OUR TEAMCommitted, Driven, Passionate
Kevin Akins is a Partner at Impact Research who has elected Democrats and progressives from city hall to the U.S. Senate. The son of a union steelworker, he is particularly proud of his work with organized labor, including defeating right to work by a 35-point margin at the ballot box in a conservative state.
No stranger to battleground races, Kevin has polled for candidates and causes from the Sun Belt to the Northwest. He often serves as a lead pollster in moderate-to-conservative areas and scored one of the largest upsets in recent Congressional history by helping a Deep South Democrat win a seat that Donald Trump won by +13 points. Kevin’s clients routinely outpace the partisan DNA of their state or district at the ballot box.
Kevin has helped pass ballot initiatives on issues ranging from voting rights, organized labor, marijuana reform, and redistricting. His research experience includes polling for House Majority PAC, the AFL-CIO, the Environmental Defense Fund, and state legislative caucuses.
Kevin cut his teeth in polling as a call-house interviewer. He was the first in his family to graduate college, earning a B.A. from Huntingdon College and an M.A. from the University of Florida. He lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with his wife Chris, their sons Graham and Owen, and a house full of dogs.
Justin Anderson is a Senior Research & Programming Analyst at Impact Research. Justin joined the firm in 2015.
John Anzalone is one of the nation’s top pollsters and messaging strategists. He has spent decades working on some of the toughest political campaigns in modern history and helping corporations, non-profits, trade associations, and advocacy groups navigate complex challenges and achieve their goals.
John has polled for the past four presidential races, most recently serving as chief pollster for President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. In that role, he helped develop the messaging and strategy that drove paid communication, major policy rollouts, speeches, and convention thematics. John has also polled for the campaigns of both President Barack Obama (2008 & 2012) and Hillary Clinton (2016), and he has helped elect U.S. senators, governors, and dozens of members of Congress.
With more than 30 years of experience in message development, strategic execution, and political campaigns, John has been called on by elected officials, key decision-makers, executives, and CEOs to provide counsel and serve as a fresh set of eyes in a changing world and marketplace. With extensive experience using research and data to break down complex subjects into concise, digestible messages that resonate with target audiences, John has successfully helped his clients craft winning messages and earn public support time and time again. He sees his role as providing clients with clear guidance on what to say and whom to say it to.
In the corporate realm, John has helped Fortune 500 companies with data-driven corporate strategy, messaging, and branding. He currently serves as a strategic consultant and impact advisor for multiple corporations and trade associations. He specializes in guiding his clients through turbulent political environments, helping them maneuver changing marketplaces and cultural dynamics and with crisis management.
John and his firm also work with governors across the country, including Governor Gretchen Whitmer (MI) who won re-election in 2022. In 2020, John helped Governor Roy Cooper win a second term in North Carolina, and in 2019 he helped to re-elect Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. Rhode Island U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is also a client as well as Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s Senate Majority PAC.
John grew up in St. Joseph, Michigan, and graduated from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. John is married and has four children, four dogs, and lives in Montgomery, Alabama. He roots for the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Chicago Cubs. John currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Executive Board for the Committee of 100, a group of top businesses in the Montgomery area. John is also a graduate of Leadership Alabama.
Aliza Astrow is an Associate at Impact Research, working with Democratic campaigns, organizations, and causes. Aliza came to Impact from Third Way, where she worked as a senior political analyst and managed public opinion research for Third Way’s political and policy teams. While at Third Way, she also served as political director for Shield PAC, shielding swing-district Democrats from attacks around crime and immigration.
Prior to joining Third Way, Aliza worked as a research assistant at Brilliant Corners Research and Strategies. She received her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, where she got her start in politics working for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Missouri Democratic candidates. She lives in Washington, DC, where she enjoys exploring new restaurants and happy hour deals.
