Bonnie Dibling

Bonnie launched Thinkpiece in 2013 with $600 in seed money and a desire to show clients there’s a better way to do research. She’s been busy doing just that ever since. Before she hung out her shingle, Bonnie started working in healthcare at the age of 17 while attending college (inspired by the movie “Flatliners,” she admits). As a medical assistant, EMT, phlebotomist, lab assistant, and lab consultant liaising with medical offices, Bonnie learned how to find common language and human connection in a complex and clinical world.

This experience served her well as she shifted from the medical world to market research. Quickly realizing that researching paper towels and pudding cups was not her cup of tea, Bonnie leaned into her healthcare background to focus on moderating complicated, highly clinical studies and creating understandable reports. After launching her own research firm, Bonnie knew that she wanted Thinkpiece to continue focusing on the industry sectors that other researchers shy away from: namely, healthcare, technology, and finance.

To that end, Bonnie has surrounded herself with a team of multi-disciplinary experts who, in her words, are smarter than she is. Bonnie and her team excel in revealing and communicating the human stories behind their clients’ complex products and services. She’s made it her mission to help companies think about research differently — not just as raw data on a report but as living, breathing intelligence that provides guidance, clarity, and confidence.

Fun fact: When not digging deep into research, Bonnie gets her hands dirty uncovering dinosaur bones on paleontology digs.

“Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.” — Winston Churchill

Nancy Miller, RN, MBA

A former head nurse responsible for treating open-heart surgery patients in the ICU, Nancy pours her own heart into her work as Thinkpiece’s lead healthcare moderator and account director. Her previous nursing career spanned multiple specialties, including cardiac and neurosurgery intensive care and burn care. Along with leading clinical departments, training nurses, and building the UNC Burn Center, Nancy also managed to earn her MBA at UNC Chapel Hill. Bedside manner meets business acumen.

Nancy’s familiarity with the science and the humanity required in caring for others serves our healthcare clients well. Her skill at communicating and connecting with physicians, nurses, patients, families, and allied health personnel gives her the unique ability to ask all the right questions, and even better, understand the responses. She then makes sure our clients understand them as well, with C-suite-ready reports they can confidently act on.

Nancy was drawn to market research for many of the same reasons she was drawn to healthcare. She enjoys solving complex challenges, interfacing with individuals from all backgrounds, and finding ways to help people thrive. She also knows that connecting healthcare clients to better insight allows them to continue innovating the products that improve people’s health and wellbeing.

Fun fact: Nancy always choses the less-traveled road, including hiking trails in Morocco and Slovenia.

“I have great respect for providers and patients. Rather than following a script, I have conversations. I recognize when to speak and when to listen.” — Nancy Miller

Kristen Balisi

Don’t let her title fool you: Kristen may sound super left-brain on paper, but her creativity and insights into human behavior are what make her reports such a big hit with clients. Kristen’s research bootcamp started at the University of Chicago, where she earned her MA with a focus on narrative and autobiography, philosophical and religious thought, and served as a writing mentor. In the process, Kristen learned the importance of gathering, interpreting, and communicating evidence to make an effective argument.

Which is essentially what she does for Thinkpiece clients. As the Senior Analyst (and Thinkpiece’s first official employee way back in the day), Kristen works side-by-side with our moderators to craft the right questions; shape the research design; extract the maximum insight from respondents; gather, track, and think through the collected data; then weave the findings together in a comprehensible report that generates action instead of gathering dust.

For Kristen, one of the many rewarding aspects of her role at Thinkpiece is the process of clarifying the messy realities of the audiences our clients are trying to understand. She embraces this mess, enjoying the plethora of unique voices, experiences, and motivations respondents bring to each study. She thrives on piecing these different perspectives into a clear, accurate, and honest narrative that the client can trust and use to make better business decisions. For Kristen, the goal isn’t to water-down the complexity of the research, but rather to make it accessible and applicable.

Fun fact: Kristen has a creative side, which she expresses by signing, gardening (sometimes both at the same time), and cooking without recipes.

“Answers are often complex. Good research communicates that complexity without dumbing it down, skewing it inappropriately, or opening the door to misunderstanding.” — Kristen Balisi

Liz Ezell

For Liz, research is at its core about truth-telling. That includes providing clients with honest answers to research questions — even if those answers aren’t always the easiest to hear. At the same time, she strives to deliver insight that clients can grasp and use to make progress toward their business goals.

Liz’s love of tell-it-like-it-is research started in graduate school, while earning her master’s degree in sociology. While a grad student, Liz was trained in the scientific process, including both qualitative and quantitative research methods, which embraces the exploration of observations in the quest to answer questions. She honed both her analytical skills and insight into human nature working on grant-funded academic research projects investigating therapies for depression. This experience taught her the value of paying attention to details, as well as being objective and aware of any potential bias.

Liz took these lessons with her as she moved from the academic to the business research realm. As Thinkpiece’s analyst, Liz takes the lead on writing the final reports delivered to the client. That includes making sure every step of the research project puts the team on the right path to create a usable report. To that end, Liz works alongside the moderators while developing and designing the research plan, recruiting respondents, and collecting the data. She’s an integral part of the team, and helps keep us all honest.

Fun fact: Liz is a die-hard Duke basketball supporter, so don’t be surprised if you find blue face paint in her desk drawer.

“Measure twice — or three times — and cut once.” — Liz’s favorite quote

Cori Bussetti

Cori has connections, and they serve our clients well. Over her 20+ year career as a research assistant and field manager in market research, she’s built excellent relationships with recruitment partners who are more than happy to help her quickly find and recruit just the right respondents for our clients’ needs.

As Thinkpiece’s field manager, she juggles multiple responsibilities with skill, grace, and aplomb — including managing, monitoring, and communicating all field logistics, strengthening vendor partnerships, keeping everyone in the loop about project status, and making sure the recruitment process goes smoothly. Along with finding recruits, she excels at finding solutions.

Luckily for us, Cori is extraordinarily well organized and detail oriented. Seriously, you should check out her checklists. Her ability to find order in chaos may be the reason she thrives in fast-paced environments with lots going on. A great communicator, she’s also a wonderful collaborator with our vendors and clients alike.

Fun fact: Unable to resist a sugary or salty treat, Cori wanted to be a candy taster when she grew up. Which explains her sweet nature.

“I want to provide the best possible service to our clients, so they trust us to do our job and have a worry-free experience.” — Cori Bussetti