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BUSINESS SHOWCASE — MEDIR: Safeguarding Mississippi’s vital records

ALAN TURNER

There were many hard and painful lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina. Among those lessons was just how vulnerable many of Mississippi’s public records were…..vulnerable to floods, fires, and storms.

There is one Mississippi company who has been instrumental in finding solutions to this potentially serious issue. Recently, I had the opportunity to get acquainted with Richard Greenlee, the founder and CEO of MEDIR, Inc.

MEDIR’s specialty is converting paper-based records to digital imaging, recording, and indexing systems. To date, his company has managed the digital conversion of records for more than 40 Mississippi counties.

“Even today, half the counties in Mississippi do not have any backup for their records outside the courthouse,” he said. “We saw an example of what can happen after a courthouse fire. Fortunately, we were able to help in the recovery of those records.”

RICHARD GREENLEE

Richard was born and raised in Jackson, and attended the University of Mississippi, where he majored in managerial finance. Generally, he’s been involved in tech ever since in once capacity or another, including a stint in Texas.

“I learned that I’m not really happy in a Fortune 500 environment,” he said. “I suppose I was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug.”

Eventually, he came home to Mississippi and after other entrepreneurial successes, started MEDIR around 2005. That was obviously a monumental year, and he became quickly involved in helping to rescue waterlogged records on the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. How did he do that?

“Through the freeze-drying process,” he said with a smile. “You see, waterlogged records will be ruined if you try to dry them with heat. Instead, you need to freeze dry the records first and allow them time to dry out.”

In the process, Richard utilized freezer trucks. And the process saved the day.

“We’re talking about vital records here,” he said. “Imagine if all of the records on property and deeds would be lost. No one one have any proof that they actually own their property.”

Richard says his goal is to see all of Mississippi’s counties ,moved to the digital format, and “then I’ll breathe a big sigh of relief,” he said.

His business isn’t restricted to Mississippi, as he does other work throughout the Southeast, but points out that his primary focus at present is on Mississippi.

While there are other companies who render similar services, one unique aspect of MEDIR is that the do all of the scanning and processing work on-side.

“We have 2-3 different teams who can travel anywhere with our equipment. We can do the routine scanning of records, or we can help with disaster recovery.”

The business model doesn’t just focus on government records, but also works with schools, colleges, health facilities, and more.

“Obviously, any of these institutions have important records that they couldn’t stand to lose,” he said. “We can help.”

At present, MEDIR has 5 full-time employees working in its Ridgeland headquarters, and works with many part-time and temporary staff as well.

Richard currently serves as the governor’s appointed Commissioner to the Mississippi Electronic Recording Commission (MERC), and has long held memberships in the Property Records Industry Association and the National Association of County Recorders.

To date, MEDIR has scanned, indexed, and integrated more than 50 million real property and other public records, but Richard says “we’re just getting started.”

With his entrepreneurial spirit and long-time expertise, it’s hard to see how this Mississippi company will not emerge among the industry leaders in this important field.

Contact Mississippi Business Journal publisher Alan Turner at alan.turner@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1021.

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