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Meet Our New Staff

August 31, 2023
aaron mercer
Aaron Mercer

You may have noticed several new faces on Browncroft’s staff this summer. We thought you might like a chance to get to know them a little bit better.

Paul Cammilleri – Creative Director

Paul joined Browncroft’s communications team as our creative director in mid-July, so he’s the newest of our new faces. But he is already having a big impact. And that’s no surprise… he comes in with a wealth of experience in brand development, commercial web and retail space design, and more. He has also helped churches and ministries visually enhance events, engaging publications, and other avenues of outreach.

If it sounds like he’s a great asset to Browncroft, that’s because he is. And it’s why I hired him!

Well, that’s not the only reason. Paul (who says he occasionally goes by the nickname “Camel”) is also someone with a good heart.

Paul Cammilleri

He loves the Bible and theology books. He also tells me he likes pizza, wings, and Italian food (you may notice this as a trend as this post moves along).

When I asked Paul what he’s excited about after joining the Browncroft team, he said, “I am looking forward to using my skills to strengthen the church in their core values and reach people who do not know the Savior.”

Courtney Fantauzzo – Student Coordinator

Courtney may be a new addition to Browncroft’s staff, but she is no stranger to the church. She has long been part of our worship teams for Sunday services, kids activities, and more. In fact, singing and playing the piano are among her favorite fun activities.

A little more about Courtney (or “Court” as she is sometimes called)… she’s a Rochester native, and prior to coming to Browncroft’s staff she was an assistant chemistry professor at Roberts Wesleyan University. I haven’t asked her about a favorite chemistry pun yet, but we’ll try to find out (like maybe, “I use chemistry puns, but only periodically.”)

Courtney tells me her favorite sports team is the Finney Falcons (the mascot of her kids’ school). When I asked her about her favorite food, she said it was chicken parmesan (then quickly added… “but really cheesecake.”) Hey, both sound great to me!

We’re very blessed to have Courtney on the Browncroft Students team. You can hear her heart as she talks about what she’s excited for in the season ahead:

“I am excited for a new year to kick off in student ministry and to work with all the amazing student small group leaders! I am also excited to invest in the lives of students and help them grow in their gifts the Lord has given them!”

Roberto Fernandez – Music Director

Roberto (or “Nandez” as some of his friends like to call him) comes to us from the Bronx where grew up and most recently served as music director for Grace International Church. He’s a talented leader who loves producing music.

When I asked all our new staffers about favorite teams, I was surprised that Roberto is the only one of them who listed professional teams. I resonated with that… though as a New England native myself most of his teams are rivals with mine. Of note, Bills fans may be happy to know that he sides with the Giants over the Jets.

Roberto’s favorite foods are macaroni & cheese and lasagna — an excellent choice! He also loves playing basketball, bowling, and video gaming when he’s not working on his music.

Browncroft is blessed to have Roberto and you can sense the feeling is mutual as he looks to grow as a music professional and a Christian man.

“I am excited about the level of spiritual growth for our team, more specifically for the band,” he said. “I am also excited to build strong relationships with those who I am leading and are leading me!”

Carissa Gray – Communications Coordinator

If you’ve enjoyed content on our social media accounts or any of the stories you’ve seen on Sundays in recent months, then you’ve been blessed by the work of Carissa. She is a talented and dedicated member of our team!

Carissa is actually a lifelong Browncrofter. She grew up in Penfield, just minutes down the road from the church, and she has been coming here her whole life. She is an alum of Pioneer Girls, VBS, our youth program, Flower City Work Camp, and more. She also came back to Browncroft a couple summers ago as a student at Wheaton College in Illinois in order to intern on Browncroft’s communications team.

Some new things I learned about Carissa while prepping this blog post are that she loves Indian food, especially spicy chicken makhani… she says, “Mild is boring.” She dislikes sports (sorry Bills fans), but loves walks — as long as no dogs come barking. She says she was chased by one at age 10 and broke her wrist! Her favorite book is The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom.

Regarding her new role at Browncroft, Carissa said, “I’m really excited to continue seeking out stories of things going on at Browncroft and figuring out the best mediums through which to tell them.”

Nina Placious – Interim Worship Leader

Nina is a familiar face to anyone who comes to Browncroft. God has blessed her with a truly amazing voice and a worship-filled heart that draws us in as we gather together weekly to honor God with songs of praise. Here is just one recent example, and at the end of this section I’ll include another — a bit of throwback that is still one of my favorites.

But first, some more about Nina…

Like Courtney and Carissa, Nina is a Rochester native. She doesn’t really like sports (again, sorry Bills fans), but she loves steak. “Literally any steak… usually with potatoes,” she said.

She also loves the flying trapeze!

“It’s sort of my secret power,” she told me. “Not many people know that I am a part-time circus performer and aerial instructor.”

Nina is also a nanny and loves powerful stories of birth. In fact, her favorite book is Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. “The miracle of birth is easily my favorite stage of life,” she said.

When I asked her what she was excited about here at Browncroft, Nina told me, “I can see the Holy Spirit moving in the hearts of the congregation at large. Witnessing the transformation, especially through freedom in worship, has been such an encouragement and blessing. The Lord is doing powerful things in this church.”

Amen. Thank you for your leadership, Nina. And… as promised, here is that spirtually uplifting music video from a couple years ago (and, by the way, Courtney is in it, too!):

What a blessing to have these new members of our team. Keep an eye out for them when you are at the church. And feel free to drop them a line using the “Email Me” links on the page linked by the button below!

Cover Photo by Nico Smit on Unsplash

About The Author

aaron mercer
Aaron Mercer

Aaron Mercer is Browncroft Community Church’s Communications Director. Previously, he lived for two decades in Washington, DC, serving on Capitol Hill with a U.S. Senator and in two diverse evangelical Christian associations.

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