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Butch Grier & Patricia Ripley - Owners

Butch Grier was raised in Oklahoma and GREW up quickly in the Marine Corps". After serving proudly in Vietnam (69), he set off to chase that dream that at the age of 12 he said to his dad Ray "someday I'll be doing that". He started in the early 70's living that dream

traveling with The Tournament of Thrills Mustang Auto Daredevil's (The show his dad had taken him to) & the Super Star's Auto Thrill Show. Crashing cars....why???.  Ironically his first job in NYC was as a monitor for an open call for "The Bugs Bunny Follies" at the Showcase Studios (56th & 8th Ave.) As a stuntman he had no idea what a rehearsal studio was.  NOW THE KING OF REHEARSAL SPACE!...FATE?? After years of doing stunts, acting, directing, dancing (ha),and producing off Broadway, finds himself a very fortunate guy to be able to have lived a dream! Every day gets better & better!! THANKS NEW YORK CITY!!!!


Patricia Ripley was born in Newark, N. J., grew up on the Jersey Shore, and attended Monmouth College, (now Monmouth University), in West Long Branch N. J. She worked "down the Shore" as a bartender and nightclub manager in Asbury Park. She was instrumental in discovering Bruce Springsteen, and introduced him to, and worked for, his first manager and produced his first concert. She was one of the pioneers of the music scene in Asbury Park and the "Shore". She worked in the music business for 5 years. After moving to Manhattan, she changed careers to become a fitness instructor at the Lotte Berk Method Studios on the East side. She worked as an instructor and assistant manager there for 7 years.

In 1982, with a partner, she opened a studio on West 72nd Street on the West side of Manhattan called Creative Energy Studios; and taught fitness classes for 2 years. In 1984 she became the manager of the West Side Studios on West 72nd Street, and ran it from 1984 to 1987. She started her own fitness company in 1987 called Fitness Concepts for LIfe. That same year she and Butch took over the ownership of the West Side Studios and renamed it the West 72nd Street Studios. She and Butch acquired another location and changed the name of the company to New York Spaces, Inc., of which she is the president. In 1999 she and Butch adopted the lovely Jean-Michelle and at the same time built and opened the Ripley-Grier Studios. After 10 years of expansion at that location they are now the owners of the largest rehearsal space facility in the world. In June of 2003 she graduated from the Metropolitan Institute's one year Feng Shui program, and designed Ripley-Grier IV using those principles.

In the fall of 2003 she and Butch decided to expand to another field in the entertainment business and began Jean-Michelle Productions to produce a play which is now "The Deep Song" musical play. After two successful workshops the play is ready to progress to bigger venues. She continues to teach fitness classes and has for over 30 years. She is looking forward to a great 2010.

Jean Michelle Ripley-Grier
Jean-Michelle Ripley-Grier was born in 1999 and it was only a matter of time before her training for a life in show business began. At the tender age of 6 months “Jeannie” (As the fourteen year old young lady now calls herself) put on her entertainers cap and started sharing her gifts with the world. Her hyphenated name fits her hyphenated life very well. Jeannie is an aspiring Actor-Ballet Dancer-Brownie-Tap Dancer-Pianist-Jokester-Traveler-Vegetarian. The world is her oyster, and she’s going to gently pry it open, look inside admiring its beauty, and then set it free so someone else can enjoy it too.
Shayne Grier - Sales Associate
I love my wife and four beautiful children with all my heart. They are the fire that keeps me striving to be the best I can be every single day. I am also truly thankful for all my friends and family who have supported me in the pursuit of all my dreams, no matter how big or small. I believe there is no such thing as failure as long as you learn from the mistakes you make and keep pursuing what makes you happy. Love, laugh, live, and never give up.
Michael Dimen - Managing Director
Michael Dimen was born in the Bronx and raised in Long Island. When Michael came to work for Ripley-Grier studios several years ago it was primarily as an IT guy, but the management soon realized that his experience far exceeded that of a computer geek. Fairly rapidly his services became more essential and he was given the title of Managing Director, as well as full-time status. When Michael isn't fixing a computer or conjuring up a project he loves sailing, photography, and sharing his dry sarcastic wit with the world.  His lovely and wonderful wife Kelly Taylor, and his beautiful daughter, Abigail, fill out his live with joy.
Stas Iavorski - General Manager
Stas Iavorski was raised in Latvia and moved to New York City in 1995. He began working at Ripley-Grier Studios in 1999, and quickly moved up the ladder to become General Manager. He believes his dedication and commitment to his staff and clients are the reason for his success as well as the success of the company. Stas enjoys working with the diverse community of artists and achievers that are his clientele.
John Norman - Operations Director

