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Ontario Politics - A closer look
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As one of Innovative’s Data Management and IT Technicians, Adam works closely with project leads and their research teams to build polished, custom surveys and online workbooks, optimized for user experience.
For over 10 years, Adam has been instrumental in putting the strategy and systems in place behind the scenes that allow research teams and diverse clients to thrive. His IT expertise comes from a fascination with technology – how it works and how it can be applied to make our lives easier. As a result, Adam always delivers out-of-the-box approaches and solutions that exceed client expectations.
During the weekend, you’ll likely find him at a film festival or out to dinner at one of his favourite restaurants.
Brendan is a Senior Consultant at Innovative, helping to meet client needs at every phase of the project, from developing research questions to pulling the key insights from the results.
Brendan has over 10 years of experience at the interface of academia, business, civil society, and public policy. His research and commentary, primarily on the energy transition, has been featured in several national publications, including CBC, the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, the Daily Oil Bulletin, and Canada’s National Observer. A seasoned project manager, Brendan also brings experience in strategic communications, copywriting, and media relations.
Before joining Innovative, Brendan was the Acting Research Director at the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy, undertaking original qualitative research, designing public opinion surveys and leading the organization’s knowledge mobilization activities. As a Research Associate at Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, he led and contributed to authoritative reports that have served as blueprints for Canadian climate and environmental policies. He started his career in Alberta’s energy sector with the ATCO Group of Companies.
Brendan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Queen’s University and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Calgary. Outside of work he is a musician, runner, and sporadically successful cook.
Olga Rodriguez Sierra is a Director at Innovative where she works with a wide range of clients in the energy, sustainability, and finance sector. She is passionate about translating knowledge from basic academic research to actionable insights for real world problems. As a behavioural science practitioner, she applies a behavioural lens to build strategy and evidence-based approaches to diagnose and overcome barriers to enable behaviour change in all her projects.
Her more than 15 years of professional experience has taken her to Canada, the United States, Latin America, and Europe, where she has engaged with interdisciplinary teams in the design, execution, and evaluation of research programs and policies. With her extensive knowledge of judgement and decision-making, Olga is the in-house behavioural economics expert.
Olga received a BSc in Psychology from the National University of Mexico, an MSc in Neuroscience from the University of Tuebingen, and a PhD in Neural and Behavioural Sciences from Rutgers University. Her doctoral thesis focused on how emotions affect decision making and brain function.
In her spare time, Olga enjoys reading novels, traveling, and being outside in nature.
Martha is a Consultant at Innovative Research Group, who helps with providing insights in a variety of projects as well as working with quantitative and qualitative data.
Before coming to Innovative, she was a Program Evaluator & Research Assistant, who created a baseline research project for the organization that focused on obtaining feedback from clients through interviews and surveys. During her time at Ryerson, she was a Sociology Statistics Peer Mentor, where she supported students in learning statistics and resolved students’ technical difficulties with the statistical software of SPSS.
Martha has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from Ryerson University, and an Ontario College Graduate Certificate from Humber College’s Research Analyst Program.
During her downtime, Martha is spending time with family or going on walks. As well, she tries to keep up with her favourite hockey and football teams.
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Max is a Consultant at Innovative Research Group, providing insights on client projects through statistical analysis and working with quantitative and qualitative data.
Prior to joining INNOVATIVE, Max was a grant writer for non-profits, writing and managing grants and funded projects at organizations making change in British Columbia, Canada, and Colorado, USA. As part of a team, Max spearheaded the monitoring and evaluation process for a Vancouver non-profit doing an international development and capacity-building project. Additionally, Max was a campaign staffer for Erin Bennett’s 2016 run for Colorado State Senate in District 31, and a volunteer for Biden for President, doing outreach during the 2020 US Presidential Election.
Max has a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and a master’s in public policy from Simon Fraser University.
To relax, Max likes watching TV and movies, reading historical fiction, and floating lazily on lakes.
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Joshua is a Research Analyst providing insights and working comprehensively with quantitative and qualitative data through all levels of the research process.
Joshua’s background includes extensive training and experience with quantitative and qualitative research in economics and public policy. Before joining INNOVATIVE, Joshua worked as a Junior Economist, where he used survey research to report on the impact of COVID-19 to British Columbia’s tourism industry. Before that, he held several research roles at the University of British Columbia in global trade policy, environmental impact policy, and crown corporation governance.
Joshua holds a Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (M.P.P.G.A.) from the University of British Columbia, as well as a bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in politics, philosophy, and economics (PPE).
In his spare time Joshua enjoys reading, playing piano, skiing, or spending time with friends and family.
Vanna is a senior consultant with Innovative involved in a variety of projects, providing both quantitative and qualitative support with expertise in data visualization, analyzing text-as-data, data modeling, and survey experiment design.
Before coming to Innovative, Vanna was part of an academic research group focused on public opinion, political behaviour, and the social psychological roots and consequences of political polarization and identity politics. Going forward, she is focused on continuing to develop and apply her analytical and data visualization skills to a wide variety of projects, providing meaningful insights presented in an accessible and compelling way.
