Rachel Sanchez, left, received the Chief Deputy of the Year Award from the Michigan Association of Register of Deeds. Karen Hahn, the Mecosta County Register of Deeds, right, presented the award. Courtesy
Rachel Sanchez began working for the Ottawa County Register of Deeds Office in 2000. It was her “first real job,” she says.
As the chief deputy register of deeds since 2014, Sanchez is being recognized for her work in the department and the state.
The Michigan Association of Register of Deeds awarded her Chief Deputy of the Year in a ceremony earlier this fall.
“When they called my name, I was shocked,” Sanchez says. “To be recognized was definitely very humbling and an honor.”
She has risen to take on leadership roles and has been with the department through numerous significant changes, including the merger with the county clerk’s office.
Sanchez is relied on by registers of deeds and their staff from across the state, Ottawa County Clerk and Register of Deeds Justin Roebuck says.
In each county, the office of the Register of Deeds is responsible for recording indexing and preserving real estate records.
Ottawa County ran the pilot program for digital land records in the state. Sanchez has served as a special advisor to the Michigan Electronic Recording Commission, which sets the standards for the electronic recording of land records across the state and played a significant role in distributing hundreds of thousands of grant dollars to register offices to modernize their processes and encourage secure recording of land records.
Ready to help
“She is an incredibly hard working, detail driven person who is focused on getting the job done,” Roebuck says. “She’s really efficient, but also, her attitude and mentality has always been ‘yeah, we can do that.’ She’s always willing to step in and help.”
Sanchez was an obvious choice for the award, Roebuck says. For her knowledge, yes, but he adds, “also for the culture she embodies and promotes within our team.”
“I love to help out,” Sanchez says. “I love having the knowledge to help people and if I don’t have the knowledge, I love being able to find the answers.”
Those coming to the Register of Deeds/County Clerk’s service window can obtain anything from an official birth certificate to a copy of their deed. With the combination of the departments, the customer service goal of the department has been to have register of deeds and county clerk’s office staff fully cross trained — a process that Sanchez oversaw.
The department’s overarching mission is to help customers and encourage their trust in government, Roebuck says.
“I think Rachel just exemplifies that in such a clear way,” he says. “She is a problem solver through and through. It is a privilege to work with her.”
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