Our Team

Will Asciutto

Data Engineer

Will brings experience with security consulting, data management, and server-side development to Elder Research. He earned his B.S. in Computer Science at Appalachian State University, where he worked as a lab instructor and tutor. Will started his career in the financial industry as an application security analyst, where he led the automation of a vulnerability data management program. He is an advocate for the power of continuous improvement, both at a system and personal level.

Outside of business hours Will enjoys rock climbing, hiking, camping, and reading.

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David Ball

Director of Corporate Operations

David Ball manages business operations in our Baltimore office where he oversees resource planning and contracting. David previously managed the end-to-end life cycle of a software application for a government client at a large consulting firm. He was also an investigator and then the DC-area operations manager for a security company. David earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from James Madison University, and is a grateful husband and proud father of three children.

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Sam Ballerini

Data Scientist

Sam Ballerini fuses experience across a variety of technical disciplines to solve complex data problems at Elder Research. Sam earned an MS in Analytics from the Institute for Advanced Analytics at NC State University, where he built content recommendation systems for mobile applications.

Prior to graduate school, he studied Computer Science at Tufts University and worked as a software engineer for a portfolio management firm. Sam's technical interests lie in deep learning and natural language processing, and he enjoys staying up to date on the latest in machine learning research.

Outside of the office, Sam loves building computers, working out, and cooking.

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Brigham Bangerter

Software Engineer

Brigham Bangerter works in the software engineering team to create powerful tools for clients. Previously, he helped build an efficient commercial test automation system, as well as establish an online registration system for UVA's annual high school programming competition.

He has experience writing in Java ,C++, and Python.  Brigham received a BS in Computer Science from the University of Virginia, after earlier study at the University of Utah.

In his spare time, he enjoys tennis, app development, and creating and playing video games.

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Jordan Barr, Ph.D.

Senior Data Scientist

Dr. Jordan G. Barr was excited to recently return to Elder Research after seven years as a Physical Scientist and Hydrologist with Everglades National Park in Homestead, Florida. During 2005 to 2008, Dr. Barr served as a Research Scientist at Elder Research contributing to or leading several successful commercial and government projects. The tools and strategies learned at Elder Research proved invaluable in writing some of the first journal articles elucidating real time functioning of mangrove forests and helped to establish their importance in regional and global carbon budgets. In turn, the Everglades experience taught him much about collaboration, cooperation, and dealing with unforeseen challenges. Jordan enjoys tennis and the outdoors and loves spending time with his wife and four children.

Journal Article: Understanding Coastal Carbon Cycling

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Geoffrey Becker

Software Engineer

Geoffrey Becker enjoys building software designed to enhance a client’s experience through its intuitive simplicity. Previously, he worked several years in government contracting as a software developer implementing web applications built to address challenges that clients face when filtering through large geo-spatial data sets. Geoff graduated from the University of Virginia in 2009 with a BS in Systems Engineering and earned a Masters in Information Technology from Virginia Tech in 2014.

In his spare time, Geoff enjoys hiking, backpacking, fishing, and a really good scotch by the fire with friends.

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Jordan Blair

Marketing Manager

Jordan is passionate about communicating the unique value that Elder Research brings in solving data and analytics problems. Prior to joining Elder Research, Jordan worked for a digital marketing agency where he gained experience in online advertising and search engine optimization, and was honored to win several marketing awards. Jordan originally developed his interest in digital marketing as a participant in the Google Online Marketing Challenge while earning a B.A. in Marketing at James Madison University.

During his free time, Jordan enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, hiking, traveling, and doing anything that involves sports.

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Carlos Blancarte

Data Scientist 

Carlos Blancarte is drawn to analytics for its power to capture complex relationships and influence decision making. Previously, Carlos was lead statistician for a marketing research firm where he engaged in every stage of the project lifecycle from collecting, cleaning and analyzing data, to building and deploying models. Carlos specialized in predictive modeling (with responsibility also for text mining, segmentation, and structural equation modeling) and enjoyed automating tasks to save clients' time.

Carlos earned a BA in Economics from the University of Arizona and an MS in Analytics from NC State University, and loves learning continually, from coding in new languages, to mastering the classical guitar.

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Trent Bradberry, Ph.D.

Senior Data Scientist

Dr. Trent Bradberry has lived and worked in the DC area for over a decade. He enjoys the challenge of working with data across a variety of domains to solve problems and extract insights. He has applied predictive modeling in diverse areas involving biological signals, financial time series, images, and text. Trent earned a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Maryland, an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Tech, and a BS in Computer Engineering from Clemson University.

In his free time, Trent enjoys spending time with his wife and children, Kaggle competitions, genealogical research, and dancing.

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Daniel Brannock

Data Scientist 

Daniel Brannock brings a background in the natural sciences to his analysis work at Elder Research. He earned an MS in Analytics from NC State University, where he gained practical experience with mining electronic health record data. At Elder Research Daniel has worked with a broad array of industries, including consumer packaged goods, healthcare, utilities, and government. He loves exploring the intricacies of new and unique datasets and finding novel ways to apply rigorous data science. Previously, Daniel obtained a BS in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for three years.

Daniel loves all games (sport, board, video, or otherwise), reading, and especially learning what inspires and motivates others.

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Zachary Brown

Software Engineer

Zachary Brown creates robust and efficient software for clients and for Elder Research's data analytics team, magnifying their productivity. He is proficient in Java and Scala and interested in functional programming design and provably correct software systems. Zach earned a BA in Computer Science and in Mathematics at the University of Virginia.

