How to safeguard your data and records against inevitable natural disasters | Andrew du Fresne, John Bean Technologies

Anthony Woodward: [00:00:00] Welcome to File, a monthly conversation with those at the convergence of data, privacy, data security, data regulations, records, and governance. I'm Anthony Woodward, co CEO of Rekordpoint. And with me today is my co host, Chris Brown, Rekordpoint's VP of product. How are you Chris? Good, Anthony. How are

Andrew du Fresne: you?

Anthony Woodward: Good. It's a very smoky day here in Sydney. A lot of backburning going off in the spring, as does happen here in Australia quite a bit. So yeah, feeling a little bit congested if my voice sounds a little funny. Yeah.

Kris Brown: A little bit topical too, I think with today's guest.

Anthony Woodward: Yeah, exactly. Yes. I was going to talk about that in that context.

And I think with that, I'd love to introduce today's guest, Andrew Dufresne. Andrew, would you like to give a bit of a rundown on your history? I mean, Chris and I are super excited to get into some detail with you, but love to understand your context [00:01:00] and give the audience a sense of who you are and where you've been.

Andrew du Fresne: Sure. Well, thank you for having me. I appreciate it. I look forward to this conversation. I actually started in the information governance records management field on the end of the life cycle, as we will. I started in college working at the archives for the university and worked in the conservation lab, conserving documents, World War II posters, books.

And out of that came a. I don't want to call it a love, but it was an interest in records management. And from there, when I got my master's, I was hired by the city of Hollywood, Florida. I think that was like 1993, I think, or four 93. I think it was. And, uh, I went down there and they did not have a records management program or an archive.

So, you know, it was part of my duty to go down there and start a program from scratch. And throughout my career, I've pretty much done that with almost every job that I've had. And then from the [00:02:00] city of Hollywood, which was a fabulous job and learned a lot about disaster preparedness there. Cause you know, it's north of Miami and south of Lauderdale.

So you're right on the coast and you always have to be prepared. And we weren't really that prepared cause we didn't do a whole lot of disaster preparedness. But from there, I actually, um, I left the. Government and went and started my own company called the archive company in Ohio and bought an existing company called data reduction systems and change the name of the archive company and did that for about seven years until I sold it.

And then from there, that was in Ohio. And then I left and went to the national archives and records administration in New York city region two. And that was a eye opening. Job that was 2005. So that was right after the, you know, 9, 11 and being in New York city at that time was interesting. And then from there I left NARA, went to Elon and went to private the [00:03:00] pharmaceutical end, the same thing.

They didn't have a program came in and started an information governance program. The challenge there was that it was a much bigger organization, you know, not to say that the federal government isn't big, but the responsibilities were different. So, you know, I had a responsibility for organizations in business units in San Francisco, Dublin, Ireland, Philadelphia, New York, France, UK.

So it was global in nature. So that was a real challenge. And then that company was purchased by J& J and then, uh, left there and went to the Pew charitable trust in Philadelphia. And then. That job lasts about three years. They said that they're moving their headquarters, Washington, DC. And I had just purchased the house and I couldn't leave.

So I took the buyout and then my mom got sick. So I ended up back in Ohio and some friends of mine. And this is where the story diverges, sort of, where even though I was still in records management and information governance, I took a job at the university to become a [00:04:00] communication professor teaching broadcast journalism, television broadcast journalism.

As part of the communication department, but I was getting my doctorate in writing my dissertation on how auditing is effective in information governance programs, because that was something I've always seen throughout my career is how important auditing is to determine whether or not you're hitting your mark, uh, as far as your program is concerned.

And then I graduated, got my doctorate. The pandemic started, I couldn't go anywhere. And it took me about a year and a half or two to get a job, uh, back in the industry, which is what I was hoping for. Take some of the experience that I've had. Now I'm back in the private entity, uh, working for a company called John Bean Technologies based in Sandusky, Ohio.

Kris Brown: It's a journey, right? Like, that's, that's actually a really, really cool series of things, and I'm going to dive into a couple of them if you don't mind. You mentioned in there that you were working with NARA, with the National Archives, and uh, we've sort of spoken before, and you're sort of focused around that disaster preparedness as a bit of a [00:05:00] background.