Vanna has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in Political Science and Gender Studies along with a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from Simon Fraser University. Her most recent academic research has focused on the heterogenous effects of candidate gender on negative and attack-style online campaign communications during elections.
As a fiber artist with a special interest in non-conventional and sustainable materials, outside of the office Vanna can be found crocheting, sewing reusable household items, or spending time with her many nieces and nephews.
+1 (416) 458-9638
Alison is a Research Analyst at Innovative Research Group, where she provides quantitative and qualitative support through statistical analysis across the full range of industries that INNOVATIVE serves.
Before coming to INNOVATIVE, Alison was already an experienced marketing specialist. Alison maximizes insights for decision-makers through comprehensive insights drawn from analyzing primary data, interviews, focus groups, and crafting compelling market analysis.
During her time at the University of Toronto, Alison mastered various statistical methods and tools (R and SAS) through leading numerous academic projects and using those tools to extract meaningful insights from data. At INNOVATIVE, Alison is using her expertise in analysis and data visualization to facilitate the entire research process, including creating custom reports and presentations.
Alison holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and statistics from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Applied Analytics degree from the University of Melbourne.
In her spare time, Alison enjoys travelling and spending time with her family and friends.
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Lindsay is a Research Analyst at Innovative Research Group, providing insights on client projects through development, analysis, and preparation of quantitative and qualitative research.
Before coming to INNOVATIVE, she was a Content Researcher for Xello (formerly known as CareerCruising) where she was responsible for maintaining the Canadian and US college, university, and course database. Prior to Xello, she worked for the London District Catholic School Board as a Research Analyst, where she developed and analyzed surveys for the benefit of the board and students. At INNOVATIVE, Lindsay is using her research expertise to execute and manage all aspects of the research process.
Lindsay has a joint Bachelor of Science degree in psychology & anthropology from Trent University, and an Ontario College Graduate Certificate from Humber College’s Research Analyst Program. Her major research project was on the benefit of mindfulness in college students.
During her downtime, Lindsay likes spending time with friends, reading, and playing board games.
Angus is a senior consultant at Innovative, with experience working through every stage of a project – from initial survey design, to analysis, to reporting the results. He understands how to get the most out of the data.
Angus uses a range of statistical methods and data processing tools, such as R and QGIS, to fully leverage data and understand the connection between the underlying attitudes and beliefs of a given population and their desired outcomes.
At Innovative, Angus was an important part of the 2019 Canadian election program, developing intuitive questions to uncover the dynamic interplay of public perceptions driving the election, and creating a model to show how votes would translate into seats.
Angus holds a master’s degree in Political Science from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of British Columbia.
In his free time, Angus keeps up with the latest in data journalism and election forecasting, eagerly following the work of Nate Silver. He also does his best to keep up with the latest in basketball analytics while supporting the Toronto Raptors.
Julian Garas is a Vice President at Innovative where he manages multi-dimensional strategic research programs for government, not-for-profit and private sector clients, with emphasis on regulated industries.
Julian is also Innovative’s in-house Ontario energy regulatory affairs expert. Building on his experience working with a wide variety of Ontario LDCs (small, medium and large), Julian leads Innovative’s customer engagement thought leadership and is an integral part of all customer engagement programs. His comprehensive knowledge of all OEB decisions under the RRFE comes from years of working with clients from the first strategic planning session all the way to post-rate filing.
Julian has a postgraduate degree in Government Relations and Corporate Communications from Seneca College and Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Studies (Honours) from Ryerson University. He is a news and politics junkie with an appetite for staying up to date with the latest policy debates, pop culture and sports.
Susan is a Vice President at Innovative and works with clients across a variety of sectors. On any given day, Susan is managing multiple projects using various methodologies, responsible for everything from survey design right through to providing insightful strategic advice. Clients rely on Susan for excellent project management that is grounded in twenty-plus years of research experience.
Having worked in the research field since 1995, Susan has a unique depth and breadth of experience and expertise that ensure clients achieve their research objectives. While working in Australia, Susan was awarded a highly respected customer service award by a large international corporation. She enjoys the creative aspects of designing and facilitating research programs to meet complex and unique client needs.
Susan studied sociology and Political Science at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec.
When not working, Susan enjoys travelling, playing golf and tennis, and running an Airbnb.
Greg is the founder and President of Innovative Research Group. As its founder, Greg leads Innovative’s mission to evolve market research practices by transforming the latest developments in academia into proprietary models that deliver actionable insights. As President, Greg oversees Innovative’s methodical best practices and acts as the Lead Methodologist on projects across the organization.
As a former Principal Secretary, Greg has built a career at the intersection of public policy, communications and public opinion. With over 30 years of communications and opinion research experience, Greg uses a full range of research tools for a variety of government and corporate clients across industries such as financial services, healthcare and the energy and infrastructure sector.
Greg’s research has been highlighted in media across the country. He has been featured in many media outlets including Global TV, the Globe and Mail, the Hill Times, the National Post and various other PostMedia Network newspapers. In 2016, Greg received the Public Affairs Association of Canada Award of Distinction.
