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APH Region & Chapter Chairs

Quick Links to Regions
Use the links below ↓ to go directly to a specific region or scroll down the page to see all the coordinators (sorted by region name).
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Arizona Region (United States)

Asia Region (Asia)

Image of APH Asia Jay Surh
Asia
Region Chair
Jay Surh is the founding chair of the Association of Personal Historians (APH) new Asia Region serving Korea, China and Japan. Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, Jay attended college in the USA and graduated from University of Michigan with MBA. Since then, as a seasoned international business man, Jay traveled to numerous countries including UK, Germany, Japan, Canada, and lived in the USA. Through these travelling, he acquired strong interests in studying the differences; in culture, language, and people. He also found that there are commonalities among these differences; one’s own share of histories of lives with all necessary ingredients in macro as well as micro. Now being a sort of semi-retired entrepreneur defying natural aging with ever young spirits, he looking for a new opportunity that would capitalize the commonalities he found. Jay discovered the industry of “Personal Historian”, a relatively new name to him, perhaps also to his fellow Koreans and to other Asians as well. He recognized this industry has lot to share especially since Asia countries include many of the oldest cultures, with strong beliefs in families and relations, mainly dictated by Confucius for thousands of years. Jay and others determined that it should be essential to join an already active body with experience and know-how such as APH. “To promote this relatively foreign concept, we would love to act as APH's regional chapter for us to learn, teach, share, and supply its experiences and technology for neighboring countries, translated and adapted into their own languages.
» Read more about Jay     » Email Jay Surh
California Region (United States)

Image of APH Northern California Julie Blade
Northern California
Chapter Chair
Julie Blade is a relative newcomer to APH and to the Regional Coordinator’s role. She began her company Lifetime Chronicles – Capturing Life’s Special Memories in the fall of 2010 and was fortunate to be immediately awarded a project. Her first book was recently published and has been well received. Julie’s professional hats have included social worker, Head Start and elementary school teacher, trainer and team manager with Bank of America and Citibank, and 20+ years as an independent instructional designer working with large corporations in the San Francisco Bay Area. She believes her past ultimately led her to becoming a personal historian, which she believes is the most important and most gratifying work she has ever done. In addition to interviewing clients and ghostwriting their autobiographies, Julie facilitates small groups who write their own life stories through the Guided Autobiography process. Julie has three grown children and four grand children. Her interests, in addition to writing and family, are singing, gardening, and hiking.
» Read more about Julie     » Email Julie Blade
Image of APH Southern California Rachael Rifkin
Southern California
Chapter Chair
Rachael Rifkin works in print and has been a member of APH since 2009. She started out as a journalist and began calling herself a memoirist in late 2008 because she didn't yet know the term personal historian. She loves people's stories and is very happy to have found work that she is passionate about. Rachael is a lifelong Southern Californian, minus brief stays in Northern California, New York, and the Netherlands. She's quite partial to reading, knitting, juggling, playing with her dogs, and laughing with her husband. Much to her great disappointment, and despite fervent practice, she cannot whistle. She's also short. Furthermore, she's not especially good at writing short biographical sketches about herself, and would rather not discuss how long this took her to write.
» Read more about Rachael     » Email Rachael Rifkin    » Southern California Chapter website
Eastern Canada Region (Canada)

Image of APH Eastern Canada Eloise Lewis
Eastern Canada
Region Chair
One day, in 2007, Eloise Lewis was trying to think of a new career path. After more than 25 years in public relations and communications, she wanted to find something that would allow her to use her writing and interpersonal skills, as well as preserve the independence she had grown accustomed to in running her own business (and maybe continue to sneak in a few tennis games). Meanwhile, when she realized that her mother, who was in her nineties, was the last one standing of her generation, Eloise decided to record her mom’s life and make it into a book. Then she had what she thought was a brilliant, unique idea which was to do this for other people as well. Thus was her new business, LifeTales, born. Brilliant, maybe - but unique, no. She soon discovered the Association of Personal Historians, composed of like-minded souls who shared the same passion for preserving life stories. Since joining APH, she has completed several books for clients in the Toronto area and is excited to be witnessing the growth of the field of personal history in Canada and around the world.
» Read more about Eloise     » Email Eloise Lewis
Image of APH Eastern Canada Rita Visser
Eastern Canada
Region Chair

