“Research is formalized curiosity, it is poking and prying with a purpose.” – Zora Neale Hurston
Insight miner, problem clarifier, passionate meditator, shoe-lover, chocolate fanatic, terrible skier but really trying to learn…
When it comes to her clients, Amber channels her passion and curiosity into helping them understand their business challenges, brand opportunities, and consumer needs. She loves creating actionable marketing strategies that lead to better engagement with consumers and business growth.
Amber is a proud member of the Ten Year+ Tenure Club.
Annie Pettit helps the Sklar Wilton & Associates team polish their best practices and innovative thinking into shiny blog posts, white papers, case studies, and social posts. With skills honed over twenty years as a research methods consultant, speaker, and writer, Annie supports the Oxford comma, believes in “Kill your darlings” (Thank you, Steven King!), and strives for inclusive language.
She has a PhD in experimental psychology and is a fellow of the Canadian Research Insights Council.
Annie proudly strums the four stringed ukulele because two more strings would be two much.
If it involves technology, you can bet that Ashley is involved. Her role as Office Services Coordinator means she keeps many aspects of the company running as smooth as butter. Ashley is our go-to for IT support and troubleshooting, including handling the administration of this very website, our blog, and multiple corporate social media profiles. She’s also involved in our financial administration and various other internal contributions.
But who is Ashley really? She’s our expert knitter who never leaves home without a book, and has a meme for every occasion.
Ashley is a proud member of the Ten Year+ Tenure Club.
Barb is a Research Management Director who loves to use both sides of her brain as an expert in qualitative and quantitative research, and she wouldn’t dream it any other way. When not dreaming, she manages projects, moderates online communities and in-depth interviews, analyzes complex data using Excel, SPSS, Q, and more, and develops innovation tools to help companies improve their ROI of their research projects.
Research isn’t her only passion however. Barb’s land-based hobbies include kickboxing and traveling. When not on land, you can find her scuba diving with giant mantas, dolphins and – if she can summon the courage – sharks.
Charlie’s passion for gardening turned into a hobby rather than a profession. But his passion to “help make things grow” did translate well into a career in marketing, consulting, and insight, and contributed to him being named a Fellow of Canada’s Marketing Research and Intelligence Association.
Whether it’s the growth of the SW&A team or his clients’ business, Charlie takes great pride in helping others succeed. The best part of his job is working with an exceptionally talented team who collectively add clarity and drive more effective decision making for some of Canada’s most iconic and respected brands.
When he’s not “gardening,” Charlie enjoys exploring the world with family and friends on his skis, with his camera, online, and via good old fashioned print.
By definition, Charlie is a proud member of the Ten Year+ Tenure Club!
David loves solving problems and working with others to achieve a common goal. This is likely why he enjoys being a Director offering strategic advisory services at SW&A. Having spent nearly a decade at Kraft and Smuckers in brand management, David now fuses his business sense (Masters of Business Administration) with his creative side (Masters of Creative Writing) to solve strategic problems, generally within the CPG realm.
His contagious enthusiasm, light-hearted approach, and passion for using insights to drive strategy help ensure the journey is just as enjoyable and rewarding as the end result.
When he’s not working, David can be found spending time with his family on bike rides, playing board games, or watching movies. He also continues to pursue a frustrating career as an amateur softball and basketball player.
As Managing Director on the strategy side of the business, Debra Kavchak-Taylor brings over 20 years of client and agency experience with Fortune 100 companies and some of Canada’s most iconic brands. She has deep expertise in brand strategy and repositioning, communications development, shopper insights, marketing research, innovation, and facilitation. There isn’t a marketing challenge she can’t help her clients with!
Outside of work, she keeps incredibly busy as a hockey coach and trainer (everyone in her family plays!), spending time up north, or delightedly running Birthday Angels, a non-profit organization she founded that provides birthday parties to children living in shelters.
