Advisory Board

BV Pradeep

VP CMI for Country & Customer Development for Americas & Europe, C4G

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BV’s current role is in the new C4G organisation of Unilever as VP CMI for Country & Customer Development for Americas & Europe; he’s also responsible for three centres of excellence in Shopping & Ecom Insight, Market insight and Advanced Analytics. BV is a member of the Global CMI leadership team and, in his external professional circles, he was elected as the Vice President of the Global Market Research industry association, ESOMAR for term 2017-18.

BV joined Unilever in June 1993, at Brooke Bond Lipton India Ltd, leading market research & media. In Nov 1997, he was promoted as Head of Market research for Hindustan Lever Ltd ( HPC & Foods).

In 2003, he was promoted as Vice President – CMI for Asia and later assigned to lead the BD CMI team for Home & Oral care categories.  A year later, BV was appointed as Global VP CMI for HPC categories, based in London. From 2009-2015, BV was in Singapore as Vice President CMI for Global Markets, business partnering the COO of Unilever.  In 2017, in the C4G new organisation, he was given leadership role to establish a new wing of CMI to support for Country & Customer development teams.

BV is married with two children and his wife also works for Unilever in the area of Professional marketing for Global Oral care. Their son is a computer science engineer in California and their daughter is studying management at Boston University. They have two lovely dogs who are the best creatures to de-stress with every day….you really do not need a spa !!  BV enjoys family holidays at home or overseas!

Babita Earle

Head of Strategic Partnerships at Zappi

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Babita is Head of Strategic Partnerships at Zappi. At Zappi, Babita is responsible for looking after Zappi’s most important customers, collaborating on product design, digitisation strategies and change management, with a goal to elevate the role of Insights professionals within organisations. Babita has more than 20 years industry experience, anchored mostly in tech, commercial and digital roles. Babita is also a member of the Main UK MRS Board.

Begoña Fafian

Head of Knowledge and Insights at Coca-Cola WEBU

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Begoña Fafian started her career 25 years ago in marketing, enjoying her time in SC Johnson Wax, Colgate and Coca-Cola Branding Departments and, in 2004, she transferred into Insights and Research in Coca-Cola. She is a strong believer in the added value of information and that insights need to be brought to live and influence business decisions. Since 2015 Begoña, a Spanish native based in London, has been in charge of being the actionable voice of the consumer for the 12 countries that comprise Western Europe.

Dyna Boen

Former CCO at Survata

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Dyna is an entrepreneur, strategist, and hands-on team leader with more than 15 years of experience working across the market research industry. Most recently she was the CCO at Survata were she executed a customer delight strategy following her role as President of Market Research. In 2017, she was listed as one of the top influencers in her niche (mobile market research). She was the co-founder of UBMobile (sold to Critical Mix in 2018), co-founder of the data quality company TrueSample (merged with Imperium in 2017), on the leadership team at MarketTools-Zoomerang (sold to Survey Monkey in 2012), and co-founder of the WIRexec Leadership Summit (started in 2016). Throughout her career, Dyna has focused on productization and monetization of new technologies and methods for consumer insights. More than anything, Dyna believes in building kick-ass teams and is also a mentor of young women.

Erica Van Lieven

Founder and Managing Director, InSites Consulting

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“We empower people to shape the future of brands”

Erica has been a leader and innovator in the Australian market research industry for over 20 years. After working client-side in FMCG marketing and innovation, she opened her own agency, Direction First, in 1997. Erica’s expertise, training and commercial acumen underpinned the agency’s agility, future-focus and collaborative approach.

Direction First joined forces with InSites Consulting in 2017, representing the first office in the Asia-Pacific region for the Belgian-founded company. Today, the team in Sydney leverage the global experience and innovation-focus of 600+ people across 17 offices (including Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Paris, London and New York).

A regular contributor to industry conferences, Erica is passionate about the continuing evolution of market research services. She is not only passionate about uncovering meaningful insights, but also activating insights; ensuring they live and breathe in an organisation.