Greg has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and has taken courses in data analyses, research methodologies, and management from Essex University, York University, and Harvard University.
When away from his desk, Greg can be found travelling between British Columbia, Ontario, and England to spend time with his wife and daughters.
Jason is a Vice President at Innovative, specialising in research across complex, highly regulated industries. Jason’s quantitative experience covers a wide array of analytical techniques from multivariate and time-series analysis to market modeling and sample design. On the qualitative side, Jason is an experienced interviewer and focus group moderator.
For over 15 years, Jason has been a sought-out advisor on regulatory issues, customer engagement programs, and customer satisfaction benchmarking. He has a unique ability to distill information about complex and heavily regulated industries into engagement programs that capture informed insights from consumers and the broader public.
Jason has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Master of Science degree in Managerial Economics, both from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
When he’s not at work, Jason enjoys exploring Ontario’s wine country and wines.
As Vice President and Director of Operations, Dan is responsible for all aspects of finance and operations at Innovative. Dan leads our efforts to bring our projects to market and ensure they are deployed and operated at scale.
Dan’s wealth of knowledge in operations stems from years of experience working with various levels of government, not-for-profit, and private sector entities by providing advice on strategic planning and organizational management. With 13 years of market research operating experience, Dan has deep expertise in research deployment, business development, and operational strategy.
In his spare time Dan plays in 2-3 hockey leagues, depending on the season. In the summer months, he heads north with his kayak.
Cliff is the Director of Data Management and IT at Innovative. Since 2005, Cliff has overseen all technical aspects of Innovative’s operations from field preparation, to data collection, quality assurance, and managing Innovative’s ongoing national online panel.
In order to provide clients with quality and accuracy in our research and analysis, there are a set of strict procedures in place to ensure data integrity. Cliff manages Innovative’s strict regimen for data cleaning, data analysis, and data presentation operations, which ensures precise results for clients. He has proudly done this for the past 15 years. Cliff has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, along with diplomas in Business Management and Architecture.
Cliff enjoys family activities with his wife, two adorable daughters and dog. He enjoys riding motorcycles, which he has done for over 30 years, and has shared his knowledge and experience as a motorcycle instructor for several years.
Colin is a Vice President at Innovative overseeing the Vancouver team with extensive experience in quantitative research methods, communications research, and data visualization. Over the last 5 years at Innovative, Colin has designed and executed public opinion research for many of Western Canada’s largest crown corporations, utilities, energy companies, and financial regulators.
Colin has over a decade of experience working on academic and professional research teams; and has been at Innovative since 2014. Colin’s approach to research focuses on careful research designs that help clients understand not just correlation but cause and effect.
Colin completed an MA in Political Science at the University of British Columbia. Prior to joining Innovative, Colin taught quantitative research methods at Simon Fraser University.
In his downtime, Colin is likely to be cooking for friends and family or hiking on the North Shore mountains.
As an IT, Data and Programming Manager at Innovative, Raymond is responsible for developing and maintaining software solutions for all our qualitative and quantitative research projects. He also maintains, researches and implements information technology and strategic solutions for all our technological operations.
With over 10 years of experience in the industry and armed with a background in software development, Raymond brings a professional and reliable presence to our team. Raymond is always delving into new technologies and advancements and researching the latest trends in software applications and data management.
Raymond graduated from the Computer Systems Technology program at British Columbia Institute for Technology (BCIT) and has completed the 3D and Classical Animation programs at Vancouver Film School.
When time permits, Raymond can be found on the golf course or on the ski hills. He also enjoys good food and is an avid home chef and baker.
As the Administrative Coordinator at Innovative, Tonya assists with the day-to-day operations of our offices.
Tonya has over 20 years of experience in professional office executive assistant positions. She holds a diploma in Legal-Office Administration and Social Service Work. Her interest in social policy led her to pursue Paralegal studies and she actively volunteers her time in the community, aiding with advocacy.
In her spare time, Tonya enjoys cooking, travelling and spending time with her family, she has three devoted sons and a pet chow-chow named Zena.
Vanessa is a project manager and analyst for clients across the full range of industries that Innovative serves. The projects she works on cover a variety of topics from measuring public support and opposition, to public engagement, brand/concept testing, and evaluating corporate reputation. Vanessa is also experienced in managing qualitative research studies, from moderating focus groups, to conducting one-on-one interviews with senior executives and government officials.
Fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, she brings her background in Chinese language research to bear, leading Innovative’s multicultural research projects across Canada. Vanessa has worked closely with clients on projects that target Chinese Canadians. Her research with this population has been featured in CBC News, Global News, and all major Chinese media outlets, including Sing Tao, Ming Pao, Fairchild TV, and OMNI TV News.
Vanessa is a member of the International Association of Business Communication (IABC). She has a Master of Arts in Communication from Simon Fraser University, a Master of Arts in Communication from Communication University of China in Beijing, and holds a Bachelor of Social Science in Government and Public Administration from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.