July 1, 2014 marked the retirement of Terry Blonquist Nelson, Director of Salt Lake County Records Management and Archives. Terry’s career in archives and records management spanned almost 38 years (37 years and 11 months, to be exact!).
Terry started her career at the Utah State Archives, working in the micrographics section. Over the years, she worked for the Utah State Archives in the records management, public reference, records center, and preservation sections. As the Reference and Record Services Manager, she coordinated the consolidation and move in 1990 of over 80,000 cubic feet of records, staff, and merging functions of two Records Center locations into one facility. She also assisted with the 1984 move of the Archives from the basement of the Capitol to an offsite location.
In May of 1996, Terry became the head of Salt Lake County Records Management and Archives. Terry not only directed the Records Management and Archives programs, but was also records compliance officer for all of Salt Lake County government, ensuring compliance in federal, state, and local laws and ordinances governing records. This involved coordinating the activities of the Government Records Access Management Policy Administration (GRAMPA) and serving as the County’s HIPAA privacy officer. (GRAMA, GRAMPA, and HIPAA were her middle names for many years).
Throughout her career, Terry was very active in both records management and archives professional organizations, including serving as President and Vice-President of the National Association of Government Archivists and Records Administrators. She was also President and Vice-President of the Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists, and held many positions in the Association of Records Managers and Administrators, Association for Information and Image Management, and the Utah Manuscripts Association. In 2010, she was asked to be a participant in the Global Archives Delegation to South Africa, extending her role as an archives ambassador on an international level.
Terry also influenced innumerable archivists and records managers through her national and local presentations, workshops, and committee work. She has the unique ability to easily communicate complicated ideas and make them understandable by any audience, translate “archive-speak” to the general population, and decipher complicated records laws and legislation. She can also make any project seem achievable, no matter how formidable it may first appear.
Thank you, Terry. You will be greatly missed.