Our Staff

Barbara Gassaway

Barbara Gassaway
President/CEO, Moderator

Email: bg@researchgrp.com or barbara@obaltimore.com

Named one of "Maryland's Top Business Women" and "Future 50 Companies" by Smart CEO magazine, Barbara has over 20 years of creative market research experience in the health care and consumer industries. A differentiator appreciated by clients and colleagues is Barbara's comprehensive understanding of strategic marketing principals, along with current trends and practices in the qualitative sciences.

As a seasoned research consultant and RIVA trainer, she is considered by many to be one of the nation's market research industry leaders. She is expert in managing client teams, project priorities, and creatively implementing methodologies to discover intimate, underlying feelings from respondents. A loyal client refers to Barbara as the "rock star of moderators."

Debora Davis

Debora Davis
Director of Finance & Human Resources

Email: debora@obaltimore.com

As the Research Group's Director of Finance, Debora works closely with Observation Baltimore's senior management to ensure the financial health of the organization. As such, Debora executes financial policies, develops and keeps staff accountable to budgets, manages capital, and supervises all financial transactions. Her responsibilities include client invoicing and project budgets.

Debora's Human Resources' responsibilities include hiring, employee on-boarding exam administration, benefits, and assisting managers with employee accountability.

Debora worked as Director of Operations with The Harbor Sales Company, was with Observation Baltimore from 1993 to 2003, and returned in 2010. Her extensive experience in financial services began at Price Waterhouse, along with an impressive tenure as Assistant Comptroller at Kirk Stieff.

Ryan Ross

Ryan Ross
Account Executive

Email: ryan@obaltimore.com

As Account Executive, Ryan serves as the primary point of contact for all proposals and sales efforts. He works closely with clients to establish project logistics, present accurate cost proposals, and cultivate business development efforts. Ryan's passion for satisfying client needs and cultivating strong relationships represents how Observation Baltimore will provide the environment to help your research thrive.

Ryan joins Observation Baltimore with over 10 years of sales and marketing experience. Ryan earned a Bachelors of Science in Sports Management with a minor in Business Administration from Limestone College and holds a Master's in Project Management from Keller Graduate School of Management.

Alex Leisawitz

Alex Leisawitz
Project Coordinator

Email: research@obaltimore.com

As Project Coordinator, Alex oversees the day-to-day details of recruiting projects. Alex's degree in psychology laid the foundation for a deep understanding of the core components of research and the impact research has on making better business decisions.

With a keen eye for details, Alex ensures that recruited respondents are the exact participants our clients are looking for. He keeps clients updated daily with the status of their recruits and ensures a seemless project from start to finish.

Molly McNerney

Molly McNerney
Recruiting Supervisor

Email: supervisor@obaltimore.com

As recruiting supervisor Molly oversees the search for and screening process of potential respondents. Molly comes to us with 7 years of experience in management and customer service. She earned her BA in Mass Communications from Towson University, where she double majored in Advertising and Public Relations. With her leadership skills and dedication to success you can be assured our recruitment team will find the accurate respondents to make your project a success.

Kathryn Abrahamsen

Kathryn Abrahamsen
Project Associate

Email: kathryn@obaltimore.com

As the Frontline Project Associate, Kathryn oversees all aspects of client and respondent details for upcoming projects. Kathryn comes to us with a degree in Advertising from Penn State and experience in the fields of Marketing and Administration. She has a keen eye for details and ensures that all aspects of project completion are done thoroughly. Working at the front desk, Kathryn welcomes all clientele and manages communication. With her key organizational skills and efficient work ethic you can be sure all projects are executed with success.

Karen Hernandez

Karen Hernandez
Senior Medical Recruiter

Email: karen@obaltimore.com

Karen is a seasoned research manager with over 16 years of experience in the industry. Her experience in staff training, client relations, and project management provide valuable leadership for our recruitment and interviewing team. Karen's 6 year tenure with Observation Baltimore was preceded by 10 years at Quicktest/Heakin Research.

Along with an in-depth understanding of recruitment quotas and algorithm methods, Karen's exemplary interpersonal skills allow her to work successfully with clients, physicians, and staff to attain project objectives and quality recruits.

Claire Howachyn

Claire Howachyn
Research Associate

Email: claire@researchgrp.com

As The Research Groupís Research Associate, Claire supports all aspects of market research projects. With a Bachelorís of Arts degree in Communications and Social Influence from the University of Maryland, College Park, Claire is well equipped in both human behavior and language arts. Academic experience in the research process provides her with a strong understanding of the fundamental benefits of market research. Skills in research methods and report writing gained from these academic projects aid Claireís ability for attentiveness to data collection detail, with analysis that provides insights that are appropriate and actionable. Claire demonstrates dedication to providing the best possible experience to all clients, helping to make all of The Research Groupís and Observation Baltimoreís projects run smoothly and effectively.

Gisella Frisone

Gisella Frisone'
Hospitality Coordinator

Email: info@obaltimore.com

As Observation Baltimore's in-house Chef, Gisella brings over 25 years of hospitality and restaurant experience to her position. As famous as her Italian-born hospitable personality, Gisella creates fabulous and festive menus that satiate the most sophisticated palates. Although she is best known for her scrumptious desserts, her skill in anticipating a client's need is unparalleled.

Gisella's team is responsible for facility preparation, food and catering, and ensuring all in-house client requests are accommodated. She and her hospitality team's priority is moderator care, and with great pleasure are proactively attentive to every client's comfort.




Baltimore Maryland's premier medical research, consumer research, market research and focus group facility. Observation Baltimore offices in Baltimore, Maryland, MD