Lena Spencer: Champion of Efficiency and Advocate of Change at Linn-Benton Community College
Lena Spencer, a dedicated professional with a passion for process innovation and community impact, has recently been honored with the Advocate of the Year 2023 Run Smarter® Award from Laserfiche. While working as the program administrator in Information Services at Linn-Benton Community College (LBCC), Spencer spent 8.5 years streamlining processes, eliminating paperwork, and driving efficiency at the college. Her outstanding work has not only transformed LBCC but has also inspired governmental agencies and educational institutions around the nation.
A Catalyst for Change
This is the second time that Spencer's commitment to efficiency and optimization has been widely recognized. Laserfiche, a leading provider of document management solutions, commended Spencer as a "community-minded process innovator with an eye for efficiency." Her relentless pursuit of streamlined workflows and digitization has enabled LBCC to save costs, enhance experiences, and adapt to challenges, as exemplified during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spencer served as the Laserfiche administrator for the college until October 2022. During the pandemic, She spearheaded LBCC's pivot toward a paperless environment by leveraging the power of Laserfiche. Previously paper-based processes, such as work-from-home requests and VPN setups, were swiftly digitized, allowing the college to continue its operations seamlessly. Spencer's expertise and dedication played a pivotal role in ensuring LBCC's resilience during those challenging times.
Recognition and Influence
Spencer's exceptional contributions to LBCC and the broader educational community extend beyond her recent award. In 2019, she was named the Higher Education Influencer of the Year by Laserfiche, a recognition that showcased her profound impact on streamlining access and improving processes at LBCC.
One of Spencer's notable achievements was the development of an access request form for new employees, which resulted in tremendous time and cost savings. "We looked at the return on investment of that form and found we saved $399,000 in opportunity hours just for that one process," Spencer revealed proudly. Her innovative approach not only improved efficiency but also enhanced the overall employee experience at LBCC.
Teaching, Sharing, and Inspiring
Beyond her role at LBCC, Spencer has been actively involved in teaching online courses and conducting webinars for an international audience, sharing her expertise and knowledge with others. Her commitment to building a vibrant community of Laserfiche users has earned her admiration and respect.
In collaboration with Matt Grams of the Preschool Promise Program, Spencer embarked on a special project that promises to have a significant impact on the local community and beyond. By embedding Google Translate directly into their Laserfiche forms, she and Grams expanded the reach of the Preschool Promise Program, ensuring families from diverse backgrounds could access its services easily.
“Matt really spearheaded the initiative at Preschool Promise,” explained Spencer. “Then I taught other schools and institutions how to use it as a tool to remove barriers for families for whom English is a second language.”
This initiative highlights Spencer's dedication to inclusivity and serving the needs of the community. The process developed by Grams and Spencer is now being used in multiple states in the U.S., as well as in Egypt and Australia.
National Recognition and Inspiring Ideas
As the recipient of the Run Smarter® Award, Spencer had the privilege of speaking at Laserfiche’s national conference. Sharing the stage with speakers from the University of San Francisco and the University of Cairo, Spencer showcased LBCC's accomplishments and her role in driving change.
Reflecting on her experiences, Spencer expressed her admiration for the Laserfiche community, and the wealth of knowledge shared at their conferences. "I have gotten so many great ideas for LBCC by attending their conferences," she said. ”I have used many of those ideas to help LBCC pivot to serve our students and community better, and to do more with less.”
Spencer’s commitment to continuous learning and improvement has propelled LBCC to
new heights of excellence, while her recognition as the Advocate of the Year speaks
volumes about her dedication, passion, and ability to drive positive change.