» Read more about Rita     » Email Rita Visser
Great Lakes Region (United States)

Image of APH Indiana & Kentucky Carolyn Parrott
Indiana & Kentucky
Chapter Chair
Carolyn Parrott founded Kept Memory in 2011, but the idea for the business was born several years earlier when she wrote stories from her life and put them in hardbound books as gifts to two of her granddaughters. Soon thereafter friends and family began to request her help to create family history, tribute, and special occasion books. She has completed several personal history projects for members of the Greatest Generation. Before becoming a personal historian, Carolyn worked in the career management field where she honed her skills of interviewing, writing, facilitating, and project management. These skills, her love of helping people tell their stories, and her lifelong hobbies of photography and creating things of artistic beauty combine in personal history to make work feel like play. In addition to her chosen work, she gets great joy from being known among her grandchildren as the go-to person for amazing costumes, creative party decorations, and homemade biscuits. Carolyn is excited about taking on the role of Indiana Chapter Coordinator. According to Carolyn, the Great Lakes Regional Coordinators welcomed her right away when she joined APH, and that made an immediate difference with opportunities for colleagues and ongoing learning.
» Read more about Carolyn     » Email Carolyn Parrott
Image of APH Michigan Deb Moore
Michigan
Chapter Chair
Deb Moore, a lifelong Grand Rapidian, started her business The Stories of Your Life in 2003 to help individuals, families, and businesses preserve their history in book form. As a personal historian, Deb has helped dozens of local residents preserve their life stories, written two church histories, a centennial history of a school district, and a company history for a local business. Deb was a member of the S.O.U.L. of Philanthropy team, a group of local personal historians who recorded the stories and reflections of top Grand Rapids philanthropists for the 2008 documentary film, “The Gift of All--a Community of Givers.” Deb has made presentations on memoir writing at local libraries, retirement homes, senior centers and Calvin College’s Youth Writing Festival. She served as APH's Regions Director from 2009-2010. The field of personal history combines Deb's love of local and family history, genealogy, reading, writing, conversation, photographs, and scrapbooking.
» Read more about Deb     » Email Deb Moore
Image of APH Ohio Carolyn Parrott
Ohio
Chapter Chair
Carolyn Parrott founded Kept Memory in 2011, but the idea for the business was born several years earlier when she wrote stories from her life and put them in hardbound books as gifts to two of her granddaughters. Soon thereafter friends and family began to request her help to create family history, tribute, and special occasion books. She has completed several personal history projects for members of the Greatest Generation. Before becoming a personal historian, Carolyn worked in the career management field where she honed her skills of interviewing, writing, facilitating, and project management. These skills, her love of helping people tell their stories, and her lifelong hobbies of photography and creating things of artistic beauty combine in personal history to make work feel like play. In addition to her chosen work, she gets great joy from being known among her grandchildren as the go-to person for amazing costumes, creative party decorations, and homemade biscuits. Carolyn is excited about taking on the role of Indiana Chapter Coordinator. According to Carolyn, the Great Lakes Regional Coordinators welcomed her right away when she joined APH, and that made an immediate difference with opportunities for colleagues and ongoing learning.
» Read more about Carolyn     » Email Carolyn Parrott
Hawaii Region (United States)

International Region (International)

Latin America Region (Latin America)

Lower Southeast Region (United States)

Mid-Atlantic Region (United States)

