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Digital Strategy & Communications

For questions about database search and website functionality, please contact

Claire Vail

Vice President for Digital Strategy and Communications
Claire has twenty years of experience as a digital marketing and content strategist for high-profile institutions in higher education, publishing, and media.

Valerie Beaudrault

Assistant Editor
Originally from New Hampshire, Valerie joined the visitor services staff in 2002.

Lynn Betlock

Managing Editor
Lynn has been the editor of American Ancestors since 2003, and she has written numerous articles for the publication.

Thomas Grebenchick

Digital Content Producer
Thomas is responsible for conceptualizing and creating websites and other digital collateral. He also writes and edits copy for use across American Ancestors' digital platforms, and assists in digital communications strategy.

Andy Hanson-Dvoracek

Systems Architect
Andy is originally from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Having studied guitar and musicology in Boston and Iowa, he has presented research on video game music and minimalist music.

Amy Joyce

Creative Director
Amy joined the American Ancestors / NEHGS team in 2018. She has over 20 years of design experience, which includes past work with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the Boston Herald, and Pearson Education.

Carolyn Sheppard Oakley

Editor and Creative Director
In addition to designing American Ancestors magazine, Carolyn also designs products and marketing materials for NEHGS departments.

Jean Powers

Senior Editor
As Senior Editor for American Ancestors magazine and the Weekly Genealogist enewsletter, Jean writes and edits articles, strategizes content, and provides illustrations.

Alicia Crane Williams, FASG

Prior to joining the American Ancestors/NEHGS staff as Lead Genealogist of the Early New England Families Study Project, Alicia compiled and edited numerous important genealogical publications.


Scott Colby

Director of Database Search & Technology
Scott Colby joined the NEHGS Staff in July 2021. He oversees the database search and tree technology for

Rachel Adams

Database Services Volunteer Coordinator
Rachel coordinates the web teams volunteers in scanning and indexing material that goes on the database.

Hale Murch

Digitization Assistant
Hale is responsible for scanning and indexing documents for the online archives.

Amanda Opalenik

Database Projects Coordinator
Amanda assists with creating and improving the genealogical databases. She started at NEHGS as an indexing volunteer in 2020 and then joined the database team in 2021 as a digitization assistant.