Meet Us

Brianna Sylver


Brianna, founder and President of Sylver Consulting, focuses on helping clients become more targeted in their organic growth. An innovation strategist and worldwide speaker, she specializes in diverse qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, creative problem solving, and brand positioning.

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Successful and passionate influencer/strategic partner among Senior Leadership, Brianna has extensive experience in a broad array of consumer product categories with proven ability to deliver actionable strategies that increase profits, drive sales, and strengthen brands. She is an accomplished business leader with proven success in designing custom research methodologies and proprietary hybrid qual./quant. techniques and developing innovation research programs that deliver cost-effective results, in the U.S. and globally.

Since 2003, Brianna has worked with many global companies on innovation and consumer insight efforts, among them, GE, Motorola, Pepsico, Marriott, Amway, ABN Amro Bank, Bosch, ETS, NASA, ITW Brands, Milwaukee tools, Kraft, Mozilla, Vocollect, Tetra Pak, Johnsonville, Southwest Airlines and Shur-line. She has also been publicly recognized for her contributions to the fields of innovation and consumer insights by the Product Development & Management Association (PDMA), HSM Management (Brazil) and the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA). Many organizations have benefited from her ability to interpret and integrate the aspirational and functional needs of their customers into actionable guidelines, resulting in new products, services and/or businesses.

As a natural educator and collaborator, Brianna is dedicated to enlightening individuals on the value of consumer research, design thinking and innovation strategy from a real-world, pragmatic point of view. For many years, she has been an adjunct faculty professor at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), teaching classes on topics such as cross-cultural research, designing effective and measurable research and online qualitative research platforms.

Brianna holds a BFA in communication design from the University of Buffalo and a master's degree in human-centered communication design and design strategy (MDES) from the Institute of Design at IIT. A true professional through and through, Brianna brings a breath of fresh air to any project with her charm and high energy, and is dedicated to creating long lasting and meaningful relationships with her clients.

How the Sylver team views Brianna: “She is natural leader, always putting a 100% into everything. Brianna is a confident and intuitive communicator; great at thinking on her feet and responding in real time to clients with professionalism and tact. She inspires people, while delegating to others with an ease rarely seen. She is also not afraid to say ‘I don’t know,’ or have her own thoughts publicly challenged. Overall, she is fun, always showing a perfect balance between personal and professional character.”

Adriano Braun Galvao

Vice President

Adriano leads the development of our presence in Latin America and built the company's expertise in foresight planning and strategy. He is an expert in the fields of consumer insights, new product development, and engineering design, with distinctions from IDEA/IDSA, BraunPrize and Xerox/ASME.

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As a partner, Adriano knows the ins and outs of the business, overseeing responsibility for human resources, accounting, vendor relationships, and the office’s physical and digital infrastructure. He has a knack for anticipating the needs of the organization, projects, clients, and employees, ensuring that everything runs smoothly. This holistic view of the business helps him find opportunities and, together with Brianna Sylver, define actionable growth strategies for the company.

Outside of work, Adriano is an adjunct faculty member, author, and speaker. He is passionate about topics such as innovation, design thinking, consumer insights, business modeling, foresight, and using those topics to drive business decisions and superior results. He is also very interested in linking the outcomes of consumer research to the New Product Development process, publishing a book on the topic titled "Design Relationships: Linking Technical Functions to Users' Tasks.” The approach presented in the book has received a distinguished award from the engineering community.

Adriano holds a BA in design and mechanical engineering from the University of Brasilia in Brazil, a master's degree in human-centered design (MDES) and a PhD in design methods from the Institute of Design at IIT.

How the Sylver team views Adriano: “He is thoughtful and very organized. He’s able to process and respond to highly detailed information in a timely, consistent and efficient manner. He has a light and compassionate touch as a supervisor and company leader.”

Ellen Frank-Miller

Senior Researcher

Ellen is responsible for quantitative analysis at Sylver Consulting. She is a key team leader for projects related to market analysis and the definition of new territories. She has been instrumental in developing Sylver Consulting's unique Granular Behavioral AnalysisTM methodology.

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Ellen has spent more than 15 years in human resources consulting with Hewitt, Work/Family Directions and Ceridian. In these roles, Ellen has conducted both quantitative and qualitative research to help her colleagues make informed decisions about impactful human resources programs and policies. Her primary focus has been working with organizations to develop performance-optimized cultures by facilitating work-life balance among employees.

Ellen holds a BA in economics from Emory University and a master's degree in social service administration from the University of Chicago. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago. Her dissertation focuses on how brand image and job placement practices influence the quality of opportunities available to lower-level job seekers.

Andrew Russell

Design Researcher

Andrew is a curious, highly creative researcher who excels at understanding complex problems and framing insights into actionable design criteria. He is responsible for qualitative analysis and design research focused on user experience journeys that close the gap between analytical and emotional insights.

