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Our People

Steve Raabe
is the founder and president of OpinionWorks.  He is presently in his 23rd year conducting opinion research.  For ten years prior to forming OpinionWorks, Steve was Executive Vice President and Director of Research for a public affairs firm located in the Washington, D.C. area.  Dating back to 1984 when he began a market research career as a phone room supervisor, Steve has managed and overseen literally hundreds of research studies.

Having conceptualized and developed studies for public sector agencies, the news media, advocacy organizations, hospitals, universities, non-profits, and major businesses, he has a keen insight into the issues and trends that are affecting the public.  He is a careful interpreter and a compelling presenter of research and can be counted on to help you understand what is on the public’s mind as you seek to understand public attitudes.  He has conducted extensive research into the key drivers of customer and member satisfaction, the most effective cues to charitable giving, voters’ issue and candidate preferences, and consumers’ buying and shopping habits.

Steve is a sampling expert, known for developing stringent methodologies that will achieve the truest possible representation of the population surveyed.  His questionnaire design is well-regarded within the community of research professionals.

Shirley Marte
is a skilled market researcher with a 16-year career as an interviewer, facilitator and questionnaire-developer.  She is bilingual in English and Spanish, and experienced in reaching and connecting with non-traditional market research audiences. 

Shirley was our lead interviewer on a project which explored the attitudes and motivations of litterers in D.C. and surrounding jurisdictions.  She conducted a focus group for us with anglers fishing the Anacostia River on their perceptions of health issues from eating fish from that river.  She has conducted message testing focus groups for us in multiple markets and in specialized racial/ethnic and lifestyle segments.  Most recently, Shirley conducted bilingual focus groups for us on the perceptions and barriers of parents to getting their children screened for lead poisoning.  Through her personal manner and upbeat style, Shirley is extremely skilled at reaching young, urban audiences, but also has an engaging technique that works well across demographic segments.

Prior to her association with OpinionWorks, Shirley moderated anti-tobacco focus groups under the auspices of the University of West Virginia and has conducted a wide variety of consumer research for private industry.

Kathy Flament is an experienced executive interviewer and a talented, innovative focus group moderator, with over 25 years’ experience.  She leads our team of executive interviewers, coordinating our outreach to stakeholders and community partners.  

Kathy has conducted numerous interviews on the topic of green building for the NAHB Research Center and is a noted expert on qualitative research using advanced projective techniques and observational research.  Kathy has been a featured speaker at the Marketing Research Association and the International Builders’ Show and has facilitated board meetings for the Steel Framing Alliance and the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA).

Kathy has an engaging style, and employs a sense of humor to put participants at ease.  When participants are comfortable, they speak openly and freely so the data collected goes beyond what participants think they should say to what they really feel and believe.  As a hallmark of her approach, Kathy consistently lets participants drive the conversation as experts. 

Wayne Jacobs is extremely experienced in all phases of market research.  He is a noted expert and lecturer on group dynamics and qualitative research, and a past president of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the American Marketing Association.   He has worked with Steve Raabe for more than 12 years and has been associated with OpinionWorks since its formation in 2001 as its leading qualitative expert.

During his extensive market research career, Wayne has worked for a number of governmental and non-profit clients, including the New York State Department of Tourism, MARC Train (Maryland), the Maryland Transportation Authority, Norfolk & Southern Railroad, the Board of Trade, the US EPA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Highway Administration, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the City of Richmond (Virginia), and the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association.

Wayne has a knowledgeable but self-effacing style, and employs a soft sense of humor, all of which is agreeable and comfortable for respondents at all levels and allows the focus to be on the research findings, not on the moderator.  As a hallmark of his approach, Wayne goes to school on the subject at hand, becoming extremely conversant on the core subjects so he can relate effectively to high-level respondents as a peer. 

Karyne Henry moderates and conducts field interviews.  Karyne currently serves as the Chairperson for Orion Community Outreach Alliance, Inc., a not-for-profit, community-based organization that provides outreach, education, training and enrollment services for the State of Maryland 's HealthChoice & MCHIP programs and is Vice-Chair of Lupus Mid-Atlantic.  Karyne is also an intermediary and advisor to politicians and corporations seeking strategic planning, organizing and partnership acquisition.