We've brought back the Member Spotlight series so we can all get to know each other better. Do you know a WLIA colleague that you think people should know? Let us know at email@example.com and send us their contact information. We may not get to everyone, but we'll try!
I would like to introduce or reintroduce you to Staci! If you plan to attend the WLIA Fall Regional Conference this year in Minocqua, you will get a chance to meet her in person. Staci Hoffman has been the Jefferson County Register of Deeds for 16 years. Her alma maters are Madison College and UW-Madison. She has an accounting background and is a certified public manager. She started out headed towards a degree in business management, but life had other plans and accounting became her path. Later, as she was in the Register of Deeds world, she had educational opportunities to pursue the certified public manager classes.
How did you come to your current profession or job?
Quite by chance, a local businessman asked me to consider running as Register of Deeds as the current registrar was leaving mid-term. At first, I didn’t consider it, as this is an elected position, and I am not at all political. After some consideration, I thought, “what do I have to lose!” I did apply for the position through the Governor’s office; however, the Governor was not the same political party as the majority of Jefferson County residents; needless to say I did not get appointed. I was elected five months later and started in 2007.
Have you held any leadership roles in the WRDA?
I was President of WRDA in 2016. In that association, you commit 5 years to serve on the board, 3rd VP, 2nd VP, 1st VP, President and Past President. I also served as co-chairs on the Vitals and Legislative committees.
What’s your most favorite part and least favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is the ability to make a difference for our citizens - for example, pushing for statewide issuance of vital records. I also love the flexibility to get involved in many different projects throughout the state and nation. My least favorite part of the job is having to “re-apply” for my job every four years, you never know how the national political climate will affect your election.
When you re-apply for your job every 4 years, what goes into that process?
The Register of Deeds position is elected every four years. We are on the ballot alongside the President of the United States. Each election cycle we are required to file campaign finance statements, declarations of candidacy, and circulate nomination papers. Depending on the size or your county, you are required to get 200-500 signatures in order to be placed on the fall primary ballot. We campaign, go door to door to inform our citizens and speak at civic groups to get re-elected. If you have competition, you will need to fundraise or use your personal funds to help pay for your campaign, many of which have cost registrars $10,000 or more. If you are lucky enough to win the primary election, you are then placed on the November ballot. However, there could still be a write-in candidate who could win the election. In essence, we have to apply for our job every four years, it is the constituents of the county that determine whether or not you will have a job for the next four years. Unfortunately, it isn’t always about how well you do your job, it can be about the political climate.
What’s the best advice someone has ever given you?
Continue to seek new opportunities. It is easy to just go through life without trying new things; however, the fun is in the next adventure!
What do you like to do for fun?
I am a grandma of three, ages 17, 15, and 10. They keep me going all the time, whether it is FFA, theater or club softball, there is always something going on. I am also active in our community as a member of the Optimist Club and the Jefferson Live Music Foundation.
What’s something most people wouldn’t guess about you?
I am very shy; however, I am always the first to talk if it is too silent for too long as the silence makes me uncomfortable. Also, a McDonald’s Diet Coke will always put me in a good mood!
Are you involved in any other professional organizations?
I am a co-chair of Greater Wisconsin PRIA Local, co-chair of the governance committee for Property Records Industry Association (PRIA), the local government representative of the Wisconsin Public Records Board, and I serve on the Wisconsin Counties Association Board of Directors.
What is the funniest thing that has been recorded at your office?
I love reading the old wills that state things like:
“To all my children, except John, I leave my estate to be split equally. John doesn’t get anything because he never came to visit me, that will teach him to respect his mother.”
“If my dog Nancy survives me, I direct her to be put to death using the needle method as soon as reasonably possible after my death.” Poor Nancy, - I don’t know why another family member or friend couldn’t care for the dog!