County Recording Deputy Erin Niemi awarded PRIA Scholarship

Erin Niemi, a recording deputy for Okanogan County is one of two recipients selected to receive the Ernst Scholarship for 2018-19 from the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA).

For the second consecutive year, there were no applicants from the business community so both recipients are recorders. Niemi worked in the private sector of the land records industry in both Texas and Oregon before moving to the public sector.

In her role as recording deputy, Niemi assists the citizens, businesses and local organizations in locating information contained in the public land records, using all the technology available in her office. However, she frequently refers to the leather-bound index books or file drawers of documents which have not yet been scanned. She clearly recognizes how the evolution of technology has transformed accessibility of property records, according to the organization.

“Congratulations to Erin Niemi at Okanogan County for winning the Ernst Scholarship from PRIA. The scholarship provides a one year membership to PRIA and free attendance, including travel, to a PRIA national conference,” said Okanogan County Auditor Laurie Thomas.

Niemi was introduced to PRIA’s resources when she was researching the bulk sale of images to businesses and located the PRIA white paper on “Access to and Sale of Records in Bulk.” Since then she has continued to reach out to PRIA members for guidance on complex issues that could not be easily answered at the local level, according to the association, which added, “This collaboration has given her new confidence in her role as the custodian of public records.”

A graduate of University of Dallas in Irving, Texas, she worked her way through school with a part-time job as an escrow assistant.

“I am extremely proud of Erin for taking the initiative to research and apply for this prestigious scholarship in her quest to expand her education and knowledge,” said Thomas. “Erin is a true professional, conscientious and wonderful to work with, providing exceptional customer service. She is a shining example of the great crew we have working in the Okanogan County Auditor’s office.”