Sunday, January 17, 2016

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy 2016 and the UGA Award of Merit

As usual the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy was a phenomenal success and I enjoyed myself immensely.  This year was even more fantastic though because Kim and I were able to take the whole week off and simply sit in class.  For the last five years I've been involved with UGA and the SLIG committee in helping put on the institute, but this year I was able to just relax and be a student--enjoy it with my husband--and learn tons.  Thanks so much to our employees who kept Family ChartMasters humming and to the SLIG team for making the conference such a success.
Kim and I took Blaine Bettinger's Beginning DNA for Genealogy course.  If you haven't ever attended an institute, it is really something special.  We were able to take 20 courses just about DNA and it's use in genealogy.  Even though I knew quite a bit about DNA's use in genealogy, and we've had all of our parent's generation tested who were willing, along with all of Kim's brothers and our son, I'm really sure now that I have filled in all the holes, and have a really good understanding of the foundation of DNA research.  Not only that, I have a partner now who can work with me to solve genealogy problems and extend our research.  We studied YDNA, mtDNA, and atDNA and learned about all of the companies who do the testing, their pricing and databases, the third party tools that will help you interpret the data, the ways you can apply it to genealogy and the ethical considerations to be aware of.  We heard case studies about how it has been used to solve complex problems, and best of all, we were able to discuss the issues with many of the leaders in the genealogy industry as we spent the week with them.  I learned so much, over lunch, in the hallways and with dear friends.  So so awesome.  Blaine is a phenomenal teacher.  I really appreciate him as a well-educated instructor and as a good friend. 
As usual, I didn't think to take any pictures until the last day, and I'm shy about asking to take pictures with people anyway.  Here's Kim and I extracting strawberry DNA during the last class.  So fun to take the class together. 
One of the highlights of the week was getting to meet Jessica Taylor of Legacy Tree Genealogists. It was great to be able to talk to someone who is running a genealogy company and dealing with many of the same issues that we are.  Really competent genealogy business people are hard to come by so it is a real treasure when you find a new one.  I so appreciate all of our genealogy business friends that I can bounce ideas off and learn from and I'm so excited to find a new one. 
And to top it all off, I was completely surprised Friday night when they gave me the UGA Award of Merit for my service to the association.  I had so many people come up to me and thank me and tell me I had really done great things.  I was overwhelmed. And then, when I posted this picture to Facebook, the outpouring was unbelievable.  I had so many comments and likes, I've got to be careful not to get a big head.  Tessa Keough made my day when she commented, " you are so positive and enthusiastic. Your company provides a great product and you do lots of volunteer activities - people notice and see you do things for the right reasons, furthering genealogy and family history. You show that you can be "in it" for others and also be successful, all with graciousness. Congratulations - well deserved."  Wow.  

And all of this was ten times better because Kim was able to be there with me. It was so fun to introduce him to all my SLIG friends and have him to hang out with us. Thanks so much to our awesome people at Family ChartMasters for letting us go.  Life is just really really good.

1 comment:

Jessica Taylor said...

Thanks for the shout out Janet! It was sure fun to hang out so much with you and Kim!