Matthew Byrne is an Executive Assistant working out of Impact Research’s Montgomery office. Matthew has called Alabama home for his entire life, spending much of his time in and near the state’s capital city. He attended the University of Alabama in Huntsville for his undergraduate education, graduating with honors from the schools of English and sociology. Matthew spent three years working in the book-publishing industry as the production manager at Montgomery’s NewSouth Books before joining Impact in 2021. Matthew enjoys film, literature, tabletop role-playing games, and progressive Twitch streams. He lives in Deatsville with his wife Rachel and their four cats.
Diana Candelaria is the Accounting Manager at Impact Research. Diana is responsible for all areas of office operations, including accounts payable and receivable, vendor and client contracts, human resources, and preparing client project packages. Prior to joining Impact Research, she worked as the contract administrator and network administrator for McClinton & Company, Inc., a local commercial real estate developer.
Diana is a magna cum laude graduate from South University, holding a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, specializing in leadership and management.
Cassie Castro is a Junior Associate at Impact Research, where she works with Democratic electoral campaigns and progressive organizations.
Prior to working in polling, Cassie worked as a field organizer in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Arizona, and Kentucky. Through organizing, she developed a passion for engaging rural and Spanish-speaking voters, electing Democratic candidates, and advancing causes she believes in. Cassie also worked on the 2021 redistricting cycle, tracking the processes in states all over the U.S. and ensuring that communities were protected throughout the redistricting process.
Cassie is Chilean-American, a native of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and graduated from American University in 2019 with a BA in Political Science and Public Relations. She lives in Washington, D.C., and enjoys baking bread, playing the ukulele, and embroidery.
Joshua Chism is an Analyst in Impact Research’s Montgomery office. He graduated in 2021 with his Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Music from Troy University. During his undergraduate career his research focused on two main topics, the effects of Covid-19 and online mental health self-tests. His interest in politics began during his statistical studies at the time of the 2020 presidential election.
Outside of work, Joshua enjoys playing and performing classical and jazz music on his alto saxophone. He enjoys keeping up with many things such as movies, neuroscience, fiction books, and all things music.
Madeline is a Senior Associate at Impact Research, working with Democratic campaigns and causes.
Prior to joining Impact in 2021, Madeline spent the 2020 cycle at a Democratic media firm, working with candidates, independent expenditure campaigns, and labor organizations to develop ad creative and paid communications strategy across TV, radio, and digital.
She is also an alum of the 2018 Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, where she worked with Red-to-Blue campaigns in a dozen swing seats on all things digital, and other campaigns in Chicago. She was a reporter at Politico in Washington and in various regional newsrooms before entering politics, studied history and sociology at Harvard, and also enjoys Twitter.
Mayra Cuevas is a Senior Associate at Impact Research where she works to help elect Democrats at all levels of government. At the Congressional level, she has helped defend and flip several frontline Congressional districts for campaigns as well as House Majority PAC. She also has extensive experience working with progressive groups and organizations focused on issues such as reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and immigration.
Mayra is especially interested in political opinion research among Latino voters, and she has polled in Latino-heavy electorates across the country – from polling in legislative races in South Florida to interviewing women of color presidential caucus-goers in Nevada. She is also proud to be part of the team that helped elect Delia Ramirez (IL-03) to Congress – the first Latina Congresswoman from the Midwest.
Jeff Deetman is a Research Coordinator in Impact Research’s Montgomery office. Jeff enlisted in the Air Force in 2012 and spent six years maintaining F-16s. He received a degree in Computer Science from Auburn University at Montgomery in 2022. At home, Jeff loves video games, guitar, and spending time with his beautiful wife, Stephanie.
Lisa Degou is a Junior Associate at Impact Research, where she looks forward to working toward meaningful change with a variety of Democratic campaigns, progressive causes, and organizations across the country. Her interest in campaigns stems from her time working on a nine-way primary for a House seat, which resulted in a painstakingly long recount followed by a general election race in 2018. Prior to joining Impact, Lisa worked for a Democratic member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.
