community; from 2007-2010 he served on the Colorado School District 38 Operations Advisory Council. He also served as Vice President of the Speech-to-Text Services Network, Treasurer of Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs, and treasurer of his Home Owners Association.
Ray Pecora is the Scheduling Manager for Caption First. Ray graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Northern Illinois University. His primary tasks are to set up and maintain a long-term schedule, as well as to build relationships with clients and writers. Ray is also in charge of making sure the necessary prep information is received and forwarded to the writers. When not in the office, Ray is either at home with his wife and sons, playing hockey, or rooting for his beloved Blackhawks.
Karen A. Ruud is the Training Manager for Caption First. Her responsibilities include recruiting and training independent contractors who provide our CART services. Karen also provides one-on-one training for writers transitioning into CART or those who want to earn CEUs as they refine their realtime skills for certification exams or for their judicial work.
After studying audiology for two years at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, she received a degree in Court & Conference Reporting from Madison Business College. Karen’s background includes six years of freelance and official reporting followed by 22 years at the National Captioning Institute as a staff captioner, then a supervisor/trainer, and finally as Manager of the Realtime Captioning Department and Manager of Realtime Recruiting and Training. She was a member of NCRA’s Realtime Certification Committee and took an active role in developing the standards for realtime captioning.
Karen then served as the Director of Education & School Development for the National Court Reporters Association for six years. She has been a frequent presenter at court reporting colleges, state and national conventions, and teachers’ workshops. When not working, Karen enjoys kayaking, hiking, biking, traveling, and ballroom dancing.
Heather Theriaque is a realtime captioner and CART provider for Caption First, working both remotely and on-site when needed. Heather has a degree in Court Reporting from Springfield Technical Community College in Massachusetts. She received further training from the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Heather’s experience includes CART reporting in the classroom and legal settings, as well as for conferences. She also has extensive experience in captioning for local governments. Heather is married and loves spending time with her husband and three beautiful children.
Jordyn White is an Account Coordinator for Caption First. She works closely with our clients to make sure their service requests are handled quickly and correctly. Jordyn graduated from Dominican University in 2006 with a degree in American Studies. Past experience includes customer service and office administration. Jordyn is also a Certified Dog Trainer. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and traveling.
Joe Booth is a Caption First Account Coordinator. He helps support clients and writers by coordinating the execution of meetings and events. Joe earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Bradley University. His past work experience includes customer service, sales, and restaurant management. In his free time, Joe and his wife try to spend as much time as they can outdoors. Joe’s favorite activities are cycling, skiing, cooking and traveling.
Brian Lammert is the Technical Specialist and Supervisor of Transcription Services for Caption First. His duties include coordinating the transcription and offline captioning work, as well as network/systems administrator, help desk, technical support, equipment testing, and various other roles that require technical expertise. Brian has several years of call center experience in Internet and technical support. Brian enjoys spending time with his wife and children. His other pleasures include mountain biking, reading, and nature.
Melissa Lauser is the Executive Project Coordinator and Accounting Specialist for Caption First. Melissa graduated from the University of Colorado in 2011 with a double Bachelors of Arts Degree in both Psychology and Women’s and Ethnic Studies. Her primary tasks include preparing invoices for clients, contract management, and accounting. Past work experience includes retirement planning, research, and bookkeeping. Outside of work, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and volunteering. One of her biggest passions is working with people to overcome adversity.
Linda Clack is one of Caption First’s Offline Captioning Specialists. Linda has a diverse background as a substitute teacher, freelance paralegal, and corrections officer. She volunteers as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate and otherwise is busy with children and enjoying Colorado.