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2015 APG Professional Management Conference

PMC Classes and Workshops

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Keynote: Don’t We All Need Some Professional Help?
Tim Sullivan

Tim Sullivan, CEO of, has a unique perspective on the intersection of business and professional genealogy. Join him as he discusses the important role of professional genealogists in helping families discover and preserve their unique stories.

Tim Sullivan has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since September 2005. Prior to joining, Sullivan was Chief Operating Officer and then President and CEO of from January 2001 to September 2004. He has held positions at Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch, Inc., and The Walt Disney Company. Sullivan holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and was a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Workshop—You’ve Got Options: Many Ways to Cite Right (Part 1 of 3)
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Part 1 focuses on practical concepts underlying genealogical documentation, including why and how to understand a source before citing (describing) it, reasons to cite sources, similarities and differences among citation options, and characteristics, elements, and formats of genealogical citations. Participants will provide and discuss examples of each type of genealogical citation, the contexts where they find sources and use citations, and how these contexts affect citation options.

Thomas W. Jones has been writing documented genealogy articles since 1990 and preparing documented syllabus materials for national genealogy conferences since 1997. He has co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly since 2002, checking author’s citations and adjusting them to meet the journal’s high standards. He regularly teaches documentation and citation principles in the British Institute, Evidence Evaluation and Documentation for Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate Program, The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and Writing and Publishing for Genealogists at Samford University’s Institute on Genealogy and Historical Research. His book, Mastering Genealogical Proof, contains a chapter on writing clear and accurate citations.

Taxes and the Professional Genealogist
James M. Beidler

Professional genealogists are experts at finding ancestors, not tax deductions. But not knowing tax laws can get genealogists into trouble in a multitude of ways – from not filing the right forms to either taking invalid deductions or omitting legal ones. Making “tax talk” understandable, this presentation will acquaint participants with the tax basics of starting their business and need-to-know topics such as: travel, vehicle expenses, depreciation, office-in-home, inventory, and retirement plan contributions. The presentation will conclude with a "tax update" of the 2015 changes to tax laws.

Pre-Requisite: Attendees are encouraged to watch the webinar “Tax Considerations for Your Genealogy Business” (available in the members-only section of the APG website) prior to attending this session. The presenter will assume attendees have the basic knowledge covered in this webinar.

James M. Beidler is the owner of James M. Beidler Research, a firm specializing in writing, lecturing, and researching on German and Pennsylvania genealogy. He has been a tax preparer for H&R Block franchises for 21 years and an IRS Enrolled Agent since 2012. Beidler is the author of The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide and writes "Roots & Branches," a weekly newspaper column on genealogy that is the only syndicated feature on that topic in Pennsylvania. He served as President of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors from 2010 to 2012.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Workshop—You’ve Got Options: Many Ways to Cite Right (Part 2 of 3)
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Session 2 focuses on options for the five citation fields (answers) that widely accepted standards require for citations to be clear and complete: What is the source? Who created it? When was it created? Where in the world is the source? Where within the source is the relevant information? Participants will learn options for sequencing citation elements. Given information about various published and unpublished sources, participants will craft clear and complete citations.

Finding the Law
Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL

Genealogists are told to look at a record in the context of the law at the time and in the place of the record’s creation. But with fifty states and the federal government all passing laws, that’s easier said than done! Still, proper analysis of genealogical records is impossible unless we understand the law governing the records. Misunderstanding the legal context may make us miss records critical to answering the client’s question. So how do we find the laws we need? This presentation gives professionals a solid basis on which to begin to find the laws in place.

The Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, writes, teaches, and lectures on a wide variety of genealogical topics, ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing. In particular, she has written and lectured widely on legal topics, records access and DNA testing and compliance with the Genealogical Proof Standard (see, for example, OnBoard, December 2013).

Thursday, 8 January 2015
3-4pm & 4:15-5:15pm

2-hour Workshop - Measuring Yourself against Standards: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Skills
Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL

The new Genealogy Standards book has refined and redefined standards for our field. Attendees of this workshop will apply evaluation rubrics to self-evaluate work samples in order to improve their products. What do real transcriptions, research plans, research questions, and research reports look like that follow these standards? How can we recognize that standards are being met? Attendees will come away with a better sense of what is intended by the new standards, what constitutes meeting standards, how to evaluate work samples, and how to improve their skills.

Prerequisite: This workshop assumes attendees are familiar with the book Genealogy Standards. Attendees are also asked to bringing a copy of Genealogy Standards to refer to during the workshop.

Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, is the President of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. A western Pennsylvania researcher, she is co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP); an instructor for Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate course; coordinator of Samford University’s IGHR "Professional Genealogy" course; and co-coordinator of SLIG 2014 "Credentialing: AG, CG, or Both?" course. She was an APG Director, past-president of two societies, and co-editor of tombstone inscription books. Powell appeared in the PBS-TV series Ancestors 2.

