SVGS 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 SVGS Zoom Team that was nominated by the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society (SVGS). The team was comprised of Karen Looney, Susanne Brown, Dana Carney, Flynn Kennedy and Pam Shoberg.

Susanne Brown, Pam Shoberg, Karen Looney, Flynn Kennedy, Dana Carney

The Zoom Team began in 2020 after COVID brought a halt to SVGS’s “in person” meetings at their library. Pam Shoberg set up the Zoom account and created and hosted their initial weekly Thursday morning special interest group meetings.

Shortly thereafter, the society began providing presentations and resumed their “new normal” Zoom monthly general and board meetings. To date, these monthly meetings are hybrid meetings provided on Zoom with an option to attend in person and are hosted by education chair Dana Carney.

In 2020, Karen Looney and Flynn Kennedy began co-hosting the Thursday meetings.  Later, Susanne Brown stepped in to co-host with Karen.

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.”

Janet Stroebel 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 weeks, 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 Janet Stroebel of Indianapolis, Indiana, who was nominated by the Eastside Genealogical Society.

Janet Stroebel

Janet joined EGS in 2013 and has quietly but strongly supported the society from day one. Being an organized, detail-oriented person (which makes her a great researcher in the genealogical field), Janet has stepped up to help the organization grow and diversify.  She has served on the EGS board both as the secretary and the treasurer, thus making her part of the idea sharing, planning, and expanding reach of EGS.

Often behind the scenes, Janet sees needs and acts on them. When the leader of the Family Tree Maker SIG moved from the area, Janet accepted leadership of the group.  As the society’s help desk efforts often included questions on using Ancestry, Janet volunteered to host a Q&A Ancestry help session monthly at the public library.  As COVID restricted activities, Janet went online with her Ancestry help desk activities. 

Bringing EGS forward into the social media world, Janet established their Facebook group and acted as its administrator. Again, without fanfare, she moderated the Facebook page, posted announcements, and shared information.  In so many ways, from supporting the computer SIG, to being the NGS representative for EGS, to amending the bylaws to conform to recent changes in the state law governing non-profit organizations, Janet has helped EGS grow and embrace change. She has been an outstanding example to all.

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.

Karen Strelow 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 weeks, 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 Karen Strelow of Burlington, Washington, who was nominated by the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society.

Karen Strelow

Karen has been a critical glue to hold together pieces of the society during absences and pandemic operation.

Karen was the secretary when the COVID pandemic began. She adeptly documented the society’s challenges, opportunities and solutions in minutes and special write-ups for posterity. With the incoming secretary and treasurer living outside of the local city post office area, Karen volunteered to continue getting the mail, distributing it, scanning checks for the treasurer, etc.  Then when the membership chair was unable to continue, Karen again stepped in to fill that position until a replacement could be found.  She provided a thorough transition to the new secretary and membership records position. She also assists in genealogy work by fulfilling research queries. 

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.

Christine Schomaker 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 Christine Schomaker of Kenmore, Washington, who was nominated by the Seattle Genealogical Society.

Christine is the Swiss army knife of the Seattle Genealogical Society. Over the past 20 years, Christine has been treasurer, library director, operations director (three times!), and is starting her sixth year as membership director.

She is always willing to help out with just about anything SGS needs done, and has been the de facto SGS registrar for anything that involved registrations, including seminars, SGS’s online courses and managing the over 600 alumni of the Certification Discussion Group.

At the in-person seminars, Christine and her husband Eric were regulars in moving the sales items over to the seminar venue (and back!). She assumed the responsibility of sitting at the sales desk and handled all the monetary transactions.

Having served so much time on the SGS board, Christine is a key part of the society’s corporate memory, which is an important thing to have in these days of transition.

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.

Stephanie Rodden 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 Stephanie Rodden of Coupeville, Washington, who was nominated by the Genealogical Society of South Whidbey Island (GSSWI).

Stephanie Rodden

Stephanie joined GSSWI in 2007, and soon volunteered to serve as director of publicity on the board of directors. She then worked fervently to expand and advertise the society’s educational programs in all modes possible.

Stephanie next stepped forward and assumed our program director position and since then has been applying her amazing talents to securing speakers for GSSWI’s monthly programs. Additionally, Stephanie oversees the December social which is one of the society’s highlights each year.

