Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Keynote Address by Jay Verkler, CEO of Family Search

The first session of the National Genealogical Society the morning of April 28, 2010 was the keynote address by Jay Verkler of Family Search. The title of the speech was "From Granite Mountain to the Ends of the World.
I was very impressed with Jay Verkler, CEO of Family Search and with the enthusiasm of all the Family Search personnel in the exhibit hall. I was impressed with all the ways that technology is being used .
Jay Verkler started his presentation with two disclosures. One was the reason the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is so interested in family history. It is because of church doctrine and the belief that families can be united for eternity.
The second disclosure is that he is not a genealogist. He is a technologist.
Jay Verkler mentioned four main ways that technology can help family historians:
1. to gather and protect records.
2. provide records to enable discovery.
3. to facilitate, document and consolidate conclusions.
4. to organize and share knowledge.

We were told the history of Genealogy Society of Utah, precursor to Family Search and were given a video tour of the Granite Mountain Vaults near Salt Lake City. It can be viewed at Granite Vaults Part One and Granite Vaults Part 2
I believe that if Jay Verkler were a CEO of a profit making company that he would be much more famous. He would be featured in all the business magazines and newspapers. He is doing a great job.

I was touched by the pictures of the Japanese cemetery and hearing about the ties between his children and their Japanese grandparents.

I think everyone was excited when Jay Verkler announced that 300 million names would be added to Family Search Beta during NGS Conference. See here for the List of Collections

Also in this opening session the President of National Genealogical Society, Janet A. Alpert, gave a welcoming speech and gave some awards and introduced the officers of the society.

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