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MEET THE JAMBOREE SPEAKERS

(also see DNA Speakers)


Lisa Alzo MFA, is a freelance writer, instructor, and internationally recognized lecturer, specializing in Slovak/Eastern European genealogical research, writing your family history, and using the Internet to trace female and immigrant ancestors. She is the author of nine books and numerous magazine articles.
Max BlankfeldBrazilian native Max Blankfeld received his BBA from Fundação Getulio Vargas, and MBA from Rice University. While his first college education was in the field of Aeronautical Engineering, he gave it up to become a foreign correspondent. After that, he started and managed several successful ventures in the area of public relations as well as consumer goods both in Brazil and the US.
Bruce Buzbee is the founder and president of RootsMagic, Inc., and the author of RootsMagic genealogy software.  For over 18 years Bruce has been writing genealogy software, having originally written the popular Family Origins program.  Bruce has taught thousands of users the ins and outs of RootsMagic, from the basics for beginners to advanced topics for the genealogy professional.  Bruce is also the webmaster of Family-Reunion.com, the world's most popular family reunion planning site, as well as the author of Family Reunion Organizer software.  Bruce currently serves on the board of directors for the Federation of Genealogical Societies.
Ken ChahineKen Chahine, PhD, JD has served as Senior Vice President and General Manager for AncestryDNA, LLC since 2011. Prior to joining Ancestry.com, he held several positions, including Chief Executive Officer of Avigen, a biotechnology company, in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Utah, and at Parke-Davis Pharmaceuticals (currently Pfizer). He also teaches a course focused on new venture development, intellectual property, and licensing at the University of Utah's College of Law. Dr. Chahine was recently invited to participate with the Presidential Bioethics Commission to discuss privacy issues facing the biotechnology industry. He earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Michigan, a J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law, and a B.A. in Chemistry from Florida State University.
Ken ChristiansenKevin Christiansen currently works at Ancestry.com as a software engineer. He started working with the Family Tree Maker team as a contractor in October of 2006 and later accepted a position as a full time employee. He continues to work on the Family Tree Maker team. Before joining Ancestry.com, Kevin worked at a small data conversion company that helped several States centralize their voter registration systems. Kevin holds a BS in Computer Science with an emphasis in Computer Engineering from Utah Valley University. Kevin's family consists of his wife, Celeste, and four children: Mark age 9, Gwen age 6, Max age 3, and Tess who is 20 months old. Kevin and his wife are both originally from northern California. When Kevin is not working he enjoys hiking with his family, riding his dirt bike, and snowboarding. Kevin is a bit of a "Jack of all trades" and also enjoys carpentry and tinkering with electronics.
John Colletta John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., has been lecturing on topics of genealogy nationally for 27 years. A faculty member of IGHR, SLIG, and Boston University’s genealogy program, he has authored many articles, manuals on passenger arrival records and Italian research, and a narrative family history, ONLY A FEW BONES. See www.genealogyjohn.com.
Lisa Louise CookeLisa Louise Cooke is the producer and host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, an online genealogy show at www.GenealogyGems.com and in iTunes. She is the author of the books How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers and The Genealogist's Google Toolbox, producer of the DVD series Google Earth for Genealogy, an international lecturer, and frequent magazine contributor.
Crista Cowan has been employed at Ancestry.com since 2004; her involvement in family history, however, reaches all the way back to childhood. At Ancestry.com her past positions include European Content Acquisition Manager, Indexing Manager, and Community Alliance Manager. She spends much of her time touring the country and speaking at local and national level genealogy conferences and events. She is best known as The Barefoot Genealogist. You can watch her show live every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:00 pm (Eastern) on http://livestream.com/ancestry.

Bill DollarhideWilliam "Bill" Dollarhide has been in pursuit of his family origins since 1971. He has written over 60 magazine articles relating to genealogical research. Bill has been working with Leland Meitzler's Family Roots Publishing and will be presenting an overview of their publications in a stage demo on Friday afternoon. He is the author of several books, many of which are generally accepted as bookshelf must-haves for genealogists: Managing a Genealogical Project; the Genealogy Starter Kit; and with William Thorndale, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920. He has authored five books published by Heritage Quest since 1994: Seven Steps to a Family Tree; Map Guide to American Migration Routes, 1735-1815; British Origins of American Colonists, 1629-1775; and with Ronald Bremer, America’s Best Genealogy Resource Centers.

