Introducing the GRIP Team

We enthusiastically welcome you to GRIP Genealogy Institute (GRIP)—an exciting addition to the NGS family. Our team has worked hard over the past four months to prepare for a fantastic year of connecting with new friends, building skills, learning concepts, and focusing on our students. Kristi Sexton, Gena Philibert-Ortega, and Cinda Baxter made great strides in getting GRIP up and operating for NGS and are our new management team. Leslie Anderson, who recently stepped away from GRIP, also was a great help as we completed the acquisition and get the program running.

Kristi Sexton, Co-ManagerKristi L. Sexton (Co-Manager) is a researcher, educator, and speaker. She has researched her personal genealogy since her youth and specializes in US research, adoption searches, and preservation. Kristi holds a Master’s degree in Auditing/Accounting from Texas A&M; is the past president of the Orange County California Genealogical Society; and was an adjunct professor in the Family History Department at BYUIdaho. As an alumna of ProGen 42 (2020) and a Certificate holder in Genealogical Research from Boston University, Kristi continues to advance her skills through various educational institutes and courses, including those at GRIP, where she has also been a tech host for three years. Active in the genealogical community, Kristi is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the National Genealogical Society (NGS), and several local and regional genealogical societies. She owns One Leaf Genealogy, LLC, offering her expertise to clients and contributing to genealogical research and preservation of records.

Gena Philibert-Ortega, Co-ManagerGena Philibert-Ortega (Co-Manager) is an author, researcher, and instructor specializing in the use of social history and material culture to tell the story of historical women’s lives. She holds two Master’s degrees: one in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women’s Studies) and the other in Religion. As an author, Philibert-Ortega has published two books, Cemeteries of the Eastern Sierra (Arcadia Publishing) and From the Family Kitchen (F+W Media), and hundreds of articles in print magazines and online publications. Her writings can also be found on her two blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera, as well as the GenealogyBank and Legacy Family Tree Webinars blogs. A highly sought-after instructor, Philibert-Ortega has taught material culture and social history at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and is a frequent presenter at seminars and conferences throughout the United States and Canada. Her professional associations include the American Quilt Study Group, the Association of Gravestone Studies, and the National Genealogical Society. She has conducted research for PBS, HGTV, and the Travel Channel and has collaborated on research for the Gemological Institute of America.

Cinda Baxter, Virtual CoordinatorCinda Baxter, MSc, CG, AG, QG (Virtual Coordinator) revels in using technology to enhance genealogical education and research. Prior to accepting a role with GRIP, she served as Gen- Fed assistant director, member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) Board of Directors, and established the inaugural virtual technical coordinator position with the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG Fall Virtual 2020, SLIG 2021, and SLIG Academy for Professionals 2021). Baxter holds a Master’s degree in Genealogical, Palaeographic, and Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland). She is proud to have earned the CG, AG, and QG post-nominals, specializing in both US and Scotland research through her Minneapolis-based practice, Details Genealogical Research. A strong proponent of continuing education, she is a Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate alumnus (OL25); has served as a course facilitator for both the BU Certificate and BU Principles courses; is an alumnus of ProGen 38 and was mentor for ProGen 53.

Thanks to everyone who helped launch GRIP into its next chapter!