JD Deitch

Chief Revenue Officer, P2Sample

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JD Deitch, based in Paris, France, is a 20-year veteran of the market research industry. He began his career client-side in financial services, then went on to hold senior global positions at The NPD Group and Ipsos. Prior to P2Sample, he held executive positions at AYTM and Bakamo.Social. JD is a frequent speaker and a thought leader in the insights industry as it evolves to tackle the challenges of the digital age. He has a Ph.D. in Political Science with Distinction from The American University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Laura Chaibi

International Digital Media and Consumer Research, Insights and Measurement Advisor

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Laura brings 20+ years hands on subject matter expertise with data and audience insights in digital media, marketing, Video on demand (VOD) and entertainment. She has worked working internationally for world class companies including Yahoo, BBC, Orange, AOL and more recently, MBC (the Middle East Broadcasting Center), headquartered in Dubai, UAE. She has been an independent consultant for digital, data, training, and research projects for nearly 2 years.



Her focus is enablement to support evidence-based decision-making with insights and analytics. With over 100+ data, research, measurement and insights techniques and sources used globally, her approach is method neutral and audience centric.



She is a CIM qualified marketer from London Metropolitan University.  Her first patent submission, Digital Memories for Advertising was submitted in 2012 and more recently she was commissioned to author a best practice guide on Digital Transformation and the Role of Data  by Econsultancy.

She has won dozens of media and insights awards across her career including ‘woman of tomorrow’ and spoken at more than 250 private and conference level events to keynote level, including for the United Nations (UN) and Women in Data Science (WiDS). More than $200m of insights procurement has been managed under her watchful eye.



Originally from Vancouver, Canada, has lived and worked across four continents and is a keen traveler and cultural observer.   She is a mother of one son and was widowed at the age of 37.  She understands the pressures to juggle homelife and career and actively supports women on their journey to realizing their full potential.

Investing in future generations is important and she has held her board member position for nearly 4 years for Women in Research (WIRe).

Lynnette Cooke

Global CEO, Health Division at Kantar

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Lynnette leads the global Health Division for Kantar, guiding the organization through organic and acquisition-related growth. Drawing on her consumer background and product management experience at Newell Rubbermaid, Lynnette brings fresh and innovative perspectives to the development of health specific offers and services. Lynnette is chair of Kantar’s Corporate Responsibility program, Extraordinary People, which includes a global partnership with Special Olympics. She is the executive sponsor to research that Kantar conducts for UN Women, to understand global attitudes and fulfill the sustainable development goal for Planet 50-50 by 2030. She serves on the Insights Association Board of Directors, is an assistant professor at Michigan State University and is also on their advisory board for their Master of Science in Marketing Research. Lynnette has been recognized as an industry leader being named one of the 100 Most Inspiring People in the life science industry by PharmaVOICE magazine and as a recipient of PMRG’s R.R. Fordyce Award.

Marion Elliott

Sales Director, Market Cube

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Marion Elliott has worked in the market research industry for 8 years. While her experience in the field began in software and technology, she now works in Sample, Operations and Technology at Market Cube where she aids in the delivery of the company’s mission to provide practical innovation to the biggest names in the market research arena. An avid follower of the latest trends and innovations, Marion is enthusiastic about market research technology and insights. Since 2018, she has served as the lead on WIRe’s “WIRe in Color” initiative, which seeks to strengthen the connections among—and raise the visibility of—women of color in market research.

WIRe Advisory Board Emeritus


Event LeadERSHIP

Alisa Hamilton

Atlanta

Founder, Harvest Insights

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Alisa has been in the marketing research industry for about 15 years, and most recently managed the research department at CMI. While juggling the workload at this mid-size supplier, she became acutely aware of the changes in the industry and worked tirelessly to introduce hybrid methodologies, innovative technologies, and cross-departmental systems. She also supervised many national accounts along with a staff of outstanding researchers.