In his free time he enjoys cooking, baking pies, board games, frisbee golf, and reading about cognitive science.

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Veronica Carlan

Data Scientist

Veronica Carlan has been working with the intelligence community since 2009, previously as an intelligence analyst and currently as a data scientist. She focuses on insider threat, text analytics, and app development and maintenance. 

Veronica earned her BA in Mathematics at the University of Virginia and her MS in Mathematics and Statistics at Georgetown University. Outside of work, Veronica can usually be found hiking or playing outside with her dog.  She also teaches calculus, differential equations and statistics at NVCC.

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Paul Corbitt, Ph.D.

Data Scientist

Paul Corbitt works on our team as a data scientist.  Prior to joining Elder Research, Paul was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders where he performed simulations of task based laminar fMRI. 

Paul earned his PhD and MS in physics from University of Maryland Baltimore County, a MS in applied and industrial mathematics from Towson University, and a BS in mathematics and physics from Washington College.  During graduate school Paul created mathematical models to interpret epidemiological data and developed a prototype criminal geographic profiling model. 

In his spare time Paul enjoys reading and cycling. 

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Keith Council

Senior Data Engineer

As a Senior Data Engineer Keith Council combines his passion for software with his expertise in data engineering. Keith has architected and deployed large scale distributed data solutions in cloud environments for Elder Research clients. His strong background in software engineering and development experience with core languages including java, python and javascript brings rigor and long-term vision to vast and mutating data environments. Mr. Council earned a B.S in Computer Science and a minor in Business Administration from North Carolina State University.

Outside of work, Keith enjoys tabletop and board games, riding motorcycles, painting, and rock climbing.

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Brandon Creech

Data Scientist

Brandon’s passion for data science began in the field of experimental psychology where he studied memory using functional near-infrared spectroscopy brain imaging technology. Analyzing brain and memory data led him to pursue an MS in analytics, to better understand human behavior.

Brandon earned a master’s in Psychological Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and an MS from the Institute for Advanced Analytics at NC State University.

His enjoys playing guitar, singing, and hiking in the mountains.

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Xander Czajkowski

Software Engineer

Xander Czajkowski employs a cross-discipline approach to data science, drawing from his background in software engineering and math. Previously, he worked for several years in government contracting, developing software solutions for predictive analytics and computer vision challenges.

Xander earned a BA in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Virginia.

Outside of work, Xander loves volleyball, tabletop & board games, music, his dog, baking, and UVA basketball.

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Kremena Darmenova, Ph.D.

Data Scientist

Data Scientist Dr. Kremena Darmenova has analytics experience in multiple domains, including Earth sciences, industrial controls, and communication. Previously, Dr. Darmenova worked as a data science research engineer on traditional and renewable energy, geospatial applications, electric utilities, communication protocols, cybersecurity, high-performance computing, numerical modeling and simulation, and multi-domain data fusion. She also developed automated analysis and model execution workflows, geospatial analytics tools, and converted model output and satellite observations to actionable information.

Kremena earned a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from Georgia Tech. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, stargazing, cooking and gardening.

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Jeff Deal

Chief Operating Officer

Jeff Deal leads the operations at Elder Research including oversight of finances, contracting, regulatory and legal issues, and human resources. At Elder Research Jeff helps guide expansion as the company continues to grow and open additional offices to support our clients. Jeff has worked with dozens of clients to understand their business needs and organizational goals and, in the process, has gained insight into organizational obstacles to successful data mining engagements. His talk on the Top 10 Data Mining Business Mistakes has been well received at analytic conferences.

In 2016, Jeff and the Elder Research President & CEO, Gerhard Pilcher, published, Mining Your Own Business: A Primer for Executives on Understanding and Employing Data Mining and Predictive Analytics. Mr. Deal is also the Chair for the Predictive Analytics World – Healthcare conference which has been held each year since 2014. Jeff has more than 25 years of experience in business operations, planning, and government relations, primarily in the health care industry.

Prior to Elder Research, he was the President of a health planning consulting business that assisted hospitals and physicians with operational analysis, forecasting, and navigating through complex regulatory processes. Jeff has a Master of Health Administration degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and an undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary where he was a member of the wrestling team.

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Paul Derstine

Director of Marketing

Paul Derstine works with clients to understand their data analytics goals and how Elder Research's vast experience with data engineering, data analytics, and data visualization can deliver solutions that enable return on their analytics investment.

Prior to joining Elder Research, Paul worked for 18 years for GE Intelligent Platforms in Charlottesville. In his role as Motion and Machine Safety Product Manager, Paul worked with a broad spectrum of global customers to understand their business needs in order to deliver solution value and optimize profit and growth objectives. Paul has a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. When not at work Paul enjoys playing tennis, hiking, travelling and photography. He has two daughters who reside in Charlottesville.

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Victor Diloreto

Director, Software Products

Vic Diloreto leads the software engineering group at Elder Research. In this role, Vic is chartered with the continuing support of our data science service to clients where software is needed in data preparations and/or visualizations. Vic is also leading the efforts to convert select portions of Elder Research’s intellectual property library into standalone products.

Prior to Elder Research, Vic was a Senior Director of Technology at MegaPath, where he led a team in charge of architecture, design and operations of advanced communication solutions. Prior to MegaPath, Vic was VP of Engineering and CTO of telecommunication start-up sentitO Networks, where he led hardware and software developments. In this capacity, he assisted in raising 60M in venture financing. Vic also had roles within BNR/Northern Telecom and Pulsecom in engineering and management positions – most notably leading the technical aspects of the sale of Pulsecom’s Broadband division to ECI Telecom for 61M.

