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The HCD Team shares tons of informative content about our tools, methodologies, and overall experience in the market research industry every week. Follow along to engage in curious conversations, explorative blogging, & resourceful info on how to optimize your research initiatives.

SPEAKERS

Elizabeth (Zab) Johnson, PhD

Senior Fellow, Wharton Neuroscience Initiative at The University of Pennsylvania

Elizabeth (Zab) Johnson is the executive director and senior fellow of the Wharton Neuroscience Initiative at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on vision and visual behavior. Her work spans physiological approaches in the retina and early visual cortex to using eye tracking to investigate how human observers look and navigate through the world, how these processes unfold over time and with experience, and the role of social cognition and decision making in these processes. As an expert on color vision, she collaborated with Lenovo to develop computer and tablet screens with features that provide a more personalized color experience and has worked with US military and tactical law enforcement to improve their visual training and assessments. She designed and co-instructs a visual marketing class at Wharton with Professor Barbara Kahn.

Before joining Wharton, Zab was a research professor of neurobiology at Duke University's School of Medicine, where she also launched the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences.  She received her PhD in neural science at New York University and an AB in psychobiology from Mount Holyoke College. She is passionate about how neuroscience can impact and improve many aspects of how we make choices, lead organizations, and live our lives. Her research and practice strive to push applications of neuroscience outside of the traditional laboratory, in order to find new solutions for real world challenges that impact both business and society.

Dr. Maureen (Mimi) Morrin

Henry Rutgers Professor of Marketing,

Rutgers University School of Business

Dr. Maureen (Mimi) Morrin is the Henry Rutgers Professor of Marketing at Rutgers University School of Business in Camden, NJ, USA. Her research focuses on examining how the human senses impact the consumer decision-making process. She currently serves as Co-Editor of the Journal of Marketing Research and has served on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, and Journal of Consumer Research and as Area Editor at the Journal of Consumer Psychology. Dr. Morrin has received several external grants to support her research as well as teaching awards and awards for her reviewing activity at the Journal of Consumer Psychology and Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. She particularly enjoys teaching courses in business analytics. She received her Ph.D. from New York University, where she was a Consortium Fellow and won an Outstanding Teaching award.  She is also a graduate of Thunderbird (MBA) and Georgetown University (BSFS). Her background includes five years of corporate work experience in advertising (at Ted Bates) and brand management (at James River Corp and Playtex Family Products).

Steve Yastrow

Author and President, Yastrow & Company

Steve Yastrow is the author of three books, Ditch the Pitch, We: The Ideal Customer Relationship and Brand Harmony. Management guru Tom Peters said, “When Steve Yastrow writes, I pay close attention.” Seth Godin wrote that Ditch the Pitch “gives salespeople the courage to be human.”  Steve is the president of Yastrow & Company, where he and his team help their clients improve business results through more compelling customer experiences and stronger customer relationships. 

Tian Yu, Ph.D.

Director of Sensory, Aigora

Dr. Tian Yu obtained her Ph.D. in neuroscience, focusing on fat and sour taste signal transduction. After a postdoctoral fellowship researching lipid metabolism, Dr. Yu devoted herself to sensory and consumer science research to combine her love of sensory neuroscience and expertise in data science as a Computational Sensory Scientist. Now she is the Directory of Sensory at Aigora,  a technology company that helps sensory and consumer teams to implement artificial intelligence.

Zarak Khan

Behavioral Scientist at Edward Jones, Dan Ariely's Center for Advanced Hindsight, and University of Pennsylvania

Zarak Khan is a behavioral scientist with experience generating and applying insights to organizational strategy, innovation infrastructure, product design, and public policy.

Cited by McKinsey & Company as an "expert forging the future" of behavioral science, he divides his time across industry, academia, and philanthropy. Zarak is a Senior Manager in Edward Jones' Firm Strategy Enablement Office. He is also a Senior Behavioral Researcher at Dan Ariely's Center for Advanced Hindsight and a Behavioral Science Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches an applied behavioral science consulting course to graduate students.

Zarak serves on the Board of Action Design Network, a non-profit community of over twenty thousand practitioners and researchers interested in exploring the use of behavioral science and psychology in the design and development of products and policies that help people improve their lives. He graduated from Duke University's Sanford School with a Master of Public Policy degree.

