Deborah Arenz Joins AHSGR as Executive Director

Please join us in welcoming Deborah Arenz to the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia as the new Executive Director starting on February 7th.

With a wealth of diverse museum and history experience, Arenz brings a strong focus on curation, fund raising, library collections, historical preservation, and membership enhancement to her new role. With her concentration on building relationships and writing grants, she will lead the organization and fulfill AHSGR’s mission of “Honoring the Past · Embracing the Future.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Deb Arenz as our new Executive Director,” AHSGR President Karen Soeken said. “Deb brings experience, enthusiasm, and leadership skills that will benefit AHSGR in carrying out our mission. Her experience in preserving and promoting collections of artifacts, records, and library materials as well as her communication skills in both internal and public outreach will help our society to continue to move forward. We look forward to working in partnership with her on behalf of AHSGR.”

Arenz earned her Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and her Bachelor of Arts in History from Oklahoma State University.

As a member of the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums, Arenz served as President from 2017 to 2019 and Vice President from 2015 to 2017. In addition, she is a member of the Institute for Museum and Library Services where she served as a peer reviewer for the Museums for America grant program. Arenz previously worked as Associate Director for Collections and Senior Museum Curator at the Nebraska State Historical Society, Director of Public Art Lincoln, and Executive Director of Mountain-Plains Museums Association.

“I am honored that the board has put their faith in me for this role,” said Arenz. “I am very positive about the people and the organization.” 

6 responses to “Deborah Arenz Joins AHSGR as Executive Director

    1. Hi my name is Gerald Teierle , My Grandpa Was Frederick C Sailer, born in Josephsburg Alberta Canada. I found some one of your group has his birth location as being
      Josephburg Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada Note that is WRONG
      The right answer is Josephsburg, Cypress Hill area by Elkwater, Alberta, Canada
      Special Note- this Old location can’t be found on any newer maps, also it hard to find it on an older map also. I always knew the right location because Fred told me, so I didn’t keep the maps I found it on. I didn’t know there was a second Josephburg until I ran across you record information.
      If you search you will find other Sailer in the Cypress Hill, Elkwater Area.

      Could you please see if you could get it correct.
      Also I would like to thank you for your work.

      —I have been doing my family Tree research for more then 30 years, just started to use
      —Family Search Organization —because I ran into brick wall—since I was using that site I choose to add some resource information that I had. When I ran across that mistake that someone enter. Noting there was no resource there proving it was right, but I could also see how easy someone could make that mistake. When I find my map information again I will put it on Frederick C Sailer resource as prove

      1. Hi Gerald,

        Can you identify where you found this incorrect birthplace on our website (

        Bob Ahlbrandt

  1. I had quite a time getting logged in today!!! Guess you require a new password regularly?? How often??
    You will note that I have been a lifetime member now for probably 25 or 30 years or more???

  2. Second comment: Several years ago the society was signed into a hotel about 3 blocks from me here in Pasco, Washington for the annual meeting.
    Have you completely given up on the idea of meeting in the Pacific Northwest for the annual meeting??? You probably know Dr. Richard Scheuerman is a resident
    of Pasco. I am sure he would be very happy to see the meeting here. Dick and I are cousins, 3 or 4 times removed. I am a former president of the Pasco Germans from Russia chapter. We couldn’t get the younger generation interested in their heritage. A problem all over???

    LARRY BAFUS. Pasco, Washington

    1. Hi Larry, we have not chosen the location for the 2023 AHSGR convention. I have passed your feedback on to our Convention Committee Chair, Sue Nakaji.

      Best regards,
      Bob Ahlbrandt

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