Meet the team

David Shiel

Chief Executive

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David Shiel

Chief Executive

With over 30 year’s experience in marketing and market research, David is responsible for the strategic direction of Explain. He is a Fellow of the ‘Institute of Marketing’, a visiting lecturer at Newcastle Business School, a member of the Entrepreneur’s Forum and a keen contributor to the business media.

 

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Gillian Shiel

Director

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Gillian Shiel

Director

Gillian is a founding director of the company and is responsible for internal facilities management and planning. She has overseen 3 Research Centre moves in the last 10 years as the number of staff has increased and recently managed a programme to refurbish all 4 floors in Head Office. She is relieved that no moves are scheduled in the next 12 months.

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Kim Davis

Managing Director

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Kim Davis

Managing Director

With over 15 years’ experience in qualitative and quantitative research and as a full member of the ‘Market Research Society’, Kim is responsible for the strategic direction of our larger clients and for supporting our research teams in the delivery of the actionable insights that our clients rely on to make the right choices for their brand.

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Steve Slater

Non Executive Director

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Steve Slater

Non Executive Director

Stephen is a Director of RMT, a firm of Chartered Accountants in Newcastle and mentor to a number of high growth digital businesses in the region. He joined Explain as a non-director in 2010.

Claire Riley

Non Executive Director

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Claire Riley

Non Executive Director

Joining the Explain board as a non executive director in 2015, Claire Riley has extensive experience in business, marketing and communications across both the public and private sectors.

She has been Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust since 2010.

Prior to this she was Director of Communications for the North East Strategic Health Authority and headed up the marketing and communications department at Northumbrian Water.

Holly Shiel-Redfern Commercial Director

Holly Shiel-Redfern

Commercial Director

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Holly Shiel-Redfern Commercial Director

Holly Shiel-Redfern

Commercial Director

Holly joined Explain in 2017 having been Operations Manager at a regional consultancy business for 9 years.  As a member of the Board she was responsible for developing and operationally delivering a growth strategy which included growth in new sectors, geographical regions and included acquisitions and forming start up companies.

With experience across a number of sectors, Holly will work with the Explain team to grow the business and to develop and identify opportunities which will add significant value, enabling the team to continue to develop their approach and provide insights to new and existing clients. 

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Emma Hopkins

Research Director

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Emma Hopkins

Research Director

With over 15 years’ experience working on both agency and client side, Emma provides clients with strategic advice and guidance to ensure the smooth running of projects and to allow clients to make the right choices for their brand. 

Emma also has overall responsibility for our telephone research centre and our support services, ensuring high quality fieldwork, ultimately leading to actionable insights on which our clients rely.

[email protected]

Rebecca Crinson

Research Director

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Rebecca Crinson

Research Director

With over a decade’s experience in research and engagement, Rebecca works across the business providing strategic guidance to ensure best value is achieved from any research budget. Rebecca has expertise in quantitative and qualitative research and is an experienced moderator and workshop facilitator having worked with a range of public and private sector organizations. Rebecca has a particular expertise in the health and utilities sector and has covered all sorts of topics from maternity services to marketing strategy and sewer blockages to sexual health! As a leader in the business Rebecca also thrives on mentoring other members of the team in the “Explain way” of absolute commitment to going the extra mile for clients at every opportunity.

[email protected]

Sam Riley

Research Manager

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Sam Riley

Research Manager

Sam joined Explain in 2015 after previously working for the destination marketing organisation, NewcastleGateshead Initiative where he led on the evaluation of their culture and events programme, including the evaluation of Enchanted Parks and JUICE Festival; an Arts Council national portfolio programme. 

At Explain, he now works as a project manager across qualitative and quantitative methodologies and manages projects for some of our largest clients including Northumbrian Water, Northern Powergrid and Yorkshire Housing.

 

[email protected]

Kathryn Allen

Market Research Executive

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Kathryn Allen

Market Research Executive

Kathryn joined the Explain team in 2014 with plentiful experience of undertaking both qualitative and quantitative research projects having worked for Northumbria Police’s Research Department. Kathryn has an MA in Applied Policy Research and manages a variety of adhoc and contracted projects for some of our longstanding clients including Home Group and Raven. 

[email protected]

Bryony Iles

Market Research Executive

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Bryony Iles

Market Research Executive

Bryony joined Explain on our graduate training programme after completing her MA degree in Cross-Cultural Communication and International Marketing at Newcastle University with distinction. Bryony manages quantitative and qualitative research projects, both ad hoc and contracted, across a wide range of methodologies. Bryony has a particular interest in healthcare and utilities research, and manages projects for clients including SP Energy Networks and a range of NHS organisations. Bryony is an experienced member of Explain’s independent moderation team, with regular involvement in focus groups, workshops and in-depth interviewing.

