Executive Committee – Two-year term ending in 2015
VP Development – Ed Donakey
Ed Donakey is VP of Strategic Relations and Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch International providing business and technology support to genealogical societies and the associated community. Ed sits or has sat on executive advisory boards at Dell, HP, Oracle, Altiris and others. He is the Chair-elect for the board at Kids on the Move, active in BSA, and is a guest lecturer at BYU and UVU. He was the founding CEO of Golder Melick Insurance Reserve and SVP at Agilix Labs, Caldera Systems, and The Bison Group/e-leads. He has directed global operations, domestic and international marketing, BusDev, and M&A. Earlier he held product and management positions at 3Com and WordPerfect/Novell.
A happily married father of eight children, Ed has been elected six straight years to the v|Spring v100, recognizing the top 100 entrepreneurs in Utah. Ed’s undergraduate and graduate studies were in philosophy and political philosophy respectively at BYU.
VP Membership – Kris Rzepczynski
Currently a Senior Archivist at the Archives of Michigan, Kris previously worked for 12 years at the Library of Michigan as the Michigan/Genealogy Coordinator. He holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University, a Master of Arts in History from Western Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Michigan. Kris has presented at national, state, and local conferences, including the Federation of Genealogical Societies, National Genealogical Society, Ohio Genealogical Society, Public Library Association, Historical Society of Michigan, Michigan Library Association, and for dozens of local genealogical societies and public libraries.
In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors for the Federation of Genealogical Societies and a Past President of the Mid-Michigan Genealogical Society. His memberships also include the Association of Professional Genealogists, Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan, Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, and Historical Society of Michigan.
Treasurer – Patricia W. Rand
Patricia W Rand is the current Treasurer for FGS, having taken over when the previous Treasurer became terminally ill. Pat is a retired Certified Public Accountant from the Newport News, Virginia area, and has also served in a number of industries as corporate controller. Retired now, she serves as President of The Villages Genealogical Society in The Villages, Florida (800 members) and is currently wrapping up a four year term as Treasurer of the Florida State Genealogical Society. She researches not only her own family, but also her husband’s and other assorted in-laws’, and mostly concentrates on research in the South, Ohio, and Scotland.
Board of Directors (4) – Three-year term ending in 2016
Director - Natalie Cotrill
Natalie D. Cottrill, MA, an entrepreneur and professional genealogist in Salt Lake City, is a native of Columbus, Ohio. From 1989 to 2010, Natalie served as President and CEO of ProGenealogists, developing it into one of the nation’s leading professional genealogist firms. In 2010, ProGenealogists became a subsidiary of Ancestry.com and as General Manager, Natalie continued to build the talent at ProGenealogists, growing business over 400%. She is currently Director of Business Development for Ancestry.com.
Natalie was a research consultant for the first 3 seasons of the TV series, Who Do You Think You Are? She was featured on the first and second season’s premiers with Sarah Jessica Parker and Vanessa Williams. A member of the Association of Professional genealogists since 1994, Natalie strives to contribute to the profession. She was Course Coordinator and Lecturer for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy's course “Becoming a Successful Professional.”
Natalie received a BA (Music), summa cum laude, from Baldwin-Wallace College and MA (Music) from the St. Louis Conservatory. She is a member of Mensa, International and the recipient of the 2006-2007 America's Who's Who Registry of Outstanding Professionals. Natalie serves on the board of The Gifted Music School in Salt Lake City.
Director - Ceil Jensen
Ceil Wendt Jensen, MA, is a Certified Genealogist, author, educator, and researcher. She is founder and co-director of the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI), the Polish Mission's genealogy center in Orchard Lake, Michigan. She has conducted research throughout the United States, and in Poland at libraries, civil archives, diocesan archives, and local parishes.
She has published, more numerous to count, articles in national society bulletins and newsletters, magazines and journals. Jensen has authored four books: Arcadia Publishing : "Detroit's Polonia", "Detroit's Mount Elliott Cemetery", "Detroit's Mount Olivet Cemetery"; Michigan Polonia's "Sto Lat: A Modern Guide to Polish Genealogy" and collaborated on "The History of the Polish Panorama" and the DVD "Our Polish Story". Most recently, she has contributed to the new PBS series "Genealogy Roadshow". PARI will host the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh in 2014, with Ceil's specialized track on Polish genealogy using her book as the text.
Director – Rebecca Koford
Rebecca is a professional genealogist with a special emphasis in Maryland research, and became a Certified GenealogistSM
in May 2013. She has been interested in family history ever since she could read her family’s old pedigree charts at a young age. Rebecca has been taking clients and lecturing locally since 2004, and has spoken for museums and conferences in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Rebecca is a member of DAR, NGS, MDHS, NYG&B, and served as Treasurer for the DC Chapter of APG. She taught genealogy courses for Howard Community College until her move in 2010. She enjoyed service as coordinator for ProGen
4 and 14, and the GenProof
16 group. Rebecca is currently very enthusiastic about the Preserve the Pensions: War of 1812
project sponsored by FGS. Rebecca is head genealogist for ReelTributes, a genealogical documentary company, and contributes monthly blog articles at www.reeltributes.com. She lives in Mt. Airy, Maryland, with three active teenagers and a very patient husband.
