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Anne Jacobs Recognition Award      

Past recipients list

CAGGNI established the Anne Jacobs Recognition Award in April 2008 to acknowledge members who exemplify her spirit of endeavor on the organization's behalf.  The award is given periodically to recognize outstanding service to the membership of CAGGNI.  All members are eligible; Board Member awardees will be held to a higher standard of service for recognition.

Who was Anne Jacobs?

On Friday, February 22, 2008, we lost Anne Jacobs, a founding member of CAGGNI who served the organization in a multitude of capacities, both official and unofficial.

She was precise, fussy, tenacious, and helpful – all qualities of both a good researcher and a good genealogical society member. She was often the first person a guest or new member met, a self-designated “greeter.” For years, she printed name labels for members to wear at meetings, and helped pass them out – as a result, she knew everyone by name.

Anne was a driving force from the early years when the group created its own bylaws. (NIPAFUG began in 1991, elected the first officers in 1993, and became CAGGNI in September 1998). She encouraged many talented people to join, and often to run for office. She was the group Secretary for many years.

In the early years, she wrote the group’s newsletter, and later, got other members to contribute, and took notes for the newsletter on presentations at member meetings. Even if you never met her, you knew her as a primary contributor of articles to the Newsletter.

Anne set up and maintained the original membership database using Microsoft Access. She was responsible for the design and development of our first website  and contributed the majority of the content.

Over the years, at both our general meetings and at The Master Genealogist (TMG) Special Interest Group meetings she presented on a wide-range of topics. She willingly shared her extensive knowledge of genealogy research, data processing, and TMG software.

A mentor to many, Anne was always there with suggestions and encouragement.  She could be counted on to pick up the slack when someone was unable to complete his or her responsibility and always tried to put the best interest of CAGGNI at the forefront. 

Her last office was Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, organizing Shop & Share accounts with Jewel and Dominick’s to bring in additional revenue.

Anne’s single most driving (and sometimes annoying) passion was to increase CAGGNI member involvement.  When she complained, which she was known to do, it was usually because too many members expected a few members to carry the whole load. She will be missed more than she could have ever imagined. Her spirit continues.

Past recipients




Nancy Roeser Thomas
Dec 2020

Nancy joined CAGGNI in 2007 and made significant contributions in her 14 years of membership. She was President (2014-2015), Vice President and Program chair (2013-2014) and Family Tree Maker SIG lead (2017-2019). She was the chair of CAGGNI’s inaugural all-day conference, GeneaQuest 2014, and a major contributor to GeneaQuest 2016 and 2018. 
Nancy also held several positions at the DuPage County Genealogical Society (DCGS), including president, 1979-81 and 2009-12. She received the DCGS Founders’ Memorial Award in 2018 and the Illinois State Genealogical Society Local Service Award in 1981.
She wrote at least two books, one of her Roeser family, for a reunion, and another for her children and grandchildren, so that they would know their ancestors. In her own words: “If you have a name, you live.”
Nancy was nominated, posthumously, by fellow board members and Anne Jacobs award recipients, Rose Lehne and Nancy Reese. 

Rose Messina Lehne

Aug 2019

Rose has served as CAGGN’s Newsletter Editor since 2015, producing a monthly publication that is consistently good, on time and completed in a professional manner. She not only assembles the newsletter each month but creates the cover art, which is also used on the CAGGNI website, writes articles about her own family research and travels and provides the Best of 101 Tips column. She also has played an instrumental role in planning for the past two CAGGNI Road Trips to Fort Wayne, IN, and Washington, DC. Rose has been a member of CAGGNI since 2011 when she first began contributing to the Newsletter. She is also on the board of the DuPage County Genealogical Society. 

Nancy Zander Reese

 Feb 2015

Nancy joined CAGGNI in 2012.  She has been active throughout her tenure with CAGGNI, serving in a variety of roles.  A regular contributor to our Newsletter, Nancy researched and wrote a series of articles on our area’s libraries.  She has twice served on the Nominations Committee.  In 2014, Nancy took on the role of “GeneaUs” at our GeneaUs Bar at our first CAGGNI day-long conference, GeneaQuest.  Nancy fielded questions and facilitated discussions on Area Libraries, Google, and Apple for Genealogists.  In addition to all this, behind the scenes Nancy is the updater of the “Surnames Finder” page on CAGGNI’s website. 

