Patricia K. Graves founded Caption First in 1989 in Chicago, Ill., and serves as president of the company. In addition to providing realtime captioning services, Graves’ responsibilities include overseeing all facets of Caption First, leading the growth of Caption First to more than $2 million annually, and recruiting new team members.
In August 2016, Graves was awarded the National Court Reporter Foundation’s most prestigious award, the Santo J. Aurelio Award for Altruism. It is given to a working court reporter or captioner with at least 25 years of experience and who has given back to the profession and to the court reporting community, with no expectation of any reward. One supporter said: “She is a tireless educator, mentor, and entrepreneur who uses her means and her podium to lift others to be better than they thought they could be."
Graves was integral in getting Caption First certified as a Disability-Owned Business Enterprise with U.S. Business Leadership Network(USBLN), as a Woman-Owned Small Business with the National Women Business Owners Corporation, and as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise with the Women's Business Enterprise National Council. In 2014, Caption First was name Diversity Supplier of the Year by USBLN.
Graves earned a degree in Court & Convention Reporting from Triton College and is a certified stenowriter. She holds multiple certifications from the National Court Reporters Association, an organization she has been involved with since 1977. She has served on and chaired various committees of this national organization as well as on the NCRA Board of Directors 2010 to 2013. Locally, from 2004-2010, Graves served in many capacities for the Colorado Court Reporters Association, including as president. Additional interests lead Graves to serve as a member of the Advisory Committee for Ad Hoc Rules and Regulations for the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing from 2006 to 2013.
Graves 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.” Graves 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.