Before founding Hypothesis in 2000, Maria served as Senior Vice President of Entertainment at Lieberman Research Worldwide in Los Angeles. Maria holds an undergraduate degree in Marketing from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Southern California.
JEFF SELTZER, M.A., MANAGING PARTNER
Jeff has nearly 25 years experience in consumer insights with particular expertise in new product development, brand strategy, pricing/forecasting, and customer satisfaction. Before joining Hypothesis, Jeff held senior positions at firms including LRW and Harris. He was also an adjunct instructor at George Washington University and San Diego State University. As Managing Partner, Jeff oversees the day-to-day activities of Hypothesis.
MARIA VALLIS, PARTNER
Maria brings almost 20 years of experience to Hypothesis. She started her career in Australia as a qualitative and quantitative researcher, and most recently Maria was SVP in Millward Brown's Los Angeles office leading the client service team and managing a variety of research programs including Brand Equity research, global tracking studies, communications development research, and custom quantitative research. Maria has a BA (Hons) in Psychology from Monash University and Masters of Applied Psychology from the University of Melbourne.
MAE LAGRIMAS ATWOOD, DIRECTOR
A graduate of Harvard University, Mae's focus has been in the areas of entertainment, technology, and new media. Her repertoire includes qualitative, forecasting and large-scale multi-territory studies for the home video category. She also has a strong background in the consumer packaged goods and financial services industries.
DAWN AMODEO, MANAGING DIRECTOR
For more than a decade, Dawn has applied her skills and curiosity to the design, management, and analysis of research for a range of clients. She has extensive experience with both qualitative and quantitative methodologies – including discrete choice modeling, segmentation, in-home ethnographies, shop-alongs, and focus groups. She is particularly adept at managing large complex studies, especially global studies.
EDAHN SMALL, JD, CHIEF DESIGN OFFICER
Edahn Small brings his passion for communication and design to Hypothesis. Edahn specializes in crafting compelling narratives and visuals for a variety of audiences. His work has been featured on Slideshare, Note & Point, and Prezi earning him multiple awards. He holds a BA in Psychology from UCLA, an MS in Counseling, and a JD from UC Davis.
JESSICA TORNEK, MBA, PRESIDENT, MOMENTUM BY HYPOTHESIS
With over 15 years of experience in consumer-driven strategy, Jessica is a marketer and executive advisor. She brings experience from both agency and client sides, working with a range of companies from start-ups to Fortune 100s. Before joining Hypothesis, she held senior positions at Spark Networks and Westfield. She brings a global sensibility having lived in Japan, New Zealand, and Italy. Jessica has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Urban Planning from UC San Diego.
GREG RICE, CHIEF RESEARCH OFFICER
Greg has 25 years of marketing research experience, with an emphasis in quantitative techniques such as brand tracking, creative testing, shopper insights, and segmentation. He has led quantitative divisions at Hall & Partners and Kelton, working across many industries such as technology, retail, CPG, apparel, media and gaming. He had a brief stint as a comedy writer for NBC/Warner Bros and JWT Detroit. Greg has both an MSA (Advertising) and a BA (American Culture) from Northwestern University.
MICHELLE CASTLE, CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER
Michelle has partnered with global brands to strengthen and grow their businesses through custom insights for over 25 years. She leads methodologically agnostic teams to provide actionable solutions for the most challenging issues. Michelle specializes in brand strategy and positioning, segmentation and journey, communications optimization, and in-market evaluation across a wide range of industries. Michelle was previously US CEO at Hall & Partners and db5. She holds a Masters of Communications from University of Illinois.
JENNY PFOST, CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Jenny is an award-winning designer and art director and brings her expertise in typography, illustration, and visual communication to Hypothesis. She received her BA in Fine Art at Furman University, and a graduate degree in Graphic Design and Art Direction at Portfolio Center in Atlanta, GA. She has been featured on The DieLine, Cider Craft magazine, and Print Typography and Lettering annual.
JILLIAN DOMIN, DIRECTOR, QUALITATIVE OPERATIONS
Jillian has particular expertise in global tracking studies, consumer segmentation, brand positioning, product testing, and ad copy testing. Prior to joining Hypothesis Jillian worked as an Account Manager with Millward Brown and was also part of the KB Home Corporate Research group.
