Billy Senia: A Tale Of Two Talents

Among the many things that separate Trader Joe’s from other grocery stores, its relentlessly upbeat, smilingly chatty and genuinely helpful employees are at the top of any list.

Billy Senia is one of the many Trader Joe’s folks whom Westporters love. Whether dishing out samples, checking out customers or answering questions, he’s always got a smile, a kind word and a joke.

Few people know that this is only one of his gigs. Billy is also a longtime, well respected and very talented video editor, advertising writer and director. He’s traveled the world, won countless awards, and worked with clients like Michael Jackson, MC Hammer and Aretha Franklin.

And he loves both jobs: creative and culinary.

Billy Senia

Billy moved to Westport 26 years ago from Manhattan. He and his wife were paying $40,000 a year for their 2 young children to “finger paint in pretentious schools.”

He was already successful, making commercials and music videos. Working with top agencies like BBDO, McCann Erickson, Greg and J. Walter Thompson, he cut spots for clients like Bulova, Sears, Club Med and Disney.

Through relatives and colleagues, he heard that Westport was a magnet for creative people. They moved here, and he has not been disappointed.

Twenty years ago, Billy opened his own one-stop shop: Ice Pic Edit. He commuted to Chelsea, and built a home studio here. He was innovative, turning his laptop into a “Maserati” that he took everywhere.

But the advertising and video business evolved. Now everyone does everything — shooting, editing, graphics, sound. “It’s all solo,” he laments. “There’s no team.”

Billy is all about teamwork. So 4 years ago, he applied for a job at Trader Joe’s. He loved the company’s “spirit, positivism, food, giving back philosophy and focus on people.”

He thrives on making a customer’s day brighter, with a smile or quip (or extra sample). Working at the store — his main priority — gives him energy that feeds his creative side.

Not long ago, he joined forces with Dave Fiore. They’d worked together when Fiore was chief creative officer at Catapult in Westport. Their new company is called Massiv.

One of their first projects is “Union-Built Matters.” It’s a tribute to construction unions, and sounds an alarm against developers who cut corners by using cheaper labor.

Billy is a union man through and through. “My compassionate side is to help people,” he says. “This is not a sexy subject. But it’s very important.”

He and Dave are using social media, to get the word out that “union-built matters.”

Now it’s on to new projects.

And to serving up whatever samples Trader Joe’s offers today.

17 responses to “Billy Senia: A Tale Of Two Talents

  1. Bill besides being a Great guy Is/ was a incredible athlete. He attended high school in long island. As a wrestler, he only lost Two matches in four years and those two matches were to the same guy. At one hundred and sixty five pounds he was recruited by many big time colleges to play football. He attended The university of Hawaii. As a middle line backer he played some of the top ranked football powers in the nation.Just ask him and he will show you his U.S C. scar. Being an ex marine and serving his country makes him proud. His biggest accomplishment in life is raising three beautiful daughters with his lovely wife linda. These are just a few things that Bill is. I am proud that I can call him my friend….Way to go Bill. You have a lot to be proud of.

  2. What a nice story- love Trader Joe’s and all of the friendly folks there. Congrats to Billy!

  3. Love Trader Joe’s and its vibe thanks for this great Article Dan

  4. ask billy to do his english accent. Ask Billy for a joke. Billy makes Trader Joes Better. .

  5. I told Billy once that he should be a stand-up comedian. I stand by my recommendation. He always makes me laugh and makes me spend more time at the tasting station than originally planned. Love Trader Joe’s, love Trudy, love Billy. It’s all good.

  6. Matthew Mandell

    Billy is one of the best guys. I have played softball with him for years, and he can hit too!!!! and he does a great sports announcer routine as well….

    I always look forward to shopping and seeing my friend there, always a smile and always a good word.

  7. We LOVE him here at Saint Luke!

  8. As a long time friend Billy is without question one of the best talented editors I know. Growing up I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing the raw talent he possesses in his craft, he’s such a renaissance man.
    A great team player and expert in his field..
    Best of Luck Billy!!

  9. Dermot Meuchner

    Thanks for supporting the union men and women Billy. This country has forgotten who and what made us a special place.

  10. Nice work, Billy!

  11. I never had a pleasure to meet with Billy, but I have the feeling I already know him for years. Really coolest guy, hope to meet him one day!

  12. Could not be more proud of my Dad!!!! He’s the most amazing person I know and helped me become who I am today 🙂 keep it up because we need more people like you out in this world xoxo leka