Lisa is from Lowell, Massachusetts, a city 45 minutes north of Boston. She graduated with degrees in Mathematics and Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, where she was elected SGA president by a narrow margin of only 4 votes. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her cat Monster and enjoys all things involving good food, Boston sports, and reality TV.
Ashlyn Diamond is a Research Coordinator in Impact Research’s Montgomery office. She graduated from Troy University with a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and a minor in Archaeology. She likes to spend her free time playing Dungeons and Dragons, building LEGO with her fiancé, reading fantasy books, and loving on her dog Luca and cat Finn.
Deshaun Estinvil is a Junior Project Coordinator in Impact Research’s Montgomery office. Deshaun was born in the Garden State of New Jersey and raised in Elizabeth. In 2015 Deshaun enlisted in the U.S Navy, where he volunteered for the Submarine Program and served onboard the USS Albany. From 2015 to 2020 Deshaun helped the Albany return to fully operational and deployment-ready status. Prior to joining the Impact team, Deshaun was contracted by Huntington Ingalls to aid in the shipbuilding process and commissioned the USS Montana in 2021. Outside of work, Deshaun enjoys writing, watching sports, playing basketball, adventuring, working out, and trying new things. His passion for basketball is only matched by his love for music, good food, and his family.
Casey Farmer is the Vice President of Research at Impact Research. She is responsible for overseeing client research and the development of Impact’s analytical capabilities. Casey graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2003 with a degree in Anthropology and Mathematics. Most recently Casey attended Georgia State University where she received a master’s in 2010 in Quantitative/Educational Research with a focus on statistical analysis.
Prior to joining Impact, Casey worked for many years with a wilderness therapy program in Northeast Georgia Mountains. She is a dedicated runner and enjoys spending time outside with her husband and three sons in Montgomery where they live.
Bharati Ganesh is a Junior Associate at Impact Research. Bharati caught the political bug at a young age and has experience working on campaigns, in issue advocacy, and in government. She became interested in polling while running a conjoint survey experiment for her senior thesis, which examined the relationship between party cues and voter behavior in local elections.
Bharati is from Princeton Junction, New Jersey. She graduated magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in Political Science, minoring in Growth & Structure of Cities. In her free time, she enjoys reading murder mysteries, baking chocolate-chip cookies, and exploring DC.
Sandra and her husband recently relocated to Alabama from Des Moines, Iowa. She brings over ten years of experience in data research, analysis, and assessment. Her strengths include project management, finance, operations, and human resources. She loves to travel with her best friend and visit her children and grandchildren. She strives to make an impression wherever she plants herself and looks forward to making a difference at Impact.
Matt Hogan has worked for the Democratic nominee in the past four U.S. presidential elections, polling in both the primary and the general election for President Joe Biden, as well as for President Obama in his 2012 re-election campaign. In addition to his work at the presidential level, Matt has polled for candidates at all levels of government, from mayor to the U.S. Senate, and is proud to have been part of the teams that helped elect Ayanna Pressley (MA-7) and Tom O’Halleran (AZ-1) to Congress. Matt has also worked with the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), and has extensive experience polling on issues such as healthcare, education, tax policy, immigration, and election reform.
Matt holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. in History from James Madison University. He lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife, daughter, and son.
Nolan Jackson was born and raised in Montgomery and graduated from Troy University in 2018 with a BA in Business Administration concentrating in Information Systems. He’s always had a keen interest in politics and is excited to be on the Impact Fielding team and learn the ins and outs of polling. As a fielding assistant, Nolan assists with the day-to-day fielding responsibilities and helps prepare projects as they come in.
While not buried in Excel he enjoys live music, a good workout and getting outdoors.
Bridget Kilmer is an Associate at Impact Research, where she works to help elect Democrats across the ballot and advance progressive objectives by using quantitative and qualitative research and data to develop winning messaging and strategy. Bridget started at Impact in 2019 as an Executive Assistant to John Anzalone, where she developed her passion for public opinion research and was part of the research team that worked to help elect President Joe Biden.
