Our Speakers


Get a sneak peek from NeuroU 2020 with this episode from our vidcast, The HCD Mindset, highlighting the HCD Team Panel here.

Video Conference


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Innovator, Entrepreneur, Consultant, Educator

Stephen Genco is a marketing innovator, entrepreneur, management consultant, and educator. He co-founded one of the first research firms devoted to applying neuroscience, social psychology, and behavioral economics to the study of marketing and consumer choice. Today, he is an active educator and speaker, conducting seminars and workshops around the world. Dr. Genco holds doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s degree from the University of British Columbia. He has written two books: Neuromarketing for Dummies (co-author, 2013) and Intuitive Marketing (2019).

Founder & CEO of The Brainy Business

Melina Palmer is founder and CEO of The Brainy Business, which provides behavioral economics consulting to businesses of all sizes from around the world. Her podcast, The Brainy Business: Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy, has downloads in over 160 countries and is used as a resource for teaching applied behavioral economics for many universities and businesses. Melina obtained her bachelor’s degree in business administration: marketing and worked in corporate marketing and brand strategy for over a decade before earning her master’s in behavioral economics. A proud member of the Global Association of Applied Behavioral Scientists, Melina has contributed research to the Association for Consumer Research, Filene Research Institute, and runs the Behavioral Economics & Business column for Inc Magazine. She teaches applied behavioral economics through the Texas A&M Human Behavior Lab and her first book, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You, published in May 2021.

President of IVP Research Labs 

Bob Granito has over 25 years of experience providing technology support within the market research industry and is the founder of Interactive Video Productions.  Working in Citibank’s Development Division Lab in the late 1980s, Bob was responsible for integrating video and computer technology with marketing research, reinventing the way Citibank market researchers observed and evaluated usability testing. 


As IVP’s President for almost twenty years, Bob has guided Interactive Video into an industry leader, providing usability, eye tracking and neuromarketing technology across the United States, Europe and Canada.  Bob has built a large network of research facility partners and a client list that includes some of the industry’s largest research consulting firms as well as companies like Apple, Disney, Bank of America and AT&T.

Founder of Thomas M. Rich & Associates

Tom Rich is one of the most respected practitioners in the field of qualitative research. Since founding his business in 1996, he has conducted thousands of in-person and online interactions for clients in nearly every industry. Drawing on his many years in brand management, Tom takes an approach to his clients’ research needs that is simultaneously creative, strategic and pragmatic. 

A recognized expert on the application of analytical models to market research, Tom is a frequent and sought-after speaker at industry events and regularly teaches master classes for experienced qualitative researchers to help them hone their skills. 

Tom boasts an extensive background in brand strategy, consumer behavior and shopper insights -- skills he developed while working for companies that include Backer & Spielvogel Advertising, Nabisco and Unilever. This background gives Tom a unique skill set among qualitative practitioners and allows him to structure research and analysis around the tactical and strategic decisions that will be made as a result of the research.

Tom received a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in business administration from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College. He received his qualitative research training from Burke institute, is a member of The Insights Association and a member and past President of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association. 

Vice President, Analytics & Research at Porter Novelli

Andrea has compiled an impressive track record of achievement in communication as a market researcher, measurement and analytics expert and consumer insights specialist. She is a valued strategic partner to her clients and innovator within the agency.

Andrea leverages her research expertise to help clients, including Medtronic Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, the American Psychological Association and Bayer, to build and sustain competitive advantages by uncovering comprehensive, audience-specific insights that inform campaign and concept development, content creation and program measurement.

As a measurement and evaluation expert, Andrea has created proprietary agency platforms and dashboards used across multiple clients. In 2018, she created PNSTANCE, a diagnostic tool that guides decision-making around corporate support of social justice issues. She has also developed and deployed company-wide reporting standards and measurement approaches for clients such as General Mills, UPS, Ben & Jerry’s, John Hancock and Keurig Dr Pepper.
Andrea received a master’s degree in public relations from the Boston University College of Communication, and she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in communication from Boston College. 

The Henry Rutgers Professor of Marketing, Rutgers University School of Business 

Dr. Maureen (Mimi) Morrin is the Henry Rutgers Professor of Marketing at Rutgers University School of Business in Camden, NJ, USA. Her research focuses on examining how the human senses impact the consumer decision-making process. She currently serves as Co-Editor of the Journal of Marketing Research and has served on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, and Journal of Consumer Research and as Area Editor at the Journal of Consumer Psychology. Dr. Morrin has received several external grants to support her research as well as teaching awards and awards for her reviewing activity at the Journal of Consumer Psychology and Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. She particularly enjoys teaching courses in business analytics. She received her Ph.D. from New York University, where she was a Consortium Fellow and won an Outstanding Teaching award. She is also a graduate of Thunderbird (MBA) and Georgetown University (BSFS). Her background includes five years of corporate work experience in advertising (at Ted Bates) and brand management (at James River Corp and Playtex Family Products).

