Jesse N Smith

Board Members of the Jesse N Smith Heritage Foundation

Shirley Smith Ricks, president (Emma Seraphine West)


Shirley Ricks, raised in Provo, Utah, has always appreciated her Smith heritage, including Smith family reunions and the cousins club at BYU. She was a missionary in the Germany South Mission and is currently serving in the baptistry of the Provo Utah Temple. She and her husband, Stephen D. Ricks, have performed ordinance work in all the temples in the United States and Canada and enjoy traveling, especially to visit their six children and spouses and their twenty grandchildren. Shirley earned a PhD in family studies from Brigham Young University and has been an editor at the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, and the Religious Studies Center at BYU, from which she retired in 2021. In 2019 Shirley was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award in Editing and Design presented by the Latter-day Saint Publishing and Media Association. 

Becky Smith Gibson, 1st vice president (Margaret Fletcher West)


Becky Gibson was raised in Snowflake, Arizona, and is married to Kent B Gibson. They love spending time with their six daughters and twelve grandchildren. Besides working as a secretary for a number of years, Becky enjoys many hobbies such as family history, reading, quilting, gardening, canning, camping, and hiking. She and her husband served a mission at Adam-ondi-Ahman, Missouri, in 2019–2020 and have served in many Church callings over the years. They have a great love for their ancestors and appreciate their lives and their testimonies. Becky’s parents, along with other wonderful people in Snowflake and Taylor were instrumental in the creation of the Jesse N. Smith Pioneer Home as a museum to honoring all the pioneers in the Snowflake area. The Jesse N Smith homes in Parowan and Snowflake are historic homes with many family artifacts and are also filled with the powerful spirit of our pioneers.

Kathryn Smith, secretary


Kathryn Smith has served as recording secretary with the Jesse N. Smith Heritage Foundation for ten years. She is currently an elected board member and secretary. Although not a descendant of Jesse N. Smith, she married Menlo Smith, a great-grandson of Jesse N., and shares his love for Jesse’s family. Kathryn was born in a small river town on the Mississippi River (Kimmswick) not far from St. Louis. She grew up and received her formal education in St. Louis. She served in various secretarial positions with firms in Montclair, New Jersey, and upper state New York and was the classified advertising manager for a St. Louis newspaper before joining Menlo’s firm as his executive secretary in 1988. Kathryn currently serves as an ordinance worker in the St. Louis Temple.

Menlo Smith, treasurer (Margaret Fletcher West)


Menlo was born in St. David, Arizona, and grew up as a non–Latter-day Saint in Salt Lake City. He moved to St. Louis, where his five children grew up. Menlo founded Sunmark Corporation that produced confectionery brands including SweeTarts, Pixy Stix, Nerds, Tangy Taffy, and others and became Willy Wonka, the Candy Man. At age 42, he read the Book of Mormon and joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has served as a bishop, a mission president in the Philippines, and a president of the St. Louis Temple, where he now serves as sealer. Menlo helped found the Jesse N. Smith Heritage Foundation and served as its first president. He presently serves as board member and treasurer.

Jeffry Adams (Janet Mauretta Johnson)


Jeff was born and raised in Layton, Utah.  He is a great-grandson of Priscilla Smith, the fourth daughter of Jesse N. and Janet Mauretta Johnson Smith.  Jeff and his wife Celeste have lived in Utah, Connecticut, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and California while Jeff pursued his career in corporate finance working for fortune 100 companies such as Kimberly Clark and Intel.  While their children were born in four different states, they raised their family primarily in Sacramento, California, and St. George, Utah ,where they currently live and enjoy fun outdoor activities.  Jeff served in the Italy Catania mission.  He has held many ward and stake positions, including serving as a bishop.  Jeff served several years as president of the Jesse N. Smith Heritage Foundation and currently serves on several committees of the Heritage Foundation board.

Krista Palmer (Janet Mauretta Johnson)


Krista Joy Palmer is the daughter of Milton Farr Palmer; his mother was Verdell Farr, a great-granddaughter of Jesse N. and Janet. A life-long member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Krista learned an appreciation for family history as a child. The example of her grandmother Verdell as a committed family historian influenced Krista. Verdell had preserved approximately half of the Kinsman family newsletters. She and Krista worked together to gather and donate those to the foundation archives. Krista’s professional career has included various businesses and investments. Her undergraduate degree is in accounting with an MBA from Utah State. Today her business is independent distributorship of doTERRA essential oils. Krista has three grown children and lives with her husband in Salt Lake City, Utah. They enjoy traveling, gathering with family and friends, and serving. Except for time on a mission assignment with her husband, she has served on the board since the foundation began.

David Shepherd Clark (Emma Larson)


David is a son of Dorothy Smith Clark, daughter of Hyrum Smith, a son of Jesse N. and Emma Larson Smith. He and his wife, Heidi, have six children and ten grandchildren. His parents involved him in family history from an early age, which became a lifelong avocation. He served on the board of the Ezra Thompson Clark Family Association for thirty years and currently serves as ward Temple and Family History Leader. David is employed as a data engineer at FamilySearch, International, and is responsible for the data indexed from historical documents from around the world. He completed a career with the State of Utah as an eligibility specialist and programmer analyst for the public assistance programs and various workforce-related systems. He plays bass trombone with the Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society, sings with various choirs when he gets a chance, and enjoys serving in the Draper Temple baptistry.