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Jennifer Lagan

Market Research Executive

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Jennifer Lagan

Market Research Executive

Jeni joined Explain in 2015 on our graduate training scheme after completing her degree at Northumbria University and she also has an MSc in Occupational and Organisational Psychology. Her training is designed to ensure she is an expert in quantitative and qualitative research. Jeni assists with some of our largest clients including UK Power Networks and also manages some of our online communities including Northern Powergrid.

[email protected]

Andy Patterson

Market Research Assistant

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Andy Patterson

Market Research Assistant

After previously enjoying a summer internship with Explain Andy joined the team full-time on our graduate training scheme. Andy is able to effectively implement the skills he has learnt through his undergraduate degree at Northumbria University to work with both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Andy provides support for clients such as Northern Powergrid, Yorkshire Housing and SP Energy Networks, and also manages several of our online communities.

Samantha Yuk

Market Research Assistant

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Samantha Yuk

Market Research Assistant

Samantha joined our graduate training scheme after completing her undergraduate degree in Law with business management at Northumbria University, specialising with a Marketing MSc. Samantha supports in the delivery of research for clients including Northumbrian Water, National Grid and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks. She is also responsible for managing several of our online communities.

Andrew Hutchinson

Data and Insight Analyst

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Andrew Hutchinson

Data and Insight Analyst

Andrew has over 10 years’ experience working in research helping individuals and organisations innovate, design, deliver and evaluate new ideas, products and services. He is an accredited ‘Cognitive Edge Practioner’, is trained in ‘Lean Methodologies’ and is an expert in ‘Geographical Information Systems (GIS)’. 

[email protected]

Lauren Haikney

Data and Insight Co-ordinator

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Lauren Haikney

Data and Insight Co-ordinator

Lauren joined Explain in 2016 on our graduate training scheme after graduating from Durham University with a first class honours degree in History. Her training is designed to assure she is an expert in quantitative and qualitative research. Lauren assists with some of our largest clients including SP Energy Networks and also manages some of our online communities.

[email protected]

Charlie Bailes

Data and Insight Co-ordinator

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Charlie Bailes

Data and Insight Co-ordinator

Charlie is a Newcastle University history graduate who joined our team as a telephone interviewer in our Research Centre in 2014. 

Since April 2015 Charlie moved to our head office, providing support across the business co-ordinating a range of projects ensuring that they are delivered to a high quality and on time for our clients.

[email protected]

Joel Miller

Placement Market Research Assistant

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Joel Miller

Placement Market Research Assistant

Joel joined Explain as one of our placement students for one year, after which he will return to Nottingham Trent University to complete his degree in Marketing. Joel works with some of our longest standing clients including Raven Housing and Home Group, and provides support to the project delivery and Data and Insight teams.

Anna Walton

Placement Market Research Assistant

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Anna Walton

Placement Market Research Assistant

Anna joined Explain as one of our placement students for one year, after which she will return to Newcastle University to complete her degree in Business Management. Anna works throughout the organisation supporting the project delivery team across a range of clients including Yorkshire Housing and Electricity North West.

Susan Davis

Administration and Fieldwork Manager

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Susan Davis

Administration and Fieldwork Manager

Susan has almost 15 years experience in the market research sector. Managing an extensive UK field team, Susan is an expert in managing the set up, smooth running and delivery of both qualitative and quantitative research projects. Alongside this Susan has responsibility for Explain's financial administration and leads on IT and telecoms support for the team. 

[email protected]

Jacqui Darwood

Business Services Executive

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Jacqui Darwood

Business Services Executive

Jacqui has significant experience of working client-side having undertaken project management and sales-based roles for several national and internationally based blue-chip brands. Her role at Explain is predominantly focused on HR and managing the recruitment process. In addition Jacqui works alongside the project management team, particularly on the qualitative side as a trained moderator.

[email protected]

Kelly Keohane

Research Centre Manager

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Kelly Keohane

Research Centre Manager

Kelly is responsible for managing our dedicated 45 - strong CATI research centre ensuring the highest quality of fieldwork. Successfully carrying out over 2,000 interviews each week across several client projects is a major task which she relishes. 

[email protected]

Liz Llewellyn

Quality and Research Centre Shift Manager

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Liz Llewellyn

Quality and Research Centre Shift Manager

Liz joined Explain in October 2015. Having worked previously in the public sector she brought with her 22 years experience of delivering a high standard of service to clients and working in a fast paced environment. Liz demonstrates a real passion for quality and holds two vital qualifications - ISO 9001 and ISO 27001.

Her role is both quality assurance and managing the telephone research centre where she is responsible for interviewer inductions, training and support.

Gill Dixon

Office Assistant

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Gill Dixon

Office Assistant

Gill joined the Explain team bringing with her over 20 years administration experience in both the private and public sectors. Gill’s responsibilities include event planning and fieldwork management, as well as working alongside our telephone Research Centre to ensure research is carried out efficiently and effectively.

Sage Bellway

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