Mahmood is a Research Analyst at Innovative Research Group, providing insights on client projects through statistical analysis and working with quantitative and qualitative data.
Before coming to Innovative, Mahmood was a research assistant at the University of Guelph, conducting research on consumers’ preference for ethical products in different pricing scenarios. Moreover, he was a teaching assistant for undergraduate courses such as Marketing Strategy and Information Management where he spent time to help students with concepts that were not covered during the main lecture. At Innovative, Mahmood is focused on continuing to develop his analytical and story telling skills through working on a variety of projects, preparing reports and presentations and deriving insights from data.
Mahmood has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering and an MBA with a minor in Marketing from Iran along with a Master of Science degree in Marketing and Consumer Studies from the University of Guelph.
In his free time, you can find Mahmood reading books on human psychology and well-being, taking a walk and spending time with his friends and family.
Abby is a Research Analyst at Innovative Research Group (INNOVATIVE), working to provide qualitative and quantitative data and insights to inform market strategies for a variety of industries.
Prior to her current position, Abby obtained her bachelor’s in marketing and entrepreneurship from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland with a specialty in technology and innovation. This coupled with her background in start-up marketing and communications allows her to support research by providing informative data visualization stories and building analysis into actionable insights. In addition, Abby manages INNOVATIVE’s online presence to help communicate the company’s unique research.
When not at work, you can find Abby partaking in any sport that involves ice or snow, taking advantage of Canada’s outdoor offerings, and spending as much time at the cottage as possible.
Zach Finkelstein is a Senior Consultant at Innovative Research Group and a critical all-rounder asset to any project.
Since 2006, Zach has worked as a research manager in every sector of public affairs and strategy, including energy, transportation, education, media, healthcare, food and beverage, non-profit, governmental, and political campaigns.
Zach provides over a decade of experience in brand research at INNOVATIVE, most recently in 2020 as project lead interviewing and surveying financial planners, students, and other key stakeholders for FP Canada.
Mr. Finkelstein is an expert in both qualitative and quantitative methods, from focus group research to in-depth interviews to factor and regression analysis in SPSS, and has designed, analysed, and delivered research programs to dozens of clients across every sector.
On evenings and weekends, Zach tours as one of North America’s leading young classical singers. Recent highlights include the release of Zach’s second album ‘Dark is Yonder Town on Scribe Records, the Mexican premiere of Comala, a Spanish opera at the Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara, and jumping in on an afternoon’s notice as the tenor soloist in the Seattle Symphony’s Carmina Burana.
Zach Finkelstein has a Bachelor of Political Science (Honours) degree from McGill University in Montreal, QC, and an Artist Diploma (Voice) from the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould School in Toronto.
Vanna is a research analyst 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.
With Innovative since 2014, Michael is primarily engaged in qualitative research projects. Schooled in the cognitive science of communication, Michael takes raw data and presents narratives that are true to the voice of the participants and tuned to the appropriate register of the audience. His work has informed marketing and communications strategies in various sectors including public service, finance, energy, tourism, and regulatory.
Projects of note include managing the field team for a province-wide study of consumer behaviour at wineries, resulting in the completion of ~1,000 hours of intercept research in each of the summers of 2014 and 2015. He was also involved in a study that redefined the language used in the regulated financial planning industry.
Michael understands and respects the deeply nuanced nature of qualitative analysis and navigates reporting with clarity and precision.
Michael completed the Joint Specialist Program in Linguistics & French Language and Linguistics at the University of Toronto and holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts.
As a volunteer for his local community service organization, Michael facilitates a weekly support group and runs a bi-annual 8-week workshop on wellness through journaling.
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.
Angus is a 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.
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.
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 a consultant with Innovative, Ioana is involved with a variety of quantitative and qualitative research projects, working on questionnaire development, data analysis, model building and reporting.
Before joining Innovative, Ioana was a customer experience analyst in Ontario’s electricity industry, focusing customer segmentation and quantitative research results. More recently, she is broadening her knowledge on research methodologies and government relations strategies.
Ioana completed her Bachelor of Science (Honors) Mathematics degree at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Throughout this time, she developed an interest in applied statistical methods and gained experience working with various statistical programs.
Outside of work, Ioana is a winter enthusiast, you can find her out skiing most weekends.
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.
Julian Garas is a Senior Consultant 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.
As a Consultant with Innovative, Juliana provides clients with strategic advice on how to leverage consumer data for better business insights. Juliana assists in the development, deployment, and visualisation of data-driven projects spanning brand health, communications testing, and a wide variety of qualitative and quantitative public and consumer research projects.
Prior to joining Innovative, Juliana was involved in academic research in applied psychology in business contexts, bringing a unique perspective and application of social psychology to insights. More recently, Juliana has been focused on leveraging data analytics to capture deeper and more holistic insights into public opinion and consumer behaviour.
Juliana has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, both from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She is also in progress of obtaining her Master of Managerial Analytics degree from Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, with an expected graduation date in Spring 2021.
Outside of office hours, Juliana can be found brushing up on her analytics skills in class at the Smith School of Business campus in Toronto or in hiking trails across the GTA with her dog, Morty.
Robert Hutton is a Vice President at Innovative and is among Canada’s most qualified and experienced qualitative researchers. With almost 20 years of experience, and having conducted over 3,000 focus groups, he is a deep specialist in the science and art of qualitative research.
Rob holds the Master Moderator designation from the renowned RIVA Institute in Maryland and holds the Professional Researcher Designation from the American Market Research Association at the Expert level. Prior to joining INNOVATIVE, Rob led a major national public affairs research firm, and prior an executive with a major international research firm. Robert’s multi-country research experience encompasses Asia Pacific, Europe and throughout North America.
Rob brings multi-faceted expertise to each project. His wealth of knowledge comes from years of expertise in immersive techniques, ethnography, semiotics and social construction theory as well as his deep experience in conducting focus groups across a wide variety of sectors and subjects. Rob’s passion for market research ensures that our clients receive a gold mine of insights.