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

Monday, March 22, 2010

6 February 2010

Brainstorming in Bartow

The first meeting of 2010 was held at The Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library in Bartow. The business meeting (see minutes below) ranged from a report on Chapter finances to the establishment of meeting dates and topics for the remainder of the year. 
The presentation scheduled for the period following the business meeting had been cancelled due to some timing conflicts, so Jack Butler led the attending members in an informal brainstorming session on ideas for making the Chapter more valuable to its members. Under this heading, the following points were discussed:
  • Increasing membership. The size of the state and the travel distance to meetings held at different locations is seen as one of the impediments to membership in the Chapter.  The success of meetings via teleconferencing during preparations for Chapter preparation for the FSGS Conference and the potential for remote meetings via webinar or "Go to Meeting" style software. The mechanics and cost of using such systems will be explored and discussed at future meetings.
  • Benefits of membership  - what they are and how to make these benefits known to potential members. Networking was counted as the number one benefit, followed by the expertise of colleagues and the potential for expanding one’s network of contacts.
  • More effective use of the Chapter website and blog-newsletter and better coordination between the two as communication arms of the Chapter. 
Much was discussed, but no final decisions were made. More investigation will be done.
APG Florida Chapter Meeting
              6 February 2010
The meeting began at 10:02 a.m. Jack Butler, president, presided over the meeting. Members in attendance included Shelby Bender, Alvie Davidson, Juanita Friedenburg, Amy Giroux, Bonnie Kohler, Patricia Rand, and Joe Spann.

Amy Giroux reported the current balance in the Chapter account of $624.33. She said 12 members had paid dues.

Jack wanted to get the meeting dates confirmed so that he could post them on the Chapter blog. The next meeting is scheduled for May 1, 2010, in Sarasota. Donna Moughty is expected to give a talk. Jack will discuss the date and place with Donna.

The third meeting for the year is scheduled for August 7, 2010, in Gainesville. There is a potential conflict with that date due to graduation activities at the University of Florida. Jack will contact the Smathers and P. K. Young Libraries to check on their availability and to determine the dates of UF graduation.

The possibility of employing Webinars for future meetings was discussed.

Due to lack of funds and lack of desire to raise funds, the Chapter will revisit the topic of partially funding the Friday luncheon at the FSGS Annual Conference in November 2010 at the May 2010 meeting.

Alvie recommended that Joe Spann give his presentation on the Florida railroads at the FSGS 2010 Friday luncheon.

It was suggested that the reservation and information forms for the Ancestor Road Show be included in the FSGS Annual Conference 2010 syllabus in order to facilitate the Road Show appointments.

Increasing membership in the APG Florida Chapter was discussed. Alvie mentioned that Kathy Hinckley could notify all of the Florida members of APG of the Chapter meetings. That includes the members of APG who have opted not to make their information public on the APG Website. Amy suggested the PDF format for meeting notices so they could be easily posted in different venues.

Benefits of membership in the Chapter were discussed. Networking was the number one benefit, followed by the expertise of colleagues and expanding one’s network of contacts.

Alvie will get the picture of the officers elected in 2009 and send it to Amy for posting on the Chapter Website.

Amy advised that Debbe Hagner remains in charge of membership. Amy suggested using Google Docs for sharing information between the treasurer and the membership chairperson.

Jack stated that he would like to make better use of the blog. He acknowledged that blog posts are subject to review by APG before posting. Alvie offered to assist with posting to the blog. Jack would like to link meeting notices in the blog to the Chapter Website.

Jack mentioned topics for discussion at future meetings could focus on (1) getting to know the strengths of the Chapter members, (2) advice on how to subcontract with other genealogists, and (3) sharing genealogical resources.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 a.m.

Bonnie Dunphy Kohler