Connie “CJ” Rodriguez
MARA Program Advisory Committee Member
MARA Program Advisory Committee member Connie “CJ” Rodriguez has worked for a “Big 4” public accounting firm for over 18 years. In her role as Records and Information Management Services Program Manager, she works as part of a national management team of 9 leaders, which oversees the firm’s records and information management function and approximately 95 records management personnel. CJ serves as an advisor and subject matter specialist in records and information management to the firm’s many internal departments. CJ implements processes and procedures that reduce risk and ensure compliance. She also develops policy directives, records retention schedules, standard operating procedures, and technical guidelines related to the creation, storage, retrieval, protection, preservation, and destruction of the firm’s electronic and physical records. Further, she analyzes statistical data in order to recommend areas for improvement in records management systems and procedures.
CJ appreciates working with her colleagues, who are intelligent and open-minded thinkers committed to empowering a diverse workforce. In her position, she finds encouraging others to integrate records management practices into their workflows both challenging and rewarding. The bulk of her work involves liaising with business leadership, building relationships, and educating to ensure compliance. CJ believes in forming a governance committee comprised of leaders from the various internal departments to assist in developing good records management governance. A key method of ensuring compliance with corporate policies is to incorporate compliance steps into the service line process and procedures, as well as compliance measurements into the employee’s performance review.
In addition, CJ is the current President and Treasurer of the Southern California Inland Empire ARMA chapter. As a board member she collaborates with her fellow board of director members to coordinate a series of educational speakers and develop webinars for chapter members. She especially enjoys engaging with chapter members who are eager to learn the best way to engage in records and information management, and collaborating to solve problems.
As a MARA Program Advisory Committee member, CJ consults with Dr. Pat Franks concerning curricular issues and makes recommendations based on current developments in the records and information management field. For example, she suggested that MARA courses should focus more on electronic records and related concerns such as data privacy, new ECM platforms, big data or ROT (redundant, obsolete, and trivial) records, and cloud computing.
CJ is not only a MARA Program Advisory Committee member; she was also a student in the first MARA cohort (graduating class of 2011). The program appealed to her because it is entirely online. She felt it was an efficient use of time, which was particularly important given that she was a full-time practicing professional as well as a student. The fact that students from all over the world could virtually participate in the same courses was also an appealing feature of the program. As a tip for current MARA students, CJ suggests having meetings with classmates outside of regularly scheduled class sessions in order to brainstorm and learn from each other. In this way, coursework can parallel the teamwork typical in the Records and Information Management workplace. As demonstrated by her experience, collaborating with others beyond what is expected yields positive professional results.