Michelle serves as Smarty Pants’ in-house quantitative research expert. With her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Michigan and B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University, Michelle consults on each project to ensure language and methodology is age-appropriate for the participants involved.

Michelle has 25+ years of research experience, including over 20 years of designing and executing business-building research for many of the world’s largest corporations and nonprofits. With an industry-wide reputation as a talented and meticulous researcher, her mastery of global quantitative methods is nothing less than stellar.

As Smarty Pants’ “Quant Savant,” Michelle oversees all custom quantitative research initiatives – and often heads up qualitative endeavors as well.  During her time at Smarty Pants, she has worked with leading companies across industries, such as LEGO, Spin Master, Hasbro, PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, Target, Paramount, CVS Health/Aetna, Amazon, and Netflix, to name a few, as well as many non-profits and agencies. She matches the best quantitative methods to the specific project needs – including concept, package, and positioning evaluations, segmentation studies, A&U research, white space opportunities and more.

In addition to her consulting and her published work in academic journals such as Infant and Child Development and Young Consumers, Michelle regularly educates marketers and insights professionals about youth and family trends and best research practices at national conferences (and at the White House!). Michelle has also served as an academic advisory board member of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU).

Prior to joining Smarty Pants, Michelle was a Senior Director at The Family Room (formerly Just Kid Inc.), where she spent six years building a thriving quantitative research practice. Earlier in her career, Michelle was a Director at Yankelovich where she investigated emerging kids’ trends (long before she had kids of her own), and a researcher at the non-profit Families and Work Institute where she studied issues of work-personal life balance (long before she balanced work with her own family life). She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.

Fun Facts

  • Lives in Connecticut in a house full of boys (her husband, two sons, age 19 and 14, and a male dog, too)
  • Loves to read, with a special place in her heart for middle-grade and teen fiction. Being an invited speaker at the American Library Association’s annual conference was a personal career highlight
  • Names all of her pets after Harry Potter houses (to date, Gryff, Raven, & Puff)
  • Has become the quintessential hockey mom, something she never could have imagined pre-kids
  • Has rekindled a love for Star Wars and Marvel, now that she lives and breathes these franchises with her boys
  • Enjoys travel and has been to 48 states and 5 continents (so far!)
  • Is an active community volunteer, with leadership roles including PTO treasurer, officer of her religious organization, and more