In August of 2014, Alisa decided to make more time for family and created Harvest Insights, where she provides freelance moderating and research services. With her extensive qualitative and quantitative experience, Alisa fills her client’s staffing holes by taking on either parts of or entire projects. Alisa loves a good challenge and thrives on the insight-building process. She is passionate about producing high-quality, client-ready deliverables and loves having more time to expand her infographic, moderating, and reporting skills.

Alisa’s career has focused on healthcare, B2B, and the service industries, and she has managed both large and small client accounts. She is an active member of both the research and local community, serving as a mentor to multiple young researchers, a Girl Scout leader, a swim Mom, and a volunteer at several community events. Email – Alisa@harvest-insights.com Phone – 404-513-7250

Amelia Carry

Portland

Director of Market Intelligence, Khoros

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Amelia is the Director of Market Intelligence on the product marketing team at Khoros, a software company powering digital customer engagement for the world’s largest brands.  In her role, she runs a tiger team of whip-smart product marketers and analysts who deliver insights and data-driven recommendations in support of go-to-market programs, product launches, sales enablement, and other initiatives.  She’s an experienced supply-side researcher in the tech space but transitioned over to client-side where she has held various product marketing roles for B2B tech brands.

A Seattle native but honorary Austinite, Amelia’s current home base is Portland, Oregon, where she can be found exploring the mountains and coastline with her husband and two kids, or enjoying the views at one of the many vineyards in the Willamette valley.

Amelia Phillips

Manchester

Research Executive, Mustard

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Amelia is a Research Executive at Mustard, a full-service market research agency, where she works across a variety of sectors using a range of methodologies. Amelia first developed an interest in research during her BSocSc Politics and International Relations degree at the University of Manchester, and completed a two-month quantitative research based Q-Step Internship with The Together Trust before her final year of study. After graduating in 2017 Amelia joined Mustard, where she has been able to marry her love of data and research with her interest in branding and consumerism. Out of hours, Amelia loves to eat and travel, preferably at the same time.

Amy Harrod

Manchester

Research Manager, Mustard

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Amy is a research manager at Mustard. Amy joined Mustard in 2014 after returning from a three-year spell in Australia where she provided support to a Sydney based agency and first developed her passion for market research. Prior to that Amy ran her own UK based clothing retail business. Amy now uses her retail experience to add real-world commerciality to her clients. Amy is passionate about bringing insights to life and leads Mustards in-house film production. Amy was the brains behind Pickles – Mustard’s qualitative app, designed to deliver real-time insights to clients. When out of office, Amy enjoys the odd spin class and taking advantage of the vibrant music, food and theatre scene in Manchester.

Barb Paszyn

Toronto

Mixed Methods Researcher

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As a Mixed Methods Researcher, Barb exercises both sides of her brain by working in the fields of quantitative and qualitative research. Her favorite projects involve both methods because they result in the best insights – the “what” and “why.” Her journey in marketing research started at Georgian College, where she received her post-graduate Research Analyst certificate with honours. She is currently a Research Director at Sklar Wilton & Associates. At SW&A, Barb manages projects, moderates online communities and in-depth-interviews, analyzes complex data and presents actionable insights. She has worked with many different CPG clients from cannabis to condoms. There’s never a dull moment! She is also involved in finding and developing new and innovative tools. Besides writing strategic reports at SW&A, she publishes blogs about marketing and research. When not on land working in the world of research, Barb can be found scuba diving with dolphins and sharks. Her other passions – no pun intended – include Muay Thai kickboxing and the piano.

Colleen Kennedy

Seattle

Senior Marketing Manager, GreenBook

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Colleen is the Senior Marketing Manager at GreenBook, the leading media organization serving the insights sphere. She is responsible for GreenBook’s marketing strategies and works to bring resources, training, and community to the marketers of the MR industry. Colleen began her career in non-profit and strives to bring the relationship and community-building aspects of this industry to all of her endeavors. When offline, you can find her in the yoga studio, supporting local social justice initiatives, and planning as many travel adventures as can fit in one calendar.

