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Minnesota Genealogical Society

1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Mendota Heights, MN  55120-1367
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Service & Achievement Awards

Call for MGS Award Nominations

The MGS Awards Committee invites nominations for MGS service and achievement awards that will be presented at the North Star Awards Banquet on the evening of Friday, October 27th.

Making a nomination is easy. 

Using the form to the right, simply write a few sentences telling the Committee why your nominee should be honored with one of the awards below. If you have trouble with the form, just send an email to the Awards Committee ( 

Anyone – both MGS members and non-members – may submit nominations. Nominations are due October 1, 2023.

Service Awards

MGS members are eligible for three awards recognizing volunteer service to MGS.

  • The Pat and Dorothy Chandler Award for exceptional and prolonged service to MGS.
  • The Unsung Hero Award for behind-the-scenes work that contributes to the efficient management and operation of MGS.
  • The Founders Award for visionary organizational leadership that sustains MGS and advances its mission.

Achievement Awards.

Both MGS members and members of the broader Minnesota genealogy community – including MGS branches and partners – are eligible for three awards for genealogical achievement.

  • The Minnesota North Star Award for outstanding contributions to genealogical writing, research, or education.
  • The Minnesota Genealogy Pioneer Award for contributions to the development of Minnesota resources for genealogy and family history research.
  • The Minnesota Genealogy Ambassador Award for representing Minnesota on the national genealogy scene and bringing honor to Minnesota genealogy.

Past Award Recipients

The Minnesota Genealogical Society has a variety of annual awards for the purpose of recognizing the efforts of our volunteers in six categories. Recipients of the first three must be members of the Society. Other awards are open to any qualifying individual. Nominations are collected starting in mid-Summer. The Winners are presented with their awards at the annual North Star Conference in the Fall.

 Chandler Award Unsung Hero Award  Founders AwardPioneer Award North Star Award Ambassador Award 
 Denny Kalvig
 Suzan Ford
 J. H. Fonkert
Elizabeth Gomoll
 Kathleen MJ Swanson
 Kathy Lund
 Sue Kratsch
2021  Bert Jones Walt Rothwell Shirleen Hoffman Rebecca SnyderLois MackinJ. H. Fonkert 
2020  Rick Rusinak Barb Minor Jan-Marie McCabe Joel Watne Robert JohnsonElizabeth Gomoll 
2019 Kristie Strum Walker MacBeathWinnie Fernstrom Karen Finne Heather Mullen Joanne Sher 
2018 Melva CainBert Jones Linda Westrom Frederick L. Johnson Vicki Young Albu Valerie Eichler Lair
2017 Bob RoweBarb FonkertJ. H. Fonkert Paula Stuart-Warren Elizabeth Gomoll  Kim Ashford
Kent Cutkomp
2016 John SchadeFrances Hillier  Alfred Dahlquist Ann Eccles Sandy Thalman 
2015 Sandy StadtherrJack Bergerson David Inman  Susan Hunter Weir 

Jim Neuenfeldt
Kent Cutkomp
Kim Ashford

2014 Arlene FenningBob Rowe Jere Mackin JoEllen Haugo Rosemary Riffenach Linda Coffin 
2013 Bergetta MonroeRick Rusinak Lois Mackin Duane Swanson Sue Kratsch Jennifer de Fiebre 
2012 Sheila Northrop Valerie MorrisonTerry Kita Debra Richardson J. H. Fonkert Paula Stuart-Warren 
2011 Beth MullinaxSandy Stadtherr Mary Wickersham Jennifer de Fiebre Lois Mackin J. H. Fonkert 
2010 Margie DeutschMGS Technology
 Erv ChornJohn & Jan Dalby Cathi Weber Alice Eicholz 
2009 Dixie HansenJim Robasse John Schade Kathryn Otto Tom Rice Harold Hinds, Jr.
2008 Kathy LundGerald Maher Robin Panlener Mary Bakeman Darlene Joyce Paula Stuart-Warren 

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