Southern California Genealogical Society
NOMINEES FOR SCGS - Board of Directors (alphabetical order)

Nominees for 2021-2022 SCGS Board of Directors

Take this opportunity to meet the nominees.
Read all about them and then be sure to vote online before Dec. 7th.

Voting will take place from November 1st through December 7th. During that time period, please go to Member Log-In to vote electronically or to request a paper ballot. Election results will be revealed at the Annual Meeting on December 12. You can vote for up to 4 of the 6 candidates.

Below are statements from the candidates who have submitted bios, in A-Z order:

Charlotte Bocage, Mark Cross, Debbie Davenport, Melanie Seiflein Gnad, Jim Schultz, Lisa Taylor

Click here for a printable pdf

Charlotte M. Bocage
Charlotte has over forty years of genealogy experience. After watching "Roots" in 1977, Charlotte put a name to what she had been doing since she was five years old. A New Orleans native she organizes family reunions for both sides of her family. She has been a member of SCGS since 1999. As a member of the SCGS Board of Directors, she has served as the Program chair for Jamboree. She is currently the Education Committee chair that directs the Young People's Program formerly the Kids Family History Camp and programs the monthly Lunch and Learn Education program. She volunteers with the SCGS Research team. She also organizes the SCGS Speakers Bureau. Charlotte enjoys the volunteer work she provides to our members. She worked for Pacific Bell for over 31 years taking early retirement in 2001. As a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America, she chaired the popular Black History Month Sale-A-Bration for over 10 years raising money for future Pioneer community service events. As a former First Vice President for the California African American Genealogical Society Charlotte was part of the fundraising committee raising over $3,000.00 in the first year, tripling the General Fund. Charlotte graduated from UCLA in 1998 with a BA in Communication Studies. While there she chaired the Older Students Program. She taught Source Documentation 101 for Family Tree University. Charlotte was a guest genealogy lecturer for the UCLA Osher Lifelong Learning Program.

Mark Cross
Mark became interested in genealogy at the age of 12. That's when he read an unpublished and unsourced family tree by a distant relative, that included a transcribed letter written by an ancestor about his adventures fighting for the Union in the Civil War. After college, he started doing his own research and became hooked. When he discovered a link to a Revolutionary War Patriot and a Mayflower passenger, he decided to get more educated and experienced, and has joined the Sons of the American Revolution and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. He has attended the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) in Georgia and is a graduate of ProGen 37. He is a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and Association of Professional Genealogists. Mark is a voice actor and an OSHA Safety Trainer and CPR instructor. When he's not researching dead people, he's training on the subject of how to keep people alive.


Debbie Davenport
Debbie currently serves as 2nd Vice President for the current SCGS Board of Directors and is also serving as Speaker Chair for SCGS Jamboree and Genetic Genealogy conferences for 2021 and 2022. Born in Los Angeles, she is a Registered Nurse who has worked in public health and emergency medicine for over 40 years. She started researching her family at the West LA Family History Library in 1976 and one day discovered the SCGS Jamboree on a flyer at the library, soon becoming an avid attendee at Jamboree. Since her retirement she is focused on improving her genealogy research skills while also helping others discover their ancestors and volunteering at the library. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, NGS, DAR, DUVCW, National Soc. U.S. Daughters of 1812, Colonial Dames 17th Century, UGA, NYG&B, and the Bergen County Genealogical Society. Research areas of interest: 17th and 18th Century Americas and the Caribbean, Ulster Scots Irish, Colonial Dutch ancestry, and anywhere there is a family story to discover!

Melanie Seiflein Gnad
I was born and raised in New Rochelle, New York, an old city founded by French Huguenots in the 17th century and later resided in by Thomas Paine. I received a BA in History from Pace University and moved west across the country in stages, stopping in Dallas for seven years and ending up in the Los Angeles area as a consultant for qualified benefit plans. My brother introduced me to genealogy and like him, I became hooked, especially in connecting my ancestors to the historical events they witnessed, especially in what is now Germany and Italy. My personal genealogy goal is to gather and publish for family members more information about our ancestors. (Maybe they'll be interested after I'm gone!) I also love historical novels, murder mysteries and gardening.


Jim Schultz
Jim was born and raised on a small farm in Eastern South Dakota. After earning a B.S. in Economics, he served in the Air Force as a management analyst with a Strategic Air Command Bomb Wing. Following his honorable discharge, he began a forty-year career with the US Department of Veterans' Affairs. He served in various capacities, including fourteen years in supervisory and management positions. His service included time at the Veterans Administration Central Office, Washington, D.C. It was here, in 1974, that Jim was first exposed to the National Archives and was bitten by the genealogy bug. Following three more moves, Jim arrived in Los Angeles December 1988 where he and his wife call home.
Since retiring at the end of 2010, he has been able to devote more time to genealogical research and other passion projects. He assisted his wife, Susan, in establishing her eligibility for the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. On his mother's side, he is descended from the "Long-Hunters" Skaggs of Virginia and Kentucky, while on his father's side, he comes from hearty German stock. Now he is working to establish his eligibility for the Sons of the American Revolution and finding Susan's other Revolutionary War ancestors.


Lisa Taylor
A native Southern Californian, Lisa Hallett Taylor grew up in Covina and is a graduate of Cal Poly, Pomona. A longtime writer and editor, Taylor has been on the staffs of a newspaper, magazines, KCET, and written for the Los Angeles Times, Emmy Magazine, Westways, and the websites About.com and TheSpruce.com. She earned a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University in 2019 and will complete ProGen in December 2021. An enthusiastic researcher, her book, Lost Amusement Parks of Southern California: The Postwar Years, was recently released and she is currently working on another book. Like many, her interest in genealogy has grown from a hobby to a passion as she explores documentary and DNA evidence of ancestors from many family trees. Her American roots can be traced to early Connecticut and New York settlers. For years, Taylor has chipped away at a brick wall encountered by her father's first cousin (her 1C1R) in the 1970s and is determined to break it down. Through her studies, she has learned that it helps to become proficient in both genetic and traditional genealogy research and that you can never take too many courses or workshops.