His honors include an Award of Merit from the American Society of Genealogists for the Map Guide book; an Award of Appreciation from the National Genealogical Society for services to the genealogical community; and Awards of Appreciation from the California, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington state-wide genealogical societies/associations.

We at Jamboree are delighted to see Bill back in Burbank again.

Peter DrinkwaterPeter Drinkwater is director of product management for Fold3 (formerly Footnote.com) since 2006, Peter loves to find interesting things in old documents, especially when they relate to his family or the places they lived.  Prior to Footnote, he spent several years working for Ancestry.com, and before that he studied and taught Humanities at Brigham Young University.

Arlene Eakle Arlene H. Eakle, PhD, FUGA is an experienced professional genealogist--she can trace your family tree or show you how if you want to do the research yourself. She claims a 96% success rate finding hard-to-trace ancestors. Dr. Eakle was one of the founders and original trustees of the Association of Professional Genealogists serving as president, 1980-1982, and as editor of the APG Newsletter and Green Sheet, 1982-1985. She currently edits 5 blogs: on Genealogy Evidence, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and New York.
Alice FairhurstPresident of the Southern California Genealogy Society, Alice M. Fairhurst is a charter member of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (http://www.isogg.org) and coordinates the efforts of amateur and professional geneticists to keep the ISOGG Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree up-to-date. She administers or co-administers 19 DNA projects and has been active in the genealogical world for more than 50 years.
Bennett GreenspanBennett Greenspan, a successful entrepreneur and a lifelong genealogy enthusiast, founded Family Tree DNA in 1999, turning a hobby into a fulltime vocation. His effort and innovation created the burgeoning field now known as genetic genealogy.
Husdon GunnHudson Gunn has been key in BillionGraves' recent shift in ownership and is excited to be a part of the BillionGraves team. He graduated from Utah Valley University with a BS in Business Management. Over two years ago, he started Code_IT Barcodes that provided QR codes for tracking/ analytics for businesses to use in advertising. This led to his most recent company called My Legacy Memorial which provides families the option of placing QR codes on headstones that link the viewer to online memorials and genealogy information. He is also the founder of WildTrax outdoors and has been awarded Student Entrepreneur of the Year (2011) and Best Small Business. He loves playing softball and the piano, skiing, photography, and being outdoors.
Tammy HeppsTammy A. Hepps graduated Harvard with a degree in Computer Science and embarked on a successful career managing web technology teams for large companies like Barnes and Noble, The New York Times, and NBCUniversal, as well as start-ups like SparkNotes and Dow Jones/IAC Online Ventures. With Treelines, she combines her wide-ranging, hands-on digital expertise and her life-long obsession with genealogy to bring to life the family tree curation tools she wished she had had all along. Tammy is a board member of the Philadelphia Jewish Archive Center and a regular contributor to Chronicles, the newsletter of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia.
Jean Wilcox Hibben PhD CG Board Certified genealogist Jean Wilcox Hibben serves as Director of the Corona Family History Center. A former college professor, she has a PhD (folklore) and Masters degree (speech communication) and has been doing genealogy research for about 35 years. Past-president of the Corona Genealogical Society, she is their webmaster; she is also a Board member of the Assoc. of Professional Genealogists and past president of their Southern Calif. Chapter and has been on the Board of the Genealogical Speakers Guild. Jean is a national speaker and writer and can be reached through her website http://www.circlemending.org.
Daniel HorowitzDaniel Horowitz was born in Venezuela and earned a BSC, computer engineering. He specialized in education, was director of the genealogy project, and taught at the Herzl-Bialik School from 1991 to 2005. He is a founding member of Venezuela’s JGS, and serves on the boards of the Israel Genealogical Society (IGS) and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS). Daniel has worked at MyHeritage.com since 2006.
Janet Hovorka Janet Hovorka owns Family ChartMasters, an award winning genealogy chart printing service which is the official printing service for most genealogy software and database companies. Janet writes The Chart Chick blog and enjoys writing and speaking at genealogy conferences. She is past President of the Utah Genealogical Association and teaches genealogy at Salt Lake Community College.

Cyndi Howells Cyndi Ingle Howells is the creator and owner of the award-winning website Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet, a categorized index to more than 315,000 online resources. Cyndi, a genealogist for more than 31 years, is an internationally known guest lecturer for various genealogical society conferences, and seminars.
Richard Humphrey Having retired from teaching science and overseeing the IT department at Harvard-Westlake School, Dick Humphrey currently creates family history projects such as large tree charts, video slide shows and photo-history books and is a 20 year user of Family Tree Maker. A member of the SCGS, he currently leads the Society’s Family Tree Maker User Group.