John has been with Ripley-Grier since '99. He enjoys his work at RG as a respite from his full-time position as Daddy to his two boys, Jack (9) and Isaac (7). John is founder and owner of CAST events, which creates workshops and classes for actors at RG's 520 location. John is also Vocal Director for Theatre Group Dzieci, RG's Theatre Company in Residence, and a songwriter with 2 solo EPs out on his own label, and a third in production. Other interests include going to the zoo, building tents in the livingroom, making pancakes, and high-stakes games of hide-and-seek. www.CASTeventsNYC.com

Tatiana Marnette - Bookkeeper
Originally from Donetsk, Ukraine, Tatiana has been working at Ripley-Grier since 1996. She studied Accounting at Baruch College.  Unlike the many performers here, she prefers the quiet life behind the scenes.  She loves working for Ripley-Grier very much.
Shakira Moran - Operations Coordinator

I joined the RG family in 2006 and must say it is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I started off as a customer service rep and have moved up to the Operations Manager/ Assistant Human Resource manager. While working at Ripley Grier Studios I have completed 2 degrees and started 4 businesses; something that I don't think I could have done at any other company. The support and love that is given her is mind blowing, which is why I am still here. I am proud to call Ripley Grier not just my job, but my home.
Graham McCarty - Marketing Manager / Graphic Designer


Jim Ku - Senior Booking Agent
Affectionately called "Jim" by his co-workers hails from Troy, MI . He moved to NYC in '96'...um...hi mom!
Jorge Rojas - 939 Eighth Avenue Studios Manager
I have been with Ripley-Grier Studios since 1989."The longest working employee".  Butch, Patricia and Jean Michelle have taken me in as family. They are the kindest, most generous and most Loving People in New York City . It would be impossible to thank them enough for my good fortune.
Cynthia Ramos - 72nd Street Studios Manager

 Originally from Florida, I have been with Ripley Grier for 3 years and moved to the big apple to continue and refine my opera training.

