After more than 30 years of owning and leading WestGroup Research, Cari Apostol is now relied upon as a consultant and advisor to the Board. She continues to work to honor the legacy of her late husband, Ted Apostol, and to ensure the ongoing success of the firm as she transitions ownership to the next generation.
Ted Apostol began his long tenue with the company in 1973, when it was still operating as M.R. West Marketing Research (established in 1959 by Maynard Ray West). In 1986 Ted assumed leadership of the firm and transitioned the name to WestGroup Research to honor its founder and his mentor, Ray West. By 1989, Ted and Cari had acquired ownership of WestGroup and successfully grew it from the first local market research firm in Phoenix to a company 12 times larger that was trusted by clients down the street, around the country and across the globe.
Over the decades, Cari held various titles and roles including CFO and Treasurer of the Board. After 47 years of marriage and over 25 years of owning and leading WestGroup together, Ted died unexpectedly in 2015. At that time, Cari assumed the role of CEO until 2018 when she turned the reigns over to its President, Glenn Iwata. Cari continued to serve as the Chairwoman of the Board and enjoyed her role as the Chief Cultural Officer. Mrs. Apostol’s love of WestGroup and its staff combined with her servant leadership style meant that she eagerly helped out however needed and experienced great joy in taking care of its most treasured asset – it’s people.
Cari continues to puts her financial talents to work as an advisor to WestGroup and as the Treasurer of the non-profit, LIFT: Leaders In Fellowship Together. Mrs. Apostol is the author of the book: What Has God Already Provided? She has also served as a women’s ministry leader, teacher, curriculum writer and speaker for various women’s events for the last 40 years. Cari and Ted were married 47 years, have 3 children and 8 grandchildren.
What do you get when you cross a marketing director, advertising executive and seasoned market researcher? Dave Maddox, a talented and creative project director and senior analyst with 25 years of experience. Clients find his common sense approach and to-the-point reporting refreshing and useful.
Before joining WestGroup Research in 2002, Dave had held positions with home builder T.W. Lewis, advertising agency E.B. Lane, and Circle K Corporation.
In addition to his work with clients, Dave also serves on WestGroup’s Board, and as in-house marketing director. Dave holds a BA in Communication from Arizona State University and has also taught classes at ASU West. Dave has also presented at local and national research conferences, and you may have seen him on local news, dissecting each year’s crop of Super Bowl commercials.
Prior to entering the marketing field, Dave worked as an air traffic controller and as a PGA Golf Professional. His closest brush with fame came in 1993 when he played 18 holes of golf with Michael Jordan.
Wendy Godfrey is an accomplished researcher with more than 30 years of experience. Ms. Godfrey has a wealth of experience in consumer and business issues for the financial industry amassed over a career working in banks, consulting with banks, and providing research solutions to banks and other financial institutions for the past two decades at WestGroup. Wendy’s personal interests translate into a passion for also working with clients in the non-profit, education, and health and nutrition sectors.
Wendy specializes in brand research, concept and message testing, customer experience tracking, and strategic plan development. Wendy is highly valued for her expertise in designing and moderating focus groups and executive interviews. Co-workers affectionately refer to her as our “Qualitative Queen” and include her as a consultant on their qualitative projects.
Ms. Godfrey was attracted to WestGroup because of our unique philosophy of “one contact from proposal to presentation.” She knows the success of research is in the details and enjoys working directly with her clients throughout the entire process. Always available and generous with her time, each of Wendy’s clients enjoys the illusion that they are her only client. If you ask someone to describe Wendy, you are guaranteed to hear the words: professional, responsive, trustworthy, wise and gracious.
Prior to joining WestGroup in 2000, Wendy was an independent research consultant engaged by Bank One, First National Bank & Trust, First Hawaiian Bank and Salt River Project. Her foundation in the financial industry was built by spending 17 years in banking, 13 of those with Bank One/Valley National Bank, where she held management positions in Marketing Research and Sales & Service Management.
Wendy holds a BS in Marketing from the University of Arizona. She is a member of the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the Center for Marketing and Opinion Research (CMOR), the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA), and the American Bankers Association.
Wendy also has a long history of community involvement, serving on the boards of the Rosson House, University of Arizona Phoenix Alumni group, and Touchstone Behavioral Health. Currently, she is involved with The Board of Visitors and Valley Leadership.
Wendy and her husband Bill are avid travelers and adventurers and, in recent years, have made trips to the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, London, Africa and Italy. Both at airports and on planes she enjoys reading the latest business books.
