Property Records Industry Association Announces Ernst Scholarship Award Recipients for 2017-18

The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) has announced the Ernst Scholarship Award recipients for the 2017-18 membership year which begins on August 1, 2017. This award was established by Ernst Publishing Co., in conjunction with PRIA, in recognition of the late Carl R. Ernst, for his contributions to PRIA and the extended property records industry.

This year marks the fourth year the award has been bestowed. The recipients for 2017-18 are both from the government sector.

Stacie Herridge, recorder, Story Co., IA, has worked for the county for over 20 years, beginning with 14 years as the deputy recorder, followed by three years as deputy auditor of real estate before being elected recorder and taking office in January of 2015.

During her first three years as county recorder, Herridge has managed the preparation and conversion to a new records management system, including 40 years of data and images that integrate with the county’s current real estate tax management system. Herridge collaborated with other county office staff, vendors, real estate professionals and the local title company to guarantee a seamless transition to the new recording system. This conversion has helped modernize the office, to keep up with the demands while finding a more efficient and cost-effective program that facilitates continuity between the county offices and public access to real estate information.
Herridge is currently the Iowa County Recorders District I Secretary/Treasurer and enjoys sharing ideas with her colleagues in the Iowa County Recorders Association. Locally, she has been an active member of the Nevada Bicentennial Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association, serving in many capacities since 1993. She currently is the treasurer of that organization that annually awards students scholarships totaling over $15,000 per year to further their college education. She has volunteered her talents with the local Nevada Community School District as a member of the Nevada School Foundation, Nevada Athletic Committee and the District Level Team. She is a former member of the Nevada Historic Preservation Commission specializing in downtown revitalization projects and as a cemetery walk volunteer. Herridge has received the “Spirit of Nevada Award” for which she was selected by the Nevada Chamber Ambassadors, the American Business Women’s Association Chapter “Woman of the Year” and was a participant/graduate of the Leadership Nevada Program.

The second government recipient is Danny R. Hester, register of deeds for Lincoln Co., NC, who was first elected in 2010 following a 38-year career as a funeral director.

During his first term, he brought the office into the 21st century with new technology, including new recording software. This addition, along with cross training steps, has cut the document return time to within one day of receipt.

Hester had the remaining 122 books in the office scanned and uploaded to the office website; therefore, all land records are now accessible via the website. This project makes it more convenient for the public and title searchers to search from the comfort of their homes instead of coming into the register of deeds’ office.

In late 2014, his office enabled eRecordings of satisfactions and cancellations, adding all documents in January 2015 with the exception of plats. Today, 37 percent of all documents submitted are electronically recorded.

He and his staff strive for exceptional customer service. “The customers are our supervisors and I’ve always told my staff, to treat everyone on the other side of that counter as if you were them and the roles were reversed.”

He is involved with various organizations including serving as the new members’ chair of iGO (International Association of Government Officials). He has served in NCARD (North Carolina Association of Registers of Deeds), holding the offices of historian, secretary, treasurer, second vice president and president-elect. In September of 2017, he will be installed as president of NCARD, which serves all 100 counties. Hester also serves as co-chair of the Vital Records Committee of NCARD. “I’ve always been taught to give 100 percent to everything you do and from the time I was elected, I have tried to do just that.”

The Ernst Scholarship Awards include a one year PRIA Membership for recipients, along with conference registration and travel to one of the two PRIA conferences during the membership year. The awards are valued at $2,000, plus a complimentary membership in PRIA.

According to PRIA President Mark Ladd, “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 basic 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 values 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 this year’s recipients and, as Carl would say, ‘keep plugging.’ ”

This year’s recipients were selected by a committee that includes the PRIA officers and a representative of Ernst Publishing Co. Scholarships are awarded annually assuming valid 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, visit