Our People

Steve Raabe is the founder and president of OpinionWorks.  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, advocacy organizations, hospitals, universities, non-profits, the  news media, 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.  Steve has conducted extensive communications and message testing and is an expert on studying human decision-making and behavior change under the Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) model. 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 urban and 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 has conducted message testing focus groups for us in multiple markets and in specialized racial/ethnic and lifestyle segments. She conducted a Spanish language focus group for us in Washington DC on lead testing and child wellness issues among Hispanic audiences. Most recently she conducted a Spanish language group for us on the perceptions of and barriers to advance directives among the Hispanic population, and English language groups for us among smokers on littering of cigarette butts.  Through her personal manner and upbeat style, Shirley is extremely skilled at reaching young, urban audiences, but she 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 14 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. His healthcare-related clients have included the American Association of Blood Banks, the American Diabetes Association, the American Lung Association, the American Red Cross, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the Food & Drug Administration, Kaiser Permanente, Kennedy Krieger Institute, and Bassett Healthcare Network.

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 focus groups 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 was past Vice-Chair of Lupus Mid-Atlantic.  Karyne is an intermediary and advisor to politicians and corporations seeking strategic planning, organizing and partnership acquisition.  She assisted in the design model for the Community Health Information Network utilized by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's "Closing the Gap on Health Disparities" program.

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