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 nearly 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 leads all custom quantitative research initiatives. She has extensive experience with brands across industries including companies such as Crayola, Playskool, NUK, Aetna, Tommee Tippee, Spin Master, Hallmark, Nickelodeon, PepsiCo, and Target, to name a few. 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. Michelle also serves as an academic advisory board member of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU).

In addition to her consulting and her published work in academic journals such as Infant and Child Development and Young Consumers, Michelle regularly speaks about youth and family trends at national conferences–including serving as an invited speaker at the White House Conference on Generation Y: “Exploring the Digital Generation,” and instructing librarians and publishing professionals as a keynote speaker at the American Library Association annual conference, and educating marketers at multiple marketing and market research conferences.

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. Before The Family Room, 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 sons.

Fun Facts

  • Lives in Connecticut in a house full of boys (her husband, two sons, age 15 and 10, 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 15 years ago
  • Has rekindled a love for Star Wars, now that she lives and breathes it with her boys
  • Enjoys travel and has been to 48 states and 5 continents (so far!)
  • Is fighting a losing battle against weeds in an ongoing effort to maintain an organic vegetable garden