The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) has presented two Ernst Scholarships Awards for the 2015-2016 membership year which began on August 1. The Ernst Scholarship 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 just the second time the awards have been bestowed.
The first recipient of a government sector scholarship is Gayle VanHooser, register of deeds for Grundy County. VanHooser was elected register of deeds in 1994 and has been in office for 21 consecutive years. When she first came into office, paper and pen were the means by which documents were recorded, but in her first year in office, VanHooser began the process of computerizing all the county’s records.
She became an active member of the Middle Tennessee Register of Deeds Association, the Tennessee Register of Deeds Association and the County Officials Association of Tennessee. She completed the University of Tennessee’s Certified Public Administrator program within her first three years at the Register of Deed’s office. The County Officials Association of Tennessee named VanHooser Register of Year in both 1997 and 1998, and in 2007 named her County Official of the Year.
VanHooser takes a collaborative approach to problem solving and engages leaders from other county offices, as well as fellow registers to advance and improve the functioning of Registers of Deeds offices across the state.