CASEY WILLARD, CHIEF METHODOLOGIST
Casey brings 20 years of experience in marketing analytics for clients in a wide range of industries, including automotive, CPG, technology, retail, entertainment, and many others. His expertise includes segmentation, discrete choice modeling, structural equation modeling, key driver analysis, brand equity analysis, media mix modeling, and other campaign response modeling approaches. On the side, Casey creates and curates data sets - a hobby that dates back to his childhood.
MAIA WAPNICK, GROUP DIRECTOR
Maia is a passionate storyteller and strategic researcher. She is well-versed in both qualitative and quantitative techniques and has specific expertise in brand positioning, messaging, and product development. She has worked with top brands in entertainment, CPG, luxury and retail. Prior to joining Hypothesis, Maia was at Kelton. She received her BA from UC Berkeley where she studied cognitive linguistics and urban planning.
KAITLYN HUTT, DIRECTOR
Kaitlyn Hutt comes to Hypothesis with her strong strategy and insights background. Prior to Hypothesis, she was a Strategist at Egg Strategy, specialized in path-to-purchase mapping, brand renovation, positioning and communication strategy, concept development, and insight planning. Kaitlyn has experience across multiple industries including tech, financial services, food/beverage, and pharmaceuticals.
MICHAEL THOTTAM, DIRECTOR, MARKETING SCIENCES
Michael joins Hypothesis as a member of our Advanced Marketing Science Group. He majored in Mathematics at Vassar College with applied mathematics and statistics as specialties. Michael further applied and enriched his statistical knowledge and skills through collaborations with the college’s Office of Institutional Research and Vassar Student Association.
SHAINA GREEN, M.C.M., SENIOR DIRECTOR, SEATTLE
Shaina has extensive experience in both quantitative and qualitative projects across a variety of market sectors. She brings strong tracking fundamentals, retail knowledge, and analytic expertise to the Hypothesis roster. In addition to running projects, Shaina is proud to manage the Hypothesis Seattle office – returning to her hometown after several years in Los Angeles. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and holds a Masters in Communication Management from the University of Southern California.
NINA KJARVAL, GROUP DIRECTOR
Nina joins Hypothesis with over 9 years of research experience by the way of Hall & Partners, db5, and Fandango. An expert in quantitative research, she’s worked across multiple industries and project types including brand and ad tracking, copy-testing, segmentations, attitudes & usage studies, and more.
LEAH LOWE, SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER, QUALITATIVE
Leah has an extensive background in market research. Since 2000, she has had various roles including but not limited to Project Manager and Operations Director for a Qualitative Research facility. Leah’s expertise includes consumer segmentation, medical, B2B, product testing, and entertainment research.
CHELLY JIN, JUNIOR DESIGNER
Chelly is a designer passionate about synthesizing data, technology, and art to illustrate narratives. With a generalist approach, Chelly integrates her design practices with multimedia, interaction, code, and research to develop collaborative solutions. Prior to Hypothesis, she interned at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and co-authored a publication for ACM CHI. She received her B.A. in Design Media Art at UCLA.
ADRIANA MORALES, ACCOUNTING MANAGER
Adriana is an experienced accounting professional who has 10+ years working in a broad spectrum of industries. In addition to her accounting experience, Adriana also has a tax and financial background. Adriana manages the Company’s accounts payable, account reconciliations, and banking needs. She brings a level of calm, insightful thinking and attention to detail, as well as, real life work experience to Hypothesis.
JENNIFER DER, ASSOCIATE CONSULTANT
Jennifer joins Hypothesis with roots in quantitative research and experience consulting across several industries. Having worked with top and emerging brands in tech, auto, public utility and QSR, she is well practiced in a wide range of methodologies and analysis techniques. Beyond the data, she is inspired by the profound connection between brand and consumer, and role in uncovering shared human moments. Jennifer holds a business degree from USC and passion for the outdoors, bad puns, and checking off to-do lists.
JOSHUA ERDMAN, SENIOR CONSULTANT
Josh is particularly adept at quantitative research including international trackers, discrete choice modeling, and segmentation. From entertainment and ecommerce to mud runs and music festivals, Josh has applied his love for learning to numerous industries. He helps spearhead the Hypothesis Internship Program and holds a BA in Economics from Occidental College.
