Meet Our Team
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 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 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.
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.
Ron supports telecom and internet providers with selling DIRECTV video services. He manages internet service provider accounts and 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.
AT&T Summit Award for Outstanding Sales Performance - 2009
AT&T Circle of Excellence Award for Outstanding Sales Performance - 2003
Justin Roland is a Senior Director for ResearchFirst, Inc. with responsibility for Internet Service Provider and MDU relationships. Justin has over 15 years of experience in customer service, sales, marketing, and employee management. Prior to joining RFI, Justin owned and operated two successful small businesses giving him extensive knowledge of management and business best practices. Since his time at RFI, Justin and his team have successfully launched and onboarded multiple video products for a Fortune 500 company.
Justin holds a BSBA degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. He lives in Gulfport, MS with his wife Laura.
H.R. & Training
Missy Grillo supports our Client Account 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
Chantele joined our team in January of 2022 as our HR Admin. She is responsible for various HR duties, including payroll, benefits, onboarding, and employee travel management.
Chantele graduated from William Carey College with honors in Business Administration, emphasis in Marketing and Management. Upon graduation, she worked for Triton Systems as an Account Manager responsible for building sales and maintaining customer relationships.
Following her career at Triton, she provided sales and marketing to the medical community. She won various sales awards during this time.
Today, Chantele is not only a member of our ResearchFirst team, but she and her husband also run a small construction business in Gulfport, MS. They have a daughter in her sophomore year at Mississippi State University.
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.
Lead Client Account Manager
Dana supports broadband and telecom providers selling DIRECTV video services in national and international call centers and retail markets. Dana brings experience in hiring, training, and managing sales teams.
Before joining RFI, she was the Director of Resource Development at TeleNet Marketing Solutions where she was responsible for all new hire training and talent development. Dana holds certification as a Call Technique and Sales Skills instructor.
Dana has a degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia. She lives in Greenville, SC.
Lead Client Account Manager
Christina supports broadband and telecom providers selling DIRECTV video services in national and international call centers and retail markets.
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.
Lead Client Account Manager
Gennaro (Genn) supports broadband and telecom providers selling DIRECTV video services in national and international call centers and retail markets.
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.
Business Development Manager
Clarissa Harms serves as the ISP Growth Support 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 graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's in Business Administration in Personnel Management. She currently lives in Birmingham, AL. She has also been a dedicated volunteer with her church for over 20 years.
Client Support Administrator
Leighann serves as our Client Support Administrator, providing direct support for RFI’s various cliental.
Prior to joining ResearchFirst, Leighann worked as an event planner for Stars and Strikes call center. She also served as a special education teacher for 6 years, and served as a technology consultant and training facilitator.
Leighann received a Bachelor’s degree in Developmental Psychology from Georgia Gwinnett College. She lives in Georgia with her husband and daughter.
Client Account Manager
Nick is a Client Account Manager, joining our team in May 2022. Nick supports broadband and telecom providers selling DIRECTV video services in national and international call centers and retail markets.
Before RFI, Nick served as National Sales and Marketing Manager Nickles (USA), LLC. Additionally, Nick served as General Manager and Corporate Trainer at Mystery Escape Rooms. He began his career at Lane Two Entertainment, LLC, where he became the youngest ever Events Manager and Corporate Trainer.
Nick graduated from Georgia Gwinnett College with honors, majoring in Marketing. Nick resides in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
Digital Support Specialist
Nicole serves as our Digital Support Specialist, providing IT support to the RFI team and web design for ResearchFirst, Inc. Academy (RFIA).
In her first several months, Niki has improved ResearchFirst’s digital learning platform (RFIAcademy) and created branding and visuals for internal and external projects. In addition, she has strengthened our company’s awareness and response to security threats and social media policies.
Prior to joining ResearchFirst, she brings technical experience as a Technical Writer for Micron Technology Inc. and as an Administrative Assistant at her alma mater where she developed creative content across social media platforms.
Nicole received an Associate's degree in Information Systems Technology with a concentration in Cloud Computing & Certificate in Graphic Communications from Germanna Community College. She resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and son.
Client Account Assistant
Gabe serves as our Client Account Assistant, providing the ResearchFirst, Inc. Academy (RFIA) support with content management, tracking and reporting, and the LiveChat feature.
Gabe graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi in May 2022 with a BSBA in Marketing. He was an active leader in his fraternity, Kappa Sigma. He lives in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.