Danielle Todd

London

Senior Research Manager with Relish Research

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Danielle Todd is a Senior Research Manager with Relish Research. Following an MA(Hons) in Geography, and MSc(Res) in Social Research from the University of Edinburgh, Danielle has spent the last five years in the world of research following her curiosity in pursuit of understanding the human condition, as well as how brands can help make the world a better place. She was ESOMAR Young Researcher of the Year runner-up in 2013, WARC Rising Star 2014, and regularly blogs for ESOMAR, MRS and Relish Research. Her personal interests range from geopolitics (how the world came to be how it is), feminism (how the world can be a better place) and post-apocalyptic literature (how the world could be if we mess it all up).

Erin Mays

Austin

Co-Founder & CEO of Ebco

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Erin Mays is the co-founder and CEO of Ebco, a trend and innovation firm in Austin, TX, that uses an evidence-based and culturally observed research process to drive and inspire unexpected new products, technologies, business models and categories. The firm leverages trends that lead to breakthrough insights and inspiration that differentiates their Fortune 500 clients from the competition. Ebco was recently recognized as one of Austin Inno’s 50 on Fire.

Prior to forming Ebco, Erin served as a vice president for Sterling Brands and Senior Design Strategist at Karten Design. Erin is an accomplished researcher utilizing a range of methodologies and sources and has worked across a variety of industries, categories, and markets. She holds an MBA in Design Strategy and dual bachelor degrees from UCLA in Design and Anthropology.


In addition to being an entrepreneur, Erin is married to husband Ben Chaib, also an entrepreneur, and mom to 4 kids, 2-11 years old, who are busy busy with extracurricular activities and volunteering. As a family they participate in Generation Serve volunteering, and Erin serves as a weekly volunteer with the Girls Empowerment Network. With family, for business, or alone with her husband, travel is top on Erin’s list of favorite activities, flying out at least monthly and leaving the country at least 3 times a year.

Fiona Blades

New York City

Chief Experience Officer, MESH The Experience Agency

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Following an 8 year marketing career on petfoods and subsequently moving to advertising at agencies like Leo Burnet, Fiona set up MESH Experience in 2006 to fill a gap in market research. Fiona created a new approach to capturing every experience people have with brands, from TV ads to social media to seeing brands in store, called Real-time Experience Tracking. This award-winning approach was described by Harvard Business Review as “a new tool (that) radically improves Marketing Research” and MESH uses this to help clients to take quicker and smarter decisions about their investment. Fiona now lives in Manhattan and enjoys exploring Lower East Side, her new neighbourhood, and embracing the fantastic art galleries and cultural events that New York offers. As well as being the event lead for WIRe in New York and sitting on the WIRe advisory board, Fiona is a Fellow of the Market Research Society in the UK, a member of the Marketing Society and runs the Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage Awards. MESH is a certified Woman-Owned Business and was delighted to be awarded Woman-Owned Business of the Year in March 2017 by Delta Air Lines, one of its valued and long-standing clients.

Georgia Phillips

Melbourne

Co-Owner, COO, Luma Research

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Georgia is COO and co-owner of Luma Research, one of the world’s leading brand and communications insights agencies. She has over 20 years’ experience specializing as a consultant in brand and communications research. She has conducted research with clients on every continent and has worked alongside dozens of the world’s top advertisers; her passion is helping her clients to optimize their ads and brand strategies to grow their brands. An accomplished speaker, Georgia has spoken at many conferences around the world in New York, London, Paris, Shanghai, Athens, Barcelona, Sydney, Mexico City, Cannes, Lisbon, Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne and has written scores of research papers for industry associations like ARF, WARC, ESOMAR and AMSRS. The focus of her research aims to understand more detail on how communication works within different markets and audiences.  

