As the researchers at AncestryProGenealogists moved into their much larger office at 324 S. State Street in Salt Lake City in September 2014, business was growing quickly, and it became evident that even that space would soon be too small. So on May 12, 2016, Ancestry will unveil a renovated addition that brings the company’s office space to 22,000 square feet.
AncestryProGenealogists, acquired by Ancestry in 2010, specializes in genealogical, forensic, DNA, and adoption research, with product offerings now including designed family stories, legacy books, and guided family history trips. Three genealogists founded the business from their separate home offices in Utah in 1998, and 18 years later the business employs 90 people, some working in San Francisco, Dublin, and London offices serving 1,400 active clients total.
According to Senior Director Toni Sears, this expansion in resources means the company can serve more customers in new ways. Since researchers collaborate, sharing expertise in various geographical areas and record collections, she said each client of AncestryProGenealogists taps into the greatest think tank of genealogy professionals found in any one place in the world.
“The researchers are so passionate about what they do, and I’ve never been in an environment where what people do day to day is so directly tied to the success of the company,” she said. “Seeing how it actually affects people when they get this story delivered to them—it’s exciting.”
It can be life-changing for clients to discover who they are and where they come from. Rather than a mere contract, they seek a customized client experience. Danamichele Brennen, General Manager of AncestryProGenealogists, has a track record of successfully transforming businesses that provide professional services, magnifying the depth of their brand. “We have the very best specialists in the world who can work together to make that client journey richer and tell their unique story,” Brennen said.
AncestryProGenealogists joined the SLC Chamber of Commerce in 2016 to further engage with the community. The company’s location near record collections at the LDS Family History Library makes research convenient, while underscoring the city’s unique offerings in the field.
“We are a significant employer here, not to mention an organization that is rooted in a very important part of Salt Lake City’s history as a leader in genealogy resources,” Brennen said.
As sales of AncestryDNA test kits continue to skyrocket, clients benefit from the largest consumer genomics database in the world. Clients also have access to online records by using Ancestry’s subsidiaries Find A Grave, Newspapers.com, and Fold3 (military records). Interest in family history research has never been higher, as evidenced by popular genealogy tracing TV shows like “Who Do You Think You Are?” Research for that show is done largely by AncestryProGenealogists.
Kory Meyerink, one of the company’s founders, says AncestryProGenealogists researchers get better at serving customers’ needs all the time, and this expansion proves that. “It’s exciting, because with more resources, more clients, more employees, we can provide more answers to people, and that’s what it’s all about—giving people answers to their questions about their families,” he said.
The company plans to hire ten more employees in 2016. And as more questions are answered, more clients seek to share their discoveries.
“We are seeing more clients who want to leave their family history as a legacy, and they want to have something documented to share with future generations,” Sears said. “I think more and more people are finding it valuable to share their family story.”
Ancestry ProGenealogists invites the public to a ribbon-cutting event at 12 p.m. on Thursday, May 12, 2016, at 324 South State Street in Salt Lake City.
A Business After Hours event hosted by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce will be held at the Peery Hotel (110 West Broadway, Salt Lake City) on Thursday, May 26, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Professional genealogists will make short presentations on DNA technology and the popular TLC show “Who Do You Think You Are?” Click here to register to attend the event.
About the Author
As lead writer at AncestryProGenealogists, Erika Manternach writes family stories and legacy books for clients who have ordered professional research. She crafted the company’s process of writing customized narratives based on genealogical research findings. Erika spent the first 10 years of her career as a TV news anchor, reporter, and producer, and also taught journalism for six years in Draper, Utah.