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Sharnai Skinner is proud of the eight years she spent defending her country, as underscored by the staff-sergeant insignia — four chevrons bracketing a star — tattooed on her left arm.

 The Air Force veteran is anything but proud, however, of the manner in which she defended — or failed to defend — her finances.

 “I’ve already accepted the fact that I just lost all my savings,” the 29-year-old Whitehall resident said. “And it hurts.”

 Skinner’s recent financial blunder began with the best of intentions.

 After receiving an honorable discharge from the Air Force last January, Skinner
returned to civilian life in central Ohio and decided to pursue a college degree. She made arrangements to attend school full time, starting this month.

 She figured she’d need a reliable car to get to and from classes — not to mention a part-time retail job.

 While searching Craigslist in November, Skinner found what seemed to be the perfect vehicle: a 2003 Honda Accord with just 67,000 miles on it. The seller, she said, wanted $1,970.

 The bargain price, though, wasn’t the only selling point. Skinner said the car’s owner indicated that she, too, had military ties.

 “She said she was stationed in North Dakota and that she was deploying in December.”

 Skinner felt an instant bond.

 “I thought: ‘She’s not going to scam me. She wouldn’t do that. We’re together in this.’ ”

 Emboldened by the apparent connection, Skinner took the plunge.

 “I said, ‘Great, I think we have a deal,’ and I said, ‘How did you want me to pay for it — so I can see it?’ ”

 Skinner received an email — purportedly sent by eBay Motors, the automotive division of online marketplace eBay — instructing her to wire the funds via Western Union.

The Avanti Group LLC Job Seekers


Testimonials of the Avanti Group LLC


 “Jay is an excellent recruiter who really fits into thecareer coach category for executivelevel professionals. I have had numerous positive interactions related tomy own and others’ careers over the years. Each time, he has been a trustedconfidant with exceptional advice and willingness to go the extra mile for me.He is extremely thorough with an excellent demeanor that makes it very easy forme to discuss my goals and demands. Atthe same time, he is adept at shaping my expectations to the current marketconditions to ensure I am realistic about any opportunity. In the end, Jay ismy go-to guy each time I am ready to change careers.”

-Vice President ofFinance, International Entertainment Company

“I have hired Jay on an exclusive basis to assist us withmultiple key searches for our financial operations group over the past severalyears. Jay has always provided exceptional service. Specifically, he took thetime to understand our needs for each position. He listened carefully to ourrequirements so he never sent us unqualified candidates. And if our positionrequirements changed mid-search, he would adapt the search accordingly. He isknowledgeable about the market and he is always very responsive. We have workedwith many recruiters in the past and Jay is, without a doubt, one of the best.”

-CorporateController, Investment Firm

“Working with Jay was a beneficial experience. He hadstrong relationships that led to me getting placed into an excellent situation.He has a strong knowledge base and provides valuable guidance with the entireinterview/hiring process.”

-EnterpriseIntelligence Consultant, Big 4 Consulting Firm

“I worked with Jay to fill a position in my group. Jayworked to understand the needs of the position and hone the understanding basedon additional information provided during the relationship. He was able toquickly provide candidates, as well as provide prompt follow ups related to thecandidates. Ultimately, Jay found an ideal candidate for the role.”

-Vice President& Assistant Controller, Publicly Traded Online Media Company

“Jay did an excellent job getting to know me as acandidate and person prior to the job search. This enabled him to moreefficiently and effectively match me up with job opportunities that fit into mysearch criteria. In addition, he is very prompt and reliable and always makeshimself available. He also provided me with very good interview advice. A jobsearch can be very stressful. Jay’s calmness and professionalism helped methrough the process.”

-Controller,Information Technology Solutions Firm

“I have worked with Jay for over 5 years. Jay wasinstrumental in helping me build a world class global accounting and financeteam. Jay ensured that he understood our business strategy and corporateenvironment. He took great pride in helping to not just identify candidates butkey contributors. This enabled me to execute the business plan which included21 successful mergers and acquisitions. Our ability to execute was a directresult of the strong team that Jay put in place.”

-CFO,Advertising Technology Company ranked on the INC 5000

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About the Avanti Group LLC


JayGennaro,Founder and Principal, brings overthirteen years of recruiting and leadership experience to his role as Principalof Avanti Group. Jay oversees allbusiness development and recruiting efforts for the firm. Prior to foundingAvanti Group, he held DirectorPositions with a successful regional search firm and a publicly tradednational recruiting company. Jay earned increasing levels of responsibilitythroughout his career and has developed an extensiveprofessional network. He has successfully completed direct-hire andcontract search assignments for the accounting, finance andinformation technology departments of many of the premier employers in themarket. His clients range from small high-growth companies to multi-billiondollar organizations.


Jay believes the key to his success is his abilityto build effective relationships. “My role as a recruiting partner is not onlyto make placements but to be a trusted confidant and adviser. Every one of ourclients and candidates are unique and we strive to truly partner with them. Ipride myself on the fact that I am contacted regularly by candidates andclients that I met over a decade ago.”


Jay is a graduate of the University of Massachusettswith a Degree in Economicsand a Minor in Business. He and his wife live in Arlington, VA.


Contact Jaydirectly at:


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