Prior to Luma, Georgia has worked with large research company NOP (now GFK) in London, Ipsos in Australia, Add+Impact International, ADS. She started her career as an AMSRS Graduate Trainee. She is a member of AMSRS & ESOMAR and is a QPR (Qualified Professional Researcher).  She is also the Melbourne representative for WIRe and loves to help support younger women who are entering the industry. Georgia holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) and Bachelor of Science (Psychology) from the University of Melbourne.

Jackie Rousseau-Anderson

Boston

Growth Strategist, ScaleHouse

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As a Growth Strategist at ScaleHouse, Jackie focuses on the intersection of people and operations to help businesses identify their strengths, mitigate their weaknesses, and accelerate growth. With decades of experience in research, new product development, sales, and client service, she has an unparalleled ability to help organizations quickly identify, tap into and unlock their potential. Most recently, Jackie served as Chief Client Officer at Simmons Research, where she spearheaded its client-first strategy, directed all sales and client service, led the custom research business, and helped transition Simmons from an Experian sub-brand to a stand-alone, private-equity-owned company. Prior, she served in various roles at Forrester Research and J.D. Power & Associates. Jackie has spoken and keynoted at many industry events and lectured at universities, including a current appointment at alma mater Boston University. Her expertise has been cited in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, and more. She’s contributed to books including Groundswell and Marketing to Millennials. She has received numerous company and industry awards including a 2013 ARF Great Minds Award for her groundbreaking work helping companies maximize and measure the value of social media. Jackie also serves as the lead for the Boston chapter of Women in Research and advises the American Cancer Society Young Professionals Committee.

January Khoshnood

Seattle

Account Executive, Global Market Insite (GMI) Inc.

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January is an Account Executive at Global Market Insite (GMI), Inc., a Lightspeed Research Company where she focuses on maintaining and strengthening strategic client relationships both through research firms and the end client channel. January started in Market Research in 2004 at GMI where she has spent the better part of the last 10 years but she at managed 3 large commercial campaign trackers at Hall &Partners. January has been integral to GMI’s Entertainment business since day one, and was key in GMI’s implementation of the Entertainment Service bureau and project management and study execution. A true believer in you get back what you give, January believes in leading by example and mentoring those new to the business and their professional careers. A born leader, January has a passion for learning, trying new things and challenging herself and instilling and developing those same traits in others. January believes with passion, perseverance, and help along the way anything is possible.

Jo Brockhurst

Sydney

Financial Service & Insurance, Nielsen

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Jo has over a decade of experience in the research industry – starting from grassroots level in a call centre for a UK Research Company, she quickly advanced into Insight & Marketing team. Following the buy-out of the company, she then took up a client servicing opportunity to sit across Chime’s Insight & Engagement Division (CIE) covering all facets of research across multiple different entities. In early 2012 Jo took the opportunity to assist founder, Mark Squires, in starting up his new digital venture, Watermelon Research, which became the Customer Experience Consultancy arm of CIE. After outstanding growth throughout the first year, her extensive experience with international research and a keen passion for technology, innovation & growth, Jo was on the lookout for her next challenge. 2013 saw Jo moving to the other side of the world, opening CIE’s first overseas office in Sydney, Australia; expanding two of the divisions leading brands (Facts International & Watermelon Research) into a new region. Once a core team and client base was established in Australia, Jo looked to expand her knowledge into new realms and spent 6 months in the world of UX (User Experience) which naturally complemented her recent years spent in Customer Experience. Late 2016 Jo joined leading Global Agency – Nielsen to play an active role in the build of their customer experience programs, and eCommerce offerings. Jo now heads up Financial Service & Insurance client servicing for Nielsen – across all of their services. Jo Holds a Diploma & BSc Hons Degree in Sports Science w/ Tourism & Leisure. For her achievements Jo has won a number of awards over the past few years, Outstanding Excellence Award by Chime in 2013, Young Researcher of the Year Finalist by RICA in 2014, Bronze award winner of Woman of the Year APAC 2015 by Stevie Awards and nominee of Telstra Young business Women’s Awards 2015.

