NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SECURITY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATIONS
National Council of
Social Security Management Associations
Interview with Richard Sanchez, Seattle Region ASC
Monday, June 13, 2016
Peggy Murphy, District Manager, Great Falls Montana interviewed Seattle Region Area System Coordinator, Richard Sanchez.
Peggy Murphy: Tell us about how you became an ASC with our agency?
Richard Sanchez: I was selected for the office SLC position in 2005 and really enjoyed the responsibilities of fixing and solving issues for my colleagues. My interest and skills flourished from there. I trained with one of our region’s best ASCs, Larry Runge, who took me under his wing and provided the opportunity to improve the skillsets needed to be an effective SLC. In 2007, I accepted a Job Enhancement Program (JEP) detail to assist ASCs with a workstation refreshment project. During this assignment, I caught the ASC bug. In 2009, an ASC position opened, and the rest is history.
PM: What has been the biggest change in the use of technology since you became an ASC?
RS: Every day something is changing in technology. This is what keeps my job interesting. As the agency embraces technological advancement, we ASCs welcome the opportunity to assist in serving and increasing the speed of individual service to the public. Things as simple as the use of dual monitors were a huge asset in speeding up interviews and taking applications. I believe the biggest change for our agency has been the introduction of laptops and teleworking. For some, getting familiar with using a laptop has been quite an undertaking.
Laptops, I believe, are the future of the agency and as frustrating as they may be right now, I think as time passes and we work out the kinks, it will be like adding that second monitor years ago (that no one wants to give up now).
PM: Do you keep up with latest and futuristic technological advances outside the agency?
RS: Yes, I do. I am always reading up on newest toys and gadgets that are coming out. New technology and trends evolve faster than our agency incorporates them, so staying informed contributes to having the ability to introduce new technology by promoting the advantages. An example is with the introduction of laptops and teleworking.
PM: Do you think Social Media will grow as an outlet for us to get information out to our customers?
RS: Yes. I am confident it will. You can already see the groundwork for it. We, as an agency, are currently on Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media outlets. The public is becoming more and more aware that Social Media is an efficient source to obtain information quickly.
PM: At the end of the day, how do you measure if your day was a good one?
RS: I consider my day successful by my customers’ satisfaction. My customers are the staff within the agency. It can be frustrating when they are trying to serve the public and there is a system problem. It is gratifying to be able to relieve their stress by providing technical assistance. The most positive aspect of my job is that I have been able to build many relationships with co-workers throughout my region. When I have been able to share knowledge and contribute to professional development, it has been a good day.