Member Spotlight: Brooke Sales-Lee

By BOSHIA SMITH posted 12-04-2019 09:41


Name Brooke Sales-Lee
Corporate Services Specialist
Interac Corp.

Where do you live? I live in Toronto, Ontario and I'm a Canadian-American dual citizen with roots in California, Ontario, and Portugal. 

How long have you worked in information management? Two and a half years.  After leaving an academic career, I found myself thrown into the world of Records and Information Management in a new job at Interac, the fintech company responsible for every debit transaction in Canada.

What does your work entail? Do you have company support? How are you helping drive the goals of your office through your work? We’ve been working on implementing a new EDRMS, and I do a lot of the front end and document management side of that, training employees, setting up new spaces in the system, and consulting with employees to try to make the system a helpful tool rather than an imposition.

What has been the biggest success in your career in information management? It’s been a pretty short career so far, so I’m just proud of the progress I’ve made in a short period of time. It’s less a matter of one stand-out project or initiative and more two years of learning and growing, realizing this could be a career.

What’s your current biggest work challenge? Migration and cleanup. I don’t think any of our challenges are unique, but I know that I am going to be working pretty closely with my colleagues in IT over the next couple years getting information off legacy systems, preserving the records, deleting the ROT, and making sure all our users know what goes where.

What does Intelligent Information Management mean to you? I am that rare micro-generation, the true “digital native”—I took computer classes from age 7 and was actually taught both how to search for information online and how libraries categorize and locate content, whether with cards or computers. IIM allows me to apply what I grew up with to the workplace. The way we handle information doesn’t need to be ad hoc or based on “what we’ve always done;” we have generations of experience to pull from in the library sciences and fantastic, forward-thinking tech available to apply information management to everyday tasks. It also means that while I know a lot of people worry about robots taking jobs, I get to be the one telling the robots what to do and helping make sure we have sufficient diversity of data to keep tech ethical, which matters a lot to me.

What are the top 3 things you are looking to get from your AIIM membership? I love how many resources there are for learning. I find blog posts and webinars useful all the time, I have taken a few courses, and lately, I’ve been delving into the wealth of knowledge in the forums. I am also a big fan of the WIIM group; it can be hard being a woman in tech, even in a diverse and supportive workplace, and knowing there are other people out there dealing with all the societal baggage I make it feel less like I have a small team in the office to turn to and more like I have a circle around the world. Finally, I went to the AIIM conference this past March and really enjoyed it—not just because I got to return to my home state of California and visit family and friends, but because I got to have face to face conversations and learn new ways of trying things out, as well as get to contribute my own knowledge. My boss was also pretty impressed with the conference and knowledge I returned with, so I’m hoping I can return in 2020.

As it’s now 2019 heading for 2020, what’s one thing you’re looking forward to in the new year? I’m really looking to learn more about automation and AI. Working in fintech, it’s important to me that we aren’t trying to support groundbreaking new ideas and products with outdated systems and ways of working. And I know no one wants to spend time inputting metadata, but I really want that metadata in there, so…

What does becoming a CIP mean to you?   How do you think this certification can help you in your profession? I’m a younger woman with an academic background in the humanities, so I knew I would need some weight behind my words when I suggest paths forward for systems and processes. I was wary of going back to grad school for the MLIS, even if I do love learning. The CIP allows me to say “here’s what we need to do” and make sure people can trust that I am speaking with understanding of best practices not just in one narrow area but in several aspects of managing information.