New Leadership Slate

The ARMA NNJ chapter Nominating Committee is pleased to announce for your consideration, the proposed slate of candidates for the 2018-2019 Board of Directors election.

We’ve assembled a strong slate of talented leaders with diverse perspectives. These candidates have agreed to serve as chapter leaders for 2 year terms subject to election per ARMA NNJ chapter bylaws. All members are invited to participate in the upcoming chapter election. Announcements will be sent out with election information as well as posted to the chapter website. 

If you are interested in being involved with our Chapters Board of Director's, taking on an appointed position, or participating on a standing committee we would gladly welcome your involvement. Please contact our chapter Past President, Jacki Cheslow for more information.



2018 Ballot
(2 year term)


Mary Hamm

Executive Vice President

Anne Marie Philips


Angel Ramos

Co-Vice Presidents, Programs

Mark Kreutzer & BJ Johnson

Co-Vice Presidents, Sponsorship

Marvin Parker & Dana Van Deusen


Pauline Drummond

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INFORM Conference Brochure

The INFORM Conference e-brochure provides you with a detailed overview of all the sessions, speakers and additional details for the day. The conference location will have free wifi available so you can refer to this throughout the day.

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INFORM Conference Blog

Creating a Culture of Information Management Excellence
Russell Stalters

This June, at the INFORM Conference being held at Princeton University, I will be presenting

“Information & Data Management at Dog Speed”. What do I mean by that? Well, I am not going to be a spoiler so you will need to attend the INFORM Conference to find out. What I can tell you is that I will be sharing practical, real-world lessons that can help you take your Information Governance/Management Program to the next level.

One of the critical elements of an effective program is to install (yes, I said install) a culture of information management excellence. The following is some practical advice on how to create or install a culture of information management (IM) excellence.

As a reminder, I am using John C. Maxwell’s, an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, coach, and author, definition of culture which is behavior, symbols, and systems. Behavior is the personality of an organization’s culture. Systems are the practices of the culture. For instance, the way each employee manages their information and how everyone supports each other as they embrace a new information management solution are both behaviors and systems. Symbols are used to reinforce the culture and help identify the systems and behaviors that are needed to support the culture.

How do we actually create this type of culture? Let’s look at each of the three areas in detail.

Of the three components of culture, behavior is the biggest contributor. One of the best ways to create a culture of IM excellence is to clearly define the desired and appropriate behaviors. This can be done simply by listing out the appropriate and inappropriate behaviors for all staff members. For example, appropriate behaviors would include storing all electronic content in approved repositories, ensuring naming conventions are followed and metadata applied consistently, and ensuring preservation of business records. Inappropriate behaviors would include use of third-party instant messaging services, non-corporate/consumer email services or third-party social media services (such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn) for organization-related communications, or storing content in consumer repositories like Dropbox, (personal), Microsoft OneDrive, or Apple iCloud. The key here is to make sure the descriptions are behavior based and not just outcomes.

A friend of mine, Donovan Weldon, who owns an industrial service company serving refineries, chemical plants, pipeline, and terminal/tank farm businesses has successfully created a culture of excellence at his company. First, he makes sure that all employees understand the expected appropriate behaviors and what constitutes inappropriate behaviors. When a new employee joins, they are expected to attend training where the behaviors, systems and symbols are reviewed. During this training, practical examples of the company’s excellence behaviors are discussed and veteran team members share how they demonstrate the behaviors daily.  Then each new employee is asked to sign a commitment form stating that they will actively support and live out the four core values of safety, personnel, presentation, and production. The commitment forms are on display in the company offices.

While leading the data management program for BP during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, my team used a similar process for making sure all staff (including leadership) understood the behaviors required for a culture of IM excellence. We conducted new joiner along with annual refresher training. During the training, practical examples of the desired behaviors where discussed and demonstrated. Then we asked everyone to sign off that they had read and understood the information management policy (similar to Donovan’s commitment form) which included a list of the appropriate and inappropriate behaviors.

The second component of culture is symbols which can be used to reinforce the culture. Another good example from my friend Donovan is that he created a company “challenge coin” which has the four company values around the perimeter of the coin. He asks each employee to carry the coin with them while on the job every day as a visible/tangible reminder of what the company stands for. He also will go up to one of his team members and ask them to take the coin out of their pocket and has them look at which of the four values their thumb is covering. He then asks them to describe what they have done that day to demonstrate or live into that value of safety, personnel, presentation, or production. Another example of symbols is the visual example that leaders of the organization display that encourages a culture of excellence. This can be as simple as periodically giving someone on their team a hand-written note acknowledging the contributions they have made or the way they live the values of the organization each day. This simple act of valuing their contributions can have profound results in strengthening and building a culture of excellence.

The third component is systems. I define systems as processes, procedures, and tools that enable effective information management. When I mention tools, I am not talking about technology. Systems can include checklists, training materials, frequently asked questions, and other resources that help support the desired appropriate behaviors and make it easy for staff to do the right thing when it comes to managing information. For these systems to be effective your team should review them periodically and ensure that there is regular communications and training about how to use these systems.

