PRIA Awards Two Ernst Scholarships Awards

The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) has presented two Ernst Scholarships Awards for the 2014-15 membership year which begins on August 1, 2014. The Ernst Scholarship Award was established by Ernst Publishing Co., in conjunction with PRIA, in recognition of the late Carl Ernst for his contributions to PRIA and the extended property records industry.

This year marks the first time the awards have been bestowed.

The recipient of the government scholarship is Chad Airhart, recorder, Dallas Co., Iowa. In his first term as recorder, Airhart digitized and indexed all real estate records in the county back to 1971 and recently imaged and indexed all military discharge records.

During the first three budget years, the Dallas Co. recorder’s office returned $950,000 in surplus to the county’s general fund and is on track to add to that surplus for the current fiscal year.

Airhart has been recognized as one of Des Moines “Forty Under 40,” has served as president of the Waukee Leadership Institute and on the board of Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce. He was named Waukee Leadership Institute’s “2012 Alumnus of the Year” for outstanding community leadership.

The business scholarship recipient is Susan Stewart, Investors Title Insurance Co., Southeast Regional Office, in Columbia, S.C. Stewart is the past president of the Palmetto Land Title Association, served on the board of the Mortgage Bankers of Greater Columbia (MBGC), received the MBGC “Member of the Year Award” and was the “2004 Better Business Bureau Arbitrator of the Year.”

Appointed by the Governor to serve as a member of the Electronic Recording Committee, she has worked fervently to promote the electronic recording of documents.
Ernst Scholarship Awards, page 2

The Scholarship Awards include a one year PRIA Membership for both a government and business candidates, along with conference registration and travel to one PRIA conference during the membership year. The awards are valued at $2,000 plus a complimentary membership in PRIA.

According to PRIA President David Ewan, “The late Carl Ernst was one of the original members of the Property Records Industry Joint Task Force, the predecessor to PRIA, and a tireless advocate for the development of both eRecording and standards for the property records industry. We could not be more pleased to partner with Ernst Publishing Co. in sponsoring this scholarship.”

The award criteria, established in 2013, require that eligible applicants have not previously been members of PRIA and have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in their chosen fields, been active in their communities and proven service consistent with the mission and continued excellence of PRIA.

“I’m sure Carl would be pleased to see that PRIA continues to be the preeminent advocate for the collaboration of business and government throughout the public records industry,” states Gregory E. Teal, president & CEO of Ernst Publishing Co. “Increased membership and participation will only stand to further strengthen the association. We are proud to sponsor these scholarships. Congratulations to the recipients and, as Carl would say, ‘keep plugging.’ ”

This year’s recipients were selected from a pool of applicants by a committee consisting of the PRIA officers and a representative of Ernst Publishing Co. The two scholarships will be awarded annually assuming application submissions by qualified candidates.

About PRIA
The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) develops and promotes national standards and best practices for the land records industry. PRIA is a coalition of government and business partners collaborating to formulate positions on issues of common interest. PRIA strives to identify areas of consensus within the industry, leading to recommendations for national standards pertaining to recordable documents. For more information on PRIA, visit