About NGS

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the National Genealogical Society consists of the elected officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer), eight directors, and the most recent former president willing to serve.

Article VII of the National Genealogical Society Bylaws details the responsibilities of the Board of Directors. >

NGS Board Members (Effective 1 October 2018)
Position Name Home State Term Expires
President Benjamin B. Spratling, JD Alabama 2020
Vice President Kathryn M. Doyle California 2020
Secretary Jean Atkinson Andrews, CG Ohio 2020
Treasurer Deborah Lebo Hoskins, CPA Pennsylvania 2020
Director Region 1 Angie Bush, MS Utah 2022
Director Region 2 Ellen Pinckney Balthazar Texas 2022
Director Region 3 Janet L. Bailey Virginia 2020
Director Region 4 Bernice Alexander Bennett Maryland 2020
Director at Large David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA Utah 2022
Director at Large Ronald V. Hodges, PhD California 2022
Director at Large Sharon Cook MacInnes, PhD, CG Maryland 2020
Past President Janet A. Alpert, FNGS South Carolina 2020

2020 NGS Region Map

NGS Current Board Biographies

The following are biographical sketches of members of the Board of Directors:

President: Benjamin B. Spratling, JD, Alabama

Ben Spratling Ben Spratling has served on the NGS Board of Directors since 2012, including four years as president (2016-present) and two years as vice president (2014-2016). He is a coordinator and lecturer at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) where he has been a member of the faculty since 1992. He is the author of the “Court and Legal Records” chapter of Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical Records.

Spratling is a member of the Birmingham, Alabama, law firm, Haskell Slaughter & Spratling, LLC. He received his law degree (JD) from Vanderbilt University Law School and his undergraduate degree (BS, Economics) from Auburn University. He also received a master’s degree (LLM, Taxation) from the University of Alabama School of Law. Spratling is a former adjunct instructor of Business Law at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. For the past twenty years, he has received the highest “Peer Review Rating” (AV Preeminent) from Martindale-Hubbell, a national attorney rating service, and he has been listed in each annual edition of The Best Lawyers in America, 2010–2020.

Vice President: Kathryn M. Doyle, California

Kathryn Doyle Kathryn M. Doyle has been a member of the NGS Board of Directors since 2016. She currently sits on the executive committee as vice president, chairs the policies and procedures committee, and oversees the society’s social media channels. She joined the NGS membership committee in 2015 and served as its chair through 2018. Doyle was the communications director at the California Genealogical Society (CGS) from 2007–2013 where she edited the CGS e-News and wrote its award-winning blog.

Doyle has been researching her mother’s Japanese, her husband’s Greek, and her father’s Irish and English ancestry since 1999. Her genealogy education includes Boston University’s Online Certificate in Genealogical Research (OL5), ProGen28, Genealogical Institute of Federal Records (Gen-Fed), and several institute courses. She holds a degree in pharmacy from the University of Michigan and pursued a career in hospital pharmacy administration until retirement. She resides with her husband in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Secretary: Jean Atkinson Andrews, CG, Ohio

Jean Atkinson AndrewsJean Atkinson Andrews has served on the NGS Board of Directors since 2010, including four years as treasurer (2010-2014). In addition to her responsibilities as secretary, Andrews serves as a member of the education, executive, and publishing committees. She is a 2011 graduate of the NGS Home Study Course and received her Certified Genealogist credential in 2014. She has a special interest in Ohio for its interesting history as the first federal land state and particularly enjoys researching in land and legal records. In addition to Ohio, Andrews researches ancestors in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. She has written articles for the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), NGS Quarterly, NGS Magazine, and other publications.

Andrews holds degrees in accounting and finance and worked for thirty-plus years in the automotive industry as a controller, financial analyst, and program manager.

Treasurer: Deborah Lebo Hoskins, CPA, Pennsylvania

Deborah Lebo HoskinsDeborah Lebo Hoskins wrote her first family history in the fifth grade as a requirement for her social studies class. Her interest in genealogy was sparked when she cleaned out her mother’s attic in 2009 and found many original genealogical records. She is her family’s historian and her current focus is on a surname study of her mother’s maternal line beginning in the mid-1700s. She has attended the last seven NGS annual conferences, classes at GRIP and SLIG, and has taken part in the Mastering Genealogical Proof online class and an NGSQ study group.

