Meet Our Team

 Ellis  Hill

President & CEO

Ellis Hill founded ResearchFirst, Inc in 1987 after spending 12 years at AT&T, SCB, and BellSouth. While at BellSouth, Ellis served as a Group Product Manager and Director supporting all residential Lines of Business and market research. Prior to that, he served as the Business Product Manager, District Public Relations Manager, and Residential Product Manager. 

Prior to joining AT&T in 1976, Ellis served 5 years in the US Army. He has spent over 40 years in the telecommunications industry.

Ellis received a M.S. Degree in Business Administration from Boston University and a BSBA degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. Ellis and his wife Lynn live in Gulfport, MS. 

 Anna Gibson

Vice President

Anna Gibson joined ResearchFirst as the Vice President of Sales Operations in October, 2002. She was the former Vice President of Operations for National Consumer Markets for Qwest, where she headed a 2,000-employee/$355 million operation. Anna brings experience in training, sales and revenue improvement, operations planning, strategic planning, and systems integration.

Mrs. Anna Gibson holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Communications from the University of Montana. She resides in Phoenix, AZ with her husband Bob.

  Stan  Romero

Vice President

Stan Romero joined ResearchFirst in 2003 as the Vice President of Broadband. His career in telecom spans over 30 years and several positions in engineering, product development, and marketing at BellSouth. In his various roles, Stan was responsible for new product development, advertising and promotions, marketing, cost control, financial performance, strategy and market research. 

His current work at ResearchFirst includes research design, execution, and analysis; results benchmarking and analysis, and organization management.

 

Stan received a B.S. in Chemistry from Harding University and an MBA from the University of New Orleans. He lives in Sarasota, FL with his wife, June.

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 Lauren  Roux

Staff Director

Lauren leads the planning, coordination, and execution of all ResearchFirst events including the BMMA and CETS seminar networking events. Lauren assists in market research projects from the beginning stages of survey development to the final results presentations.

 

Prior to ResearchFirst, Lauren worked in the casino and hospitality industry and at The Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

 

Lauren earned a BA degree in Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing from the University of Southern Mississippi. She lives in Gulfport, MS.

 

  Ryan  Smith

Team Director

Ryan currently serves as a Team Director and is responsible for the accounts of ACN, Cincinnati Bell, Hawaiian Telecom, MitoTec, WOW, Frontier Communications, and Consolidated Communications, as well as new Emerging Market Dealers. He provides leadership support, sales training expertise, and operational decisions for RFI partnerships.

 

Prior to RFI, Ryan worked at Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, OH as a Reconciliation Analyst. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a BA in Accounting, MBA in Market Research, and a MS in Marketing. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT.

 

Awards:

AT&T Key Contributor Award - 2017

  Justin  Roland

Team Director

Having joined RFI in 2018, Justin brings extensive knowledge of management and business best practices. He is a Team Director responsible for supporting our Windstream partnership's call centers and retail stores nationwide. 

Justin has over 10 years of experience with Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, and Employee Management. He owned and operated two local businesses before joining ResearchFirst.

Justin earned a BSBA degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. He lives in Gulfport, MS with his wife, Laura.

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 Missy  Grillo

Senior Training & Coaching Manager

Missy Grillo supports our Territory Sales Managers with training development and delivery. She leverages best practices to improve sales training processes, content delivery, and training methods in order to support the strategic vision of RFI.

 

Missy has over 15 years of leadership experience in behavioral science, sales, and education. She has a MA degree in Special Education and a BS in Sociology from the University of Southern Maine. She currently resides in Portland, ME.

 

Certifications & Awards:

Master Trainer Certification –

Association for Talent Development

 

AT&T Most Valuable Coach Award - 2018

 Hayley  Vierling

Human Resource Manager

As the Human Resource Manager, Hayley assists in developing and implementing organizational objectives, strategies, and solutions in order to achieve operational goals. She manages talent acquisition, payroll and benefits, employee relations, and ensures adherence to legal policies & compliance.

Hayley earned a BS degree in Business with a concentration in CIS from Spring Hill College. She currently lives in Gulfport, MS where she is a member of the Gulf Coast Human Resource Association.

