RootsTech announces that their opening session will include Bruce Feiler and Paula Williams Maddison.

RootsTech announces their opening session keynote speakers: Bruce Feiler, Paula Williams Madison, and Stephen Rockwood.

If you weren’t already planning to attend Rootstech 2016, today’s announcement of its keynote speakers might have you searching for flights to Salt Lake City. The world’s largest family history conference’s opening session on February 4, 2016 will start with New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler, award-winning journalist Paula Williams Madison, and the president and CEO of FamilySearch International, Stephen Rockwood.

Keynote Speakers

Bruce Feiler

Photo RootsTech keynote speakers 2016 Bruce Feiler

Bruce Feiler

According to FamilySearch, “Feiler is a bestselling author and columnist for The New York Times…” His “This Life” column is about today’s families. “He is also the writer and presenter of the PBS Series Walking the Bible and Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler.”

His newest book, The Secrets of Happy Families, “reviews best practices for modern-day parents from some of the country’s most creative minds” from Silicon Valley top designers to Green Berets.”

Feiler describes himself as a “passionate believer” in the sharing of family stories and family history. He regards is a “foundational tool for having a happy family.”

Although it might seem that he’s preaching to the choir, I think he’ll also inspire and empower us.

Paula Williams Madison

Photo Paula Williams Madison Rootstech Keynote Speakers 2016

Paula Williams Madison

Paula Williams Madison is a retired (award-winning) journalist and former NBC executive. “She’s been named one of the “75 Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America” by Black Enterprise Magazine,” FamilySearch boasts. She also received the East West Players and AARP’s Visionary Award.

Madison will bring her highly personal story of searching for her ancestors to the opening session. After her retirement in 2011, she began searching for her grandfather Samuel Lowe. She also produced a documentary (Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China) and memoir (Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem) about her experience.

Stephen Rockwood

Rootstech keynote speakers pic steve rockwell

Steve Rockwell

“Stephen Rockwood is the new president and CEO of FamilySearch International. He’s also managing director for the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” It will be exciting to see what new ideas Rockwood brings to the conference.

Want to attend?

You want regret it. RootsTech (held on February 3–6 in Salt Lake City, Utah) offers as much for family history newbies as it does the experts. Whatever your technology and family history expertise levels, you’ll find resources to help you along. Being with twenty-thousand or more fellow enthusiasts is nothing short of inspiring.

Visit to reserve now. Passes for the February 4 opening session start at just $29.

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