Marti Swanson

 Jan 2015

Marti is a long time CAGGNI member, having joined CAGGNI in 2008.  Marti is active in the Reunion SIG.  Her first project resulted from a request she made – Marti was seeking permanent badges for club members, and ones that didn’t require poking holes in shirts, either.  When asked by the board if she could make that happen, Marti replied with a big Yes!  The result is the custom engraved magnetic badges that club members can purchase for $6 at any time.  This is a great example of what individual members can do to see their visions for CAGGNI become reality.  In late 2013, Marti joined the Program Committee.  We all enjoyed Marti’s succinct, to-the-point style and let’s-get-it-done attitude.  Seeing openings in our Second Saturday calendar, Marti again rose to the challenge and volunteered as lead for our popular Storyteller’s Workshop.  This workshop has grown to become one of our regularly scheduled Special Interest Groups and will be held 14 March, 13 June and 12 September in 2015. 


Jacqueline Krieps Schattner

 Dec 2014

Jacquie first joined CAGGNI in 2011.  An active genealogist, Jacquie volunteers at the Schaumburg FHC and at Arlington Heights library, and teaches genealogy for District 214 adult education.  Recently Jacquie has revved up her CAGGNI involvement.  Last winter, she volunteered to fill in as a backup speaker when the Program Committee was unable to make contact with our planned speaker, this despite her daughter being in labor that day!  Later in 2014, Jacquie went on to present a wonderfully detailed and informative lecture on French genealogy.  This summer, Jacquie answered the call of our Nominations Committee and has been elected Treasurer for 2015. 

Ralph Beaudoin

 Dec 2013

CAGGNI is delighted this month to present the Anne Jacobs Award for exemplary contributions to CAGGNI to Ralph Beaudoin.  Ralph is currently serving as CAGGNI’s Treasurer.  Under Ralph’s leadership we have registered as a 501(c)7 organization and committed to an annual 3-person audit of our financial reports.  Ralph has previously held the position of Membership Chair.  Ralph is a popular CAGGNI presenter and has pioneered the use of Camtasia, a screen-casting tool, in his Google Earth and Evernote presentations.  Says Kenneth Kirkland of our newsletter committee:  “I would count his presentation on Google Maps for the genealogist among the best ever”.  Kenneth continues:  In my view Ralph has been one of the top contributors to CAGGNI over the seven years I've been a member. As a board member in different capacities he has always been an idea man with sound reasoning and experience to back up his advice.  Says Program Chair Sandi Trapp:  I wholeheartedly agree that Ralph is deserving of the Anne Jacobs Award.  I have only been a member of CAGGNI for a few years, but in that time I have seen Ralph present two programs, be an active member at Board meetings, and do a thorough, responsible job as treasurer.”  Michelle Wilson, President, notes “Ralph is the consummate professional.  His sound judgment and sage advice has propelled CAGGNI’s board to higher levels of operation.  His presentations have set the standard and always draw a full house.  We have been so fortunate to have Ralph on our Board”. 

Kate Thommes

Aug 2013 

Kate Thommes joined CAGGNI in March, 2011. Kate delighted us with the 3rd Saturday Program, “Digital Scrapbooking,” which was offered in workshop format on a later occasion. Along with Nancy R. Thomas, Kate has facilitated several “Writer’s Workshop” sessions. These popular sessions have clued us all in to the best writing practices and introduced us to descriptive sentence writing. Kate is wrapping up three years of service on the Program Committee, including serving as Program Chair, where she brought in such popular speakers as Tina Beaird. It is CAGGNI members like Kate that make our club the engine of information dissemination that it is.

Everett Butler

July 2012

A founding member, Everett continued to inspire and promote CAGGNI as Vice President / Program Director (2006), President (2007-2009), and as AQ/PAF SIG Leader. Everett was the visionary for CAGGNI’s 2009 website update.  CAGGNI benefitted from the more than 20 programs that Everett delivered since 1996 and the countless newsletter articles he wrote over the years. Everett died in 2017.

Dan Wertz

Apr 2012

A member since October 2001, Dan Wertz has held a number of CAGGNI offices. From 2003-2006 he was Promotions Director; from 2006-2007 FTM SIG Co-Leader, 2007-2008 Vice President and Program Director and 2010-2011 Ways and Means Chair.  During his most recent office Dan established our iGive program.  Dan continues his contributions into 2012 as Chair of the Auditing Committee.

Susan McConville

Mar 2012

Our 2011 Archivist and key participant on CAGGNI’s first ever 2011 Road Trip Committee to the Newberry Library.  In addition, Susan managed CAGGNI’s Surnames List, updating this important CAGGNI resource on a regular basis.

