Keynote Speakers

 Todd Hansen is a broadcast journalist and award-winning host of BYU-TV’s The Story Trek. He was born in Provo, Utah, and grew up in nearby Pleasant Grove. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communications Studies from Brigham Young University.

Hansen began his career as a reporter and anchor with a CBS affiliate in the Washington Tri-Cities area. He then took a job with Fox News in Salt Lake City, where he reported news for ten years. He left when he grew weary of the negativity prevalent in the news. While at Fox News, he pitched the idea to tell the story of an average person on the street and the result, nicknamed “Trippin’ with Todd,” was a regular Sunday night segment. When he learned that BYU-TV was searching for a new series, he presented his idea of Story Trek, which is based on Hansen’s belief that everyone has a story to tell.

Hansen and his crew travel throughout the United States and randomly knock on doors to find people who are willing to tell their life story on television. Most people initially say that they don’t have anything special to tell, but Hansen always finds their experiences compelling and conveys an uplifting message to his viewers.

The Story Trek reaches approximately 60 million households across the country. Hansen was presented with an Emmy as producer and host of The Story Trek during the 2012 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards in Phoenix, Arizona. The show has won five Emmy's in the last two years.

David Rencher is employed by the Family History Department in Salt Lake City as the Chief Genealogical Officer (CGO) for FamilySearch and has been a professional genealogist since 1977.

In 1980, Rencher earned a B.A. in Family and Local History from Brigham Young University. A professional genealogist since 1977, David holds credentials as both an Accredited and Certified genealogist in Ireland research. Since 1997, he has served as the Irish course coordinator and instructor for the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research. He is a past-president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the Utah Genealogical Association. David is a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association and the Irish Genealogical Research Society, London, and was an instructor for the British Institute where he also served as the vice-president of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History.

Rencher has had experience as an Irish course coordinator and instructor for Samford University Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR), Birmingham, Alabama and for the British Institute, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Curt B. Witcher is the Allen County Public Library’s Senior Manager for Special Collections, a job which entails managing The Genealogy Center, serving as general curator for that institution’s Rare and Fine Book Collection, and supervising the new Lincoln Financial Collection’s Lincoln Library.   He has worked at the Allen County Public Library for more than thirty-five years.  Curt is a member of the Genealogy Committee of the American Library Association, a past chair of the association’s History Section, a former president of both the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the National Genealogical Society and the founding president of the Indiana Genealogical Society.

Curt was distinguished in 1995 as a fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association (FUGA) and received the Federation of Genealogical Societies' highest honor, the Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern Humanitarian Award, in 1997.  He was the 2002 ALA-RUSA History Section Genealogical Publishing Company Award winner and in 2003 was honored by the Indiana Historical Society as that year’s Willard Heiss Memorial Lecturer.  Curt was recognized in 2006 by being named the first fellow of the Indiana Genealogical Society.  He was honored in May of 2007 with the National Genealogical Society’s P. William Filby award for outstanding, lifetime contributions to genealogical librarianship.

Curt’s interests are in United States local history, migration history and settlement patterns, African American research, First Nations/Native American research, and preserving living history.