Norma Yost 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 weeks, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Norma Yost

Today we’re introducing Norma Yost of Colville, Washington, who was nominated by the Northeast Washington Genealogical Society (NeWGS). She was recognized for her dedication to the preservation of a local pioneer cemetery.

Since joining in 2014, Ms. Yost has been involved in the clean-up and maintenance of Evergreen Cemetery in Colville, a local pioneer cemetery established in 1868. She is a favorite speaker at NeWGS meetings, and has been a member of the board of directors serving as member-at-large and currently as librarian. As librarian, Ms. Yost has used her talents to design outstanding displays for National Family History Month. She is also a gifted seamstress and has personalized NeWGS vests by embroidering their names on them.

Ms. Yost is a respected and diligent member of the NeWGS. Her accomplishments and dedication 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.

Catherine and Gilbert Wooden Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honors

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 weeks, 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 Wooden

Gilbert Wooden

Today we’re introducing Catherine and Gilbert Wooden of Renton, Washington, who were nominated by the South King County Genealogical Society (SKCGS). This dedicated duo was recognized for their loyal service to the operation of their local society.

Cathy and Gil provide the crucial behind- the-scenes support every society depends on for smooth operation. Cathy always serves at registration tables, providing name tags, handouts or other items as needed. Gil has operated the audio equipment for meetings, transporting everything back and forth from home to venue. They both have served on the board of directors and various committees.

Cathy and Gil are respected and diligent members of the SKCGS, and richly deserve the honor of being Washington State Genealogical Society Outstanding Volunteers.

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.

Join us in Vancouver

Momentum is building for a fabulous and meaningful weekend full of genealogical as well as historical events! Register now for the Clark County Genealogical Society‘s Spring Seminar with David Allen Lambert from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Registration info here.

And there’s more!

  • The Washington State Genealogical Society will be presenting their awards during the seminar’s lunch hour on Saturday.
  • An 1833-35 Hudson Bay Company (HBC) descendant is attending the HCB Gala Reception Friday evening and he has stories.
  • The Ft. Vancouver Tapestry will be showing at the CCGS Library Annex for 5 Full Days (24th-28th).
  • There’s a walking Cemetery Tour is scheduled for Sunday (meet up at Library).

Pam Stinson 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.

Pam Stinson

Today we’re introducing Pam Stinson of Sequim, Washington, who was nominated by the Jefferson County Genealogical Society (JCGS). She was recognized for her untiring support of the society.

Ms. Stinson served as vice president from 2013 to 2016 and spent many hours helping re-write JCGS’s policies and procedures, as well as update executive board and volunteer job descriptions. She also was instrumental in helping the team transition to an updated version of the society’s genealogical database.

Currently, Ms. Stinson is the chair of the technology committee which oversees the computer equipment, the JCGS website and the society’s technology needs. She is also the liaison to the local historical society with which JCGS shares a facility, where she maintains a good working relationship between the two societies.

Ms. Stinson is always willing to offer her time to make the Jefferson County Genealogical Society a great resource for all researchers. For all these reasons, 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.

Natalie Stien 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.

Natalie Stien

Today we’re introducing Natalie Stien of Redmond, Washington, who was nominated by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State (JGSWS). She was recognized for her dedication to excellence during the 2016 International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies annual (IAJGS) conference in Seattle.

Ms. Stien joined JGSWS in 2004, volunteering right away for various positions. However, her commitment to getting the job done right was exemplified when JGSWS co-hosted the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Annual (IAJGS) Conference in Seattle in August 2016. Ms. Stien served as a volunteer co-chair, a monumental job coordinating dozens of volunteers for the six-day conference. She was the first to arrive and the last to leave every day of the conference, often working 15-hour days. Her responsibilities included determining where volunteers would be needed, finding and adopting a software program that volunteers could use to sign themselves up for specific tasks and time slots, and dealing with last-minute schedule changes.

According to fellow JGSWS board members, Ms. Stien was often the first to volunteer for any extra tasks needed to support the organization. This display of dedication illustrates that Ms. Stien 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.

Claire Smith 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.

Claire Smith

Today we’re introducing Claire Smith who was nominated by the Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society (BIGS). She was recognized for her exceptional leadership and consistent support of her local society.

Ms. Smith was instrumental in her local society’s creation in 2005, and shaped its growth, serving as president, vice president/program chair, webmaster, newsletter editor, mentor and special interest group (SIG) leader. Because of her astute business sense and organizational skills, procedures and processes were put in place, creating a legacy for the organization to rely on into the future.

Ms. Smith unselfishly shared her knowledge and time with anyone asking for help. She consistently encouraged and supported members to continue to gain and improve skills.

In Ms. Smith, BIGS found a rare combination of leadership and vision, commitment and dedication, technological know-how, and a passion for genealogy. Without a doubt, she richly deserves 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.

