Meet Our Team
President & Owner
Darlene joined the organization in 2001 in a sales and management position. Within 18 months, she became an owner and in 2003, took over the reigns as President. She, along with her team, created a new vision and embarked on a more aggressive growth plan. Darlene continues to be a hands-on leader whose vision for the company continues to provide fresh ideas in the industry and innovative applications for their clients.
Most recently, Darlene and her team have focused on developing a solution that goes beyond delivering a customer satisfaction score: to help clients quantify the value of a customer relationship and answer the burning question many companies now have which is, “what is the value of a satisfied and loyal customer relationship to a business?”
Before joining Direct Opinions, Darlene spent 11 years working for a national IT consulting company and literally “grew up” in the business, having held positions in administration, operations, training and sales. At the age of 27, she earned an opportunity to run their Cleveland office which encompassed the state of Ohio. As the youngest person ever to hold this position and the first woman, she took its’ Cleveland operation from approximately $2 million in annual sales to over $27 million in just six years. And so, her love and passion for growing a business began . . .
She has been a member of Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) since 2007 and has served on the Cleveland Chapter Board for over seven years in various positions. She has also been a Mentor for the EO Accelerator (EOA) program for over five years and is currently an Accountability Coach for a group of business owners within EOA as well as EOA President-Elect.
Currently, Darlene is active as a committee member on the Women's Entrepreneurship Advisory Council focused on the development of women’s entrepreneur curriculum for John Carroll University and is participating on the Thomas More University’s Sales Executive Roundtable focused on creating a blueprint to build the most relevant and effective curriculum for their professional selling program.
Darlene was thrilled to receive the honor of being recognized for Crain’s Cleveland Business Notable Women in Entrepreneurship 2019 award. 21 women were honored for their incredible leadership, drive and talent.
In September 2018, Darlene was awarded the Partner of the Year Award from The DiJulius Group at their annual Customer Service Revolution Conference in Cleveland. The Partner Award recognizes customer service excellence. Each year at their annual conference, TDG recognizes one of their elite preferred vendors who they recommend to their clients.
In 2012, Darlene was honored by NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) having received an award as one of the Top Women Business Owners of Northeast Ohio.
She graduated from Bowling Green State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.
Vice President, Operations and Client Success
As Vice President of Operations and Client Success, Chrissy is the focal point for sustaining partnered relationships with our valued customers and our team members. She is responsible for directing the overall execution of our research survey initiatives and works in coordination with the client to develop the project schedule and deliverables for each initiative. As a hands-on leader, Chrissy manages our research, customer success, and interviewer teams to support the day-to-day activities of Direct Opinions ensuring successful project performance for our clients. In conjunction with our team, she guarantees that commitments are fulfilled and works diligently to coordinate company and vendor resources ensuring the quality, timeliness and accuracy of our deliverables to our end clients. In addition, she is a master at coordinating client requirements with internal operations of the company to ensure that client expectations are met and facilitates the achievement of client, team and company goals.
Prior to working at Direct Opinions, Chrissy hired, then managed and mentored a team of over 200 associates on a daily basis, to ensure productivity goals were achieved while maintaining quality of results and overall customer satisfaction. As part of her role, she provided individual and group training on phone use, ethics, customer service, exceeding in a production environment, teamwork and goal setting. Not only did she manage every production department in the business unit, but also managed the Customer Service Department.
Chrissy has an Associate Degree in Business Management from Lakeland Community College and has attended numerous training classes through her years of professional development. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Women, and is a certified Hospice volunteer.
What is something none of your coworkers know about you? I once had a poem that I wrote published in a book.
Do you volunteer anywhere? I have volunteered for a homeless shelter, and for Hospice. I love the feeling of giving back to the community and helping others so that they can overcome every day challenges. I would love to volunteer my next time of availability at a pet shelter.
Casey Newmeyer, PHD
Director, Market Research
Casey began her career working in marketing roles for such prestigious companies as FedEx, XM Satellite Radio, and Northrop Grumman prior to transitioning to a career in academia in 2011. This unique combination of experience allows her to draw from both the corporate and academia worlds in her current roles today.
As the Director of Market Research for Direct Opinions, Casey focuses on addressing the strategic business and research challenges of our clients. In her role, she helps to select the appropriate methodology to achieve the defined business objectives of each client initiative, guiding the development of the survey instrument and assisting with the analysis and reporting to deliver insight and drive actionable results. In addition, she helps to maintain an awareness of business and market related trends and helps to develop and maintain the Company’s Research Best Practices.
In addition, Casey is the Assistant Professor of Marketing, Design & Innovation, for Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Business. In this role, she focuses her research work linking consumer attitudes to managerial decision making for brand partnerships and alliances such as co-brands and brand acquisitions. From the perspective of a marketing manager, she outlines how such brand pairings impact the firms involved and their existing branded products and services. Additional research focuses on brand and consumer relationships and identities.