Finally, to keep a culture of IM excellence thriving and growing the leadership team must consistently work together. Often leadership team meetings focus entirely on operational and financial performance without ever evaluating the state of the culture. One way to address this during leadership team meetings is to ask members to discuss if the behaviors are consistently supporting the desired culture and come up with strategies of how to address any gaps or changes needed.

Creating a culture of IM excellence is a team sport and by leveraging some of the recommendations above  information management initiatives can be successful as employees embrace and adopt the right behaviors and begin using practices necessary to effectively manage information.


Russ Stalters

Russell Stalters is an information governance subject matter expert with real-world experience designing and implementing some of the most critical information and data management programs. A retired Naval Aviator and CIO, former software company (TrueArc) President, and executive leader while at BP, he was hand-selected to lead the strategy and build the team to manage the data from the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

A regular industry speaker, noted author, and thought leader, he speaks at national and international conferences. In 2014, he was inducted into the Association of Imaging and Information Management ( Company of Fellows to recognize his expertise in the field of information management.

Now, as a StoryBrand Certified Guide, he helps technology software and services companies use the power of story to attract their ideal clients and grow sales by not confusing them.

Conference Program Participation: 


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Our Chapter President Lucy Rieger participated in this year's MS Ride in NY. In addition to being the current Co-Chapter President of ARMA Northern NJ Chapter, Lucy is member of TEAM KARMA which consists of a group of ARMA members from the Northern NJ Chapter and NY Chapters. This is a cause that is near and dear to Lucy’s heart and also supports her passion for cycling.  Our Chapter would like to promote her efforts and invite you to participate in this event by supporting her in the TEAM KARMA fundraising efforts.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, blindness and more. MS is different for everyone, and that makes it all the more challenging to solve.

Believe it or not, pedaling a bike could be the answer to a world free of MS. Mile by mile, dollar by dollar, Bike MS provides much needed funding not only to research, but to ensuring people affected by MS can live their best lives. She just signed up for this year's ride and she'd really appreciate your support in her fundraising efforts.

Your tax-deductible contribution will help the National MS Society fund groundbreaking research and life-changing programs for people living with MS. And ultimately, end MS forever.

Thank you so much!

Lucy Rieger, CRM




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CRM Certification: What's it Worth?

CRM Certification: What's it Worth?
By Sofia Empel, CRM

Most CRMs identify the benefits of their credential as validation of knowledge; improved marketability; outstanding reputation and credibility; and increased confidence. But, what's CRM certification really worth?

The Certified Records Manager (CRM) credential refers to a records and information management (RIM) industry certification that demonstrates RIM knowledge and a minimum level of RIM experience. It is often used as a prerequisite to hiring and is based on industry assessments developed by the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM).

The value of the CRM designation can be measured in both qualitative and quantitative terms. Qualitative value refers to how much quality (excellence) increases as a result of the CRM, while quantitative value indicates monetary worth. To determine the real worth of the CRM certification, both values should be considered.

Many potential applicants take a narrow view of the CRM. Although they often associate the value of the CRM with benefits associated with the individual being certified, they rarely consider how the designation impacts other stakeholders. Not only does the CRM provide value to the individual, but it also adds value for employers, ICRM, and the public as well. Some qualitative values for different types of RIM stakeholders are as follows:

  Certified Records Manager (CRM)

  • Provides a sense of personal accomplishment
  • Increases and/or validates RIM knowledge
  • Increases career advancement and/or earnings
  • Enhances professional reputation and credibility
  • Demonstrates commitment to RIM practice
  • Supports continued professional development
  • Provides recognition by a third party


  • Increases the organization's RIM competence
  • Provides organizational, industry, and government compliance
  • Demonstrates commitment to RIM quality and competence
  • Improves employee and customer satisfaction through RIM services
  • Increases security and privacy of information
  • Provides employees with ongoing professional development
  • Increases confidence in RIM employee's abilities
  • Assists in employment decisions

 Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM)

  • Helps standardize RIM practice
  • Advances RIM as a discipline
  • Provides means to establish and enforce an ethical code
  • Provides self-regulation of RIM
  • Increases cooperation between ARMA and ICRM


  • Helps identify qualified RIM individuals
  • Increases RIM confidence in organizations employing CRMs
  • Provides a means of filing ethical complaints through the ICRM

All of the qualitative factors listed above add value to the CRM designation. Although these factors cannot always be measured easily, they nonetheless add value to the CRM certification.

Quantifying the monetary worth of the CRM designation is not easy. For example, putting a dollar amount on career advancement, increase in responsibilities, and personal growth is difficult. According to a 2011 Salary Guide from Robert Half International, individuals with certifications can earn a starting salary up to 10 percent above the market average. Generally, you can assume this increase holds true for entry level CRMs as well.

