The New York State Archives and Archives Partnership Trust awarded the 2019 Cheryl Steinbach Annual Archives Award for excellence in local government records management to Chili Town Clerk Virginia “Ginny” Ignatowski.
Since 2012, Ignatowski has worked to improve records management and increase access to the town’s records. She implemented records management policies and a procedures manual, and created office records retention and disposition schedules for each town department to ensure obsolete records are regularly disposed.
The town implemented an electronic document management system to manage its records. This system increased access to records needed by town staff to perform their jobs. The town also made it easier for residents to access records through its website, such as town budgets, meeting minutes and community planning documents.
“Every year, we recognize individuals and organizations who have done outstanding work in managing records and preserving New York’s history,” said Betty Rosa, chancellor of the Board of Regents. “This year’s award winners do exemplary work to ensure that our state’s records are efficiently managed, and are preserved appropriately for future research and use.”
The award went to Ignatowski during a ceremony at the Cultural Education Center in Albany.
“We applaud the organizations and individuals who work every day to manage records to ensure accountability, efficiency and accessibility,” said Beth Berlin, interim State Education commissioner. “Their dedication to archives and records management has inspired excellent programs and processes that serve as models for the entire state.”
Awards also went to Robert Chiles from the University of Maryland; Dutchess County Clerk Bradford Kendall; Jennifer Liber-Raines, chair of the Western New York Genealogical Society; Huntington Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia; the state Department of Financial Services; and the Queens Memory Project.
“We’re proud to recognize excellence in the use and care of New York’s records by individuals and organizations across the state,” said Thomas Ruller, state archivist. “Thanks to the work and dedication of this year’s winners, New York’s documentary resources will be well managed, appropriately preserved and effectively used for generations to come.”
The annual Archives Awards program takes place every October during American Archives Month, and recognizes outstanding efforts in archives and records management work in the state by a broad range of individuals and organizations.