Morris R. Davis
Founder and President
Morris Davis, Founder and President of M. Davis and Company, Inc. (MDAC), has over 30 years of experience in market research, strategic planning, and decision sciences. He has successfully applied his expertise in public and private sector organizations, and not-for profits, seeking to increase profits, improve service delivery, and effectively and efficiently utilize resources to improve business outcomes. Prior to founding MDAC, Mr. Davis was Vice President of Marketing Services, and a partner at the Wellington Group, Inc., then the largest minority owned market research company in the country. He was responsible for strategic planning, development of new accounts, supervising and conducting secondary research, supervising field research staff, and conducting analyses of market research data.
Mr. Davis is a graduate of The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.
Karen Williamson, MBA
Senior Consultant, Healthcare Research
Karen Williamson brings three decades of marketing, communications and program management experience in the health care and government services sectors. For 17 years, she worked at AmeriChoice Health Services, Inc., an innovative Medicaid managed health care company where she held marketing and strategic planning positions at the corporate and local plan level. (AmeriChoice was acquired by UnitedHealthcare in 2002 and became its platform for serving vulnerable public sector communities.) Her marketing and communications expertise was applied to a range of audiences — from state regulators, providers, community leaders to Medicaid beneficiaries. She also spearheaded the entry of AmeriChoice into Medicare managed care. She has served on the boards of MedStar Health Research Institute and the Green Door, a program for people with persistent mental illness. Ms. Williamson has an AB in economics from Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and an MBA in marketing from the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.
Donald Kahl, Esq.
Senior Consultant, Housing Research
Donald Kahl brings more than three decades of senior management experience in the legal, business, and non-profit arenas that has included the management and coordination of hundreds of professional and non-professional staff, subject matter experts, outside contractors, and volunteers. Working with MDAC in a variety of capacities, Kahl has been responsible for the design and conduct of complex housing and fair housing projects that have included fact and data gathering using multiple modes. Mr. Kahl has served as the Executive Director of a national non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. where he was responsible for the planning and management of a wide variety of initiatives promoting equal opportunity in housing, education, employment, and access to public accommodations and government services. Previously, he was also Senior Counsel for the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs, he designed the first nation-wide “pattern and practice” lawsuit by a fair housing organization, to bring multifamily housing developers into compliance with the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act. In addition, he was a partner in a large law firm for over 20 years, leading a practice group of attorneys and legal staff.
Mr. Kahl received both his BA in Psychology and his JD degree from the University of Nebraska.
Paul J. Lavrakas, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant, Advanced Survey Methodology
Dr. Paul Lavrakas is a research psychologist, and currently is serving as a methodological research consultant for several universities, companies, and government agencies. He was a tenured Professor of Journalism and Communication Studies at Northwestern University (1978-1996) and Ohio State University (1996-2000), and was the founding faculty director of the Northwestern University Survey Lab (1982-1996) and the OSU Center for Survey Research (1996-2000). From 2000-2007 he was Vice President and chief methodologist for Nielsen Media Research. Dr. Lavrakas is the co-editor for Advances in Telephone Survey Methodology (Wiley, 2008) and editor of the Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods (Sage, 2008). He also is the sole/lead author of several books, chapters, and AAPOR Task Force reports on telephone survey methods. He co-authored the book, Applied Qualitative Research, with M. Roller (Guilford, 2015). He served the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) as its President in 2012-2013. Dr. Lavrakas was the co-recipient of the AAPOR 2003 Innovator’s Award for his work on the standardization of survey response rate calculations.
Thomas Sexton, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant, Advanced Statistics
Dr. Thomas Sexton is a Senior Statistician and Consultant at M. Davis & Company, Inc., as well as a professor in the College of Business at Stony Brook University. He has over 30 years of experience with research design and also the application of statistics and mathematical modeling to public and private sector initiatives. His expertise has been invaluable for MDAC projects for NHTSA, the VA, CMS, HUD, SEPTA, various NYC agencies, and several other entities. He teaches or has taught graduate level courses in data analysis, modeling, decision support systems, health care management, operations research, probability and statistics.
