Career overview: Prior to founding Vivisum, Dan spent his entire career in a variety of market research and consulting roles, and starting Vivisum was a natural fusion of those two paths.
Areas of Expertise: Dan specializes in creating multi-phase research programs that combine quantitative, qualitative and strategic facilitation methodologies. He is passionate about providing customer insights that enable companies to develop innovative products and engaging brands. Dan’s work has focused primarily on the pharmaceutical, financial services and technology industries.
Favorite Business Book: Anything by Jim Collins. Unlike most business books which use hundreds of pages to communicate well-worn business truisms, Collins’ books are rigorously researched and convey genuine insight. Also, Peter Senge’s books. Senge’s ideas on management, philosophy and ethics were seminal to Vivisum’s foundation.
Outside of work: Dan is devoted to his wife, Casey, and his two daughters, Ava-Marie and Senzie. When he’s not spending time with his family, Dan is probably locked away in a quiet room reading a book or practicing ‘meditation in motion’ (otherwise known as running).
Career overview: Ellen developed her research skills conducting several anthropological ethnographies on food systems, as well as consulting with non-profit organizations in North Carolina. Before coming to Vivisum, Ellen received her BA in Anthropology and Linguistics from Wake Forest University and her MA in Management from the WFU Schools of Business.
Areas of Expertise: Ellen combines skills in ethnographic research and business consulting that provides a distinctive insight into complex research problems. Her research experience encompasses a wide range of fields, including technology, healthcare and non-profits.
Favorite Business Book: Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World by Craig and Marc Kielburger.
Outside of work: Ellen enjoys exploring and hiking trails with her self-esteem-challenged dog, Tulip. A foodie, she also loves experimenting with recipes and supporting local food initiatives in her community. Ellen is also an avid yogi and makes up for an unfortunate lack of skill and balance with a genuine love for the practice.
Career overview: Patrick graduated from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, majoring in Economics and minoring in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). Before coming to America, he grew up in several different countries around the world which exposed him to a diverse cultural background. Patrick learned a hard work ethic by volunteering for Royal National Lifeboat Institution and honed fine market research capabilities by working in Vietnam for a startup social networking company.
Areas of Expertise: Patrick specializes in market research moderation and project management. He has experience in human factors and usability studies in the pharmaceutical industry.
Favorite Business Book: Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. This book gives an insight into the field of behavioral economics and how we can measure unpredictability
Outside of work: Patrick loves to travel and hang out with his friends. He is an avid sports fanatic and strongly supports Manchester United and the Dallas Cowboys. Patrick enjoys following the accelerating prominence of e-sports and explaining to everybody what e-sports are.
Career overview: Before joining the Vivisum team, Kelly was the Executive Director of Nourish International, a sustainable development and social enterprise focused NGO with chapters on 60 campuses and partners in 28 countries. Prior to her five years of service at Nourish International, Kelly served as the Manager of Development and Communications at Urban Ministries of Wake County, a human services organization, based in Raleigh, NC that operates a free medical clinic, food pantry and shelter for more than 24,000 people a year living in poverty. Kelly has dual degrees from the University of Chapel Hill at North Carolina in Economics and Dramatic Arts. She has been recognized as one of the TBJ’s 40 Leaders under 40 and as the co-host of the Millennium Campus Conferences in 2014 and 2015 at the United Nations. She also serves as a co-founder of the Raleigh Hub of the World Economic Forum in her spare time. It’s safe to say that Kelly’s passion for market research and strategic consulting comes from finding insights and providing support for businesses on the front lines of impact.
Areas of Expertise: Kelly’s extensive background in nonprofit management with respect to the fields of Human Services, Healthcare, and Leadership Development have afforded her an expanse of skill sets across many fields including strategic consulting, project management, PR, marketing, and business development.
Favorite Biz Book: Good to Great by Jim Collins.
Outside of Work: Kelly enjoys volunteering her free time with local non-profits, spoiling her dog Violet with nature walks, and hosting dinner parties for interesting guests with her partner in life and husband Bob.
Career overview: Ciara earned her Bachelors Degree in Psychology at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2016. Shortly after graduation, she began working as a behavioral researcher in Dan Ariely's Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University. She spent 2 years at Duke finding ways to make it as easy as possible for people to act in their own best interest in the domains of healthcare and charitable giving.
Area of Expertise: Ciara has experience with a wide range of research methods, including online surveys, field studies, qualitative interviews, and physiological measurement. She is also a skilled writer who believes that the world would be a better place if we could all learn to communicate openly and honestly with one another.
Favorite Business Book: Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
Outside of work: When she’s not at work, Ciara enjoys painting, improv comedy, practicing yoga, and most of all, watching movies. Ciara is a self-proclaimed film geek who enjoys watching anything from foreign dramas, ‘80s slashers, ‘40s screwball comedies, B-movies of all eras, and visually striking films such as The Shape of Water (just to name a few). She is also a proud cat mom to a rambunctious feline named Suzy Bishop.
Career overview: Bria received her BS in Business Administration from UNC-Greensboro and her MBA from North Carolina Central University. Prior to Vivisum, Bria served as a financial coordinator, where she gained experience in implementing cost-effective business solutions, project operations, recommending system controls, and developing financial reports.
Area of Expertise: Bria has a passion for solving complex problems using data, research and collaborative brainstorming methodology to drive centric solutions. Bria has experience in understanding business needs while leveraging data to define strategy and focus on quality delivery. An accomplished finance professional, Bria has a unique background tailored towards long-term growth while improving client engagement.
Favorite Business Book: Good to Great: Jim Collins
Outside of work: Bria enjoys coaching JV women’s basketball at a local high school. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, where she actively serves her local community. Bria loves all genres of music and participates in her church choir. She enjoys traveling, where she actively seeks new adventures, and enjoys life’s wonders and beauty.
Career overview: Elissa earned her BA in Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2012 and her MA in Psychology at Western Carolina University in 2015. While working on her masters, she gained extensive experience in research with eye tracker and EEG technology. After completing her degree, she spent 4 years working with psychiatrists, therapists, and psychologists in inpatient and outpatient settings.
Area of Expertise: Elissa has experience with both quantitative and qualitative research methods. A background in research provides the basis for fact finding and effective communication with individuals across environments and skill sets. Her time in the research and medical fields have afforded skills in project management, training, and empathy for those around her.
Favorite Business Book: Good to Great by Jim Collins, this book grants us insight on what we want our businesses to look like and how we can be better within that framework.
Outside of work: Elissa is an avid traveler and enjoys checking places off an ever growing “to visit” list with her husband. When she is not booking flights, she may be found pursuing one of a myriad of hobbies. She is an enthusiastic reader of science fiction and fantasy novels and releases stress by either hiking or playing computer games with friends.
Allie Treske Ahearn
Career overview: Allie is a marketing and strategy professional with experience in a wide range of industries, from IoT hardware and medical research to higher education, international development, and sustainability. Allie earned an MBA in Marketing and Sustainability from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder and currently serves on the MBA Alumni board for the school. Allie is also a StartingBloc Fellow (BOS'11) in social innovation.
Areas of Expertise:: Within Vivisum, Allie serves as an analyst and project manager with our healthcare, pharmaceutical, and medical device clients. She has helped launch many products in the healthcare space. What binds her diverse experience together is a desire to help clients meet audacious goals with her keen eye for strategy and a personal passion for efficiency.
Favorite Business Book:: Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone
Outside of Work:: When not working with clients, you can find Allie teaching yoga, diving into a novel with a cup of coffee in hand, or hiking a beautiful Colorado trail.