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We have another RootsTech conference in the books. I have to say that while I was completely exhausted and overwhelmed by the time the weekend was through, it was such an amazing experience that I am truly grateful to have been a part of! This year’s conference was filled with so many wonderful speakers, a few of who we were able to visit with at RootsTech 2016.
On Thursday we were treated to keynotes from Steve Rockwood, President/CEO of Family Search International. It was awesome to hear him share stories and his love for family history.
We also heard from Paula Williams Madison. She wrote a book and created a documentary on her journey to find her mother’s paternal relatives. I wish I could write out her entire experience because it’s truly amazing, but I will just encourage you to watch her movie and/or read the book, Finding Samuel Lowe. It’s so raw and real that you are laughing and crying right along with Paula and her family!
We were also able to hear from Bruce Feiler. I seriously think I was laughing the whole time. He was hilarious! As a New York Times best selling author, father, and former circus clown, you KNOW his stories are going to make you laugh! His ease as a storyteller immediately draws you into his world and you love every minute of it!
On Friday, we heard from Naomi and Josh Davis, the voices behind the awesome blog “Love Taza”. They are just the cutest couple and I loved hearing from them about sharing their family story and creating their own family history just by documenting the everyday.
Our second keynote on Friday was David Isay. He is the driving force behind StoryCorps. StoryCorps is an organization that allows all people to record, share and preserve their stories. Over 50,000 StoryCorps stories have been preserved at the Library of Congress! The stories are also shared on NPR’s Morning Edition, so you can listen in and hear some of these amazing stories.
Saturday was our closing day (sad face!) and we were so grateful to hear from former Utah Governor Michael Leavitt. He shared how he tricked himself into journaling and recording his family memories. He also shared some great stories and memories from his time serving as governor!
And our final keynote was Doris Kearns Goodwin. She’s pretty much the coolest historian in the world! She shared awesome stories about serving as an assistant to Lyndon B. Johnson and how many presidents she is related to!
In addition to all the amazing keynotes, we were able to sit in on some great classes, premiers, attend the Family Discovery Day, and visit with the great vendors at the conference! There was amazing entertainment from The Crescent Super Band, Ryan Innes, and Lower Lights! Seriously, the weekend was packed with awesomeness! We are so excited to share all the interviews we got to do and everything we learned from RootsTech 2016! So stay tuned for more to come through out the year, and don’t forget to mark your calendars for RootsTech 2017 February 8th – 11th!