Mind Maps for Genealogists
Ron Arons, MBA

A mind map is a graphical outlining tool used for brainstorming and creative thinking. Professional genealogists can create mind maps to help use time more and see research more clearly. Mind maps can be used to plan genealogical research based on a "focused question." They can also be used as research logs. They especially excel in their ability to help correlate and explain discrepancies in evidence. This presentation discusses mind maps’ basic concepts, how they can be built, and their application to various stages of genealogical research.

Ron Arons, MBA, earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Princeton and a master’s in business from the University of Chicago. A professional g enealogist for more than 15 years, Arons has given more than 200 lectures on a variety of genealogical topics at local, regional, and international genealogical conferences, including RootsTech, SCGS Jamboree, and IAJGS. He has authored three genealogically oriented books, including a new book about using mind maps for genealogical research. Ron won a research grant from the NY State Archives in 2006. That same year, Ron appeared on PBS’s television series The Jewish Americans.

DNA and Genealogical Proof
Angie Bush, MS

DNA is a record of the past carried within our cells, given to us by our ancestors. The use of DNA as a genealogical record is exploding, and genealogists who can successfully use and interpret DNA test results will see increased demand for their services. Presentation attendees will acquire the skills to know when, where, and how to use DNA as part of a reasonably exhaustive search and how to incorporate and analyze information gathered from DNA testing into proof arguments and client reports.

Angie Bush, MS (Biotechnology/Genetics), BS (Molecular Biology), is a professional genetic genealogist in the Salt Lake City area. She is also a recently elected member of the National Genealogical Society board and a moderator for online forums sponsored by the International Society of Genetic Genealogists. Between obtaining her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, she spent several years working in the biotech and clinical genetics laboratories where she gained an in-depth, working knowledge of the technologies used in DNA testing and of inherited conditions. Bush uses both her knowledge of traditional-research methodologies and genetics to solve complex questions of kinship and identity.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Workshop—You’ve Got Options: Many Ways to Cite Right (Part 3 of 3)
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Session 3 focuses on options for issues that can impair a citation’s clarity. Participants will learn when issues of numbering, capitalization, and punctuation are important and when they are not. They also will learn how to cite sources in foreign languages and how to cite published and unpublished physical sources that they viewed as images in published and unpublished media. Participants will dissect, assemble, "fix," polish, and create a variety of citations.

Get Paid for Your Passion: Setting Fees
Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL

Have you set realistic fees that make working as a professional genealogist profitable? This class will walk you through the process used in calculating a rate, hourly rates vs. per-product outcome, billable hours, and Pro Bono time. Discover strategies to handle client deposits and refunds as well as debt recovery, because you aren’t making money unless you get paid. The class will also touch on a personal assessment of talents and inclinations verses tasks that need to be outsourced. Attendees will leave with a toolbox to help them make the best decisions about their business.

Friday, 9 January 2015
9:30-10:30am & 10:45-11:45am

2-hour Workshop -- Professional Writing Foundations: Five Ways to Improve Your Writing Today
Anastasia Harman

Whether in research reports, client emails, or journal articles, writing is as integral to professional genealogy as research. Professional-level writing has potential to increase clients’ confidence, minimize communication issues, and improve chances of being published. This hands-on workshop covers five foundations that can dramatically advance all writing: engaging readers with concise writing, expressing ideas with clarity, correct usage of major punctuation, using style to add interest and depth, and matching tone to audience and purpose. Through instruction, practice, and discussion, attendees will leave this workshop with writing skills and expert guidance that will immediately improve their writing.

Professional writer and editor Anastasia Harman copy edited the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly for seven years. She was associate editor of Ancestry Magazine; contributing editor to many Ancestry publishing books, including The Source, 3rd edition; and coordinating editor for BYU Studies, a professional, academic journal. Harman is the coordinator for APG’s Professional Management Conference. Previously she was the Lead Family Historian for, where she managed Who Do You Think You Are? research and acted as the company’s spokesperson. She holds a BA in English, with an editing emphasis, and has taught editing and publishing on the college level.

Finding Your Niche: Matching Passion, Professionalism and Pecuniary Interest
James M. Beidler

With the increasing number of professional genealogists, just hanging out your shingle, literally or virtually, probably won’t get you noticed. What will gain recognition—and eventually more work—is finding the specific parts of the genealogy universe in which you excel. This presentation discusses how specialization and “playing to your passion” will help maximze the satisfaction derived from your craft and help you obtain more work writing, researching, and/or lecturing in your chosen niche. Case studies of people who’ve found those niches will be included.

How to Have Difficult Conversations with Clients and Colleagues
Christina Grover

As business owners, society leaders, and more, professional genealogists may often face the prospect of having a difficult conversation—with clients, volunteers, contractors, employees, and/or business partners. You may have to deliver bad news, explain why research goals were not met, discuss poor performance, or deal with a complaint or grievance. In this interactive class, participants will gain an understanding of how to approach and conduct difficult conversations in order to develop and enhance both "internal" and "external" relations and learn some best-practice tools and strategies that will boost their confidence in these kinds of situations.