  New York has been a beautiful learning experience full of hard work, determination and joy. The experiences, lessons and people I've come across thanks to working here have been a tremendous force in my evolution as a human being and musician.  I am truly grateful to Butch and Patricia for the wonderful opportunity of managing their 72nd street location and to all of the amazing, hardworking, warm, talented, kind and sincere RG staff and clients I've come to befriend, thus far. <3
Charlie Sawyer - Customer Service Associate
Charlie hails from Plymouth New Hampshire where Winters are cold, people are friendly, and everyone knows your name. After a brief stint in Hawaii...where there isn't Winter as we know it, he landed here in NYC and is extremely pleased to be in the cultural center of the Universe. He enjoys independent film, good theatre, mountain climbing, working out, and anything healthy that challenges the mind and taxes the body. Charlie is happy to be at Ripley-Grier where the rotating dessert tray of human traffic through the front door makes each day different and fun.
Eman Abdalla - Customer Service Associate
My name is Eman, but my nickname is Emi. I am palastinian and I was born & raised in Kuwait, Indonesia. I have been settled in the USA since 1997. My son is 19 years old and is getting ready to attend a university. My family is my life. I have 6 brothers and sisters and 26 nieces and nephews, and I love them like no other. Ripley Grier is the only place I've worked in that really makes me laugh from my heart and feels like a family. They allow you to be who you are and do what you want with respect and love.
Noe Rojas - Customer Service Associate
Pamela Jean Agaloos - Customer Service Associate
Pamela Jean Agaloos was born in Chicago and spent her early years on a Naval base in Adak, Alaska. Not wanting to spend their lives on an island in cold climate right next to Russia (in the Cold War), her parents decided to retire from the Navy and move the whole family to Manila where “Peejay” grew up. In spite of being a third culture kid growing up elsewhere, she credits her neutral American accent to “too much television” and her vague Queens, New York accent to “aggression and grief.” At various points in her life, Pamela Jean taught college level literature, managed a hair salon, wrote and edited a magazine, and put makeup on the faces of wedding clients and co-actors. All of that would come and go but she would sing the paint off the walls in local musical theater productions and showcases. In 2011, she started over in New York where its skyline hangs like a bejewelled and jagged guillotine over everyone who has ever hoped and dreamed. It didn’t take long to figure out what she needed to do and so in 2014 she graduated from the Musical Theater program at the New York Film Academy. She is currently writing up a storm of stories, tragedies, histories, personal folklore, and family legends that have yet to be staged. You can read what she has to say in redmaryjane.tumblr.com
Rose Milan - Cafe Manager
Born and raised in NYC, Rosey is a graduate of St. Jean's High School and attended Fordham University.  She loves football, building model railroad displays and feeding people because it makes them happy.
Jerry Over - Cafe Staff
Born in Honolulu this man's man soon found himself deeply and profoundly interested in the arts. He left his home on the island and traveled to the more “well known” America to attend the North Carolina School of the Arts. Jerry also achieved his BA from the University of Denver and loves to share his brilliant and twisted philosophy on life with all the patrons that visit him every night at the Cafe Oasis.
Kristin Dawn-Dumas - Accounts Receivable
Kristin is an actor, dance, visual-artist extraordinaire, hailing from Detroit, Michigan. She made her move to NYC right after graduating with her BFA to pursue a career in the performing arts and to grow and develop the way that a true artist should. Born in the mellow month of September, she enjoys the simple things: relaxing on the beach with a good book, listening to music, and writing plays and short stories. She has been with Ripley-Grier Studios since November 2014, and has loved every minute of it. If there's anything that the Big Apple has taught her, it's that perseverance is key, and that it's always darkest before it's dawn.
Eddie Pancham - Facilities Supervisor
Bio Coming Soon!
Francisco - Cleaning Staff

I have been working for Ripley-Grier Studios since 1998. I feel happy working for Patricia Ripley and Butch Grier.
Filimon - Cleaning Staff

I work at Ripley-Grier studios at 939 Eight Avenue. I'm in charge of the cleaning at that location and now the building at 939 hired me to be in charge of the entire building!!  I'm very happy to work here with all the other employees at RG. I have a wife and a son name Rene Salas. I think that Ms. Patricia and Mr. Butch are best bosses I have ever met and I'm happy to work for them.
Pancho Villa and the gang - Cleaning Staff

Pancho Villa and his "WINDEX BANDIT'S" crossed over the Rio Grande years ago. All on a mission to invade our territory so they could start sending some GREEN BACKS back home to their families in Mexico. They all set up encampments in the outer boro's. EVERY single morning they are up before the break up dawn to ride into town...sometimes together sometimes alone. Once they make it across the river they spread out ..some ride uptown ...some downtown.Once they get to their pre-assigned destinations they storm the buildings and MOP up the whole place leaving not one toilet seat un touched. They move from room to room making sure that there is ORDER. Once they have accomplished their objective they pack up and head back to their hacienda to put their feet up and break out the CERVESA & DORITO'S and watch SOCCER ALL NIGHT!!!! What a LIFE!!!!! PS: Pancho.. third from the left..drink in hand!
Shirley & Jeanette - Instructors Patricia Ripley Fitness

Jeanette & Shirley started taking Yoga classes from "Butch" Grier in 1994. We enjoyed his classes (and his personality) so much, that we faithfully came every Saturday morning to take his class. Now we substitute for Butch, on Saturday mornings, when he and Patricia are out of town. We use to be in a modern dance company and we also take ballet classes when our work schedules are not too hectic.

We both work in the back offices of banks (Corporate and Retail). We feel like family, to Butch & Patricia, as we remember holding Jean-Michelle in our arms when she was only 2 weeks old.

Webmaster: Musa Sonmez