Malinda Sanna, Founder & CEO

Malinda Sanna is one of the most sought-after strategic planners in the world of consumer research, advertising development and marketing strategy. She cut her teeth at The Coca-Cola Company in brand management straight out of business school in the New Products department, and then worked for a decade as an independent strategist following tenures at both Fallon and Merkley Newman Harty in New York.

Sanna is a classic strategist, motivated by the philosophy that we have a choice in this profession. We can choose the path of least resistance, or we can choose to make the world a better place through what we do, whether it is adding beauty, telling a compelling story, or opening minds. She aims for the highest levels of creativity, always balanced by the pragmatism of her early client-side training.


Susan Fare, Director of Recruitment

With a Masters degree in Math from Stevens Institute of Technology, Susan quickly rose in the ranks at Deutsche Bank to become a Director in Municipal Bonds, managing a portfolio exceeding a billion dollars. At SPARK, she applies the same tenacity that successfully matched investments with her clients to finding the right research participants for each of our studies.

She loves a challenge and is relentlessly committed to integrity and bringing us amazing people. Using social media and our own professional network, she rises to the occasion no matter how demanding the specs. In the majority of cases, our respondents are participating in market research for the first time.


Ali James, Director of Marketing Operations

Ali is the detail-oriented administrator who makes things run smoothly at SPARK.  An accomplished marketing major at The University of Tampa who was selected for two prestigious academic honor societies, she was hired at Yelp in New York City out of school where she worked in sales and was nationally recognized as one of the top five pitch producers.  She also has a strong background in hospitality, coming from a family that manages restaurants and catering, so she knows how to make SPARK clients feel cared for.

In addition to managing the operations of the company, Ali is passionate about the investigative search for consumer insights, and is one of SPARK’s excellent moderators of Look-Look™ studies.


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Leila Belmahi, Contributing Strategist

An award-winning strategist, Leila got her start in consumer ethnography, strategic planning, and new product development at the Walt Disney Company. She most recently worked as an Insights Strategist at Time Warner Cable, specializing in advertising communications, consumer journeys and multi-cultural marketing.

Leila enjoys connecting insights with ideas that produce results. She studied Philosophy, Marketing and Business Law at Boston University and graduated with the distinction of giving the commencement address. An avid futurist, Leila is passionate about food and fashion trends.


Sofia Costa Alves, Contributing Strategist

Sofia is one of an elite handful of international marketers who can successfully expand brands into new markets, with a brilliant track record of growing well-known brands in both Europe and South America. Sofia has held senior marketing positions at Philip Morris, Nestle, and Kimberly-Clark in Europe.

Now based in Brazil, Sofia organizes, designs and moderates SPARK projects in South America.