Quarterly Newsletter of the Florida Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists

Sunday, March 21, 2010

22 November 2009

The 2009 Florida State Genealogical Society Annual Conference was held at the Hilton Melbourne Place Hotel on 13-14 November. The APG Florida Chapter was everywhere to be found at this year's FSGS Annual Conference, both in its organized events and through the actions of our individual members:

FSGS President. conference host and speaker, Ann Mohr Osisek, is a chapter member and former chapter president. Other chapter members involved in the conference are Cindy Hineman Davis, Conference Chair, Pat Rand, Vendor Chair; C. Ann StaleyCG, CGL and Amy Larner Giroux, CG, CGL, served dual roles as Co-Chairs of the PioneerProgram, and as scheduled speakers; and Paul Enchelmayer and Pam Cooper were scheduled speakers. If we missed anyone, our apologies.

Ann Mohr Osisek Presenting Certificate of Appreciation to Ted Willows

Sponsored Luncheon
The Chapter partnered with the FSGS to sponsor the first on-site luncheon for Conference attendees. Our chapter made a cash donation to keep costs reasonable for attendees, and at least one chapter member sat at each table. A sign on each table held the APG and chapter logos and had the names of the members at the table. This allowed for table conversation about the APG, the Chapter, and their respective function.

Alvie Davis, Chapter President, acted as co-host of the luncheon, along with Cindy Davis in her role as Conference Chair. Jack Butler, Chapter Vice President was luncheon speaker.

The FSGS survey following the lunch revealed the event to be very successful and popular among the attendees. Despite being in a large room, the FSGS assured us that had more space been available, they could have sold more tickets. It seems likely that the Chapter may want to participate in such an event again at future conferences.

The Genealogy Road Show
Once again, the Chapter ran its Genealogy Road Show during the Conference. For any who might not know this concept, on Friday , Conference attendees completed an Appointment Request Form, complete with information about a specific genealogy question for which they were seeking help. They then registered for an appointment to meet with a consultant on Saturday to discuss the question. Consultants were given the Appointment Request forms appropriate to their research specialties on Friday night to allow at least minimal time to prepare.

Chapter members Alvie Davidson, Juanita Friedenber, Amy Giroux, Pat Rand, and Bonnie Kohler assisted with the registration of participants. Mebers Pam Cooper, Yolanda Campbell Lifter, Gladys Paulin, Debe Hagner, Donna Moughty, Pat Rand, and Jack Butler acted as consultants.

Jack Butler, this year's Roadshow coordinator reports that, while attendee participation was down by about 1/3 this year compared to previous Roadshows, the event would still have to be considered a success. There were some problems with our registration process because the hotel gave us a hat check closet half filled with stacked chairs from which to register participants. There was nowhere to place our identifying banner at or immediately next to the closet window without blocking traffic. It is suspected that these problems impacted the registration process and the lower than normal participation.

There were 26 participants, each of whom got a comment sheet at the end of their consultation. Only 14 comment sheets were returned, with results as follows:

Did you bring material related to your ancestor research problem?
           Yes - 13       No - 1
Did the session start and end on time?
            Yes - 14      No - 0
Did the professional genealogist appear to be knowledgeable in the subject area of research related to your research problem?
            Yes - 13     No - 0 (1 had neither answer circled)
Was the genealogist able to help you in your research?
            Yes - 13     No - 1
Did the professional genealogist offer suggestions for further research>
            Yes - 14     No - 0
Did the professional genealogist give you a completed Research Suggestion Form?
            Yes - 14     No  - 0
Would you meet again in a free session with a professional genealogist at a future conference. 
            Yes - 14     No - 0
Would you meet again with the same professional genealogist and be willing to pay a reasonable rate for services?
           Yes -  8       No - 2   (no answer on 2, and 2 maybes written in)  

"Thank you for this chance. I realize that without my documentation and coming in cold, I was asking a lot of the genealogist & 15 minutes is only a start! But I do go off with some new ideas to follow up & I thank him."

"Very helpful and I have lots of new ideas."

"I brought the same problem two years in a row and got no solution either time."

"I might be willing to meet for pay, if I follow through on her suggestions and find success."

"One of the best things to have at the conference. I came to the show the last two years and really appreciate the help that I have been getting."