Meet the Experts: Our research experts have in-depth knowledge in numerous sectors, including utilities, financial services, health care, insurance, retail, restaurants and food service, non-profit organizations, education, transportation, and home building. This combination of industry experience and research expertise enables us to provide the insights you need to guide decision-making and solve your business challenges.

Cari Apostol

Chief Executive Officer

Mrs. Apostol served as CFO and Treasurer of WestGroup Research for more than 25 years prior to becoming CEO in 2015.  During that time, Cari was actively involved in the daily business of WestGroup through her roles as the company accountant and bookkeeper with the responsibilities of payroll, AR/AP, and all financial reporting.

Cari was named CEO after the death of her husband Ted Apostol, the founder of WestGroup Research.  Together Ted and Cari grew the company to over 12 times the size it was when they acquired the firm in 1989 (previously M.R. West Marketing Research).

Cari considers it a privilege to serve as CEO of the incredible team of leaders Ted trained and mentored for many years in anticipation of his expected retirement. Cari is quick to give credit for the company’s continuing and outstanding success to its exceptional long-term research and business staff.

Cari serves on two non-profit foundations: LIFT: Leaders In Fellowship Together, as treasurer; and TAF: Ted Apostol Foundation, as Chair.  Mrs. Apostol is the author of the book: What Has God Already Provided? She has also served as a women’s ministry leader, teacher, curriculum writer and speaker for various women’s events for the last 35 years.   Cari and Ted were married 47 years, have 3 children and 8 grandchildren.

Glenn Iwata

President, Chief Research Officer

Respected for over 30 years of  practice and innovation in the areas of “Customer Experience” and service quality research, Glenn specializes in consumer and business research for the public utility, health care and insurance industries. Glenn spent 10 years with Arizona Public Service Company and was managing their Market Research department before joining WestGroup in 1989.

In addition to consulting and managing his own projects, Glenn serves as President and Chief Research Officer at WestGroup and has been leading the company since 2014.  Glenn invests time mentoring and training WestGroup’s analysts and managers on research and leadership.  His door is always open and Glenn prioritizes making time to talk with employees about life inside and outside of WestGroup.

Glenn’s clients value him as a consultant and thus his research relationships seldom end when the final presentation is made. He is often invited to be a part of special internal client teams to translate research findings into actions and to assist with implementation strategies.

Mr. Iwata is an owner and President of WestGroup’s Board of Directors.  He is also is involved in several outside organizations, including the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Asian Chamber of Commerce, Japanese American Citizens League, and is on the board of Canyon State Academy.  Glenn volunteers his time teaching music and playing piano and arranging music for various church and non-profit organizations.

Glenn earned a degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Arizona State University.  Glenn and his wife Sue are adjusting to an empty nest now that all three of their girls have moved out and settled throughout the Southwest.  When he’s not working, you can find Glenn running mountain trails near his home in preparation for the next marathon.

Contact Glenn at: glenn@westgroupresearch.com

Peter Apostol

Senior V.P., Chief Operating Officer

Incorporating 20 years of comprehensive experience in market research, Peter has truly learned the business from the ‘ground up’. His unique skill set and management abilities are essential to the successful operation of all of WestGroup’s quantitative research projects.

In addition to his duties as COO, Peter also serves as Project Director for a number of clients, capitalizing on his ability to leverage technology, manage and coordinate multiple vendors and resources, and to regularly “accomplish the impossible”. Peter specializes in large tracking studies and custom solutions to reporting data online, and has particular expertise in the “NPS” (Net Promoter Score) research philosophy

Peter is the embodiment of an ‘early adopter,’ always tracking new technologies, and using that expertise to keep WestGroup in the forefront of the latest research techniques and methodologies. And if a solution doesn’t exist, he will create one…Peter has designed a number of custom software applications to help WestGroup be more efficient and effective.

Peter is a member of the WestGroup Board of Directors, and is one of the company owners. Peter’s involvement in outside organizations has included the American Marketing Association, CMOR, and the Market Research Association.

Peter earned a BS at Arizona State University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. As a fan of soccer, Peter has served as a volunteer soccer coach for the City of Chandler for five years and looks forward to coaching his daughter when she is ready to join the team.

Contact Peter at: peter@westgroupresearch.com

Kathy DeBoer

Senior V.P., Chief Quality Officer

With more than 25 years of experience in Marketing Research, Kathy DeBoer has indirectly touched the lives of many Arizona residents, through research conducted on behalf of numerous government entities, ranging from the State of Arizona to individual school districts. Kathy is well known for her expertise in public policy and has helped guide countless decisions affecting the quality of life in Arizona.   Kathy also works with many private-sector clients, including advertising agencies, public relations firms, and WestGroup’s global clients. Kathy realized her passion and genuine enjoyment of the art and science of market research early on, and has dedicated her professional life to honing her craft.

