Meet the Team

Jill Appleby

Co-Founder & Director

Jill began the Launchpad journey in 2002. Jill is actively involved in research, with over 30 years’ experience of designing, executing and delivering qualitative insights to clients, spanning a vast range of sectors. She has experience across a plethora of categories and topics and has built an enviable reputation for her moderation skills, engaging with, and drawing out rich insights from people at all levels, as well as delivering rich and actionable insights to clients, utilizing her extensive analysis and reporting skills. As part of her ongoing professional development and commitment to quality research, Jill is both a Market Research Society and Association of Qualitative Research Member.
Fun Fact: Favourite escape is walking her 3 dogs at the beach or in the countryside.

Brigitte Barrett PGDip MMRS

Co-Founder & Director

As Founder & Director, Brigitte is a strategic thinker with a keen eye on ensuring the business remains relevant to client challenges.
She has been at the forefront of business strategy ensuring it continually evolves with industry advancements and meets the research needs of a wide range of clients & sectors. With 25+ years’ experience providing high level research consultation to global clients, she has been a key figure in establishing digital methods within the business, from LaunchPilot, our dedicated Product Testing Panel, to the integration of eye tracking into online & face to face research.
Brigitte has served on the Chartered Institute of Marketing Board, both locally and regionally, and is also a MRS and ESOMAR member.
Fun Fact: in her 20’s she funded her travels around the world by designing & make hats for boutique retailers… but didn’t quite make it as a budding Milner. She has now replaced her sewing machine for skis and a paddleboard and is often found on a mountain or on the water.

Dr Judith Welford

Associate Director

As Head of Research Judith is accountable for successful project delivery, with a keen eye on team satisfaction & client delight.
Judith heads up the Launchpad Team. She is an experienced insights professional who has been delivering quantitative, qualitative and mixed methodology research for more than 15 years. She has built upon an MA in Research Methods and a PhD in History with a decade in commercial research helping clients to understand what members of the public, users and consumers think and want. Working with a broad range of clients including brands, media owners, and public and third sector organizations, Judith has worked on everything from brand tracking and campaign effectiveness to customer segmentation and public consultations.
Fun Fact: Can most often be found getting muddy in the wilds of Northumberland on her mountain bike. She also has a cat that loves joining Team meetings.

Cathy Brown

Associate Director

As Insights & Strategy Manager, Cathy’s mission is to create long standing client relationships with her research skill and Irish charm.
Cathy first joined Launchpad in 2004 as a Research Executive before moving to Barcelona in 2010. The International adventures continued, with Cathy relocating from Spain to Dubai, UAE taking on a senior marketing role for a global manufacturer. Returning to the UK in 2019, Cathy returned to the Launchpad Team with over 20 years’ experience in marketing & research, having worked both client & agency side. She brings a wealth of knowledge in unearthing the best insights from consumers & translating them into meaningful and actionable frameworks for clients.
Fun Fact: Extreme sports enthusiast! Loves diving head first out of planes and jumping off ravines with bungy elastic tied round her ankles.

Abby Laverick MSc

Research Manager

Abby is a talented researcher with a natural ability to bring new thinking to client projects.
Abby graduated with a Masters in International Business Management, where she grew a love for research. She tackles challenging client briefs and oversees projects from end to end. Responsible for proposing the most suitable methodology through to design & delivery of results. Abby has built a formidable can-do reputation with the clients she regularly works with and is an exceptional Launchpad team player.
Fun Fact: Having brought Ralph up to be an exemplary cockerpoo, well balanced and good natured, she is about to extend her human family from 2 humans & a dog to 3 humans and a dog. Baby Phinn is due very soon.

Julie Ponente

Project Manager

An accomplished Project Manager, Julie’s aim is to delight clients with her project management & research know how.
Julie’s career in Market Research spans more than 20 years. Prior to joining the Launchpad team Julie had worked in market research for many years co-ordinating UK & international projects. She has extensive experience in managing global qualitative & quantitative studies across multiple categories for clients within the UK & internationally.
Fun Fact: She has an aversion to the kitchen. Her talent lies in eating food others have cooked. When not tapping the keyboard Julie can usually be found having fun at the beach with her dog Marley.

Julie Woods

Project Manager

An established Project Manager, Julie’s mission is to make her clients’ lives easier.
Julie has 30+ years’ experience in market research. Previously, she held market research roles in both client & agency environments, specialising & running CATI departments. Julie has extensive experience in project managing qualitative & quantitative studies across many categories for clients both within the UK & internationally.
Fun Fact: Loves spending time with family, especially having fun with her grandchildren!

Barbara Ronald

Field & Operations Manager

As Field & Operations Manager, Barbara is well and truly an expert in her field and possibly the best juggler in the research sector.