Bridget’s prior experience includes work in executive search consulting, where she helped some of the country’s leading non-profits, foundations, and think tanks find and develop their leadership, as well as nearly a decade spent working in government for a Cook County Commissioner in Illinois.
Bridget holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from DePaul University and a B.S. in Media Studies and Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, living there until moving with her family to Montgomery, Alabama, in 2017, where they stayed for three years. She currently lives in Silver Spring, MD, with her husband and five children.
Jeffrey Liszt is a partner at Impact Research and has conducted survey research in over 100 countries. Jeff conducted quantitative and qualitative research for the 2008 and 2012 Obama Presidential campaigns and the 2016 Clinton campaign. His political clients include the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Democratic Governors Association independent expenditures.
Jeff’s issue-advocacy work has focused on healthcare, climate, conservation, immigration, media rights, development, and education, for clients including the Ford Foundation, Gates Foundation, ADL, and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. His corporate clients include Alphabet, Volkswagen, and Silverstein Properties. Jeff is a two-time Ironman triathlete and currently lives in Boston with his wife, daughter, and son.
Joe Lumansoc was born in Manila, Philippines and raised in Milledgeville, Georgia. Joe graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University in Marketing and a Minor in History, where he was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa and a master’s degree from Auburn University at Montgomery in Applied Economics.
Prior to joining Impact, Joe worked in the corporate sector in sales, purchasing, and logistics. In his free time, he enjoys watching Atlanta sports teams, traveling, playing drums, cooking, and spending time with his wife, Haley.
Kristina Madsen is a Junior Project Coordinator working in Impact Research’s Montgomery, AL office. As a member of North Carolina’s Lumbee Tribe, she is passionate about Native American rights, especially furthering the federal recognition of her tribe. Shortly after obtaining her political science degree, she fell in love with canvassing while helping campaign for Clay Aiken’s congressional run in North Carolina. Since then, she’s never stopped involving herself in causes close to her heart.
In her off time, Kristina enjoys kayaking, hiking, and exploring every river she can get her toes in! Most of all, she adores her three incredible children and her sweetheart of a rescue pitbull, Champ.
Marissa Marshall is an Associate at Impact Research. She previously worked in paid communications at a Democratic media firm and is eager to continue supporting progressive candidates, ballot initiatives, and organizations. She also has experience in policy research, ranging from work at the Brookings Institution to several local government offices and non-profits in the South.
Marissa is originally from Roswell, GA, a suburb of Atlanta. She graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Political Economy and minors in Math and Sociology, writing her thesis on the impact of voter ID laws on the turnout of low-income voters in swing states. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, weightlifting, and spoiling her gem of a cat, Diamond.
Luke Martin is a Vice President at Impact Research and manages the firm’s associate staff. With more than a decade of experience as a pollster, he has helped Democratic candidates and clients at every level develop winning messages and strategies for their campaigns.
Luke’s political work has ranged from mayors and city council candidates to U.S. Senate candidates. He’s proud to have led the polling effort for the Michigan House Democratic Caucus to flip the chamber in 2022 and give Democrats a trifecta in Lansing for the first time in over 40 years. On the Congressional level, he’s notched wins in numerous frontline Congressional districts for campaigns and expenditures including EMILY’s List, House Majority PAC, and the DCCC IE.
Outside of political races, Luke has advised a wide range of clients including Fortune 500 companies, tech start-ups, labor unions, national environmental groups, and international non-profits. As the son of two public school teachers, he’s particularly proud of the work he’s done advising teachers’ unions and school districts. In 2020 alone, he helped three school districts across the country pass historic funding initiatives to improve public education.
A native New Englander and former ski instructor, Luke is originally from MidCoast Maine and started his career working in Vermont state politics. He now lives in D.C. with his wife Ally and their golden retriever, Winnie.
During more than 15 years as a pollster and strategist at Impact Research, Zac has been integrally involved in the firm’s work at all levels – from the White House and Congress to statehouses and city halls. Zac serves as pollster and strategist for governors, members of Congress, mayors, state legislative caucuses, and public-interest groups.