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John Dimeo

Software Architect

John Dimeo has over a decade of experience at Elder Research designing and implementing software solutions for data science problems. He has deployed systems across multiple industries using many different technologies and has led the development of Elder Research’s software products. John specializes in usability, data transformation, databases, data visualization, and software best practices.

John received a BS in Computer Science from the University of Virginia and began his career as an intern at Elder Research in 2005. He is active in his church, enjoys spending time with his family, and plays drums and board games in his free time.

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Ken Duffau

Data Scientist

Ken Duffau develops solutions to help clients navigate and understand chaotic data environments, and ensures data quality control. Previously, Ken was an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, then an information technologist and GIS Engineer in the Republic of Korea, where he managed client and server GIS applications. He has worked with multiple national security offices to solve data quality and data standard issues and created a data management system that ensures that finished data is homogenous regardless of the original source or format.

Ken earned a BS in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland University College, and a Masters in the Management of Information Technology at the University of Virginia. During his free time Ken enjoys hiking the Appalachian Mountains, spending time with his family, and reading anything that makes him think.

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John F. Elder IV, Ph.D.

Chairman of the Board

Dr. John Elder founded Elder Research, America’s largest and most experienced data science consultancy in 1995. With offices in Charlottesville VA, Baltimore MD, Raleigh, NC, Washington DC, and London, they’ve solved hundreds of challenges for commercial and government clients by extracting actionable knowledge from all types of data. Dr. Elder co-authored three books -- on practical data mining, ensembles, and text mining -- two of which won “book of the year” awards. John has created data mining tools, was a discoverer of ensemble methods, chairs international conferences, and is a popular workshop and keynote speaker.

Dr. Elder earned Engineering degrees from Rice and UVA, where he’s an Adjunct Professor. He was named by President Bush to serve 5 years on a panel to guide technology for national security. Lastly, John is grateful to be a follower of Christ and the father of five.

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Luke Farley

Data Analyst

Luke is passionate about solving complex problems and helping others. He recently graduated from Washington and Lee University, earning a B.S. in Mathematics while minoring in Computer Science and Music. While in school, he also played on the men’s golf team and led backpacking trips along the Appalachian Trail.

In his free time, he enjoys playing and watching sports, traveling and exploring the outdoors, and listening to and creating music.

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Jeff Finn

Data Scientist

Jeff Finn has been providing professional support to Defense and Intelligence missions for over a decade with experience in Operations Research, Modeling & Simulation, Digital Multimedia Forensics, and Systems Engineering Management. He embraces opportunities to acquire and apply new skills to solve challenging data problems for clients.

Jeff earned a MS in Systems Engineering from The George Washington University, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

In his free time, he enjoys music production, billiard sports, pinball, wine education, and membership in the St. Andrew’s Society of Washington D.C. charitable and social organization.

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Grant Fleming

Data Scientist

Grant collaborates across disciplines to develop innovative solutions for clients. His primary technical interests are hierarchical modeling, deep learning, network analysis, and natural language processing.

Prior to Elder Research, Grant earned a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies -- focused on evaluating the impacts of humanitarian aid -- and an MS from the Institute for Advanced Analytics at NC State University. There, Grant built a scoring system for antibiotic treatments for a multi-national biotech firm.

Outside of work, Grant enjoys reading, running, and tinkering with virtual reality.

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Wayne Folta

Lead Data Scientist

Wayne Folta enjoys diving into a new problem space, working with customers to clarify their needs and objectives, and using sophisticated tools and analysis to turn their data into insights. His major technical interests are time-series and predictive analytics. Previously, Wayne developed software in the intelligence community as a government employee and a contractor, and worked in the non-profit world as a video producer. Wayne volunteers in his community, teaching and providing statistical consulting for the local library and others.

Wayne earned a Master's Degree in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) from George Mason University, and is also an alumnus of the University of Maryland and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Wayne enjoys snowboarding, the ancient game of Go, and learning R packages and other statistical tools.

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Todd Gerdy

Data Engineer

Todd Gerdy brings his 10 years of problem-solving skills from the Audio/Visual industry to Elder Research. He actively uses these skills to help both the Data Science and the Software Engineering teams in implementing efficient software solutions for clients. He has experience in Java, JavaScript, Python, and Ruby.

Todd likes to spend his free time with his family, gaming, and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Arc of the Piedmont, and beCamp.

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Will Goodrum, Ph.D.

Director, Charlottesville Data Science

Dr. Will Goodrum has a decade of experience applying numerical analysis and engineering to solve practical problems and generate value for customers. Previously, Dr. Goodrum worked in an engineering software firm, helping medium-to-large scale customers across industrial sectors develop superior products and reduce their time-to-market. As a graduate student, he applied statistical modeling and physics-based simulation to estimate the impact of policy decisions on lifetime maintenance costs for a regional transportation authority.

Will holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia, and a PhD in Engineering from Cambridge University. Outside work, Will enjoys the fantastic Charlottesville-area food scene with his wife and son, as well as cooking, (most) music, swimming, distance running, and travel.

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Matt Gordon

Data Scientist

Matt Gordon helps develop and test Turnstile, a streaming analytics and alerting engine. Mr. Gordon graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. in Economics with focus on Microeconomics including game theory, general equilibrium, and international trade. He has an M.S. in Data Analytics from the University of Maryland University College. Matt enjoys reading science fiction, watching football and baseball, playing games, and anything involving history.

