Meet the Team

MELANIE D. HOLTZ, CG  (Own­er and Pres­i­dent)

Melanie is the own­er and prin­ci­pal researcher of Lo Schi­a­vo Genealog­i­ca. She is a board-cer­ti­fied pro­fes­sion­al geneal­o­gist spe­cial­iz­ing in Ital­ian research and Ital­ian-Amer­i­can dual cit­i­zen­ship.

Melanie has more than 20 years expe­ri­ence in Ital­ian genealog­i­cal research and Ital­ian Amer­i­can dual cit­i­zen­ship. She lec­tures on Ital­ian research, Ital­ian dual cit­i­zen­ship, pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment, and genealog­i­cal stan­dards. Melanie has writ­ten cours­es and arti­cles on Ital­ian research for Fam­i­ly Tree Uni­ver­si­ty, the Nation­al Insti­tute of Genealog­i­cal Research, Fam­i­ly Tree Mag­a­zine, and a vari­ety of oth­er orga­ni­za­tions.

In 2017,  she pub­lished “The Fam­i­ly Tree Ital­ian Geneal­o­gy Guide: How to Trace Your Fam­i­ly Tree in Italy.” Stay tuned for some upcom­ing pub­li­ca­tions that will be very help­ful for those research­ing Ital­ian ances­tors.

Addi­tion­al­ly, Melanie  lec­tures on Ital­ian geneal­o­gy and dual cit­i­zen­ship and taught cours­es for the Vir­tu­al Insti­tute of Genealog­i­cal Research and the Genealog­i­cal Research Insti­tute of Pitts­burgh, amongst oth­ers.

As a mem­ber of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Pro­fes­sion­al Geneal­o­gists (APG), Melanie abides by the Code of Ethics set forth by that orga­ni­za­tion. She served on the APG Board of Direc­tors in 2010 and in 2013–2014 and is a for­mer mem­ber of the Pro­fes­sion­al Devel­op­ment Com­mit­tee (PDC).  Her work on APG’s PDC helped expand the edu­ca­tion­al ser­vices offered by the orga­ni­za­tion.  She also belongs to the North Car­oli­na Chap­ter of APG.

Melanie is a co-own­er of the Vir­tu­al Insti­tute of Genealog­i­cal Research ( which pro­vides insti­tute-qual­i­ty genealog­i­cal edu­ca­tion using a vir­tu­al plat­form. Please see our web­site for more infor­ma­tion.

Pro­fes­sion­al and cul­tur­al orga­ni­za­tion mem­ber­ships include the Nation­al Genealog­i­cal Soci­ety (NGS), Asso­ci­a­tion of Pro­fes­sion­al Geneal­o­gists (APG), Nation­al Ital­ian Amer­i­can Foun­da­tion (NIAF), Coun­cil for the Advance­ment of Foren­sic Geneal­o­gy (CAFG), and the Tri­an­gle Order Sons of Italy (TOSIA).


COREY OIESEN (Dual Cit­i­zen­ship Team Leader and Spe­cial­ist)

Corey is a pro­fes­sion­al geneal­o­gist with expe­ri­ence in Ital­ian, French, U.S., and Cana­di­an research. She earned an M.B.A. in inter­na­tion­al busi­ness from Geor­gia State Uni­ver­si­ty and a B.A. in inter­na­tion­al studies/French from Vir­ginia Tech Uni­ver­si­ty. Corey holds cer­tifi­cates in genealog­i­cal stud­ies from Boston Uni­ver­si­ty and Mon­terey Penin­su­la Col­lege and has com­plet­ed the Excel­sior Uni­ver­si­ty practicum in genealog­i­cal research. She com­plet­ed the ProG­en Study Group, an 18-month inten­sive study of the book Pro­fes­sion­al Geneal­o­gy. She serves on the board of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Pro­fes­sion­al Geneal­o­gists.

Corey has worked with Lo Schi­a­vo Genealog­i­ca since 2013 and man­ages the firm’s dual cit­i­zen­ship pro­gram. She enjoys help­ing clients through­out the dual cit­i­zen­ship process, both through the con­sulates in the U.S. and onsite in Italy. She is pas­sion­ate about resolv­ing chal­leng­ing issues with client doc­u­ments. In her spare time, she runs an Ital­ian lan­guage con­ver­sa­tion group in her town.