In the classroom, Casey teaches Marketing Management, Marketing and Supply Chain Management, among other courses. She has received the Nancy and Joseph Keithley Fellow in Business Marketing.
Casey received her PhD from the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, and her MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College. Her publications have appeared in the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice and Journal of Academy of Marketing Science. She has presented on numerous occasions at the American Marketing Association Winter Educators Conference.
Angela Crawford, PHD
Market Research Advisor
Angela earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Marketing and Management from the University of Cincinnati, an MBA from Cleveland State University and a PhD from Case Western University. Her PhD research involved extensive learning and application of both qualitative and quantitative research methods, along with integrating management and marketing theory with practical business knowledge.
Through her dissertation, she extensively studied the concept of employee passion, gaining insight into the experience of passion at work for customer contact employees, and developing a scale to measure it. Aspects of her research has been accepted and presented at the 2013 Academy of Management Conference, 2016 American Marketing Conference and the 2016 Indiana University Tobias Leadership Conference.
Angela also serves as Dean of the Business School at Thomas More College, where she teaches organizational behavior, strategy, marketing, and management courses for BA and MBA students. In addition, she assists in teaching Qualitative Research Methods for Doctorate of Management students at Case Western Reserve University.
Why do you enjoy working with Direct Opinions? Of course, since I study passion, I really enjoy seeing the people at Direct Opinions work passionately together to serve our clients. I also appreciate having the opportunity to work across industries, and knowing that we are really having an impact on other organizations and the people they serve.
What do you do in your spare time? I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, CrossFit, and serving as a hospice volunteer. Recently, against my better judgement, I ran my first Spartan race.
Client Success Manager
Tammy joined Direct Opinions in September 2019, with over 22 years of experience in client success management. Over the years, she has managed numerous accounts from small businesses to large corporations. Her expertise in managing clientele range from day to day activities, monthly calls, upselling, troubleshooting, contracts and most importantly, building trustworthy relationships. Tammy also has experience in presenting quarterly business reviews and contract negotiations. She is a team player with integrity and is dedicated to the success of clients.
Tammy has attended many training courses through her professional career. She was recognized and earned a spot in the President’s Club at her last employer for her success in maintaining and growing her book of business.
I was a competitive gymnastic coach for many years.
I was class clown (still am).
Halloween is my favorite holiday.
I love to make people laugh.
Things I’ve learned
Life is short and you never know what can happen. Live each day to the fullest.
A smile or a simple hello can make someone’s day.
Treat people the way you want to be treated.
Why do like working at Direct Opinions? The staff works together for the success we provide to our clientele by having the same end goal in providing results with a consultative view. I also enjoy watching our clients make improvements based on our findings that help build their brand and customer experience.
Research Project Manager
Rich received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Denison University in 2015, majoring in Economics and History. In 2019, he graduated from a 24-week Data Analytics and Coding Bootcamp at Case Western Reserve University.
Rich joined the Direct Opinions team in 2019 as a Research Project Manager. In this role, he manages project-specific responsibilities to facilitate the efficient and thorough implementation and execution of new research initiatives. Rich works closely with clients assisting in developing the survey instrument to achieve the established information objectives and delivering actionable results for our clients. In addition, he ensures successful data collection throughout the project to produce accurate results. In his role, Rich delivers actionable insights by providing thorough executive analysis reporting based on research findings.
Preparation of client results presentation is an important step in our process as many clients use the results to make strategic business decisions. As a Research Project Manager, he acts a liaison between customers and the internal operations of the company to ensure that customer expectations are met and exceeded.
Why do you enjoy working at Direct Opinions? At Direct Opinions, there is an open line of communication that allows us to connect directly with all levels of the company. This approach provides us with the ability to efficiently accomplish tasks, solve problems, and discover opportunities for growth and improvement.
What do you like to do with your spare time? I am an avid board game player, who enjoys cooking, traveling, and exercise classes.
Director, New Business Development
David brings more than 40 years of leadership experience to the game. The past 30+ years of sales leadership experience includes working for Fortune 300 companies to start-ups, and everything in-between. He has led direct sales teams, independent sales reps and value-added resellers (VARs). Territory management, forecasting, playbook development and sales compensations are just a few of the key leadership elements that David has in his pocket. In addition, coaching the team on the sales process, from prospecting to discovery to qualifying to getting to Yes, are all in David’s purview.
Sales certification and courses include: SPIN Selling, Sandler Sales System, Dale Carnegie Sales, AMA Solution Selling, Customer Driven Sales, Consultative Selling, Selling to Executives by Coloring Outside the Lines and several in-company sales training programs.
David has been working with Direct Opinions to assist with the development and implementation of the company’s strategies and plans to achieve the goals of the organization. In his role, he works to establish, synchronize and manage assigned operations of the company to align with the organization’s growth strategies. This includes the sales and marketing strategies and management process to achieve overall company growth goals.