Dr. Sexton received a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics from St. John’s University, a M.A. in Mathematics from Hofstra University, and both a M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from Stony Brook University.
Inspector Richard Miller
Senior Consultant, Transportation Research
Inspector Richard Miller is a retired law enforcement professional with extensive experience in traffic safety research. During his 27 year career with the Michigan Department of State Police, Mr. Miller directed several traffic safety initiatives involving speed, impaired driving and seat belts for the Department and served in the field as Post Commander at both small and large state police posts. In his final position as an Assistant District Commander he directed the activities of over 250 field staff. He was then selected as Chief of Police for a department in southeast Michigan followed by another career as traffic safety spokesman for AAA Michigan.
With MDAC, Mr. Miller has served as Principal Investigator on two NHTSA automated speed enforcement projects and Project Manager on a NHTSA nighttime seatbelt enforcement project directed at identifying the characteristics of unbelted drivers in the hours of darkness. Mr. Miller co-instructs the National Highway Institute course: Road Safety Audits/Assessments (NHI380069). He is one of a handful of law enforcement traffic safety experts selected by NHTSA to serve on their State Occupant Protection Program Assessment panels. Mr. Miller has a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University.
Wayne Wormley, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant, Education and Training Research
Dr. Wormley has played a variety of roles at MDAC over the past twenty years – focus group moderator, internal training and development consultant, internal strategic planning consultant, and subject matter expert (SME) in Diversity and Inclusion. He currently is the Senior Practice Leader and SME for Education, Management & Training and the Compliance Officer across all research operations. In addition, he plays a role in marketing and business development, helping to identify potential business opportunities at the local, state and federal levels. And he leads MDAC’s efforts to identify new contract opportunities in education, training, workforce development, process improvement and management practice. Dr. Wormley has conducted, analyzed, and presented findings of focus groups, employee satisfaction surveys and culture audits; designed and delivered educational, professional development and training sessions to employees; and helped managers and senior leaders develop effective strategies to improve overall organizational productivity, efficiency and profitability.
He received his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Black Studies (double major) from Amherst College and graduate degrees from Stanford University in business (MBA) and education (MA and Ph.D.).
Research Analyst and Project Manager
Kim Dorazio brings over fifteen years of experience in both the private and public sector managing research projects and also converting large volumes of data into decision-making intelligence. Over the course of her career, the results of her work have been used to shape policy and examine the effectiveness of existing policies. She is a Project Manager and Research Analyst at MDAC and is also a certified Project Manager Professional (PMP). Her proven project management experience, overseeing all aspects of data collection, as well as participating in the planning, design, and management of research projects has been an asset to the company. She is proactive in identifying project specific issues and creates strategies to handle them efficiently and engages others on the team in continual reviews of lessons learned and evaluation of best practices. She has managed projects for NHTSA, the VA, HUD and several other MDAC clients. In addition, Ms. Dorazio has developed curriculum which focused on the government and politics of China and Chinese Language for the University of Virginia and has taught at Ursinus College.
A former Fulbright scholar, Ms. Dorazio earned her BA from La Salle University, her MA from the University of London and is a PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan.
Stephen Poulin, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant, Advanced Statistics and Data Analytics
Dr. Stephen Poulin brings 30 years of IBM SPSS software and analytics experience to the MDAC Team, and has been involved in data preparation and analytics for over 250 organizations. He also worked for 10 years as a researcher for the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, University of Pennsylvania. His data analytics experience includes predictive modeling, which ranks the predictors of target outcomes and can be used to predict future outcomes. He has also been involved in developing cluster models to identify groups with similar preferences or behaviors, and analyzed text data identify sentiments or topics, which can, in turn, be used for predictive and cluster modeling.
Dr. Poulin received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University, and his Doctorate degree from Columbia University School of Social Work with a concentration in Social Policy, Planning, and Policy Analysis.
