By Debbie Weaver, Alaris Owner and CEO
I have always believed that a company is only as good as its people.
When I made the leap, over 30 years ago, to go from a working court reporter to owning a court reporting service company, I knew that I could not achieve my goals alone. Progress and innovation are only possible with a flexible, knowledgeable, and reliable team and supportive clients along the way. And no matter how much we have expanded, grown, and changed throughout the decades, one thing has remained the same—YOU are the heart of our company, you the Alaris employees and Alaris clients. It is employees and clients like you that have allowed us to become positively embedded in our communities and provide exemplary services.
I purchased our company (then known as Taylor & Associates) in 1985 after working as a court reporter for them for six years. Back then, we were a much smaller company with one location in Downtown St. Louis. I had, along with my former partner, Kelly Willis, a vision of expanding not only the scope of the business, but to open new branches in other major cities. Growing a company is not easy, and thanks to both dedicated employees and wonderful clients, we have been able to challenge ourselves daily, constantly updating our technology, and adding new businesses and services to our portfolio, all along the way listening to our employees and clients.
We expanded from simply court reporting to videoconferencing, legal transcription services, legal video services, ADR services, and trial consulting with attorneys. We scan exhibits, digitize videos, and do multimedia presentations for attorneys to make their jobs easier. We did this long before most people had to work remotely, allowing our company to seamlessly pivot when it was necessary. (And when I say “seamlessly,” I know you worked hard to make it happen but made the process seamless to our clients.)
Photo collage taken from Alaris Headquarters in St. Louis, MO. The story of Alaris and captioning the Pope are located on the walls of the Kelly Willis Conference Suite.
There have been some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that came our way as our company grew over the years that would not have been possible without you. In 1999, we sent a team of six reporters to provide captioning for Pope John Paul II when he visited St. Louis (See related interview by clicking here). We also provided captioning for Governor Bob Holden’s inauguration, the Eucharistic Congress, and even high school mock trials sponsored by the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, just to mention a few. But still the biggest highlight—and I do not say this lightly—has been getting to work with all of you. I am so lucky to work with a group of professionals who I trust and respect. You help shape our company’s culture and continue to push our vision to new heights each year.
Alaris has certainly grown in size and depth to get us to where we are today, with eight regional offices in Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas, national and international coverage, and over 50 employees. We have been featured on CBS’s The Early Show, the St. Louis Business Journal, Missouri Lawyers Weekly and the St. Louis Dispatch.
I am proud of what Alaris has become these past 31 years, and I cannot wait to see what we do next. I can honestly say I cannot imagine doing anything else. And I cannot imagine doing it with better people. Thank you for being the heartbeat of the Alaris.
And the beat goes on…