Meet our people: Operations

Kat Amano

Kat Amano

Operations

Kat's official role at Emma is Coordinator of All Things Creative, which means she's an über project manager for everything from website copy to template design schedules and even Emma's giving back efforts. Her slightly less official role is Complete Badass, which means she is a complete badass. Examples of Kat's badassery include: 1) Having a tattoo of the Samurai code of conduct; 2) Do we really need to have a number two? 3) Didn't think so. Kat grew up going to Comic-Con International with her dad (who himself writes and designs comic books) and loves that art form. She also loves cookies and has estimated that she has a 3:1 cookie-eating ratio, relative to the average person. Therefore, she has extrapolated that if that average person eats 30,000 cookies in his lifetime, Kat will have eaten 90,000. Take that, average person! Also, it's important to note that Kat is a martial arts enthusiast (see earlier note re: badassery), so proceed with caution if you plan to challenge the merits of the 90,000-cookie plan.


Erica Biehl

Erica Biehl

Operations

"Excel is my jam," Erica says, which begs the question: Is Excel an acceptable item to claim as one's jam? We thought candidates for jam status were limited to things like craft beers and Daft Punk songs. But for Erica, it's Excel, which is not surprising, since Erica is our billing manager and therefore frequently uses/jams with Excel. She joined Emma after 12 years in the legal field and holds a degree in interior design from MTSU. She also claims not to like butter, leading us to believe that Erica either enjoys eating extremely dry toast or from time to time declares that actual jellies and preserves are her jam.


Patrick Block

Patrick Block

Operations

Patrick is Emma's director of financial planning and analysis, crunching the all-important numbers and dropping in-the-know phrases like "How's that P&L?" and, "We'll see what the balance sheet has to say about that" on unsuspecting colleagues and office passersby. He honed those financial analystisizing chops at several fine companies pre-Emma, including Nashville-based Healthways, Health Net, and Tommy Hilfiger. Which might explain his penchant for wearing virtually nothing but Hilfiger clothing. (Note to Victoria's Secret: Thanks for not hiring Patrick Block.) An avid bike rider — ahem, cyclist — Patrick is also a three-time bocce champion (take that, you two-trophy pretenders), skier and rock climber. He holds a degree in Arts, Business and Chinese (in that order) from Trinity University in San Antonio and speaks conversational Mandarin. And he reportedly fashions his own notebooks out of large binder clips and paper. It's more freakish than it sounds.


Ryan Hargraves

Ryan Hargraves

Business Data Analyst

Ryan, a.k.a. "Girl Ryan," is our business data analyst. A part of our operations team, she turns soul-crushing Excel spreadsheets into exciting business opportunities. She earned her masters degree in industrial and organizational psychology from George Mason University before working as a statistician at Vanderbilt. By this time, you're already assuming that Ryan spends her spare time organizing her scientific calculators by serial number or enthusiastically posting in math forums under the handle just_the_fact0rials!_maam. In truth, she's a serial hobbyist with a wide variety of creative interests, including knitting, sewing and even dabbling in painting (literally, one assumes). She once created something called a Kransekake, which is either a Norwegian wedding cake or some kind of advanced Excel function involving factorials. We'll check out some math forums online and let you know.


Beccah Hartman

Beccah Hartman

Billing Coordinator

Beccah lives in Nashville with her husband, two kids, and pet rabbit. This rabbit's name is, uh, "Rabbit." Since she was vastly overqualified for our position as Coordinator of Giving Stuff Super Obvious Names, she accepted a role as our billing coordinator. After stints at SunTrust and Metova, a mobile app company, she brings her considerable banking and software experience to Emma's operations team. She also brings her considerable love of Lionel Richie to the table, a love she claims is unironic. This seems like one of those things that maybe started out ironic but became legitimately compelling at some point along the way, like using Emojis or watching a Nicolas Cage movie. Hold up, guys: a movie in which Nic Cage has to save America -- using only Emojis! Oh man, this can't miss. Note to the Hollywood producer who is green-lighting this: for the soundtrack, contact Lionel Richie.