Meet the Board: Barbara Johnson

Do you know who’s running the show at the Washington State Genealogical Society? Did you know we have an Executive Committee, six standing committee chairs and three appointed non-elected officers? Who are all these people? In the coming months, we’ll introduce them to you, so you can say “hi” the next time you see them.

Barbara Gorham Johnson

In today’s “Meet the Board” series, we’re introducing you to Barbara Jeanne Gorham Johnson. Barb lives in Mount Vernon (Skagit County) and is in her first term as WSGS’s Region 1 South Representative. Besides being a member of WSGS, she is a long-time member of the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society where she has served on the Board as secretary, vice president, and currently as education chair and communications chair. She also belongs to Clan Johnstone in America and Saddleworth (Yorkshire) Historical Society.

Barbara Jean was born in Seattle in 1943, the daughter of Arthur and Emily (Kochis) Gorham. Her mother, the good Catholic that she was, named her daughter after St. Barbara and St. John. Her names mean “stranger” and “God/like/ly.” With a twinkle in her eye, Barb’s mother told her daughter that she was a “strange gift from God.” What a sense of humor!

Barbara in kindergarten

While born in Seattle, Barb grew up on the idyllic Vashon Island. After high school, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology at the University of Washington and did virus research for several years. After marrying Roger Johnson, she became a full-time mom. After that, she became a King County police officer, then did security duty at Bellevue Square. After that, she became the first park ranger for the City of Bellevue. She has also been a science teacher with Pacific Science Center’s “Science On Wheels” program. When she and Roger “retired” to Skagit County, she worked part-time as a park ranger for North Cascades National Park. This girl loves the great out of doors!

Barbara and Roger

Barb has been interested in family history for years. She used to listen to her parents talk about their childhood years in New York City and (at that time) Czechoslovakia. Barb would often ask her  maternal grandmother to tell her about the old country, curious about her native homeland. About 25 years, ago, Barb got serious about researching her roots. She has traveled to ancestral lands in Massachusetts, Ireland, Scotland and Yorkshire, England.

Barbara and her family

Speaking of Yorkshire, one of her most fascinating genealogical discoveries was finding her Yorkshire cousin who helped her with her research back to the 1500’s. Barb and Roger visited him in the Parish of Saddleworth in West Riding of Yorkshire last year. He was kind enough to escort them all over the parish, regaling them with stories of ancient and family history and architectural history.

Barb and Roger, a retired banker who is a model railroader, are the proud parents of Steven and Michelle. Steven is a Navy veteran now working for a defense contractor in Washington, D.C. Steven and his wife Jen, a school teacher who is also a Navy veteran, have two children: Jeffrey (age 12) and Lexie (age 9).  Daughter Michelle and her husband Bob live in Edmonds. She is an early education teacher at Edmonds Community College, while Bob is a home inspector.

A few more interesting tidbits about Barb:

  • Barb does DNA and genealogy presentations in Washington and British Columbia. She also participates in a living history program as Abigail Adams.
  • Favorite genealogy websites: Ancestry.com as they have wonderful Yorkshire records that have been digitized
  • Favorite color: Blue
  • Favorite dessert: Dark chocolate – Death by Chocolate, in particular!
  • When she’s not doing genealogy, Barb likes to hike, quilt, scrapbook and do needlework.
  • It’s easy to describe Barb in one word: enthusiastic!

Now you know a little more about another of the WSGS Board members. The next time you see Barb say hello and thank her for her service to WSGS.

Susan Jensen Pointer 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.

Susan Jensen Pointer

Today we’re introducing Susan Jensen Pointer of Longview, Washington, who was nominated by the Lower Columbia Genealogical Society (LCGS). She was recognized for her diligence and dedication to the society’s well-being.

Susan has served as the society’s treasurer for the past four years. In addition, she previously served as the LCGS secretary. As treasurer, she has diligently kept the financial records of the society. She generates the treasurer’s report each month reflecting the intake of dues, monies received from the annual rest stop fundraiser, payments to buy books and donations received for memorial books. She is also currently serving on the nominating committee, devotes her time to the rest stop fundraiser, and has written for the society’s newsletter.

Susan has always shown a willingness to participate in a wide variety of activities of the society, 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.

Bea Ritter 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.

Bea Ritter

Today we’re introducing Beatrice “Bea” Ritter of Vancouver, Washington, who was nominated by the Clark County Genealogical Society (CCGS). She was recognized for commitment to the satisfaction of the society’s members.

The Clark County Genealogical Society has been greatly improved by the efforts of long-time member Bea Ritter. She joined the CCGS in 1998 and has served in various leadership capacities since then. Over the past four years she has ably served as the society’s vice president. In 2015, the position of membership chair became vacant and Ms. Ritter graciously volunteered to fill in. Her efforts immediately resulted in a significant increase in member retention and new member satisfaction.

The strength of the Clark County Genealogical Society rises and falls with its membership and Ms. Ritter has made a mighty contribution to the society’s well-being. As such, she greatly deserved being a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer.

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.