Saturday, August 29, 2009

Heading to FGS

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is holding their annual meetings next week in Little Rock, Arkansas. As a new society president, I thought it might be a good idea to attend and network with more experienced society officers and learn from their experience. I'm particularly interested in how to transition SGS into the digital age without alienating members who aren't computer literate (and have no desire to be), how to increase our membership (an absolute necessity for SGS), and how to increase SGS member participation in our programs and events. If you have ideas on these topics, please respond by clicking on the "Comments" button below or emailing me at SGSPresident [at]
[Disclaimer: No part of this trip is being paid for with SGS funds; it's all on me.]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Board Business

Have you ever wondered what the SGS Board does at our monthly meetings?
This year's Board is focused on fixing the "messes" identified by last year's Audit Committee. Instead of just doing a financial audit, last year's committee conducted a complete functional audit. They assessed the Society's activities vis a vis our Bylaws and state and federal laws related to charitable organizations. Their final report, including appendices, is 56 pages long and is available for member review at SGS. It identifies numerous shortcomings in SGS's current day-to-day operations.
Our August Board meeting dealt with reviewing Board member job descriptions, approving committee appointments, approving a new key policy, establishing a fee schedule for seminar vendor tables and consignment items at SGS book sales, and establishing a safe deposit box policy.
We are trying hard to create a comprehensive new Policy & Procedure Manual for SGS that covers all of SGS's activities so that future generations of SGS members will have a single, comprehensive resource to turn to when questions arise about how SGS business is conducted. The Society has relied on "corporate memory" for way too long; documenting all the "how to's" is a major undertaking.
If you'd like to know more about the Board's activities, please contact any Board member. Our email addresses are published in the Bulletin, or you can leave phone or written messages for us through the SGS Library.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Welcome to the SGS President's blog. As it says elsewhere on this page, this is an effort to improve communication between the SGS Board [via the President] and our members. I hope to post to this blog at least once a week and use it to keep our SGS membership informed about what's going on at SGS, what decisions the Board is making, and what members can do to help keep SGS moving forward. I also plan to post a monthly poll question to gauge member opinion on a topic important to the Society. Please take a moment to post your response.
If you'd like to discuss any of the topics presented on this blog--or anything related to SGS--please email me at SGSPresident [at] [please replace "[at]" with "@" and remove the spaces].
I look forward to hearing from you,
Ginny Sommarstrom
SGS President, 2009-2010