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From: "Jake Gehring" <>
Subject: [APG] APG President's Message * May 2008
Date: Sat, 31 May 2008 20:49:53 -0600


APG President's Message * May 2008

I apologize for getting the May message out so late. Many of you who know me
are aware that I struggle to meet writing deadlines, so hopefully I'll not
always be "just under the wire" as I am this month.

We just got back from a great NGS conference in Kansas City--it was really fun
to see everyone face to face, get reacquainted, and meet so many great APG
members. Here are a few items that you might be interested in from the
discussions at the conference:

1. FAVORITE ACTIVITY AT THE NGS CONFERENCE
I think the APG event I enjoyed most at NGS was the annual Gathering of the
Chapters. Pam Eagleson on the board heads the chapter activity committee, and
she did a good job running the meeting. I was excited to see 17 chapters
represented. We went around the room and talked about "notable recent
activities" and it was just exciting to see all that was going on at the local
level--education, mentoring, participation at local conferences, recruitment,
and plenty of social activity too, and plenty of fun.

We recognized the Heartland Chapter in the meeting for all the work they did to
help NGS with the conference. It seemed like their volunteers were everywhere,
always with big APG badges pinned to their shirts. They had a very nice booth
set up just outside the exhibit hall. Congrats to the Heartland folks for such
an impressive showing.

As to the meeting itself, we were able to discuss lots of important issues,
including funds for chapter activities, chapter logos (which are *really*
looking nice), frustrating IRS delays, local volunteerism for records access,
and several other good topics. My personal thanks to all the chapters that
attended. We hope it was a good meeting for you--feel free to give us input for
2009.

To the rest of you: if you are not a member of an APG chapter, you should
really look into it. I think you'll find the value of participation will be
worth the effort.

2. DISCUSSION RE: CHANGES TO APG MEMBERSHIP AND/OR FOCUS
As I have mentioned in previous messages, the board met in Kansas City
regarding the issues presented in late 2007 and early 2008 regarding APG
membership, organizational focus, etc. As you know, APG asked a special
committee of past presidents to provide some guidance on the question.

In a short three weeks before the conference, they produced a helpful summary
of the input and topics discussed to date. I am very impressed and grateful that
they took the time to read all your input--every e-mail message, every
submission to the APG office.

In the recommendation section of their report, the committee boiled all the
input down to two major concepts: a) the value of the inclusive nature of APG;
and b) our need to continually and actively work to improve the quality of work
performed within genealogy.

Based on our meeting in Kansas City, I believe the board is aligned in its
desire to accomplish both objectives. That is, we do not see "being inclusive"
and "improving quality" as mutually exclusive concepts. This is good news for
every member of APG.

We have asked the past presidents to continue their discussion and propose a
timeline for future work. We have also suggested that they feel free to
investigate some professional facilitation if they feel it will be helpful. The
preliminary report will be posted in the Members Only section of the APG website
in the next few days, so feel free to download and read it. I will continue to
report on this issue as progress is made.

Thanks and have a great month,


Jake Gehring
APG President


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