Saturday, January 02, 2016

How Time Flies: Reflections on 9 Years as Local Society President

This morning I was honored to turn over the reins of the Florida Genealogical Society of Tampa to its new president, Tammy Patascher. I made sure to give her the "official" presidential gavel, and the box in which to store it until the next turnover. (I don't recall my even using it during the time I was president.)

Can it really have been 9 years since I first became president of my local society? The time seems to have flown by, but I am very proud to say that during those 9 years the society accomplished some major projects:

  • the copying of 8 printed volumes of cemetery surveys into Find A Grave
  • the scanning of all Hillsborough County marriage records in the holdings of the USF Tampa Library Special Collections
  • the establishment of the Hillsborough County Century Families program
  • and a long list of nationally known speakers for our annual Fall Seminar, all of whom I count as friends: Amy Johnson Crow, Paula Stuart-Warren, Elizabeth Shown Mills, Curt Witcher, John Philip Colletta, D. Joshua Taylor, J. Mark Lowe, Thomas W. Jones, and Cyndi Ingle (and 2 more lined up for 2016 and 2017: Judy G. Russell and David Rencher)

I could not have led the society without the support of a wonderful Board, and I am exceedingly confident that they shall go on to do amazing things in the coming years.

Thank you, FGS Tampa, for electing me and for allowing me to serve you.

And now I challenge all of you reading this to take the appropriate next step:

  1. If you have never attended a meeting of your local genealogy society, attend.
  2. If you have attended a meeting of your local genealogy but are not yet a member, join.
  3. If you are already a member of your local genealogy society, volunteer.
  4. If you have been a volunteer for your local genealogy society, run for office.
  5. And if you have served as an officer of your local genealogy society, repeat the entire process for your state genealogy society and again for a national genealogy society.

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