08 May 2013

NGS Presents Awards Honoring Excellence in Newsletter Editorship and Service to NGS




NGS honored excellence in the categories of newsletter editorship and service to the Society with the presentation of several awards at the Opening Session of the NGS 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, on 8 May 2013. The Opening Session keynote speaker was historian Marian Smith, Chief, Historical Research Branch, US Citizenship and Immigration Services who spoke on the topic “People, Policy, and Records: The Importance of Historical Background” after which NGS President Jordan Jones presented the following awards.

Each year, the NGS Newsletter Competition recognizes the hard work, long hours, and creativity that editors devote to their newsletters. A panel of three judges reviews each newsletter on material interest, variety, organization, quality of writing and editing, readability, and attractiveness. This year’s categories and winners are:

Family Association Newsletter:

Winner: The Andreas Killian Descendants Historical Association Newsletter, edited by Charles D. Killian of Ellenwood, Georgia.

Honorable Mention: The Seeley Genealogical Society Newsletter, edited by Paul Taylor of Alexandria, Virginia.

County/Local Genealogical and/or Historical Society, for societies with less than 500 members:

Winner: The Newsletter of the Irish Family History Forum, edited by Patricia Mansfield Phelan of Freeport, New York.

Honorable Mention: The Quarterly Newsletter of the South Bend Area Genealogical Society, edited by Eric Craig of South Bend, Indiana.

Major Genealogical and/or Historical Society, for societies with more than 500 members:

Winner: PastFinder, the monthly newsletter of the Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group, edited by Janet Brigham of Mountain View, California.


The President's Citation is given in recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy or the society. The National Genealogical Society President selects the recipient and this year Jan Meisels Allen has been selected.

Jan has been a key leader of the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC), a joint committee of NGS, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. Over the last few years she has tracked legislation that may impact genealogists’ access to the Social Security Death Index in the US Congress and access to vital records in many states. She is relentless in writing statements as appropriate to House and Senate committee chairs as well as governors and state representatives advocating open records access. She is a dynamo on RPAC as the voting member representing the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS). She doggedly finds bills being proposed that affect records access and brings them to the attention of RPAC, and thus the genealogical community. She has served in many roles, including vice president, IAJGS; president, Jewish Genealogical Society of Conejo Valley and Ventura County; and board member, Friends of the Agoura Hills Library. Jan receives the President's Citation for her vigilance in support of records preservation and in defense of public access to public records.


NGS also recognized several individuals for their dedicated efforts in support of the NGS 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada:

The Award of Honor was presented in recognition of dedication and sustained service in support of the conference. Recipients of the award were Michael Brenner, Chair, Local Host Societies; and local host societies Centennial Las Vegas Genealogy Society, Clark County Nevada Genealogical Society, Jewish Genealogy Society of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas FamilySearch Library, Nevada African American Genealogy Society, and Nevada State Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Certificates of Appreciation were given to recognize the committee chairs who spent countless hours preparing for the conference. NGS is aware that there could be no conference if it were not for the volunteers’ efforts and commitment. So honored were Lynne Bogner and R. Wayne Stoker, Co-Chairs of Volunteers; Patricia Dell’aira and Rebecca Eisenman, Co-Chairs of Hospitality; Betteann Meyers, Publicity Chair; Carole Montello, Registration Chair; Leo Myers, Exhibits Chair; and Bill White, Local Events and Tours Chair.






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