Heart+Mind Strategies Expands Leadership Team

Mark Wirthlin, President + Partner

Heart+Mind Strategies Expands Leadership Team

Restructuring a Result of Seven Years of Record Performance

Heart + Mind Strategies LLC, a rapidly growing research-based consultancy, has appointed Mark Wirthlin as its new President and newest Partner. Mark will be responsible for implementing the organization’s five year strategic plan, managing newly formed client teams, and working with the Partners to continue the trend of past record business performance into the future.

“Mark’s hire denotes a critical evolution for our company,” said Mike Dabadie, CEO and Managing Partner of Heart + Mind Strategies. “While we’ve enjoyed phenomenal success over the last seven years, we must continue to look forward. We’ve made several strategic, structural decisions that will enable us to better serve our clients through more specialized practice areas and strategic partnerships aimed directly at delivering clients new growth opportunities for their organization’s success.”

  • Heart + Mind Strategies has achieved seven consecutive years of profitable, double-digit growth and now has nearly 50 employees.
  • The company has restructured into expertise and client centered teams to deliver on the disciplines of advanced research and analytics, incisive business strategy, and compelling narrative – the three core areas that underpin the mission of Heart + Mind Strategies. Andrew Cober is promoted to Vice President and will lead the Values + Communications Strategy Team, Maury Giles (SVP) will lead the Brand, System + Journey Strategy Team, and Shawn Wade (SVP) continues to lead the fast growing Healthcare Practice Team.
  • Dee Allsop and Mike Dabadie now assume the roles of joint CEO and Managing Partner to focus on future business opportunities. Beth Forbes becomes Chief Experience Officer (CXO) and Partner to ensure internal and external delivery continuity, and Jennifer Airey, Partner, will incubate new business areas and remain focused on deepening and expanding client relationships.

Mark Wirthlin has over 30 years of proven success across many industries and businesses. He was previously the President of The Modellers, COO of Wirthlin Worldwide, and started his own retail franchise, The Woodworkers Club.

“It’s extremely impressive to see the growth and profitability Heart+Mind Strategies has achieved since its founding, commented Mark Wirthlin. “I’m thrilled to be joining them as they restructure the company to continue to grow, innovate and better service their client relationships.”

Dee Allsop, CEO and Managing Partner of Heart + Mind Strategies said, “I am so excited to have Mark onboard. His thought leadership and experience coupled with our shared history make him the ideal President to propel us forward in this next chapter of our company. The business consulting and market research industries are rapidly changing, and our new five-year strategic plan charts the course forward to help our organization, our employees, and our clients enjoy the confidence of their accomplishments through our guidance.”


Heart+Mind Strategies at TMRE 2016

Heart + Mind Strategies will be participating as a speaker and sponsor at TMRE: The Market Research Event, taking place this October 17-20 in Boca Raton, FL.

Please join us for an exciting presentation on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 entitled:

The Dimensionalization of Las Vegas Brand Values: Relevant Elasticity in the Face of Changing Consumer & Societal Values

The iconic Las Vegas brand campaign, “What Happens Here, Stays Here” has remained relevant for over a decade—even breaking visitation records amidst the recession. At TMRE, we’re breaking the cardinal rule to share what’s really happening here!

Learn how pluralistic driven need states decision making (especially among the Millennial and Gen Z populations) has presented the Las Vegas brand with the opportunity to stretch its appeal while staying true to the essence of the brand promise. Research on individual and societal values drivers, destination study results, and the power of visual storytelling will be presented by:

  • Kevin Bagger, Executive Director, Research Center, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
  • Todd Gillins, VP of Research, R&R Partners
  • Mike Dabadie, President & Managing Partner, Heart + Mind Strategies

Stop by booth 304 in the Exhibit Hall to say hello!

We are happy to extend a special discount for you to join us at TMRE. When registering, please reference VIP code TMRE16HEART to save 25%.

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How Strategic Partnerships Help You Innovate

Innovation is never easy. That’s why collaborating with the right business partners can be invaluable.

“Innovation at the end of the day is about helping your customers grow, whether it’s a product or a service line, or the way they do business,” says Mike Dabadie, President and Managing Partner of Heart+Mind Strategies. “Innovation is about being responsive, customer centric and co-creative.”

