Andrea Hoskins Named One of 2022’s Outstanding Volunteers

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 Andrea Hoskins of Bainbridge Island, Washington, who was nominated by the Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society (BIGS).

Within a short time of joining BIGS in 2018, Andy Hoskins volunteered to serve as newsletter editor, where she helped redesign its content and appearance. She also volunteered to lead the Writers Workshop SIG.

Andrea Hoskins

Andy’s true gifts became obvious when she agreed to serve as president (beginning her term in April 2020) just as the COVID pandemic arrived. Andy has demonstrated effective leadership, adaptability, creativity, and quiet problem-solving, all while effectively conducting the day-to-day business of the organization in extraordinary times. She led the board to clarify major areas of focus and to revise the society bylaws to better define board position responsibilities with an eye toward increasing participation of current and future members.

Andy brings a quiet leadership – leading by example and vision – offering ideas and possibilities for the future of the organization. BIGS looks forward to Andy’s excellent leadership as BIGS continues to evolve post- pandemic.

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.”

Diane Gundersen Named One of 2022’s Outstanding Volunteers

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 Carolyn Gundersen of Peshastin, Washington, who was nominated by the Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society (WAGS).

Diane is one of WAGS’s Outstanding Volunteers for 2022 for her work restructuring the WAGS library. She joined WAGS about five years ago. Not long after, she volunteered in the WAGS library, working one day a month and editing indexes a few hours a week from home. As her interest grew, so did her time commitment, and soon she found herself a member at-large on the WAGS Board, moving up to the head librarian position in 2019.

Diane Gundersen

With board approval, Diane began to look for ways to make the library a more welcoming place for patrons to do their research, and a more efficient place for volunteers to do their work. With courage, boundless energy and considerable organizational skills, she first studied what jobs were being done where in our library and made plans to move or replace existing furniture with more modern accoutrements. She is boldly going forward with removing old paper resources that are now online. Under her leadership, WAGS is consolidating their North Central Washington resources into one area.

Diane is revitalizing WAGS’ 50-year-old library, creating a bright, versatile space that will serve us for the next half-century and beyond.

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.”

Library Relocation & Refocus 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 Library Relocation and Refocus Team that was nominated by the Seattle Genealogical Society (SGS). The team was comprised of Kathi McGinnes and Rob Sexton.

The Board of Directors of the SGS determined in 2020 that a combination of financial challenges and generational changes in genealogy required them to both find a new home for their library and to redesign the focus of the library on today’s genealogy.  While the entire Board and many other SGS members participated in this year-long project, Kathi McGinnis (SGS library director) and Rob Sexton (SGS operations director) were key to making this operation work.

Kathi worked on reducing the library from over 15,000 items to just over 4,000 items, shifting the focus from the entire world to the Pacific Northwest and finding homes for the items being removed. Rob oversaw all aspects of the move itself, finding the new space, scheduling the move activities, and making sure it all worked. While there were the inevitable hitches, Kathi and Rob made sure that the move nailed the landing.

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.”

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.”

Carolyn Gibbons Named One of 2022’s Outstanding Volunteers

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 Carolyn Gibbons of Elma, Washington, who was nominated by the Mason County Genealogical Society (MCGS).

Carolyn Gibbons

Carolyn has been the editor of our monthly newsletter since joining MCGS in 2020, after moving here from North Carolina. Although she has no family history in our state, she jumped in and started researching articles from the local paper dating back to 1889. She painstakingly created abstracts of any article that included a specific person’s name, then included a surname index at the back of every newsletter issue. She also carefully itemized a list of Mason County birth and death registers, justice dockets, homestead patents and many more records on FamilySearch that could be abstracted. This project has been a wonderful way for MCGS members to participate during the past two years while staying at home. The society newsletter, which is now over 20 pages long, has grown to be a valuable resource for anyone researching Mason County records.

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.”

Genealogy Center Art Committee 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 Genealogy Center Art Committee that was nominated by the Clallam County Genealogical Society (CCGS). The team was comprised of Linda Hindes, Carol Foss, Consuelo White and Roberta Griset.