Kathy is currently Vice Chair of About Care, a non-profit organization that provides transportation services to low income residents in the East Valley.  She is currently the co-chair of the Issues and Communications Committee and also sits on one of the regional boards for Arizona Forward, an association committed to improving the environment and livability in the state of Arizona.   She is also a member and past president of the Arizona Chapter of the American Marketing Association, and is a member of the Qualitative Research Consultants’ Association, a national trade group.

Ms. DeBoer is a part owner of WestGroup, serves on the company’s Board of Directors, and holds the critical job of serving as the Quality Control Officer for the firm. Kathy holds a BA from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan and an MA in Human Factors Psychology from Arizona State University.  Her more personal passions center around her family – Brad, her husband of 25+ years, her two daughters, and three dogs. As avid sports fans, the DeBoers enjoy cheering on their favorite Arizona teams together.

Contact Kathy at: kathy@westgroupresearch.com

Bethany Helmer

Chief Financial Officer

Bethany Helmer has invested nearly 25 years supporting both the research and business operations of WestGroup Research. Bethany has been involved in managing the finances of the company for the past ten years and accepted the position of CFO in 2015.

Bethany began her career at WestGroup as a high school student working part time assisting with data entry and mail surveys.  During college, she served as our receptionist and primary focus group hostess.  Upon earning her Bachelor’s Degree, Bethany was hired as WestGroup’s focus group facility manager and later transitioned into data processing.  Fueled by her passion to support the business side of our growing firm, Bethany put her keen number sense and 15-years of cross-department experience to work when she assumed bookkeeping and accounting responsibilities   in 2007.  In addition to her current CFO role, Bethany oversees, Human Resources, Payroll and Office Management.

Ms. Helmer is a part owner of WestGroup and serves as the Treasurer on the company’s Board of Directors.  Bethany earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Ministries and Business from Arizona Christian University.  Bethany has a heart for service and is always seeking volunteer opportunities and ways to serve her community.  She has enjoyed coaching volleyball for the YMCA, assisting several Robotics and Lego Clubs and Camps, and organizing groups to serve at Feed My Starving Children.

Dave Maddox

V.P. Marketing, Project Director

What do you get when you cross a marketing director, advertising executive and seasoned market researcher? Dave Maddox, a talented and creative project director and senior analyst with 25 years of experience. Clients find his common sense approach and to-the-point reporting refreshing and useful.

Before joining WestGroup Research in 2002, Dave had held positions with home builder T.W. Lewis, advertising agency E.B. Lane, and Circle K Corporation.

In addition to his work with clients, Dave also serves on WestGroup’s Board, and as in-house marketing director. Dave holds a BA in Communication from Arizona State University and has also taught classes at ASU West. Dave has also presented at local and national research conferences, and you may have seen him on local news, dissecting each year’s crop of Super Bowl commercials.

Prior to entering the marketing field, Dave worked as an air traffic controller and as a PGA Golf Professional. His closest brush with fame came in 1993 when he played 18 holes of golf with Michael Jordan.

Wendy Godfrey

V.P. Strategy, Project Director

Wendy Godfrey is an accomplished researcher with more than 30 years of experience. Ms. Godfrey has a wealth of experience in consumer and business issues for the financial industry amassed over a career working in banks, consulting with banks, and providing research solutions to banks and other financial institutions for the past two decades at WestGroup.  Wendy’s personal interests translate into a passion for also working with clients in the non-profit, education, and health and nutrition sectors.

Wendy specializes in brand research, concept and message testing, customer experience tracking, and strategic plan development.   Wendy is highly valued for her expertise in designing and moderating focus groups and executive interviews. Co-workers affectionately refer to her as our “Qualitative Queen” and include her as a consultant on their qualitative projects.

Ms. Godfrey was attracted to WestGroup because of our unique philosophy of “one contact from proposal to presentation.” She knows the success of research is in the details and enjoys working directly with her clients throughout the entire process.  Always available and generous with her time, each of Wendy’s clients enjoys the illusion that they are her only client.  If you ask someone to describe Wendy, you are guaranteed to hear the words:  professional, responsive, trustworthy, wise and gracious.

Prior to joining WestGroup in 2000, Wendy was an independent research consultant engaged by Bank One, First National Bank & Trust, First Hawaiian Bank and Salt River Project.  Her foundation in the financial industry was built by spending 17 years in banking, 13 of those with Bank One/Valley National Bank, where she held management positions in Marketing Research and Sales & Service Management.