Image of APH Metro Washington, DC Karla Haworth
Metro Washington, DC
Chapter Chair
Karla Haworth has been working as a journalist, writer, editor, and project manager for nearly 20 years. After moving away from full-time writing and reporting in 2002, she discovered what she had loved best about journalism: the deep sense of connection and satisfaction in listening to and recording her subjects' stories. Karla longed to tell those amazing stories full-time, and was delighted to find so many APH members were doing just that! She joined APH in 2011, and has attended the annual conferences in Las Vegas and St. Louis. She launched her business, Periwinkle Muse Personal Histories, in Annandale, VA, in 2012.
» Read more about Karla     » Email Karla Haworth
Image of APH New York City Cynthia Ramnarace
New York City
Chapter Chair

» Read more about Cynthia     » Email Cynthia Ramnarace
Image of APH New York City Samantha Shubert
New York City
Chapter Chair

» Read more about Samantha     » Email Samantha Shubert
Image of APH Pittsburgh Ford Fuller
Pittsburgh
Chapter Chair
Ford Fuller began his marketing and communications consulting business after two decades in marketing communications with Westinghouse Electric and companies in the computer software, steel mill equipment, and direct mail services industries. Over the years, he's drafted and edited marketing and sales brochures, direct mail pieces, newsletters, advertisements, multimedia presentations, working with graphic designers, ad agencies, and direct mail houses. Following the untimely death of his mother, he began to nurture the idea of using his editing, writing and project management skills to help others preserve the stories of their lives for the benefit of loved ones. He joined APH and decided to put his talents to work as a life story writer. Ford earned a B.A. in political science from Duke University, with an unofficial minor in music appreciation. He devoted many hours to choral singing with the Duke University Chapel Choir and Chorus. He's continued his devotion to choral singing as an enthusiastic tenor now in his 18th year with the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale and, lately, as a budding barbershopper with the North Hills Harmony Line Chorus.
» Read more about Ford     » Email Ford Fuller
Image of APH Upstate New York Suzanne Lee
Upstate New York
Chapter Chair
Suzanne Lee is the owner of Suzanne Lee Personal Histories in Fairport, New York. Suzanne has been a personal historian and APH member since 2012. Suzanne was previously an editor and writer at a software company, and a genealogy buff, researching her own family's history and writing two books about her family on her own before deciding to help other families do the same thing. She has a B.A. in English from the University of New Hampshire. Suzanne works primarily in print, producing books for her clients to share with their families. She also provides editing and proofreading services.
» Read more about Suzanne     » Email Suzanne Lee
Image of APH Upstate New York Taylor Whitney
Upstate New York
Chapter Chair
Taylor Whitney (APH member since 1998) has over 25 years combined experience in film preservation and photographic preservation. She is president and founder of Preserving the Past, LLC, established in 1997 in Los Angeles, CA. Her client base includes business, corporate, fine art, personal and institutional. Services include converting film, video, audio and photographs to digital, organizing digital assets and original elements, re-housing, creating searchable databases, and cold storage. Another well-regarded aspect to Preserving The Past is working with clients to document the stories behind the images. Prior to launching her business, Taylor worked in post-production and film preservation in Hollywood for major motion picture studios for several years before expanding her knowledge base to include photographic preservation by earning her Master of Arts in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management from Ryerson University in Toronto in collaboration with George Eastman House in Rochester, NY. Preserving The Past, LLC is headquartered in Rochester with offices in Los Angeles and clients worldwide.
» Read more about Taylor     » Email Taylor Whitney
Midwest Region (United States)

