Welcome Jenna Rae!
We’re expanding relatively quickly around here, and, while opening new territories is awesome, we’ve recognized the fact that we need someone to help maintain the ones we have. While the sales managers out in the field are great at what they do, it’s a good idea to have someone on staff to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
Enter Jenna Rae Rohana.
“She’s got a great personality,” says Director of Sales Bill Zaninelli. “She’s tremendously business savvy, a hard worker, and she has a proven track record of positive results in her career. It doesn’t hurt that she’s got a lot of local ties and loves Cape May Brewing Company.”
Welcome Jenna Rae!
Born and raised in Cape May, Jenna Rae’s spent most of her life here, save for the four years she spent at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, as an Equine Business Management and Riding major.
“It’s definitely a growing thing,” she says. “When I was applying for schools, it was definitely few and far between, but you’re seeing it more often.”
There aren’t many schools with the major — most are in the equine-rich areas of Virginia and Kentucky — but there are a few beginning to pop up in the New England area, and Jenna Rae was able to show her horses at those schools.
Needless to say, Jenna Rae’s loved horses her entire life, having begun riding at six and getting her first pony at twelve.
“I’ve had horses ever since,” she tells us. “My current horse is named Guppy. I just have the one — it’s all I can afford. He gets acupuncture and chiropractic care and eats better than I do.”
She was able to parlay her love for horses and her singularly specific major into a career, having worked in sales and merchandising for an equine apparel company based in Dublin, Ireland, for four-and-a-half years.
“I was their only US employee,” she explains. “I did sales for all of the Eastern Seaboard, and I did all of the country for marketing and merchandising.”
While she never got a trip to Ireland out of the deal, Jenna Rae definitely traveled a lot throughout the country, attending a lot of horse shows and meeting some of the Olympic riders she’d spent her life idolizing.
“It was definitely a great work experience,” she says.
However, being the only domestic employee, the job could be a little lonely. Jenna Rae points to a great trip to California, finding time to spend bonding with the reps she often ran into on the road.
“We were merchandising a new store,” she tells us, “and I had to be there for the grand opening to sell the product and represent the brand. It was great to go out with all the other reps that I’d run into at events, and we did the whole Laguna area, we ate, we went out a bunch. I was used to doing those things by myself, alone, so it was nice to have a group of people and see Southern California. It was beautiful. Beautiful people. Beautiful places. It was perfect.”
While she’s gotten to travel the country, she’s still a fan of Philly sports.
“I’m sorry,” pipes in our Distribution Manager Justin Vitti.
“I wouldn’t be,” she says. “We just won the Super Bowl two years ago.”
“Two years ago,” he says.
“I will live in that glory!” she laughs.
Jenna Rae realizes that just about everyone says it, but she claims to truly be a fan of “all music.”
“I can go from gangsta rap to full-on country music to all the 90s jams to classic rock,” she says. “I love it all. I do.”
In addition to her love for horses, Jenna Rae has rescued or fostered over 40 dogs over the past decade or so, many of them through a local organization, TLC Animal Rescue.
“We’re a foster-based rescue,” she explains, “so we don’t have a location, we just take in dogs based on available foster homes.”
She has three bully breeds of her own — two pit bulls and an American bulldog — but fosters all manner of dogs.
“I’m a huge pit bull advocate,” she says. “That’s my life’s mission.”
And they totally need it. Pit bulls are a terribly misunderstood breed, getting a bad rap due to some horrible owners, when, in fact, they’re some of the silliest and most lovable dogs you’ll ever meet.
“They’re not the brightest crayons in the box,” she jokes, “but they’re the most lovable creatures on the planet. They just want to be on you constantly.”
Jenna Rae is currently fostering a little Yorkie mix, and, after only two-and-a-half weeks, she’s finding him to be even more protective than her forever dogs, showing off a small bite mark on her hand.
Fostering dogs isn’t an easy thing to do, and it’s certainly not for everyone. For example, Jenna Rae says that puppies are a lot of work. And, as you might imagine, falling in love with the animals she rescues is always a problem, but Jenna Rae sees the greater good.
“If I kept all the ones I truly fell in love with — which is a good bit of them — I wouldn’t be able to keep doing what I’m doing,” she explains. “I have to look at the bigger picture. I have three big dogs, and if I kept another one, I just wouldn’t have the space to keep fostering.”
“I keep in contact and I get pictures all the time,” she says. “When they go, it’s more rewarding than sad. And I get another one in a couple of weeks.”
Considering her work with animals, it was time for Jenna Rae to find a sales job that kept her closer to home, and she’d heard wonderful things about working for CMBC.
“Anyone I’ve ever talked to loves it here,” she says. “They seem to look out for their employees and take care of them.”
Furthermore, it can get lonely out on the road, particularly when you’re the only employee, your territory is the entire country, and there was a five-to-seven hour time difference between you and the home office.
“So, you guys are in my time zone,” she laughs, “and that’s great.”
A big factor, too, was that she was on the road a lot.
“I was staying in a hotel three or four nights a week,” she says. “So, it’s definitely nice to be able to travel and have that independence, but still be home every night with my family.”
And Jenna Rae is going to love spending more time in Cape May, particularly with all of the great food in town.
“We have good food,” she says. “We have really good restaurants. I think that’s why I’m a bit of a food snob now.”
Having grown up here, she has an interesting perspective on the town.
“I like that everybody looks out for one another,” she says. “While there are sometimes frustrating parts about being in a small town and everyone knowing everyone, for the most part, it’s comforting. It’s nice that people look out for each other.
“But definitely the food.”
She’s loving her time here so far.
Jenna Rae definitely loves having access to her favorite beer, Devil’s Reach.
“I’ve always loved Devil’s Reach,” she says. “For me, it’s almost too easy to drink, but I have a limit of two or three. I love the taste of it; it’s easy to drink. As much as I might like the taste and drinkability of a light beer, sometimes I want something with a little more meat.”
Devil’s Reach definitely has meat.
But Jenna Rae is looking forward to her time on the road close to home.
“I really enjoy meeting new people,” she says, “and even simply shadowing sales rep to sales rep and getting to explore the different territories and getting to meet the different store owners and managers has been fun. I also like working first-hand with the end consumer, as I get more into the events side of things.
“I’m really excited!”
Jenna Rae will be out in the field, covering the entire state, so be sure to say hello when you see her!