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01 December 2015

Meet our 2016 Board Candidates

written by Karen Lemelin


THE 2015 Nominating Committee - Chris Patillo, Nancy Cork and Chair Karen Lemelin announce the nominations for the board of directors for the California Genealogical Society.  The candidates were presented to and accepted by the board at the November meeting. Nominations will be presented at the Annual Business Meeting on Saturday, January 23, 2016.

The nominated members for board of director positions are:

·      Maureen Hanlon
·      Vicky Kolakowski
·      Stewart Blandón Traiman

The three nominees will be nominated for their first two-year term.  Nominated for a second term is Felicia Addison. Nominated for their third terms are Karen Lemelin, Nicka Smith, and Henry Snyder.

Continuing a first term are Linda Okazaki, Todd Armstrong, Therese Hart-Pignotti and Kathie Jones. Continuing their second terms are Diana Edwards and Shannon Reese.  Continuing a third term are Lisa Gorrell and Jim Sorenson. Ellen Fernandez Sacco will continue as past-president.  Kim Cotton will not be continuing on the board and Jeffrey Vaillant is ending his third term. 

Here are the new board nominees:

Maureen Hanlon

Maureen Hanlon joined The California Genealogical Society after attending “A Day of Irish Information” in 2008. She then became a Desk Duty volunteer, went on the Salt Lake City trip, and last year started doing post-class evaluation surveys for the organization. In addition, Maureen has provided consultations on both Irish and Beginning genealogy at both of our sponsored Ancestry Days events. She also recently fielded and analyzed a CGS Member Survey. 

In October, she became our coordinator for In-Service Education. Her first job in that capacity was organizing the just completed Beginning Genealogy Series which resulted in four attendees becoming new members.

Maureen retired last year from a career in health care that included health policy research, quality improvement, and supporting networking and educational conferences for providers. Retirement has allowed Maureen to focus on her own Irish research, spend time with her three adult children, and attack long deferred home improvements.  

Vicky Kolakowski

Vicky Kolakowski began doing family history research in high school, but put it away until genealogy software became widely available in the 1990s and online databases in the early 2000s.

She did not become serious about genealogy until after her election as a state court judge in 2010, when her mother expressed frustration that so many relatives were passing without leaving behind information about the previous generations, and particularly her immigrant ancestors (seven of Vicky's eight great-grandparents were immigrants, and the other was a child of immigrants).

Vicky spends almost all of her free time and vacations researching family history and visiting a variety of repositories and places where her ancestors lived and worked.  She has primarily focused on Irish and Eastern European genealogy for her own family. However, almost three quarters of her wife Cynthia's ancestry can be traced to pre-Revolutionary United States, and so Vicky has spent extensive time researching a large variety of resources throughout the U.S.

The California Genealogical Society has been an important source for her genealogical education and camaraderie since 2011.

Stewart Blandón Traiman

Genealogy has been an obsession for Stewart Blandón Traiman for 30 years. He began by interviewing parents, grandparents and other relations about his roots in Nicaragua. He is still hoping to prove the family legend of escaping the Spanish Inquisition.

When he married Leland Traiman, 25 years ago, he took on the new adventure researching Ukrainian and Polish Jews.  Stewart has also researched his children’s origins back to the colonial United States. Whenever a friend asks, Stewart is happy to trace their family stories and among his family tree collections, he now has 8 trees in perpetual progress.

Stewart was born in San Francisco 50 years ago. Through life’s twists and turns he graduated from Stanford Medical School and practiced as an Internal Medicine Physician until 2005 when he saw more interesting opportunities in the world of Electronic Health Records. He now works as a Clinical Informatist at Alameda Health Systems which gives him an outlet for working with data. Stewart wonders, however, if he missed his calling as a librarian. (Maybe in the next career.)

Stewart discovered the California Genealogical Society through its wonderful classes. In January 2014, Stewart became a volunteer as the editor and publisher of the monthly electronic newsletter (eNews). He hopes to one day turn one of his trees into a published work. Stewart also paints acrylic abstracts, loves to cook fancy food and enjoys science fiction in any media.


The California Genealogical Society's bylaws outline the requirements for Directors in Article V, Section 1:

1.      The number of directors shall be not less than five (5) nor more than twenty (20). 
2.      The last active past president, he or she consenting, shall serve as a Member of the Board of Directors until replaced by a new past president willing to serve on the Board of Directors.
3.      Immediate family members of Directors are ineligible for candidacy during the period of the sitting Director's term.
4.      The term of each Director shall be two (2) years from the date of election.
5.      Any vacancy in the Board during an unexpired term may but is not required to be filled by the Board. Such Director shall serve until a successor Director is elected.
6.      Directors shall be limited to a maximum of three successive two-year terms, or a total of six (6) consecutive years. 


Copyright © 2015 by California Genealogical Society

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