Jonena Smith Relth
Jonena Smith Relth’s love of genealogy began when she was a young child, eating Icelandic food and listening to stories from her grandmother, who emigrated from Iceland to North America as a child in 1901. As with so many people who came to America, her grandmother’s family “Americanized” their names and moved on with their lives, so Jonena knew no more about her family than what she could remember from her childhood.
In 2017, nearly ready to give up hope of ever discovering more, Jonena ran across the Icelandic Roots website. Her dreams quickly came true as the team’s professional genealogists helped her identify her Icelandic ancestors and even locate living cousins in Iceland. Jonena is now giving back as a volunteer, working on projects where she can contribute her skills in leadership, training and marketing.
Before retiring in 2015, Jonena fulfilled her career goal of being what she calls a “leadership evangelist.” Throughout her 23-year career at TBD Consulting in Phoenix, Arizona, she helped other people excel in their careers of choice through training, mentoring, and coaching. Now, as a member of the expanding Icelandic Roots community, she is eager to help others fulfill their desires to connect with ancestors and living relatives.