WestGroup enthusiastically welcomed Erin Schultz to our executive research team in 2021. Previously, Erin invested 18 years of her business career developing research expertise on both the corporate research and supplier side. This research rock star combination means Erin designs studies with sound, defensible methodologies that are also practical, time-sensitive, and result in actionable insights.
Ms. Schultz honed her research skills working at companies like American Airlines, Sabre, and mega research company, M/A/R/C. Her recent experience at a small marketing agency led to her interest in joining our team. Erin chose WestGroup for its ‘just right’ size, commitment to custom, agile solutions with responsive service, and a culture defined by integrity and excellence.
Clients value Erin’s ability to tackle complex business questions by building a trustworthy framework to deliver clear answers that drive effective action. They equally appreciate her compelling and engaging presentation and reporting style. Erin’s gift for business storytelling combined with her inclusion of relevant industry trends captivates her audience and results in inspired client team brainstorms and follow-through on action items.
Ms. Schultz has worked with some of the biggest, brightest and best organizations in financial services, travel, technology, manufacturing, and education. Her impressive client roster includes Care Credit, Crown, Dell, GE Consumer Finance, Sabre, Synchrony, The Ohio State University, Winsupply, and Yaskawa.
Whatever challenges your business is facing, Erin can identify, collect, and analyze the right data to deliver answers and insights with impact!
Education: BBA Statistics, University of Oklahoma / MS Communication, University of North Texas.
Erin enjoys testing recipes and spending time around the dinner table with her husband and three adult children. She’s an Oklahoma football fan, a long-time Dave Ramsey listener, highly competitive and will never turn down a game of cards.
Analytical and creative with the desire to delve deep for “answers behind the answers”, Katy Gallert has a talent for finding purposeful information and presenting it in an impactful way. Katy is one of those rare individuals who knew exactly what she wanted to do professionally while still in college. WestGroup is thankful to have scooped her up for an internship in 2002 and leveraged her passion for market research ever since.
With more than 15 years of experience in Marketing Research, Ms. Gallert has been involved in hundreds of research projects conducted on behalf of government entities and companies in the public and private sectors, including utilities, transportation, insurance, construction, manufacturing, healthcare and education. Katy is best known at WestGroup for expertise in managing a multi-modal, complex, dynamic tracking study for the one of Arizona’s largest providers of electricity and water.
While Katy is experienced in SPSS statistical analysis and helps clients dig deeper by using techniques like key driver analysis and segmentation, some of her favorite projects are qualitative and allow her to engage with people personally through one-on-one interviews or focus groups. Over the years she has conducted numerous in-depth interviews with business owners and had the privilege of sharing their stories both in writing and through live panel presentations.
Ms. Gallert is a RIVA trained moderator and served on the Arizona Chapter of the American Marketing Association as VP of Finance. Katy holds a BS in Marketing from the University of Arizona.
Respected for over 30 years of practice and innovation in the areas of “Customer Experience” and service quality research, Glenn specializes in consumer and business research for the public utility, health care and insurance industries. Glenn spent 10 years with APS/Arizona Public Service and was their market research department manager prior to joining WestGroup in 1989.
In addition to consulting and managing his own projects, Glenn served as President and then CEO of WestGroup from 2014 through 2021. Glenn is currently our Senior Research Strategist and invests his time consulting on research projects and mentoring WestGroup’s analysts, managers and leaders.
Glenn’s clients value him as a consultant and thus his research relationships seldom end when the final presentation is made. He is often invited to be a part of special internal client teams to translate research findings into actions and to assist with implementation strategies.
Leadership and Community Involvement
B.S., Accountancy, University of Illinois
M.B.A., Arizona State University
Glenn and his wife Sue are adjusting to an empty nest now that all three of their girls have moved out and settled throughout the Southwest. When he’s not working, you can find Glenn running mountain trails near his home in preparation for the next marathon.
Bethany Helmer has invested over 25 years supporting both the research and business operations of WestGroup Research. Bethany has been involved in managing the finances of the company for the past ten years and accepted the position of CFO in 2015.
Bethany began her career at WestGroup as a high school student working part time assisting with data entry and mail surveys. During college, she served as our receptionist and focus group hostess. Upon earning her Bachelor’s Degree, Bethany was hired as WestGroup’s focus group facility manager and later transitioned into data processing. Fueled by her passion to support the business side of our growing firm, Bethany put her keen number sense and 15-years of cross-department experience to work when she assumed bookkeeping and accounting responsibilities in 2007. In addition to her current CFO role, Bethany oversees, Human Resources, Payroll and Office Management.
