13 May 2019

Highlights of the NGS Conference

Thanks to all who helped to make this a wonderful conference week! What an exciting, albeit exhausting time it was for everyone who attended the National Genealogical Society's (NGS) 2019 Family History Conference in St. Charles! However, it would not have been a successful conference without the help of the experienced NGS staff and the more than one hundred StLGS volunteers who worked behind the scenes to keep things moving smoothly.

As the local host society, the week began for about seventy St. Louis Genealogical Society volunteers on Monday, 6 May with preliminary instructions, a tour around the St. Charles Convention Center, and then two hours of assembly line bag filling. Each of the 2,000+ conference bags needed to have copies of several bookmarks, flyers, booklets, and a conference program inserted. Then the bags needed to be boxed and toted to the registration area. By 1 p.m., all was ready for the following day, when pre-conference events began.

Tuesday was busy with Librarians' Day, African American and Irish workshops, and three different all-day trips. Registration opened for those already on site and continued all day and into the early evening. Volunteers were on hand to help participants download and understand how to use the conference app and to set up the society's sales area in the Exhibit Hall. The Society Showcase, featuring sixteen local genealogy and history groups, took place during the afternoon.

From Wednesday until Saturday, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. (and later for those attending special events), days were filled with lectures, meals, shopping in the Exhibit Hall, meeting new friends, and re-acquainting with old ones. In spite of the cool, rainy weather that dominated the end of the week, people enjoyed the food trucks that arrived each day and the chance to ride the free shuttles into the city of St. Charles to take in the shops and restaurants on Main Street.
(Thanks to Marsha Clark and Laura Mackinson for the photos.)

Special Awards for our Volunteers

St. Louis Genealogical Society was acknowledged by NGS at the Opening Session on Wednesday with an Award of Honor "in recognition of the society's dedication and sustained service in support of the 2019 NGS conference." StLGS committee chairs received Certificates of Appreciation at that time as well. Those honorees were local host co-chairs, Viki Fagyal and Kay Weber; Exhibit Hall co-chairs, Bob Cejka and Bob Goode; hospitality co-chairs Karen Goode and Rich Stanton; local publicity chair, Ann Hodges; registration co-chairs Diane Broniec and Barbara Larson; social media chair, Laura Mackinson; and volunteer chair, Marilyn Brennan.

The chair of the entire conference was long-time StLGS volunteer and former president, Ann Carter Fleming, CG, CGL, FNGS, who, very deservedly, received a special award at the NGS banquet on Friday evening. Ann, who has chaired more than six conferences for NGS and numerous events for StLGS, is the 2019 recipient of the Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism, which "recognizes a volunteer whose generosity of spirit and time has greatly benefited the National Genealogical Society and the genealogical community in general over a period of years."

Congratulations and many thanks from all of us to our award winners for their dedication and hard work!

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