So, what pair of shoes is Trent Boullianne wearing today?

The Poquoson native and Lee Group Staffing Manager has a collection any sneakerhead would envy. “I could wear a different pair of shoes every day of the month,” he says. The collection includes rare Nikes and Jordans along with a large selection of dress shoes paired with specific outfits.

Trent grew up dreaming of a professional football career, fell in love with fashion design, worked a decade in a pawn shop and today loves his current role placing candidates in careers where they will thrive.

Originally he thought he was cut out for fashion design likely due to his devotion to footwear. But the college process for that specialized program was daunting and financially impossible. Instead, the former all-state lineman and captain for the Poquoson High School football team chose Hampden-Sydney, and a month into classes, tore his hamstring. That was a bummer for a guy who played sports all his life and ended his playing days.

Trent returned home to work with a buddy at a car lot while taking community college classes. A year in, the owner of the lot bought a pawn shop, and Trent spent the next 10 years running Yorktown Pawn. It was a good taste of business with potential for reality TV.

“We actually wrote a script for a TV series with the guy who owned a music store next door,” Trent says. “We had some crazy times.”

One of his co-workers at the shop became a good friend who just happened to be the father-in-law to Sarah Fulton, Vice President of Operations at The Lee Group. Trent got to know Sarah and her husband, Josh and one night mentioned he wanted a fresh start.

“Would you like to come to work for me at The Lee Group?” Sarah asked.

Trent admits he didn’t know much about staffing when he started in May 2020. When he learned that The Lee Group prioritized temp-to-hire positions, that intrigued him. “I love helping people,” he says. “This is an opportunity to change people’s lives by finding them working and giving them a career.”

Matching the right person with the right job takes time and making that investment from the start inspires Trent. He’s passionate about thoroughly getting to know every candidate he interviews. The best professional fit isn’t always about skills. Often candidates have childcare and transportation issues. “By getting to know people, what they care about and what their concerns are, I can make the best placement,” he says.

As for the shoe thing, Trent still cares about his kicks, though life expenses get in the way of his splurging too much these days. In his free time, he loves spending time with his girlfriend, Jennifer, and her two children, and he’s back into football as an offensive and defensive line coach for the Back River Bulls Youth Association. “I love helping young men grow and learn life lessons,” he says. “I’m back around the game I loved and played for 12 years.”

And you bet, he’s having a ball.

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