Leadership

Kinesis’ commitment to delivering future-proof market research software solutions is driven by a leadership team that values innovation, quality and reliability.

Leslie Townsend, CEO & Co-founder

Leslie has spent her career bridging the mobile and market research worlds. Formerly she served as Director, New Business Development for Codetoys, where she was responsible for international rollout of the company’s mobile survey solution. Prior to Codetoys, she founded a market research firm for telecom companies, Marketfinders, which focused upon strategic planning and new product rollouts in the mobile arena, actively consulting with wireless applications developers. With a desire to marry the two worlds, she saw the need for a mobile survey solution in measuring mobile commerce, engaging teens, and capturing purchase and consumption behaviors for many types of consumer goods. Leslie’s spare time is devoted to yoga and cooking. Leslie has a B.A. in Market Research from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M.

Juha Vehnia, CTO & Co-founder

Juha hails from the land of mobile phones – Finland, home to Nokia and the highest mobile phone penetration in the world. Formerly VP of North America for Codetoys, a developer of wireless games, Juha managed accounts for Disney, Motorola, Sony, Nokia, Qualcomm, Verizon, AT&T Wireless, Cingular, and other major North American wireless and entertainment companies. He is fluent in Java, PHP, Perl, Linux, Oracle, IBM and mySQL environments. But his real passion is anything fast – racing cars, boats, and propelling his body downhill on a snowboard. Juha has a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Finland.

Tariq Mirza, Managing Director of Europe

Tariq leads all of Kinesis’ European business operations. His distinguished career in market research software began as a graduate trainee at Quantime in 1993. An established industry consultant and networker, Tariq has subsequently represented additional market research software suppliers Voxco, Nebu and Intellex, all of whom he helped to grow internationally and establish a foothold in the UK and European marketplace. Tariq is kept busy outside of work by his wife and three children, a passion for cooking, and his time spent as an aspiring/improving golfer. Tariq has a BA in Contemporary European Studies from Polytechnic of North London and a Post Graduate degree in Export Marketing Management from Newland Park Business School, Brunel University.

Steve Lavine, Senior Advisor & Co-founder

Steve most recently served as Chief Research Officer and earlier as CEO of Toluna North America. He was also the Founder and CEO of Common Knowledge Research Services and the Your 2 Cents Online Opinion Panel, which were acquired by Toluna. With 30 years of experience in market research, Steve has pioneered research techniques in the areas of panel management, online survey execution, creative evaluation and testing, web site development and usability, and new product development. He is an active member of and a frequent speaker at the conferences of ESOMAR, CASRO, ARF, and the MRA, and is a tireless promoter of strategies and techniques to bring greater representation and reliability to online surveys. Steve holds an M.S. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Michael Swimelar, CFO

Michael serves as CFO for Kinesis. He previously served as CFO for Common Knowledge where he implemented a line of digital research products including ASP, virtual focus groups, Internet-based research, and other software and services. Prior to his experiences at Common Knowledge, Mike held a variety of senior-level positions with Citizens Communications, a conference call/web collaboration company, and he worked for both GTE Telephone Operations and Ernst & Young. An avid scuba diver and golfer, Mike also enjoys hanging with his wife and four kids. Mike has a B.A. from the University of Washington and an MBA from the University of Dallas and is a CPA.

Gene Filipi, Director of Sales

Gene possesses 15 years of market research software sales experience and more than 20 years of experience in the market research industry. Prior to joining Kinesis, he spent more than a decade leading and managing sales for CfMC, and also previously worked at Lieberman Research Worldwide and at the Gallup Organization. Gene has frequently served in chapter and national leadership roles for professional groups including the Marketing Research Association and the American Marketing Association. In his spare time Gene has a passion for sailing and spending time with his dog Ruby, friends and family. He holds a B.S. degree in Business/Marketing from Doane College in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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