Zac polls for Governors John Bel Edwards (LA) and Steve Sisolak (NV) and is the pollster for Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux, the only candidate to flip a US House seat from Red to Blue in the 2022 elections. He was also instrumental in American Bridge’s successful 2020 project to help elect Joe Biden by limiting Trump’s margins in Rust Belt swing states. In addition to his work with candidates, Zac has worked closely with the DSCC, DCCC, DGA, Senate Majority PAC, and House Majority PAC to elect Democrats across the country and also partners with labor unions, major corporations, and non-profit organizations to help them achieve their public policy goals. He is also an experienced focus group moderator, having moderated 150+ focus groups in more than 30 states.
Zac regularly appears on television news programs including MSNBC’s Morning Joe, is often quoted in national publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, Axios, and LA Times, and has been profiled in Roll Call and Campaigns and Elections magazine. In his spare time, he has created the popular Pro Politics Podcast, in which he explores the career paths of a bipartisan assortment of guests who’ve been successful working in politics.
Molly Murphy is a top pollster and campaign strategist who has worked on some of the most consequential campaigns in recent history. Molly has experience with hundreds of statewide, congressional, and local races all over the country, helping elect Democrats in Republican and swing districts on top of making it possible for Democrats to prevail in competitive primaries. In addition to her work with candidates, Molly serves as a lead advisor for the DCCC, as well as closely supporting the DSCC and DGA to elect Democrats across the country.
In 2020, Molly is proud to have been part of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s successful reelection campaign after helping him in his 2016 win – winning twice in a state that Trump won at the top of the ticket. In 2018, Molly helped Kyrsten Sinema navigate a tight race and become the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Arizona.
Molly has also overseen numerous victories at the congressional level, including the elections and reelections of Frontliners Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) and Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) as well as Ayanna Pressley’s (MA-07) successful primary win. In 2016 and in 2014, Molly worked on two of only a handful of Democratic congressional red-to-blue flips, and Impact has produced more successful Democratic pickups than any other firm.
Molly has extensive research experience for progressive issue organizations including End Citizens United, EMILY’s List, NRDC, American Bridge, and The Hub Project. Her work includes messaging on corruption and money in politics, family economic policies, clean energy issues, and tax fairness.
In 2019, Molly was recognized as one of the American Association of Political Consultants’ “40 Under 40” and as “Pollster of the Year.”
Molly lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband Sean and their children Charlie and Maeve.
Claire Ochroch is a Junior Associate at Impact Research, where she works to elect Democrats and fight for progressive causes. She is particularly interested in issues involving reproductive rights, gender equity, and voter rights.
Claire is from Merion Station, Pennsylvania, in the Philadelphia suburbs. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science and minored in Survey Research and Data Analytics. There she wrote a thesis on the political viewpoints of LGBTQIA+ voters, for which she won the Philo Bennet Prize. Outside of work, Claire loves trivia, baking, and Trader Joe’s.
Adam serves Impact Research as an Analyst. He started in 2021 after a career change from working as a TSA security screener at LaGuardia Airport. During the transition he studied Python-based data science through an online program to build on his college econometrics background. He graduated with an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago in 2016 and a BA in International Studies with a minor in Economics from American University in 2014.
In his spare time, Adam enjoys traveling abroad, playing strategy games and good food. He is also something of a history buff with a particular interest in World War II.
Sharanne Patterson is the Administrative Assistant at Impact Research’s Montgomery office. Sharanne is from Tuskegee, Alabama. In 2018, Sharanne graduated from Auburn University in Montgomery with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Public Relations. While working full time, Sharanne created a small fashion business. In her off time, Sharanne enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and traveling. Most of all, she adores spending time with family and friends.
Nadia Perl is an Associate at Impact Research. She works with Democratic campaigns and progressive advocacy organizations to create communications strategies that are simple, honest, and grounded in the realities of day-to-day life.