Image of APH Chicago Monica Lee
Chicago
Chapter Chair
Monica Lee, coordinator for the Chicago chapter of the Association of Personal Historians, is a storyteller at heart. A resident of Hampshire, Ill., and a member of APH since 2012, she helps people organize and enjoy a lifetime of photos and tell their stories in meaningful, beautiful ways in her business, Clickago Storywerks. She was at various times a newspaper reporter, a headline writer, an executive with a worldwide scrapbooking company, communications director with a food company dedicated to bringing families around the dinner table and a membership representative for the Association of Personal Photo Organizers, of which she is also a member. She has also written a memoir, “The Percussionist’s Wife: A Memoir of Sex, Crime & Betrayal.
» Read more about Monica     » Email Monica Lee
Image of APH Des Moines Sherry Borzo
Des Moines
Chapter Chair
Sherry Borzo is a professional interviewer with a honed talent that encourages others to remember and share stories of their life experiences. She has a genuine curiosity and interest in others and believes in the power of sharing stories, however small, to teach, heal and connect people. Sherry founded Storied Gifts in 2007 to help others document their memories so they can be shared and treasured for the future. In addition to her work as a personal historian, Sherry hosts the award-winning podcast "Entrepreneur People Real Stories," and co-hosts with her husband "The Delicious Story." She founded dsmBuzz, a grassroots organization that promotes the value of buying locally owned. Sherry and her mother, Sheryl Van Weelden, co-authored the book Under the Tea Leaves. Sherry's personal history business was profiled in July 2011 in the Des Moines Register.
» Read more about Sherry     » Email Sherry Borzo
Image of APH Nebraska Robbi Ryan
Nebraska
Chapter Chair
Robbi Ryan, the owner of Relative Connections, is an experienced genealogist, a story-teller, a family/personal historian, and writer with nearly fifteen years experience as a researcher, writer, and volunteer. She retired from "Corporate America" in 2012 where she worked as a PMI-certified Project Manager and Scrum Master, Quality Assurance Manager, and Technical Writer. In her retirement career Robbi writes personal and family histories for clients, blogs about "Researching in Nebraska", and researches both for clients and to enhance her own genealogy. She is also working on several books including a history of Nebraska women in the 20th Century. Robbi also volunteers for the FGS RPAC Committee, two Chapters of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Greater Omaha Genealogy Society, and the Omaha Women's Chamber of Commerce. Robbi is a member of several local and state genealogy and historical societies. Robbi is a member and Board Member of several Professional Societies.
» Read more about Robbi     » Email Robbi Ryan
Image of APH Wisconsin Sue Hessel
Wisconsin
Chapter Chair
Sue Hessel has come back to a slogan from her youth "Think global. Act locally." since she agreed to become APH’s Regions Director as well as the co-cordinator for Wisconsin. APH is an international organization, which means we think globally. At the same time, we each live in a community, state and/or region where we take local actions,” she said. “We make a difference for families, individuals and organizations through the stories we preserve and share." Sue, who is from La Crosse, Wisconsin, calls her personal history business Lessons From Life because she believes that we all have stories, experiences and lessons to share with current and future generations. In writing dozens of history books for individuals, families, businesses, organizations and communities, Sue prides herself in doing research that fills in the history or what she calls the back story behind the events of individual lives. Sue, who also teaches life writing courses, believes the strength of personal history lies in connecting generations and helping young people appreciate the experiences of previous generations.
» Read more about Sue     » Email Sue Hessel
Image of APH Wisconsin Patty Tomaszewski
Wisconsin
Chapter Chair
Patty Tomaszewski is a freelance writer, animal lover, gardener and proud grandmother. Patty has a master's degree in social work from the University of Hawaii, and a healthy obsession with history, genealogy and family histories. Born to a newly widowed mother, she grew up fascinated with exploring her own family's history and the stories that defined their past. She now is committed to preserving the treasured memories of others. Patty lives with her husband, Al, and their two Bernese Mountain Dogs in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
» Read more about Patty     » Email Patty Tomaszewski
Northeast Region (United States)

Image of APH Northeast Marjorie Turner Hollman
Northeast
Region Chair
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian, Certified Legacy Planner with legacystories.org, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, and More Easy Walks in Massachusetts. She has presented workshops at regional conferences and was a classroom teacher for nine years. She has been a freelance writer for the Bellingham Bulletin and numerous other local, regional and national publications for the past 17 years. She has completed a number of personal history projects, and is the producer of the Bellingham Veterans Oral History project.
» Read more about Marjorie     » Email Marjorie Turner Hollman