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Joel Góngora

Data Scientist

Joel (hōêl) Góngora is skilled in data acquisition, pre-processing, modeling, and data analysis. He has degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics with an emphasis in Graph Theory, and is completing a PhD at Boise State University in Geophysics. Joel’s dissertation is on modeling snow depth in high alpine terrain using Deep Learning and relies on new sampling methods he developed over five years of field campaigns. He has enjoyed delivering seminars to geoscientists on applying data-driven methods to understand geophysical time-series and spatial phenomena.

At Elder Research, Joel has contributed to discovering topic model and graph analytic workflows in big data. When he is not writing, coding, or spending time with his lovely daughter, Joel enjoys biking, Olympic lifting, and playing flamenco guitar.

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Sean Haler, Ph.D.

Lead Data Scientist

Dr. Sean Haler works on our Defense and Intelligence team where he looks to solve interesting and difficult problems from a wide variety of fields including language modeling, high performance computing, graph theory, and network analysis.  Before joining Elder Research, Dr. Haler spent 10 years as a DoD civilian working as an applied research mathematician, most recently serving as the Deputy Director of a Cryptanalysis Development Program.  Sean earned his doctorate degree in graph theory from the University of Idaho, where he also earned masters and bachelors degrees in math.

Sean volunteers his time teaching Mathematics and Computer Science at his daughter's school.  When he is not working or teaching, Sean is usually trying to solve a puzzle or spending time with his adorable family.

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Robert Han

Vice President

Robert Han is a Vice President at Elder Research overseeing the Washington, D.C. office. Over the past six years at Elder Research, he has led innovative data science teams that have tackled some of the industry's most challenging data science and analytics problems for both federal government and private sector clients. Some examples include designing and deploying cutting edge machine learning models to identify and prioritize highly suspicious actors (financial market players, medical providers, unemployment insurance recipients, workers compensation beneficiaries) for investigators and analysts; applying various text mining techniques to deploy models (both supervised and unsupervised) and solutions that ingest large amounts of documents from unstructured text; and leveraging network analysis and graph modeling techniques to detect highly suspicious social network behaviors and potential collusion within high profile domains such as the opioid crisis and federal tax fraud.

Prior to joining Elder Research, Robert worked for a global consulting firm as a technology and management consultant, with most of his experience coming from enterprise and supply chain COTS products implementations. Robert also came from a small software start-up as a technology and professional services practitioner. He worked closely with clients across various industries (technology, software, education, finance, government, human resources) and gained experience in cloud software implementations, enterprise technology architectures, agile software development practices, business intelligence and reporting across multiple platforms, change and risk management, and product and project management.

Robert holds a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia.

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Chris Hase

Data Scientist

Chris earned a BS in Psychology and Economics and a Certificate in Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where his interest in statistical analysis and modeling grew while working as a research assistant in the Intrinsic Motivation Research Lab. He interned at a market research firm where he applied statistical methods to survey data, and then completed an AM in Statistics at Harvard where he focused on projects employing machine learning. He particularly enjoys discovering which machine learning techniques best fit new real-world applications.

In his free time, Chris reads, plays several team sports, skis, weightlifts, and spends time with friends and family.

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Carl D. Hoover, Ph.D.

Chief Technology Officer

As CTO, Dr. Carl Hoover is responsible for Elder Research's long-term technical strategy and our R&D investment. Carl loves exploring new tools and techniques to keep ERI at the cutting-edge of data science technology.  He believes that innovation will enable Elder Research to serve our clients with value and excellence.  Carl has contributed to and led a wide-range of analytics projects over the years.  He played a key role in growing our Defense & Intelligence business, helping establish Elder Research as a leader in insider threat, counterintelligence and security analytics. 

Before being named our first CTO in 2017, Carl rose through the ranks of Elder Research, first working as a scientist at our start-up office in John Elder's basement.  He worked on investment, marketing, banking and pharmaceutical analytics in those days, but he is most fond of the his very first project developing Corona graphs for portfolio selection models.  Coronas eventually became ERI's company logo. 

Carl earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Clarkson University and a B.S. degree from the University of Virginia in Mechanical Engineering.  His doctoral work on prosthetic leg impedance control resulted in the first successful stair ascent and multi-function control of a powered transfemoral prosthesis. 

Outside of work, Carl loves to spend time with his family.  Carl loves the outdoors and is active in Christian Service Brigade where he enjoys developing young men into future leaders.

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J. Dustin Hux

Vice President and Senior Scientist

Dustin Hux has 15 years of applied statistical modeling and data mining experience. He has led teams solving problems in the commercial, financial, and scientific domains including fraud detection, cross-selling, customer profiling, product bundling, direct marketing, biometric identification, stock selection, market timing, text mining, and atmospheric modeling. Dustin is particularly honored to be a part of projects that apply data mining and advanced analytics to challenges facing the intelligence community. Mr. Hux is expert with leading data mining software tools and advises vendors on enhancements. For KDD, he was on the 2004 Data Mining Standards, Services, and Platforms Program Committee and was 2006 Sponsorship Committee Co-chair. Dustin earned a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia and Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Economics from Emory and Henry College.

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Kimberly Keiter

Data Scientist

Kimberly Keiter graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BS in Applied Mathematics and Chemistry. While working at UNC as a research assistant in an organic chemistry lab, she enjoyed analyzing data to solve problems so, to advance those skills, she completed an MS in Analytics from NC State University. Since joining Elder Research, Kimberly has helped clients in the consumer packaged goods industry extract actionable insights from existing data.

In her spare time, Kimberly enjoys playing board games, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.

