Ogden Family History Conference/2018/biography

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Ackerson, Virginia (Ginny): Ginny Ackerson has had over 45 years of research experience and specializes in U.S., British and Canadian research. A former Vice-president of UGA, she has presented at RootsTech, the BYU Family History Conference, Ogden Family History Conference, and many other conferences and fairs. She has taught for the BYU Sunday classes and writes a column, Ginny’s Genealogical Gems, for a local newspaper. She also completed a five-year mission in the Church and Family History Mission in Salt Lake City.

Astorga, Roland: Roland founded Genward to empower genealogists to genealogize the human family.  Leveraging advanced technology, genealogical principles and some of the best minds in the genealogy industry, Genward is advancing their platform to assist families and organizations in preserving, publishing, researching and expanding their family trees via a worldwide network of professionals.

Ayers, Andi: Andi Ayers is an avid genealogist who became enamored with photo images in the 70’s and has been rescuing, restoring, and preserving images as media has evolved through the decades. Considered a pioneer in the scrapbooking movement she made key contributions to the way scrapbooking was done in the 80’s & 90’s and in the 2000’s added video and family interviews to her repertoire. Andi has helped hundreds of clients preserve their personal stories in print, video, and digital formats. Currently dba MEMORANDA, Andi is affiliated with APPO [Association of Personal Photo Organizers], FOREVER, Creative Memories, and other industry leaders to bring you the best products to meet your unique needs. Most people don’t realize how much they don’t understand about images. Stories are being lost at an alarming rate and Andi is on a mission to ensure YOUR STORY survives the advancement of technology.

Booth, Michael: Michael T. Booth is vice-president of RootsMagic, Inc. He is an accomplished trainer, having given hands-on entertaining presentations to thousands of individuals. With over 35 years of computer programming experience, Michael's latest creations are "Personal Historian" and "Family Atlas". He is also a developer of the popular RootsMagic genealogy software. Michael lives in Ogden, Utah with his wife, Sandy and their six children.

Burch, Robert: Robert was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the second of five children. He studied Political Science, Business and Journalism at Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama, one of nine centers of higher learning created immediately after the Civil War for the education of the Negro. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. A worldwide organization, predominately of African-American men dedicated to community service. In addition to being the AAHGS President, Utah, he is a founding board member of SDUSMP and Director of the LDS Genesis Group’s Family History Committee.

Debies, Stephen: Stephen DeBies, MS, is a Genealogist at the Utah AAHGS. He was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, but has also briefly lived and worked at times outside Utah as well. After graduating from Granger High School, he attended the University of Utah where he earned a Bachelors and Masters degree in Computer Science. Stephen is currently an assistant instructor in the School of Computing at the UofU, and also facilitates and manages the online streaming of CS courses while working towards his Ph.D. Mr. DeBies has been doing genealogy for almost 30 years, accumulating over 10,000 people in his database. Stephen works in many aspects of genealogy but is currently focusing on finding lost relative who are trying to find their families after adoption or abandonment.

Eakle, Arlene: Arlene Eakle, Ph.D. is president and founder of The Genealogical Institute, Inc. Dr. Eakle is a professional genealogist with more than 30 years’ experience in genealogy research: tracing ancestors for clients; as a research consultant, a seminar presenter, and an author. She is an expert in tracing New York and Southern U.S. ancestors including the Scots-Irish and those of Native American background. She holds a PhD in British History and traces ancestors from the British Isles (including Ireland). She claims a 96% success rate. Arlene has addressed more than 600 genealogy seminars in the U.S., Canada, and Europe including Family History Expos and Research Retreats. She is the author of more than 100 genealogy books, 8 blogs, several scholarly articles, and family histories. Dr. Eakle is the Director of the non-profit Genealogy Library Center, Inc. which accepts and preserves genealogy manuscript and book collections that might otherwise be destroyed. Collections donated may qualify for a tax deduction.

Findlay, Gaylon: Gaylon Findlay has been developing genealogy software since 1993 and is the primary author of both Ancestral Quest and Personal Ancestral File. Prior to his work in genealogy he spent his High School years in Frankfurt, Germany, graduated from BYU and spent 12 years in the San Francisco Bay Area as a computer consultant.

Gillespie, Lori: Lori Farkas Gillespie has been writing most of her adult life, but it was after an unexpected conversation with her father about his tours in Vietnam in the 1960s that she found her passion for helping people write their family stories. Her company, Red Artichoke Stories, provides support for those who have a story to tell and a desire to tell it, but need some help to get it done. Lori has a knack for listening without judgment and asking the right questions to get and keep the stories flowing. In addition to being a writer, Lori is an avid reader, devouring multiple books each month. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a degree in history, Lori believes that we are all storytellers.

