In an exciting development for the genealogical community, the National Genealogical Society (NGS) has entered into a significant agreement with the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), LLC, a highly regarded provider of in-depth genealogical education.

This agreement will see NGS acquire the assets of GRIP and assume management responsibilities for the institute, effective from October 1, 2023. For over a decade, GRIP, co-owned by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, and Deborah Lichtner Deal, has been at the forefront of genealogical education, offering comprehensive programs to countless students.

However, after successfully managing the institute for twelve years, Powell and Deal have made the decision to step back from day-to-day operations. President Kathryn M. Doyle expressed admiration for their accomplishments, stating:

We commend Elissa and Debbie for their exceptional work in establishing GRIP as a premier genealogical education provider. We are honoured that they have entrusted NGS to carry forward the GRIP legacy.

President Kathryn M. Doyle

Since its establishment in 2011 by Powell and Deal, GRIP has provided a rich learning environment for genealogy enthusiasts, hosting numerous courses and accommodating nearly 5000 students. The institute’s first program was held at LaRoche College (now University) in 2012, and since then, it has continued to expand its course offerings and attract a diverse range of participants. While Powell and Deal will no longer be involved in day-to-day operations, they will maintain their connection as ambassadors and members of the GRIP steering committee.

Under NGS’s stewardship, GRIP will continue its mission of delivering comprehensive genealogy education, both through in-person sessions and virtual platforms. Positioned within NGS’s esteemed education department, GRIP will operate under the guidance of NGS Education Director Angela McGhie, CG, FUGA. As an added benefit, NGS members will be eligible for discounted registration rates for GRIP courses. Powell highlighted the seamless alignment between GRIP and NGS:

GRIP has always fostered a warm and supportive environment, nurturing the educational aspirations of students and faculty alike. With NGS’s commitment to education, this partnership is a natural fit. Debbie and I are excited to remain connected to NGS and to have the opportunity to further our own education by participating in the exceptional GRIP courses.

Elissa Scalise Powell, GRIP Co-owner

Deal has expressed confidence in NGS’s ability to carry forward GRIP’s mission, emphasizing the organization’s dedication to providing high-quality education to its members, and Matt Menashes, CAE, Executive Director of NGS, acknowledged the unique benefits of the institute setting in advancing learners’ knowledge and skills, particularly through collaboration and shared problem-solving among family historians:

GRIP’s institute setting has proven to be an exceptional platform for enhancing student learning. By bringing together family historians, GRIP has fostered collaboration and enabled shared problem-solving. I am excited to collaborate with the coordinators and instructors to build upon this valuable learning experience at GRIP.

Matt Menashes, Executive Director of NGS

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