Archive for the ‘Records Officer Spotlight’ Category

Spotlight On: Alison Merchant

July 6, 2017 Comments off


This month we are spotlighting Alison Merchant, a receptionist and records officer at Sevier School District.

Alison has been a record officer for three years, in addition to her full-time job. She works on records management whenever she can. The most challenging part of her job is finding records for Downwinder claims. If an individual graduated from high school, there will be transcripts, but if they were younger or never graduated in Utah, then they rely on roll books to prove student enrollment. She helps them scroll through page by page, think of any nicknames/middle names they would have gone by (to match to given names), look at the birth date and parent names (if they’re included in the books), to try to find a match.

Alison is working to organize and preserve their records so the next Records Officer can start with a clean slate. She is working with the school district to digitize the roll books. Alison said it feels great to be able to help people find themselves or a parent or older sibling in the records.

We asked Alison what advice she’d give to other record officers. She said:

“Organization is probably the most helpful part of my job. Without organization it would take me a lot longer to locate the records being requested. In some cases it may be impossible to find them without organization.”

Thanks for all of your hard work, Alison! We are glad to have you as one of our GREAT records officers!

Spotlight On: Rosanne Ricks, Human Resource Director

May 30, 2017 Comments off


This month we are spotlighting Rosanne Ricks, a Human Resource Director with Utah’s Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM).

Rosanne has been a records officer for many years, though her “main” job is as an internal auditor. She is working on two major records projects at the moment: updating all of DHRM’s series-specific retention schedules, and creating a records management guide for DHRM employees. The ultimate goal for these projects is to see less confusion and more consistency across the department in the handling of state records.

Rosanne’s work on these projects requires a massive effort. She currently spends about one-third of her work time updating DHRM’s series, and she collaborates regularly with DHRM management, agency liability attorneys, and State Archives employees. When asked what she wishes she’d known when she started, she replied “a greater awareness of the types of records my own agency generates and maintains.”

We asked Rosanne what she’s learned throughout these projects, and what advice she’d give to other records officers. Here are her replies:

“Take advantage of all the great information and materials posted on the [State Archives] website for records management. They are easy to understand and provide a wealth of information.

Collaboration is the only way to accomplish a project like this. Get everyone’s eyes to look at the project, as employees often have duties related to a task that others are not aware of.”

That’s good advice for everyone!

Thanks for all the hard work you do, Rosanne; we salute you!

Spotlight On: Zane Woolstenhulme

April 11, 2017 Comments off


Zane Woolstenhulme is the Business Administrator for the Ogden City School District. In his position he responds to GRAMA and HIPAA requests.

Zane has been a records officer for 29 years. He served in South Summit School District and Logan School District before working for Ogden School District. Among the statutory responsibilities of the business administrator is the responsibility to have custody of “the records”.  He states that the most challenging part of being a records officer is dealing with the sheer volume and variety of records kept by a school district.
Zane Woolstenhulme

In the winter of 2015, Zane called his records analyst at the State Archives because he had found a basement room full of records in one of his elementary schools, which led to the discovery of other records in other locations. Zane met with his analyst and the State Archives preservationist in order to come up with a plan for transferring the records to Archives custody. Since many of the found records dated back to the late 1890s, we wanted to ensure the historic records were preserved. For 4 days our Archives team worked in 3 different school district locations to gather historical records, some of which are still being processed to ensure preservation and access.

We asked Zane what tools and advice he would like to share with other records officers, and he said “The sharpest tool in my belt … is the speed-dial button to the office of the State Archives, particular the Government Records Ombudsman, who is always a helpful resource in dealing with GRAMA requests.” He also had two suggestions: “1) Don’t be afraid to throw things away; 2) When in doubt, call State Archives.”

Thanks for all of your hard work, Zane! We are glad to have you as one of our GREAT records officers!

Spotlight On: Anna Owen, DHS

February 24, 2017 1 comment

Anna Owen is a Program Specialist for the Department of Human Services, Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD), though she is often referred to as the Records Compliance Officer. In her position she responds to GRAMA and HIPAA requests, as well as maintains the electronic records within the Division’s system, which can include both electronic and paper records management.

Anna has been managing DSPD’s records since 2009 and added the GRAMA component to her job in 2012. Her position shift in 2012 had two main components: Anna began to manage the GRAMA requests for the entire Division state-wide, rather than a single region; she also began the conversion of DSPD’s records to electronic format. She states that the latter was her biggest hurdle so far. She has guided her team to convert the files of over 6,700 clients (housed in large hard binders) to their electronic system. By December of 2013, the project was mostly completed, with a few exceptions that she is working on. We can all agree that is an amazing accomplishment for any records officer.

Anna has also taken on the Role of DSPD’s Assistant HIPAA Privacy Officer, as the Division was recently classified as a HIPAA-covered agency. Anna has been a leader in ensuring that DSPD’s policies and procedures are compliant with both HIPAA and GRAMA. She sees this as her current challenge, and is working to implement the added tracking and evaluation processes that come with this new role.

Anna’s work ethic has been recognized by her co-workers, who tell us that she takes her job very seriously and is profoundly respectful of the privacy of the individuals receiving services through DSPD. She goes out of her way to attend training classes on records management, GRAMA, and HIPAA and then trains the Division’s workforce on the importance of properly handling their records. She goes out of her way to ensure that DSPD personnel understand records management best practices and is always looking for ways to improve their systems, policies,  and procedures. Anna is innovative and a creative problem solver.

We asked Anna what tools and advice she would like to share with other records officers and she said she loves using Adobe Acrobat X Pro.

