As part of our new website design (which I hope you’ve taken a look at), it was suggested that we do a “Presidents Corner” article.

2019 is the 42nd year for NWSGS. Starting in 1976 with a genealogical research class taught in the Continuing Education Program in District 214 to its incorporation in 1977, we’ve come a long way. We now have over 100 members with an average of 65 attending our monthly meetings.

Our volunteer Board members are dedicated and a joy to work with.  We meet eight times a year and much of the discussion is about what we can do to make the group better; and how to get more information to you at the meetings and in between.

We go over the feedback sheets and talk about the interest surveys you fill out to plan for the following year.  I think Ken Siefert does a great job with the pre-meeting, which is something no other group that I know of does. They all have a business meeting before their program, but Ken always wants to add just a little more and allow time for members to get involved and share.

Jacquie Schattner has done a great job with our newsletter and will be taking a much-deserved break for now. And, we’re very happy that a new member, Debby Volpe has volunteered to take it over. She’s working with Jacquie and I’m sure will also do a great job.

Terri Blasi has been doing an amazing job managing the membership list, payments, badges and check-in, which gets really hectic sometimes but she takes it all in stride.

Sherryl Dunning, our Treasurer proposes and manages our budget, keeps track of tax payments, our bank accounts and helps Terri at check-in.

Nancy Reese could be the best editor ever; she goes over each newsletter before it’s sent to you and she also makes trips to our P.O. Box to collect and distribute the mail.

Susan Champagne, our Secretary takes notes at our Board meetings and always manages to

present it to us the following month in a clear, detailed way; she doesn’t miss a thing.

JoAnn Flynn is new to the Board as our Auditor and will doing her first audit for us this month.

Howard has gone above and beyond to give us a new website. He basically started from scratch and has added so many features that are up to date, varied and fun to look at. He and Sherryl worked to set up PayPal so that members have another way to pay their dues. Our Home page now shows the latest information including a “menu” of upcoming free webinars from LegacyFamilyTree webinars, the Illinois State Genealogical Society,

the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History and others.

There’s a list of area resources including what genealogy software the local libraries have and which are Family Search Family History affiliates.

After logging in there’s a lot more information for members. The Members Only section is where you can find the newsletters, handouts (current and archived), photos, a Full Events Calendar and more. This is wonderful; the Full Events Calendar is just that; not just our monthly meetings but presentations in the area at libraries or other societies. 

Our Social Media page is filled with information. Twitter and Pinterest have an amazing amount of posts that are genealogy related, and you don’t need to have an account to see them. They’re right there in the Members Only Section. Please log on and see what Howard has put together for us.

So now that I’ve (hopefully) convinced you how fabulous we all are, we could still use a couple of people to help out on the Board. We need a Publicity person and an Archivist.  The Publicity Chair sends fliers to the libraries for posting each month and to the Arlington Heights Sr. Center so they can include it in their newsletters. They will start posting on Facebook before and after our meetings. The Archivist is responsible for taking the handouts, newsletters, meeting minutes, etc. and adding them to Dropbox.  And, we’re happy to include articles from members; did you just make a breakthrough you’d like to share? Have you been to an archive or courthouse or taken a research trip? Attended a conference, watched a webinar or gone to another society presentation that you want to tell us about? We’d like to hear about what you’re doing.

My plan for future articles is still a little vague, but I’d like to share what I’ve been learning in an online certificate program I’m in the middle of. Topics like developing a research plan, research logs, etc. And, I’m open to suggestions on what you’d like this section to include. Please click on the “comments” link at the top of the blog and give me your thoughts.

Lynda Roddy Ozzauto

President, NWSGS


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