Thomas J Kemp Thomas Jay Kemp, Director, Genealogy Products NewsBank. A well-known genealogist, librarian and speaker, Tom has been working in libraries for the past 46 years. He is the author of more than 35 books and has lectured around the world. He was a presenter at the first genealogy conference held in China (Shanghai 2001) and has regularly presented at the Jamboree; NGS; and FGS conferences.

David Allen Lambert is Chief Genealogist, and formerly served as the Microtext Department Manager and Reference Librarian for NEHGS. David has been on the NEHGS staff since 1993, having been a member previously. He has appeared twice on the History Detectives on PBS. His genealogical expertise includes New England and Atlantic Canadian records of the 17th through 21st century; military records; Native American and African American genealogical research in New England.

Denise LevenickIn every family, someone ends up with "the stuff." Denise Levenick has been writing about family archives since 2007 at www.TheFamilyCurator.com and is a frequent contributor to Family Tree Magazine and Shades of the Departed online magazine. Denise is a writer, researcher, and speaker with a passion for preserving and sharing family treasures of all kinds. She is the author of How to Archive Family Keepsakes (Family Tree Books, 2012) and creator of The Family Curator blog http://www.TheFamilyCurator.com, voted one of the 40 Best Genealogy Blogs in 2010 and 2011.
Nancy Loe Nancy E. Loe, MA, MLS, is an archivist, librarian, and genealogist. She has managed genealogy and archival collections in public and academic libraries and written and directed NEH grant projects to make historical collections accessible to the public. A speaker at RootsTech, Jamboree, and other genealogy conferences, Nancy has assisted hundreds of library users and clients with their family research using US, UK, Scandinavian, German, and other European records. Visit her at www.sassyjanegenealogy.com.
Thomas MacEntee Thomas MacEntee is a genealogy professional specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogy research and as a way to connect with others in the family history community. When he’s not busy writing blog posts, organizing the 3000+ members of GeneaBloggers, teaching online genealogy webinars and more, Thomas is busy in his role as “genealogy ninja.” Stealth is not easy, but he manages to get the inside track on emerging technologies and vendors as they relate to the genealogy industry.

Philipp MayerPhilipp Mayer was born in Bavaria, Germany. His parents immigrated to the US in 1956. Philipp Mayer is a retired engineer with thirty-five years of design, management, and consultant experience. He is the author of Genealogy Presentations, 4 Decades of Pueblo’s German Club, and Presentation is Everything. After twenty-five years of family research, he developed a unique process to organize, manage, and present family information.

Rhonda McClureRhonda R. McClure, Senior Researcher at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, has been a professional genealogist and lecturer specializing in New England and celebrity research as well as computerized genealogy for 20 years. She is compiler of more than 120 celebrity family trees; has been a contributing editor for Heritage Quest Magazine, Biography magazine and was a contributing writer to The History Channel Magazine. In addition to numerous articles, she is author of ten books, including the award-winning The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy, now in its second edition, Finding Your Famous and Infamous Ancestors and Digitizing Your Family History.
Leland Meitzler Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (www.FamilyRootsPublishing.com), edits the twice-weekly Genealogy Newsline, writes daily at GenealogyBlog.com, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour (now in its 29th year), and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

Kory MeyerinkKory L. Meyerink, MLS, AG, FUGA is a full-time researcher and a founder of ProGenealogists, the official Ancestry research firm. His thirty years experience in genealogy includes accreditation in four areas, and past employment at the Family History Library and Ancestry.com. He was the editor and primary author of the award-winning reference book, Printed Sources and has written many articles for genealogical magazines. He is a past president of the Utah Genealogical Association and founding director of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. He also serves as adjunct faculty teaching genealogy at BYU and San Jose State University.

Anne MitchellAnne Gillespie Mitchell is a Senior Product Manager at Ancestry.com. She is an active blogger for FindingForgottenStories and Ancestry.com and writes the Ancestry Anne column for the monthly member newsletter. She has been chasing her ancestors through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for many years, and is pursuing her CG certification. She also has earned Boston University's CPE Genealogical Research Certificate. Before joining the Ancestry.com team, she worked in the internet industry as a software engineer and a product manager for companies including CNET, Webshots and Excite@Home. She has a Master's degree in Computer Science from Purdue University, where she also taught Computer Science instructor for 8 years. Anne's passion for history and computers merged into a lifelong fascination of genealogy and developing advanced search techniques to carve important clues out of historical documents.

