National Genealogical Society

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Notice of 2018 NGS Annual Meeting, Nominations, and Election for Officers and the Board of Directors Saturday, 5 May 2018

The Annual Meeting of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) will be held at the NGS 2018 Family History Conference at DeVos Place convention center, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 at 5:15 P.M. EDT on Saturday, 5 May 2018. The 2018 election of officers and board members for NGS will be held at the Annual Meeting. NGS members attending the 2018 Family History Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will be able to vote in person at the Annual Meeting. Those not attending the Annual Meeting, will be able to vote online 2‒5 May 2018. Information about the candidates is posted on the NGS website, from 1 April 2018 and 5 May 2018. Additional information about vacant positions for the 2018 election, a map of the director areas, and information on requirements for board membership, can be found here. Elected officers will serve a two-year term beginning 1 October 2018, and directors will serve a four-year term beginning 1 October 2018, unless they are filling an unexpired term as indicated below.

The following is a list of the nominations made by the NGS Nominating Committee and the term to be filled:



Home State


President Benjamin B. Spratling, jd Alabama
Vice President Kathryn M. Doyle California 2018-2020
Secretary Jean Atkinson Andrews, cg® Ohio 2018-2020
Treasurer Deborah Lebo Hoskins, cpa New Jersey
Director Region 1 Angie Bush, ms Utah 2018-2022
Director Region 2 Ellen Pinkney Balthazar, ms Texas 2018-2022
Director Region 3 (unexpired term) Janet L. Bailey, Virginia 2018-2020
Director at Large Ronald V. Hodges, phd California 2018-2022
Director at Large (unexpired term) Bernice Alexander Bennett, Maryland 2018-2020
Director at Large Michael J. Hall Utah 2018-2022

Pursuant to the NGS Bylaws, additional nominations may be made by a petition signed by not less than one hundred (100) members of NGS and submitted to the Nominating Committee at least fourteen (14) days prior to the beginning of the election. NGS members who wish to submit such a petition may e-mail it to the Nominating Committee at or send it via U.S. mail to NGS Nominating Committee, 6400 Arlington Blvd., Suite 810, Falls Church, VA 22042-2318. To be considered for the 2018 election, any additional nominations made by such a petition must be received by 18 April 2018. No additional nominations may be made after 18 April 2018 or from the floor of the Annual Meeting. For information on vacant positions for the 2018 election, including requirements for board membership, visit the NGS website, or write the NGS Nominating Committee at the address stated above.

An image of the map showing the various areas is available on the NGS website at

The following are biographical sketches of the nominees for the Board of Directors:

2018 Nominees for NGS Board of Directors

President: Benjamin B. Spratling, JD

Ben Spratling is an attorney with Haskell Slaughter & Spratling, LLC. He received his law degree (JD) from Vanderbilt University School of Law and his undergraduate degree (BS, Economics) from Auburn University. He also received a master's degree (LL.M, Taxation) from the University of Alabama School of Law. Ben is a former adjunct instructor of Business Law at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. From 1992 to 1994, Ben was president of the Alabama Genealogical Society (AGS) and continues to serve as legal advisor to AGS. He is the author of the "Court and Legal Records" chapter of Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical Records.

Ben is a coordinator and lecturer at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) where he has been on the faculty since 1992. He was elected to the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Board in 2012, served as vice president from 2014 to 2016, and is the current NGS president. He resides in Birmingham, Alabama.

Vice President: Kathryn M. Doyle

Kathryn M. Doyle has been researching her mother's Japanese, her husband's Greek, and her father's Irish and English ancestry since 1999. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the California Genealogical Society (CGS) for six years, overseeing communications, marketing, and writing its award-winning blog. She edited the CGS e-News from 2008-2013.

Kathryn has been a member of NGS since 2007. She currently serves on its Board of Directors, chairs the NGS Membership Committee, and manages the society's social media channels. She completed the Boston University Online Certificate in Genealogical Research Program (OL5), ProGen28, and Gen-Fed. She has attended courses at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). Kathryn holds a degree in pharmacy from the University of Michigan and she pursued a career in hospital pharmacy administration until retirement. She resides with her husband in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Secretary: Jean Atkinson Andrews,

Jean Atkinson 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. Jean has served on the NGS Board of Directors since 2010, including four years on the Executive Committee as treasurer and head of the Finance Committee.

Jean 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 court records. In addition to Ohio, Jean researches ancestors in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. She resides near Dayton, Ohio, with her husband, a seventh generation Buckeye, and two rescue dogs. She has written articles for APG, NGS Quarterly, NGS Magazine, and other publications.

Treasurer: Deborah Lebo Hoskins
New Jersey

Deborah Lebo Hoskins is a Certified Public Accountant. She is currently the vice president of finance at 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.