Ted L. Bartlett

Feb 2012

Active contributions throughout his tenure at CAGGNI, including 2009-2011 Membership Chair and planning for the transition of the member database to Wild Apricot.  An instrumental member of the 2011 Bylaws Revision Committee. Ted has also been a popular program presenter, presenting 3rd Saturday Programs on topics ranging from “Your Irish Roots – Successful Strategies for Bridging the Atlantic to Ireland,” “Google for Genealogists” and most recently, “Before You Croak: Saving your Genealogical Collection for Posterity.”

Byron Atkinson

Jan 2012

Byron Atkinson served as Vice President and Programs Chair from 2009 thru 2011. Presented and participated several Member Programs to CAGGNI on topics ranging from digital photography to browser comparisons to Ancestry’s reference book. Byron was also an instrumental member of the 2009 Website Update Committee.

Elaine Beaudoin

Nov 2011

Many years of contributions including, most recently, co-chairing the By-Laws Committee, culminating in a complete re-write of the By-Laws, creation of detailed position descriptions for the 2012 Board Positions, co-chairing the first ever and highly successful Road Trip Committee to the Newberry Library, and preparing numerous photo galleries and slide shows.  Elaine’s meticulous attention to detail and consummate professionalism has  truly “raised the bar” for CAGGNI.

Kathy Kult

Sept 2011

Kathy has renewed her involvement in CAGGNI by volunteering as the Survey Master, bringing needed energy to the monthly surveys and evaluations.  Kathy is also participating on the Program Committee and has thrown her hat in the ring for Webmaster for 2012. She still has time to do her own genealogy research – view her TNG-based web site. Kathy completed the NGS distance-learning education program American Genealogy: A Basic Course and earned a certificate of completion.

Jim & Nancy Thommes

June 2011

Jim and Nancy have, on their own initiative, identified needs, determined appropriate projects to fill these needs, and seen the fulfilling projects through to successful completion. These projects include the successful Costco Power-Buy of the Wand Scanner and the Village Tavern Social/Fundraiser (which netted CAGGI $65 in a single evening). In addition, Jim provides photographs for the group and Nancy facilitates the FTM SIG.

Caron Primas Brennan

Apr 2011

As the new Webmaster, Caron has been instrumental in setting up and operating the new CAGGNI website. She has recently taken on the duties of layout of the newsletter, unbilled, along with submitting the occasional outstanding article. As if that were not enough, Caron does regular program presentations and assists new members in getting started.

Weldon Johnson

Dec 2010

Weldon’s organization, detailed record keeping and diligence over the past four years as Treasurer has been a great asset to our organization.

Bill McGovern

Nov 2010

As Promotions Chair,  Bill has been present at the CAGGNI booth for all our local shows this year, many of which are two-day affairs.  In addition, he worked on the new brochures and keeps our booth stocked with materials.  

Jim Cottrell

Sept  2010

 Jim served as the CAGGNI newsletter editor and publisher for 10 years. He transformed the newsletter with color and illustrations, and moved it to electronic format.

Paul Cord

Feb 2010

As Meeting Coordinator since 2007, Paul assists our members in checking in and sets up the room each month. What you may not know is that Paul is instrumental in securing our meeting rooms every month, not at all an easy task. Paul has risen to the challenge time and again. He often adds useful insights during the monthly meeting programs and at board meetings     .

Beverly Levine Smallwood

Sept 2008

Bev joined CAGGNI in 1999 and gave her first presentation in August 2000.  She served as President from 2002 to 2004, Treasurer in 2005 and Webmaster from 2006 to 2008, in addition to giving annual presentations on a variety of software and web resources and contributed significantly as a member of the TMG SIG.   

Larry Olson

July 2008

 Larry served as President from 1996 to 1998, Publishing and Promotions from 1999 to 2001 and Membership Chair from 2003 to 2005.  He was a founder of the TMG SIG and a frequent presenter at CAGGNI meetings.  During his 3 year term as President, CAGGNI 1) changed the name and the focus of the group, 2) got registered as an Illinois not-for-profit, and 3) increased the membership, signing up a lot of wonderful people who are still active today.

Virginia Jenkins

June 2008

Ginny researches other genealogy events in the area and contributes the Other Group Events column for the monthly newsletters, a benefit to the CAGGNI membership.

Michelle Bray Wilson

May 2008

The first Anne Jacobs Recognition Award was given to Michelle as a new member. In response to a general request in January 2008, she submitted articles for the March 2008 and April 2008 newsletters and volunteered to revive a column called Profiles of New Members originated by Anne Jacobs.


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