Public Announcements

    BitmoGene Telegram - March 2020



    Each July the Board of Directors hosts an all-day strategic planning session for chapter leaders where we map out the year ahead. Chock full of collaborative creativity and frank discussion that often yields wonderful new ideas, it’s one of my favorite activities as an ARMA chapter leader.

    This past July, at the start of the 2019-2020 chapter year, we thought it would be a good idea to conduct a SWOT analysis of our strengths and weaknesses as a chapter and as a broader association, and of the opportunities and threats that may lie ahead.

    I started off the activity by recounting a parable that I thought could serve as a poignant metaphor for the fluid nature of strengths and weaknesses. It was a story that I’d once heard early in my martial arts training that had stuck with me throughout the years, and I’d like to recount it for you here:

    … Some time ago in the rough slums of Rio de Janeiro, a boy was born with an unfortunate congenital condition that had left him with one arm. Growing up weak and frail, childhood – as you might imagine – was not an easy or pleasant one. Living under the daily threat of violence from his peers and elders alike, the boy had heard of a revolutionary self-defense that was catching on in Brazil, a form of grappling with roots in the Japanese art of Judo, dubbed “Gracie [Brazilian] Jiu- Jitsu”.

    He fantasized of a world where he could defend himself, or at the very least get himself off the dangerous streets of Rio. Working up the courage, he stepped into his local Jiu-Jitsu academy and asked the instructor if he would accept him to the school. Without hesitation, the instructor responded affirmatively, and cautioned him that the training would be difficult and at times confusing, but the boy would have to promise to stick it out. The boy agreed enthusiastically, and so started his journey.

    He drilled a technique – the same technique – over and over. While other students were being taught a spectrum of throws and holds, clinches and sweeps, the boy worked only on this one submission technique. Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. Still the same technique. After several months, the instructor audaciously enrolled the boy in a local competition, fully expecting him to win his division.

    And win he did.

    Not only did he win his division, but he steamrolled his way through every opponent that stood in his way. It hardly seemed like a contest at all. Big or small, experienced or novice, everyone fell victim to the suffocating technique that the boy had polished to perfection, knowing how to apply and hold it better than he knew his own hand.

    You see, not long after he started training, he had realized what the instructor saw in him right away: that the only possible defense out of this particular submission technique involved manipulating the other arm to create a bit of room for escape – a gift to an opponent that the boy could not possibly offer.

    There was no defense. The very condition that this boy had spent his whole life convinced was his greatest weakness had become his greatest strength...

    Think about that for a moment. How awesome of an epiphany it is to realize that these concepts - strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats - are not isolated or independent constants. They are fluid and malleable. There is a relationship - an interplay of push and pull, a delicate dance - in which they all swirl and seek balance, much like the art of Jiu-Jitsu itself. We have a blueprint for how to take a scared and weakly one-armed boy and transform him into one of the most physically dangerous humans on the planet. That is the beautiful reality of our world, and it’s an incredibly powerful and inspiring message.

    Little did I realize how prophetic that SWOT analysis would turn out to be. In early March as we were getting ready to kick off our flagship event of the year, CONFIRM.NYC, we found ourselves in the opening salvos of New York City’s war with COVID-19. And while we certainly had no way of anticipating something of the scope and scale that this pandemic is proving to be, we found ourselves forced to figure out how to maneuver around threats to uncover our strengths; to will our weaknesses into opportunities. In one afternoon, the virtual meetings that we’d been flirting with for years but couldn’t ever find a way to materialize suddenly took shape. Volunteers who were never on the radar before offered their valuable contributions, forging new and exciting relationships that will be cultivated for the future. Sometimes it just takes a jarring event to realize the vast potential that we all intrinsically possess.



    Now that we’ve figured out the ins and outs of virtual meetings, we are working hard behind the scenes to bring you speakers and content to advance your career as effectively remotely as we’ve been doing in person throughout the years. The remaining meetings that we have on the calendar are going to be virtual, and some of the dates are subject to change as of right now. PLEASE CHECK BACK OFTEN as we pivot to adjust our educational programming plan.

    Our end-of-year (June) sponsor appreciation social is tentatively on hold pending further development of the coronavirus situation. We are holding out a glimmer of hope for an in-person social but it is too early to tell if that’s a realistic plan. We will keep you posted.



    ARMA Metro NYC exists and stays operational because of the incredible efforts of our all-volunteer Board of Directors, committee and task force members. It truly takes a village to run an association chapter of this size.

    But did you know that volunteering also affords YOU tremendous opportunities in professional development, networking and new friendships that you simply would not get a chance to experience otherwise?

    Take a look at all we have to offer: And in turn, offer us your creative energy and fresh perspective on how to help lead our profession into the next generation.



    Chapter elections are upon us, with the following key positions to be decided by June:

    • President
    • Executive Vice-President
    • Secretary
    • Treasurer
    • Vice-President, Membership


    We are now accepting nominations from our Chapter member community. If you are interested in self-nominating for one of these Board of Directors positions, or to nominate another Chapter member, please contact the Nominating/Elections Committee Chair and Immediate Past President, Mary Sherwin ([email protected]).



    We have updated our bylaws and are asking for member review and comments. Please see the current proposed revision here. THE DEADLINE TO CAST A NO VOTE OR TO SUBMIT MODIFICATIONS IS APRIL 30, 2020.



