As a world leader in family history, it is our business to be tuned in to what is happening in the field of genealogy, to understand and use correct research principles in our product and service development, and to proactively share information. To accomplish this, we have a Chief Genealogical Officer who, along with his staff, acts as a two-way connection to the family history industry and the researching public at large.
What does the CGO do?
Our CGO, David Rencher, serves as a member of my senior executive committee, giving him a great vantage point from which to serve in his role. There are six key areas where the services of the CGO office are focused:
- Genealogical soundness – Identify opportunities within the organization to improve and ensure genealogical correctness in products and services.
- Relationship management – provide an ongoing personal relationship with key family history organizations and individuals.
- Crisis management – help manage situations that could tarnish the public image of FamilySearch or the Church in the community.
- Image enhancement – this service implements and extends the public image as directed by the senior executive and marketing teams.
- Publicity events – develops and delivers key messages for the organization to further the objectives of FamilySearch.
- Staff development – assist in the evaluation and training of staff to increase the impact of FamilySearch staffers on the community.
As David and his staff carry out these duties they provide an invaluable service to FamilySearch. They share our vision, and are in the right conversations with key genealogy community leaders to hear feedback that can help us reach it. This interaction is crucial as we continue to improve our services and create better tools to help people learn and preserve their family story.