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Andrew has experience in a variety of industries including education, insurance, and consumer-packaged goods. He also has prior experience in both design and sales of high-end furniture.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Design from University of Illinois at Chicago in Industrial Design. His senior year thesis focused on enhancing collaboration in the workplace. During his junior year, he studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark to learn the process of Danish Furniture Design, one of his passions outside of Design Research.

Elisa Pontes

Associate Research Consultant

Elisa's contributions make all the difference, saving time and helping improve the quality of our final deliverables. She holds a BA in graphic design from the University of Brasília and a MA in design focusing on cultural identities and multiculturalism from Senac-São Paulo.

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Prior to joining Sylver Consulting, Elisa taught design management and identity design systems at Senac University Center. Additionally, she was an active member of the organizing committee for the R&D Design 2008 Conference, worked for Banco do Brasil and for SESC/DF (the Brazilian government's public services and commerce arm in Brasilia), focusing on graphic production, layout and imaging, sign design and planning cultural events.

Jean McDonnell

Director of Innovation Research and Strategy

Jean brings to us a rich and varied background in consumer research and a deep expertise in the youth and family market. In the past, she has served as a vice president at C+R Research, as a long-term contractor to Razorfish, and as principal of her own strategic research consultancy, JMD Research and Consulting.

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Jean’s specialization in the youth sector has enabled her to work with organizations of all kinds and across a wide range of brands, topics and categories that span nearly every facet of a young person’s life. Jean has a deep understanding of youth culture, is especially recognized for her expert knowledge of the Millennial cohort, and has served as special advisor, consultant and speaker/trainer on children’s research issues and best practices.

Jean is skilled at leading front-end discovery research for the innovation and strategic planning process. She is well versed in all forms of traditional and emergent research methodologies, and trained in creative problem-solving and ideation facilitation. Jean is particularly interested in and experienced with leading innovation engagements that converge at the intersection of education, technology and media.

Jean holds a MA in Social Sciences/Sociology from The University of Chicago and a BA in Communications/Advertising from Ohio University.

How the Sylver team views Jean: “She is very committed to collaboration and teamwork. Jean is dedicated, focused, has a wealth of knowledge and is willing to share it. She has a great sense of humor, and is fun to work and travel with.”

Justin Blomgren

Director of Client Services

Justin brings an extensive experience of over 15 years in sales in a wide array of industries, specializing in market research. He has a natural ability to communicate effectively and identify client's problems and needs, while finding economical research initiatives to grow their business.

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Prior to joining Sylver Consulting in 2017, Justin spent the last 10 years with full-service research firms as the Director of Business development or as a leader in the sales department. An entrepreneur at heart, Justin has been involved in the success of many start-up’s in a wide array of industries. Justin loves music, hiking, tennis, golf and spending time with his wife and four year old son and dog Stella.

Charles Cascio (Chuck)

Strategic Advisor

Chuck brings to Sylver Consulting extensive innovation experience and a wide range of creative abilities to lead companies into markets outside of their traditional sectors. He has been a vice president at Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

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As an officer in both organizations, Chuck was responsible for a number of creative business approaches designed to move products, services and programs into new markets. He has received recognition for many achievements, including an Emmy Award for public service, a Rothman Institute Award for entrepreneurial leadership and more than 100 invitations to speak at conferences. Chuck was also an accomplished teacher at the university and secondary school levels, where he was a presidential scholar, National Endowment for the Humanities Award winner and guest speaker at many commencement ceremonies.

As a freelance writer and special correspondent for The Washington Post, Chuck has authored three books and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, receiving several awards for journalism and creative writing.

Chuck holds a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in communications. He has completed additional graduate-level work in executive leadership.

Robert Maihofer

Senior Market Research Analyst

Robert has a track record of skillfully using qualitative and quantitative market research to produce implementable consumer insights. As Senior Market Research Analyst with a focus on quantitative projects, his experience with online, telephone, and mail market research will help clients achieve their insights goals.

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Robert’s industry experience includes retail, consumer fast moving products, financial, home improvement and construction, and public relations. Most recently Robert was the Director of Market Research Innovation at a startup online market research firm and Home Innovation Research Labs. In addition to his industry experience, he has consulted and project managed customer satisfaction/Net Promoter Score (NPS), new product and service testing, point-of-sale testing, brand perception and positioning, pricing, and advertising media testing projects.

Robert holds an MBA with Honors from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BA in Marketing from Michigan State University.

Carrie Graham

Admin Assistant

Carrie works closely with Brianna to extend her reach with administrative tasks, while supporting the operations of the Sylver team. Well versed in social media marketing, Carrie facilitates Sylver’s B2B social media strategy.

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With a background in video production, Carrie works hard to make sure that Sylver related news gets out to a wide audience across all of Sylver Consulting’s social channels. Recently she has been developing strategies and executing projects for Field Voices, a division of Sylver Consulting, to effectively recruit research participants

On a given day, Carrie can be found taking calls at the reception desk, making arrangements for international travel, taking photos for social media, coordinating the Sylver e-mail newsletter, planning and organizing events, getting video documentation of research, and recruiting qualified research participants.