The Nominating Committee is delighted to present the 2021-2022 slate of officers for the upcoming Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, Inc.’s October election. Our Society is fortunate in that the majority of the current state officers have expressed their desire to continue in their roles.
The officers will serve two-year terms beginning January 1, 2021, and ending December 31, 2022. Candidates for each of the elected board positions have submitted their qualifications, which are published below. Please take the time to read their profiles and cast your ballot when voting opens in October.
Election Process: Each MSOG, Inc. eligible member will receive an electronic or paper ballot identified as “MSOG Vote” prior to the voting period. Paper ballots will be mailed to members without email addresses on October 6th and must be returned in the provided envelopes to ensure confidentiality. Electronic ballots will be emailed to members on October 13th.
Eligibility to Vote: All members in good standing with the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, Inc. are eligible to take part in the election. Member renewals must be received before October 1, 2020, to be eligible to vote.
Voting Period: Polls will open for voting on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, and close on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. All paper ballots must be postmarked by October 20, 2020.
Election Results: The Tellers Committee will report the election results to the Board. The president will announce the election results at the annual meeting in November. The results will also be posted on the MSOG, Inc. website and published in Past Times.
If you would like more information about any of these offices or procedures, please see the Bylaws, and Policies and Procedures Manual, which are both available on the MSOG, Inc. website, www.msoginc.org under the “About” section.
Meet Your Candidates
Candidate for President: Seema-Jayne Kenney
A member since 2010, I held three offices within the Worcester chapter, two offices on the State Board, and served on multiple committees and in appointed positions since joining MSOG. Serving another two years allows me to prepare MSOG for the 2030 decade. During 2021 and 2022 I hope to return to those who mentored me by mentoring those who will follow me. My immediate plans include putting tools in place to make officer transitions easier and reviewing both member benefits and society services. We are a strong society. Staying strong requires new members, new tools, and a leadership team with diligence, dedication, and vision. I am willing to lead that team and this society for the next two years.
Candidate for Vice President: Kelly A. Fox
As an amateur genealogist, for over 30 years, I have expanded my research skills and explored my DNA results with the guidance and education of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists. I have attended other genealogy conferences, including the Society Day at NERGC. The support, advice, and encouragement from MSOG members has led me to want to share this experience with other genealogists. As Vice President, for the past two years, I have served the Society Board and planned the annual meetings. In the past, as the VP of the Merrimack Valley Chapter, I have scheduled speakers, organized a museum field trip and developed a scout merit badge program.
As Vice President, on the state board, I want to involve all chapters in the planning and excitement of the Annual Meeting. I am committed to open and continued communication with the Board members and chapters. I am committed to working with the Board to create a society that welcomes genealogists of all skill levels, collaborates with other groups for successful regional partnerships and educates the next generation of genealogists by reaching out to the youth of Massachusetts. I am committed to working within the budget for the Annual Meeting. I will bring my determination, experience, leadership and interpersonal skills to make the annual meeting an interesting and enjoyable experience.
“She is an example of the leadership qualities FGS says to look for in a candidate — cooperative and good communication skills, keeps the overall welfare of the Society in mind, and she displays respect, integrity, courtesy, tolerance, compassion, and humility.” Diane Brooks-Sherry
“Kelly, is smart, bright, friendly, personable & seems to know what needs to be, teaches young people to be interested in genealogy and history.” Dean Trearchis
Candidate for Treasurer: Diane Laferriere
I was the Society Treasurer of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogist, Inc. from 2015 to 2017. I was elected again in 2019 and currently hold this position. In my professional life, I work full time as a Business Analyst. Prior to that, I was an accountant at Very Fine Products for 16 years.
I enjoy being a volunteer Officer for MSOG. I get to meet members from all of the Chapters and learn so much more about Genealogy than if I just attended a monthly meeting. I also volunteer my time to NERGC and the MSOG Annual Meeting.
I challenge all members to think about what you can do for MSOG. Here are some ideas: write an article for MASSOG, be a greeter at a chapter meeting, volunteer a few hours to one of the many committees of the Society. You will see that many of the Chapter and Society Officers take on more than one role, not because we have more time than you, but because we know it does not take much time to lend a helping hand.
I look forward to serving as your Society Treasurer for the next 2 years.
Candidate for Recording Secretary: Elizabeth Pyle Handler
I have been MSOG Recording Secretary since January 2019. Since then, I have attended all State board meetings and submitted board meeting minutes in a timely manner. I participated on the Bylaw Review Committee which provided updated MSOG bylaws for member approval in the fall of 2019. I worked on the MSOG Policies & Procedures Manual, collecting board members’ updates to chapters one and three. In this next term, I look forward to continuing to update the remaining chapters of the P&P Manual.
I help the Middlesex Chapter with publicity and taking meeting minutes when the secretary is unavailable.
Although not specifically a task for the Recording Secretary, I have also taken on administrative responsibility for the MSOG, Inc. Facebook Page and Facebook Group, keeping members informed of MSOG events as well as other genealogical events of interest to our members.
Candidate for Corresponding Secretary: Patricia Stano-Carpenter
Pat Stano-Carpenter is the current Corresponding Secretary. She is always on the lookout for ways to improve the Corresponding Secretary’s communication process in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. For example, she developed a process to improve the efficiency of distributing membership mail to the relevant personnel. The process saves time by using email to notify the appropriate persons when membership mail is received at the P.O. Box. This past term, Pat has accepted the responsibility to answer or distribute all information questions and research requests that are received by mail or MSOG’s generic email email@example.com. Pat has the experience, knowledge, and ability to do this job. She also has the interpersonal and communication skills to interact professionally with the public and the membership. She lives near Ashland where the Society’s P.O. Box is located, allowing for the mail to be distributed in a timely fashion. Pat wishes to continue in this position because of her interest in MSOG, its members, and the Society’s future.
Candidate for Membership Director: David Kent
Hello, my name is David Kent, and I am seeking to become the Membership Director for the MSOG. I am a member of the Bristol Chapter of the Society. I feel I am qualified for this position following a successful 32-year career working for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in a management position for a state agency. Part of my responsibilities included managing, compiling, and interpreting data for both the benefit of the Agency and to assist with effective management of the office. I am a resident of Milford, Massachusetts.
I am interested in taking on the responsibility of Membership Director as a way to give back to an organization that has provided me with numerous opportunities to be enriched by the many different educational opportunities and training the society offers. I continue to be humbled by the myriad of pathways and brick walls I have encountered when researching my ancestors. MSOG has allowed me to become part of a collaborative and enjoyable community of people who share similar goals.
I hope members review my qualifications and choose me as the next Membership Director. Thank you for the opportunity to be considered for this important position.
Candidate for Historian/Archivist: Wendy Rawson Sheppard
I researched a Cloud-based application to store the archives. Protecting the archives from loss by scanning and uploading the files and photographs to the Cloud will give future generations access to the Society’s archives. I identified (with the help of the Society Treasurer and Webmaster) Google Suite as the appropriate vehicle to store the archives; applied for Non-Profit approval with Google.
I wrote the Document Retention Schedule and received the Board’s approval. Scanned and uploaded three of the now-20 file boxes, and 8 USB thumb drives’ worth of photos and other documents. Before the end of my term, I expect to upload at least three more file boxes.
Re-elected, I intend to continue scanning and uploading archive files to The Cloud, updating the Document Retention Schedule, and providing transparency to the Board in quarterly reports. I also would like to expand the archives by requesting archives from the Chapters and providing learning opportunities for Chapter Archivist/Historians on how to document and protect their archives. Please consider me for re-election.