__________________________________________________________________________The Innovative Choice
   
Principals
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N. Riley Kirby - President & Chief of Insights
 
Riley understands the keys to enhancing the customer experience. He has a deep understanding of what makes people tick and how to appeal to them. He also has a keen knack for pinpointing an organization's sweet spot to build business. Riley brings more than 20 years of research and strategic planning experience with Fortune 500 companies to the table. Since founding IMR in 1996, Riley has worked with clients in a wide variety of industries to help them uncover growth opportunities. IMR's many repeat clients speaks volumes about Riley's unique ability to design studies that uncover the unanticipated, including emotional drivers, to allow clients to capture and then amplify the voice of the customer in their marketing. Prior to launching IMR, Riley was a research executive for the Washington Post and Miami Herald. In a previous life, Riley taught research and advertising at several universities.
 

Erin Gallagher – Chief of Innovation & Experiences
 
Known on our staff as our ‘cultural anthropologist', Erin has spent years observing humans in their natural habitat. She has consulted with business leaders to identify unarticulated needs, key emotional and attitudinal drivers to move consumer and business decision-makers alike. Erin 's experience includes quantitative and qualitative approaches to obtain a deeper understanding of market segments. In addition, Erin also has professional training in creative thinking and leads a group at IMR that has developed a proprietary ideation process – Magellan – for generating breakthrough innovation. Erin designed the Magellan Idea Center, a creative meeting space in Charlotte, North Carolina 's design corridor where IMR holds its ideation sessions. Erin is a certified Employee Retention Specialist and a member of the PDMA (Product Development Management Association), American Creativity Association, the Innovation Network and the World Future Society.
 
Katie Pope – Communications Catalyst & Facilitator
 
Katie started her career in healthcare as a nurse and nursing administrator. Given the opportunity to conduct a sales seminar for a large, service oriented healthcare corporation, Katie completed the train-the-trainer and flew to St. Louis to facilitate her first corporate training session. She enjoyed it so much she decided to make a career shift. She joined an international training company. For over 15 years, Katie has facilitated hundreds of programs in sales, management, leadership and customer service for a variety of organizations, from smaller local and regional businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Whether it’s formal training, an innovative brainstorming event or a business strategy meeting, Katie’s goal is to enhance the communication process. Though the methodology depends on the client’s needs, every session is designed to be unique, enjoyable, stimulating and productive.
 

Brenda Bryan – Sr. Project Director & Insight Generator
 
After a number of years of researching tissue cultures, Brenda, a former bacteriologist with Duke University Medical Center and the Kansas City Health Department, began her career in market research. Since her discovery that she has more interest in humans than bacteria, Brenda has spent over 20 years in the marketing research field, managing multi-million dollar budgets for Fortune 500 companies, including a 600-store chain of home improvement stores. Her multi-faceted background makes Brenda an invaluable resource for IMR's research and ideation clients. Brenda's experience provides critical insight to help clients effectively utilize the appropriate tools to guide brand positioning, segment markets to identify best prospects, and develop specific tactics to tackle clients' unique challenges and capitalize on emerging trends.
 
 

  Courtney Shanklin - Director of Communications & Creative Meetings
 
Courtney’s specialty is thinking outside of the box to make the seemingly impossible, possible. As the Director of Communications & Creative Meetings, she facilitates creative meetings and manages the marketing and outreach activities for the Magellan Idea Center. Her experience with marketing research firms gives her a unique understanding of client needs and expectations. Courtney has hosted numerous focus groups, conducted hundreds of in-depth interviews, and has moderated and supervised taste tests. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Communication with a minor in Sociology and her passion is exploring social behaviors and patterns to effectively communicate with diverse groups of people.
 
IMR Research Group promises an innovative approach to address client challenges.  _____________________________
  
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