Keynote Speakers

Tuesday - Elder Cecil O. Samuelson Jr.

Cecil O. Samuelson jr.

Elder Cecil O. Samuelson was called to serve as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on October 1, 1994. On October 1, 2011, he was granted General Authority Emeritus status. He presided as president of Brigham Young University from May 1, 2003 to May 1, 2014 and as president of the Salt Lake City temple from 2014 to 2017. Previously, Elder Samuelson served as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, and as president of the Utah North Area, second counselor in the North America West Area presidency and president of the Europe North Area.

Elder Samuelson, a physician, is a Salt Lake City native and at the time of his call had been serving as senior vice president of Intermountain Health Care. Previously he was vice president for health sciences at the University of Utah after serving as professor of medicine and dean of the School of Medicine. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master’s degree in educational psychology, and a medical degree all from the University of Utah.

He served the Church as a regional representative, stake president, stake high councilor, branch president and missionary. Elder Samuelson also served as a director, officer, or member of several national medical and hospital organizations.

He and his wife, Sharon Giauque Samuelson, have five children and 14 grandchildren.


Wednesday - Stephen J. Valentine

Stephen W. Valentine

Stephen Valentine is Sr. Vice President of FamilySearch International and a director in the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Stephen’s current responsibilities include the marketing and outreach efforts of FamilySearch; strategic partnerships between FamilySearch and commercial, genealogical, and non-profit organizations; and business development of innovative new offerings and services. Stephen also works closely with David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer, in the oversight and strategic development of the Family History Library.

Stephen has been employed by FamilySearch since 1998 and has served in a variety of leadership roles. Among his favorite activities were developing and launching FamilySearch Indexing, directing the creation and publication of nearly 7 billion searchable records, and developing key partnerships to grow the family history industry.

Stephen hails from Brigham City, Utah. He received his Bachelor and Masters degrees from Utah State University. He is the proud father of five children and five grandchildren and hopes that there will be many more to come (grandchildren that is, not children!). He is currently serving as a bishop in Layton he resides with his wife, Linda.  


Thursday - Dan Debenham

Dan Debenham

Dan Debenham has been working in the television & production industry for 30 years as an anchor, reporter, writer, producer and executive producer including 10 years with ESPN. While at ESPN Dan helped create a wide variety of original programming including the X-Games.

Recipient of the Sports Foundations Network Journalism Award, Dan has also been awarded two International ARDY Awards and nominated for two Emmy’s and three National Cable Ace Awards.

In 2000 Dan joined Tom Zdunich to create Lenzworks, a full service television and video production company – Throughout the years Dan has combined his experience and contacts in the industry to create international online marketing and sales platforms and produce several original television shows including RCI TV, Endless Vacations, New Ways to Play, HomeTeam, Music for Money, Behind the Ink, Dining with the Dean and most recently, Relative Race – seen Sunday nights nationwide on BYU TV.

Dan is a consultant, corporate spokesperson and guest speaker for some of the top hospitality companies in the world and continues to host several network and online television shows.

Dan and his wife Mona live in Sandy, Utah and have 4 children, an amazing son-in law, a beautiful daughter-in-law and four wonderful granddaughters!