Before joining Impact, Nadia managed communications for Midwest political campaigns as well as an environmental nonprofit, where she advocated for policies related to renewable energy, clean water, sustainable transportation, and more. Nadia has a B.A. from the University of Chicago and lives in San Francisco.
David Poyer is an Associate at Impact Research, where he works with a variety of Democratic campaigns and progressive causes and organizations across the country. Prior to joining Impact, he was the senior organizing advisor for the Jon Ossoff Senate runoff campaign. In that capacity, he oversaw an innovative multimillion-dollar organizing operation that helped pick up two Senate seats.
During the 2020 cycle, he was a regional organizing director at the DCCC where he advised organizing efforts in competitive U.S. congressional districts in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. David worked on presidential campaigns in 2016 and 2020 in Ohio and Nevada, respectively, and was an organizing director for a congressional campaign in Wisconsin in 2018. Outside of campaigns, he has worked on a committee in the U.S. Senate.
A native of Illinois, David is a graduate of Morehouse College, where he earned a degree in chemistry with a minor in mathematics. He resides in Washington D.C., enjoys Muay Thai, and is an avid supporter of Real Madrid.
Beau Salant is an Associate at Impact Research, working with Democratic candidates, campaigns, and causes.
He has been polling his entire adult life. Prior to joining Impact in 2022, Beau cut his teeth at Lake Research and Global Strategy Group, where he worked to elect Democrats up and down the ballot (including two red-to-blue gubernatorial flips and three progressive ballot measures in traditionally conservative states). He also has extensive experience polling on the issues of foreign policy and national security and is adept at helping elect military veterans and candidates with national security backgrounds to public office.
Beau is a New Jersey native, which means he will gladly argue with you about anything and everything but will be rendered useless and afraid if asked to pump his own gas. He studied political communication at Emerson College and now lives in Washington, D.C., where his hobbies include long-distance running, cooking, and eating at locally-owned restaurants.
Oren Savir is a Senior Associate at Impact’s Chicago office. He has polled over fifty legislative districts across Illinois and Wisconsin alone as well as twenty Chicago city wards and various state and local offices. Oren has also worked extensively with organized labor, public advocacy groups, and state-coordinated campaigns across the region.
Outside of the Midwest, Oren has worked with a number of frontline Congressional campaigns as well as the DCCC. He’s polled mayoral races in Seattle, Minneapolis, and St. Louis, and had the pleasure of helping elect Antonio Reynoso, the first candidate he ever knocked on doors for, to the Borough Presidency of Brooklyn.
Oren is a New Jersey native who insists it’s called Taylor ham and that the Turnpike is superior to the Parkway in every way. He lives in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood with his wife Addie and enjoys reading history, swing dancing, and overanalyzing movies.
Andrea Screws is the Chief Operating Officer for Impact Research. She manages Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal, Finance and Marketing for all Impact offices. Andrea has extensive experience in both the corporate and non-profit sector with service companies such as HealthSouth, ARAMARK, KinderCare Learning Centers and the Kiwanis Foundation.
Andrea holds a Bachelor of Arts from Huntingdon College in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Andrea and her husband, Euel, have two children, Emma and Anderson, and live in Montgomery, Alabama.
Gretchen Showalter is the Chief Financial Officer responsible for all finance and tax activities at Impact Research. Gretchen has 17+ years of finance and accounting experience in the real estate, healthcare, insurance, property management, and project management industries. Gretchen holds a Bachelor of Business Administration & Accounting from Siena College. She is a recipient of the Harvard ManageMentor Certificate and a member of the Rising Professionals Organization.
Originally from Cooperstown, NY, Gretchen moved to Calera, Alabama, after college graduation, where she became an Alabama Crimson Tide fan. Gretchen enjoys cooking, sci-fi movies, wine tasting, coffee, any kind of arts and crafts, traveling with her partner Donnial, baseball activities for her sons, Christian and Mason, and football activities for Donnial’s son Dallas. They are currently building a house to fit all their various personalities. They have two cats, Captain and Luna, who run the house.