 

Awards:

GCHRA - HR Rising Star Award - 2020

Margaret  Raines

Staff Manager

As the RFI Staff Manager, Margaret works on government and client contracts for ResearchFirst. She assists in primary and secondary market research, benchmarking reports, business development,  & contract review.

 

Margaret brings extensive experience from marketing and consulting firms, where she performed both primary and secondary market research, relationship management promotions, and strategy development. 

She holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from Tulane University with a concentration in Consumer Behavior and a supporting concentration in International Business. She received a BS in Economics from Louisiana State University. She lives in Gulfport, MS.

Robin  Huegel

Senior Territory Sales  Manager

Robin manages the Preferred Internet Provider (PIP) partnership program with AT&T. She provides sales training and product support in both call center and retail locations nationwide.

 

Robin has 15 years of experience in sales leadership from various retail environments, including AT&T Mobility.

 

Robin graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and she is currently enrolled at Louisiana State University for her MBA in Business Marketing. She lives in Girard, OH.

Gennaro  Condemi

 

Senior Territory Sales Manager

Gennaro (Genn) supports internet and telecom providers with selling AT&T video services. He manages the accounts for Adcomm/Davis Technologies and ACN. Genn has also trained agents in national as well as international call centers for  Consolidated Communications, Frontier, and Windstream.

 

Prior to coming to the U.S. in 2013, Genn worked as an Account Manager in Italy, while gaining experience across multiple  industries in areas of finance, international marketing, sales, and customer service.

 

He graduated from the University of Florence School of Law in Italy. Genn was born and raised in Italy but now lives in Altamonte Springs, FL.

Christina  Wheeler

Senior Territory Sales Manager

Christina supports the selling of AT&T video services to telco and internet providers. She manages accounts for Windstream Communications, training agents in both retail stores and call center locations throughout the North and Southeast.

 

Before joining RFI, Christina worked with Verizon Wireless for five years in retail management. She also served eight years on active duty in the USAF, working in logistics and the medical field, while stationed in Alaska, Turkey, and the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

 

She earned her BA degree in Business from Husson University. She was born in Arizona, raised in Maine, but now lives in Charlotte, NC.

Ronald  Andrews

Senior Territory Sales  Manager

Ronald supports telecom and internet providers with selling AT&T video services. He manages the accounts of Consolidated Communications, Frontier Communications, and WOW. He also supports AT&T TV with their Emerging Markets.

 

Ron has previous experience working for AT&T as a Retail Account Executive where  he managed indirect retail locations. He began his telco career supporting wireless sales for AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, DIRECTV, and Dish Network.

 

Ron earned his BA in Marketing. from Saint Joseph’s College. He lives in Portland, ME.

 

Awards:

AT&T Summit Award for Outstanding Sales Performance - 2009

AT&T Circle of Excellence Award for Outstanding Sales Performance - 2003

Stephen  Blackburn

 

Senior Territory Sales Manager

Stephen has worked in the multi-channel video delivery industry for almost 30 years, with such companies as Turner Broadcasting, DIRECTV, ATT, and Viasat. Much of his professional experience was spent as an account manager for national retail partners, (including Best Buy and Walmart), where he provided sales training, in-store merchandising, marketing and promotional development.

Stephen currently supports the selling of AT&T video services to telco and internet providers, managing accounts for Windstream Communications.

 

Stephen graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts. He  lives in Atlanta, GA with his wife Jan and their daughters, Isabel and Emily.

Clarissa  Harms

Business Development Manager

Clarissa Harms serves as the Business Development Manager for ResearchFirst. She joined the RFI team after a diverse career in telecommunications, customer relations, sales, and training. She worked as a Retail Sales Executive for HBO where she  developed relationships with targeted cable system operators to increase sales of HBO and Cinemax.

 

Clarissa brings experience from product & employee training, customer service, inventory management, internal auditing, sales, and merchandising strategies. She has also been a dedicated volunteer with her church for over 20 years.

 

Clarissa graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's in Business Administration in Personnel Management. She currently lives in Birmingham, AL.