2022-2023 Speaker Series - Speaker Bios

Plan now to join us online for these outstanding presentations by top genealogy speakers and local Concho Valley historians!
September 5: J. Mark Lowe, FUGA
Mark describes himself as a lifelong genealogist. A professional genealogist, author, and lecturer, he specializes in original records and manuscripts of the South. Mark enjoys sharing what he has learned over the years through YouTube, webinars, and institutes. He serves as the course coordinator for “Research in the South” at IGHR (Georgia) and TIGR, presents webinars for Legacy Family Tree Webinars, and has worked on several genealogical television series including Follow Your Past, African American Lives 2, Who Do You Think You Are?, and UnXplained Events, as well as the podcasts Twice Removed and Blast From My Past. Mark is a past president of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Southern Kentucky Genealogical Society. He is a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Society and was awarded the Graham T. Smallwood Award and Lifetime Membership award by the Association of Professional Genealogists.
November 7: Cory Robinson
Curator of History at the Fort Concho Historical National Landmark, Cory has served off and on in various capacities at the fort since 2006, when he was an intern. In 2006, he returned to the fort as the Visitor and Volunteer Services Manager and was promoted to his current position in 2015. Cory is passionate about the fort and its constantly growing collection of military artifacts that apply to the era in which the fort was active. A native of Bronte, Texas, he enjoys participating in living history events and educating people as a historical interpreter.
December 5: Lisa Mahler
Lisa Dennis Mahler has deep Tom Green County roots. Two sets of maternal great grandparents arrived in the late 1870s. One set, JJ Austin and Arminta DeLong, chose the county because Arminta’s brothers raved about the opportunities they experienced. The other set, Howard R. Rowland and Charlotte Parker, became stranded on Frary Hill when their horses were stolen and had to make San Angelo their home. Lisa’s grandmother and mother were born in San Angelo and both became story tellers of the people that shaped the town. Dorothy, Lisa’s mother, mentioned on many occasions when visiting with her parents that San Angelo was just not the same once the old homes were being razed to make room for parking lots, government buildings and businesses.
While reviewing a Sanborn map of 1909 San Angelo, Lisa was surprised to find that there was a huge section of town that included beautiful, stately homes. Through local vertical files, she found news articles and photos that led to a deep dive into the people who built not only a beautiful home but also were instrumental in shaping the town politically and morally.
Lisa is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a major in history. She was raised on a sheep ranch, the Flying D, in Borden County. She has served as the head of the historical commission in her home county for eleven years and has learned the pioneer stories of Borden that included successes and failures of the people that tried to tame the unforgiving nature of the area.
January 2: Emily Coffman Richardson
Emily is a professional genealogist and lecturer who lives in Denton, Texas. She began her genealogy research working with her mother in courthouses and cemeteries, finding records for her ancestors in Ohio and Pennsylvania. In 2019, Emily retired from higher education, moved to Texas, and opened Kinsearchers, named for her mother’s professional genealogy business.
The secretary of the Texas State Genealogical Society, Emily also oversees production of the TxSGS podcast, Lone Star Family Trails. She is the programming chair for Robson Ranch Genealogy Club advisory council, teaches genealogy courses for University of North Texas’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and speaks to genealogy societies throughout Texas on a variety of topics. As registrar for her local DAR chapter, and later with the local SAR, Emily has helped more than 30 individuals gain admission to the DAR and SAR societies. She has participated in multiple courses at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Institute of Genealogical Studies, the Texas Institute of Genealogical Research, and ProGen 34.
February 6: Bernard Meisner
Bernard is a genealogist and lecturer based in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. He began researching his family over 30 years ago and enjoys sharing lessons learned, including his mistakes. Although he knew only his maternal grandfather, he has successfully identified all his great-great grandparents, many triple-and quadruple-great grandparents, and his Meisner eighth-great-grandparents. He is a past president of the Mid-Cities Genealogical Society, a co-leader of the Dallas Genealogical Society’s German Genealogy Group, and a member of the Texas State and National Genealogical Societies. He has completed coursework of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, the Texas Institute of Genealogical Research, and attended the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh the past eight years, completing courses in Irish, German, and Pennsylvania research, digital research skills, and practical genetic genealogy.
Bernard retired from the National Weather Service Southern Region Headquarters where he was the Chief of the Science & Training Branch. He is certified as a consulting meteorologist by the American Meteorological Society and has taught at the Universities of Texas, Oklahoma and St. Thomas (Houston).
March 5: Kim Richardson
Kim Richardson began her genealogy journey out of her love of family history.  She is passionate about her work as a professional genealogist and enjoys serving the genealogy community by teaching and enabling others to do their own research successfully. She speaks often to genealogists across the country. In her role as a genealogist, she not only helps her clients achieve their own genealogy goals, but she has also researched for various authors and for Finding Your Roots and Who Do You Think You Are?
Richardson lives in Oxford, Mississippi, and graduated from Mississippi State University in 1996 with a BA in Communication. Since then, she has been serving the state of Mississippi, working in highway safety programs and as an advocate for victims of violent crimes.
April 2: Cherry Beth Luedtke
Cherry grew up in Runnels County. The Luedtke family has deep roots in Runnels County, having farmed there for four generations. A graduate of Angelo State University, Texas Woman's University, and Texas State University, Cherry has worked as a librarian in the special collection at Texas Woman's University and the Southwest Writers' Collection at Texas State University. A member of the Runnels County Historical Commission and SAGHS, she enjoys gardening and the companionship of her dog.
May 7: James Harkins
James Harkins is the Director of Public Services for the Texas General Land Office Archives and Records. He graduated from Texas State University – San Marcos in 2005. In 2010, he received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, also from Texas State, and is the 2010-2011 James W. McGrew Research Award winner for his graduate thesis from the American Society for Professional Administrators (ASPA). He has also been awarded the 2021 The Cecilia Steinfeldt Fellowship for Research in the Arts and Material Culture and  the 2020 Larry McNeill Research Fellowship in Texas Legal History. James has worked for the Texas General Land Office since May 2005.