Mary Kathryn Kozy Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Mary Kathryn (Crews) Kozy

Today we’re introducing Mary Kathryn Kozy of Kent, Washington, who was nominated by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State (JGSWS). She was recognized for her exceptional leadership and consistent support of the JGSWS.

Ms. Kozy has been an active member of the JGSWS for nine years. She has enthusiastically served on the society’s board for the past seven years, holding various board and volunteer positions, including president and secretary. She currently serves as the membership chair. Ms. Kozy is always quick to help society members with their research questions and has presented a number of programs to the society, particularly on DNA topics. She has been involved in many genealogical projects over the years including FamilySearch indexing, maintaining USGenWeb websites, records transcription projects, lecturing and teaching. She currently serves as an LDS Family History Missionary.

Ms. Kozy is a respected, dedicated member of the JGSWS, and richly deserved being a recipient of a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Art Kelly Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Art Kelly

Today we’re introducing Art Kelly of Richland, Washington, who was nominated by the Tri-City Genealogical Society (TCGS). He was recognized for his dedication and enthusiasm to improve his local society.

Mr. Kelly joined the Tri-City Genealogical Society a few years ago after moving to the area. He immediately began to contribute to their success, volunteering wherever he was needed. Using his exceptional networking skills, he developed contacts throughout the community to advance TCGS event publicity.  Last year Mr. Kelly took over organizing the programs for their monthly meetings and has provided a year of unique and exceptional presentations. After unexpected circumstances created a need to fill the vice president’s position, Mr. Kelly stepped up, agreeing to serve.

The Tri-City Genealogical Society is a much better organization for his enthusiastic participation and effort. There is no doubt, Mr. Kelly richly deserved being a recipient of a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Darryl Jones Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Darryl Jones

Today we’re introducing Darryl Jones of Yakima, Washington, who was nominated by the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society (YVGS). He was recognized for his all-around dedication and enthusiasm for YVGS and the field of genealogy.

Mr. Jones became interested in genealogy while attending a family reunion 30 years. After retiring, he got serious about doing genealogical research and joined the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society in 2014.

In addition to improving his research skills, Mr. Jones has been very active in the society, including working on the semiannual yard sale and taking charge of the printer cartridge recycling program. He has also worked on several maintenance projects and found time to take a shift as a librarian at the YVGS library.

Mr. Jones has proven he is an outstanding volunteer, and undeniably deserved being a recipient of a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Barbara Jolly Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Barbara Jolly

Today we’re introducing Barbara Freese Jolly of Ritzville, Washington, who was nominated by the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society (EWGS). She was recognized for her organizational skills in providing value-added educational programs at EWGS meetings and conferences.

Ms. Jolly has been the program chair for a few years. The position has always been difficult to fill with the right person – someone who is organized, committed to following-through and able to find just the right presenter. But Ms. Jolly fits the bill. Although she lives more than 60 miles from Spokane, she has made numerous trips to Spokane checking out venues for meetings and conferences.

While the EWGS board determines the meeting programs, it is up to the program chair to contact the speakers, arrange the venues and vendors and make sure the speaker has everything needed for the programs. Since Ms. Jolly has been program chair all the meetings and conferences have run smoothly – thanks to her attention to the details.

Ms. Jolly’s dedication and commitment to the smooth operations of EWGS illustrate that she richly deserved being a recipient of a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

John Hayes Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

John Hayes

Today we’re introducing John Hayes of Mount Vernon, Washington, who was nominated by Skagit Valley Genealogical Society (SVGS). He was recognized for his leadership and guidance of the society.

Mr. Hayes has been a member of the SVGS for more than 20 years, joining in 1997 to improve his skills as a genealogist. Since 2014, he has served as the society’s president. From 2003 – 2006, he served as vice president for programs.

Mr. Hayes was born in Sedro-Woolley in 1937 and raised in Acme, Washington. After 35 years as an engineer with the Washington State Department of Transportation, he retired in 1995. While enjoying the challenges and discoveries of genealogy, square dancing with his wife Rosie is his first love.

