Member Spotlight: Tony Abbate

ARMA NNJ Chapter leader, Tony Abbate was recently featured in ARMA International's InfoPro newsletter article, Member Spotlight. If you havent already checked it out you can find it here


Meet Anthony (Tony) J. Abbate

ARMA received this nomination for the Member Spotlight:

Tony Abbate has served as a member of the Northern NJ board of directors as secretary, and now chapter historian.  During his tenure as an ARMA member he exemplifies leadership by his active participation on the board and mentoring new members to the organization. Tony is also a guest lecturer for the graduate program in information management at Rutgers University and is currently serving on the scholarship committee of the AIEF. He has boundless energy and passion for this profession, and we are all better for having crossed paths with him.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen A. Timothy, IGP, CRM
NE Region Director
ARMA International

General Information: 

City where you work?
Morris Plains, NJ

How many years have you been an ARMA International member?
Since 2007

What is your company’s name?
Honeywell International

What is your title?
Records Manager

Have you held any leadership positions within the association? 
Secretary for the ARMA Northern New Jersey Chapter; Director; Librarian and Historian
General Questions:

Please provide a brief history of your work experience.  What led you to this profession?
My work history includes 40 years with AT&T (most of that time with the AT&T Long Lines Division) and 15 years with Honeywell International, serving in retirement services, and the last 10 years with records management. Implicitly, a history valuing information throughout its lifecycle and the technology that made it possible.
What prompted you to join ARMA International?
As part of my functional responsibilities as a records manager at Honeywell, was invited by my manager, Kathleen Timothy, to join a professional organization to be able to remain current with IG/RIM developments and have the necessary resources and tools that ARMA International provides.
What do you enjoy most about the information governance or records management profession? 
The opportunity to build and sustain relationships throughout the organization in all dimensions of the business discipline. Being able to come to the table as an equal player among business leaders, IT professionals, legal, customers, and suppliers.

That it demonstrates the true value of information to an organization. The ability to make confident and defensible business decisions to run and improve the business; to respond to research requests; timely and accurate responses to any audit, etc.
What would you consider to be your career highlight or greatest success (e.g., a project or designation)?
Working with a professional RIM team at Honeywell, and the association with the ARMA NNJ Chapter over these past 10 years.

One project was compiling a 50-year history of the ARMA NNJ chapter. The project was titled “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants,” as it demonstrated the dedication and professionalism of all that preceded us, and provided a foundation to have the ARMA NNJ chapter continue to grow and develop, as evidenced by its recent successes.

The Mentorship Program because it gave an opportunity to work with individuals who wanted to grow and develop their skills to become part of the records management community.

The ARMA NNJ membership meetings that demonstrated the results of relationship building while meeting the chapter’s objective to educate all comers to the value of information governance and records and information management.

Mentoring, because I have seen two of my mentees progress: Elizabeth Steinberg and Marc Forner. The relationship building and to see each of them progress as IG/RIM professionals is priceless!
Do you or did you have a mentor who has helped you in the information governance or records management fields?
My initial and continuous mentor is Kathleen Timothy. The CORP RIM team that includes Murez Sandy and Oscar Quinones remains as my “day to day” mentors as they are laser focused to the discipline of IG/RIM processes and in their execution of their respective functional responsibilities.

Mentoring not only included one on one but the actual example of doing. Each day is a day where new insights are illuminated.

Many years ago, I learned to learn one new thing a day and share it. The CORP RIM team at Honeywell is a farm of such opportunities, enabling anyone to harvest the fruits of their professionalism.

Simply stated, as a mentee, I am nothing more than a mirror reflecting the benefits of my mentors: a great CORP RIM team at Honeywell and with the ARMA NNJ chapter.
Is there an industry tip or best practice you’d like to share?
Information is valuable and actionable. Do all that you can to raise the understanding and value of information and the emerging technologies that support it. Information is the engine that enables the business, any organization, to succeed.

Build relationships along the way. Use every opportunity to influence the value of what you do.

Keep these elements alive in all that you do: trust, integrity, be accessible, see opportunities not problems, demonstrate caring and understanding, use opportunities to teach and have fun.
What is your best memory of an ARMA International experience?
The affiliation with ARMA NNJ chapter and relationships with other chapters and membership meetings. Also, being part of the AIEF Scholarship Committee and guest instructor at Rutgers Graduate School class on RIM.
What advice would you give to an individual considering information governance as a career?
You can influence efficient and effective changes to any organization. It is a fun job - you can make it so.

See yourself as a conductor of a symphony orchestra: you direct each instrument in such a way as to create music instead of noise. In place of the instruments, you are conducting business agendas, IT support, legal, customers, and suppliers. Each have their own language and may speak one on one; a records manager can bring all this together. You have a tool kit that enables you to speak to all.
What has been the most valuable aspect of your membership with ARMA?
The exposure to professionals who demonstrate dedication and their skills at all levels.

Endless opportunity to learn new things about IG/RIM, technologies that support IG/RIM, and most of all the ability to establish and sustain relationships.
Tony also shared some of his interests outside of work.

What is your favorite place to visit?
Brooklyn, NY, and Whitehall, PA, that is where family is. Second to that it would be Rome, Sicily, and Florence.
What are your favorite movies?

  • Kings of the Kingdom
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Star Wars (all of them!) 

What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote among many would be “…to thine own self be true.”
Is there anything else you would like to add?
It is a sincere pleasure to be part of the IG/RIM philosophy and the network it created. A very humbling experience to say the least.

As I stated before, let us all not forget that we “stand of the shoulders of giants,” and we owe it to them to perfect this discipline in all of what we do and will do. Thank you!


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