A 2015 graduate of the NGS Home Study Course, Hoskins completed the Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research Program in May 2016 and the APG ProGen Study Group in November 2017.  She plans on starting her certified genealogist journey in 2020–2021.

Hoskins recently retired as vice president of finance for Hunterdon Healthcare System in Flemington, NJ. She is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Healthcare Financial Management Association.  She received a BS in accounting from Elizabethtown College Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in public administration from Penn State University. She and her husband currently reside in Pennsylvania but have become “snowbirds,” wintering in Florida.

Director Region 1: Angie Bush, MS, Utah

Angie BushAngie Bush has served on the NGS Board of Directors since 2014. In addition to her responsibilities as Region 1 director, she is chair of its genetic genealogy committee and a full-time senior genealogist with Ancestry ProGenealogists in Salt Lake City. As one of the most sought after genetic genealogists and internationally recognized educators in the field, Bush combines years of experience in biotech with a passion for genealogical research and a unique ability to solve seemingly impossible cases. Her primary research interests include cases of unknown parentage, such as recent adoption and donor conception; triangulating answers to tough genealogical questions using traditional records and genetic evidence; non-traditional families; and the LGBTQ community.

Bush is an active, national lecturer, presenting frequently on new trends in genetic genealogy. Behind her passion for research lies the belief that genealogy is an opportunity to connect with people from around the world and to enable them to connect with each other. She enjoys attending conferences and events where she can connect with others who share her passion for genealogy. Bush lives in Sandy, Utah, with her husband and two descendants.

Director Region 2: Ellen Pinckney Balthazar, Texas

Ellen Pinckney BalthazarEllen Pinckney Balthazar joined the NGS Board of Directors in 2018. She currently co-chairs the planning committee, focusing on building organizational capacity and strategic planning. In the Austin, Texas, area she leads a collaborative initiative to preserve the collections and advance public access and programming of the local history center. A member of DAR for more than forty years, Balthazar got hooked on family history when she collected stories, pictures, and recipes from descendants of her great-grandparents to produce a cookbook.

A retired marketing and non-profit executive, she honed her consumer research skills at Procter & Gamble, her brand marketing expertise at Frito-Lay, and her public relations acumen in the international division of PepsiCo’s restaurant businesses. In 2005, Ellen successfully transitioned this business and marketing experience to the not-for-profit sector, becoming CEO of a leading 501(c) (3) organization in Austin, Texas, focused on children’s issues. Under her leadership, the organization doubled the number of families served, as well as the budget. Since retiring in 2012, she has enjoyed being a volunteer mentor and consultant to non-profit organizations. She also has served her local community as a trustee on the school board since 2001. A University of Georgia Bulldog (BSHEJ, MS), she and her husband live in Austin with their children and grandchildren right around the corner.

Director Region 3: Janet L. Bailey, Virginia

Janet L. BaileyJanet L. Bailey joined the NGS Board of Directors in 2018. She chairs the awards committee. She provided leadership to the Fairfax Genealogical Society in Fairfax County, Virginia, first as education chair in 2013, and then as president from September 2015 to May 2018.  An early recruit to genealogy, Bailey has been researching, writing, and hosting reunions for more than thirty-five years. She furthers her education by attending conferences and institutes. She has completed six courses at Salt Lake Institute on Genealogy (SLIG); has attended IGHR and Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP); and is an alum of Gen-Fed.

Bailey, who lives in Arlington, Virginia, is a nationally certified Sign Language interpreter. She earned a BA from Huron College in South Dakota and did post graduate work at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.  She co-founded the nation’s first and largest interpreting services business, Sign Language Associates, Inc., and served as its president and CEO from 1982-2008.  She was active within her national professional association, The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., and served as its president from 1991-1995.