Could you explore that a bit more for us? You know, what were your responsibilities, and what did you learn from that

Andrew du Fresne: time? So I was a senior records analyst and my responsibility was to go out initially was to go out and help other federal agencies in region two, which included New York city, or I should just say, New York, New Jersey, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin islands.

Um, don't ask me how those. They're so far apart from each other, but somehow they're a region too. But so that was the initial determination of my, my scope of my work. But what had happened was in 2005, 2004, maybe I think, uh, President Bush, George W. Bush had issued a declaration for, um, Preparing all federal agencies for disasters, I think it was something like a presidential director of 51, basically outlining what the responsibilities were.

And so we put a team together. So it was like the GSA, which is in charge of all the [00:06:00] buildings, FEMA. NARA, Army, FDNY, and NYPD. So we would go around and basically train the trainers. So each one of us had responsibilities for developing disaster preparedness uh, agendas and for each agency. So my responsibility as far as NARA was concerned was helping in, you know, staging hot sites, cold sites, records management, how to prepare your vital records, um, where to stage them.

Digital auditing of your systems and make sure that you're doing backups, that kind of thing. It's just really talking about these issues, not necessarily showing them in the practical applications, but just talking about here's the outline. Here's what you should be doing. Um, here are the directives.

This is how NARA can help you. This is where the consulting part of it comes in as an analyst. That was a lot of fun because we got to travel around a lot, but yeah, one of the things we did, like we did, um, One of the biggest things we did, we did two things, well, three things actually, um, it was called Exercise Double [00:07:00] Play, which was a crosswalk at John Jay College where we did one of the largest tabletop exercises for disaster preparedness for all federal agencies in Region 2.

Um, so you had, you know, you name it, they were there, you know, Social Security, you know, DOT, everybody you can possibly think of. We imagined was there, and what we did and what my role was, because I had a background in broadcast television, was that we did these video injects and we'd play the inject.

Then you had a responsibility as the the viewers to then respond to that inject, and there was a, I think 14 or 15 of them. So each person was responsible. So we did the whole video. We had a college student do the news. It was like a news show. And, um, so we did that. And then that was the first day. Then the second day, everybody came back together and then they would talk about where the gaps were.

I mean, that was pretty successful. And then we did that. We took that model and then went to Philadelphia, kind of did the same thing where it was a bomb. And then we did some, another training with the UN called [00:08:00] Ardent Response. I think it was in 2007 and it was a terrorist group called the Universal Adversaries.

I had to look that up because it was really interesting. It had been so long. They had a bomb near the UN and we did that two years in a row. So because the FDNY and NYPD were involved because they're in New York City, so it was a really big event. But other than that, it was pretty cool just going to the UN and doing some training, you know, and getting a behind the scenes view of how the UN works.

That was pretty cool. But the most important thing that I worked on there, other than disaster preparedness was in about 2006, I think it was in 2006, they kicked off a program to go out and find and locate and try to secure all records that were related to the federal agencies who were part of the response efforts in 9 11.

And that was one of the most, um, still to this day, like just watching it just reminds me of the people that I met, the people that worked at the agencies, but how [00:09:00] hard it was to even talk to anybody about it. And, you know, you had this mission to go out and try to seek these records. Some people were responsive, others were not.

I was told a lot that I don't want to, I don't want to be part of this because I'm retiring. And, but the people who did like the coast guard, for example, is one of the, so they had all of these ship to shore messages that were going back and forth from all the ships to the coast guard. So you had this.

Transcript essentially from the time the planes hit the trade centers until, you know, like 24 hours later. And, and it was a huge, huge digital file on with, um, they also provided some paper printout of it as well. And video, all the video, cause all the ports have videos going into the New York Harbor. So we had all that video too.

That's all now part of the national archives and being preserved. So that was one of the more proudest things I've done to just be part of that effort. But it was, it was [00:10:00] really, uh, I met some people who survived 9 11, the firefighters that were there. And I think about them every year because the stories that they told, I just, I couldn't believe it.