Marjorie is also the Massachusetts Chapter Chair
Image of APH New Hampshire Tracy Messer
New Hampshire
Chapter Chair
Tracy W. Messer, APR, was destined to become a personal historian. Born and raised in the Washington, DC area, he has spent every summer at the 18th century New Hampshire farmhouse where his family has lived for six generations. He inherited his appreciation for storytelling and historical research listening to exchanges of Yankee wit and wisdom on the front porch and by investigating the treasure-trove of memorabilia from cellar to attic. After graduating from Dickinson College with a double-major in Psychology and Spanish, Tracy earned his master’s degree in Counseling from Colgate University. He spent the next decade serving as company historian for PC Connection, Inc. where he developed his interest in multimedia technology. During the past fifteen years, Tracy has worked as an Accredited Public Relations (APR) professional helping children and adults with disabilities to share their own life stories. Tracy has held leadership positions with a number of state and local historical societies and is producing a documentary about the 1941 forest fire that burned more than 24,000 acres in southwestern New Hampshire. He joined APH in 2013 and volunteered to serve as the New Hampshire chapter coordinator after attending the national conference in Bethesda, MD. Tracy welcomes this new opportunity to introduce APH to individuals, families and organizations throughout the Granite State and beyond. He lives in Peterborough, with his wife and their teenaged son and daughter.
» Read more about Tracy     » Email Tracy Messer
Image of APH North by Northeast Leah Abrahams
North by Northeast
Chapter Chair
Leah ...
» Read more about Leah     » Email Leah Abrahams
Image of APH North by Northeast Francie King
North by Northeast
Chapter Chair
Francie ...
» Read more about Francie     » Email Francie King
Image of APH North by Northeast Pam Pacelli
North by Northeast
Chapter Chair
Pam ...
» Read more about Pam     » Email Pam Pacelli
Northwest Region (United States)

Image of APH Portland-Oregon Maia Fischler
Portland-Oregon
Chapter Chair
Maia Fischler has been a member of APH since 2003 and was among the first members of the Portland APH chapter. She serves as the Portland chapter's historian, keeping a record of the organization's bi-monthly programs and speakers. Maia's business, LifeWriter Personal Histories, helps families and businesses record their defining stories and preserve them as heirloom books, audio and video presentations. She has managed dozens of life story projects, and also enjoys helping other personal historians with the writing and editing of their books. The Portland APH chapter is very collaborative, and we often involve one another in large projects. Contact Maia if you'd like information about attending one of our meetings.
» Read more about Maia     » Email Maia Fischler
Image of APH Portland-Oregon AuraLee Loveland
Portland-Oregon
Chapter Chair
Aura Lee Loveland, M.S.W., has helped clients publish their life stories for over 20 years. The personal history spark began with her own grandparents, helping three of them create printed legacies that generations continue to enjoy. Working with clients from the East Coast to the Pacific Northwest, she promises her clients she will provide “as much or as little” service as needed to help them complete their project. Aura Lee was a featured monthly columnist for the Canby Herald, writing “Stories of a Lifetime,” featuring long-time community members. Recently, she added genealogical research to her services. She is currently a partner with Time Preserved, Inc., a company offering personal and family history services and genealogical research. She also presents community seminars on the worth of personal and family histories.
» Read more about AuraLee     » Email AuraLee Loveland    » Portland-Oregon Chapter website
Oceania Region (Oceania)

Image of APH Oceania Gillian Ednie
Oceania
Region Coordinator

» Read more about Gillian     » Email Gillian Ednie
Rocky Mountain Region (United States)

Image of APH Colorado Kit Dwyer
Colorado
Chapter Chair

» Read more about Kit     » Email Kit Dwyer
Image of APH Colorado Pattie Logan
Colorado
Chapter Chair