SAMANTHA CAREY, VIDEO EDITOR
Samantha Carey joins Hypothesis as the foundation to our in-house video team. She is passionate about every aspect of video production. Her previous experience as a freelance videographer and photographer has prepared her to adapt to the unique needs of each client and each project. She is excited to merge her passions for both storytelling and human behavior with market research. Samantha grew up in New Jersey and graduated with a BFA in Photography with minors in psychology and creative writing from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.
EMILY VETTER, SENIOR CONSULTANT
Emily earned her B.S. in Cognitive Science at UCLA, where she developed a love for research. Her interest in how people think and make judgments led her to market research, where she enjoys studying consumer attitudes and behavior to help inform brand strategy and offerings. Outside of Hypothesis, Emily enjoys road trips, live music, and hosting themed parties.
JENNIFER RIVAS, DIRECTOR
Jennifer is an experienced qualitative researcher. She enjoys connecting with consumers and unraveling the consumer perspective, emotional and cultural elements that impact values, behaviors, brand and product consumption. She has a passion for multicultural research and has a close familiarity and deep understanding of the demographic. Jennifer is bilingual and moderates in both English and Spanish and across Hispanic acculturation levels.
VICTORIA HERNANDEZ, ANALYST
Victoria first joined Hypothesis as an intern in 2017, where she gained experience in both quantitative and qualitative research in the toy, retail, and entertainment industries. Victoria holds a Masters of Science in Applied Consumer Psychology from the University of Southern California. She has a passion for applying her deeper knowledge of human behavior and consumer decision making to market research. Victoria also holds a BA in Psychology and Spanish from Loyola Marymount University, where she graduated with honors.
ISHA AWASTHI, ASSOCIATE CONSULTANT
Isha is part of the Hypothesis Seattle team and has a wide range of market research experience, including brand tracking and brand loyalty, with a variety of clients in the CPG and retail sectors. She brings specific expertise in large-scale global brand tracking to the Hypothesis team. Prior to Hypothesis, Isha worked with Lieberman Research Worldwide. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Advertising and Promotion Strategy, from the University of Southern California.
ANGIEE GABAYA, SENIOR DESIGNER
Angiee Gabaya is a designer passionate about making illustrations and playing with type. Her design approach is fueled by conceptual thinking and making a positive difference. Prior to joining Hypothesis, she worked at Buchanan, a San Diego-based agency, strategizing, designing, and executing branding and design projects for multidisciplinary clients. Although a Los Angeles native, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design with a minor in Anthropology at San Diego State University.
SANDHYA REDDY, ASSOCIATE STRATEGIST
Sandhya is always looking to better understand why people think and act in the ways they do. Prior to Hypothesis, Sandhya’s work spanned brand strategy and trends analysis across various industries including CPG, healthcare, tech, and wellness. She believes that at the intersection of data and storytelling there is a wealth of opportunity to connect consumers and enact change. Sandhya earned her B.A. in International Relations/Global Business and NGO’s and Social Change from USC.
ANDRES ROJAS, PROJECT MANAGER, QUALITATIVE
With over 15 years of experience in the market research field, Andres has a wide range of expertise, including industries like consumer products, entertainment, and automotive. Additionally, he has extensive experience with large-scale, multi-method, and multi-city projects. Andres has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing from California State University, Northridge.
FAITH VICKERY, ANALYST
Faith first joined Hypothesis as an intern with experience in market research and advertising. As an Analyst, Faith works with a variety of clients ranging from the entertainment to automotive industry doing both quantitative and qualitative studies. Faith received her Masters at the University of Southern California in Applied Psychology with an emphasis in consumer psychology.
GISSELL GARCIA, SENIOR ANALYST
Gissell, a Los Angeles native, first joined Hypothesis as an intern in 2016. She has worked on both qualitative and quantitative research in the retail, toy, and entertainment industries. Gissell graduated with honors from UCLA, with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Public Affairs. During her time at UCLA, she conducted independent research through UCLA’s Anderson School of Management in the fields of organizational behavior and social psychology.