You know, that they're standing there next to me talking about it. And I said, well, how did you survive? I said, well, I climbed under a fire truck and, you know, prayed and I came out and I survived. So, you know, just stories like that, it was pretty amazing. Um, and now there's this, this archive is part of the National Archives.

It's part of the commission records. Some of them are still closed. I was looking it up just the other day to see if they were even available for the public and some still are not. I met a woman also who was collecting all the phone records that people were calling in and leaving messages around the airplanes.

So the, you know, I just came across these people and all their stories were just so phenomenal and interesting and moving every day. It was like, it was, it was hard. So I ended up leaving that job because I think it just. It got to me, you know, there was, it was just a lot to handle. It was, you know, but I had a lot of, [00:11:00] made a lot of great friends, you know, so people in FEMA, Kevin Reed and Ken Hudson, those guys, uh, Mark Stumlin at FDNY.

So it was, you know, this guy's really helpful. I learned a lot. I learned a tremendous, a lot about disaster preparedness. And Kevin was telling me not too long ago that that double play tabletop exercise that we did is still talked about to this day because it went off without a hitch. So yeah, it was, it was a proud time for me working for the NARO.

Anthony Woodward: Yeah, no, amazing story, really interesting and important piece of history, I think, for the context. And thank you for taking the time and the focus and the energy. And I can imagine how drained that would be. So completely understand the perspective of that.

Kris Brown: On the, the disaster preparedness stuff, you know, what are the key takeaways based on your history based on what you've done?

What are the things that the listeners should be thinking about regardless of the organization that they're in? So leaning now on more of your expertise. And so saying, you know, I'm on my audience member listening now, what are the things that they should be thinking about as it [00:12:00] relates to disaster

preparedness?

Andrew du Fresne: I would say number one is you will not escape a disaster anymore. It doesn't matter where you live. It just seems like the weather is getting worse. Call it global warming, whatever you want to call it. But it seems like everybody is now, you know, in a disaster zone. I think the first thing is you got to do an assessment.

You know, you may not have, you know, the 500 year flood, but the chances have increased since the last 10 years. So you better. Do an assessment, be aware of it, and then conduct training. Those are the top three things. And then run a tabletop exercise, be willing to make the mistakes, be willing to point out where the gaps are, and then be prepared.

That's, that's why they call it disaster preparedness, because if you're not prepared and it happens all the time, we see it on TV and it's devastating what's going on in Libya and everywhere else. These fires in Morocco and the earthquakes, you know, even like in Venice in [00:13:00] 1974, I think it was, if you ever saw this movie, I can't remember what it was called, something like books of fire or something like that.

It was this whole story about when the, They had this flood, all the rivers had risen and all the, you know, the, these old books were kept in the basement. There were from the 14th, 13th century were full of mud and slow fires is what it was called. And I think that's a lesson to everybody is that you have to be prepared.

And first of all, stop keeping your archives in the basement or the attic. Um, It's probably a good place to start. You're not, you're not going to escape it. So you better be prepared, go out, do your assessment, and you could hire a consultant where you can just do it yourself because there's enough, I think, especially with FEMA or the national archives or probably your state archives or records management program probably has some kind of form of assessment form that you can go fill out, do your own gaps, uh, assessment, and then begin to start filling in the gaps.

Your position [00:14:00] become more high profile because you did the work, you did the training, you did the assessment, and you'll be much better off for it.

Kris Brown: That's about visibility, right? And like your ability to actually show that this is what we need to be doing.

Andrew du Fresne: And I know it's true because, you know, we did this tabletop exercise, you know, almost 15 years ago and people are still talking about it.

Anthony Woodward: And I can say disasters can be local. It's probably not obvious. This wall behind me has been repaired. But, uh, three weeks ago, a tap broke over a weekend here in our office and water went through everything. So it doesn't even have to be a natural disaster. It can be, uh, otherwise outside of it.

Andrew du Fresne: Exactly.