Furthermore, today's RIM job announcements increasingly specify "CRM required" or "CRM preferred". According to a recent ICRM survey, the demand for CRMs as compared to non-CRMs has increased 31%. In fact, the ICRM established a strategic initiative to ensure the number of CRMs keeps pace with the high demand for CRMs by employers. The economic principle of "supply and demand" helps determine the certification's value as well.

So, what's CRM certification worth? Minimally, ten percent to an entry level RIM professional, but if you add qualitative value-much, much more.

Finally, if you are not familiar with CRM certification and want to learn more, here is the link to the ICRM Handbook

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Why Be a CRM? How to Begin

Lucy Rieger, Director, CRM 

Why should you become a CRM? An Information Management professional may have various credentials, but the most important one is Certified Records Manager. Current job ads reflect a growing trend that the CRM is preferred, and in more and more instances, CRM is required. The ICRM claims it cannot keep up with the demands for CRMs.

 How do you become certified?  You apply to the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM) and must be accepted and approved to take a 6 part certification test.  The requirements for application have changed, offering new and varied opportunities for acceptance.  These requirements are a combination of education and work experience.  Carefully reading the specifications reveals that there are many variations and combinations that can fulfill application requirements.  These are less stringent than they were previously, and well worth reviewing.   

One of the biggest revisions for candidacy is the education requirement.  The minimum acceptable education is graduation from high school (completion of 12 grades) or equivalent (e.g. GED Certificate). Steve Golden, CRM, Chair of the ICRM Board of Regents, commenting on the application changes last August stated "This is the industry's most rigorous series of exams, culminating in the credential that has been respected for the last 36 years. We're pleased to make the application process more approachable for potential Candidates, without the need for them to jump through administrative hurdles of proving areas of expertise. The exams prove an applicant's professional work experience quite adequately."

Once accepted you become a CRM Candidate and are eligible to take Parts 1 to 5 of the ICRM exam. Exams are given four times a year during the first weeks of February, May, August and November. You make take up to five years to complete the exams. You may repeat taking the exams as many times as it takes to pass. However, you must pass Parts 1 to 5 before you can take Part 6. 

How do you get started?  Apply! Then start studying. You can take CRM Workshops at the ARMA annual conference in Chicago. Or, wait for the upcoming NNJARMA local workshops, soon to be announced. Or, try one of the other local chapters. The most important thing is to begin. Here's how: go to the ICRM website at and read about Applying for the Examination. Print out the Application Form. That's Part 1 of Becoming a CRM done! Need help filling out the form? Contact us at NNJARMA and we will assist you in step 2, Becoming a CRM Becoming a CRM Candidate.  

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Becoming a CRM: A Beginners Guide

Everything Need to Know About CRM.

New Jersey siblings Lucy Rieger, MLS, CRM, Sofia Empel, MLIS, CRM, CDIA+ and Henry Gozdz, MLS, CRM (now this is a family who takes good records management practices seriously!) - presented a panel discussion in February 2012 about everything members need to know to be successful in becoming a Certified Records Manager (CRM).

 This included:

  • Why did they each choose to become a CRM
  • What steps each took to get certified
  • How did they prepare for the examination
  • What resources did they use
  • Who did they turn to for help

Click here to access the presentation.

Sofia Empel, MLIS, CRM, CDIA+

Ms. Empel is the President of Records Update, a women-WBE certified company, which provides professional consulting, as well as information and records management support services to corporations, law firms, universities, not-for-profits, and government organizations in New York, New Jersey, southern Connecticut, and eastern Pennsylvania. Ms. Empel has 32 years of experience in the information management profession. She is a Certified Records Manager (CRM), Certified Document Imaging Architech (CDIA+) and provisionally Certified Archivist (CA). She is also a Ph.D. candidate in Information Studies at Long Island University and is expected to complete her dissertation in a records management related topic by May 2011.   Ms. Empel is a member of ARMA International; Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM); American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T); Society of American Archivists (SAA); Law Library Association of Greater New York (LLAGNY); American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA); and Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

Lucy Rieger, MLS, CRM

Ms. Rieger is President of Library Update, a women-owned WBE certified company, which provides consulting and support services to corporations, law firms, accounting firms, universities, government agencies, and not-for-profit organizations that need to manage their information.  She. Rieger earned her Masters in Library Science (MLS) from Rutgers University and is a certified records manager (CRM). She served as the President of the New Jersey Law Librarians Association and is currently Vice President of Membership for ARMA's Northern New Jersey Chapter.  Ms. Rieger is also a member of ARMA International; Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM); American Association of Law Librarians (AALL); Special Libraries Association (SLA); and New Jersey Law Librarians Association (NJLLA), President 2007-2008.

Henry Gozdz, MLS, CRM,

Henry Gozdz, CRM,  has a BS in Business Administration from Ramapo College of New Jersey and an  MLS from Rutgers University. He has been employed by the NJ Judiciary as Law Librarian since 2000 and has served as the Records Coordinator for the Bergen Vicinage since 2007.  He is currently the Chair of the Statewide Records Coordinator Committee.

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