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    ARMA International's InfoPro is delivered monthly via e-mail to ARMA International members. Make sure your contact information is current at www.arma.org/myarma.

    Member Spotlight: January 2016

    Jan 21, 2016

    Introducing Susan Burd, IGP, CRMSue Burd

    Susan Burd, IGP, CRM, has been diligently expanding her global records and information management program among her organization’s international affiliates. This past year, she’s been working hard at transitioning from a detailed retention schedule to a functional retention schedule (roughly 7,500 individual retention numbers down to 500), as well as implementing an electronic storage solution and developing new-hire orientation training, including gamification for her program’s education materials. Burd has always welcomed the opportunity to meet and speak with peers and community leaders, as she’s frequently asked to present to local college classes, non-profit organizations, and records and information management (RIM) professionals groups. 

    In nominating Burd, her friend, co-worker, and fellow Western Michigan ARMA Chapter board member Stephanie Bustraan said, “Her passion and dedication is contagious and has been recognized by local professionals as well as peers throughout her organization. Her contributions to the Western Michigan ARMA Chapter over the past 20+ years has made her a valuable asset that has not gone unnoticed. Her mentorship has given me an endless amount of opportunities to expand my knowledge and education in the RIM industry that I’ll never be able to repay.” 

    We are pleased to feature Burd in this month’s Member Spotlight, an honor meant to recognize members’ involvement in the profession and the association. If you’d like to reach out to her, Burd is on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-burd-crm-igp-25873012

    General Information:

    City where you live: Alto, MI

    City where you work: Ada, MI

    How many years have you been an ARMA International member? 2016 will be 20 years

    What is your employer’s name? Amway

    What is your title? Supervisor – Global Records & Information Management

    Have you held any leadership positions within the association?

    I have held the following positions for the Western Michigan Chapter: president, president-elect, vice president of programs, vice president of membership, secretary, director, and webmaster – all of our chapter offices except treasurer. The only years I have not held a chapter position were 2014-2015 when I became a chapter advisor – chapter operations for the Great Lakes region, which I still hold today.

    Please provide a brief history of your work experience.

    I started my career in 1994 as a summer intern in the records management department at Amway. My project was to create departmental retention schedules for the company. Having had a records program since the early 1960s, this was one area the company had not completed. Not completing the project that summer, I stayed on as a temp to continue with the schedules.

    Hired in 1996 as a full-time employee, my focus was still on the retention schedules, but responsibilities were added. Over the years, I also worked as a records analyst in the record center, in micrographics/imaging, records research, forms management, the corporate library, and the corporate archives – all functional areas within our department – gaining experience and knowledge about each area, while helping formalize processes and procedures along the way.

    Utilizing my background and experience within my department, I seamlessly transitioned to being the supervisor of our department in 2011. Our global program now covers records management policies and employee/new hire training, retention, record center, historical archives and museum, imaging, records research, and forms management.

    I attained my Electronic Records Management Practitioner (ERMp) and Electronic Records Management Specialist (ERMs) designations in 2007 and 2010, the Certified Records Manager (CRM) designation in 2012, and the Information Governance Professional (IGP) designation in 2013. All of these were fully supported in my development and growth at Amway.

    Over the past year, my focus has been on expanding our program to the Amway affiliates. We’ve transitioned away from all the departmental retention schedules to an enterprise-wide functional retention schedule (going from 7,500 individual retention numbers down to approximately 500), created new hire onboarding training, implemented an electronic storage option for employees, and expanded our educational materials to include gamification and more interactive materials for users. And, we have been meeting with affiliates to roll out our entire records and information management program to them. It’s been a great adventure, and I look forward to everything that is to come!

    What prompted you to join ARMA International?

    I was told I would be joining ARMA International and the Western Michigan Chapter by my supervisor. I had been helping with the chapter and programs while I was an intern, and she felt it would be a great way for me to network while learning various records management concepts at the chapter meetings. I officially got more involved at the chapter level and later at the international/region levels, and I am still a part of it 20 years later.

    How has your membership with the Western Michigan chapter added to your overall ARMA experience?