With over 36 years working in Market Research and joining the Launchpad Team in 2003, Barbara started out as an Interviewer and now manages a network of 1000+ interviewers nationwide. She has built up solid relationships with the Field Team and ensures all quality controls, professional and legal, are stringently adhered to.

Fun Fact: Prefers retrievers to humans and boasts the best blooming garden in the North East.

Eric H BSc

Data Manager

A talented data expert, Eric’s responsible for delighting the research team with flawless data.
Eric joined Launchpad with a First Class BSc (Hons) in Information Communication Technologies. He combines technical acumen with a meticulous eye for detail - the best formula for faultless data.
Fun Fact: Really wants to be a Pilot. While he dreams of his wings, he continues to be an avid Newcastle United fan.

Cameron Reaveley MSc

Data Executive

As Data Executive, Cameron’s strength is in his lightning speed and never being behind the curve!
Responsible for all things data related, Cam scripts & tests surveys, and keeps the research team up to speed with data collection. He graduated from Northumbria University with a BSc in Physical Geography & MSc in Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction.
Fun Fact: Gryffindor, Marvel fanatic and Disney enthusiast “Life is a journey to be experienced, not a problem to be solved” Winnie the pooh

Molly Oliver

Research Manager

Molly is an experienced Research Manager with extensive experience working across both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, delivering projects for media clients and household brands. She began her research career after completing a degree in Business and Psychology at Newcastle University and working in Business Development for a FTSE 250 where she loved building relationships with her clients and managing data driven projects with commercially impactful outcomes. Molly loves a challenge and enjoys working with her clients to really get to the bottom of consumer behaviours, attitudes and perceptions, providing insight that ultimately drives business strategy forward. Molly loves to work collaboratively with her clients, developing long term relationships and immersing herself in the brand or organisation to fully understand how insight can truly provide value for them.

Fun fact: Molly is terrified of slugs!!!

April Shek MSc

Digital Manager

As Digital Manager, April’s passion is to problem solve with digital solutions
April Joined Launchpad in 2013 as a Project Manager. Her successful transition from Project Manager to Digital Manager was seamless due to her love for problem-solving and the digital age. She now has a list of digital accolades to her name from overseeing eye tracking projects to the development of internal panels LaunchPilot & LaunchPanel.
Fun Fact: Holds the most awards for the Office Bake Off. The competition became so predictable the rest of the team have hung their aprons up and thrown in the tea towel.

Eleanor Wright

Field & Operations Assistant

As Field & Operations Assistant, El’s strength is her ability to prioritise when everything is urgent.

Responsible for supporting the research, field & ops team, El’s strong administrative background stands her in good stead as she has the unenviable tasks of keeping everyone’s work flowing to meet project deadlines. She is the second-best juggler in the company.

Fun Fact: Has a competitive streak when it comes to playing board games with friends! And she also likes to take her dog running (we’re not sure who wins those races!)

Amanda Arkle

Accounts Manager

Amanda is responsible for counting & balancing the pounds & pence.
Amanda’s love of finance started as a Commissioning Officer within the NHS. She has over 25 years experience working in finance across various sectors and successfully gained her AAT qualification in 2010. Amanda keeps everyone on their toes with her efficiency and obsession of balancing the books to the penny!
Fun Fact: Loves TRYING to surf with the kids!

Gabrielle Saha

Research Executive

Gabrielle brings her enthusiasm and love of research to her role. She graduated from Northumbria University with a First Class Honours after completing her degree in BSc Psychology (Business Psychology) (with a Year in International Business (UK and Amsterdam)). She is a positive and hardworking individual with a keen eye for detail. Gabrielle enjoys working with such a positive team, and is eager to expand her market research knowledge and skills.

Fun fact:
Gabrielle loves anything to do with the outdoors- from walking her little dog on the beach to camping in the countryside. She is also an avid collector of mugs and teapots, and cannot resist buying a cute teapot when she sees one!

Dylan Philpott

Data Executive BSc

Dylan is responsible for scripting and testing surveys and all things data related. His strengths lie in his practical approach to problem solving and diligent attention to detail. He graduated with a 1st Class BSc in Geography from Northumbria University and has spent time working as a marine archaeologist, which is when he realised his passion lies in data and analysis! “What’s the point in a world without decimals?”

Fun fact: Dylan loves hiking, all things nerdy and terrible jokes.

Lauren Moad

Operations Assistant

Supporting the research, field and operations team, Lauren’s administrative and customer service background allows her to communicate effectively with respondents and interviewers.

She has great attention to detail when it comes to checking project documentation and always ensures deadlines are met. Equipped with a degree in Psychology, Lauren has always been fascinated by the brain and behaviour which comes in handy when looking at consumer research. (No this does not mean I’m psychic.)

Fun Fact: Ask me anything about music, especially rock bands. Guarantee I’ll win the pub quiz music round. I also read A LOT.