Heather Standifer is Impact’s Senior Research Analyst & Training Coordinator. She is responsible for client research, aiding in the development of analytical reports, and training and development of our other Research Analysts and projects team. Heather graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s in Anthropology and English. She stayed on at Alabama to finish her master’s in Medical Anthropology in 2011 with research focusing on stress and masculinity in white Southern males.
When she’s not working, Heather enjoys playing guitar, anything craft related including quilting and knitting, and spending time with her husband, Adam, and their children, Levi, Darcy and Rowan in their Montgomery home. Roll Tide!
Brian is Managing Partner at Impact Research and manages the firm’s Chicago office. He has a specialty in Midwestern politics, having polled on successful campaigns for governor (Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan), Senate (Joe Donnelly DSCC IE 2012 in Indiana), and Congress (Haley Stevens in MI-11, Cindy Axne in IA-3, et al). He has also polled for winning ballot measures across the region and the country, and he’s worked for the DCCC to help flip and defend swing seats around the country.
Brian has also done work for labor unions across the country including research on broad union branding, specific contract negotiations, worker safety/training issues, and organizing drives at public universities. This includes ballot-measure campaigns important to unions such as road funding and prevailing wage.
Brian also has led much of the firm’s international work. In 2015 he was the lead advisor for now-President Muhammadu Buhari, who with Brian’s help became the first Nigerian ever to beat an incumbent President. Brian helped Buhari navigate his re-election in 2019. He also has worked in Haiti with the National Democratic Institute to elect more women, Nicaragua to make government more free and fair, and Algeria to train parties and candidates on gathering public opinion.
A Seattle native, Brian lives in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood with his wife, daughter, dog, and two cats.
Jake Wallace is an Assistant Research Analyst in Impact Research’s Montgomery, AL office. He is a United States Army Infantry Veteran with 17 commendations and awards. Jake served with the 2nd Battalion 27th Infantry Regiment “The Wolfhounds” 25th Infantry Division from 2010–2014 as a Mortar Squad Leader and during that time was deployed to Combat Outpost Monti in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. After his time in the Army Jake went back to school at the University of Hawai’i, Leeward. Jake lived on Oahu, Hawaii, for seven years.
In his free time Jake loves spending time with his two children, Allison and Jack; his two boxers Gus and Boomer; and his cat Ripley (named after the greatest science fiction female lead of all time). Jake loves all things outdoors, the ocean, and archery on top of being a cultured connoisseur of all things science fiction and fantasy. He also loves to paint models and play board games.
Tory Waters is the Director of Research at Impact Research, where she began her career as an intern in the summer of 2016. In her role, she researches new methodological practices and helps to standardize project processes companywide, while also managing the data side of surveys. She is especially proud of her work on the Joe Biden and Roy Cooper campaigns in 2020.
Tory graduated with a B.A. in Public Policy and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She lives in Washington D.C. with her cat Izzy, and in her spare time enjoys baking, reading, and spending time with friends.
Sam Willoughby is a Senior Associate at Impact Research, where he began his career in 2018. As a Senior Associate, he is responsible for developing research instruments and analyzing results to help clients develop messaging and strategies that win. Sam has conducted research for Democratic campaigns and advocacy groups at all levels across the country. In 2020, he was part of the research team for President Joe Biden’s campaign during the primary and general elections.
A native of Montgomery, Alabama, Sam graduated from Auburn University and currently lives in Washington, D.C. He remains a long-suffering fan of Auburn football and Atlanta sports teams.
Lillian Xu is the Executive Coordinator at Impact Research’s Washington D.C. office. Before joining Impact, she conducted research on media bias in reporting political violence and its effect on conflict data sets with the Political Violence Lab.
A native of Sacramento, California, Lillian earned her B.A. in International Studies from the University of California, Irvine in 2023. Lillian lives in Arlington, Virginia, and enjoys learning new fiber arts, watching fantasy TV shows, and cooking in her free time.