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LeAnna Kent

Data Scientist

LeAnna Kent enjoys blending programming and mathematics to gain understanding from data and guide decision making. Ms. Kent has practical experience with trend detection, unstructured data, and policy analysis. LeAnna has a Master’s in Analytics from North Carolina State University, and a BS in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science from Rhodes College. In her free time, she enjoys painting, baking, crime shows, and logic puzzles.

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Alex Koeppel

Data Scientist

Alex Koeppel has worked extensively with large-scale data sets to address a wide variety of scientific questions. During both his postdoctoral research in microbial ecology and his subsequent position at the Bioinformatics Core at the University of Virginia, Alex began to appreciate the value of computational approaches to problem solving, and he hasn't looked back since.

Alex earned a Biology BA from Oberlin College, and PhD from Wesleyan University. Outside of work, Alex enjoys games of all kinds, reading books, and hanging out with his wife and kids.

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Sridatta Kompella

Data Engineer

Sridatta Kompella draws on a diverse engineering background to provide data-driven solutions to complex system-level problems. His analytic experience started with data acquisition and visualization projects for the Georgia Tech Advanced Manufacturing Lab and continued with modeling, simulation, and analysis of naval defense scenarios.

Sridatta completed his BS in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at Georgia Tech and his MS in Electrical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Outside of work, Sridatta is a passionate sports fan who enjoys playing tennis and basketball. He is also interested in keeping up with the latest consumer and computing technology.

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Vivek Kumar

Analytics Engagement Manager

Vivek is a seasoned analytics and strategy leader with expertise in the financial services sector. His experience in business, collaboration, process optimization, and customer support enables project teams to use advanced analytics to solve organizational and agency challenges. He guides technical teams to deliver user-centric solutions and helps clients develop and execute a strategic analytics roadmap to make data-driven decisions.

Mr. Kumar has led many large, successful, end-to-end data pipeline initiatives in the financial and technology sectors, and specializes in developing talent in his highly engaged, energized teams. Vivek holds an MBA in Finance from Duke University.

Outside of the office, Vivek enjoys spending time with friends and family.

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Christopher Lee

Data Scientist

Chris' analytic background began in academia where he developed a score to screen for high risk patients undergoing surgery. He then moved to the private sector, evaluating the performance of value-based care initiatives at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

Chris graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Informatics. Outside of working, his interests include French gastronomy, trail running, Agatha Christie novels, and playing the guitar and drums.

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Arthur McDonald, Ph.D.

Senior Data Scientist

Dr. Arthur McDonald has over 15 years of software engineering, algorithm design, and data science experience. Before joining Elder Research, Dr. McDonald spent time at Sandia National Laboratories working on projects in the domains of natural language processing, machine learning, and data governance.

Arthur earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Rhode Island, specializing in Inductive Logic Programming.

Outside of work, Arthur likes to run, cook, ride motorbikes, and watch movies.

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Joy McKinney

Project Manager and Data Scientist

Joy McKinney has a passion for data that began over twenty years ago. Joy earned a BS in Decision Information Sciences from the University of Florida, with a focus on Decision Support Systems.  Prior to joining Elder Research, Joy worked for a global technology firm as a business analytics consultant, technical architect, and project manager in multiple industries, including federal government, state and local government, higher education, healthcare, and financial services.  Most recently, Joy managed an enterprise business analytics environment for a large public sector client in the Washington DC area.

In her spare time, Joy enjoys outdoor adventures, traveling, and spending time with her family, which also includes two dogs, a bearded dragon, and a pet turtle that she has had for over three decades. 

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Ian Myjer

Data Engineer

Ian Myjer is a creative problem solver motivated by improving business processes and tackling clients’ challenges. Previously, Ian focused on using data to reduce energy consumption in commercial facilities and residences. He most enjoys creating interesting visualizations and extracting data from messy sources.

Ian graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Environmental Sciences and Engineering. Outside of work, he enjoys cycling, rock climbing, and basketball.

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Meredith Noble

Director of Resources

Meredith Noble is a graduate of Dartmouth College where she received the Bachelor of Arts degree. Since then, Meredith has administrated the financial and human resources infrastructure for a number of local firms. Meredith joined Elder Research in 1998 as the office manager. In that capacity, Meredith oversees and administrates Elder Research's financial accounts and investments, personnel resources and benefits, and general company logistics. Previously, Meredith managed the offices for two architecture firms in the Charlottesville area and oversaw customer service for a software firm. Meredith has traveled extensively for international missions and is a proud mother of three.

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Debbie Owen

Administrative Specialist

Debbie Owen, a graduate of the College of William and Mary, has worked in several small companies as an office administrator, contracts manager, and bookkeeper. At Elder Research, she manages all the bookkeeping needs of the company, and helps on many special projects, including cost proposals and inventory tracking. In her spare time, Debbie likes to work with local community theaters, frequently as a stage manager. She and her husband, Charlie, came to Charlottesville, VA, in 1993, and have two teenage children. 

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Jovon Packard

Software Engineer

Jovon Packard enjoys technology at all levels including networks, servers, and smartphones.  He started coding and building computers as a teenager.  He also loves studying languages and history.  Prior to joining Elder Research Jovon worked as a system administrator, IT manager and was in the Army for 5 years as an Arabic Cryptologic Linguist.  He has experience programming with C#, Python, Ruby, Java, JavaScript, Go, Python and Scala.

Jovon received a BA in Management Information Systems from Cedarville University.  He likes exercising, gaming and miniature painting.

