Member of the Week: Priscilla Emery – Information is my stock in trade.

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Priscilla Emery, CIP, ERMs, is an industry analyst and consultant focused on providing strategic planning and other services in ECM, information governance, and records management. She’s also responsible for hiring me as full-time editor at AIIM in 1997. So she’s also fantastic at personnel matters as well. J

Priscilla talks about the need to reframe information governance from a necessary evil to an absolute good thing to do; AIIM’s Certified Information Professional program; and her New York State of Mind (even in Florida).

Follow her on Twitter at ECMScope.

Her website is

Duhon: What do you do and how did you get there?

Emery: I’m an information management consultant that has been focused on information governance, RM program benchmarking and RM program development to support compliance and eDiscovery activities. I also provide industry analyst services in the ECM space. My career has been a winding journey starting as a COBOL and database developer for Bell Labs in the mid-1970s, running several large network and email implementations in the early-80s and eventually running several Advanced /New Technology initiatives for a couple of Financial Services / Insurance companies in the late 80s. I became an industry analyst providing guidance to clients on the then-emerging imaging, workflow and email management industries in the early ‘90s and worked for AIIM on helping to expand its overall scope of member deliverables and information till about 2000. I decided to start the millennium by becoming an independent consultant and my focus then was on records management and it continues to follow that thread.

Duhon: What was your best day at work?

Emery: That’s a hard one because most days are good and I find that meeting with clients usually makes any day worthwhile. But, I guess I have to admit that one of my more interesting days was when one of my clients during my New Science days called and asked for what he needed to do going forward to right a situation that he had gotten himself into by not heeding my original advice. The upshot of that is that we gave him a new strategy to pursue and it worked out great in the end. His end-user clients were happy, he was happy and, therefore, I was happy. Worst? 9/11 – I don’t think that was a good day for anyone but I’m from NYC and had a project going on there at the time and just thinking about that day still pains me.

Duhon: What are you proudest of?

Emery: On a personal level, of course, the accomplishments of my son who is a successful insurance broker and now a parent in his own right (being a parent is one of the hardest jobs anyone can have). On a professional level, the fact that I have clients that are happy enough with my work that they come back again when they need me. And, my ability to adjust to change. I’m pretty good at “reading the tea leaves,” and history has borne out some of my past predictions as an industry analyst.

Duhon: What is your No. 1. goal today—and what is your greatest content-related challenge?

Emery: Convincing the business community that information governance is not just a best practice and that it’s an essential element of managing the business. There is a lot of lip service being made to the area but it takes guts and political capital to make it happen – areas that sometimes make CIOs seasick.

Duhon: You’ve just become a Certified Information Professional (CIP); what’s your view of this new certification from AIIM?

Emery: I think is it very much a step in the right direction for AIIM to be the developer of this certification and one that should be of value to employers over the next several years. The test was no “walk in the park” and that’s a good thing. If anyone could just pass it out of the gate without relevant experience it wouldn’t be worth anything. So it measures experience and understanding over the broad spectrum of information management as it stands today. Information professionals shouldn’t just be one technology or one product characters. There are many different layers and technologies that make up a true solution to today’s business information management challenges and employers should know if the people they are hiring (or keeping) are well versed in the entire spectrum – not just one piece of the puzzle. One dimensional solutions are the bane of information management growth strategies.

Duhon: Why do you consider yourself an information professional?

Emery: To me, everything I’ve ever done has always been about managing and providing access to the most relevant, auditable, secure and reliable information to clients and constituents in the most expeditious manner possible. Information is my stock in trade, even more so as an industry analyst.

 Just for fun:

Duhon: What are your three favorite websites?

Emery: The Washington Post, have to check it out everyday – it’s addictive to trace your lineage – a necessity for travel

Duhon: What are the three greatest books ever written—and what’s on your nightstand today?

Emery: Greatest books ever written: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, The Worldly Philosophers by Heilbroner, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

On my nightstand, 1000 Places to Visit Before You Die and a bunch of Daily Astrology Books. What I’m reading now is on my iPad, Catherine the Great by Massie.

Duhon: What are the three greatest movies of all time—and what’s the last one you’ve seen?

Emery: Gone With The Wind, Gettysburg (the Turner production) and Schindler’s List. Of course, I forgot Some Like it Hot which has to be one of the funniest.

It’s been a while since I’ve actually sat through a whole movie but I think the last one was a made for TV follow-up to Scott Turow’s “Presumed Innocent”, I think it was called “Innocent”

Duhon: What was your first concert—and what are the three greatest songs on your iPod?

Emery: My very first concert was a Young People’s Concert conducted by Leonard Bernstein in what was then the new Philharmonic Hall in Lincoln Center. I think I was 11 years old at the time. My first rock concert was listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young at the Garden, Madison Square Garden, that is.

On my iPod:

I’ve got the entire Beatles collection on there so it’s impossible to pick from that.

New York State of Mind, Billy Joel

Boogie Wonderland, Earth, Wind and Fire

La Ultima Noche, by Eydie Gorme and the Trio Los Panchos, it reminds me of my father.



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