Escalent Appoints Six New Vice Presidents, Strengthening Leadership Team Across Divisions

March 18, 2021

Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics firm, is pleased to announce the appointment of six new vice presidents, signaling the company’s continued growth and position of strength to help brands navigate industries facing disruption. Five of the six appointments represent promotions of tenured Escalent team members.

The appointments include:

  • Liz Wagner, Vice President, Financial Services
  • K.C. Boyce, Vice President, Energy
  • Pam Cooper, Vice President, Energy
  • Matt Benard, Vice President, Compliance & Privacy
  • Dave Mangold, Vice President, Automotive & Mobility
  • Rick Naff, Vice President, Technology and Consumer & Retail

“We are thrilled to welcome Rick to the Escalent family and recognize Liz, K.C., Pam, Matt and Dave for their growth and contributions to the company,” said Melissa Sauter, CEO of Escalent. “Each has demonstrated their unique abilities, bringing leadership skills and deep subject matter expertise to the table. We look forward to supporting them in their new roles as they continue to help our clients navigate an ever-changing market.”

Liz Wagner, Vice President, Financial Services

Liz Wagner serves as vice president and health insurance sector lead for Escalent’s Financial Services division. She provides subject matter expertise and thought leadership to the firm’s team of health insurance researchers, bringing over a decade of academic and market research experience to the table in consultative and analytical roles. At Escalent, Liz has held many roles over her eight-year tenure, including analyst, supervisor, moderator and others, primarily as part of the Health Insurance and Delivery Systems team. As head of the health insurance sector, she leads major research programs for the nation’s largest carriers, helping her clients to translate findings into actionable business strategy. Liz holds a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Missouri with an emphasis in public health. She is based in Portland, OR.

K.C. Boyce, Vice President, Energy

K.C. Boyce leads the development and delivery of Escalent’s Cogent Syndicated energy studies and new products that help energy companies create valuable relationships with their business and residential customers. Throughout his career, K.C. has worked across industries and sectors to develop innovative solutions to complex problems and translate subject matter expertise into actionable insight. He is a nationally known speaker on topics such as solar and electric vehicles, and he co-hosts the weekly Energy Matters radio show. Before joining Escalent, K.C. was senior vice president at Chartwell, where he led industry and consumer research, conference production and marketing. K.C. earned an MBA from Georgia State’s Robinson College of Business and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado College. He is based in Atlanta, GA.

Pam Cooper, Vice President, Energy

Pam Cooper is vice president of the Escalent Energy division and serves as the company’s Qualtrics partnership manager. Pam is a valued advisor to clients in the solar energy, electric vehicle, and energy efficiency industries. As part of her role, Pam also oversees key business development activities, building customer experience, product development, and branding programs for electric, gas, and water utilities in the US. As Escalent’s Qualtrics partnership manager, Pam leads new business opportunities that leverage the firm’s strategic partnership with Qualtrics and span across the entire Escalent organization. Pam earned an MBA in marketing from The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and French from the University of Michigan. She is a certified Qualtrics CX Expert. Pam is based in Livonia, MI.

Matt Benard, Vice President, Compliance & Privacy

Matt Benard serves as Escalent’s Vice President of Compliance & Privacy. He is responsible for the company’s information security and regulatory standards compliance and oversees vendor management efforts. Matt’s role includes reviewing client compliance requirements, negotiating on behalf of the business for compliance matters with clients and vendors, ownership of client audit response, and providing leadership to the internal strategic sourcing team. Matt is also responsible for conducting oversight activities for internal auditing, maintaining HITRUST certification and leading the company’s annual SOC2 reporting process. He earned a master’s degree in archival studies from Clayton State University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Kennesaw State University. Matt is based in Atlanta, GA.

Dave Mangold, Vice President, Automotive & Mobility

Dave Mangold serves as Vice President of Escalent’s Automotive & Mobility division, leading the development and delivery of global brand tracking research. Dave joined Escalent in 2006 as an analyst on the automotive brand team that launched the company’s longest-running global brand tracker. As a subject matter expert regarding the implementation and execution of high-complexity brand studies, Dave has helped grow the global reach of Escalent’s automotive practice, launching programs in more than 50 countries on six continents, including a year abroad to facilitate the opening of Escalent’s second international office in Shanghai. Dave continues to grow the brand strategy team as a manager, thought leader and client advocate. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. Dave is based in Livonia, MI.

Rick Naff, Vice President, Technology and Consumer & Retail

Rick Naff serves as Vice President of Escalent’s Technology and Consumer & Retail divisions as a business development leader. Clients describe him as proactive, a great source for innovative solutions, and an inspirational leader. Prior to joining Escalent, Rick worked at several large and boutique research firms, including MetrixLab, M/A/R/C and Q & A Research with clients in tech, internet, consumer packaged goods, retail, advertising and branding, and financial services. Rick earned an MBA from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Whittier College. Rick is based in San Francisco, CA.

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