Erin is a Director who provides strategic advisory services. Her positive energy is fueled by working with smart and friendly people. Drawing from her wealth of experience in marketing strategy, with a specialty in CPG and innovation, Erin leads creative and collaborative approaches to solve thorny business problems with her clients.
Within SW&A, Erin loves being part of the Engagement Team. She is extremely proud to contribute to this special organization that has been named the #1 “Great Place to Work” and #1 “Employee Recommended Workplace” among small companies in Canada.
When she’s not engaged with her clients and colleagues, you’ll usually find Erin somewhere outside enjoying nature with friends and family.
As a Research Director, Gail focuses on understanding her clients’ business to drill down on the right business questions and challenges, methodologies and analysis. Gail loves problem solving and digging into the data, working collaboratively, and delighting clients.
Gail holds a PhD from Ivey Business School where she specialized in Consumer Behaviour. Outside of her time at Sklar Wilton & Associates, Gail spends time with her family and friends, drinks lots of coffee, and reads for pleasure (she recommends anything by Zadie Smith, Junot Diaz, Haruki Murakami and Dan Arieli).
As a Director providing strategic advisory services, Heather is passionate about partnering with her clients to help unlock growth and solve complex business challenges. She is a classically trained marketer and consumer insights leader who has worked at tier 1 CPG companies like Kellogg’s and Procter & Gamble for over 15 years. From marketing leadership roles on the client side in Canada to consulting roles in Europe, Heather brings a unique perspective to help her clients succeed. She is an experienced leader in innovation, building iconic global brands, developing new categories, and driving commercial leadership. She truly appreciates the power of consumer insights, and couples it with a pragmatic, impact focused approach.
Heather is a proud mom who has a passion for food and travel. She loves trying out new recipes or restaurants, and planning new family adventures to keep everyone busy!
As a Director providing strategic advisory services, Jeanie uses her skills in business strategy to arm her clients with the right information to make smart, fact-based decisions. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of data and its ability to add clarity and energy to any business strategy.
Jeanie has worked in a variety of industries including retail, telecommunications, and food and beverage. She has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of International Business from Queen’s University. While completing her degrees, Jeanie spent time studying in Hong Kong and Beijing giving her a truly worldwide perspective on effective marketing strategies.
Jennifer enjoys the challenges of helping grow brands in today’s highly fragmented and dynamic markets. She loves flexing her strategic, creative, and facilitation skills to work with teams to set the path forward to commercial success.
The only down side is Jennifer has a hard time sitting at a desk for long periods of time. So, if she isn’t jumping out of her seat and grabbing the flip chart pen, you’ll find her skiing, biking, running, or generally cajoling her family to go outside and get active. Her family is thankful she can unwind with a pint once in a while.
As a Partner at SW&A, Jen has a dual focus – growing clients’ businesses as well as growing SW&A by developing its people. A creative problem solver, Jen loves building things and discovering new territories. She enjoys facilitating ‘thorny challenge’ projects and bringing both strategic guidance and designing actionable research to solve those challenges.
A true ‘Explorer’, Jen seeks adventure in the everyday whether it’s biking in the country-side, snowshoeing on the Bruce Trail, or exploring India. While her adventures have taken her around the globe, Jen loves returning to her SW&A home base which is a great place to work.
Jennifer is a proud member of the Ten Year+ Tenure Club.
As Research Director, Jonathan draws on more than 25 years of market research experience. He loves the challenge of turning data into clear and impactful insights for his clients.
Outside of work, Jonathan loves spending time with his family, and plays competitive ball hockey with the regular help of Physio and Massage Therapists.
As a Project Manager, Katrina enjoys the opportunity to hone her creative skills planning, executing, and facilitating work-sessions, as well as exercising her left-brain abilities keeping research projects running smoothly and keeping budgets on track. She sees the continuous opportunities to learn and the amazing people she works with as the two greatest benefits of working at SW&A.
A relocated Nova Scotian, Katrina has called Toronto home for over a decade now. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, she loves cooking and reading, and she takes every opportunity she can to travel.
