Our Staff

Barbara Gassaway

President/CEO, Moderator

A 2017 Maryland’s Top 100 Women by The Daily Record, Capitol Region (2017) & State of Maryland (2015) Top 100 MBE, & 2nd Chair, Board of Directors. Y of Central Maryland, Barbara is the principal of The Research Group. As a seasoned research consultant and RIVA faculty, she has earned the respect of both clients and peers. Considered one of the nation’s market research industry leaders, Barbara is an active lecturer on the topics of market research best practices, human behavior, physician access, & brand strategy.


Over 15 years of creative market research experience in the healthcare industry. A differentiator appreciated by clients and colleagues is Barbara’s comprehensive understanding of strategic marketing principles along with current trends and practices in qualitative behavioral science. She is expert in managing client teams, project priorities, and creatively implementing methodologies to discover intimate, underlying feelings from respondents.


Debora Davis

Senior Vice President of Finance

As the Research Group’s Senior Vice President 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.


Karly Richins

Director of Marketing

As Director of Marketing, Karly will create relationships with outside companies and help expand our brand. She will work with these companies to create research plans that allow them to gain extensive customer insight. Karly will focus on creating awareness and the need for market research in our region. Karly is also tasked with planning, coordinating, and executing marketing initiatives


She comes to us with over 5 years of management and business development experience. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Entrepreneurship from York College of PA. Karly hopes to use her expertise and knowledge to ensure clients are getting the information needed to help grow their businesses.


Molly (McNerney) Petro

Vice President, Operations

As Vice President of Operations, Molly oversees the day-to-day operations of Observation Baltimore. Molly is an experienced Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the market research industry. She is skilled in Project Management, Market Research recruiting, Topline and in-depth report writing, and Database Management. She earned her BA in Mass Communications from Towson University, where she double majored in Advertising and Public Relations.


Molly has 15 years of Management experience and joined the Observation Baltimore team in 2013. With a keen eye for details, Molly ensures a seamless project from start to finish.


Karen Hernandez

Senior Recruiter/Healthcare/Liaison

Karen is a seasoned researcher with over 20 years of market research experience. Her experience in staff training, client relations, and project management provide valuable leadership for our recruitment and interviewing teams. Karen has shared her expertise with Observation Baltimore for over a decade.


Along with an in-depth understanding of recruitment quotas and algorithm methods, Karen’s exemplary interpersonal skills allow her to work successfully with internal and external stakeholders to attain project objectives and quality recruits.



Adam Olhausen

Project Associate

As Project Associate, Adam, alongside the Project Manager oversees the operations of the recruiting center. Adam utilizes his seasoned supervising skills to ensure the recruiting staff adheres to quotas and project scope requirements. His primary objective is to deliver a recruit that produces optimal results for the client.

Adam earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Minor in History from Arizona State University and brings with him 6 years of management and communications experience. Having extensive interpersonal and problem-solving skills through working years in the rough and tumble field of political fundraising and campaigns, he understands time management and sustaining business partnerships is critical. Adam successfully balances the multifaceted tasks of supervising and focus group recruiting in a timely and effective manner.


Brittany Wight

Consumer Relationship Specialist

As the Consumer Relationship Specialist, Brittany builds relationships and successfully grows Observation Baltimore’s database with respondents who have desirable attributes and demographics.


Brittany has been working with Observation Baltimore for 4 years and has a deep understanding of the Market Research industry.


Gisella Frisone

Hospitality Coordinator

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.