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Actor, actress, former pro soccer player join list of keynote speakers at RootsTech Connect

Vendors and attendees move around the exhibit hall as RootsTech opens at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.
Vendors and attendees move around the exhibit hall as RootsTech opens at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. RootsTech 2021 is a free virtual conference.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

An actor, an actress and a former professional soccer player have joined the growing list of keynote speakers at this year’s free virtual RootsTech Connect conference scheduled for Feb. 25-27.

Erick Avari, Sunetra Sarker and Diego Alfredo Lugano Morena will be featured speakers at the family history and technology conference, RootsTech Connect announced Tuesday.

Avari is an Indian American actor who has appeared in several high-grossing Hollywood and independent films, popular television series and received praise for his performances on stage. Avari has acted in such films as “Independence Day” (1996), “The Mummy” (1999), “Planet of the Apes” (2001) and “Mr. Deeds” (2002). He performed as “Rasputin” with the New York City Opera, and in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The King and I” on Broadway. One of his most recent roles was as Nicodemus in the streaming series, “The Chosen.

In the last three decades, Sarker has become a household name in British film and television, appearing in roles in “No Angels” for Channel Four, “Informer” for BBC/Amazon Prime, “Safe House” for ITV and as Dr. Zoe Hanna in BBC One’s “Casualty.” She has also drawn praise for her role as Kaneez in Channel Four’s hit drama “Ackley Bridge.”

Lugano Morena is a former professional soccer player from Uruguay. He finished his career with a team in São Paulo, Brazil, where he now works as an administrator. The husband and father of three made 95 appearances for the Uruguay national team, captaining his country at two FIFA World Cups.

Avari, Sarker and Lugano join Lorena Ochoa, Francesco Lotoro, Sharon Morgan and Nick Vujicic, along with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Patricia T. Holland, as keynote speakers at the conference.

RootsTech Connect, considered the largest family history gathering in the world, is sponsored by FamilySearch. To register visit RootsTech.org.