With a twinkle in his eyes and subtle sense of humor, Mr. Hayes has led his local society in facilitating their meetings, programs and seminars in the most quiet, confident manner. He is a respected and diligent member of the SVGS, and richly deserved being a recipient of a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Oweta Floyd Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Oweta Floyd

Today we’re introducing Oweta Homer Floyd of Spokane, Washington, who was nominated by the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society (EWGS). She was recognized for her attention to detail and dedication to the financial well-being of the society.

Although both Ms. Floyd and her husband Doug have not been members of EWGS very long, both are committed volunteers. Ms. Floyd has been the treasurer for three years and kept the financial books and records necessary for the society. A stickler for accuracy, she made it easy to audit her books, and each month presented the treasurer’s report to the board and general meetings. As head of the budget committee, she opened her home for the committee to meet. She posted the budget on the EWGS website and printed several copies for those without computers. She has also kept members abiding with the bylaws, making sure they vote on the budget and any changes to the budget.

Ms. Floyd’s dedication and commitment in maintaining the financial health of EWGS demonstrate she richly deserved being a recipient of a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Cathy Cook Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Catherine “Cathy” Cook

Today we’re introducing Catherine Crabtree Cook of Hoquiam, Washington, who was nominated by the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society (GHGS). She was recognized for her dedication and commitment to preserving records related to Grays Harbor County.

Cathy has worked diligently for many years to preserve obituaries and death notices for individuals with Grays Harbor County ties. When she began this project, she organized small work parties at her home to tape obituaries to index cards that she had carefully trimmed and dated from the local newspaper. Today, Cathy oversees an obituary collection that is scanned, indexed, archived and available on the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society’s website. To date, the index includes more than 80,000 individuals.

Cathy’s efforts to make the collection as complete and accurate as possible have allowed researchers from all over the world the ability to request a copy of their ancestor’s obituary. For her commitment and dedication to this project and the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society, she richly deserved being a recipient of a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Outstanding Volunteer Award FAQs

Have you got questions about the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Awards? We’re here to help. Here are a few frequently asked questions (and answers) about the program. If you’ve got other questions, visit the Recognition page or email Roxanne Lowe, Interim Chair of the Recognition Committee.

  1. Who can nominate an Outstanding Volunteer or Team? Any local genealogical society or organization in Washington State can participate in the Outstanding Volunteer or Team program.
  2. Does my society have to be a member of WSGS to nominate someone? No, you don’t have to be a member, nor does your nominee. If, however, you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you. To join (as an organization, individual or family), click here.
  3. Does WSGS choose the Outstanding Volunteer or Team from all the nominees? No. This program is not a competition among the nominees or societies.  WSGS honors every individual and team who is identified by their local genealogical organization for exceptional efforts. This is a means for local society and groups to give widespread recognition to their top volunteers.
  4. How many nominees can my society submit? We ask that you limit your nominations to two individuals and/or one team.
  5. What does my nominee or team get for being an Outstanding Volunteer or Team? Each nominee will receive a personalized certificate outlining why they were nominated by their local society. He/she/they will also be featured on the WSGS Blog. It is also our hope that the nominating society will honor their volunteer at an upcoming meeting or event.
  6. Can we nominate someone who has been an Outstanding Volunteer before? Absolutely! More than 50 people have been honored more than once since the program’s inception in 2003.
  7. How can I see who my society has nominated in the past? Click here to see a cumulative index of all 500+ names since 2003, listed by society and by individual name.
  8. Can we nominate someone posthumously? Yes. What a wonderful way show his/her family that you valued their late family member’s achievements.
  9. What if we want the nomination to be a surprise? We love surprises (and keeping secrets!) Just check the box on the nomination form to let us know you want to keep this under wraps until the “big announcement” at the WSGS Annual Meeting and Recognition Event on May 26 in Vancouver.
  10. How do we nominate someone? We’ve made it pretty easy. The first deadline is Feb. 15 when the name (yes, just the name) of your individual or team needs to be sent to Roxanne Lowe, Interim Chair of the WSGS Recognition Committee. She’ll respond by sending you an easy-to-complete form that needs to be returned (along with a photo of your nominee) by March 15. After that, you’ll get a chance to review and approve the certificate before it’s announced on May 26.
  11. When will the announcements be made? The presentation will be part of the WSGS Annual Meeting and Recognition Event, held in conjunction with the Clark County Genealogical Society’s Spring Seminar on Saturday, May 26 in Vancouver.

