“You’re not from around here, are you?”

We get this a lot when we’re up North, and folks think we talk funny. We may drawl, but where we’re from, it’s music to our ears when single-syllable names are artfully drawn out in two, folks take their time to say what they’re fixing to say, and sentences start with a poignant, “Well.”

That being said, we’re also real open to new ideas and new people.

We love getting our hands into things that no one else is doing, because we believe in the value of hard work. It’s that same work ethic that landed us a meeting in our very own office with Vice President Biden back in 2014, and got Darien mentioned by President Obama on national television. But at the end of the day, we’re really just like the rest of y’all. We mess up sometimes. We watch sports. We live and die by our phones. We eat too much dessert at Christmastime. And we love playing video games on our breaks.
NAME J. Darien Southerland (pronounced Darren)
AKA The BG Guy
BORN With a Golden Horseshoe in Smyrna, GA
LOVES His family, his faith and his hard-working staff, and baseball
BEST KNOWN FOR His contagious enthusiasm for life and fierce negotiating skills
WACKY FACT Darien’s name was misspelled at birth and he personally met with
Joe Biden and Donald Trump (talk about being in the middle)

“People will forget what you say, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Darien Southerland’s energy is plumb contagious. He does everything like his hair’s on fire and delivers BG results for BG AD Group clients ALL. THE. TIME. He has the uncanny ability to match brands with audiences perfectly, and knocks it out of the park when it comes to putting together targeted events that generate growth. Make no mistake: Darien is a fierce negotiator, award-winning sales leader and expert trainer. Darien likes to say he is abnormal in a positive way, and it works to his advantage. He’s just lucky enough to have normal staff around him to keep it real. Darien is an expert in automotive marketing, and shares his passion and instant drive with all clients he represents. Darien has mastered the art of bringing qualified folks on-site with traffic-driven marketing that helps BG AD Group automotive, education, event and all other clients succeed.
In regards to life outside of the office, Darien takes community involvement seriously. He has served as the Head Middle School Football Coach for Whitefield Academy in Mableton, Georgia as well as the former choir director at his church. Additionally, Darien serves as a Chamber of Commerce member for Cobb County, Douglas County, Hall County as well as Nashville’s Chamber of Commerce. He even serves as the Assistant Director of New Members Class at Marietta First United Methodist Church. He enjoys all types of music, is an excellent singer, and a hard core American Picker (if you have to ask, you don’t know, so talk to Darien). What does this man not do? Darien’s wife Mary has been an educator in Gwinnet/Cobb County for the past seventeen years. They have two children, Jacob (Lenoir-Rhyne University Class of 2017) and Kendall (Georgia College and State University Class of 2018), who not only dedicate their time to academics, but also community involvement.

NAME Sandra Hamrich
AKA Sandra
TITLE Office Manager
BORN To be the glue that holds BG AD together, in Sewickley, PA
LOVES Animals and Roller Coasters
BEST KNOWN FOR Her willingness to lend a helping hand
WACKY FACT Sandy was a dance instructor for 6 years

“Honest is the first chapter to the book of wisdom.”

Sandy Hamrich is the glue that binds us. She first came to BG AD as a part-timer in February of 2013 after retiring with 36 years from the Department of Defense. Her experience includes super cool stuff like working with Ret. General Colin Powell, being an Air Force Emergency Management Adviser alongside FEMA during Disaster Relief Operations throughout the US, and other less glamorous (but nonetheless important) tasks like Office Manager, Budget Officer and Program Analyst. After working in Darien’s garage for a while, Sandy realized Darien needed a swift kick in the pants and that’s when things really started happening at BG AD Group. Sandy is a proven leader, manager, advisor, planner and operator at all levels who is known for her innovations and practical management style. She is a highly motivated professional dedicated to customer service and satisfaction and she’ll take anyone to task, so best mind your manners around Sandy.

In Sandy’s past life, she was a Girl Scout and Girl Scout Leader for over 2 decades, first for her daughter and then her granddaughter. She loves sports and played softball and volleyball for many years; her favorite sport is soccer. Sandy has two children: her daughter Jennifer lives in Birmingham, AL and they have two children, Autumn and Evan. Her son EJ is married to Jessica and they live in Denver, CO. Thank goodness Sandy loves to travel.

NAME Timothy Newton
AKA Jack-of-All-Trades
TITLE Operation Manager/Event Coordinator
BORN To make friends in Marietta, GA
LOVES Golf, Family and the Braves
BEST KNOWN FOR Never meeting a stranger
WACKY FACT Tim served for 25 years as a Choir Director (bless his heart)

“Be good to people, and people will be good to you.”

With a background in sales, it’s no wonder we joke that Tim can make a brick wall talk. Tim came to BG AD Group to help manage operations as well as to coordinate local and regional events. Tim is an avid ‘People Person’ and knows how to strike up a conversation with consumers and prospects to bring awareness to events for BG AD’s event activation clients. Tim’s a great storyteller, and talking with others about his life experiences helps him make meaningful connections, whether it’s about his service in the Army, or his job as a church Choir Director. Outside the office, Tim thinks he’s a great golfer, but it’s actually more like he’s just fun to golf with. Oh, and he LOVES the Atlanta Braves and the Georgia Bulldogs. In addition to his work life, Tim has been married for 36 years to Crystal. They have three children and five-going-on-six grandchildren. If all this wasn’t fascinating enough, Tim is also a licensed auctioneer.

NAME Nick Paparelli
AKA Pappy
TITLE Lead Event Coordinator
BORN To have fun in Marietta, GA
LOVES The Atlanta Braves, University of Alabama, Friends, and Family
WACKY FACT Nick DOMINATES Darien in the American football
video game Madden

“Always be there for the ones in need..”

Nick Paparelli is BG AD’s up-and-coming Event Coordinator. He currently attends Georgia State University in Atlanta for Marketing and has a heavy interest in the sports marketing industry. Nick loves people, and (truly) focuses on others every day whether he’s helping them uncover solutions to problems or just trying to make the moment better. Nick has been involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has coached baseball for the BEST Academy in addition to donating his time to the children of Alan Hills in Atlanta. Regarding his past sports’ career, Nick said (and we quote), “Just as I was beginning to be good at High School football the season was over.” No matter. If you see Nick at work or out in the field, you will witness his heart to serve and encourage. Side note: Nick recently lost over 40 pounds, and is on the prowl.