Cathy Gilmore (Emma Larson)


Cathy Gilmore loves a good underdog story. The same impulse that led her to cheer on teams less favored likewise turned her focus into the past, where she sought to uncover the hidden stories of her ancestors. Years of gathering family records led her—along with her cousin Kimball—to found Kindex, a digital archive platform for families and organizations to gather, preserve, and search their records. In 2022, she earned an MA in history from Utah State University. During this time, she completed fellowships in teaching, archival work, and copyediting, and continued her professional work in design and marketing. She will begin her PhD work in American History this fall at the University of Utah. Her hope is to close the distance between scholars, researchers, and family historians and to foster an atmosphere of collaboration and trust. Cathy lives in Murray with her husband Ed and four daughters. In her free time, she loves to bake pies, garden, and write.

Nathan Kimball Hall (Emma Seraphine West)


Nathan Hall has long admired his third great-grandfather, Jesse Nathaniel Smith Sr. As a youth, Nathan really connected with the family history stories his dad shared about their great heritage. He feels great pleasure in serving on Jesse N. Smith’s family board and in mingling with wonderful family members and cousins. Nathan was born in Snowflake, Arizona, where his paternal side of the family has their family roots; his family later moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. He served his mission in the Montana Billings Mission. Nathan graduated from BYU—Idaho with a degree in history and has experience in multiple fields, including professional genealogy, education, sales, and management. He enjoys being with his wife and family, the great outdoors, reading, movies (usually the older or the classic ones), and history and Church history. He and his wife are the parents of five children and recently added a daughter-in-law. 

Starling Lowell Hall (Emma Seraphine West)


Starling Lowell Hall “Star” has been a board member of the Jesse N. Smith Heritage Foundation since 2016. Star has been an employee of FamilySearch since 2013 and is responsible for managing and growing the global volunteer workforce and strategic innovation with global partners. Earlier Star worked for 20 years building and growing businesses, including public and startup companies. He continues consulting with small businesses and startups in the capacity of lean growth strategy. Star served a mission in the Montana Billings Mission. He and his wife, Stefanie Wells Hall, met at BYU in 1993 where she was the director of Noteworthy and he was in Vocal Point. As the founding president of the BYU Vocal Point Alumni Association, Star helped to establish the group’s scholarship endowment. He and his wife have raised five children who love to sing together. Today they enjoy spending time with their five children and spouses and six grandchildren. He is excited to be part of the cause of growing the global reach of the Jesse N. Smith family, which is estimated to be over 100,000 living descendants!

Eric Knapp (Margaret Fletcher West)


Eric Knapp has served as a financial executive with solid large and early/emerging stage companies. His career includes 20+ years of international development experience, spanning seaports, hotels, and oilfields in the Middle East, Russia, and Kazakhstan. More recently, after the passing of his wife, Dorothy, he served a special two-month mission in Frankfurt, Germany, and Warsaw, Poland, supporting the Ukrainian refugees. He presently spends most of his time consulting, skiing, and delightfully enjoying his three children and four grandchildren, as well as contributing his financial expertise to Scripture Central (aka Book of Mormon Central) and the John A. Widtsoe Foundation. He became aware of his Jesse N. Smith heritage at an early age during family trips from Tucson, Arizona, to Snowflake for Jesse N. Smith and Joseph W. Smith family reunions, has enjoyed meeting JNS cousins around the world, and is delighted to support the Jesse N. Smith Association through his board responsibilities. He currently has 48 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Cherilyn Permann (Augusta Mauretta Johnson)


Cherilyn Smith Permann (Augusta Marie Outzen Smith) is one of five children born to Andrew Outzen Smith and Edna Richards. When she was four years old, her dad passed away. He gave her the assignment to prepare the way for descendants to follow his role as one of the 6,000 from Ephraim called to gather Israel. He is working with the Savior. Merrill H Permann and Cherilyn married on 9 July 1975. She began writing family history while rearing their nine children. She recently finished her personal history. Cherilyn is sharing and gathering her grandmother Augusta’s Denmark heritage, and her husband is also from Denmark. She has been guided by her dad and the Lord to do her work in gathering Israel. 

Michael Smith (Margaret Fletcher West)


Michael Smith holds a BS in General Studies from Boise State University with a minor in ASL as well as a Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting from Rochester Institute of Technology. He is also a certified mediator and NRA instructor and holds national certifications from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf for Sign Language Interpretation. He has worked most of his adult life as an ASL Interpreter specializing in legal and medical interactions. He recently embraced his lifelong love of tinkering with computers and changed careers entirely to became certified in Cybersecurity and is now doing that full time. Michael served an LDS mission to the Deaf where he served in the Illinois, Chicago; New York, Rochester; Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and New York, New York City South areas all within two years. Michael and his wife Jerusha have four children and two grandchildren.

Robert Marvin Smith (Emma Larson)


Robert Marvin Smith is a grandson of Hyrum Smith, the eldest child of Emma Larson and Jesse N. Smith. He served missions in Berlin, Germany, as a young man and then after retirement as area auditor in West Africa and then in Salt Lake City East with his wife, Joan Smith Smith, whom he married while earning a degree in physics (1969) at BYU. They have five children and 13 grandchildren. After adding an MBA from UCLA (1972) and working in the aerospace industry, he spent 33 years in Church employment managing finances in the British Isles/Africa Area, Investments, and Materials Management Departments. He also served as a temple recorder in Utah and Idaho. He has a lifelong interest in history, especially family history, and has led a family association in publishing a biography of one of his mother’s ancestors. 

Stephen Van Smith (Margaret Fletcher West)


Stephen was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He received his master’s degree from Northern Arizona University (Spanish/Computer Science). He served in the Central American Mission (1962–1965). He married Darlene Webb (deceased) and Cheryl Skipper.  He is a retired school administrator. He and Cheryl served in the Mesa Arizona, Mérida Yucatan, and the San José Costa Rica Temples. They currently reside in Prescott Valley, Arizona.

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