    While most of us are self-quarantined in our homes, hopefully practicing regular hand-washing and good hygiene, please keep those who are out there running what’s left of our society in your thoughts and prayers.

    On behalf of the Board of Directors, now more than ever, sending you our warmest wishes for good health and well-being. We hope to see you soon!


    Gene Stakhov


    ARMA Metro NYC Chapter

    CONFIRM.NYC 2020 and the Coronavirus Outbreak

    Dear Chapter Members, Friends, and Registered Attendees of CONFIRM.NYC 2020:

    You have no doubt heard by now of the concern in and around New York City of COVID-19 or 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

    We wanted to make sure you were aware of the current status as it relates to CONFIRM.NYC, as well as the steps we are taking to ensure your health and well-being at the conference. 

    This announcement will be updated if/when new information becomes available.  You can always retrieve the latest version from the Announcements section of our website (


    March 9, 2020 9:00 AM EST


    • Rachael Heade's Session, "The MAD Side of Records Management (M&A)" has been replaced with Michael Landau's session, "Does Your Organization Already Have What You Need to Drive Compliance With your Data?"
    • Speakers Robert Smallwood and Leigh Isaacs will be presenting remotely via video linkup


    March 5, 2020 10:00 PM EST

    • We have secured video conferencing capabilities, to supplement the availability of remote speakers who may be experiencing travel issues


    March 4, 2020 10:00 PM EST

    The current situation

    The CONFIRM.NYC 2020 conference is steadily on track to take place next week, Tuesday March 10th from 8am to 5pm with a reception immediately following.

    The current consensus among healthcare specialists and government health officials is that there is a low likelihood of infection among non-healthcare workers.  According to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, “[t]he risk to New Yorkers of contracting this novel coronavirus is still low”[1].

    That being the case, we are nevertheless taking the utmost precaution, and working in lockstep with our venue partners at the Executive Conference Center and Crowne Plaza to ensure the necessary level of vigilance, as well as emergency preparedness and accessibility to basic preventive measures.


    what we are doing

    We are following the guidelines distributed today by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in partnership with New York City Emergency Management.

    We encourage you to become familiar with these as well.

    On Tuesday, we plan to implement the following risk mitigation tactics: 

    • Ensuring availability of alcohol-based sanitizers in strategic areas throughout the venue

    • Elevated vigilance by venue staff to ensure common areas remain sanitary

    • Switched to bagged lunch distribution to eliminate the spreading of germs over a shared/open buffet



    what you can do to help

    We ask that if you are not feeling well on Monday night or Tuesday morning, have any flu-like symptoms including fever, cough or shortness of breath, or have recently travelled to an area identified by the CDC for self-monitoring, please don’t venture out.

    At the conference and elsewhere, strive to implement common sense good hygiene tactics including:

    • Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, shirt sleeve, or bent arm (NOT your hands!)

    • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used if soap and water are not available

    • Avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands

    • Avoiding close contact with people who may be sick

    Good personal hygiene practices remain the best method for preventing the spread of coronavirus.

    Most importantly, don’t panic.


    This is new york ... 

    We have been through worse, and we have gotten through worse (anyone remember that triathlon where competitors had to swim through the Hudson River?  Eek!)

    All kidding aside, our top priority at CONFIRM.NYC 2020 is the safety and well-being of our guests.  We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation, and will make necessary adjustments as the need arises.  

    Remember, CONFIRM.NYC takes place in the heart of Times Square and NYC’s Theater District.  And in the truest spirit of  Broadway, and as a testament to this city’s awesome strength and resilience, we say “the show must go on!”  

    On behalf of the Board of Directors, we look forward to seeing you next week!


    Best Regards,


    Gene Stakhov 


    ARMA Metro NYC Chapter





    Chapter Member Contributions to AIEF

    ARMA Metro NYC Chapter members Bill Saffady and Anna Lebedeva have each made significant contributions to ARMA International Educational Foundation's research projects. 

    Mr. Saffady conducted a global survey of legal retention requirements for accounting records, a category of recorded information that is created and maintained by virtually all companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

    Ms. Lebedeva authored an exhaustive report that demonstrates the unique aspects of managing records and information in the U.S. financial services industry, empowering readers with the knowledge needed to implement a successful records and information management program.

    Both of these substantial research works are summarized and linked to in the INFORMATION MANAGEMENT ARMA-AIEF SPECIAL EDITION.

    Chapter-Subsidized Study on Court Decisions on Information Management Published

    The ARMA International Educational Foundation (AIEF) has released a free report titled "Information Management and the Courts: An Update," written by John C. Montana, J.D., FIIM, FAI.

    The Foundation thanks the ARMA Metro New York City Chapter for the financial contributions made to support this research project.

    The report analyzes U.S. court decisions on information management in these areas:

    • Data breaches and liability – Who owns data collected in cloud-based systems? Who has standing to litigate when breaches occur?
    • E-discovery and spoliation – What constitutes ownership, custody, and control of records and data, particularly as the lines blur between personal and business devices, and data distributed among systems is shared by business partners, contractors, vendors, and others?
    • Records and information policies and procedures – How do the courts view them; how do they operate in litigation?
    • Data rights – What rights does an organization have to data that it receives or collects from clients and other third parties?


    The report focuses on cases from 2000 to 2018, with older cases cited as background for discussion of newer cases and topics. Case topics have been selected to reflect current issues of interest and areas where legal doctrine is new or uncertain.

    The report supplements earlier work by this and other authors. It's available at:

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