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Ramon Perez

Director, London UK

Ramon Perez focuses on financial modeling and market risk detection. A decorated war veteran, Major Perez served as an Air Force Intelligence Officer specializing in Signals Intelligence. As a mission director at the National Security Agency, Ramon led teams analyzing enormous data sets to produce actionable information in support of worldwide contingency operations--including deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and South America in support of Special Operations. Upon leaving the military, Ramon returned to graduate school with an interest in understanding economic models. Prior to joining Elder Research, he analyzed long-term defense budget projections for the Congressional Budget Office. Ramon holds a Bachelors degree in Systems Engineering from Georgia Tech as well as Masters degrees from Harvard and Georgetown in Finance and Economics, respectively. He and his wife are avid travelers, having lived in Asia and South America, and having visited over 30 countries.

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Carter Phillips

Business Development Associate

Carter Phillips is a Business Development Associate who works to connect with existing Elder Research clients and solicit new clients in the Healthcare, Insurance, and Financial sectors. Carter earned a B.S. from James Madison University in 2016, studying Philosophy and Integrated Science and Technology. While at JMU, Carter worked as a backpacking guide over two summers in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. 

In his free time, Carter enjoys soccer and taking in Charlottesville’s abundant dining and outdoor recreation opportunities.

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Bryce Pilcher

Software Engineer

Bryce Pilcher brings a background in network simulation and software reliability to client tool design. Bryce has leveraged graphs and Java to provide a new interfaces for clients to look at and interact with their data.  His love of learning has led him to use Python for gathering useful information from the web and Scala to develop functional and reliable software solutions.  He is an alumnus of North Carolina State University, with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science.

In his spare time, Bryce enjoys brewing beer, rock climbing, and hanging out with his wife Marissa and Labrador Retriever, Mya.

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Gerhard Pilcher

Chief Executive Officer

Gerhard enjoys predictive analytics and data mining, especially related to the areas of Fraud Detection, Financial Risk Management, and Health Care outcomes using various analytical methods, working with people, leading change, and timely management of complex projects. His work experience spans both private and government sectors including international experience.

Gerhard is coauthor of the popular book “Mining Your Own Business”. The book targets executives and senior managers who desire to evolve their organizations with better data driven decisions. The book is designed to have dual purpose as an introduction to the subject of data science and as a useful reference for specific, daily guidance.

Gerhard previously taught at Georgetown University as an adjunct faculty member in the Math and Statistics Master’s degree program. He has also been an instructor for the three-day SAS Business Knowledge Series course "Data Mining: Principles and Best Practices" and an invited speaker at domestic and international conferences.

Gerhard currently serves on the Institute for Advanced Analytics Advisory Board and George Washington University’s Advisory Board for the Business Analytics graduate program. He was named to the NC State Computer Science Department’s “Hall of Fame” in its inaugural year.

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Robert Pitney

Analytics Engagement Manager

Robert Pitney enjoys listening to the needs of clients and finding ways that data can be used to solve problems, increase efficiency, or prevent fraud. Previously, Robert worked six years in the private sector as an IT Systems Integrator followed by eight years in the government sector as an Information Security Manager and an IT Auditor. In these roles, he learned the importance of analyzing data to ensure the continued security and integrity of key information technology systems, and became a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).

Robert joined Elder Research after earning a Master’s of Science in Analytics from North Carolina State University, from which he also had earned undergraduate degrees in Economics and Computer Science. He actively seeks to cross-pollinate ideas from these fields to maximize positive impacts for clients.

In his spare time, Robert enjoys reading a good book, running, snow skiing, and cheering on his son at multiple sporting events. He has a passion for teaching and has served as an instructor for CISSP exam review courses.

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Stuart Price, Ph.D.

Senior Data Scientist

Dr. Stuart Price has experience applying machine learning, optimization, and simulation to problems in healthcare. He enjoys working in new fields and learning from subject matter experts. His research interests include applying machine learning and optimization to create decision support tools to be used in healthcare and predictive confidence.

Stuart earned a BA in Physics and Mathematics from Hendrix College, and an MS in Applied Mathematics and a PhD in Operations Management from the University of Maryland, College Park. Outside of work he enjoys backpacking, cooking, and reading.

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William Proffitt

Software Engineer

William Proffitt applies his skills in design, software, writing, and collaboration to create revolutionary data visualizations our clients love using daily. His work has made a difference for investigators, auditors, engineers, telecommunications companies, investment clients, and think tanks. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Economics and Mathematics. When he isn’t working for Elder Research, William enjoys hiking, dancing, and creating art.

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Brittany Pugh

Senior Data Scientist

Data Scientist Brittany Pugh has more than a decade of experience in information technology, analytics, and predictive modeling, mostly in the intelligence community. She has led or contributed to projects that focus on insider threat, risk scoring, behavioral analytics, graph-based analytics, natural language processing, deep learning in computer vision, and data visualization. Brittany is honored and privileged to apply data science, predictive analytics, and machine learning techniques to challenges facing the intelligence community.

Brittany earned a MS in Systems Engineering from George Washington University after receiving a BA in Mathematics from the University of Virginia. In her free time, Brittany enjoys spending time with her husband and three daughters, having social and food gatherings with friends and family, and watching movies.

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Mike Reddington

Senior Data Scientist

Mike Reddington has been a partner of Elder Research for over two decades. Mike initially worked with Dr. John Elder on a very successful hedge fund in the 1990’s and 2000’s, and recently joined Elder Research to lend his extensive financial markets expertise to our financial consulting projects. Previously, Mr. Reddington co-founded Grove Hill Partners, LLC where he serves as CIO and Managing Partner responsible for the quantitative investment strategies. 