Katrina is a proud member of the Ten Year+ Tenure Club.
A problem solver at heart, Laarni comes armed with a background in Consumer Insights with a specialization in quantitative analysis. She is a creative storyteller, dedicated to translating sound and solid research into visually digestible and actionable insights. Laarni’s skill set is shaped by sociological methodologies combined with strategic relationship marketing and research. She has worked in both the non-profit and the corporate market research sectors. Laarni is also a dedicated lifelong student of yoga and loves travelling the local markets around the world.
As a Director, Libier provides strategic advisory services that help her clients build strong brands and grow their business. She’s worked on both the client and supplier side, which means she understands the power of actionable insights in driving business growth. She combines her strategic facilitation skills with her client centric philosophy to create positive change through the power of the team.
She loves skiing, biking, mole de olla (a Mexican dish), and the purring of her cats!
Before becoming a Partner at Sklar Wilton & Associates, Manoj Raheja learned the nuances of client side marketing and insight at PepsiCo, working both locally and internationally. Since then, he’s been fortunate to team up with marketing leaders to solve tough business and marketing challenges, and build stronger brands in alcohol, confectionary, telecommunications, quick service restaurants, hospitality, entertainment, and household products.
He is passionate about helping his clients create an aligned consumer view of the future so they have the necessary foresight and conviction to be the disruptors rather than the disrupted. He skillfully scopes and clarifies problems, listens and engages to inspire creative solutions, synthesizes and story-tells to move teams forward, all while leaving businesses, brands, and leaders better than before.
Marina is a Managing Director with expertise in a multitude of advanced analytics including regression and correlation analysis, principle components analysis, cluster analyses, correspondence analysis, mixed models, and structural equation modeling. She also loves discovering and creating innovative research methods. Her broad research experience includes fields such public relations, branding, and communications.
Marina earned a Ph.D. in 2004 in History/Political Science from the Russian Academy of Science, and completed the Marketing Management program at Humber Business School.
When she’s not challenging the mighty statistics beast, you’ll find Marina playing Ultimate Frisbee.
Megan Kates is an Associate who fell in love with marketing early, specifically the balance of art and science that it provides. She loves discovering solutions for her clients’ business problems through data driven solutions and unleashing creativity through storytelling. She has extensive brand management experience in alcohol, CPG, and luxury goods industries.
With an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business and a Global MBA from the ESSEC Business School in France, she has lived and worked in multiple countries (France, Mexico, US, and Canada), in multiple languages (English, Spanish, and French!) and with a diverse group of people. She loves helping others solve challenging problems and bring out the best version of themselves.
Megan is an avid reader (fiction, mysteries and true crime are some personal favourites), and she loves spending time with her family and friends, enjoying the outdoors, and traveling to new and amazing places.
Meredith has worked at SW&A as both a Project Manager and an Office Services Coordinator. Her attention to detail, knack for numbers, and always looking for ways to improve processes have been key to her success.
Meredith is a proud member of the Ten Year+ Tenure Club.
As a Director, Mike is an expert in various forms of traditional qual and quant research as well as niche approaches like social media, predictive markets, and cultural / semiotic analysis. He’s a 3-time MRIA award winning qualitative researcher who loves testing innovative research methods.
Mike is always focused on the challenge of finding the most appropriate methodology to solve client challenges, and he enjoys turning research into relevant and actionable narratives.
As an enthusiast in all aspects of popular culture, Mike serves as the trivia quizmaster at his local pub and hopes to one day replace Alex Trebek as the host of “Jeopardy!”.
As a Data Science Associate, Mike is an expert in health research, quantitative research, and statistical analysis. He also has a knack for developing innovative new research methods, which he uses to draw insights about market trends as well as human psychology. Mike earned a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience, with a focus on memory, from the University of Toronto.
When he’s not conducting research or spending time with his family, Mike is a passionate sports and music fan. He plays and watches many sports – hockey, basketball, soccer, and tennis, to name a few – and plays the saxophone, which included a stint in an indie rock band at McGill University.
