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.


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 Emma's office coordinator. She's typically the first person to arrive at Emma each day, and because of that the second to arrive is usually our good friend Coffee. Without Coffee, mornings, and talking to people, would be difficult. Without Christine, pretty much everything else would be. Christine is highly organized yet also highly crafty — not in a wouldn't-trust-my-toddler-with-her crafty, but actual makes-cool-stuff-with-yarn-and-things crafty. Actual crafts. She owns a Japanese screen-printing kit and makes custom cards and t-shirts, and she quilts with her grandmother. We might as well have just said that cute kittens and bunnies made of velvet are having a heart-shaped pillow fight — it's the same awwwwwww, isn't it? Thought so. Anyway, you'd like Christine's grandmother.


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.


Art Quanstrom

Art Quanstrom

Operations

Art doesn't eat dinner. He's also Emma's email delivery specialist, but we thought the not-eating-dinner part was a stronger lead. Originally from Atlanta, Art is a drummer who once played a show in Jellico, Tennessee, where he was forced, at gunpoint, to continue playing until 3 a.m. Note: If your band ever decides the road to glory goes through Jellico, Tennessee, you should apparently quit that band. Art is against mayonnaise, radishes and sandals (most of all Crocs) but for The Police and, to a lesser extent, Sting’s solo work. Other extents that lessened: Phil Collins, Don Henley, Glenn Frey and, okay, pretty much everyone once in The Eagles. Art is a graduate of MTSU and, prior to joining Emma, helped manage a studio that produced commercial jingles, not to be confused with the solo work of Don Henley. Oh, and Art secretly dreams of besting Jules Verne’s circumnavigationary (it’s a word) efforts by one day, you know, just to stick it to Jules Verne.


Scott Sears

Scott Sears

Operations

Scott is Emma's Vice President of Client Experience, and though we know his first name (Scott) and his last name (Sears), there remains a mysterious shroud of sorts around his middle name (Murgatroyd?). Still, Scott ______ Sears boasts an impressive Nashville resume, as one of the owners of the city’s original ISP, Telalink, and now as co-owner of the fabulous Nashville restaurant Flyte, known for its great selections of wine, its commitment to locally grown food, and its utterly kick-ass (to use industry terminology) dishes. Scott’s Flyte co-owner is also named Scott (middle name Eaton), and the two Scotts not only formed a restaurant together but also formed a band, Room 101, back in the day. Room 101 was apparently “huge in the frathouse circuit” in the mid-'90s and would have played songs by the likes of Kurt Donald Cobain, Billy Patrick Corgan and Eddie Louis Severson III, which in a joke about middle names doesn’t really work at all. Thanks a ton, Eddie Vedder.


Clint Smith

Clint Smith

Operations

Clint is one half of our co-founding duo and serves as Emma's CEO. Clint is a former editor with TicketMaster/CitySearch, where he honed his content and online-community-building chops before further honing those chops alongside (Emma co-founder) Will at Smallbusiness.com. What his other "chops" are, we’re not quite certain, though we're told they may include air hockey, bowling and miniature-pig-in-blanket-making, in that order. Clint is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where he majored in history and nearly minored in math. What can we say? Abstract Algebra is a bitch, man.


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