Genene grew up in Moraga with a love of history instilled by her mother. Her fondest childhood memories are taking part in Fiesta Day Moraga and spending every summer on the family farm in Illinois, where they would trace their genealogy together. After graduating from Campolindo High School, Genene received a BA in English from St. Mary's College and a MA from Loyola University of Chicago. After a brief stint on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade, Genene was transferred by Refco into their research department, where she worked with Japanese Securities Banks, Daiwa, Mitsubishi, and Nomura. Genene returned to California to work at Shearson Lehman and then Charles Schwab, where she eventually retired after being an Investment Broker for many years.
When Genene met her husband, Steve Welch, she was living on Las Juntas Street in Walnut Creek. As Steve came to tell her about his family ties to Rancho Las Juntas, the land grant owned by William Welch, she became immersed in his local history. A tracing of the family tree culminated in the William Welch Descendant Reunion, where long lost cousins were reunited. Genene and Steve also became involved with Los Californianos through William Welch's marriage into the Galindo Family of Concord. In 2005, Steve replanted the family ranch with wine grapes, naming it Rancho Las Juntas Vineyard, which in turn led to William Welch Wines, our winery in Franklin Canyon. In April 2023, the William Welch Wines Tasting Room on Main Street Martinez opened its doors. At the same time, Genene joined the board of the Contra Costa Historical Board, where she is honored to work with the community's local leading historians.