EMILY KENNAN, ASSOCIATE CONSULTANT
Emily joins Hypothesis with a range of qualitative and quantitative experience across many research methods, including brand tracking, brand health, customer satisfaction, ad testing, and segmentations. Her expertise lies in both B2B and customer-facing work in the finance, entertainment, and consumer goods industries. Prior to joining the Hypothesis team, Emily worked for 4 years with Lieberman Research Worldwide, after graduating from USC with a B.A. in Communication and a minor Marketing.
SHARIS TATAVOS, PROJECT MANAGER, QUALITATIVE
Sharis’ passion for research has led her to various operational and project management roles in both qualitative and quantitative research. She comes to Hypothesis with over 5 years of experience in qualitative facility recruitment. Her expertise includes medical, B2B, entertainment, consumer products, online sampling, and survey programming. Sharis has her Bachelor of Science in Marketing from California State University, Northridge.
BRYAN WATTS, DESIGNER
Bryan graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a BFA in Graphic Design and from Mt. San Antonio College with an AA in Fine Arts. He is passionate about visual communication and has freelanced for several years primarily in branding and motion graphics. He is most interested in how visual communication can solve complex problems and how society can flourish through strategic and creative designs.
REX ISENBERG, MANAGER, QUALITATIVE SPECIALIST
Rex began his career in qualitative research at Flamingo International and Hall & Partners before joining the Hypothesis team. Trained as a classical composer, he channels his deep understanding of the relationship between people and culture towards helping brands forge meaningful connections with their consumers. An experienced moderator, his work has spanned diverse categories including entertainment, CPG, and hospitality. Rex holds a B.A. in Music from Yale, and a Masters and Doctorate from Manhattan School of Music. Yes, he does take requests.
BRIANNE BEACH, GROUP DIRECTOR
Brianne is passionate about finding the big picture, using research to see the forest for the trees. A strategic researcher and storyteller, Brianne has experience in a wide range of industries (B2B and B2C) and methodologies (within both quant and qual). She especially loves being faced with challenging business questions that don’t fit a standard methodology and require creative, custom problem-solving. Prior to Hypothesis, Brianne was a Research Director at LRW, and graduated with Honors from USC with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Business.
SELIN KARGI, MCM, SENIOR ANALYST
Selin is a curious researcher, whose work at Hypothesis spans a range of quantitative and qualitative research across various industries including entertainment, tech, finance, and consumer goods. She truly enjoys understanding consumer needs and behavior to help brands solve their unique challenges. An Istanbul native, Selin moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Communication Management from USC. She holds a B.A. in Business Management, with a minor in Art Theory.
SAM RABINOVITZ, SENIOR CONSULTANT
Sam joins Hypothesis with experience at both boutique suppliers and client-side in the Fortune 200, most recently at Aramark where he led primary food & beverage research across four global business units. A RIVA-trained moderator and automation-savvy analyst, he brings a unique blend of capabilities to his projects. Sam holds degrees in Economics and Drama from the University of Virginia and is a lover of Shakespeare, mini golf and sleight of hand.
SAVANNAH DAUGHERTY, SENIOR ANALYST
Savannah brings rich client-side perspective and entertainment experience from Disney where she specialized in consumer satisfaction for Parks and Resorts, as well as large scale brand tracking. She has gained experience in different quantitative and qualitative research methods from various entertainment companies. Savannah received her M.S. in Applied Psychology from the University of Southern California where she specialized in Consumer and Organizational Psychology.
SUZANNE NUZZI, VP OF FINANCE
Suzanne has over 20 years of experience in finance and accounting across a variety of industries. She has a passion for creating business processes and systems, as well as a strong background in managing the day-to-day operations of the accounting team. Before joining Hypothesis, Suzanne was Senior Vice President at Contessa Premium Foods and Chief Financial Officer at US Trust Company. Suzanne is a CPA and began her public accounting career at Kenneth Leventhal and Company. She received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from San Diego State University
SAMANTHA AHMARI, MANAGER, PEOPLE & TALENT
Samantha joins Hypothesis with a wide-range of HR experience. Prior to coming aboard, Samantha worked for a digital entertainment company, Kin Community, implementing HR processes and policies while cultivating a strong company culture. Samantha earned her B.A. in Communication from The University of Southern California and is a lover of travel, trying new restaurants and her two cats.
