Going Virtual Team Named One of 2022’s Outstanding Teams

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 600 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 2022 award recipients and learn why they received the 2022 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Today we’re introducing the Going Virtual Team that was nominated by the South King County Genealogical Society (SKCGS). The team was comprised of MaryLynn Strickland and Valorie Zimmerman.

In March 2020 at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, SKCGS had only a beginning virtual foundation, using Groups IO as a member-and-friends forum to communicate topics of interest. SKCGS also had access to the free non-profit version of Google Enterprise and the board of directors had discussed implementing some features. 

To capitalize on these assets and jump to complete virtual, MaryLynn and Valorie immediately began experimenting with Google Meet. Within two months, the society was meeting online for board and monthly general meetings, special interest groups for Family Tree Software Users, Genetic Genealogy, a new monthly Genealogy Chat and signup study group. Training was “immersive” – learn by doing, as MaryLynn and Valorie coaxed members along and enlisted others to help.

MaryLynn’s and Valorie’s enthusiastic, can-do attitude buoyed this effort from the beginning. Their give-and-take as virtual co-facilitators has inspired a lively, collaborative, participative approach in SKCGS meetings, with members/attendees from many different states. 

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Info@wasgs.org. Please type “Volunteer Award.”