Dr. Helene Hopfer

Rasmussen Career Development Professor and Associate Professor of Food Science at

Penn State University

Dr. Helene Hopfer is the Rasmussen Career Development Professor and Associate Professor of Food Science at Penn State. Research in her group focuses on the human-food interface, where they study how food composition, food structure and human factors affect food perception and acceptance. Through holistically combining instrumental analysis with human sensory testing the Hopfer group aims to study how processing affects food choice and food intake from seed to food, how complex mixtures affect food perception, and to elucidate the effects of past experiences, attitudes, and beliefs on consumer perception and acceptability.

Dr. Hopfer has authored over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and has been funded by the National Institute of Food & Agriculture, the USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service, the PA Department of Agriculture, and the National Dairy Council.

Andrea List

Senior Vice President - Analytics and Research,

Porter Novelli

Andrea has compiled an impressive track record of achievement in communication as a market researcher, measurement and analytics expert, and consumer insights specialist. As the North American lead for data-fueled insights and intelligence, she is a valued strategic partner to her clients and innovator within the agency.

Andrea leverages her research and analytics expertise to help clients, including DICK’S Sporting Goods, Bayer, Jiffy Lube, eBay and Garnet Hill build and sustain competitive advantages by uncovering comprehensive, audience-specific insights that inform campaign and concept development, message testing and program measurement. 

As a measurement and evaluation expert, Andrea has created proprietary agency platforms and dashboards used across multiple clients. In 2018, she created PNSTANCE, a diagnostic tool that guides decision-making around corporate support of social justice issues. She has also developed and deployed company-wide reporting standards and measurement approaches for clients such as General Mills, UPS, Ben & Jerry’s, John Hancock and Keurig Dr Pepper.

Andrea received a master’s degree in public relations from the Boston University College of Communication, and she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in communication from Boston College.  

Michelle Niedziela, PhD

VP of Research & Innovation, HCD Research 

Michelle is a behavioral neuroscience expert in neuropsychology, psychology and consumer science. Experienced from academia (Monell Chemical Senses Center) and industry (Johnson & Johnson, Mars Chocolate) in R&D of innovation technologies and methodologies for consumer research. Michelle obtained a PhD and masters in neuroscience and biopsychology from Purdue University and a BS in psychology from Florida State University.

 

Beginning as Scientific Director, Michelle led research design and handled all things science related. Currently as VP of Research and Innovation at HCD Research, Michelle focuses on finding and integrating new applied consumer neuroscience tools with traditional methods used to measure consumer response. 

 

Outside of the office, Michelle loves travelling and dancing. Her favorites places include Vietnam, Taiwan, Croatia, and Iceland. She also taught Argentine Tango while in graduate school.

Kathryn Ambroze

Director of Behavioral Insights and User Experience, HCD Research

Kathryn Ambroze is a behavioral neuroscientist with experience in consumer research and methodological innovation. She earned her bachelor’s in Neuroscience and Business from Muhlenberg College and her Masters in Behavioral and Decision Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. She currently works at HCD Research as the Director of Behavioral Insights and User Experience focusing on methodological development and innovation applying neuroscience and psychological tools to consumer and market research. 

Martha Bajec, PhD

Senior Scientific Consultant, HCD Research

Dr. Martha Bajec has spent the last decade working as a scientist and leader for some of the world’s largest and most influential consumer packaged goods companies. With undergraduate and master’s theses focused on neurotransmission in model organisms and doctoral work on individual differences in human oral sensation, Martha has put the rigor and stringency of her training to work in delivering evidence-based insights on CPG categories ranging from fortified milk-based products through carbonated beverages, and beer and wine through tobacco and cannabis. 

 

As Principal at Bajec Senseworks consulting, Martha lends her unique expertise and perspective to researchers and leaders across CPG categories. Martha joined HCD Research in 2020 as a Consulting Director in Health and Wellness Research exploring the consumer space. In addition to providing full-service support for human testing and product evaluation, Martha’s experience innovating in highly regulated spaces ensures consideration of regulatory and compliance requirements, by design. In her spare time, Martha enjoys fermenting, extracting, and infusing natural products and foods.