» Read more about Pattie     » Email Pattie Logan
Image of APH Colorado Cherie Orwig
Colorado
Chapter Chair
Cherie Orwig initiated Journeys and Memories, her personal history business, in 2008, to record and preserve family histories and develop legacy letters for loved ones. Her passion is long-standing, as she was raised in "small town USA" with family who regularly shared stories. Cherie currently facilitates a class in memoir writing at the University of Denver's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), is an active volunteer with the Colorado chapter of the Veterans History Project, a program of the U.S. National Archives, has completed training from the Center for Digital Storytelling and is working with the University of Colorado's Dignity Therapy initiative, a component of its palliative care program, on documenting patient stories. Cherie's career, first in social work, then in leading healthcare marketing and communications in Ohio and Colorado, has provided her with a toolkit of interpersonal communications and project management skills that are vital to documenting cherished family stories.
» Read more about Cherie     » Email Cherie Orwig
South Midwest Region (United States)

Southwest Region (United States)

Image of APH New Mexico Tom Gilbert
New Mexico
Chapter Chair
Tom Gilbert is the founder and developer of Your-Life-Your-Story.com. After a 30-year career in radio broadcasting, Tom began to work in the personal history field in 2003. He joined APH that year and discovered there are many interesting and talented people working in the field of personal history. Tom believes his strengths are interviewing and writing, but he also loves to teach others. He completed his certification to teach school in May of 2011 and has utilized life story preservation themes in the classroom and in life story workshops. When he's not running his personal history business, Tom enjoys running (two marathons and a several half-marathons), and following the Boston Red Sox (a lifetime fan!). Tom has been married 27 years and has two children and two grandchildren. He's proud of his illustrious great-grandfather Fred Gilbert, an original member of the Trapshooting Hall of Fame.
» Read more about Tom     » Email Tom Gilbert
Image of APH Texas Martha Humphries
Texas
Chapter Chair
Martha Humphries is a personal historian who helps clients collect and preserve their life stories. Using her writing, editing and interviewing skills gained in more than 30 years as a journalist as well as a natural curiosity for details, she helps clients resurrect memories and details from the past that make family stories come alive. Martha is certified by the Birren Center for Autobiography and Life Review to teach guided autobiography. Guided Autobiography classes help participants write their life story two pages at a time. Through writing and sharing stories with the others, students gain a growing appreciation of their own lives and the lives of others while documenting their own life stories for their families. Martha firmly believes that every one has a story that needs to be shared and preserved for future generations.
» Read more about Martha     » Email Martha Humphries    » Texas Chapter website
United Kingdom Region (UK)

Image of APH United Kingdom Mike Oke
United Kingdom
Region Coordinator
Michael Oke began his company Bound Biographies in 1991 and since then has assisted with over 150 private biographies, while his team of writing partners have completed another 150. Via a series of home meetings, Mike or one of his writing partners reviews the client's writing, teasing out more fascinating information along the way, before editing, proofreading, inserting photos, and printing and binding the finished product. His company also offers ghost-writing services. Mike's business concept has attracted eight writing partners (franchisees) from around Britain, and two in Sweden. Mike is the author of Write Your Life Story and Times of Our Lives, both sponsored by The Daily Telegraph. He lectures extensively, and his work has been featured on BBC television and radio. Mike, who is married and has two children, enjoys cricket and squash and is active in his local Baptist church. He joined APH in 2006 and has attended three conferences.
» Read more about Mike     » Email Mike Oke
Upper Southeast Region (United States)

Western Canada Region (Canada)

Image of APH West Canada Pattie Whitehouse
West Canada
Region Chair
Pattie Whitehouse, coordinator of APH’s West Canada Region and the Victoria, B.C., chapter, fell into personal history in 1992 when she took on a volunteer project helping an elderly gentleman record his memoirs for his family. Since then, Pattie has helped dozens of people save their lives in print so their children’s grandchildren will know their family and personal heritage. Pattie’s background includes an M.A. in psychology, volunteer experience as a counselor, a previous career as manager of a small retail business and a decade pursuing journalism as a sideline. She has served on APH bylaws, membership and strategic planning committees, but the high point of her involvement with the organization so far was her adventure as program chair of “Voices of the Elders,” the association conference held in Victoria in 2010. “It was one of the most exciting experiences of my life,” she says.
» Read more about Pattie     » Email Pattie Whitehouse

Pattie is also the Victoria Chapter Chair