 

Society Award Deadlines Set

The deadlines for WSGS awards to local societies have been set. We are encouraging you to promote your society’s activities and accomplishments by submitting a nomination.

WSGS President Ginny Majewski presenting the Outstanding Communication Award to Mary Simonsen with the Whitman County Gen Soc, 2017

Outstanding Communication – The WSGS Outstanding Communication Award is awarded to a local society that promotes its society and/or genealogy and family history to its members and/or the public. The award includes all forms of communication, including websites, social media, newsletters, lectures, videos, podcasts, etc. The nomination deadline is 01 April 2018. The application is available here.

Outstanding Project – The WSGS Outstanding Project Award is awarded to a local genealogical society or organization in recognition of exceptional genealogical or historical projects implemented during the past year. The nomination deadline is 01 April 2018. The application is available here.

President’s Award: The WSGS President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement is designed to single out that rare individual, society or organization who has demonstrated exemplary service above and beyond expectations. The nomination deadline is 15 April 2018. The nomination form and additional details are available here.

Outstanding Volunteers and Team: The Outstanding Volunteer and Team Awards Program provides recognition to those individuals
and teams who have been identified by their local genealogical organization to be honored for exceptional efforts. The deadline to submit the name of a society’s individual or team is 15 Feb 2018. More information about the Outstanding Volunteer and Team Awards is available here.

For more information, contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Chair, Recognition Committee at roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

WSGS Awards Announced at Annual Meeting in Yakima

Many thanks are extended to the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society for hosting the WSGS Annual Meeting and Awards Event on Saturday, 22 April 2017. The annual meeting was held in conjunction with YVGS’s Spring Seminar featuring Jay Fonkert, a Minnesota-based genealogy researcher, educator, and writer who focuses on nineteenth-century Midwest research. Nearly 90 people attended the seminar and annual meeting.

WSGS Vice President Donna Phillips presenting Outstanding Volunteer Award to Patricia McCann Manning from the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society.

Region 6 Representative Janet McKinnon presenting an Outstanding Team member award to husband Mikal McKinnon for his work on the Tri-City Genealogical Society’s Library Recataloging and Renumbering Team.

During the annual meeting and awards lunch, nearly 40 local society members were recognized with Outstanding Volunteer and Team awards. These volunteers were praised for their commitment and energies to promote genealogy and family history in their local communities.

Some of the 2017 local society award winners

Other awards presented included:

  • Outstanding CommunicationWhitman County Genealogical Society for its newsletter filled with personal stories, photos and “snippets from the olden days.” Their newsletter started on in 1984 with just a few pages focusing on Whitman County. Today the newsletter is 10 pages with a continued focus on the county, but has expanded to include a wide variety of genealogy-related articles, designed to educate and entertain the society’s members and other readers. Special acknowledgement was extended to newsletter editor Judy Standar McMurray, with assistance from Monica Bartlett Peters.
  • Outstanding ProjectGrays Harbor Genealogical Society for the preservation of thousands of records from a 100-year-old funeral home that closed suddenly. The records were in danger of being lost or discarded until the society stepped in. Twelve boxes of paper were organized, scanned, cataloged and indexed into 19 binders. While this was an effort tackled by almost half of this small society, special recognition was extended to Cathy Cook, Gary Parfitt, Marlene Payne and Bonnie Johannes.

Five local societies were awarded Innovative Grant Awards. See separate blog feature.

The President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement was presented to Joanne Egbert Calhoun of the Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society. See separate blog feature.

For more photos of the seminar and annual meeting, visit our Facebook page.