Mike was a Managing Director at SkyBridge Capital, LLC and co-founded RFI Investments, LLC, an affiliate of Rafferty Holdings.  He was President of MVP I, LLC and Managing Partner of Kerry Associates, LLC where he performed quantitative research and portfolio management.  Mike earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from New York University and his MBA from Long Island University.

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Temple Riehl

Software Engineer

Temple Riehl designs and implements software applications to enhance data analysis for national security clients. Current work includes development of streaming cyber analytics and deployment of InterCEPT - Elder Research's complex event trigger processing software. He has years of experience in the design and development of signal collection, data forwarding, search, reporting and data archiving systems. He also has extensive experience in developing desktop and web-based user interfaces.

Mr. Riehl received a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science from the Pennsylvania State University. He enjoys reading and Civil War sightseeing. Temple and his wife, Dina, have a son and daughter who currently attend St. Mary's College of Maryland.

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Jennifer Schaff, Ph.D.

Managing Director

Dr. Jennifer Schaff began her analytics journey exploring and generating large biological data sets while earning a PhD in Plant Pathology. Dr. Schaff continued to develop her data interest and skills analyzing sequencing data while building and leading NCSU’s genomics facility program. Love for analytics challenges led her to recently complete the Master’s program at NCSU’s Institute for Advanced Analytics.

True to her upbringing in the Pacific Northwest, you will find Jennifer in her free time in the great outdoors, where she enjoys running, long bike rides, photography field trips with friends and family, and strolls with her dog.

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Lisa Schrader

Analytics Engagement Manager

As Analytics Engagement Manager Lisa uses data to solve business problems at Elder Research. She has professional experience optimizing processes, planning and executing projects, and putting together strategic partnerships. Lisa holds a BS degree in Medical Technology from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, an MBA from Augsburg College, and has completed a Collaborative Leader Fellowship through the University of Minnesota and its partners.

Lisa spent much of her career in healthcare, working on laboratory testing, research design and implementation, administration of commercially-funded research, and building strategic relationships at the interface of large healthcare organizations and community-based health services providers. Most recently, as Senior Marketing Strategist at UVA Health, she fostered the use of analytic insights in decision-making for partnerships and marketing. She brings collaborative thinking to every project and designs an approach with the end goal in mind.

Outside of the office, Lisa enjoys being with friends and family, volunteering with children, and spending time in nature.

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Tom Shafer, Ph.D.

Lead Data Scientist

Dr. Tom Shafer has years of experience developing and applying computational tools in multiple domains. Tom joined Elder Research after completing a Ph.D. in Physics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied nuclear radioactive decay with the aid of high performance computing resources.

At Elder Research, Dr. Shafer leads or contributes to projects in many areas including deep neural networks for object detection, biomedical analytics, text mining, graph analytics and network science, high performance computing, database development, fraud detection, modeling of consumer product goods, and developing data science training materials.

Tom spends his time outside of work with his wife and friends and enjoys reading, playing music, and programming.

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Teresa Spencer

Executive Assistant and Office Manager

Teresa serves as the Executive Assistant and Office Manager in the Washington, DC office. Previously she worked for an adoption agency coordinating travel for families adopting children from China. Teresa is a graduate of James Madison University with a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication. While at JMU, Teresa minored in both Human Resource Development and Spanish. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, specifically down to Nicaragua where she has been involved in several orphan care opportunities. Teresa is also a devoted country music fan.

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Nathan Stanford

Data Scientist

Nathan Stanford brings experience in computer science education, non-profit work, and insurance reserve analytics to Elder Research. He earned an MS in Analytics from NC State University, and loves exploring the intricacies of new subject areas and finding novel ways to apply data science. Previously, Nathan taught high school computer science and math for five years, after earning a BS in Operations Research from the Virginia Commonwealth University.

Nathan delights in exploring the outdoors and playing board games with friends.

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Andrew Stewart

Data Scientist

Andrew Stewart is an inquisitive and tenacious problem-solver who enjoys diving into new methods and tools. After serving 8 years in the Marine Corps and completing multiple combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, Sergeant Stewart became an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) defense contractor for the Air Force. There, Andrew taught pilots and crew members how to use their ISR capabilities to monitor high-value individuals and support troops in combat.

Andrew holds a BA in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from California State University - Sacramento and a MS in Mathematics and Statistics at Georgetown University. 

Andrew fills his free time with hobby analytics projects, backpacking, travel, and playing rugby for the Georgetown Law School.

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Colin Thomas

Software Development Manager

Colin Thomas brings over 10 years of development, IT support, and unstructured data analysis experience. His primary focus is developing systems that extract and display meaningful information from large text-based data collections. Prior to joining Elder Research, Colin managed the IT/Developer group for an intangible asset risk management firm; he was responsible for designing, implementing and maintaining the company's web-based data analytics platforms. He earned both a BS (2003) and ME (2008) in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. In his spare time, Colin enjoys exploring various hobbies such as boardgames, photography, and miniature painting.

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Mike Thurber

Lead Data Scientist

Mike Thurber is the Lead Data Scientist in Elder Research’s Commercial Analytics Group working across multiple teams and industries – including finance, retail, energy, and telecom – to deliver information products that drive business value.  Mike’s primary focus is healthcare and insurance, where his projects range from predicting extreme payouts on long-term care claims, and identifying healthcare provider fraud, to measuring the effect of Cesarean delivery on infant health. His expertise in collaboration, data exploration, predictive modeling and rigorous testing, and in remediating the selection bias common to analytic algorithms, creates confidence in the actions recommended by the analytic products of his team.

Mike earned a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University and a Master's degree in Statistics from Virginia Commonwealth University. For the last four years, Mike has been teaching principles and best practices of predictive modeling to a broad audience of emerging data scientists.