Just locally, we had a big, huge storm that came through here and, uh, the electricity went off. So everybody's sump pump stopped. So everybody on that street got flooded. All their basements were flooded because the electricity went out. I mean, nobody had generators. You just, things that you think that you can rely on, you can't rely on anymore.

You have to be diligent and you have to go and do your [00:15:00] work and get ready and be prepared. Or I suppose you just throw caution to the wind and just hope for the best.

Anthony Woodward: There's always a way. What would you describe, you know, as you go back through your career as being the highlights and the lowlights?

Where do you see those pieces, you know, without calling anybody out, but it'd be interesting to the audience.

Andrew du Fresne: I'll start with the low point I think is and you probably know this being in the industry as long as you guys have been the struggle of getting people to understand and follow Policy and procedure, everybody kind of likes to do their own thing and everybody manages their data and records differently.

Um, you know, what you do at home is totally different than what you do at work. So it's, it's a constant struggle and, and you know, you gotta be persistent. That's always hard. Uh, especially when in my case where I have started. Three or four different programs, you know, for small companies and a Pew wasn't huge, but Elon was, you know, five to, I think 8, [00:16:00] 000 people, employees worldwide.

So, you know, that struggle was real and it's not easy. It's not a hard net technology keeps changing. I would say the highlight, and this is actually one of the funniest anecdotes. I totally forgot to tell you guys this when we were talking about this last week, but something that happened to me that was really funny that I was completely innocent.

But the day I started at NARA, so I was working in region two in New York. And so they sent me down for my first day to go down to DC for orientation. So I got there. I stayed there the night before, got there early. The HR director wasn't there yet, so the rotunda is right off of where HR is. So the woman says, well, the HR isn't here.

You know, she's an assistant. She goes, why don't you just go in the rotunda and just walk around and we'll come get you when, when we're ready. And I said, okay, fine. Now I had been to the National Archives rotunda. You know, you know, what's in there. It's the Declaration of Independence. Constitution, the Magna Carta is sitting over there, you know, and I'm just walking around, the lights are off and you know, the Magna Carta is out, but the [00:17:00] Constitution and Declaration are both, you know, below in the vault, but you can still walk around.

I'm just walking around, just kind of looking at things, got my hands behind my back, just kind of, you know, like, you know, I've seen these before, but it's really cool because it's quiet, it's dark, there's, there's nobody in there. And, um, next thing I know, I see like three. Security guys coming right at me, and they just lift me right off my feet, take me right into the HR department.

Like, how did you get in here? And I'm like, I had a badge at the time. There was something like flashing my badge. Like I work here, you know, it's my first day. I'm not even oriented yet, but, uh, oh yeah, they moved me out of there so fast. It was hilarious. And the woman starts to apologize. I'm so sorry. I forgot about the security, but yeah, that was my first day at NARO.

I would say the other highlights as far as professionally is when you see a program come to fruition. And usually it's about, you know, especially when you start a program, about the third year, you start seeing people in the policies and procedures take effect and people are starting to follow the rules and the things you laid out and [00:18:00] compliance efforts.

And, you know, people are engaging, especially when, cause you a small team. So you have all these, um, business unit. Records coordinators that you're working with and they're part of your team, even though they don't report to you, but seeing them buy into the stakeholders and buy into the whole program, that's really, I think, something that I've been proud of.

It takes a while. It takes a lot of frustration. People don't believe in it sometimes. And some people just kind of wash their hands of you and you just keep being persistent and keep trying. But when that, when that actually you see a program take off, that's a proud moment. And I would say with like Elon, like that was another disappointment where we had worked so hard over the last year.

Three and a half, four years, right when we were seeing some successes, they decided they're going to sell their last pipeline. Their drug was for, um, Alzheimer's and they sold it off to J and J. So everything that I was doing up to that point shifted to this acquisition. And because we had already [00:19:00] done all this legwork.

We were asked to segregate all this 20 years of, you know, data that they had for this drug segregated out from all the cold mingled. And then once that was done, they could then send that data off to 20 years with the data, and then they get the check in the mail and. That was it. So it took me, me and another guy about six months.