Lippert Professor of Marketing at the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College

Lauren G. Block is the Lippert Professor of Marketing at the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College. Her primarily focuses broadly on areas of consumer well-being, consumer judgments of the efficacy of health-related products, magical thinking and extraordinary beliefs, and specific topics in sensory marketing. She currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Consumer Psychology. She has served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Consumer Psychology and the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, and sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Marketing Research.

Assistant Professor at Western Washington University

Sara Baskentli is an assistant professor at Western Washington University and received a Ph.D. from Baruch College, CUNY where she was a Sheth Consortium Fellow. She conducts research in the area of consumer well-being, with specific interests in morality, sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility and sensory marketing. Dr. Baskentli has received several external grants to support her research in vulnerable populations. She currently serves at the Editorial Review Board of Subsistence Marketplaces. In addition to her academic experience, she has professional experience in business development and marketing research areas.

Project Manager at Sensory Spectrum

Ellen Thomas is a Project Manager at Sensory Spectrum. Sensory Spectrum is a 35-year-old consulting firm specializing in connecting sensory and consumer insights to drive business success. Our founder and president Gail Vance Civille, along with an innovative, multi-disciplinary team of experts, are committed to a holistic understanding of the senses and how they relate to consumer needs, wants and experiences. Ellen joined Sensory Spectrum as an intern, right out of Lafayette College where she received a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience, and has now been with the company for four years.

Senior Sensory & Consumer Innovation Researcher
at Reckitt

Tessa Moxley is a senior sensory and consumer innovation researcher at Reckitt. Working as part of an innovative science platform to explore new and specialist methodologies to measure multi-sensory consumer benefits. Tessa trained as a mechanical engineer, with a masters in mechanical engineering specialising in manufacturing and management from the University of Bath. Her consumer research career began at Dyson, where she transitioned from an engineering role to a consumer research position, and she enjoys applying her engineering knowledge to human perception.

Sensory & Consumer Innovation Manager at Reckitt

Stephen Lillford is Sensory & Consumer Innovation Manager with Reckitt. Working in a central Sensory Enrichment Science Platform supporting a broad range of Reckitt Hygiene & Health brands. His expertise is in consumer aided product development specialising in fragrance perception and impact on emotions. Originally trained in Mechanical Engineering and Design Strategy at Brunel University UK he is also added experience in Kansei (emotion) Engineering from Japan.

CEO, BIOPAC Systems, Inc.

Frazer is the CEO of BIOPAC and has spent the bulk of his career working in the life sciences. He joined BIOPAC in 1996 when he moved from the UK to Santa Barbara to take up the position of Domestic Sales Manager. He became CEO in 2008 and has continued to develop and grow the business. With more than 25 years of experience in life science data acquisition and analysis, Frazer has facilitated workshops in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and is familiar with software, equipment, and laboratory protocols for a wide array of signals and measurements.

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CEO and Co-Founder of Advanced Brain Monitoring

Chris Berka, CEO and Co-Founder of Advanced Brain Monitoring has over 30 years of experience managing clinical research and developing and commercializing new technologies. She is co-inventor of more than 20 patented and PI or Co-Investigator for grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health, DARPA, ONR, OSD, and NSF that provided more than $37 million of research funds to ABM.


As CEO of ABM, she leads the research team in projects designed to advance the design, implementation, and validation of novel EEG-based approaches for assessment of neural activity during sleep and waking. Novel empirically and theoretically derived algorithms are featured in her publications on assessing cognition in healthy participants in laboratory and real-world environments and in patients with sleep, psychiatric and neurological diseases.  


She is an experienced neuroscientist with over 100 publications on the analysis of the EEG correlates of cognition in healthy subjects and patients with sleep and neurological disorders.

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Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Studies in the Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University

Dr. Paul Bolls is the Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Studies in the Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. He has over 25 years of experience applying psychophysiological/biometric measures in research on how the human mind processes and responds to media content and technology.


Dr. Bolls works as a Neuromarketing research consultant. He has helped establish psychophysiology labs at both universities and private companies including HCD Research. He co-authored, with Dr. Rob Potter, “Psychophysiological Measurement and Meaning,” the first research methods book focused on the application of biometric measures in media research. Dr. Bolls is the founding Director of the Media Mind Lab, a research group and “neuro” field research lab in the Murrow College that is dedicated to advancing valid and socially good applications of “neuro” methods in research on media effects. Current research projects primarily focus on the application of “neuro” methods in health and political communication.


Dr. Bolls earned his PhD from Indiana University, MA, from Washington State University, and BA, from Montana State University. He grew up in Montana and worked in commercial radio prior to attending graduate school. You may contact Dr. Bolls at


Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Anna Wexler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the principal investigator of the Wexler Lab, where she studies the ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding emerging technology, with a particular focus on do-it-yourself medicine, direct-to-consumer health products, and neuroethics.

Dr. Wexler is a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics. She received her Ph.D. from MIT in the HASTS  (History, Anthropology, Science, Technology & Society) Program, where her dissertation centered on the DIY brain stimulation movement. 

Prior to her Ph.D., Dr. Wexler spent several years working as documentary filmmaker and science/travel writer. She received a dual BS from MIT in Brain and Cognitive Science, and in Humanities and Science with a focus in Writing and Neuroscience.