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Adam Trexler, Ph.D.

Data Scientist

Dr. Adam Trexler brings over a decade of experience, and enthusiasm for data-based problem solving, to Elder Research. His scientific training and postdoctoral work focused on the molecular features of human disease with an emphasis on efficient data processing, image reconstruction, and clustering methods. Recently, he applied machine learning and anomaly detection techniques to personnel security and insider threat applications for the US Army.

Adam earned a PhD in biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University after majoring in biology at McDaniel College. In his free time, Adam enjoys running, hiking, and cooking.

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Niral Upadhyaya

Senior Data Scientist

Niral Upadhyaya enjoys gaining valuable insights from available data and currently works on fraud detection and data visualization.  Prior to Elder Research, Niral worked for a global information technology consulting firm where she acquired experience in biometrics and problem solving across all phases of the software development life cycle.  Her interests in data mining were realized through evaluation of three biometric solutions, analysis of data integrity, and identification of monthly trends and cost performance.  Niral earned a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia and an M.S in Analytics from the Institute for Advanced Analytics at North Carolina State University.

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Frank Walsh

Data Scientist

Frank brings a passion for solving problems and a creative mindset to his position as Data Scientist at Elder Research. He earned a BS in Business Administration with a second major in Statistics & Analytics from the University of North Carolina. During his time at UNC, Frank enjoyed teaching statistics to others as a teaching assistant and a tutor. He went on to obtain an MS in Analytics from the Institute for Advanced Analytics at North Carolina State University. While working on his Practicum Project there, Frank employed text mining and machine learning to categorize restaurant menu items automatically.

In his free time, Frank enjoys playing disc golf, watching (and attempting to play) basketball, and going to see live music.

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Kirsty Ward

Data Scientist

Kirsty’s background in scientific research sparked a passion for discovery and analysis. Previously, she worked in a quantitative genetics laboratory studying the genetic architecture of complex traits such as aggression and lifespan. Her love for learning led her to pursue a MS in Analytics from NC State University, where she dove into a customer segmentation project for a financial services company.

At Elder Research, Kirsty’s work has included building healthcare machine learning models, designing and teaching data science topics, and validating models for maritime risks.

A proud Wolfpack alumna, Kirsty also holds a BS in Genetics from NC State University.

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Jeffrey Whittemore

Director and Senior Data Scientist

Director and Senior Data Scientist Jeffrey Whittemore has more than ten years of experience in machine learning, analytics and predictive modeling.  He has both led and been a vital technical member of projects in a wide range of disciplines including insider threat, fraud detection, churn modeling, text mining, credit scoring, crime analysis, and risk prioritization.  Jeff is active in business development, operations, and recruiting for Elder Research.

Jeff received a BS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia, where he worked in the computational systems biology laboratory.  Outside of work, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, playing all sports, hiking, and all things related to Boston and UVA athletics.

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Evan Wimpey

Data Scientist

Data Scientist Evan Wimpey brings his military experience to delivering client solutions at Elder Research. As a Financial Management Officer, he used operational data to help military units establish budgets and prioritize training exercises. Evan appreciated learning to extract insights from data to drive effective schedules.

Evan earned an MS in Economics from East Carolina University and an MS in Analytics from the Institute for Advanced Analytics at NC State University where he led a customer segmentation project for a retail company. 

He loves teaching and learning and can often be found exploring the outdoors with his wife and two sons. 

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Michael Wingate

Analyst

Michael Wingate enjoys solving complex problems by breaking them down into their core elements. Mr. Wingate develops web-based software applications, including one that displays and analyzes national cancer research study data using the latest JavaScript tools. Michael graduated from Messiah College with a BA in Mathematics with Minors in Statistics and Computer Science. He and his wife, Amanda, enjoy volunteering for their home church. He loves to spend his spare time rock climbing, reading, building computers, and playing games.

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Christina Wong

Analytics Engagement Manager

Christina Wong is a skilled project manager with a decade of experience providing technical consulting and project management to multinational corporations and law firms in fraud investigations, e-Discovery and litigation management, and regulatory compliance issues across multiple industries. She works closely with clients to effectively leverage data analytics to transform large and complex datasets into intuitive and relevant business intelligence to make data-driven decisions.

Christina holds a B.A. in Foreign Affairs, East Asian Studies from the University of Virginia and is a Certified Fraud Examiner. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, photography and spending time with family and friends.

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Valerie Woodside

Administrative Assistant

Valerie serves as an Administrative Assistant in our Charlottesville office. She is a graduate of Grove City College, where she studied biology and religion. Valerie has broad experience that includes work in mental health, retail management and financial research. She is also an active volunteer, most recently serving as an employment skills mentor. She and her husband love traveling, literature and movies.

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Ramzi Ziade

Analytics Engagement Manager

Ramzi Ziade earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an M.S. in Operations Research from North Carolina State University. This combination of degrees gave him the opportunity to take on an internal consulting role in the analytics group of the largest oil refiner in the U.S. During these seven years, Ramzi implemented predictive modeling, optimization and operations research techniques to help upper management with planning and decision making. An entrepreneurial urge led him, along with fellow NCSU engineering colleagues, to cofound and successfully run a computer hardware company. From these two career experiences, Ramzi brings both technical consulting and entrepreneurial skills to his role in managing client relationships and projects at Elder Research.

When not dealing with data and clients Ramzi enjoys good food, good company and “friendly” competition in sports and games. You can also find him on the soccer sidelines with his wife cheering the loudest for their two daughters.

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