CeCe Moore CeCe Moore is a professional genetic genealogist and writes the popular blog “Your Genetic Genealogist”. She serves as the lead 23andMe “Ancestry Ambassador”, on the advisory board of the Mixed Roots Foundation and as the Co-Director of the Global Adoptee Genealogy Project. CeCe is the Southern California Regional Coordinator for ISOGG as well as a moderator of the ISOGG DNA Newbie Yahoo Group.
Connie Moretti Connie Moretti is a popular speaker for genealogy and heritage groups. After 30 years in education, she started her own genealogy business. She served as editor of the South Bay Cities Genealogical Society Newsletter and is currently Education Chair and a member of APG, NGS, NEHGS, NSDAR, USD1812 and UDC. She has taught adult school beginning and internet genealogy and is the co-author of 4 books.

Dave Obee Dave Obee is a journalist, historian and genealogist. He has written a dozen books and given more than 400 presentations at conferences and seminars in Canada and the United States. He is the author of books on the Canadian census and immigration to Canada, and is the co-author (with Sherry Irvine) of Finding Your Canadian Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide. Dave is the editor-in-chief of the Times Colonist newspaper in Victoria, British Columbia. He holds an honorary doctorate, awarded by the University of Victoria for his work as a journalist, genealogist and historian. Dave is the editor of the Jamboree syllabus.

Alexandra OrtonA graduate of the University of Southern California, Alexandra Orton began work as a researcher on the first U.S. season of "Who Do You Think You Are?" in 2008. She is currently a producer and research manager for the series, overseeing research development, coordinating communication between Ancestry.com and the research staff, and shepherding the stories to completion.
Tim Pinnick Timothy N. Pinnick is a national lecturer with more than 27 years overall research experience including all the major U.S. repositories, author of “Finding and Using African American Newspapers” released May, 2008, former board member of APG and FGS, instructor in the African American track at the summer Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research.
Dan PoffenbergerDan Poffenberger, AG is a Genealogist and British Research consultant for the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is accredited by the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) in English research. He has been a professional genealogist for 24 years and received a BA Degree from Brigham Young University. He and his wife Keirstin have been married for 25 years and have 5 children. Dan has presented at numerous conferences around the United States and internationally.
Larry ProctorLarry Proctor's specialty is helping genealogists with archival products and solutions. He is currently employed by Legacy Archival in Bakersfield.
Mike ProvardMichael Provard is currently employed by FamilySearch in the Marketing Division as the head of logistics for the conference, library, and archive market. He has been involved in genealogical research for 28 years and had presented at national conferences. He and his wife have four children and reside in West Jordan, Utah.

Barbara RandallBarbara Randall is a member of the Southern California Genealogical Society, New England Historical Genealogical Society, National Genealogical Society, Association of Professional Genealogists, and Marcellus Historical Society. Barbara is also a DAR Trained Volunteer Genealogist. She is an Honorable Mention in the 2011 GENEii Family History Writers Contest winner, writes Patriot Pathways (DAR chapter genealogy newsletter) and proofreads the 1888 Great Register Project for SCGS. Barbara is a teacher with LAUSD.

Geoff RasmussenGeoffrey D. Rasmussen is the host of the popular Legacy Family Tree webinar series. He graduated with a degree in Genealogy and Family History from Brigham Young University and has served as director and vice-president of the Utah Genealogical Association. He met and proposed to his wife in a Family History Center.
A Certified Genealogist with a law degree, Judy G. Russell (The Legal Genealogist) writes and lectures on topics ranging from using court records to understanding DNA testing. A 2010 Walter Lee Sheppard Jr. prizewinner and trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, she has written for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the National Genealogical Society Magazine.
Dr. James Ryan Dr. James Ryan is a writer and publisher who has been active in Irish genealogy for the past 25 years. His book ‘Irish Records’ (published by Ancestry Inc.) has been a standard guide for Irish genealogists since its publication in 1987. He has lectured and taught extensively on genealogical research, and has given presentations to over thirty genealogy societies, mainly in the USA. He was also a professional researcher on Irish family history for many years.

