Meet the Team

Jill Appleby

Co-Founder & Board Member

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 & Board Member

As Founder & Board Member, 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.

Cathy Brown

Managing Director

As Associate Director, 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.

Dr Judith Welford


Judith joined Launchpad in July 2021 and brings a wealth of experience to the 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: Judith can be most often be found getting muddy in the wilds of Northumberland on her mountain bike

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!

Abby Phinn

Senior Research Manager

Abby joined Launchpad as a Masters graduate in 2017 and has progressed to Senior Research Manager, having made exceptional progress since joining the team. Abby has a natural affinity for research, tackling often challenging client briefs from proposal design through to delivery of results, with outstanding feedback from a broad range of our clients across many sectors. Repeat business requests are testament to Abby’s skills!

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!!!

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.

Alison Waltham

Project Manager

Alison brings a wealth of project management experience to Launchpad having worked in this capacity with a global packaging company, specializing in the FMCG sector. She is also well versed in understanding brand experience when it comes to packaging – it’s all about the path to consumer delight! She has exceptional organizational skills coupled with a positive attitude – be assured you are in good hands!

Fun fact: In her spare time Alison will most likely be found at the beach, whether that be out on the sea on her paddle board or going for a nice stroll with her dog.

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!

Cameron Reaveley

Data Manager

As Data Manager, Cam's strength is in his lightning speed, he is never 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

Josh Welch

Data Executive MSc

As Data Executive, Josh is responsible for survey scripting and troubleshooting, along with data wrangling to provide outputs for the research team. He has a great desire to learn and engage with data which started when he began his undergraduate Psychology degree and developed throughout his MSc in Research Psychology. He prides himself on meeting deadlines and ensuring data is accurate and presented professionally for clients and his colleagues.

Fun fact: His spare time is usually spent chasing his pup Bob around the house fetching any loose socks he tries to smuggle into his toy box!’

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 had spent time working as a marine archaeologist, which is when re 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.

Eleanor Wright

Data Executive

As Data Executive, El's strength is her ability to prioritise when everything is urgent.

Responsible for scripting & data output for the research team, El has excellent attention to detail and programming skills, which stand her in good stead in her role. She has the uneviable task of keeping everyone's work flowing to meet project deadlines and delivering accurate, insightful data.

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!)

April Shek MSc

Consumer Panel & Digital Comms 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.

Barbara Ronald

Field & Ops Manager

With over 36 years working in Market Research and joining the Launchpad Team in 2003, Barbara is well and truly an expert in her field. Starting out as an Interviewer and now as Field & Operations Manager with Launchpad, she manages a network of 1000+ interviewers nationwide. One of Barbara’s strengths is her natural ability to problem solve and advise our UK Field Force on the best solutions to address complex briefs. She has built up solid relationships with the Field Team across the UK and Internationally, and ensures that all stringent quality controls as well as professional and legal requirements are adhered to.
Fun Fact: Loves cruising, anytime, anywhere & is an avid supporter of Newcastle Falcons!

Diana Marton

Office Co-ordinator

Diana’s strong administrative and organisational skills keep the Launchpad ship in check! Her 8 years’ experience in facilities and H&S, combined with her keen eye for detail makes her the perfect Office Co-ordinator. She’s always looking for new, effective ways to manage workloads and organise surrounding environments while making sure all changes comply with H&S and sustainability guidelines.

Fun Fact: Diana is an avid reader, her all-time favourites being Quo Vadis from Henryk Sienkiewicz and Death is my Trade from Robert Merle.

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.

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