Glenn Kessler

President, HCD Research

Glenn is the President & CEO of HCD Research, a communications and sensory research company which uses applied consumer neuroscience methods and traditional research tools to answer a variety of research questions. In addition to years of experience in management, marketing and market research analysis, he has conducted political communications research for campaigns and evaluated Super Bowl Advertising for major media outlets, becoming an “expert” in political advertising.

 

He is a regular guest speaker at The College of New Jersey, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and The Rutgers Graduate School of Business and Management. He is now focused on bringing innovation and new business opportunities to HCD.

Allison Gutkowski

Director of Global Research, HCD Research

As Director of Global Research for HCD Research, Allison specializes in all thing’s client related, including educational sessions on applied behavioral neuroscience and applications, building relationships and developing proposals and research programs. She is responsible for new business development as well as account and project management. Allison has been a guest lecturer at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, The College of New Jersey and Rutgers University.

 

Allison is very passionate about what we do here at HCD and loves to talk about it. Allison loves hearing clients’ pain points and unique obstacles that they face with their products and brands. This allows us to explore new approaches and applications that provide a solution to a problem they have not been able to solve with past research approached. Each question brings a new challenge.

Rachel Horn

Marketing Research Manager, HCD Research

Rachel is a graduate from The College of New Jersey. At TCNJ, Ms. Horn studied psychology and participated in multiple labs and research projects that helped hone her love for scientific inquiry and research in general. These included TCNJ’s Memory & Aging Lab and its Testing and Assessment in Psychology Lab as well as her own Honors Thesis project on the effect of calorie labeling on menus. Through these experiences, Ms. Horn developed important research skills and learned about the best ways to design, execute, and report a study.

 

Through her research and classes at TCNJ, she also developed a strong interest in real-world applications of psychology, particularly how psychology can be applied to business. When she first learned about HCD Research, she was particularly interested in its mission to do just this—apply neuroscience to inform marketing decisions. She began her role as an analyst at HCD in 2018 and is now a research manager. She is looking forward to further developing her skills as a research manager and growing along with this ever-developing field!

Shoshana Davidson

Principal Advisor at Behavioural Insights Team

Shoshana is a Principal Advisor at the Behavioural Insights Team in the UK, leading BIT’s Organisational Behaviour and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion policy & research team.

 

Shoshana was the programme manager for a 3.5-year Government-funded 'Gender and Behavioural Insights' research programme, supporting multiple partners to make their recruitment processes more inclusive and generating novel evidence about 'what works'. Many of these insights can be found in BIT's toolkit on how to improve gender equality in the workplace

Erik Johnson

Founder, Behavioral Strategies

Erik Johnson is the founder of Behavioral Strategies, a boutique consulting firm helping technology businesses leverage behavioral science for growth and performance.

Previously, Erik held roles at behavioral economics consultancy ideas42 and financial research and technology company Morningstar’s Behavioral Insights Team.

He is a co-host for the Action Design Radio podcast and has been published in the Harvard Business Review, Behavioral Scientist, Observer, Morningstar Magazine, and ConversionXL.

Michael Nestrud

VP of Partnership Solutions, Curion

A true student of the human experience through the lenses of sensory science and culinary arts, Michael brings 15 years of research and consumer experience from respected establishments like the U.S. Army, Ocean Spray Cranberries, and MNC, a consumer and market research firm he founded and directed.

Michael’s impressive career is built on his foundation belief that the strategic application of sensory and consumer research (paired with the right statistical and analysis and interpretation) provide endless potential to answer questions relating to the human experience of consumption, including how products make us think, feel, and behave. Michael’s published work explores topics such as new methods, meal compatibility (specifically MREs(TM)) multivariate statistics, and the measurement of human emotions associated with consumption. He earned an A.O.S. from the Culinary Institute of America and was a culinary teaching fellow prior to completing his Bachelors and PhD in Food and Sensory Science at Cornell University. In 2020, Michael joined Curion’s team as Vice President, Partnership Solutions.  He additionally serves as an officer the Pangborn Sensory Science Trust and served as 2017 and 2021 Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium Chairs. 

Alli Wishner

Behavioral Analytics Consultant at Deloitte LLP

Alli is a Behavioral Analytics Consultant at Deloitte LLP. She works with state and federal government agencies to improve the way government and industry work – and improve the lives of the citizens they serve – through harnessing the power of behavioral science. Alli received her Master’s in Behavioral and Decision Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania.

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