Awards Given at Recent APG Professional Management Conference

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Association of Professional Genealogists Awards Members for Contributions to the Organization and Profession; Announces Golden Chapter Award

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI., and WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 4 October 2018 − The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) honored several members for their achievements and service to the profession at its 2018 Professional Management Conference (PMC) in Kansas City, Missouri. APG President Billie Stone Fogarty presented the awards at today’s opening session of PMC.

  • The Laura G. Prescott Award for Exemplary Service to Professional Genealogy was presented to Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG, FOGS. The award was created in recognition of exemplary professionalism and continuing encouragement to other professional genealogists. Peggy, a lifelong genealogist, has been an active teacher and lecturer in the field for many years Along with her husband, Kerry Lauritzen, she has served as director of their local Family History Center in central Ohio. Miss Peggy, as she is affectionately called, is known among her colleagues for her care and compassion. She is an expert in Ohio, mid-southern U.S., and Appalachian research and has written several Legacy Research Guides. She has been a featured writer for Reminisce Magazine and has been an instructor for Ancestry Academy. In 2018, she was elected a Fellow of the Ohio Genealogical Society.
  • Diane Florence Gravel, CG, received the Grahame T. Smallwood, Jr., Award of Merit, which recognizes personal commitment and outstanding service to the organization. Diane Gravel served on the APG board of directors for six years. During that time, she chaired the Chapter Review Committee, developing procedures and supporting APG’s chapters in myriad ways. She is a researcher and lecturer specializing in New Hampshire research. In addition to volunteering for APG, she has served as the president of the New England Chapter of APG, vice president of the New Hampshire Society of Genealogists, and co-editor for the book series New Hampshire Families of 1790.
  • Marie Varrelman Melchiori, CG Emeritus, received the APG Professional Achievement Award, which was created in 2007, to recognize exceptional professional achievement and ethical behavior with contributions to the field of genealogy. Marie specializes in federal records held at the National Archives, particularly those related to the military and the Civil War. She earned the credential Certified Genealogical Record Searcher in 1980 and the Certified Genealogist Lecturer credential in 1995. The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) granted emeritus status to Marie in 2015. She has lectured widely at local, state, regional, national, and international conferences and events. She served as the assistant director of the National Institute of Genealogical Research (now known as Gen-Fed) from 1987 to 2002. Marie has volunteered for several genealogical organizations, including APG (vice president 1991-1993, board member 1994-1999), BCG (trustee 2000-2006), Genealogical Speakers Guild (vice president 1995-1997), and National Genealogical Society (director 1986, co-leader of on research trips to Ireland and Salt Lake City). She also volunteered in various capacities at the National Archives, including serving on the Archives II Users Committee.

Other awards included:

  • Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly (APGQ) Excellence Award – Lee Arnold. “10 Things to Know about Visiting a Research Archive,” September 2017 issue.
  • The APG Golden Chapter Award – New England Chapter for member outreach to more than 100 professionals throughout the New England states and beyond.

Certificates of Appreciation went to:

  • Carol Dye Ekdahl, CG, for 18 years of service as APG’s Registered Agent.
  • Sandra Hildreth Ball, CPA, for her years of service as treasurer and for initiating APG’s use of a bookkeeping/tax service to improve the organization’s financial processes.

“Congratulations to our award winners,” said APG President Billie Stone Fogarty. “We are grateful for the service, some spanning decades, and for the expertise they have brought to APG and to the field of genealogy.”

About the Association of Professional Genealogists

The Association of Professional Genealogists (, established in 1979, represents more than 2,700 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, instructors, booksellers, publishers and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy and history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada, and thirty other countries. APG is active on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

About the Author

Thomas MacEntee
Genealogy educator and author Thomas MacEntee has been researching his family history for more than 40 years and is the creator of Abundant Genealogy, Genealogy Bargains, DNA Bargains, The Genealogy Do-Over and numerous other web-based genealogy and family history properties.