Grunwald, Paulette: Paulette is a Customer Service Representative at Wells Fargo in Salt Lake City. She provides procedural assistance to Bank Staff. She has an Associate Degree in Computer Networking Software. Formerly an Army Reservist, she is the mother of three children - Diane (21), James (14), and Michael (13). Her son Andrew passed away nearly ten years ago. She is married for 22 years to Robert Grunwald. The first of four children, Paulette was born and raised in the Flatbush Area of Brooklyn, New York. Her heritage is from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, West Indies.

Juengling, Fritz: Doctor Juengling received his Bachelor’s degrees in German Studies and Secondary Education from Western Oregon University, his Master’s and Doctorate in Germanic Philology with minors in both English and Linguistics from the University of Minnesota. He has taught German, English, Latin and Old English (Anglo-Saxon) at the high school and university levels. He is an Accredited Genealogist® for Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Sweden through the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists, and certified by the Verband deutschsprachiger Berufsgenealogen.  Doctor Juengling is a German, Dutch, and Scandinavian Research Consultant at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Larsen, Amber: Ogden native, Amber graduated from Brigham Young University with her degree in Family History - Genealogy in 2017, with an emphasis in Scandinavian research. she is especially interested Denmark, and has had the pleasure of visiting her Danish ancestors' hometowns. Amber currently works for the FamilySearch Wiki.

Lauritzen, Rhonda: Rhonda Lauritzen is the founder and an author at Evalogue.Life – Tell Your Story. Rhonda lives to hear and write about people’s lives, especially the uncanny moments. She and her husband Milan restored an 1890 Victorian in Ogden, Utah and work together in it, weaving family and business together. She especially enjoys unplugging in nature. 

Mitchell, Tarienne: Tarienne is an experienced Archivist, working in government, education, and private institutions. She is skilled in DACs, RDA, DublinCore, and MARC. She has work with every material type including manuscript, digital, photographic, and audiovisual. She is an education professional with a Masters focused in Library and Information Science from UNC Chapel Hill. Her credentials include Wake Forest University, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Kress Fellowship at Ackland Art Museum, Salt Lake County and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints History Library.

Nelson Annette: Annette Nelson has been a Family History and Genealogical Research aficionado for over 30 years – deeply immersed in Utah Genealogical Association, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, A Billion Graves, South Davis Family History Library, Bountiful City Cemetery and her own wonderful family history. Together (mainly Annette), they have raised four sons, adore their four daughters-in-law and thirteen perfect grandchildren.

Nelson, Gary: Gary Nelson’s publishing career spans 35 years and many publishers – including positions as Executive Editor, Publisher and Vice President at McGraw Hill, Harcourt Brace, ProQuest, Thomson Learning, Study.Net Corporation and Granite Mountain Publishing.  Mormon Gold: Mormons in the California Gold Rush by Ken Davies and Lorin K. Hansen was published by Granite Mountain Publishing in 2011 and remains the most comprehensive and insightful treatment of the role of Latter-day Saints in the California Gold Rush.

Oberg, Lynette: Lynette Oberg is married to Craig Oberg and is the mother of 5 children with 15 grandchildren. After raising her family, she earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree at Weber State University. She volunteers at the Ogden FamilySearch Library, has been an Area Temple and Family History Consultant for the past 5 years, and loves to learn about her ancestors.

Olsen, Mark: Mark Olsen is the Family Tree Maker Ambassador to historical and genealogical societies around the world working to support their members as they use Family Tree Maker. Mark is a graduate of Brigham Young University and holds a bachelor's degree in Family History with a Spanish records emphasis. He has been working in the genealogy industry since 2007.

Preece, Robert: Elder Bob Preece has been involved in FamilySearch since the PAF days. Recently he has become especially involved in indexing. He does this mostly in Spanish, but also in English, Italian, and Portuguese and has tried French and Dutch. Bob is the Temple and FamilySearch Specialist - Indexing for the Clearfield Stake where he speaks frequently on Family History topics. He is also serving a mission to the Family History department as a Language Support missionary. Elder Preece actively maintains general FamilySearch knowledge. He holds both Ambassador and Heart Specialist qualifications. He does family line research in both English and Italian, so he is able to keep family and friends who want to join him supplied with temple work to do - mostly Italian.

Reed, Thom: Thom Reed is a Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch International. His area of emphasis is African American records, research, and experiences. He also manages relationships with community, genealogical and historical organizations for people of African descent. Prior to working for FamilySearch, Reed spent more than 10 years as a marketing, communications, and business development professional in the consumer-packaged goods, healthcare and technology industries. He currently serves on the Board of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) — Utah Chapter. He received his Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Japanese from Illinois State University and received his Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Brigham Young University. He and his wife are the parents of 5 children and reside in South Jordan, Utah.

Saunders, Wendell: Wendell Saunders has been engaged in genealogy for 25 years since he came into possession of two large boxes of his grandmother’s handwritten genealogy. He spent 38 years in the military, both in uniform and as a civilian employee managing several large military programs. He has spent the last year as a consultant at the FamilySearch Library in Ogden. He is married to Vila Terry Saunders who is, without a doubt, the better genealogist in the family. They have six children living in Utah, Idaho, Colorado and Texas.