Joy Levin

Baltimore / Washington DC

Founder, Allium Research & Analytics

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After holding market research positions in various organizations, Joy founded Allium Research and Analytics, a market research consultancy, in 1998, as a sole proprietorship. Since that time, she has managed all phases of research studies and analytics activities for a diverse portfolio of clients, ranging from startups to companies in the Fortune 500. Joy has been fully responsible for all study aspects, including strategic formulation and development, selection of analytical methodology, research design, field activity oversight, data interpretation and analysis, and results presentation. She has used both traditional and digital qualitatively- and quantitatively-obtained insights to provide her clients with actionable solutions to their most pressing marketing problems.

Joy has also worked with clients to establish and report KPIs that assess the performance of their unique business situations. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Boston University.

Joy lives in Maryland, is a WIRe mentor, is active in the DC and Baltimore chapters of the American Marketing Association and has completed several volunteer engagements for Taproot. When offline, you can find Joy in a spin or BodyPump class, reading, hiking with her family, or playing with one of her cats or her golden retriever.

Julie Landers

Dallas/Ft. Worth

Senior Manager, Strategic Market Research, Health Care Service Corporation

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Julie has developed and executed a variety of qualitative/quantitative research and has had the privilege of working for a variety of companies including CBS Broadcasting, The Dallas Morning News, Texas Instruments, JC Penney and Health Care Services Corporation. Currently Julie is responsible for the oversight and execution of quantitative and qualitative provider and member research which are used to help inform and guide strategic decision-making across HCSC’s Enterprise Quality and Accreditation teams. Julie is also the current Divisional Privacy Officer for HCSC’s Corporate Strategy Office, working to ensure marketing research projects meet legal, privacy and data security requirements. A graduate from Central Michigan University, Julie is currently pursuing an MBA with Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. She holds several certifications including Focus Group Facilitation Training from the Burke Institute, as well as Professional Marketing Research certifications from The Insights Association, MRI and University of Georgia. Julie and her husband Mike, along with teen daughters, Hope and Hannah, live in Richardson, Texas.

Kate Flaherty

Denver

UX Researcher and Brand Strategist

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I’m passionate about helping clients’ engage with and become part of the fabric of consumers’ lives. I am a UX Researcher and Brand Strategist with over 15 years of experience in research. My bachelor’s and master’s concentration was in Advertising Research and I have worked in agencies and consultancies in both New York City and Denver.

I have personally conducted hundreds of consumer interviews (both in-person and remote; nationally and internationally) across a variety of clients and industries. I have worked with many blue-chip and global brands- Samsung, IBM, MLB, Starwood Hotels, Verizon, Chase, Electrolux, FedEx, and Clorox included – to understand consumer experiences across all brand touchpoints and inform business decisions. I’ve been hands-on in the creation of both physical and digital products from the ground up, including determining positioning, naming, design, and even taste/formulation.

Most recently, I have moved client-side and am growing an in-house UX Research team at Healthgrades in Denver, CO. I routinely work alongside and collaborate with executive-level clients, product, marketing and creative/design team members to craft strategy and execute research studies. In my spare time I am a cheesemaker and teach classes on how to make Mozzarella and Burrata cheeses.

Kirsten Zapiec

Philadelphia

Senior Brand & Communications Leader, GfK

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With nearly 30 years in Brand and Communication Research, Kirsten is both a pioneer and thought leader in the industry. Her mission is to leverage current, relevant research techniques to uncover the insight a brand needs for growth in today’s frenetic market environment. Kirsten’s career has spanned both the client and agency side of the Market Research world; working with many brands, across many industries. She pent 5 years at Intel during the Internet bubble where she traveled the world as the lead of the global advertising research program. While at Intel, Kirsten also provided the insight necessary to develop Intel’s global brand strategy and had the pleasure of working on 7 Super Bowl Ads – one of which her research had yanked just hours before the Super Bowl.

