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2022--What a Year It Has Been!

-This is what a team effort looks like!


By Rob Olason, Newsletter Coordinator


As 2022 wraps up and we turn to the new year, I wanted to share what a remarkable year this has been for the Icelandic Roots newsletter.


For starters, Sunna Furstenau, in addition to keeping the ever expanding Icelandic Roots organization humming along, had also been pulling "all-nighters" every week or so, to put out a newsletter. She knew she couldn't keep up the pace and needed some help fast.


She found a solution in drafting a new genealogy volunteer who mentioned they had some experience writing and working on newsletters. While not realizing she didn't really need an assistant, Rob Olason/I volunteered to delay that genealogist career to "assist" with the newsletter. It was a steep learning curve. When Rob/I finally thought I had a handle on all the steps for putting out a newsletter, I took a look at the newly revised volunteer chart and discovered the chart listed me as the "Newsletter Lead."


Relishing this newly discovered status, and ready to flex editorial muscles I never knew I had, I realized we didn’t have a “real name” for our newsletter at the beginning of 2022. Sunna had been trying out different names but nothing really "stuck." We decided to hold a naming contest, and by March 31, we had a winning name for our publication: "Rætur Fréttir - Roots News."


Another important task Sunna accomplished was bringing Becky Byerly-Adams onto the newsletter team. Becky focuses on developing the newsletter content by working closely with our growing number of volunteer writers and photographers. And what an amazing job she has done, by planning out our issues months in advance, contacting writers, collecting, and editing the stories for each issue. I’ve been amazed at her ability to create all the wonderful graphics we have been able to include in the newsletters. If we ever start giving out “Golden Vínarterta” awards to Icelandic Roots volunteers, I’m nominating Becky.


These changes have made it possible to bring our newsletter, Rætur Fréttir - Roots News, to your email inbox every two weeks this year—26 issues filled with stories about Iceland, and Icelandic Roots events and activities. We work hard to keep you up to date on all the offerings of Icelandic Roots because there are so many wheels spinning in this volunteer organization. Webinars, training events, Samtal Hour conversations, the monthly book club. In fact, there are so many events on the IR schedule, you might even forget that Icelandic genealogy is the heart of this amazing project.


Dec. 15 issue
The Dec. 15 issue

Our first issue 2022