The night, Jenna met with Chris Bolin, Mike Ireland, and Jason Griswold of Opiate at The Pub to discuss the treatment for their music video, she immediately bonded with the guys. The band, named after a song by Tool, a band that had a heavy influence on their music, quickly became like big brothers to the young student.

“That [night] was going to set in motion a path for me.”

Not long after, Jenna began attending band practices in the back of a Cellular Wireless where one of the members worked during the day. The class project continued to develop, and as it did Jenna began to not only dig the band’s music but their overall energy as well. With the growing number of new students and fans becoming involved in the group assignment, her circle of opportunity began to grow and several key new friendships were formed.

Press kit for The Embraced, Jenna’s first management gig.

Coming Into Her Own

During one of Opiate’s gigs at the now-defunct club, The Imperial, Jenna was introduced to Kim Reteguiz of Kim Reteguiz and the Black Cat Bones. The two became immediate friends from the moment they met connecting over their shared Puerto Rican heritage. At the time, Kim’s career was just beginning, but her day job at a local news station led to a VIP promo event at The Seawalk hotel for Opiate’s video for the song Coma. That night, Jenna’s entire family came to see her work, and for the first time, she felt like she had come into her own.

The newly forged group of friends and musicians continued to work together on projects through the summer of 2004, cementing an exciting direction for Jenna. Kim now had an idea to produce a television show featuring Latin lifestyles in Jacksonville, and she recruited Jenna to be a part of it. This new opportunity gave her a lot of filming and TV production experience, and even some screen time.

Hard Work Pays Off

With school out, Jenna had more focus on her own career goals that summer. Opiate broke up but then reformed as The Embraced, and based on Jenna’s history with the band, their manager approached Jenna asking for her assistance. Here, Jenna’s hard work and study of band management would take her a step further.

“I don’t really know too much about managing a rock band, but I just go off my instincts.”

Live and on Buzz TV

Those instincts paid off when the existing manager lost interest and the band invited Jenna on full-time. While working at her day job as an executive assistant, she not only managed the band but continued to work with Kim on her show. Mostly behind the scenes, Jenna did have her 15 minutes of fame when she once did an interview on Salsa dance literally stumbling across the stage but never missing a line in her reporting.

Life began to move much more quickly for Jenna now as her career began to steer her down a musical road she had never expected to travel in her 20’s.