Meet Elizabeth (Liz) Steinberg
Liz Steinberg, who works as records manager for Selective Insurance Company of America in Branchville, N.J., was nominated for the Member Spotlight by ARMA International staff members Adam Engel and Julie Tesch. Steinberg joined ARMA International and the Northern New Jersey Chapter in 2012, and in the brief time since has made her presence known. She served as vice president of membership from July 2012 to July 2014 and has been proactive in recruiting new chapter members. Under her leadership, the chapter won the 2012-2013 Membership Recruitment Award for adding 29 members!
This makes Liz a great fit for the Member Spotlight, which is an honor meant to recognize members’ involvement within the profession and the association. You can connect with Steinberg through LinkedIn.
What do you enjoy most about the information governance or records management industry?
I am always amazed at the variety of ways colleagues find their way to records and information management. Everyone’s story is unique, including my own.
My formal training began at New York University Graduate School of Arts and Science where I earned a master’s degree in history and certification in archival management. At the time of graduation, I planned to work in corporate archives departments, create historical displays, and preserve institutional memory. And, for some time, I did just that.
In 2002, after working at American International Group, Inc. (AIG) for two years, I began a new position as archivist for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Over the years, I was fortunate to work on a variety of projects and collaborate on records management initiatives.
In 2014, I made a career move to records manager at Selective Insurance Company of America, a super-regional property and casualty insurance provider. I am tasked with growing and sustaining an enterprise-wide records and information management program. As part of my responsibilities, I am able to participate on cross-functional teams and advise on records retention. The best part of my job is meeting with employees and involving them in the process. My unique background in history and archives shapes my perspective on records creation and guides me in taking a holistic approach.
In my experience, the records and information management profession welcomes the exchange of new ideas and encourages professional development. It’s a great time to be involved.
What would you consider to be your career highlight or greatest success (e.g., a project or designation)?
When I was hired by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, I had the amazing opportunity to build and grow an archives department of over 2,000 linear feet. I created policies, designed an arrangement scheme, grew a database, collaborated and supported a number of research projects, and hired staff. A position like this does not come around too often. I will always be thankful to the foundation for the opportunity.
Also, at the ARMA International awards ceremony in 2013, the Northern New Jersey Chapter received the Membership Recruitment Award for the 2012-2013 year. We added 29 new members, thanks to active recruitment and follow up by our membership committee. I am extremely proud of our success.
What prompted you initially to join ARMA International?
For me, the decision to join ARMA was an obvious one. The online resources, publications, and conferences have served me well. The added bonus is that my local chapter, Northern New Jersey, is active and well-regarded. I am proud to be part of 2013’s Chapter of the Year. The award was well-deserved. Chapter meetings are engaging, offer great network opportunities, and are relevant to what is going on in the information governance space.
Do you or did you have a mentor who has helped you in the information governance or records management fields?
Shortly after joining ARMA in January 2012, I began attending chapter meetings and cultivating professional relationships. My chapter mentor, Tony Abbate, is extremely motivating and positive. Tony helped me identify a career path and provided practical advice for job interviews. He also encouraged me to run for vice president, membership of the Northern New Jersey chapter and soak it all in. Thank you, Tony, for always supporting me!
Is there an industry tip or best practice you’d like to share?
Understand and master the art of networking.
What is your favorite ARMA International experience?
Though I have attended a few national conferences, I especially enjoy the regional conferences. The Northeast Regional Conference held last year in Buffalo, New York, stands outs for me. The conference was a great opportunity to connect and network with other chapters and share resources. As a first-time board member, I attended sessions geared towards leadership and development. I also had a chance to meet and network with colleagues in a smaller setting. I recommend that any new chapter board member take advantage of this opportunity.
What advice would you give to an individual considering information governance as a career?
Stay connected on social media. I learn so much about career trends and the latest innovations by staying connected on LinkedIn and Twitter. Yes, a solid graduate school education sets the stage, but knowledge about information governance and its many facets is attained outside the classroom. Join your local chapter of ARMA and talk with seasoned professionals. They are often willing and able to discuss their own career path and offer advice.
Besides focusing on her work in records management, here are some of Liz’s other interests.
What is your favorite place to visit?
The Village of Greenport and other spots on the Long Island, New York, North Fork
What are your favorite movies?
- St. Elmo’s Fire
- The Breakfast Club
What are your favorite songs?
- Closer to Fine – Indigo Girls
- Pure – The Lightning Seeds
- Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel
Do you have a quote you live by?
What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Whenever I met a potential new chapter member, I took the opportunity to introduce myself and share my positive experience with the Northern New Jersey Chapter. I used the time to inform him or her of upcoming meetings and make a personal connection. To make the process of joining as easy as possible, I proactively provided members with information on chapter dues and how to add the chapter. By taking the extra time to connect with people, I made them feel welcome at the meeting, and they wanted to join.