She joined TNS in 2002, followed her passion for advertising and built a creative development practice in North America. She pioneered the development of techniques to explore emotive responses to advertising, changing the debate in creative testing. This work led to an Ogilvy award. At TNS she also focused on the role the digital world plays in brand and communications. She led the go-to-market strategy and launch of the first panel based digital media effectiveness approach; giving marketers, for the first time, confirmation of the impact of digital media on their brands. During her last years at TNS, Kirsten led the North American Brand and Communications practice, leading the launch of cutting edge research frameworks and techniques. Most notably, the renovated Conversion Model, a breakthrough in brand equity measurement. Most recently Kirsten was a Senior Brand and Communications thought leader at GfK where she focused on the relationships between people and brands. Kirsten is also actively involved in industry wide initiatives and speaks at conferences such as the ARF, CASRO, MRIA, IIeX and TTRA.

Leigh-Brindeland (Brin) Moore

San Francisco

Partner, Trusted Talent

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Brin is a Partner at Trusted Talent, a firm specializing in helping Market Research firms find the right talent for the right jobs. An industry leading executive, Brin has over 20 years of diversified expertise in building, leading and mentoring world-class sales, business development, product and marketing organizations in the Market Research Industry. Brin started in quantitative & qualitative research at companies such as IRI and Greenfield Online and has experience in both custom and syndicated research. With a move to the San Francisco Bay Area in the early days of online, was a member of the founding management team at Greenfield Online, Brin has stayed at the forefront of emerging technologies for market research and consumer insights and has had experience with online sample, mobile research, video and data visualization, among other

Brin has been responsible for building new products, growing international markets, full P/L management, brand marketing, and ROI. Demonstrated leadership in partnering with senior teams, transforming margin challenges into sustainable, high yield profit centers and on strategic initiatives focused on increasing market share, profitability, and shareholder value. The key to her success has been building and mentoring the right team(s) for the business.

Maria Barrera

Mexico City

Founder, CEO, Oceanwise

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Maria is Founder and CEO of Oceanwise, a consulting firm that helps clients to generate business strategies, both innovative and profitable, through qualitative and quantitative market research. She is the leader of the commercial and innovation teams, working closely with them in order to integrate research insights into the formulation of customized client solutions. She has a B.A. degree in Psychology, both an Arts & Marketing and a Neuroscience & Behavior diploma, and is currently pursuing an MBA at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership and Industries. With more than 10 years of experience in consumer insights and neuromarketing, she has focused her career on customer behavior and the use of neuropsychological tools to measure emotional and unconscious responses. She has published papers on topics such as market research trends, cultural audiences’ segmentation, and the use of eye tracking to measure behavior, as well as presented as a speaker at conferences such as ESOMAR Global Qualitative, and workshops in different universities and technical schools in Mexico City.

Michele McDonald

Stamford/SW CT

Senior Vice President, MetrixLab

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Michele’s focus at MetrixLab is to work closely with clients across projects, helping to deepen relationships and build trusted partnerships. Her extensive research expertise spans the entire range of innovation and brand research for multiple categories, including beauty, consumer healthcare, packaged goods, and financial services.  

Prior to MetrixLab, Michele held senior positions at Kantar Millward Brown and RTiResearch, where she played a critical role in the development and analysis of strategic research for US-based and international clients alike. Michele has partnered with multiple clients to revamp and revitalize research program processes, including the establishment of methods, action standards, playbooks and ‘roadshows’ with brand, agency and business stakeholders.  Proudly, Michele’s work has supported the development of multiple award-winning creative campaigns.

At Kantar, she regularly led workshops and training modules for clients and colleagues and has served as judge for the North American Effie Awards. She was also the regional lead for Kantar’s Women-in-Leadership program.