Christina Grover is the Managing Director of HR Spectrum, an independent employment and HR advisory service in Australia. Grover is a nationally accredited Mediator & Executive Coach, and Workplace Investigator into Bullying & Harassment Complaints. A skilled presenter, she has extensive experience, working across a wide range of industries over the past eighteen years, from large and international corporate clients to smaller, family-owned businesses.

Friday, 9 January 2015
9:30-10:30am & 10:45-11:45am

Get in Print: How Self-Publishing Can Work for the Professional Genealogist
Thomas MacEntee

Learn how to get your manuscript published quickly yet still retain the quality demanded in the genealogy field. Self-publishing offers various options including Print-on-Demand and E-book publishing. From selecting a publishing platform, to finding expert assistance, to marketing your book, we’ll cover every aspect so you can make informed decisions and get your work published. Current technology offers many options to professional genealogists to control the publishing process and produce quality books. Discover the steps needed to take your manuscript down the best-suited publishing path.

Consummate "tech guy" with a love for history, Thomas MacEntee is the author of seven self-published books and has edited more than 100 e-book titles related to genealogy. MacEntee is a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, social-media connector, online-community builder, and more. He left the information-technology field in 2008 after a 25-year career and started his own genealogy-related business called High-Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of more than 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavour, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to "re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy."

Time Management: Successfully Balancing the Demands of Our Many "Clients"
Angela Packer McGhie

Clients expect that we, as professional genealogists, will work efficiently and manage our authorized time effectively. In addition, we each have a variety of demands such as writing projects, volunteer positions, lecture opportunities, continuing education, and administrative tasks. We may be trying to fit all of these “clients” into a full-time or part-time schedule. This session will address ideas for managing your workload, scheduling projects, prioritizing tasks, and staying focused. Some time management systems and tracking apps will be reviewed.

Angela Packer McGhie is a professional genealogist striving to balance researching, teaching, lecturing, volunteering, and caring for descendants. She is the administrator of the ProGen Study Program where she manages online groups studying Professional Genealogy. She serves as the coordinator for the Intermediate Genealogy course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University and as coordinator of the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. McGhie is a past president of the National Capital Area chapter of the APG and has published in the APG Quarterly.

Friday, 9 January 2015
3-4pm & 4:15-5:15pm

2-hour Workshop -- Genealogy Professionals Needed: Help Adoptees Discover their Genealogical Roots with DNA
CeCe Moore

The demand for genealogy professionals who can assist adoptees and others with unknown parentage in the search for their genealogical roots is, literally, exploding. An increasing number of these individuals are turning to genetic genealogy to learn more about their family trees. Attendees will learn techniques utilized by professional genetic genealogists to shed light on the ancestry of individuals who have no other means of discovering their genealogy. Real life case studies will demonstrate the successful application of DNA analysis combined with traditional genealogy research. Attendees will be encouraged to actively engage in creating testing and research plans.

Professional genetic genealogist CeCe Moore is considered an innovator in the use of DNA for genealogical and adoption purposes. Currently, she is working as the genetic genealogy consultant and scriptwriter for PBS’ "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr." and has also consulted for "Genealogy Roadshow." She is the author of Your Genetic Genealogist and Adoption and DNA. Moore is frequently consulted by the press, appearing on 20/20 and CBS This Morning and quoted internationally, including in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Wired Magazine. She is a member of APG, Screen Actors Guild and Mensa.

Organizing Your Research and Writing with Scrivener
Kimberly T. Powell

Could a software program designed for novelists be the answer to your research-organization woes? Scrivener, a writing tool and content-management application, helps writers easily organize, access, and analyze large amounts of background research and write more efficiently. This interactive presentation will walk you through setting up a typical genealogical research project in Scrivener from organizing the research to compiling the final research report, with a stop or two for brainstorming and analysis along the way.

Kimberly T. Powell is a professional genealogist, author, editor, educator, and volunteer. She is president of the Association of Professional Genealogists, a member of its Professional Development Committee, and developed and continues to coordinate its educational webinar series. She is also an instructor at Samford's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), and instructor and course coordinator at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). Since March 2000 Kimberly has been the genealogy expert for Her latest book is The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 3rd edition (Adams Media, 2014).

So You Want to Be a Genealogical Speaker
Billie Fogarty, M. Ed.

Speaking at genealogy conferences may be part of your product mix. What are the issues to consider in making that decision and what are the pitfalls and benefits? How do lecturing and instructing differ and which is right for you?

Billie Stone Fogarty has been President of the Genealogical Speakers Guild since 2010, which has given her a unique perceptive on what it takes to gain speaking engagements. With degrees in teaching and many years of genealogical research behind her, she did not protest too loudly when drafted to give her first genealogy lecture. Seventeen years and hundreds of lectures and classes later, she still enjoys watching that spark of learning come to life.

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