Preserving the American Spirit and Beauty of Wyoming
An interview with Beth Blackwell, Grants and Loans Manager
The Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments’ mission is to: ‘Effectively manage natural resources and funds for current and future generations’. They manage state land that generates revenue from land leases, such as oil and gas, and grazing. The revenue goes into the Common School Fund for K - 12 education; grants and loans to fund infrastructure; farm loans, and other initiatives to sustain and grow Wyoming’s vast natural resources and serve their communities. The State Forester’s Office is also under their auspices.
Ms. Blackwell’s division is the administrative arm of the State Loan and Investment Board. The other side of the agency serves the State Board of Land Commissioners. They have used EnABLE since 2014.
“We’re always finding new things in EnABLE and capabilities that really help us. The deeper we go the more it helps us.”
Interview Questions and Answers
We administer the State revolving funds, each of which has over $120 million available. The total amount we administer is over a billion dollars. I just pulled this up on EnABLE while we’re talking: I have a total of 417 loans for $392 million, and a total of 617 grants for $179 million right now. That’s more than many community banks and we manage all that with a staff of seven people.
All of our loan and grant processes and information are on EnABLE. We are transitioning to a completely paperless system and EnABLE is our official software. We’re moving all our environmental analysis and Davis-Bacon information there, too.
Ms. Blackwell: If you’re at all computer savvy, EnABLE is very simple to use.
Ms. Blackwell: Yes, EnABLE makes us much more efficient. Our loan and grant processing is much easier. All of our support documents are in EnABLE, so there’s no more finding and pulling files.
The reporting capabilities are great. I can just pull up everything and compare it, year over year, to see how we’re doing, or pull up a snapshot of what we did in the last month – whatever I need. We also use the note feature to attach comments to our loan and grant files.
Ms. Blackwell: A big change is that we use the automated workflows for draw down requests. Then we do all post-financial activity in it. Loan documentation is so easy because all the information is in the system.
Before EnABLE, we used Word documents with asterisks wherever you had to put something. A loan document took all day to generate. With EnABLE it’s maybe a half hour total. I think I have PTSD from the way we used to do that!
Ms. Blackwell: I like the auditing capabilities in EnABLE. We can go in and see who did what, when they did it, and how it changed things. The account statements are helpful, too. If someone wants to know how their interest was calculated, we can show them the rate, how much, and how many days at what balance - at any time.
These features make us much more efficient and transparent, which is good when you’re a government agency.
Ms. Blackwell: Yes, we’re very happy. We’ve always felt that TechPG is readily accessible to us. We just pick up the phone or send an email. To me, that’s huge. And the system was set up just the way we needed it.
Ms. Blackwell: Yes, definitely. The fact that we were able to customize the system for all of our loan programs, which are all very different, was very important.