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. 


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.

Susan 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.


Meghan Holden, Project Manager

Meghan is a research analyst and helps all projects run smoothly at SPARK.  Meghan studied International Business and Marketing at Georgetown University. Upon graduation, she lived and worked in Australia and New Zealand for two years rounding out experience in client service positions, deepening her exposure to international business challenges.

Meghan also traveled throughout the Asia-Pacific region gaining insight into different ways of living and working around the world. She brings a passionate interest in global cross-cultural understanding to Spark.


Christine Holt, Senior Project Director

Christine is one our Senior Project Directors. She oversees and is closely involved with integral parts of our studies from start to finish. Christine holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the esteemed Berklee College of Music. Her professional experience is heavily customer service based as she’s held buyer and upper management positions across a variety of retail categories (fashion, beauty and skin care, vitamins and supplements).

Combined with her passion for songwriting and performance, Christine brings a creative edge to her work, ensuring a well-rounded experience for all SPARK clients.


Stephen Hunt, Director of Product Development

Steve manages the design and development processes behind our LookLook® application.  He holds a degree in Marketing from Marist College and an MBA from the University of Connecticut.  Steve’s professional experience is a blend of technological positions and marketing roles. On his way to SPARK he has worked as a Business Analyst, Database Manager, Project Manager, and Marketing Consultant.  His career spans a variety of industries including finance, technology, luxury fashion, and healthcare. 

To compliment his skills, Steve also has a minor degree in studio art.  This helps him get creative when dreaming up ideas for application improvements.  His diverse background and passion for his work ensure that SPARK’s products are well rounded and satisfy all types of client needs.

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Ali James, Senior Project Director

Ali is a seasoned market researcher having worked across a breadth of categories for SPARK. She has helped shape the development of the unique LookLook® platform from all perspectives since joining the company in 2016. An accomplished marketing major at The University of Tampa who was selected for two prestigious academic honor societies, Ali 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. Ali 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 Spark’s projects, Ali is passionate about the investigative search for consumer insights, and is one of SPARK’s excellent LookLook® study moderators and analysts.

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Gretchen Murcott, Ad Hoc Strategist

Gretchen is a passionate brand evangelist and seasoned marketer who has worked with many of the world’s leading brands, on both the agency and brand side. Career highlights include working on a multi-brand Unilever CRM project at Ogilvy, managing a portfolio of beauty products at L’Oréal, and developing research studies into fragrance and luxury consumers at NPD. She combines the analytical rigor of a researcher with the creative mind of a campaign strategist, ensuring that each project at SPARK delivers comprehensive, nuanced and actionable insights. 

 Gretchen holds an MBA in Marketing from Columbia Business School and a BA in English from Wellesley College. Gretchen brings a cultural sensitivity and a global perspective to SPARK, thanks to her extensive travels across 48 countries and six continents (…and counting!)

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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.