Wendy holds a BS in Marketing from the University of Arizona. She is a member of the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the Center for Marketing and Opinion Research (CMOR), the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA), the American Bankers Association, and is an occasional contributor to Bank Marketing Magazine, as well as a frequent lecturer at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Wendy also has a long history of community involvement, serving on the boards of the Rosson House, University of Arizona Phoenix Alumni group, and Touchstone Behavioral Health. Currently, she is involved with The Board of Visitors and Valley Leadership.

Wendy is a part owner of WestGroup and serves on the company’s Board of Directors. Wendy and her husband Bill are avid travelers and adventurers and, in recent years, have made trips to the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, London, Africa and Italy. Both at airports and on planes she enjoys reading the latest business books.

Contact Wendy at: wendy@westgroupresearch.com

Stephanie Apostol

Senior Analyst/Project Director

Wholeheartedly curious, naturally analytical, and wired for creative and collaborative problem solving, Stephanie Apostol is dedicated to the art and science of market research.  Since 1996, Stephanie has guided and supported local, national and international clients through the process of engaging their market with quantitative and qualitative methods. Her favorite aspect of research is getting answers to the questions that keep you up at night.

Ms. Apostol enjoys the challenge of designing innovative yet practical approaches to data collection and reporting. Sometimes this means executing a simple web survey but other times it means implementing a complicated multi-modal data collection approach, creating custom project management software, or integrating data from several sources into a dynamic dashboard reporting tool.

Stephanie is thankful to be a part of a company where going the extra mile is business as usual because going above and beyond is a part of her DNA.

Ms. Apostol is a part owner of WestGroup and serves on the company’s Board of Directors.  She is a RIVA trained moderator and a past president of the Arizona Chapter of the American Marketing Association.  Stephanie earned a BS in Psychology from Penn State University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

 

Katy Gallert

Senior Analyst/Project Director

Analytical and creative with the desire to delve deep for “answers behind the answers”, Katy Gallert has a talent for finding purposeful information and presenting it in an impactful way.  Katy is one of those rare individuals who knew exactly what she wanted to do professionally while still in college. WestGroup is thankful to have scooped her up for an internship in 2002 and leveraged her passion for market research ever since.

 

With more than 15 years of experience in Marketing Research, Ms. Gallert has been involved in hundreds of research projects conducted on behalf of government entities and companies in the public and private sectors, including utilities, transportation, insurance, construction, manufacturing, healthcare and education.  Katy is best known at WestGroup for expertise in managing a multi-modal, complex, dynamic tracking study for the one of Arizona’s largest providers of electricity and water.

 

While Katy is experienced in SPSS statistical analysis and helps clients dig deeper by using techniques like key driver analysis and segmentation, some of her favorite projects are qualitative and allow her to engage with people personally through one-on-one interviews or focus groups.  Over the years she has conducted numerous in-depth interviews with business owners and had the privilege of sharing their stories both in writing and through live panel presentations.

 

Ms. Gallert is a RIVA trained moderator and served on the Arizona Chapter of the American Marketing Association as VP of Finance.  Katy holds a BS in Marketing from the University of Arizona.

Mark Gauzens

Director of Research Innovation/Project Director

Mark Gauzens is a self-proclaimed “data enthusiast” with a gift for using data visualizations to present research findings in a custom, friendly and meaningful way.    Fearless in the face of complex work flows and mountains of raw data, Mark invests his time and talents to set up systems to automate and eliminate any possibility of human error.  Mark’s clients appreciate his skillful execution of both traditional and innovative research methods and the benefits gained by leveraging technology to put them in the driver’s seat of their data.  With the ability to easily review results in a variety of ways, Mark engages client’s natural curiosity which leads to greater insights and a deeper understanding of the story the data reveals.

 

As our Director of Research Innovation, Mark consults on many WestGroup projects to ensure the design and execution appropriately leverage technology to maximize efficiency and effectiveness from data collection through reporting. Mark is also a primary programmer of “CLASS”, WestGroup’s turn-key yet custom Dashboard reporting system. By being willing and stubborn enough to wrangle old processes into newer and better formats, Mark helps to bolster not only the amount and speed of work that can be done for a client, but the quality as well. Mark revels in ridding the research world of “it can’t be done” and “we’ve always done it this way” thinking.

 

Prior to joining WestGroup in 2011, Mark worked at a branding agency where he supported research initiatives for pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods clients. In this role, Mark managed projects ranging in scope, from quantitative international logo testing with ophthalmologists, to qualitative educational brochure testing with cancer patients and caregivers.

 

Mark graduated from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University with a BS in Marketing. He is an avid obstacle course racer and, when not working, can most likely be found hanging out with his wife and children.