Saylor, Stephanie: Stephanie Saylor is a UGA Board Member, and the UGA DNA Special Interest Group Chair, where she acts as a presenter and moderates’ presentations by leaders in the field of genetic genealogy. She holds a degree in Biology with an emphasis in Neuroscience and particularly loves to help people feel comfortable using genetic genealogy to crack open even the hardest cases. You can find her short articles, images and handouts posted on FoundingFamilyLines.com.

Sessions, Gene: Gene A. Sessions is Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor of History at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. A native of Ogden, he received his Ph.D. degree from Florida State University in 1974. He is the author and editor of numerous works, including Mormon Thunder: A Documentary History of Jedediah Morgan Grant (1982, 2008), Latter-day Patriots: Nine Mormon Families and Their Revolutionary War Heritage (1975), Prophesying upon the Bones: J. Reuben Clark and the Foreign Debt Crisis, 1933-39 (1992), Camp Floyd and the Mormons: The Utah War (with Donald R. Moorman, 1992, 2005), The Search for Harmony: Essays on Science and Mormonism (with Craig J. Oberg, 1993), Utah International: A Biography of a Business (with Sterling D. Sessions, 2002, 2005), and Mormon Democrat: The Religious and Political Memoirs of James Henry Moyle (1975, 1998), for which he received the Mormon History Association’s annual award for best edited work. He has also been a consultant on documentaries and committees exploring the Utah War and the Mountain Meadows Massacre and is past president of the Mountain Meadows Association. He and his wife Shantal have four children and ten grandsons. With his colleague Microbiologist Dr. Oberg, he team-teaches a Massive Open Online Course on the effects of disease on history.

Stegelmeier Daren: Daren Stegelmeier has been a Temple and Family History Consultant in the Milton Ward in Morgan Utah for just about two years.  He is married to Marcelle Steed Stegelmeier and together they have five children.   Daren has had a career in the software industry where he has worked with customers for the last 25 years.   Daren loves to help people find and learn more about their ancestors and connect generations through family history work.

Stubbs, Jennifer: Jennifer Stubbs was born in Tachikawa, Japan while her family was stationed there with the military. Returning to the U.S., she was raised in Citrus Heights, California. From there she graduated from military child to military spouse, and finally retired in Clearfield, Utah. She was formerly a certified Ophthalmic Medical Technician and is currently following her genealogical passion as an Church Service Missionary at the Ogden FamilySearch Library.

Trotter, Mat: Mat Trotter has been an avid family historian for over 20 years. A graduate in Communication from Weber State University, he is currently enrolled at BYU-Idaho completing a Family History Certificate that will help him to earn his genealogical accreditations. He works for FamilySearch as an IT Operations Manager. He teaches a monthly family history class and loves to help people discover their roots. He has attended the Ogden Family History Conference for the last 10 years. He has been married to his wife Rachel for 25 years and has six children and one daughter-in-law.

Trotter, Rachel: Rachel J. Trotter is a senior writer/editor at Evalogue.Life – Tell Your Story. She tells people’s stories and shares hers to encourage others. She loves family storytelling. A graduate of Weber State University, she has had articles featured on LDSLiving.com and comeuntochrist.org. She and her husband Mat have six children and live on the East Bench in Ogden, Utah.

Woodward, Scott R.: Scott R. Woodward, PhD, is currently teaching genetics courses as a Lecturer at Utah Valley University. Previously he was the Executive Director of Genomic Discovery at Ancestry.com Prior to his work with Ancestry he was the director of the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) and a former Professor of Molecular Biology and Microbiology at Brigham Young University. He received his Ph.D. degree in genetics from Utah State University in 1984. He did postdoctoral work in molecular genetics at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Utah. While at the University of Utah he discovered a genetic marker used for the identification of carriers and the eventual discovery of the gene for cystic fibrosis. He was also involved with the identification of other gene markers for colon cancer and neurofibromatosis. He joined the faculty at BYU in 1989. While at BYU he was involved with the Seila, Egypt excavation team, directing the genetic and molecular analysis of Egyptian mummies, both from a commoners' cemetery and of the Egyptian Royal mummies. His research interests include the reconstruction of ancient and modern genealogies using DNA techniques with samples from all over the world, the tracing of human population movements by following gene migrations (including both Old and New World populations) and the DNA analysis of ancient manuscripts including the Dead Sea Scrolls. He has been the Scholar in Residence at the BYU Center for Near Eastern Studies in Jerusalem and a visiting professor at Hebrew University. His work at SMGF was focused around building a comprehensive database that includes genetic and genealogical data from over 100,000 individuals from across the entire world with the goal of demonstrating the close connectedness of all people in the world. This work continued at Ancestry.com. His work has been featured both nationally and internationally on numerous programs including Good Morning America, and the Discovery, History and Learning Cha