And then on the seventh month, uh, I was let go. So that was a very disappointing moment, but because we had done all that leg work and to all those practitioners out there, I mean, it does pay off because if we hadn't done all that work beforehand, knew where all the data was, all the offsite stores records, and they were everywhere.

Um, and consolidated it. I don't think that would have, it would have taken us a year probably at least just to segregate all that commingled data.

Kris Brown: So Andrew, you know, talking through those stories and yeah, again, you've made the point it takes time to see value. It takes time to see the wins [00:20:00] and yeah, having.

You sort of started this journey, I think you said 90, early 90s. How have you seen the industry evolve? Cause that bit hasn't changed. It still takes time to get that value, right?

Andrew du Fresne: Yeah. And you know, well, the obvious is going from analog to digital, born digital. That has been a big part of it. You know, the transition and we're still kind of in the midst of that too, you know, I was talking to the guy who does our recycling of our paper.

I said, have you seen a drop off? He's like, Oh no, I've seen actually we do more recycling now than we have 10 years ago. And I was like, well, this is going backwards. Um, so they take all the printers off the desktops and you know, now you got to walk to the printer and people are still using paper. I can't say that I've seen a whole lot of change because, you know, it's still employee based, human based activity that we're doing.

Some people are organized, some are not. You try to give them keys to help be more organized and help them [00:21:00] along the way. But the digital world has actually made that worse, especially in instruction, unstructured environments. And we try to get them in a structured environment and it's just, you know, there's still just data everywhere.

And what I see is. Not much has changed other than we've gone from analog to digital, but the technology changes. The people don't, you know, their behavior and their habits don't really change that much. So we've learned to adapt to the behavior and try to force people into some boxes. They may not like it, but.

Sometimes that's what you have to do, push them, kicking and screaming into the 21st century, but if the technology could stay, you know, in the status quo for a little longer than three years, it might help us, you know, but that doesn't seem to be the case. So you're, you feel like you're constantly adapting and I feel that.

As practitioners in the information governance space that we are always adapting, but our clientele and our customers are not, and those are the people that we work with [00:22:00] sometimes have a hard time adapting and moving along with the trends and so that part of it, I've seen it evolve, but I can't say it's always been positive.

Kris Brown: Is that the hope that, you know, we're, we adapt in such a way that as practitioners, the idea is to use more of the technology to do more of that heavy lifting? Because I think what you're saying, and I probably agree to an extent, which is that the users, the data creators, they aren't changing. We've, we've been trying for it.

20 something, 30 something years, regardless of being paper or digital, they, they still want to do what they want to do. Is it time that as a group of practitioners, we go, well, let's lean into the technology.

Andrew du Fresne: I'm all for technology. I just don't know that, you know, once you took that central file room away and they were always usually pretty organized.

The digital world has kind of made it a discombobulated world. It might be easier to transfer information, bits and bytes back and forth. But when you go to store it, you know, if we could [00:23:00] go back to the dumb terminal, that might be the answer is that, you know, I know a lot of companies are trying to keep people from storing stuff on their, their local drives or C drives.

And force them into, you know, a structured environment. I think sometimes you're just going to have to do that. There's going to have to be prompts, you know, you, you start a record, this record belongs in this space, um, in this location, uh, you don't have a choice. It's not about the content per se, but it's about managing the life cycle of that record.

And I think, you know, people don't want to be told what to do. And I think. Maybe we're not telling them, we're just driving them there, you know, we, you know, we, we've just, we set the road map and we're going to push them into the car and get them to, uh, where they need to go as easily as we can. I don't know what the answer is, but that's, you know, over the years, it's just human behavior doesn't seem to change very much and I liken it to in 2004.

2005, when we went from a four by three [00:24:00] television screen to a 16 by nine, everybody was so happy about how clear it was and behind the scenes. I don't think people really understand what's going on in the television industry and the technological aspect. And a lot of this stuff is done over satellite and it's all done over.

P and they've moved along so well, why can't we, you know, you know, that's made things much more efficient, more effective. And I think we can get there. It's just gonna maybe take some time, especially with the younger generation coming up, you know, they're born into a born digital world and. Uh, maybe that would be the difference.

