EPIC Board & Staff

Everything EPIC does is powered by Members in collaboration with our small but mighty staff, and guided by a volunteer board. Meet our team and get in touch—we'd love to hear from you!


photo of Simon Roberts
Simon Roberts, Board President
Stripe Partners, London, UK

Simon Roberts considers himself to have the best job in the world: researching the emerging frontiers of people and technology and trying to land that understanding with impact in complex environments. His career began with a PhD on the satellite TV revolution in mid 1990s India. He started the UK’s first dedicated ethnographic research company, Ideas Bazaar, before leading an R&D team at Intel’s Digital Health Group. In 2013, Simon co-founded Stripe Partners, a strategy and innovation consultancy. Simon first attended EPIC in 2005, and in the years since he’s been an author/presenter, curator, peer reviewer, and co-chair of EPIC2012 and EPIC2013. He writes and speaks widely on anthropology, ethnography, and technology, and his book The Power of Not Thinking was published in 2020. Read more by and about Simon.

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Nichole Carelock
Tech Talent Project, Maryland, USA

Nichole Carelock is an anthropologist with 10+ years experience building technical solutions that not only work for people, but with people. She currently works to ensure the Presidential Transition Teams are equipped with the right Tech Policy, People and Practices to succeed. Her expertise spans from service design for systems with millions of users, to intimate cottage industry ethnographies. She belongs to and serves many communities including AfroTech, User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA), and the American Anthropological Association(AAA). In addition, Nichole is passionate about digital services for vulnerable populations and prides herself on being a "slow thinker" in her world of "failing fast" "rapid iteration" and "disruption." Through slow thinking Nichole works to ensure that innovation, strategies, processes and products are anchored in what matters to people in their everyday lives today and over time.

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Martha Cotton, Board Treasurer
Fjord, Chicago, USA

Martha Cotton is a Managing Director with Accenture and is the global lead of Design Research for Fjord, Accenture’s design agency. For over twenty years Martha has worked as an applied ethnographer across multiple industries and collaborated with a range of practitioners including designers, engineers, business analysts, marcomms, and brand strategists. Prior to joining Fjord, she was a partner at gravitytank and had leadership roles at HLB, Hall & Partners and Sapient. Martha is on the faculty of Northwestern University's MMM program—the Kellogg School of Management's marquee Design Thinking degree—where she developed and now teaches the Design Research curriculum. She is proud to have been at every single EPIC conference since it began, and has co-led the development of EPIC's learning initiative.

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Gary Gebhardt
HEC Montréal, Canada

Gary F. Gebhardt is Associate Professor of Marketing at HEC Montréal. After working as a consultant and manager in business for thirteen years, he began his doctoral studies in 1998 at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, where John F. Sherry, Jr. was his dissertation co-chair. Gary uses ethnographic methods in his research, including his work on how firms change their culture to be more market-oriented and how market research is successfully communicated and used within organizations. Gary me ken anderson, the co-founder of EPIC, when ken spoke about “Ethnography Inside” at a Marketing Science Institute conference in 2006. Since attending EPIC2012 in Savannah, Georgia, Gary has been involved with EPIC in various capacities, including being part of the inaugural committee on cases studies for EPIC2016 with Simon Roberts, co-chairing EPIC2017 at HEC Montréal with Rita Denny, and providing marketing advice to EPIC.

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Carol Zatorre
Kyvo, São Paulo, Brazil

Carol Zatorre is an anthropologist and expert in research with design teams for Fortune 500 brands with experience across retail, manufacturing, financial, service, and start-up sectors. She works on strategic projects through ethnographic research grounded in anthropological theory. Carol is also a lecturer of Design Research at the Graduate Program in Human-Centered Design at Positivo University. She began her career as a social researcher with AntropoloDia, and has worked for companies such as Tigre, Gazeta do Povo, Samsung, Whirlpool, Itaú, Visa, Mapfre, Banco do Brasil, Bradesco, Porto Seguro, Multiplus, Globosat, Uber, and others. In addition, she worked for consultancies such as McKinsey, Insitum, and Box1824. Nowadays, she is co-founder and head of research at Kyvo, a global consultancy that uses the approach of design-driven innovation to deliver memorable services. Carol holds a bachelor degree in Social Sciences from UFPR (Federal University of Parana, Brazil).

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Rita Denny, Executive Director
Chicago, USA

As an anthropologist Rita calls on linguistic, semiotic and symbolic traditions to interpret attitudes, perceptions and practices. Rita’s work has supported strategic development of products, services and brands as well as communications strategies for Fortune Global 500 companies, government agencies and public institutions. She is a founding partner of Practica Group and teaches a field course in cultural analysis in the IMC program at Northwestern University. Her goal at EPIC is to hone the eloquent voice of ethnographic practice in industries around the globe and support community efforts to change how organizations think. Rita holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago and is a dedicated Lake Michigan swimmer. rdenny@epicpeople.org

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Jennifer Collier Jennings
Director of Content & Comms
California, USA

Jennifer is EPIC’s Director of Content and Communications; other relevant titles might be Jill of All Trades, Dot Connector, Ringmaster, Ghostwriter, and Chief Canine Cuddler. She has worked in applied social science for more than 20 years, and holds degrees in anthropology, geography and environmental studies. She manages epicpeople.org; develops articles, talks, courses, and other EPIC programming; and supports the incredible teams of EPIC people who power our annual conference. Everything she does is a partnership with our members, and she'd love to hear from you: What does ethnography look like in your practice? What are you working on, and what inspires and challenges you? jcj@epicpeople.org

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Eliza Parish
Membership & Operations Manager
Texas, USA

Eliza Parish is the Operations and Membership Manager at EPIC. She has a background in nonprofit work and human rights, technical platforms and even spent a few years owning and running her own bakery business. She's always interested in working towards the greater social good (through cake and kindness). She lives in Texas with her two little kids and family. eliza@epicpeople.org