This IndustryWeek white paper explores the client and supplier sides of multiple relationships–including Mike’s long-time partnership with R&R Partners in service of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), the people who brought you the infamous tagline “What Happens Here, Stays Here” #WHHSH.

To read the full IndustryWeek article, click here: UPS_IW_Partnership-Has-Its-Benefits_WhitePaper_final copy

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Maury Giles joins Heart + Mind as Systems and Decision Mapping Practice Leader

We are proud to announce Maury Giles has joined Heart+Mind Strategies! Maury will bring his experience to establish a practice focused on mapping human systems and decision-making to inform brand development and experiential innovation.

“Maury is an industry pioneer. He has a proven approach anchored in our shared Wirthlin heritage, yet modernized for alignment with our understanding of individual and societal values in today’s more integrated and digitally-connected environment,” said Mike Dabadie, President and Managing Partner of Heart+Mind Strategies. “Maury has worked with many of us in the past, and we are very excited about what he can do for our clients in this space.”

Over the last 20+ years, Maury’s career has spanned journalism, political polling, market research, branding, marketing ROI and simulation, strategic communications planning, and system mapping.

“We are building a practice that views the world as a system when tackling complex business challenges. By mapping decision-making dynamics within a human system, we discover what our clients must do, become, or create to more deeply resonate through communications, experience, or innovation,” Maury said. “I’ve known the Heart+Mind team most of my career—we share a respect and vision for values-based research and I am very excited to be working with them again.”

Prior to joining Heart + Mind Strategies, Maury founded and led a global strategic consulting group at Ipsos called Strategy3—launched after Ipsos acquired his own consultancy PURSUIT, a blend of branding, marketing communications, design, and market research disciplines. Over his career at both the research firm and ad agency side, Maury has consulted clients on five continents in most major verticals.

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Graham Lane Joins Heart + Mind as Senior Consultant

Graham Lane has joined the Heart + Mind to further develop and serve our clients.

Graham comes with a wealth of experience, combining a decade of corporate strategic planning leadership with more than 15 years’ experience as a research consultant serving financial services, telecomm/technology, automotive and entertainment industries. Previously at The Modellers, Graham helped to clients harness the power of analytics to better understand and connect with their customers.

Graham joins Heart+Mind Strategies as Senior Consultant, to continue Heart+Mind’s success at strengthening the bonds between organizations and their customers. “Customer-centricity is must in any industry today”, said Graham. “No firm knows as much about how to engage customers and the employees serving them to create an extraordinary customer experience than Heart+Mind Strategies. I’m thrilled to be joining the firm.”

Dee Allsop, CEO and Managing Partner, said “Graham’s commitment to using research to deliver not just ‘what,’ but the ‘why’ of actionable insight into clients’ most difficult business issues is what sets him apart. He will be valuable asset to us as a company and to our full client spectrum.”

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Heart + Mind Hires VP, Managing Director of Quorvis MSLGROUP to Lead Government Practice

Mike Hillegass Government Practice Leader Heart+Mind Strategies Expands Strategic Offerings

Heart+Mind Strategies is proud to welcome Mike Hillegass to the firm as the Government Practice Lead.

“Mike is a sharp communication strategist, proven to create results for clients in the US and international markets,” said Dee Allsop, CEO and Managing Partner of Heart + Mind. “His government affairs and communication prowess will make him a key member of our team.”

Mike boasts more than a decade of communications strategy leadership on high profile government campaigns including award-winning work for USAID and the government of Mexico.

“As a communications strategist, I know the impact that a research-based strategy can create for clients,” said Mike Hillegass. “Heart + Mind’s ability to reveal core decision drivers for different types of stakeholders makes them an ideal partner for the diverse Washington, DC marketplace. I am very excited to be a part of this team.”

Prior to joining Heart + Mind, Mike served as Vice President, Managing Director of Qorvis MSLGROUP where he led federal sector business development and expanded their government practice to more than one dozen agencies and over $2M in new revenue in two years. Michael has also led communications and consulting programs for a broad range of non-profit and Fortune 100 clients.


Michael Hillegass, Senior Solutions Consultant, Government Practice Leader