Keynote Speakers

Elder Bradley D Foster

Elder Bradley D. Foster

Elder Bradley D. Foster was sustained as a general authority seventy on April 4, 2009. He has served as second counselor in the South America South Area Presidency.  He currently serves as the Executive Director in the Family History Department. Elder Foster served a full-time mission in Texas, served as a bishop, stake president, and as a mission president of the California Arcadia Mission. Elder Foster was born in Rigby, Idaho. He married Sharol Anderson in the Idaho Falls Temple. They are the parents of four daughters and currently have 15 grandchildren.

 

David Rencher

David E. Rencher

David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS, is employed as the Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch. A professional genealogist since 1977, he is one of the rare few who have earned both credentials: Accredited GenealogistCM with ICAPGenSM in Ireland research and Certified Genealogist® with the Board for Certification of Genealogists®. He is the Irish course coordinator and instructor for the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) in Athens, Georgia. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 1980 with a BA in Family and Local History. He is a past-president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 1997-2000 and currently serves as the VP of Development, he is a past-president of the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) 1993-1995 and a Fellow of that organization. He is a fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, London and is a vice-president of the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU). He is the past Chair of the joint Federation of Genealogical Societies, National Genealogical Society and International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies committee for Record Preservation and Access; He is a Trustee of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History and an instructor for the British Institute.

Curt Witcher

Curt Witcher

Curt Witcher is the Senior Manager for Special Collections at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN. In that capacity he manages the widely acclaimed Genealogy Center as well as the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection of Abraham Lincoln related research materials.  Curt is the project lead on the library’s digitization initiatives--initiatives that include partnerships with FamilySearch International, the Internet Archive, Ancestry.com, ProQuest, Fold3, and WeRelate. He also coordinates a growing number of free, searchable data files at GenealogyCenter.org. He is in his thirty-eighth year of service at the Allen County Public Library.

Curt is a former president of both the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the National Genealogical Society, and the founding president of the Indiana Genealogical Society.  He has penned hundreds of articles on topics of interest to family historians, librarians and archivists and has presented lectures to historical and genealogical groups across the country. He currently serves as the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ 2018 co-conference chair. Curt also serves on the Indiana State Historical Records Advisory Board.

Curt was distinguished in 1995 as a fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association (FUGA) and received the Federation of Genealogical Societies' Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern Humanitarian Award, in 1997.  Curt was recognized in 2006 by being named the first fellow of the Indiana Genealogical Society.  He was honored in May of 2007 with the National Genealogical Society’s P. William Filby Award for outstanding, life-time contributions to genealogical librarianship. Indiana’s lieutenant governor recognized Curt’s work in the summer of 2016 with a Hoosier Hospitality Award, and the Dallas Genealogical Society awarded him the Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck Distinguished Service Award in December 2016 for outstanding contributions to the genealogical community on a national level. 

Todd Hansen

Todd Hansen

Todd Hansen is a broadcast journalist and award-winning host of BYU-TV’s The Story Trek. He was born in Provo, Utah, and grew up in nearby Pleasant Grove. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communications Studies from Brigham Young University.

Hansen began his career as a reporter and anchor with a CBS affiliate in the Washington Tri-Cities area. He then took a job with Fox News in Salt Lake City, where he reported news for ten years. He left when he grew weary of the negativity prevalent in the news. While at Fox News, he pitched the idea to tell the story of an average person on the street and the result, nicknamed “Trippin’ with Todd,” was a regular Sunday night segment. When he learned that BYU-TV was searching for a new series, he presented his idea of Story Trek, which is based on Hansen’s belief that everyone has a story to tell.

Hansen and his crew travel throughout the United States and randomly knock on doors to find people who are willing to tell their life story on television. Most people initially say that they don’t have anything special to tell, but Hansen always finds their experiences compelling and conveys an uplifting message to his viewers.

The Story Trek reaches approximately 60 million households across the country. Hansen was presented with an Emmy as producer and host of The Story Trek during the 2012 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards in Phoenix, Arizona. The show has won five Emmy's in the last two years.