Director – Kirk Woosley Patton
Kirk Woosley Patton, a native and long-time resident of Kentucky, resides in Colorado, where he serves as president of the Castle Rock Genealogical Society. During his presidency, the society established the Rocky Mountain Genealogical Seminar to bring nationally recognized lecturers to the region. Kirk represents his local organization on the Colorado Council of Genealogical Societies, for which he facilitated the state council’s exhibition at the 2013 National Genealogical Society conference. Kirk serves on the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ Board of Directors and chairs the FGS bylaws committee. He participates with the Colorado and Kentucky chapters of the Association of Professional Genealogists and holds memberships in the Genealogical Speakers Guild and International Society of Family History Writers and Editors. Kirk’s genealogical experience includes more than twenty years of researching his families’ deep roots in Kentucky and the Appalachian Mountains region. He graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1993 and established Fincastle Ancestry Research, combining his passion for history and law.
Director – Marian Pierre-Louis
Marian Pierre-Louis is a full-time house historian and genealogical educator from the greater Boston area. Her research focuses on southern New England and in particular working with original town records, deeds, probate and brick walls. She is the host of the popular weekly internet radio show, Fieldstone Common. She is a regular presenter on Legacy Family Tree webinars. Her articles have appeared in the APG Quarterly, the AAHGS News, and regional newspapers and newsletters. She has also written extensively for the blogs Marian's Roots and Rambles
and the New England House Historian
among others. She is a tri-Program Chair for the New England Regional Genealogical Conference (2015). Previous positions include Publicity Chairperson for the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, Secretary for the New England Chapter of APG, Public Information Officer for APG (2007-2008), Advertising Manager at the National Genealogical Society (2010) and Publicity Chairperson for the New England Regional Genealogical Conference (2009, 2011, 2013). Pierre-Louis has a BA from the University of Connecticut. Her business background includes 15 years of corporate marketing experience in the engineering and semiconductor industries.
Director – Caroline Pointer
Holding a BA in English from Texas A&M University, Caroline M. Pointer is the founder of For Your Family Story, a genealogy research, social media marketing, and technology consulting business.
She is the author of 4YourFamilyStory.com which focuses on bringing genealogy and technology together for the researcher as well as the author of BloggingGenealogy.com which focuses on how to blog for various genealogy-related audiences.
With a featured genealogy-technology article in Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine UK, she is a freelance writer; the In2Genealogy Columnist for Shades of the Departed; author of genealogy and technology YouTube video tutorials; and a genealogy and technology speaker.
As a social media aficionado since 2009, Caroline has been actively making global connections to help teach others how to bridge the gap to the past with over 10,000 connections on 7 social media platforms interacting on not only the topics of genealogy and family history but also technology, business, social media, motherhood, writing, and history. Caroline is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Genealogical Speakers Guild, National Genealogical Society, Texas State Genealogical Society, Chaparral Genealogical Society and Library, Clayton Library Friends, and Family History Information Standards Organization.
Director – McKelden Smith
McKelden Smith became president of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society in 2009. Publications (including a new website and a major new resource guidebook to be published in fall, 2013), educational programming (under the New York Family History School
brand), and the development of the online eLibrary are the focal points of the NYG&B’s strategy.
He is a director of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of New York; trustee of Boscobel Restoration, Inc. in Garrison, New York; director of the New Canaan (CT) Preservation Alliance; and founding member of the New Canaan Shred Dogs. He is the author of Great Estates of the Hudson River Valley (1998), Matisse & Chagall at the Union Church of Pocantico Hills (1999) and the forthcoming William & Sarah McKelden, Immigrants from County Monaghan, Ireland and Five Generations of their Descendants.
He is currently serving on the FGS Board of Directors. He has a BA from Williams College and an MBA from Columbia University. His business background includes advertising, marketing, and museum management.
Director – Paula Stuart-Warren
I have been on FGS committees for more years than I will tell you and firmly believe that board and committee positions are working positions! As a former officer of the Association of Professional Genealogists, six year board member of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, and on the FGS board for several years, I am a confirmed volunteer. I have my own blog, Paula’s Genealogical Eclectica
, have been the blog editor for FGS Conferences, and National Conference Co-chair of the 2001, 2011, and 2013 FGS Conferences. I am a Board-certified genealogist working full-time in genealogical and historical research, lecturing, consulting, and writing. Since 1997, I have been a Course Coordinator for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and now for the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. I descend from the proverbial melting pot of ancestral origins, occupations, and religions. They taught me to share and be active.
Director – Curt B. Witcher
Curt Witcher is the Senior Manager for Special Collections at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN. In that capacity he manages the widely acclaimed Genealogy Center as well as the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection of Abraham Lincoln related research materials. Curt is the project lead on the library’s digitization initiatives--initiatives that include partnerships with the FamilySearch International, the Internet Archive, ProQuest, Fold3, and WeRelate as well as growing a site of free, searchable data files at GenealogyCenter.org. He is in his thirty-fifth year of service at the Allen County Public Library.
Curt is a former president of both the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the National Genealogical Society, and the founding president of the Indiana Genealogical Society. He currently serves as vice-president of development for the Federation of Genealogical Societies where he is spearheading a crowd-sourcing initiative to raise $3.7M to digitize and make freely available online the War of 1812 pension files.
Curt was distinguished in 1995 as a fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association (FUGA) and received the Federation of Genealogical Societies' Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern Humanitarian Award, in 1997. Curt was recognized in 2006 by being named the first fellow of the Indiana Genealogical Society. He was honored in May of 2007 with the National Genealogical Society’s P. William Filby award for outstanding, life-time contributions to genealogical librarianship.