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2024-05-13 Volunteer Appreciation Award - Amelia McNeely & Judy Martin

As a 501 (c)3 organization, we must be good stewards of the money with which we are entrusted. Particularly since we started Strategic Fundraising, we have wanted to be certain we were using the best financial practices an organization our size could.

We have always had a Financial Review Committee, and while it gave WVGS good advice about risks the organization faced, it didn’t have the time or expertise to “review” the financials. This past year, however, two new members joined the Committee.

Over the year, the Committee has worked to find a process that we could sustain with our volunteer group and that could give donors comfort with how their contributions were managed.

The result is that we now have both an ongoing, monthly process accomplished by volunteers outside the Financial Review Committee and an annual process of reviewing sample financial transactions by two members who are not a regular part of the accounting function.

We are honoring them today for their work in establishing and getting the process and procedures written down and set up, and then volunteering to be the outside members who do the annual review.

Some of you know Amelia McNeely as she is a member of the Italian SIG, worked briefly for CEC as their “Records” person and made the best spreadsheet I’ve seen to track the food and serving ware inventory we use at the seminar. Amelia was born and raised outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated with a music education degree from West Virginia University. But her career was in software, and it took her to many states and as far away as Germany. She moved to Arizona because she needed a drier climate.

Amelia had always been interested in finding her mother’s family. Her grandmother emigrated to the US from Italy as a child to rejoin her family who had left her behind until they got settled. Grandma had great stories that made Amelia want to learn more about them. Her Dad’s family came from England and her parents were first-generation Americans. Amelia’s had trouble tracing her ancestors back very far.

Judy Martin, on the other hand, has a plethora of documented ancestors – she’s fully documented them back through her 6th great grandparents. Beyond that, her 11th great-grandfather was Stephen Bachiler, a minister, and the inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter. Another of her ancestors served as Canon of Windsor during Queen Elizabeth the First’s reign and is buried in Windsor Castle. She could be working on 9 DAR applications based on various ancestors.

Judy was born and raised in Ohio and came to Arizona with her family in 1979. She used her degree in business management to work in senior management positions at the Bank of America and American Express. Her Dad got her started in genealogy and she used his work and that of her great aunt Betty Conner, whose records were all done by hand. She also started with a scroll containing a hand-drawn tree for her mother’s ancestors. Judy joined WVGS because of her friendship with Amelia, and I first met her when I was part of the Nominating Committee one year ago. She came in to learn about volunteer opportunities and, after about 10 minutes, we suggested she become President. She, wisely, I think, declined because she had just accepted leadership for a large project at her church.

2024-05-19 Update on WVGS Library Holdings

Several WVGS committees have been busy over the last few months:

  • The accessioners have added over 140 books.
  • The digitizing committee has added over 800 new periodical issues.
  • The obituary committee has added over 10,000 new obituaries. Did you know that the WVGS obituary database also contains wedding, engagement, and marriage license issued articles, mostly from Utah.
The periodicals and obituaries can be “all text” searched and downloaded by WVGS members.
West Valley Genealogical Society