The JustFOIA Story
The JustFOIA story begins and ends with listening to the voices of municipal clerks.
In the early 2010s, records requests began to skyrocket. Our sister company, MCCi, has over 20 years of experience empowering public agencies to automate records-related tasks. And so, client after client turned to MCCi when the spreadsheets and desktop calendars that had previously served them failed to keep up with the new digital demands.
“Our clients thought of MCCi as a place to turn to when they needed help, especially related to records,” said Donny Barstow, MCCi and JustFOIA President and CEO.
We looked at configuring Laserfiche and other solutions to manage requests. But our clients needed something that was simple to deploy and budget-friendly. And Laserfiche simply couldn’t handle the entirety of filling a request in an easy, end-to-end workflow.
“From there, the idea for JustFOIA was born,” Donny explained.
2012: Where it all started.
Listening is in Our DNA.
We formed a focus group with clerks and records managers who’d come to us with their records woes. They helped us to create the list of feature needs.
But a few months in, our dev team asked us a question that caught us off-guard: “How would the clients prioritize their needs?”
We didn’t know.
We went back to our focus group and asked them to help us rank features and capabilities in priority order—and discovered that it didn’t entirely align with our intended roadmap. So we went back to our plans and adjusted them based on their feedback.
That was a misstep we’ve sworn never to repeat.
“We would’ve missed the mark if we hadn’t listened to what clients cared about,” said Donny. “That taught us how important client feedback is and keeping clients involved as you grow as a platform. We simply can’t do it right without the voice of our clients.”
2014: First Client: Naples, Florida
In 2014, just as our product was nearing completion, Pat Rambosk, city clerk at the City of Naples, Florida, was on a quest to increase transparency.
When she heard about the new solution that MCCi was developing, she drove to Tallahassee to meet with Donny and other team members to learn more. The decision was made to implement JustFOIA, which she calls “one of my finest moments.”
Although the solution was new, the City had a 30-year relationship with MCCi. “We had the highest confidence level in MCCi,” she said.
And so, the City of Naples became our first client, and the first records request was submitted through their system on July 21, 2014. (To this day, Donny sends Pat an email every year on that anniversary to thank her!)
As a result of this and other upgrades to their website, Naples earned an A+ rating for transparency!
Cities, Counties, Law Enforcement, State Agencies, K-12, Higher Education, and Special Districts
2020: Wave of Records Requests
Building the Most Powerful and Easy-to-Use Records Request Software.
In 2020, as the wave of records requests showed no signs of receding, the decision was made to split JustFOIA from MCCi. Now, we are the only company 100% dedicated to building the most powerful, easy-to-use records request software.
Because of that:
2021: Always passionate about government
More Than Clients.
With our long history of working with records clerks, we’ve come to be part of their family culture, camaraderie, and mutual aid.
When the Champlain Towers South building collapsed in Surfside, Florida, in 2021, we learned that their city clerk was working through the night to respond to records requests. Not only that, but other cities’ clerks traveled there to help!
Our role was clear: We implemented a JustFOIA site as quickly as possible, for free, to assist with the onslaught.
Because our clients are more than clients to us… you’re family.
Today: You’re Invited to Join the Llama Family.
We’ve adopted the mighty, lovable llama as our mascot. Why? Because we think they’re a lot like you!
🦙 They make heavy loads look light
🦙 They’re highly social
🦙 They’re adaptable
🦙 They love to learn new tricks
Our clients are at the heart of our company and culture, and we’d be honored for you to be the next llama in the family. If you’re ready to join a herd that listens to, empowers, and cares for you—contact us today!