Ms. Helmer is a principal owner of WestGroup and serves as the Treasurer on the company’s Board of Directors. Bethany earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Ministries and Business from Arizona Christian University. Bethany has a heart for service and is always seeking volunteer opportunities and ways to serve her community. She has enjoyed coaching volleyball for the YMCA, assisting several Robotics and Lego Clubs and Camps, and organizing groups to serve at Feed My Starving Children.
Wholeheartedly curious and wired for creative and collaborative problem solving, Stephanie Apostol is obsessed with the art and science of market research. Since 1996, she has guided local, national and international clients in hundreds of research initiatives. Her favorite aspect of research is bringing peace of mind to her clients by getting them trustworthy data that informs their strategy and answers the questions that keep them up at night.
Ms. Apostol enjoys the challenge of designing innovative yet practical approaches to data collection and reporting. Sometimes this means executing a simple web survey but other times it means implementing a complex multi-mode data collection approach, creating custom project management software, or integrating data from several sources into a dynamic dashboard reporting tool.
Stephanie is thankful to be a part of a company where going the extra mile is business as usual because going above and beyond is in her DNA.
Ms. Apostol, a principal owner of WestGroup, also serves as COO and President of its Board of Directors. She is a RIVA trained moderator and a past president of the Arizona Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Stephanie, a proud graduate of Penn State University, holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a Masters in Business Administration. She currently serves as Vice President of Philanthropy for the National Charity League – San Tan Chapter, where she and her daughter are members.
With more than 30 years of experience in Marketing Research, Kathy is trusted to design rigorous, professional market research initiatives that employ innovative methods to engage the target audience. Ms. DeBoer presents findings in a compelling, and often interactive and automated, manner. Kathy’s clients appreciate her uncompromising commitment to quality, responsiveness and ability to partner with them to successfully complete projects on-time and on-budget.
Kathy DeBoer is well known for her expertise in public-sector research. She has provided direction and resources to many government entities in Arizona and throughout the United States.
Ms. DeBoer has a long history of conveying the opinions of residents, parents, students, employees, voters, and riders to the Schools/Districts, Towns and Cities, and other government agencies that serve these constituencies. Kathy is highly respected for expertise in transportation-related research and recently presented at the Travel Research Board Conference (TRB 2018) in Washington DC.
Kathy works with many clients on customer experience, branding efforts, and marketing communications. Ms. DeBoer serves clients in health care, advertising, media, manufacturing, and consulting.
Clients appreciate that Kathy draws on decades of qualitative and quantitative research practice to creatively craft the best solution for their research needs. Ms. DeBoer is relied upon to help clients determine and define research goals, which often includes an audit of existing data sources. Integrity, responsiveness, flexibility and innovation are the reason’s Kathy has so many long term clients that view her as a partner in solving their business challenges.
Leadership and Community Involvement:
MA Human Factors Psychology, Arizona State University
BA Psychology, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Works with World’s Biggest Brands
Mr. Apostol is trusted to manage complex national and international brand and product tracking studies and NPS-focused customer experience surveys on behalf of some of the world’s most recognizable brands – Apple, Samsung, Spotify, Federal Express, Atlas Copco, PNC Bank, Bank of America, and NPR. Peter also enjoys working with local organizations, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.
Experienced, Trusted and Personable
Industry experts and consultants choose to work with Peter because of his classic, academic research background, “ground up” career, ability to aptly leverage technology, personable and effective communication style, and above all his commitment to deliver “the truth” despite how challenging it can be to uncover in this survey saturated world.
Mr. Apostol has held key roles at WestGroup Research since 1997 and is essential to the firm’s continued growth and ongoing success. While buzz words like “big data”, “data science” and “data visualization” are relatively new to the scene, Peter Apostol has been steeped in the discipline of market research for more than 25 years – long before the Harvard Business Review named Data Scientist “the sexiest job of the 21st century.
Peter is uniquely qualified to evaluate, recommend and manage the best solution for your data collection and reporting needs – from custom to “off the shelf”, online panel to phone surveys, and deliverables as simple as raw data to an automated enterprise survey system with dynamic dashboard reporting. Peter began combining his passion for technology with market research to create solutions before tech companies flooded the industry with “turn-key” products but little practical market research knowledge. He can guide you to the best tools – both inside and outside of the tool box.
Leadership and Community Involvement:
BS, Psychology, Arizona State University
MBA, University of Phoenix