Carl T. Cameron, Ph.D.
Subject Matter Expert, Disability and Emergency Preparedness Research
Dr. Carl Cameron is a nationally known research and training professional in emergency preparedness, employment and community integration of people with disabilities and related health and human service needs. He has been recognized as a researcher, program developer, teacher, author and presenter throughout the United States. Dr. Cameron is a media and training expert, and an experienced producer of video teleconferences, videotape training and interactive video productions. He has collaborated with the March of Dimes Canada and the Canadian Red Cross to form Inclusive Emergency Preparedness Canada and with the Emergency Planning Society in the United Kingdom. Dr. Cameron led IRI to be designated as a national training partner for the Department of Homeland Security, a multiple grantee under the Urban Area Security Initiative, multiple awards for Home Fire and Safety Grants from FEMA, and a recipient of the People Who Are Making a Difference from the Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Cameron worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity to develop a master evaluation logic framework/model for CDC’s national program on developing nutrition and physical activity programs to prevent obesity and related chronic diseases, and provided training and technical assistance to the state program’s evaluation activities. Dr. Cameron earned his doctorate in special education, statistics and communications from the University of Florida, and has been a faculty member at the University of Missouri, George Washington University, the University of Maryland, and most recently at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He has designed related medical services programs for the Department of Defense Education Agency, and provided expertise to a wide variety of research organizations.
William G. Swenson, Ph.D.
Subject Matter Expert, Disability and Emergency Preparedness Research
Dr. William Swenson has directed or managed national, State, and local level projects under grants from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and other departments serving people who are aging or have disabilities. He has developed and deployed evaluation, training and technical assistance programs, and planning materials for national and state agencies. He has directed and managed national and state level projects, surveying people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations, and conducting other research and planning projects.
Subject Matter Expert, Transportation Research
Romell Cooks is a proven leader with 20 years of management and organizational experience, managing, planning and implementing transportation safety programs in the public and private sectors. She is an expert in the areas of state and community occupant protection programs, occupant protection enforcement programs and outreach to stakeholders.
Her work with MDAC involves subject matter expertise on projects related to transportation, housing, and advocacy for older adults, and she has more than 20 years of experience directing government agency and civic leaders in the planning, development and initiation of programs in these same sectors. Mrs. Cooks also has substantial experience in utilizing financial and statistical data to document program performance and manage issues and risks impacting program performance and has been an invaluable resource to MDAC with regard to its Program Evaluation service offering.
Brian A. Cirksey
Senior Consultant, Business Development and Marketing
Brian Cirksey has over 20 years of full-service market research experience, at one point managing some of MDAC’s largest clients and largest research initiatives. He is skilled in all aspects of the market research study process, from proposal development and study design to statistical analysis, technical report writing, and the development of presentations and dashboards. His MDAC tenure includes work for HUD, DOT, NHTSA, HHS, Exxon Mobil, AmeriChoice, Keystone Mercy Health Plan, and others. Mr. Cirksey utilizes his industry experience and understanding of MDAC’s core competencies in planning and executing upon strategies to increase the company’s pipeline in several federal agencies. He is also responsible for developing strategic collaborations with other organizations and subject matter experts to bolster the company’s expertise and offering in several domains.
His professional and consulting experience also includes engagements with executives at Merck, Bristol Myers and Microsoft. He is a graduate of The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.
Manager, Field Services and Call Center Operations
James Brown has over 12 years of experience at MDAC. After a decorated, 20-year career in the U.S. military, Jim joined MDAC in late 2002 as a telephone interviewer and worked his way up to his current position. Mr. Brown has managed MDAC’s call center operations during multiple data collection periods for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Fair Market Rent Telephone Surveys project; directed MDAC’s execution of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) Omnibus Household Study (a monthly telephone survey of 1,000 randomly selected households in the nation); and actively participated in MDAC’s evaluation of the permanent housing component of a local supportive housing program, providing services to individuals with a variety of psychological, health and emotional challenges. Mr. Brown is an integral part of the management team and has played a leadership role in complex and varied projects, specializing in tracking and collecting information from populations normally considered hard to reach (such as low-income, elderly, limited English-proficiency, homeless, persons with mental disabilities, etc.).