Corey Oiesen headshot (2)


CATHY GRANATINO GILL  (Dual Cit­i­zen­ship Spe­cial­ist)

Cathy Gra­nati­no Gill is a pro­fes­sion­al geneal­o­gist who spe­cial­izes in Ital­ian, Irish, Vir­ginia, the US South, and DNA research. Cathy received her BA in Anthro­pol­o­gy from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Berke­ley and her JD from George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Law School in Wash­ing­ton, DC. She also holds a Cer­tifi­cate from the ProG­en Study group, an inten­sive 18-month course in pro­fes­sion­al geneal­o­gy.

As an attor­ney, she has worked exten­sive­ly in the inter­na­tion­al are­na as an Immi­gra­tion Lawyer and as an Inter­na­tion­al Con­sul­tant in Case Man­age­ment. In her capac­i­ty as an Immi­gra­tion Lawyer, Cathy processed appli­cants for US Cit­i­zen­ship and Asylum/Refugee Sta­tus in Con­sulates and Embassies through­out the world, as well as in the US Fed­er­al Immi­gra­tion Courts.

Cathy has worked with Lo Schi­a­vo Genealog­i­ca as a Dual Cit­i­zen­ship Spe­cial­ist since 2016. She is a sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Ital­ian Amer­i­can who is pas­sion­ate about her Ital­ian fam­i­ly and her­itage.




FRANCHESCA WERDEN   (Ital­ian Research Spe­cial­ist)

Franch­esca Werden’s pas­sion for geneal­o­gy was ignit­ed over forty years ago when she began research­ing her fam­i­ly his­to­ry for a school project. She has been involved with Ital­ian genealog­i­cal research for over fif­teen years and has trav­eled to her ances­tral town in the Saler­no province to con­duct on-site research. In addi­tion to Italy, Franchesca’s areas of focus include Mass­a­chu­setts, Con­necti­cut, DNA and foren­sic geneal­o­gy. Franch­esca received her BS in Com­mu­ni­ca­tions from Boston Uni­ver­si­ty. She also holds a cer­tifi­cate from Boston Uni­ver­si­ty in Genealog­i­cal Research. She is a mem­ber of the South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Genealog­i­cal Soci­ety.




JULIE BROWN  (Ital­ian Research Spe­cial­ist)

Julie Brown holds a BS in Dance and an MEd in Edu­ca­tion from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ore­gon. Her love for Ital­ian lan­guage, cul­ture, and geneal­o­gy has been deep­ened by her family’s suc­cess­ful pur­suit of Ital­ian cit­i­zen­ship by descent. Julie has stud­ied Ital­ian for 4 years at Scuo­la Ital­iana di Port­land, holds a cer­tifi­cate from Boston Uni­ver­si­ty in Genealog­i­cal Research and is a cur­rent mem­ber of ProG­en 34 study group.



RON VENEZIE  (Ital­ian Research Spe­cial­ist)

As the son and grand­son of immi­grants, Ron has always been proud of his Ital­ian her­itage. A num­ber of years ago, he began to trace his own fam­i­ly his­to­ry back to his ances­tral vil­lages in Cam­pa­nia and Cal­abria. This ignit­ed Ron’s pas­sion for Ital­ian geneal­o­gy, which he con­tin­ues to enjoy as part of the team at Lo Schi­a­vo Genealog­i­ca. Ron has com­plet­ed numer­ous online geneal­o­gy cours­es and has earned a cer­tifi­cate in genealog­i­cal research from Boston Uni­ver­si­ty. He main­tains mem­ber­ship in the Nation­al Genealog­i­cal Soci­ety and the Asso­ci­a­tion of Pro­fes­sion­al Geneal­o­gists.



MICHELE GIOVE  (Ital­ian Research Spe­cial­ist)

Michele joined the team in 2010 and has exten­sive expe­ri­ence in research­ing all types of Ital­ian records. He man­ages our Ital­ian office and han­dles the major­i­ty of the onsite research in Italy. Michele main­tains a type of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion that allows him access to cer­tain types of parish col­lec­tions only avail­able to pro­fes­sion­al schol­ars and those with this cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. This can be a valu­able asset to our clients, as it often enables us to accom­plish more for our clients then oth­er research firms. Michele works exclu­sive­ly with Lo Schi­a­vo Genealog­i­ca and can com­mu­ni­cate in sev­er­al dif­fer­ent lan­guages.

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Lo Schi­a­vo Genealog­i­ca also uses sub­con­trac­tors around the world to access some of the more unusu­al archives, help man­age a client’s project expens­es and enable research projects to move along more quick­ly. These researchers are cho­sen from lists of pro­fes­sion­al researchers main­tained by such orga­ni­za­tions as the Asso­ci­a­tion of Pro­fes­sion­al Geneal­o­gists, the Board for Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of Geneal­o­gists, and the Coun­cil for the Advance­ment of Foren­sic Geneal­o­gy.