She also says: Breathe!


Anna Owen

Take your time (the time allowed by GRAMA, LOL!), be thorough – review, review, review – and ask for help if you need it. Make sure you understand the documents you will be working with. Keep in mind there’s no black and white but grey areas that need evaluating.


Thanks for all your hard work Anna! We are glad to have you as one of our GREAT records officers!

Spotlight On: CJ Prisbrey, Salt Lake City Police Department Information Specialist Supervisor

January 25, 2017 1 comment

This month’s spotlight is a little different. We would like to honor a records officer who is retiring this week.

CJ Prisbrey began working with the Salt Lake City Police Department in 1974 and has held a variety of different roles since that time. As a dispatcher in 1990 her quick thinking and calm demeanor were highlighted on the popular show Rescue 911.


 In 1994 she began as a supervisor in Records. Her years have been spent working to efficiently manage the large number of reports created by police officers and other employees. CJ faced the challenges associated with training and the enforcement of records management with the greatest tools in her toolbox: her direct supervisor Mia Jacobs and her other co-supervisors.

Although CJ is retiring this week, she recognized the need for an efficient transfer of responsibilities. She has ensured that the agency’s retention schedules are tidied up for those that will follow her, and that makes her a super star in our book!

Thanks CJ for all that you have done and we wish you luck in your next endeavors!

Spotlight On: Julia LaSeure, Ogden City Deputy Recorder/Records Specialist

December 28, 2016 1 comment


julialaseureJulie LaSeure has been working with records for over a decade. She began in the field in 2001 when working at an outpatient behavioral health clinic in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Since then she has continued to create, manage, and maintain records. In 2012 Julia began working primarily with records management for Ogden City.

As the Deputy Records/Records Specialist Julia julialaseureheadshothas taken responsibility managing the records at the City’s secure Records Center, as well as those housed at the State Records Center in Clearfield. She maintains the inventory of all of the records stored and handles the destruction of records once they have met retention. Twice a year she destroys anywhere from 40 to 100+ boxes.

In addition to managing records, Julia is proactive in helping the City employees understand the unique records their divisions create and how to manage them. She creates mandatory training presentations, reference guides, and monthly articles for the employee newsletter.  She also meets regularly with staff from the various city divisions to review their records and assist as needed.

Julia has also been instrumental in re-activating the Ogden City Records Management Committee, which begins meeting January 2017!  She has spent a significant amount of time finding committee members, preparing and collecting information for training new members, and creating an outline of topics/subjects to ensure efficient and and brief meetings.

With all that she does, we asked Julia to provide us some helpful tips for other records officers trying to balance all of the different requirements of their job.

  1. What have you found to be the most challenging part of being a records officer?

A lot of the work that I do is to bring people onboard and help them understand the importance of records management, best practices, our duties under the law, and the fact that this is our history.  People are busy and have their own jobs and responsibilities so it can be difficult to get them excited and involved.  We got wonderful responses from the employees we asked to be on the Records Management Committee so I am really hopeful that we can turn things around…

2. What tools have you found to be the most helpful in your job?

Some of the things that have been most helpful to me include: incredible trust and support from my supervisor who allows me to make a plan and take time away from my desk to work on these projects, 8” x 8” x 40” boxes for rolled plans (WE LOVE THEM!), Smead Smartstrip labels are amazing too, I think the Records Management Committee will be quite an asset too once things get rolling on that front.  Now is an exciting (stressful, terrifying, and very rewarding) time to be working in this field.

3. What do you hope to be your legacy as a records officer?

I have been researching records policies and procedures of other organizations and would like to create a plan for the City including requirements for current best practices, staying up to date on best practices in the future, electronic records, digitized records, migration, metadata, etc…

4. Do you have any advice for other records officers?

Go ahead and make a plan but be prepared for and open to change.  It’s OK to revisit it if something isn’t working the way you thought it would.  Keep plugging away and know that you are going to make a much bigger mess of things before it all starts falling into place.  It’s totally worth all the sweat and stress to see the progress and ultimately the finished product.


Spotlight On: Colleen Mulvey, recipient of The Utah State Archives’ Excellence in Information Governance Award 2016

October 26, 2016 1 comment


Colleen Mulvey (second-to-left in picture), Cedar Hills City Recorder, was awarded the The Utah State Archives’ Excellence in Information Governance Award at our annual fall conference on Thursday, October 6, 2016.

Colleen is inventive and resourceful! She uses a variety of methods to ensure accurate, manageable, and innovative preservation of Cedar Hills’ records with limited staffing resources as she maintains the agency-wide records. She also implemented a staff training schedule to provide valuable information to the city employees that emphasizes the importance of proper records management and retention.

Colleen is engaged in our professional community! Colleen has been very active with a number of associations to ensure that she is properly educated in the current requirements for records management. Colleen is a Master Municipal Clerk in the Utah Municipal Clerks Association (UMCA), as well as a contributing member to the Utah Chapter of ARMA. She has been a conference presenter for both of these organizations  and others to share her knowledge of various aspects of records management. Associates, coworkers, and peers know that Colleen strives to understand the current regulations and call on her expertise frequently.

Colleen directed the successful transition to electronic records management! In addition to more traditional methods of records management practices, Colleen has been instrumental in automating the collection, retention, and distribution of records in electronic formats. Cedar Hills has just finished their first year working with Seamless Docs on creating electronic forms and are currently beta-testing the GRAMA Portal. This has automated the records management process on important documents in a paperless environment.

Way to go, Colleen! Thanks for all you do!