As a Director, Nancy enjoys problem solving and strategizing with her clients, and collaborating with others to help develop creative business opportunities.
Nancy enjoys the outdoors and new travel experiences. Although sometimes a bit accident prone, Nancy is always up for the next adventure.
Nancy is a proud member of the Ten Year+ Tenure Club.
Between skiing and computer programming Patrick enjoys his work at SW&A as an Associate. Through his client support responsibilities and his role as a researcher, his job is to apply his knowledge and understanding of human psychology and behaviour to deliver deep insights into the consumer mindset.
Paul Dalton is a Project Manager at SW&A, but if you ask the Molson team that he supports – they might tell you he’s the CMO (Chief Magician Officer). That’s because Paul often has to pull off some magic to make sure the Molson team is properly supported and able to help their clients succeed.
In his spare time, Paul likes to pull quarters out his daughter’s ear…and when he’s in trouble with the wife – make himself disappear.
As a Partner, Sarah is our lead Engagement Champion. She focuses on people development initiatives as well as the financial health and smooth operations of SW&A. Her passion for helping every associate succeed is at the core of her commitment to creating an even more special culture. She balances her internal management of the company with leadership of several client portfolios.
Sarah’s unique journey began when she served as an officer in the US Air Force designing computer systems for next generation surveillance satellites. She put her skills in logic and strategy to good use by following that up with a marketing career at Kraft Foods in the USA and Canada. She has strong family ties in the US but is now a proud Canadian.
Outside the office, Sarah is usually…outside. She loves running, hiking, skiing, paddle boarding, canoeing, and just about anything to do with animals.
Sarah is a proud member of the Ten Year+ Tenure Club.
As a Partner at Sklar Wilton & Associates, Sarah loves to supercharge her clients’ innovation insights and strategies, and help them ‘change the game’ in their categories. She is known for her ability to craft strong innovation strategies and frameworks that contribute to new brands as well as the growth and evolution of numerous iconic Canadian brands. Never one to sit still, Sarah loves to be challenged to make innovation happen faster…agile innovation and design thinking are her latest passions.
Sarah is creative at heart, a talent that shows in her cooking, entertaining, and photography. She loves to travel, especially when yoga is involved, so be sure to ask about her time in Costa Rica at a yoga retreat!
Sarah is a proud member of the Ten Year+ Tenure Club.
Tara is an Associate who loves using insights to influence business strategy. She has a wealth of client-side experience in merchandising analytics, customer experience, and product management with a focus on localizing global companies like TJX, Victoria’s Secret, and Starbucks to the Canadian market. Combining the best of both worlds, Tara earned a MBA and a Master’s degree in marketing research and consumer behaviour.
Tara loves to travel (she earned her Master’s degrees in Spain!) and is a creative dilettante with a passion for photography.
With nearly two decades of experience, Tasman is our Corporate Storyteller and visual communications specialist. His work covers nearly every design demand and format. His previous challenges include makeovers of global high-tech brands, user interfaces for government/military/financial services, data visualization, multi-media production, annual reports, museum catalogs, and complex customer insight presentations. He is highly proficient in layouts, web design, photo manipulation, video editing, audio mixing, PowerPoint animation, UI design, signage, store and package design, trade show booths, and icon/logo illustration.
In his spare time, Tasman is a critically acclaimed, internationally exhibited media artist, film buff, ramen slurper, and scone scarfer. Sadly, he is allergic to cats.
As a Project Manager, Tracey uses her problem solving and storytelling skills to support research activities and help clients solves tough business challenges. In particular, she loves participating in and observing facilitation sessions where clients define problems, identify root causes, and develop solutions that galvanize teams and drive action.
Tracey is a pro-active team member who is eager to help her colleagues and clients, and who loves learning and applying new concepts. Tracey keeps everyone in the office on their toes with her daily fitness challenges.
In her spare time, she enjoys swimming and running, and is working towards finishing a marathon.