The Team Behind Technology

The dedicated team that makes it all possible.


Senior Leaders


marc inkol
Marc Inkol

Marc Inkol is the founding partner at Explorer Research. Prior to founding Explorer Research, Marc has twenty years of experience working for tier one companies such as Maple Leaf and Kraft. Marc ran the Strategy and Development and Cheese division at Kraft. This experience gave him the perspective of being a true strategic partner for his clients.

anne stephenson
Anne Stephenson

Anne Stephenson is a Partner at Explorer.  Prior to Explorer, she led the Post cereal division at Kraft. Anne’s general management experience helps her understand how to translate insights into action to help grow your business. Anne has 25 years of experience in packaged goods, retail, foodservice and pharmaceutical.

Chris Whitaker
Chris Whitaker

Chris Whitaker is a Partner at Explorer Research. Chris has over 30 years of marketing, sales and research experience including packaged goods, pharmaceutical, financial services and Business to Business. Prior to joining Explorer, Chris was the Senior Vice President of Client Service at OSL Marketing. Chris has also held senior level positions at Nabisco, Catelli and Kraft.

  Mike Moussallem
Mike Moussallem

Mike Moussallem is a Partner at Explorer Research.  Prior to Explorer, he led the Retail & Shopper Insights practice for TNS, as well as the shopper insights team for Kraft. He has 12 years of client and supplier side experience with Nielsen, PepsiCo, Kraft, TNS, and Explorer.

Jonathan Asher
Jonathan Asher
Executive Vice President

Jonathan Asher is an Executive Vice President at Explorer leading business development. Asher has thirty years’ experience in both marketing research and brand design for consumer packaged goods, including positions in manufacturers, custom research firms and brand design agencies. Just prior to joining Explorer, Asher was an Executive Vice President at PRS IN VIVO (formerly Perception Research Services) for 10 years.


Advisory Board

Lou Anne Gent

Lou Anne Gent has 33 years experience in Consumer Insight and Analytics with 30 of those years on the Client side of the business with large, multi national consumer packaged goods companies in progressively more Senior Management positions.

Most recently, she was Vice President of Consumer Insights & Analytics at Nestlé Canada (12.5 years), where she led multiple teams over her tenure including Insight, Analytics, Product Sensory, Consumer Call Centre and Digital.  In addition to building and leading her local team, she was a member of Nestlé’s Global Insight Management Committee who was responsible for establishing Nestlé’s Insight best practices, developing and managing global research studies and developing longer term supplier relationships and contracts.

Prior to Nestlé, Lou Anne was the Director of Consumer Insights at Kraft Canada (13.5 years) where she led the local Insight Team and was a member of the Kraft North American Insight Team. In this role, she was involved in helping grow leading brands and supporting the development of a cross category Kraft Corporate strategy through Insight.  Prior to Kraft, Lou Anne was Market Research Manager at Procter & Gamble/Richardson-Vicks (3.5 years) and spent three years on the Supplier side (Longwoods Research) where she began her Insight career.

Lou Anne believes that growth and profitability of the Business must be at the core of every Consumer Insight decision and action .  This requires a full understanding of the role and goals of the brand,  leading edge research techniques to develop a deep understanding of the consumer and a highly skilled multi-disciplined team, including internal functions and external partners,  to uncover relevant insights and translate those insights into business building actions.

Ian Lightstone

Ian is Chair of Inc., a digital media technology company, and a Director of MJI Global Inc., an international business strategy practice.  Prior to joining ArtsandTV, Ian was Managing Director and founding principal of Thompson Lightstone & Company, one of North America’s largest market research firms. Ian has served as Chair or Board Member of many organizations, including the Bridgepoint Health Foundation, Opera Canada magazine and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. He is a past President of the Professional Marketing Research Society and the Canadian Association of Marketing Research Organizations.

Ian currently serves on the Board of Directors of Gore Mutual Insurance Company and is Chair of the Governance committee. He recently completed his term as a Director of the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI).  He is a graduate of the University of Toronto (MBA), and McGill University (BA), and a Fellow of The Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies at McGill University, and a Fellow of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association of Canada.

David Soberman

David Soberman, P.Eng, is the Canadian National Chair in Strategic Management and Professor of Marketing at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He holds a Ph.D. (Management) from the University of Toronto and an MBA and a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston.

Professor Soberman’s research has appeared in Marketing Science, Management Science, the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Marketing and the California Management Review. Professor Soberman has received awards for his research including the International Journal of Research in Marketing 2006 Best Paper Award and the INFORMS 2000 John DC Little Best Paper Award.

He is an Area Editor for the International Journal of Research in Marketing and a member of the Marketing Science editorial board. Prior to academia, Professor Soberman held a number of positions in marketing management, sales, and engineering with Molson Breweries, Nabisco Brands Ltd. and Imperial Oil Ltd.

Mark Shepherd

Mark founded ToolBox Solutions in 1999 and grew the company into a very successful multimillion dollar North American business with over 75 employees  . His responsibilities included working with customers, employees and partners to grow the company in the category management space, making it the leading brand in the industry. In the beginning of 2016, he sold his business to a publically traded company called SPS Commerce in Minneapolis.

Mark has over 25 years of experience working with multinational consumer package goods companies like PepsiCo, Maple Leaf Foods and Best Foods in senior sales and category management roles. He is a strong believer in the customer care mantra ensuring each and every customer is a long term partner and obtains the best possible ROI and service.

Mark graduated from Fanshawe College in Business marketing and attended Wilfrid Laurier University for Business Administration. Mark lives in Cambridge, Ontario with his wife Colleen and two kids.

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