Our Humans…

Great projects, close client relationships, and our breakthrough process have attracted some real smarties to our team, across 3 core disciplines…

Strategy +

Hunter Thurman, Founder & President
Hunter Thurman


After a decade of insights & strategy experience, Hunter got tired of asking people why they do things and expecting deeper answers. So he founded Thriveplan in 2011 to bring the considerable power of neuropsychology to bear on market research, and discover why people really do what they do.

Julie Maines
Julie Maines

Project Operations Manager

Q: What happens when a symphony brass performer brings her feels to the role of leading operations and analyzing respondent sentiment?
A: Project processes driven by empathy (vs. mere steps) so processes work in the natural ways people think, create, and behave (aka better outcomes and insights that flow with rhythm and harmony).

Mary Mathes

Market Intel Director

Mary is an expert in revealing strategic, data-driven stories, whose career path has been anything but status quo: starting out in traditional market research, pivoting to international relations as a political and leadership analyst in Washington DC, and now helping brands grow with insights and strategy at Thriveplan. Agile researcher, insights producer, fact-driven thinker.

Andy Scheurer

Senior Strategist

Andy is a leader in all things innovation. With a career spanning client- and agency-side roles, Andy creates both near and long-term strategic momentum by defining a tight brief, then leading brands to a rich, targeted pipeline. His expertise ensures insights that let teams work smarter, and achieve strategic growth.

Ellen Kelly

Insights Producer

A consumer insights & research planning guru, Ellen is hooked on uncovering those truths that connect companies to their consumers to strategically grow business. Her talent lies in asking the ‘right’ questions – those that ensure research uncovers key actionable insights – and allow for seamless translation into a compelling story.

+ Psychology

T. Sigi Hale, PhD

Principal Neuroscientist & Director of Research

What makes humans tick? Sigi’s a big picture architect of implicit research, studying the brain at a broad systems levels (i.e., hacking the brain’s OS). Prior to joining Thriveplan, Sigi was a founding member of UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center and neuroscientist at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior.

Bill Godsil, PhD

Neuro & Data Scientist

Former behavioral neuroscientist with UCLA and Université Paris Descartes, Bill is an expert in the brain circuits of motivated behavior. He builds analytic pipelines which identify the stories that consumer data tell.

Dr. Art Markman
Art Markman, PhD

Social Psychologist

One of the world’s leading researchers in cognitive psychology, Art is Professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently executive editor of the journal Cognitive Science and a member of the editorial board of Cognitive Psychology, plus author of Smart Thinking, a guide to how humans form beneficial habits.

Joshua Wiley, PhD

Advanced Statistics Scientist

Josh studies naturalistic behavior & psychology. His focus on the study of risk and protective behaviors in the psychological and behavioral response to daily life means he can identify the deep, implicit so-what’s in human perception and behavior. He uses cutting edge data-patterning & statistical methods (i.e., the power of math and high performance computing) to understand humans en masse.

Geoffrey Miller, PhD

Evolutionary Psychologist

The leading contemporary evolutionary psychologist, Geoffrey is the author of The Mating Mind and Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior. He’s also the co-creator of our Ancient Dynamics™ strategic model that harnesses millennia of evolution into a usable guide.

Peter M. Todd, PhD

Cognitive Scientist

A professor at Indiana University, Peter’s work reveals how people make choices about important resources in their lives, including food, information, and social partners. He is co-founder of Germany’s Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition, and co-author of Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart and Ecological Rationality: Intelligence in the World.

+ Sensory 

Glenn Smith
Glenn Smith

Owner/operator of G.H Smith & Company, specializing in ultra-creative cooking, Glenn was the Chef-in-Residence at Cooking School of Aspen.

Kara Klein
Kara Klein

A baker, Kara manages the most imaginative creations in the most unforgiving of climates and locales, from 8,000 ft. elevations in Colorado to remote New Zealand where she’s currently based.

C. Barclay Dodge
C. Barclay Dodge

Trained by the best in the world in the extremes of contemporary cooking, Barclay applies those principles to global flavors.

James Mazzio
James Mazzio

A Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef award-winner, James’s interest in food began as a kid at the Campbell Soup estate where his father was caretaker.

George Mahaffey
George Mahaffey

A James Beard award-winning chef, George is currently based in Thailand where he’s researching his next restaurant project.

Lars Kronmark
Lars Kronmark

Hand-picked to help open the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, Lars is the legendary school’s senior chef instructor and founding member of the Worlds of Flavors International Conference and Festival.

Susie Jiminez
Susie Jiminez

The Food Network’s 2011 Next Food Network Star runner-up, Susie is executive chef of Trenza restaurant in Texas.

Mark Miller
Mark Miller

A James Beard award-winner, Mark taught cultural anthropology before becoming a chef and one of America’s foremost culinary authorities. He’s opened 13 restaurants, published 11 cookbooks, and is an expert in both Latin and Asian flavors.