Assistant Manager, Call Center Operations
Jared Gumbs brings a strong marketing and call center management background to the MDAC team, and he has effectively plied his marketing-minded management style to facilitate the functioning and growth of several organizations. His experience managing numerous call centers has enabled him to aid MDAC in implementing effective calling strategies, and continually improve the staff’s ability to meet project goals. Also, having hired, trained and supervised large call center staffs, involving daily statistical analysis and reporting geared towards improved performance and project success, he is able to bring high level strategy to MDAC’s projects, focused on providing accurate, actionable data to our clients.
Mr. Gumbs is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.
David Ferree, MBA
Manager, Survey Administration
David Ferree has over 20 years of experience planning and managing fielding operations for a number of research organizations. He has managed projects utilizing various data collection methodologies, including web, mail, in-person interviewing, and telephone call center (inbound/outbound) and has worked in the functional areas of operations/field management, project management, and call center management. Since joining MDAC in 2011, he has played an integral role in managing survey administration on projects for HUD, the State of Maryland’s Developmental Disabilities Administration, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, FEMA, and commercial market research in the healthcare market.
Prior to MDAC, he was Director of Site Development at International Communications Research (ICR). In this role, Mr. Ferree oversaw field administration of all aspects of telephone and multi-mode survey research, including staffing and training, pretesting, quality control, production and response rate management for a wide range of clients, including the Pew Research Center, Kaiser Family Foundation, the Harvard School of Public Health, state government entities, as well as major media organizations and commercial clients.
Louisa Elfman, Marketing/Project Coordinator, has worked in various positions at M. Davis & Company, since joining the company in 2003. She ensures that various aspects of the projects run smoothly for management and other team members, and coordinates travel and other tasks. Elfman has supervised research operations and general office administration, includng an inbound/outbound call center, data processing unit, and data quality unit at MDAC. Ms. Elfman serves as one of MDAC’s database administrators, constructing and maintaining databases for marketing and client based projects. She also serves as the in-house technical support specialist for online and CATI survey programming, participates in primary research activities through daily interaction with clients and industry sources.She assists research managers in overseeing/coordinating decentralized field personneland providing training and support of existing staff and new hire orientation. She has worked on project for HUD, FDA, NHTSA, and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Her transportation knowledge comes from her time with the Interstate Commerce Commission. Her research background comes from working with Day and Zimmerman and Housing Data Reports.
Research Assistant and Financial Operations
Daniel Goscicki is heavily involved in the day-to-day operations at MDAC. He primarily assists our project managers to ensure that all projects are running on-schedule. This includes running and updating reports, aggregating and manipulating large data sets, conducting passive tracking operations, and performing Quality Control on outreach materials just to name a few. Daniel has a breadth of experience spanning multiple industries and positions, and we take full advantage of his varied and robust skill set. His extensive background in legal research and writing renders him an indispensable tool at the outset of a project, assisting in much of the preliminary research to ensure clients’ project goals are being met from all angles; as well as drafting and proofing reports and other deliverables throughout the lifecycle of a project.
In addition to his roles on active projects, Daniel is also responsible for supporting our accounting and HR departments, and contributing insight on RFP’s.
Our Professional Call Center Staff
The leadership of M. Davis and Company, Inc. attribute the success of our 48-station call center in Center City Philadelphia to a dedicated group of professional supervisors and interviewers. In this regard, we are proud to recognize an exceptional group of individuals who have five or more years tenure with the company: Debra Taylor (Lead Supervisor), John Turner (Supervisor), Jillita Grant, Trina Boyd, Michael Robinson Sr., Eugene Arties, Arthur Reed, Ricky Santana, Melissa Espinal, and Anita Pomante.