But one of the more important reflections about Stephanie lies in the kind way she approaches members. Her interest is always in matching members’ genealogical needs with excellent speakers, and she reaches out through surveys and personal invitations to members to express their topical interests to her. She then begins the arduous task of finding speakers to address member requests. GSSWI is extremely grateful and appreciative of Stephanie’s continuing dedication, leadership, and many contributions to their society.

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.

Dorothy Pretare 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 Dorothy Pretare of Renton, Washington, who was nominated by the Eastside Genealogical Society (EGS).

Dorothy Pretare

Having been a member of EGS since 2003, Dorothy came to her first meeting as a beginning genealogist. Now, almost 20 years later, she has grown both as a researcher and a valued member of the society.   

Shortly after joining EGS, Dorothy also joined the German Interest Group (GIG) and has remained active in both EGS and the GIG. She served on the EGS board for about 12 years as the publicity chair. Her untiring efforts to spread information about EGS meetings and genealogy in general have earned her the respect of her colleagues. 

Stepping down from the EGS board, only to step up to the leadership of the GIG in 2016, Dorothy continues to serve the members and the community.  Under her leadership and despite COVID restrictions and meetings moving to Zoom only, the GIG has continued strong and even grown in membership. Dorothy encourages the GIG attendees to join EGS and leads by example through attending the EGS meetings herself regularly. 

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.

Larry Noedel 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.

Larry Noedel

Today we’re introducing Larry Noedel of Bainbridge Island, Washington, who was nominated by the Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society (BIGS).

Larry brings enthusiasm and creativity, offering ideas about new ways of doing things, helping clarify goals and ways to achieve them. Larry offers a skill set to the board to gather and analyze information to deliver better services.

Larry has been instrumental in helping BIGS deal with the switch to virtual meetings. He initiated the effort to determine how to provide hybrid meetings once in-person meetings become possible again.

As director of society outreach, Larry made a major contribution to BIGS by growing their relationship with Kitsap Regional Library.  As a result of this collaboration, BIGS offers an opportunity for members of the public to consult with experienced BIGS members, which has led to new memberships. Larry led the board in a more proactive approach to the 2021 renewal process to understand and address pandemic impacts on members.

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.

Florance Nelson 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 Florance Irene McDonald Nelson of Buena, Washington, who was nominated by the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society (YVGS).

Florance Nelson

Florance joined YVGS around 2005 when she retired and moved to the Yakima Valley.  Always willing to help, she was appointed historian of the society in 2012 and served as such ever since. This is a job requiring her to maintain the society’s scrapbooks of events, photos, etc.

She has been involved in many aspects of YVGS and is a staff volunteer librarian devoting every Friday and one Saturday a month at the library. She helps with the hospitality committee and assists in publicity for the society.  She shows up for every fundraiser and can work circles around many of the members.

Florance took over as temporary corresponding secretary in 2019 for an ill member and was elected to that position this year.  Members like Florance keep YVGS strong. 

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.

Celia McNay 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.

Celia McNay

Today we’re introducing Celia McNay of North Bend, Washington, who was nominated by the Eastside Genealogical Society (EGS).

Celia has served for four years (2016-2020) as the president of the EGS, and continues to be the driving force behind the recruitment of new members. She also has fostered closer relationships with other local, regional and national genealogical societies and organizations and participated in outreach meetings with the public at large.

She spearheaded the digitization of the paper records of the EGS including newsletters and minutes so that the society’s history is both preserved and accessible for the future.

Celia organized highly successful week-long research trips to the Family History Library in Salt Lake for EGS members in 2018 and 2019. Only COVID prevented a third such research trip in 2020.

Here, closer to home, Celia has been a speaker in both genealogical workshops and genealogy classes for the Bellevue Regional Library both in person and later on Zoom. She continues to serve actively in the society as a member of the nomination committee and the membership committee chair. Celia is very personable and a dedicated genealogist, generous with her time and always willing to assist others. Not surprisingly she is active in her local FHC as well. She is an outstanding volunteer with a special grace and a smile.

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.

Barbara McGill 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.

Barb McGill

Today we’re introducing Barbara McGill of Usk, Washington, who was nominated by the Northeast Washington Genealogical Society (NeWGS).

Barb is currently serving as NeWGS’s vice president. She jumped into the position full-speed ahead! One of the main responsibilities of the vice president is to line up the society’s monthly programs and she has done an outstanding job. Even through the pandemic, Barb managed to provide interesting and informative classes each and every month, adapting to the virtual world to present them.

Although admittedly not a computer whiz, she also agreed to maintain the events page on NeWGS’s website.

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.