Kinney Littlejohn, Jr.

Kinney Littlejohn, Jr.

Operations

Kinney is our bookkeeper, serving on our operations team. A Tennessee State University grad, Kinney majored in Economics and Finance and (rather appropriately) served as vice president of the Economics and Finance Club, known for their wild parties where “wild” is typically replaced by “math.” In the working world, Kinney has spent time at FedEx, Comcast and Bank of America, and he spent six years as a Navy jet mechanic based out of Jacksonville and Italy. He loves travel, reading, running, movies and tomatoes, which you probably didn't expect to see after “movies” but there it is. Kinney will always ask for extra tomatoes on his sandwich or extra pico de gallo on his burrito, and if it's some sort of sandwich-burrito you might see a slightly confused look on Kinney's face for just a moment. Kinney also loves to laugh but is admittedly terrible at jokes. It's sort of like the cobbler whose family has no shoes, but on second thought not really at all like that.


Sara McManigal

Sara McManigal

Operations

Sara is our director of talent, helping us find, woo, hire and then nurture the rockstars who make up Emma's staff. Sara is also from Nebraska, which means she often regales prospective candidates and longtime colleagues and pretty much anyone within shouting distance with Nebraska-related trivia. Did you know, for instance, they have a replica of Stonehenge made out of cars? It's called Carhenge, and we didn't make that up. Sara wields a degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University, where she was a member of the (nationally ranked) Belmont Speech and Debate Team and the Belmont Service Corp and the Student Advisory Board and president of her student council in high school. It really is amazing what you can learn about people when you actually read all the way to the bottom of their resumés.


Christine McPherson

Christine McPherson

Operations

Christine is our talent community manager and in-house champion of brunch. Brunch, with its permissive stance on pre-noon drinking and heavy focus on cured meats and gooey bread thingies, perhaps did not need a champion, but it has Christine nonetheless. She is also quite crafty. In the time it's taken us to write this, she has probably hand-crocheted a half-dozen mimosa koozies AND performed her monthly hot glue gun maintenance. Before Emma, Christine worked in new student programs at East Tennessee State University, where she also holds a degree in Brunch Studies with a minor in Savory Quiches. Just kidding, guys! Her minor was actually Omelets.


Reggie Murray

Reggie Murray

Operations

Reggie is part of Emma's IT Operations team, taking good care of things like computers, and phones, and networks, and networked computer phones, and possibly even phones that have computer networks built right into the espresso machine connector flange. What will they think of next? In addition to his work with office machinery, Reggie also works with several musical instruments, chief among them the saxophone — he’s opened for jazz great Larry Carlton and played with Bonnie Raitt. He's so musically inclined, in fact, that he keeps a Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart action figure on his desk, although we're struggling to see where the action part happens unless you can reenact entire concerts because you own the complete set of Viennese Imperial Court Action Figures in which case, dude, that's amazing, because we made it up just now. Reggie received his Bachelors of Music Education from Loyola University (New Orleans) and his Masters of Music from the University of New Orleans.


Priya Pappu

Priya Pappu

Office Coordinator

Priya is our office coordinator, having joined Emma after earning her marketing degree from Lipscomb University. If you visit the Emma headquarters in Nashville (and we're next to a bowling alley, so why wouldn't you), you'll see Priya's cheerful face at the front desk when you come in. But don't be fooled by her charm and bubbly wit: there's a dark side to Priya. She enjoys showtunes. She is an avid player of table tennis. She loves cupcakes and confesses a sincere weakness for anything heart-shaped. It's all pretty macabre, folks, and perhaps we should have realized what a disturbed individual Priya is when, one day, she brought in homemade gingersnaps and played Celine Dion Christmas songs, all while wearing a red sweater with a pink heart on it. The horror.