“Oh, have we been blessed! It’s with very full hearts that Bob and I extend deep appreciation to all of our GRL staff – past and present. We’ve been so delighted in the wonderful relationships that have been forged both professionally and personally. While at our 30th anniversary tailgate/Brewer game, a few senior reporters spoke the following words about our fine leader and my wonderful husband.” -Kathy Gramann
We chose to begin our comments with some words of poetry from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that we think very aptly apply to our own Bob Gramann.
“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”
We have seen the success that Bob has built over 30 years in business through growth of personnel and clientele, as well as in advancements in technology and services offered. None of this was achieved without perseverance, toil and sweat, hours of meetings, and even late nights and restlessness over making the best decisions for everyone to whom he is responsible. In fact he is a model of responsibility for all who look to him; accountable, responsive, and mentoring over many years of longstanding employee relationships. He has always been not only our boss, but our friend, accommodating of life and its interruptions, thoughtful of each of us as individual people, standing by us in circumstances of such variety and over such a span of time, we can scarcely remember them all.
In the very early days of Gramann Reporting, originally known as Gramann & Hannah Reporting, Bob and his partner, Nancy Hannah, embarked on a journey, which after 30 years in business, I’m sure Bob can truly say – Boy, what a ride! When Bob started in 1982, computers for court reporting were just in their infancy. Rosanne remembers Kathy Ryker, Sue Veres, and herself, who were the first reporters, sitting in the conference room dictating. For all the young reporters who never experienced the joys of dictating for a typist, this is how it goes: Question: What is your name (interrog)? Answer: My name is Jane Miller (period.) Question: Where do you live (interrog)? Answer: Well (comma), right now I live in a condo in Chicago (comma), Illinois (period). And so on and so forth.
The advent of computers then came along, but unlike our nice little notebook computers we can take along to our jobs with us, we had a rather large main frame computer manufactured by Xscribe. We had to come back to our office to “dump” our notes on the main frame, which then translated them and put the transcript on the large 5” floppy disks. The disks were divided into 20 sectors on the disk, each sector being about 5 pages in length. So if you wanted to change something throughout the transcript, it had to cycle through each sector of the disk, a rather time-consuming process. We had these huge desktop computers, which were about 50 pounds and the size of an entire top of a desk. But because Bob was always on the cutting edge of technology, look at where we are today – internet steaming, multiple realtime hookups, little netbook computers, Scott Marcus to help us keep all this technology straight and up to date!
Back to Longfellow, who also said, “If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it.” There is no question among anyone who knows Bob and his success that this has been his goal and practice. And it has been an encouragement to all of his reporters to set their sights high as well, never settling for only what we can achieve today but continued improvement. He has made every effort to spur those under his leadership on to higher goals and achievements within and outside of the court reporting field. His reputation among clients and reporters who are not even his employees is held in high regard and is evidence to the ideals he holds and passes on.
From these examples, which are in no way exhaustive of the leadership qualities Bob exemplifies, you can see his success in business, success in reputation, and the well-deserved admiration he has gained from us, his employees. We are grateful for the opportunity to work at Gramann Reporting and privileged to celebrate your years of success with you.
So from all of us here and those who are unable to be with us today, let’s all raise our glasses in a very well-deserved toast to our fearless leader, friend, comrade, boss, and all-around good guy, Bob Gramann.