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Spotless Record Wins Her Citywide Accolades

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Being a record keeper for the city may not sound that glamorous, but somebody has to do it. And nobody does it better than Bensonhurst resident Haleena Nalevanko, who recently was one of 26 civil service workers honored with the prestigious 100 Year Association of New York Isaac Liberman Public Service award. “There are a vast number of people from the agency who I could have chosen to nominate for this outstanding award, but I chose Haleena because hers is a job that, while absolutely critical, rarely gets the recognition it deserves,” said Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Robert Walsh, in whose department Nalevanko works. “Records management is a less than glamorous task, and it’s the kind of thing that only gets attention when it’s done wrong. To find someone who approaches it with passion, patience and perseverance is rare, but Haleena Nalevanko encapsulates all three.” Walsh added. In nominating Nalevanko, Walsh noted the SBS monitors extensive contracts with community-based organizations, including those funded through the Federal Workforce Investment Act. As part of this act, SBS must carefully follow intricate guidelines on a number of different levels to ensure proper records are kept. Additionally, SBS operates the city’s Dockmaster and Waterfront Permits Unit, and thus has jurisdiction over thousands upon thousands of maps, blueprints and other documents pertaining to the city’s waterfront dating back 100 years. “It is Haleena’s responsibility not only to ensure that these records are kept in a fashion that is easily accessible and safe, but also cost-effective,” said Walsh in nominating Nalevanko. “Records whose legally-mandated retention schedules have expired must be appropriately removed from storage and destroyed. Managing this is a constant and tireless process of paying attention to detail and controlling the storage of and access to sensitive information,” he added. Nalevanko, who received $1,000 with the award when it was handed out December 7 at One Police Plaza, started working for the city in a civil service position in 1986. Originally, she worked for the Department or Personnel before it became part of Department of Citywide Services. In 1994, Nalevanko transferred to the Department of Employment, which merged with SBS. The agency has about 60,000 cubic feet of records housed at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, 140 58th Street, said Nalevanko. “The most important part to keeping records is making sure the right records get to the right person in a timely fashion and economical way,” she said. Nalevanko said when she first started, it took five people and several hundred dollars to retrieve one file. As a result, she spent countless hours going through boxes and putting all the information on a data base. “Now we have a locater map and go to the location, pull the file and come back,” Nalevanko said. Nalevanko said that6 confidentiality and security are equally important, especially in maintaining the waterfront records. “Manhattan has 580 miles of waterfront property, including maps and plans dating back to the 1920s including piers, tunnels and bridges,” she said. “Those records have to be kept secure. You can’t have them available to terrorists,” she added. Nalevanko is originally from Iowa and came to Brooklyn in 1976 to marry a Brooklyn boy. She has lived in several areas of the borough and currently lives off 14th Avenue and 68th Street. “It was a very humbling experience to get the award,” she said. “I’m very honored to have been selected. I really enjoy what I do.”

Updated 10:26 am, October 12, 2011
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