Michele is the founder and event leader for the Connecticut chapter of WIRe(Women in Research), a global non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of women in the marketing research and intelligence community.

Michele holds a BA in Economics and US History from Binghamton University and a Masters in Education from Iona College. A former teacher, she remains active in education by volunteering on her local School Governance Council. She lives in Stamford, CT. Email

Nikki Lavoie

Paris

Director, MindSpark Research International

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Nikki Lavoie, Director of the up-and-coming consultancy MindSpark Research International, is a spirited and intuitive qualitative specialist who translates her passion for understanding people into strategic insight. Although she is experienced in both traditional and contemporary approaches, she has focused largely on combining ethnographic and digital techniques in a cross-cultural context, as a result of her years spent in the US and as an expat living in Paris. She has written and presented on the power of language and culture within a research context, the use of Emotional Intelligence as an insight asset, and has challenged conventional incentive approaches as means of motivating participants.

Rebecca Brooks

Los Angeles

Co-Founder, CMO, Alter Agents

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Rebecca is the Co-Founder and CMO of Alter Agents, a full-service market research consultancy redefining research in the age of the promiscuous shopper.  In her 22-year career, Rebecca has developed a keen ability to glean insights from research to help clients make smart and successful decisions.  She’s worked on nearly every type of research project but specializes in communities, segmentation, and brand strategy.  Rebecca is also an industry thought leader having spoken at MRA ISC, IIeX, and ESOMAR as well as publishing numerous articles and eBooks.

Tchicaya Ellis Robertson, Ph.D.

Chicago

Senior Principal, Accenture

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Tchicaya Ellis Robertson, Ph.D. is a Senior Principal in Accenture’s Survey Insights Center of Excellence who enjoys using data and analytics to help tell compelling stories. She brings a wealth of experience in uncovering what people want and what organizations need, using advanced statistical methods to determine how her research translates into business outcomes.
With close to 25 years of corporate research experience, building on formal training in applied research methods and a specialization in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a focus on Consumer Psychology, Dr. Robertson’s primary research explores both Future Workforce and Customer Experience measurement. She has co-developed and applied a data-driven approach to customer experience measurement that is changing the way companies think about the interactions they create with their customers. An expert in quantitative methods, Tchicaya’s research is fueled by advanced statistical modeling, analytics and survey-based research. She leads the innovation agenda for the survey insights team at Accenture, identifying and scaling innovation in the research process.  
Dr Robertson is an empathetic and energetic leader who enjoys building capacity within her community professionally and as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is the mother of a teen and enjoys helping those around her realize their full potential. She serves on the Board of the Delta Research and Educational Foundation and leads the Chicago Chapter of the Women in Research organization. Tchicaya has authored two books and enjoys traveling and playing tennis in her “free” time.

Thania Farrar

Cincinatti

VP, Client Services Manager, Burke, Inc.

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As VP, Client Services Manager at Burke, Inc., Thania Farrar leads a team of talented account executives as they help client partners gain a research-fueled perspective that moves their business forward. She is driven by her passion and curiosity for understanding why people do what they do, and for building insight through a combination of emerging research solutions and traditional approaches to help companies achieve greater success. Thania specializes in the design and implementation of research programs focused on customers, consumers, shoppers and multicultural populations across a wide range of industries. Hallmarks of Thania’s consultative approach include her ability to translate complex business issues into actionable research learning plans. Her research expertise and her focus on the communication of insights that inspire action earned her the trust of her client partners. In addition, Thania has developed viewpoints on storytelling, measuring emotions and non-conscious measurement, which have earned her speaking roles at industry events such as the Omnishopper, ESOMARLive, the Insights and Innovation Exchange and The Market Research Event. Thania joined Burke in 1999, most recently serving as Director of Research Innovation and as an Account Executive prior to that. She earned her MBA from University of Cincinnati and her bachelor’s degree from Universidad Internacional de las Américas in San José, Costa Rica.

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