AIIM Open Forum

Member Spotlight: Connie Prendergast

By Jessica Lombardo posted 10-03-2017 17:53

Member Spotlight Connie Prendergast
Hopefully you already know Connie as she's been an AIIM Member for the last couple years and an active community member in our discussion boards. She recently shared a Draft Retention Schedule to help others working on their own schedules. A great resource of industry experience, definitely get to know Connie this month; connect with her online here.

And if you have a sample retention schedule, she'd love to see how your organization has it set up. Simple and easy? Show us your examples!

Name: Connie Prendergast
Position: Records Management Clerk
Company: Flagstaff County - Alberta, Canada

Where do you live in?  Sedgewick, Alberta, Canada

How long have you worked in information management?  Almost 40 years.  Of course, it was different back then.  A secretary did everything; I didn’t work for large corporations for most of that time, there were no formal retention procedures.

What does your work entail? Do you have company support? How are you helping drive the goals of your office through your work?  My position is brand new to the County.  They did not have a Records Management Clerk prior to purchasing our ERMS (Laserfiche).  That being said, for almost four years my main focus of work has been creating a brand new Repository and folder structure, along with all the processes necessary to make this useful, and then bringing some documents in and testing, then getting some test pilots in and testing, then creating all the training tools, doing the training, bringing departments in one at a time, and then overseeing their records within Laserfiche, making sure things were working as they should.  A lot of this is IT, yet I am not really a part of their IT staff, and now that everyone is in and things are moving along smoothly, I am focused on creating new tools (automated processes) to make the staff’s work easier, plus trying to come up with an improved Retention Schedule.  My position will gradually migrate towards more conventional Records Management Clerk tasks after our new Retention Schedule is in place and the ERMS is fully automated for retention.  We are not 100% there yet.

What has been the biggest success in your career in information management?  This job!  It has been extremely fun learning the new system (the Laserfiche tools), creating everything, training everyone, and getting to play with all the tools (forms processes, workflow creation, automation, etc.)  I just love it!  It’s like I get to come to work to play!

What’s your current biggest work challenge? Has that changed over the years?  Biggest work challenge at this job has been finding/creating a Retention Schedule that fits this office.  We are not a big city and do not want a huge manual that people have to learn.  We want it simple and easy.  We’re getting there, but it took a lot of looking for good examples and research before we felt we were on the right track.

If you could ask any question to the AIIM audience with the hopes of solving an issue, what would that be?  Can you provide me with a good (not to big, not to small) example of a Retention Schedule that we could adapt for our office?  You would not believe the amount of research I went through over three years trying to find one!  They are either too big/complex or too small, vague and useless; including our own province’s example for municipalities on their website.  We have what we want now, but people need to share more.

What are the top 3 things you have gotten out of being a member AIIM?  Help, help and help!  Wow, you guys are doing a fabulous job!  I took part in helping proofread the new toolkits and helpful documents that Betsy has been working on and, wow, if I had had access to those toolkits and quick studies when I started out on this job in 2014, it would have made this whole long process so much less painful.  We would have achieved our goals way faster!  And the webinars… those are also so very helpful!

How did you spend your summer?  Working, of course!  😊  Gardening in my spare time, and getting ready for a family reunion which is coming up next week.

What’s your favorite movie?  The Titanic, which came out around 1997 I think.  And Avatar

Thanks again Connie!