To NERGC and Back again: Thank you Volunteers!!
The New England Regional Genealogy Conference was held from 15 Apr to 18 April 2015 at the Providence Rhode Island Convention Center.
Welcome to the Rhode Island Convention center NERGC attendees.
May you have an enjoyable convention.
Although I have attended the Exhibit Halls and Special Interest Groups at previous Conventions, I had not taken on a volunteer role. This year I had planned to volunteer at the MSOG (Massachusetts Society of Genealogists) table on Friday and Saturday, and also help stuff the 1,000 attendee conference bags to be given out to all registered to attend on Wednesday. The other times I was going to register and attend some of the presentations. Great plan for any genealogist to have and blog about.
Like in our daily lives, plans change. I did volunteer as stated above. I did not, however, get to attend and sessions. It became apparent on Wednesday that a volunteer was needed to fill in behind the scene to free the chairpersons, signage people and other troubleshooters of the unexpected, to do their job. They were also volunteer positions.
We were not the only convention being held there. Over the course of the weekend we were joined by Verizon Wireless, Blue Cross Blue Shield, An Art and Dance Convention and a Youth Missionary Convention. When I say they “rocked the roof off,” I would not be kidding that much. The floors vibrated in the Exhibit Hall from the singing, dancing and music enthusiasm that some people were getting sea sick. Upstairs our challenge were to hear our soft spoken presenters, who were using the microphones at the highest volume. You can see some of the trouble shooting issues the volunteers and organizers had to deal with. Technical difficulties, last minute session changes, Lost and Found, are just a few other issues to be solved.
When you attend a conference you are focusing on what session you will see, when to go to the exhibit hall, what Special Interest group to go to and where to stay. We tend to forget that there are many people who are behind the scene making our choices easier. They have committees for hospitably, volunteers, signage, speakers, hotels, transportation, lost and found, and a multitude of other jobs needed to pull off a large regional conference. All these position are supported volunteers.
I want to thank these unsung heroes, called volunteers, for all their time and effort they have put in over the past two years. There are even jobs that need to be done post conference, such as, evaluation of speakers, conference evaluation and starting to prep for the next one in 2017 Springfield, Massachusetts.
I was honored to be part of their team for a few days. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have put into bringing the NERGC to us. It was top notch in my book.
15 April 2015 Facebook post by me (June Stearns Butka) after dinner with my virtual friends that I finally met face to face.
“Great Day at the NERGC in Providence Rhode Island. The behind the scene view of a conference is very telling about the amount of effort put into presenting a conference of this size.
On disaster is averted while the help of others stepping in. You know who you are, great job to all today. Sweet dreams for tomorrow will bring new challenges for you to solve.
Be proud of all you accomplished today. Take Heart that it was great appreciated by us.
Enjoyable meal at the Hilton with new and Old friends alike. Yes Dave Robison, we have known each other for years even though we never met until today in real life.
I met several of my online friends in real life today. I will blog about them more later. Right now it is time to sleep, 3 am comes early for my return trip to Rhode Island.”
The second day at NERGC brought the gift of meeting more “Silver and Gold” friends, as the girl scouts song implies; “Meet new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other is Gold.”
Well I definitely met these two “Genealogy Gems,” Lisa Louise Cook and her husband, Bill Cooke. Bill was gracious enough to allow me to post his photo. He usually is Lisa’s unsung hero of behind the scene support. Both are precious people that I am honored to have met. Thank you both for all you do in the Genealogy World to make our lives and research easier.
She wears many hats in role as a genealogist, she is known for her Fieldstone Commons podcasts, The Professional Genealogist and most recently Geoff Rasmussen’s sidekick and presenter at Legacy Family Tree Webinars. I think her role as mother, wife and friend are just as important to her family, as she is to our genealogy family. She gives good hugs, too.
MSOG Table Volunteers on 17 April 2015 1-3pm. There were many other volunteers over the course of the four days covering Massachusetts Society of Genealogist table in the Exhibit Hall. June Stearns Butka, Charlene Sokal, Patricia Stano-Carpenter and a beautiful lady that sadly I can’t remember her name. (That is what happens when you don’t blog or write down the name at the time.)
GeneaBlogger Special Interest Group 16 April 2015, Thank Vincent Rojo for the photo of this amazing group of people. This is Heather Wilkinson Rojo Facebook post 17 April 2015
Heather Wilkinson Rojo
The blogger SIG (Special Interest Group) — with Pat Richley-Erickson, June Stearns Butka, Beverley Fieg, Laurie Desmarais,Karen Trearchis, Russ Worthington, Janice Hamilton,Lori Lyn Price, Cynthia Shenette, Sara Campbell,Elizabeth Pyle Handler, Genevieve De Haan, Bevlynn Gallant, Dave Allen and Pam Carter in Providence, Rhode Island.
My Facebook post 19 April 2015:
I had a great time at NERGC (New England Genealogical Conference) this past week.
I met some amazing people I new virtually before in person; made new friends; spent my volunteer time learning so much about the behind the scene activity that supports the conference and finally spent some time with Josh’s Mom learning about her family ancestors including our common immigrant ancestor, Isaac Stearns.
Pam’s line is from Isaac Stearns & Mary Baker’s daughter Mary, ours is from their son, Isaac.
Thank you all and sending hugs and much energy for your conference recuperation
I have BIG Plans for Attending the NERGC 2017 Conference in Springfield, Massachusetts. I will volunteer again for NERGC and MSOG, attend some presenter sessions and enjoy the company of my Silver and Gold Friends.
See you in 2017 Springfield, Massachusetts!!!!