SALT LAKE CITY—FamilySearch today named David E. Rencher Chief Genealogical Officer (CGO). He will have responsibility to help FamilySearch align strategic business decisions with needs and demands of genealogy-related markets. Rencher is a 28-year veteran of FamilySearch and a popular leader in genealogy and archive circles. He has held leadership positions with several national organizations, is a professional genealogist, and is in great demand as a keynote speaker. In addition to his new role as the CGO, Rencher will continue to direct FamilySearch’s collection development activities.
FamilySearch is a growing, worldwide organization focused on providing quicker and more affordable access to genealogical records. The chief genealogical officer helps ensure various efforts in the genealogy community are connecting with FamilySearch’s efforts and that FamilySearch continues to grow in genealogical understanding and depth as an organization.
“We are pleased to place David’s talents in this key role,” said Jay Verkler, chief executive officer of FamilySearch. “David will provide a public face for FamilySearch to communities it serves and be a representative voice for the genealogical market, products, and services,” continued Verkler.
Given his deep experience and strong industry relationships, Rencher will serve as a liaison to key industry communities and associations worldwide. Rencher and his organization will also provide input on third-party affiliation opportunities and related marketing initiatives, and he will help build an open FamilySearch environment.
“I’m hopeful that the new CGO position can provide a genealogical perspective to our products and services and ensure that we adhere to fundamental principles that are genealogically sound. The genealogical community looks to us to provide that kind of leadership, and in turn, this is a significant benefit to FamilySearch patrons because it ensures that what we do contributes to the accuracy of linking families together,” said David Rencher, CGO for FamilySearch.
During his career at FamilySearch, David has been instrumental in the development of key services and databases. He has worked to ensure that patrons of family history centers had more timely delivery of microfilm, and he has extended microfilm circulation to public libraries. He initiated the book scanning program for the Family History Library collection, and he was instrumental in the production of the automated indexes for the Social Security Death records, the 1880 U.S. Census, the 1881 British Census, and the military casualty files for Korea and Vietnam. He spent a number of years aligning the standards FamilySearch uses for names and localities and worked on record-matching techniques for FamilySearch databases.
Rencher is an Accredited GenealogistCM with ICAPGenSM in Ireland research and a Certified GenealogistSM with the Board for Certification of Genealogists®. He holds a BA in Family and Local History from Brigham Young University. He served as president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) from 1997 to 2000 and the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) from 1993 to 1995. He is a Fellow of the UGA and the Irish Genealogical Research Society, London. He is currently serving as the chair of the joint Federation of Genealogical Societies and National Genealogical Society committee for Record Preservation and Access and serves as a director for the National Institute of Genealogical Research Alumni Association (NIGRAA). He will continue to serve as the vice president of the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU) and the director of the Planning and Coordination Division of FamilySearch.