    I have met so many wonderful people at chapter meetings and international conferences, including those who have spoken at our chapter meetings. Many of the chapter members are a phone call or e-mail away, if I need input on records-related matters. I’ve used the “phone a friend” concept many times and always appreciate the input; they have been a great resource. Now, more than 20 years into my career, I try to reciprocate those calls and e-mails as best I can.

    What would you consider to be your career highlight or greatest success?

    I would say I have a few. And this list (in no particular order) is hanging on the wall in my office still today.

    • Earning my CRM – after finally passing Part 5, but then nailing Part 6 on the first try – was huge. Through that entire process, I spent many evenings studying right along with my kids.
    • Being a part of the inaugural group to take and pass the IGP exam
    • Completing the enterprise-wide functional retention schedule for Amway. I guess you can say that my summer internship project is now complete.
    • Rebranding and redeveloping our global records and information management department/program/training and taking that program to our affiliates around the world. A highlight of that is that it is being well-received by all.
    • Partnering with our internal IT folks to bring a way to manage electronic records (via SharePoint) to our employees

    What is your best memory of an ARMA International experience?

    I have two great memories. The first is my first international conference as a new member; it was overwhelming, exciting, and exhausting, and I met people that I’m still friends with today. The other is being on the awards committee for the 2006 ARMA International Annual Conference & Expo in San Antonio and the theme for the awards event was “Denim and Diamonds.” Both have stuck in my brain to this day.

    Did you have a mentor who has helped you in the information governance profession? If so, how is this relationship important to you?

    Most definitely – my good friend and previous management, Bobbie Minier, has been a mentor, a teacher, and a sounding board for me for years. She gave me so many training and educational opportunities related to records and information management. She provided me with valuable information and insight into leadership and succeeding in my career, and I was able to become the new supervisor for my department when she retired. Bobbie was also the one who introduced me to ARMA. Without my time with her, I would not be where I am today.

    What do you enjoy most about the information governance industry?

    I enjoy the variety and diversity in what I do, as well as all the people that I’ve met and built friendships with over the years. I have a huge network of people I can tap into when I need something, and I owe a lot of that to ARMA. At work, I love talking with people and getting them to understand what records management is all about, why it’s important, etc., and when you see them finally “get it,” it reinforces that what I’m doing is right. I’ve had the chance to speak to records management classes at local colleges, and while rarely anyone is there by choice (it’s usually a required class), explaining what we really do (versus what the textbook tells them) is exciting and draws out of them great questions. You can start to see interest when they realize we aren’t just filing or box storage. We are so much more than that!

    If you have a specific publication or online course that has been particularly helpful to you, please share it and tell why.

    While I love the various ARMA publications, webinars, and online courses available to us, I would have to say the CRM prep courses (Part 6 specifically, although all were good) that are available as pre-conference sessions have probably been the most valuable. To do a “pretend” Part 6 and experience 50+ people in the room and hear their fingers typing away while I’m still reading/planning was nerve-racking. However, it was a great experience for the soft grading to know how close I was, as well as to get my nerves under control for the real test. I would highly recommend these if you are going to sit for the exam.

    What advice would you give to someone who is considering information governance as a profession?

    Learn, absorb, and be a part of everything you can. Get involved – in ARMA (become a member) and in your companies. Be flexible, yet hold your ground when you need to. Figure out what certifications you need – and go after them.

    Susan’s passion for her work is very evident.  However, she does carve out time for her family and traveling. 

    What is your favorite place to visit? 

    Pennsylvania to visit family and our cabin in northern Michigan.

    What are your hobbies?   How do you spend your free time?

    I love to read and support my three children in all of their sporting events. Between them, we support three basketball teams, two football teams, and three lacrosse teams. There are some weeks we have practice or games every day of the week. We are busy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    What is your favorite quote?

    “It is what it is.”

    Is there anything else you would like to add? 

    I’m doing what I love and am thankful that I learned this early on (in college). ARMA has played a huge role in what I do, and I appreciate every opportunity I have been given at the chapter level. I also greatly appreciate the support I have received over the years from my employer. My management has encouraged me to continue learning, growing our program, and stretching myself.

    Thank you!

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