Kris Brown: And look, I think I, I probably take the point there though, right? Like we didn't really get a choice about 4x3 to 16x9. It was the right decision. Yeah. We were all very happy with the outcome, but we, but we didn't get a choice. You kind of, you can keep your 4x3 telly if you wanted to, but you're going to miss out on the bits on the side.

Andrew du Fresne: Exactly. Yeah, exactly.

Anthony Woodward: Well, there was 16x9, the real resolution, and that's for a whole other

podcast. I really like that analogy because I think that's really [00:25:00] interesting for the industry One of the things I think that made the four by three to 16 by nine work is that I, as the user didn't really have to evolve too much. Things evolved around me. Are you seeing that as the same? Cause I think one of the biggest challenges that we're seeing is there a definition of what a record is has changed and that's, what's actually made it harder.

Because in the file room, you had the signed piece of paper. That was the record. We put it in a file, we put it in a box and we know where that was. Now we have a very different definition. How do you see that evolving and that impacting it? Cause I think there's some underlying principles that are changing.

Andrew du Fresne: Yeah, that's true. Um, people have to adopt. And I think that, you know, even though we've established in many cases, what a record is actually, we don't, it's really the attorneys and the legal profession that does, you know, what's admissible in court. And that's where I think the training comes in is, you know, teaching people exactly what it is that you're looking at and [00:26:00] just creating awareness.

And I think a lot of people don't have that awareness. They're kind of stuck in their own little bubble and, you know, they're working in that space and, you know, outside of that, and it's not until there's a legal hold or something that they start freaking out that. You know, maybe I'm not doing the right thing, but yeah, I don't know.

I, you know, I think about this all the time because, you know, I'm in it. I'm a practitioner dealing with it every day, thinking about how I can help to change people's behavior. And I think a lot of it is through awareness and training.

Anthony Woodward: I think your point, um, even challenges me a little bit that the definition of records was never a fixed thing.

It is something that's created of the context of the thing you're arguing. And that's where it gets tricky because. It has to be provident. It has to be auditable. It has to be contextualized to the thing that it's trying to represent that, you know, in that court case, in that particular argument, you're trying to construct from that evidence.

So I think that's very interesting. I think where it gets very difficult, I think this is the point you're making earlier [00:27:00] in an electronic world, that volume that does that. Is huge. So, you know, I had a meeting earlier today with a company that builds the large electricity generating windmills, and they have a bunch of data streaming off those, and they want to look at how they manage key events that occur in in those situations in a provident way for particular.

Court cases coming up for them. So you've got this data stream happening from all these different devices and content. And in the future, we're going to have a lot of cases, you know, a lot of legal issues that surround these data streams and these operations of things for decisions people made way before the data stream ever happened.

I'm wondering, is there an analogy back to the analog world and what you've seen in that transition, because it's the same problem, it's just presented differently.

Andrew du Fresne: That's very true. You know, I think if we lived in an open society and we weren't so concerned about [00:28:00] privacy, it would be a lot easier to manage.

But because we have all these issues around privacy, I shouldn't call them issues, but rightfully so, and we want to protect our, our, if we didn't have all these bad actors out there, wouldn't be an issue. But, um, you know, my concern is that there's so much data that I don't know that. Even AI could handle it, you know, um, maybe it could, but I don't, I don't know the answers, you know, from, if you look at it from an archival perspective, we know that, you know, anything that gets preserved, it's going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 to 8 percent of all records that are created and generated.

So, and that's just a general idea. You know, it's not set in stone, but you say 5 to 8 percent of a zettabyte is a lot of data. So. Looking at it from that perspective, I mean, we only want to keep the important stuff to show the evolution of humanity. So what happens to all the, you know, the, [00:29:00] the 92 percent just goes away.

Is it, is it worthless? Is it really worthless? I mean, does it provide, you know, this is coming from an analog world. It's just the way we've always looked at it, you know, but now we have the capability essentially of keeping all data, which I've heard some people in the industry say we should just keep it all, but you can't.