ELLIE HANNAN, ANALYST
Ellie is a passionate researcher and avid problem solver with particular expertise in brand health tracking and advertising optimization, both domestic and international. She is curious about understanding the interdependent relationship between brands and consumers. Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, Ellie attended UCLA and received a B.A. in Communication Studies with a minor in Entrepreneurship. While at UCLA, she conducted research focusing on nonverbal communication and social perception.
GEORGE MOLL, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
George joins the Hypothesis team with a broad administrative and client services background. He has worked within the United States House of Representatives in several capacities, for nonprofits, and major financial institutions. He brings with him key organizational practices and operational strategies. George attended the University of Alabama and received a B.A in both Public Relations and Political Science. While in attendance his concentration was in International Affairs conducting research on international relief response.
ARIEL DELLINGER, ANALYST
Ariel joins the Hypothesis family as a graduate of the company’s thriving internship program. An avid researcher, she’s worked on uniquely different qualitative and quantitative research projects, including customer segmentation, brand tracking, and product viability across toy, food, and technology industries. She holds a B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and a Minor in Entrepreneurship from the University of Michigan.
SASHA STRELNIKOFF, ANALYST, MARKETING SCIENCES
Sasha first joined Hypothesis as an intern in 2018. He graduated with honors from UCLA with a degree in pure Mathematics with a special interest in Theoretical Physics/Astrophysics. An Orange County native, Sasha loves taking care of his garden (especially his fruit trees) and long-distance running.
EMILY MONEYMAKER, SENIOR ANALYST
Emily joins Hypothesis with both quantitative and qualitative research experience in a variety of industries, including restaurant, retail, pharmaceutical, and technology. With expertise in brand tracking, brand health testing, and in-depth interviews, she enjoys discovering what makes a brand stand out from the crowd. Prior to Hypothesis, Emily worked with Lieberman Research Worldwide after graduating from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Policy, Planning, and Development and a minor in Marketing.
SHIRLEY SHI, M.C.M., ANALYST
Shirley is a passionate researcher who loves to tell a good story with numbers. She has expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research across a variety of industries including entertainment, tech, apparel and consumer products. Originally from China, Shirley came to Los Angeles in pursuit of her Masters of Communication Management at USC. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and is a lover of plants, books and cats.
LLUVIA CARRILLO, DIRECTOR, QUALITATIVE SPECIALIST
Lluvia is a versatile, seasoned qualitative researcher with over 10 years of experience. She is passionate about understanding human behavior and helping brands build deeper connections with consumers. Her experience includes brand positioning, communication development and product development across a wide range of industries. Lluvia is a bicultural/bilingual moderator, with a specialty in Hispanic research, and enjoys uncovering the cultural underpinnings that shape the human experience.
Samantha has always had an interest in understanding what influences consumer thinking and decision making. This interest was further sparked at California State University, Northridge where she graduated with a degree in Sociology. Samantha is part of the qualitative logistics team helping to ensure projects run smoothly and the quality of participants is high. She has experience in a wide range of industries including technology, retail, and entertainment.
EMILY ECK, JUNIOR DESIGNER
Emily Eck is a multidisciplinary designer and video artist from Los Angeles. She received her BA in Design Media Arts from UCLA, where she worked with the Hammer Museum’s Graphite Journal, BEST Grant Program, and KCHUNG radio. Emily specializes in data visualization, motion graphics, video editing, and making custom emoji.
HARIS TAJANI, ANALYST, MARKETING SCIENCES
Haris first joined Hypothesis as an intern in 2018. He is interested to learn how statistical techniques can be used to solve business problems. Originally from Toronto, Haris attended UCLA and received a BA in Economics with a special interest in Econometrics. Outside of work, he is an avid fan of soccer and cricket and enjoys mixing music.
SQUID, OFFICE PUP
With over four years of experience, Squid brings her passion for pets, companionship, and her keen eye for crumbs on the floor to Hypothesis. She enjoys connecting with staff and visitors and is an expert in communication. She holds her associates degree from Cesar Millan’s the Dog Whisperer School.