Deborah 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. Recently she has attended five NGS annual conferences and taken part in a Mastering Genealogical Proof online class. Deborah is a 2015 graduate of the NGS Home Study Course. She completed the Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research Program in May 2016 and the Association of Professional Genealogist's ProGen Study Group in November 2017. She plans on starting her certified genealogist journey in 2019. She and her husband reside in Ringoes, New Jersey

Director Region 1: Angie Bush, MS

Angie Bush, MS, is the Region 1 director for NGS and chair of its Genetic Genealogy Committee. She is also a full-time genetic genealogist researcher with AncestryProGenealogists in Salt Lake City. Angie has been interested in her genealogy since she was very young. After college, she spent several years working in biotech while continuing to hone her genealogy skills as a hobby. With the introduction of autosomal DNA testing in 2012, she decided to combine her two loves into one career. As the popularity of DNA testing grew, Angie found herself helping many adoptees and other with unknown parentage to find their biological family, and Angie is now recognized as an expert in the unknown parentage community. She is a popular speaker and presenter, and she enjoys attending conferences where she can connect with others who share her passion for genealogy. Angie is a Utah native and lives with her husband and two descendants in Sandy, Utah.

Director Region 2: Ellen Pinkney Balthazar, MS

Ellen Pinckney Balthazar is 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 through increased fundraising. Since retiring in 2012, she has enjoyed being a volunteer mentor and consultant to non-profit organizations. She currently leads a collaborative initiative to preserve the collections and advance public access to and programming of the local history center. A member of DAR for over forty years and an amateur genealogist, Ellen got hooked on family history when she collected stories, pictures and recipes from descendants of her great-grandparents to produce a cookbook. A University of Georgia Bulldog, she and her husband live in Austin with extended family nearby.

Director Region 3: Janet L. Bailey,

Janet L. Bailey is a nationally certified sign language interpreter, who earned a B.A. from Huron College, in South Dakota, and did post graduate work at Gallaudet University, in Washington, D.C. Janet co-founded the nation's first and largest interpreting services business, Sign Language Associates, Inc. (SLA), and served as its president and CEO from 1982 to 2008. She was active within her national professional association, the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) and served as its president from 1991 to 1995.

Janet is currently the president of the Fairfax Genealogical Society in Fairfax County, Virginia. An early recruit to genealogy, Janet has been researching, writing, and hosting reunions for more than thirty-five years. She furthers her education by participating in conferences and enrolling in courses at genealogical institutes including the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy six times, the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records. She lives in Arlington, Virginia and is filling the two-year unexpired term in Region 3.

At-Large Director: Ronald V. Hodges, PhD

Ronald V. Hodges, PhD, a scientist and amateur genealogist, lives in Palo Alto, California. He 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 in Palo Alto. Ron 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 is approaching four hundred participants with seventeen identified Hodge(s) lineages. Ron was instrumental in founding the Hodges-Hodge Society and developed and maintains the society's website. In addition to NGS, he is a member of the Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and the New York Biographical and Genealogical Society. Ron has served on the NGS Board since 2014.

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At-Large Director: Bernice Alexander Bennett

Before becoming a full-time genealogist, Bernice Alexander Bennett, enjoyed a thirty-five-year career in domestic and international Public Health. She received an undergraduate degree from Grambling State University (Louisiana) and a graduate degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan.

Bernice has attended the National Institute of Genealogical Research (now Gen-Fed) and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research—Samford University. She is a founding member of the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute, serves as coordinator for the DNA tract, a on the faculty. Her weekly BlogTalkRadio show features historians, genealogists, book authors, and family researchers. She has spoken at many state, regional, and national genealogy conferences. A volunteer at the Boeing Learning Center at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., Bernice has worked on the Civil War Widows Pension Digitization Project at NARA.

Bernice's genealogy research extends throughout Southeast Louisiana, her native state, and Edgefield and Greenwood, South Carolina. Her South Carolina journey is chronicled in a collaborative book she co-authored, Our Ancestors, Our Stories. She resides in Silver Spring, Maryland, and is filling the unexpired two-year term of Kathryn Doyle who is the nominee for vice president.

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At-Large Director: Michael J. Hall,

Michael J. Hall, has a BS in Anthropology from Brigham Young University (BYU). He is currently the deputy chief genealogical officer for FamilySearch working with archives and historic and genealogical societies worldwide. Previous responsibilities have included manager of Family Records Extraction Program, Digital Book Scanning Program manager, and Strategic Relations manager.

Michael is the past chair of the Genealogy Committee for the American Library Association (ALA), and past chair of the Genealogy and Local History section for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). He served as a director at large for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) board and vendor chair for the 2005 FGS conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the 2009 FGS conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. Michael has been an instructor at the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium (NERGC), Genealogical Institute of Federal Records (GenFed) (where he was the assistant director), Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), and at various National Genealogical Society conferences. Most recently, he was the course director for Course 6: In-depth Sources for Portuguese Research—Azores, Brazil, Portugal at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). Michael belongs to many genealogy societies including NGS, NEHGS, NYG&B, and the Association of Portuguese Genealogy (Lisbon, Portugal). His research includes his Portuguese-American ancestry (Azores Islands) and military records. He is a Marine and lives in Orem, Utah, with his wife.

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