I tend to look at it from the archival perspective is that it's only the decision makers that seem to warrant keeping their information and the rest of us who don't make the decisions kind of fall away to the side, right? Um, you drive around Europe and you see all these castles and, you know, they're rich barons and they're, they're, they're, they're the ones that whose history is told and not the ones who are working for the baron.

And that's the way I look at it is that, you know, all that stuff, I don't think much of that's going to change, you know, there's still going to spend a lot of time archiving what they think is important from the leadership perspective. And the people who do the real work are just going to, it's going to go away at [00:30:00] some point.

Kris Brown: I love that analogy. It's, yeah, it's a very cool analogy, right? Like I said, we're only telling the history of those who, who have the castle, not the, those who have done the work. I do like that analogy.

Anthony Woodward: I'd love to probably sum up to someone who's either starting out their career or really just getting into information management and governance.

You know, what, what would be your key lessons?

Andrew du Fresne: You know, I got to think about that because, you know, I have two young. People that I hired that are in their twenties who knew nothing about records management, information governance, one knew a lot about data. The other one knows a lot about writing and you know, I spent a lot of time explaining to them and training them to get them to understand where I'm coming from and how important this is.

And if you're starting out and you know, they're not, they didn't go to a school where they teach records management. And I think a lot of people. Don't, you know, a lot of people assume these positions and they go to the conferences and the conferences still to this day, and they're still going and [00:31:00] teaching, you know, records management one Oh one.

And the other day I was thinking about it. I was at Nagara and Cincinnati and they're still teaching the same courses because you have this new crop of people coming up and they don't have that experience. So you do the pre conference, you do the classes and you just. Start, you know, become a sponge. You just take it all in.

And sometimes that's the best way. Cause I, I can say in my career, I don't think I've ever met anybody who's, I know they have, but I haven't met anybody who's actually graduated from a college program that was designed for records management. You know, and I know they exist, like Pittsburgh had one and I think one in Seattle, maybe, but maybe Chicago, but I've never met anybody actually graduated from one of those programs.

So everybody's kind of learning, learning it through these conferences. And, uh, you have to be a sponge and you got to take all the classes and ask the questions and, you know. Trust the people that have gone there before you and learn from them because, uh, it's, [00:32:00] you know, like I said before, I was talking about these guys that work for FEMA and FDNY and, uh, New York police department and how much I learned from them just to get a gain in understanding and asking questions, you know, it was tremendous for what I learned, you know, I wasn't a firefighter or police officer, but the knowledge that they had was so strong.

I'll never forget it. And that's really what it takes is take the courses, ask the questions, find a peer, find a mentor and bug them until, you know, they finally tell you to, you know, bugger off. And then just ask one more question after they've told you that. Yeah, exactly.

Anthony Woodward: But, but I think that's some really great advice.

I mean, there's so much shared knowledge out there and so many places to access it. I think that's fantastic for people. Did you have any final thoughts as we wrap up?

Andrew du Fresne: I hope that if there's anybody that's young out there in their thirties, that's listening to this, that, you know, they stick with it. Cause we definitely need, you know, I, I don't know if the profession is still [00:33:00] strong.

I know that Nagara had one of the largest attendees they've ever had. So there was a, I was in that. Um, committee a little bit, um, but not much, but they had something like 400 and some attendees. So I, I like to think that that's an indication that it's growing or that it's sustaining, um, and people are finding this important.

I'd like for the people who go into it to have a better understanding of the importance of information governance and data management from our perspective, not just theirs. Somewhere in the middle, we'll meet someday, I think, but just keep, you know, going to be persistent. And that's my advice is be persistent

Anthony Woodward: and I love that convergence notion.

It's what this podcast actually about is converging technology and data regulation, data governance. So I think that's that's a great thing to wrap up on. Thank you very much for the time today. Andrew love the stories. It's a fantastic journey that we've been on in today's conversation. Thank you. Thank you everybody for listening.

I'm Anthony Woodwards. And I'm Chris

Kris Brown: [00:34:00] Brown. We'll see you next time on Filed.

Creators and Guests

How to safeguard your data and records against inevitable natural disasters | Andrew du Fresne, John Bean Technologies
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