BRG's Brands Expansion Leads to Welcoming New Team Talent
BRG and all its brands have been expanding both geographically and with talent. We've been very busy over the last month or so with resume reviews, interviews, hiring, and onboarding. Now, we’re thrilled to introduce a large handful of new BRGers to you — from New England to Texas and everywhere in between.
BRG - CORPORATE
BRG’s marketing communications department is expanding with several new hires for growth marketing / digital marketing, graphic design, and AuctionNinja customer support.
Angela Trapasso is BRG's new head of growth marketing. Although Angela’s chief focus will be growing the AuctionNinja brand, she will also have some crossover responsibilities, as needed, for the other BRG Brands. She will be telecommuting with us from Boston, MA.
Angela is a dynamic marketer with over a decade of experience building winning approaches for disruptive startups and established global brands across a wide range of categories; including online marketplaces, retail and B2B technology. She is an expert at crafting omni-channel strategies that blend earned and owned content, digital advertising, and SEO fundamentals to improve brand awareness, stimulate engagement, drive lead generation and revenue growth.
Prior to joining BRG/AuctionNinja, she led the national digital marketing practice at InkHouse, a leading PR firm in the US and also served as VP at Terakeet, an enterprise SEO and content marketing agency where she led client strategy and innovation of the company’s industry-leading content and influencer marketing product. She graduated from the State University of New York at Oswego with a degree in public relations.
In her free time she loves to travel (temporarily filling the void with lots of travel documentaries), is obsessed with finding and restoring pre-loved furniture and is a wannabe watercolor artist. She is originally from Syracuse, NY and currently resides with her boyfriend, Matt.
Alexis Fortuna Caoili
Next, comes our new graphic designer, Alexis Fortuna Caoili. She began a few weeks ago and has completely jumped into the projects assigned to her. Alexis has been in the graphic design and digital marketing industry for nearly 10 years and will be telecommuting from the “Buckeye State,” Ohio.
When she isn't chasing her passion for design, she loves to travel the world to see new places, people, and things. She has quite a few collections, including victorian and Georgian jewelry, memorabilia from the 1893 World's Fair, and everything Halloween-ish. Alexis is always ready for the next adventure and is excited to join the Black Rock Galleries team!
BRG - RALEIGH
Our Raleigh location is also growing. As a result, we are pleased to announce the arrival of Preston.
The BRG-Raleigh operations has a new warehouse and cataloging associate, Preston Smith. Born in Virginia and raised in North Carolina, Preston attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. His professional journey began in restaurants and hospitality, but later transitioned into warehousing, logistics, and the construction industry. Preston has spent the last eight years in warehousing , transportation, and distribution environments - two of which were spent as a supervisor for a growing home delivery company.
He is an avid sports fan and loves to watch and attend football, basketball, and hockey games. He is also a reseller and has been buying, selling, and/or flipping furniture and other consumer items he sources via estate sales, auctions, storage units, liquidation pallets, etc. Preston has been enjoying his time at Black Rock Galleries thus far and looks forward to meeting and working with the rest of the team.
BRG - DALLAS
And in our newest location, Dallas, our general manager, Lisa, is steadily building her team. While we don’t have their photos (yet), we’d like to introduce several new Lone Star State BRGers including….
Lauren Morgan is our new cataloger for the much anticipated Dallas location. She began her online estate sale auction career five years ago as an organizer and cataloger who helped people minimize their clutter and relinquish their treasures. Her ability to hone-in on precious jewelry and her affinity for gemstones led her to a specialization in the sale of precious articles. Over the course of her career, Lauren has processed thousands of loose stones, diamonds, and jewelry from antique pieces to modern.
Lauren is a long-time resident of Dallas, with several years spent at Texas State University in Austin. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary study of family and consumer science and mass communications. Prior to entering the estate realm, Lauren followed a diverse career path including spa management, bakery management, wholesale retail, as well as seven years running after school and summer programs with YMCA childcare services. No matter the industry or field, Lauren’s goal has always been to make a difference and help people.
In her spare time, Lauren enjoys her time with her boyfriend, Nick, and their football-catching terrier-weenie dog, Murray. She loves to laugh, watch reality television or foreign mystery series, and read. Her love of travel has taken her to much of the U.S., Europe, and even a small move to Mexico. Lauren hopes her knowledge and travels will take her places where she can hunt and dig for gemstones in the near future.
Jose Herrera is BRG’s newest photographer and is based in Dallas. Originally from Los Angeles, Jose and his family moved to Texas when he was six — he really doesn’t know why — and he has been there since.
Art has always been important to Jose — even as a student, he would skip class to go to the art room and draw. He says that art “was a much as a part of me as being awake.” He received his first set of oil paints, brushes, and canvases around his 14th birthday and dabbled in landscapes. He is self-taught through use of books and watching other artists. In high school, one of his long-time art teachers encouraged Jose to try something new, something beyond sketching and painting — photography. With her encouragement, Jose picked-up a camera and began snapping. He has been shooting photos ever since.
Upon graduating high school, Jose worked in restaurants and factories for a couple of years and then at a pizza shop for almost ten years, saving his money. Between his hard work and determination to hone his photography skills, he was eventually able to attend the Art Institute of Dallas, pay for the necessary supplies, and everything else he needed to fuel his career. At the time, his goal was to create fine art photos for galleries and study film as well. Meanwhile, having a paying job also allowed Jose to pick-up the slack when he first started photography and when his photography was not paying the bills. Holding a handful of jobs to supplement his photography career, he eventually joined EBTH in 2018. After they moved out of the region, Jose returned to working for himself and rebuilding his clientele. Then BRG moved into the Dallas area, where Jose is now the product photographer.
A consummate student of the arts, Jose continues to learn, thanks to YouTube, about the film industry, painting and drawing techniques, and photography. He does not believe he will ever stop learning about art — it is that embedded in him. He claims the only other thing he knows more about is pizza. In his free time, Jose hopes to shoot food photography for restaurants, as well as street photography for use in magazines or galleries. He would also love to sell prints of his street work along with some of his watercolors through his online store.
CLEARING HOUSE ESTATE SALES
Our Clearing House Estate Sales brand (CHES) is busier than ever, so it should be no surprise that our customer service team needed to expand. That expansion includes our newest customer service specialist, James Haes.
CHES now has a newbie under its belt as well. We are pleased to introduce James Haes. James is a New Jersey native who recently relocated to Connecticut after graduating from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications. His multi-faceted background and experience ranges from copywriting and television production to sales and marketing.
When he’s not on the clock at Clearing House, he might be found reading, writing, and exploring the great outdoors with his dog.
AuctionNinja has been very busy with new vendors and plenty of new auction listings. COVID-19 has sped up that growth exponentially. We've needed skilled talent to help us as AuctionNinja continues to grow for quite a while and we'd like to introduce....
We've hired a customer support and onboarding specialist for AuctionNinja, Ciana Dennedy. Ciana begins this week and will learn the ins and outs of the AuctionNinja system. Ultimately, she will be responsible for helping licensees (and potential licencees) learn about AuctionNinja, onboard with the AuctionNinja platform, as well as liaise between the varieties of day-to-day service issues that may arise. Ciana spent eight years in the restaurant and customer service industry, before joining with AuctionNinja. She is currently studying marketing at Sacred Heart University, with a focus on consumer behavior. She was born and raised in the San Francisco area, moved to Ireland, and now resides in Black Rock, CT. She is ready to "hit the ground running" on the AuctionNinja front.
Beyond work, Ciana is passionate about sustainable interior design and spends most of her free time antiquing and thrifting! She is a true foodie, an avid beach go-er, and loves to travel.