Director Region 4: Bernice Alexander Bennett, Maryland

Bernice Alexander BennettBernice Alexander Bennett is a genealogist, author, lecturer, storyteller, and producer-host of the popular Research at the National Archives and Beyond! Blogtalkradio show. Bennett serves as the chair of the membership committee for NGS. She is a founding member and vice president of the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute and serves on its faculty. She is the author of Tracing Their Steps: A Memoir (2019) and co-author of Our Ancestors, Our Stories (2014). In addition, she has published in several genealogical journals and other publications, and she has presented at the major genealogical meetings and conferences.

A graduate of Grambling State University (Louisiana) and the University of Michigan, School of Public Health, she enjoyed a thirty-five-year career in domestic and international public health. Bennett also has served on several non-profit boards, including Planned Parenthood, National Capital Area, and the Infusion Nurses Association and is a former board president of the YWCA National Capital Area.

Past President: Janet A. Alpert, FNGS, South Carolina

Janet A AlpertJanet A. Alpert served as secretary of NGS from 2004-2006 and as president of NGS from 2006-2010. She has recently served on the NGS Board as a past president. She returned to the NGS Board of Directors in the summer of 2018 to fill an unexpired at-large term. She also serves the genealogy field as chair of the records preservation and access committee (RPAC). A member of DAR, Alpert’s genealogical research extends from New England, New York, and Pennsylvania to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. She also works with DNA cousins to help identify new family relationships.

Alpert accepted leadership roles for three of the NGS Family History Conferences. She was conference chair in 2011 for the Charleston, South Carolina, conference and in 2018 for the Grand Rapids, Michigan, conference. In 2014, she was a co-chair for the Family History conference in Richmond, Virginia. She currently serves as chair of the NGS conference committee.

A resident Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Alpert is retired from a thirty-five year career in the title insurance industry.

Director at Large: David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA, Utah

David E RencherDavid E. Rencher is the Director of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Chief Genealogical Officer (CGO) for FamilySearch.

He has been a professional genealogist since 1977. He is the recipient of many awards, including Fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, London (FIGRS) and Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association (FUGA).

He is a past president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and of the Utah Genealogical Association, and a former chair of the Record Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC), which is a joint committee of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, National Genealogical Society, and International Association for Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS). He is currently the VP of Development for FGS and is a former trustee for the National Institute of Genealogical Research Alumni Association (NIGRAA) and a Trustee of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH).

Director at Large: Ronald V. Hodges, PhD, California

Ronald V HodgesRonald V. Hodges has served on the NGS board and the technology committee since 2014.  As of October 2018 he became chair of the technology committee. In 2018 he joined the education committee. A scientist and amateur genealogist, he began researching his family’s genealogy in 1999. In 2004, he and Terry Barton founded the Hodges-Hodge surname DNA project at FamilyTreeDNA. He is co-administrator of the project, which has more than 400 participants with seventeen identified Hodge(s) lineages. He is a member of the Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group, NEHGS, and NYG&B.

Hodges studied chemistry at Southern Nazarene University and the California Institute of Technology. He is a retired senior staff chemist from the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center and lives in Palo Alto, California.

Director at Large: Sharon Cook MacInnes, PhD, CG, Maryland

Sharon Cook MacInnesSharon Cook MacInnes has served on the NGS Board of Directors since 2016. She began her genealogy research in 1976. In 1984, she moved to northern Virginia where she had easy access to the National Archives, DAR Library, and Library of Congress, plus county courthouses in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. After retiring from teaching in 2006, she transitioned to teaching genealogical skills. She is an alumna of Gen-Fed, advanced methodology at IGHR, and three successive sessions at GRIP. MacInnes has been a co-coordinator and instructor at GRIP. She specializes in Pennsylvania research, federal land records, and early German ancestors and has held several leadership positions in local genealogical societies.

MacInnes teaches genealogy methodology courses, including a fourteen-week-long Genealogy 101 Boot Camp. She has written eight volumes of Early Landowners of Pennsylvania: Atlas of Township Warrantee Maps of *** County. She maintains the website at ancestortracks.com where she posts images of nineteenth-century Pennsylvania landowner maps and atlases as a service.