Genealogy Center Art Committee

CCGS acquired a large building for the society.  After a lot of repair, cleaning and painting, it was ready for use, but had large blank walls that were not inviting. The Art Committee has filled those walls with framed historic photographs of the North Olympic Peninsula, donated framed art work offered for sale and art works produced by society members. The end result has been a fascinating pictorial study of the area, decorative art works enlivening dull meeting spaces and an opportunity for members to display their talent.  Visitors to the Center always take a slow walk down the corridor of historic photos and comment on how that illustrates a part of the society’s mission to help others discover and understand their past.

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.”

Cindy Fuerst Named One of 2022’s Outstanding Volunteers

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.

Cindy Fuerst

Today we’re introducing Cynthia “Cindy” Fuerst of Yakima, Washington, who was nominated by the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society (YVGS).

Cindy joined YVGS in 1985 “because Cousin Kathy made me do it.” The genealogy bug hit Cindy hard, but she didn’t have to be hospitalized! Cindy volunteered as librarian one day a week and the Thursday night shift at the old YVGS library at First Christian Church in downtown Yakima across from the police department and next door to Shaw & Sons Funeral Home. The night genealogist had to take the money bag over to the night drop box at the funeral home. Such a brave genealogist!  Later, Cindy moved to the coast with husband Kenny and joined the South King County Genealogical Society. During her time there, she was membership chair and greeter while retaining her membership at YVGS. After moving back to Yakima, she started attending meetings again, became a librarian and served two terms as YVGS’s corresponding secretary.

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” in the subject line.

Kathy Erlandson Named One of 2022’s Outstanding Volunteers

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 Kathy Erlandson of Olympia, Washington, who was nominated by the Olympia Genealogical Society (OGS).

Kathy Erlandson

Kathy is completing her third year (2019-2022) as president of the Olympia Genealogical Society.  She served as vice president the two prior years and earlier served as secretary.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the period of her presidency arguably was one of the more difficult periods for OGS and Kathy’s leadership through it was stellar. Like many other organizations, OGS quickly moved from in-person activities to virtual activities including their Spring Seminar, their major event of the year.

Membership at OGS has increased substantially, and they greatly expanded their Special Interest Groups. In short, OGS not only survived this period, they’ve thrived and Kathy’s skills as a “people person” and her ability to bring people together to get stuff done has been a major factor.  Not only has she been a great leader OGS, she always is ready to jump in to help anywhere needed.

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” in the subject line.

Evergreen Cemetery 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 Evergreen Cemetery Team that was nominated by the Northeast Washington Genealogical Society (NeWGS). The team was comprised of Lora Rose, Jayne Evans, and Jim Witham.

NeWGS’s Evergreen Cemetery Team

This amazing team of volunteers has worked diligently to make the area’s pioneer Evergreen Cemetery a thing of beauty while honoring those interred there. They have done everything from clearing brush, picking up pinecones, mowing and weed whacking, repairing damaged stones, and repairing fence. Lora Rose, the team leader, has also spent hours researching each and every burial, posting information to the NeWGS online Evergreen database and responding to inquiries concerning the inhabitants.  Everything accomplished at the cemetery over the past several years is because of this dedicated team and they make NeWGS very appreciative and very proud.

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.”

EWGS Zoom 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 Zoom Team that was nominated by the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society (EWGS). The team was comprised of John Wilson and Carol Anderson.

Carol Anderson
John Wilson

March 2020 was the last in-person meeting for EWGS until April 2022 when in-person meetings resumed. April, May and June 2020 came and went with everything locked down. Then along came Zoom. Carol Anderson and John Wilson were using Zoom to communicate with their families and determined EWGS meetings could be conducted via Zoom. They reached out to the board by walking each person through the Zoom sign-in process and a new meeting format was born. It was a matter of members teaching other members the sign-in process and John posting the directions on the EWGS website.

Other societies disbanded for lack of vision, but EWGS has prospered adding new members. In April 2022, EWGS had their first hybrid meeting all because of the “can do attitude” of Carol and John.

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.”