Paula SassiPaula A. Sassi has worked professionally in the field of handwriting analysis since 1980. She holds the title of Certified Master Graphologist and provides services in the areas of personnel selection, behavioral profiling and personality assessment. Author of “Better Handwriting in 30 Days” and editor of “Handwriting Insights,” Paula has been featured on television and radio broadcasts where she analyzed the handwritings of the famous and the infamous.

John Schmal is a genealogist, historian, and lecturer. He has published several books on Mexican history and culture, including 'Mexican-American Genealogical Research: Following the Paper Trail to Mexico.' Mr. Schmal specializes in researching families in the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Zacatecas, Jalisco, Aguascalientes and Guanajuato.

Lisa Schumacher Lisa Schumacher is an IS Manager. She began working on her family history 25 years ago with an interest in computer programs and gadgets that can be used in genealogical research. She is a professional genealogist and lecturer, President of South Bay Cities Genealogical Society and a member of APG. She was a volunteer, instructor and staff supervisor at the LA Family History Center for 7 years.

Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG (HRM), is the CEO and President of Heritage Books, Inc., a genealogical publishing firm with over 4,900 titles in print. A professional genealogical and historical researcher for more than twenty-eight years, he specializes in the records of the National Archives, especially those that relate to the military. A nationally known lecturer and educator, he coordinates the Advanced Military Course at Samford IGHR and teaches in the Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis course, the Writing and Publishing for Genealogists course and the Virginia Course. He was given the APG Grahame T. Smallwood Award of Merit in 2008 and the UGA Silver Tray Award in 2009.
Eric SiessEric W. Siess, PhD is a professional genealogist with over 25 years of experience in family history research, lecturing and teaching. His research specialties are emigration and immigration, lineage societies, Scandinavian ancestry and the Civil War. He lectures on various genealogy topics throughout Southern California and teaches genealogy at the South Bay Adult School.

Nicka Smith Nicka Smith began her genealogical pursuits in 1999 and has lead her family research team in tracing the lineage of 9 generations and to their African country of origin, Cameroon. She has also been instrumental in helping more than 150 youth trace their roots through the Ancestral Project. She is chair of Outreach and Education Chair for AAGSNC and a board member for the California Genealogical Society.

Denise Spurlock Denise Spurlock enjoys the challenge of putting together the genealogical pieces to complete the family puzzle. She has been researching her own family for twenty years and now, as owner of Ancestral Trees Research, she assists others with their family history research. Denise has earned the Genealogical Research certificate from Boston University’s Center for Professional Education and has been a participant at the Salt Lake Institute of Genea! logy and the ProGen Study Group. She is a member of the Jamboree Committee.

Paula Stuart-Warren Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA, specializes in Midwestern research, unique resources, major United States repositories, and Midwest and Plains Indians. She lectures nationally and coordinates the American Records course at the annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Paula served six years on the Minnesota Genealogical Society Board and is currently on Board of Directors of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. She is the author of Your Guide to the Family History Library and Minnesota Genealogical Reference Guide and of numerous articles on various research facilities and types of records.
Josh TaylorD. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS "Josh" is the Business Development Manager – North America for brightsolid online publishing, the creator of findmypast.com, and a nationally known and recognized genealogical author, lecturer, and researcher. Active in the genealogical community, Joshua is the President of Federation of Genelaogical Societies.
Tom UnderhillTom Underhill published his first book 15 years ago. Since 1999, Creative Continuum has specialized in publishing high-quality, short-run books, including family histories, memoirs, and photo and fine art books. During the last several years, Tom and his company produced more than 400 family history heirloom books, printed more than 11.5 million pages and scanned more than 13,000 photographs. Tom has published the Jamboree syllabus for the past seven years.
Angela Walton-Raji With over 25 years of genealogical experience, Angela Walton-Raji is known nationally for her work on Native American & African American family history, her Civil War research, and her devotion to teaching genealogy skills to beginners. A founding member of Afrigeneas.com, she hosts a weekly genealogy podcast, 3 blogs, and continues to research and teach.
Kathy WarburtonKathy Warburton has worked as British Reference assistant at the Family History Library for 14 years and employed by FamilySearch for twenty-six years. Kathy grew up in a home where history and family history were emphasized. Ancestral stories were frequently shared at bedtime and at family gatherings, leading to a life-long love of family history.
Pamela WeisbergerPamela Weisberger is the first vice president programs for the Jewish Genealogical Society Los Angeles, president and research coordinator for Gesher Galicia, and was co-chair of the 2010 IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. A professional genealogist and internationally known lecturer, she holds a B.A. from Washington University and an M.S. from Boston University.

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