Subscribe to the Hartbeat newsletter The Hartman Group on Twitter The Hartman Group on facebook The Hartman Group on LinkedIn  Hartbeat blog
The Hartman Group: Research, Consulting, Customized
A.C.T. Seattle - Health and Wellness
Hartbeat Scribe Vista insightful videos
home : about : leadership

Our Management Team

At The Hartman Group, we are proud of the strong, enduring relationships we build with clients. The customized solutions we provide are driven by our deep commitment to understanding clients' business needs, their challenges and provide successful outcomes. With decades of significant industry and business experience, The Hartman Group's management team inspires and guides its talented staff of fulltime social scientists, business analysts and marketers.

Harvey Hartman : Founder and Chairman

Harvey HartmanHarvey has earned a reputation among his many Fortune 500 clients for accurately translating how shifts in consumer behavior can be converted into solutions for overcoming growth and innovation challenges. Since founding the company in 1989, Harvey's been the soul, inspiration and charismatic force guiding Hartman Group's success. Under his leadership, Hartman Group has become recognized as the leading authority on consumer culture in America.

With a knack for seeing what others can't, the media frequently turns to Harvey for thought-provoking insights and commentary on the influential factors at play in a consumer-driven marketplace. His insightful quotes regularly appear in the national media including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, and USA Today. He is a well-known speaker regularly called upon to deliver keynote presentations at industry conferences, business school lectures, and client summits around the world.

Harvey's extensive international expertise in research, cultural branding and shopper insights have been used to help clients advance their business initiatives, including Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch, ConAgra Foods, Nestle, Whole Foods Market, Safeway, Walmart, McDonald's, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson and many others.

A former Fortune 500 senior executive, Harvey is the author of four marketing texts, including Reflections On a Cultural Brand and A Brand Called Hope: Reimagining Consumer Culture.

Harvey consults to senior executives across industries in consumer packaged goods, retail, food and beverage, food service, hospitality, personal care, and pharmaceutical.

Harvey received his Bachelor of Science in Business and Marketing from St. Louis University. In 2012, Harvey was inducted into the St. Louis University Smurfit Stone Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame.

Laurie Demeritt : Chief Executive Officer

Laurie DemerittAs Chief Executive Officer, Laurie Demeritt drives the strategic and operational direction for The Hartman Group's research and consulting teams. Laurie and The Hartman Group's social scientists and business analysts are recognized for their unique ability to blend primary qualitative, quantitative and trends research to help clients develop successful marketing strategies by understanding the subtle complexities of how consumers live, shop and use products, and how to apply that understanding in ways that lead to purchase. She can be reached at:

A nationally recognized authority on consumer behavior, Laurie is highly sought after as a keynote speaker at industry conferences and client events. Her insightful quotes appear frequently in national media and industry journals such as The New York Times, National Public Radio, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Progressive Grocer, Food Business News, Forbes and many others.

Early in her career at Hartman Group, Laurie paved the way to innovate a new way to understand consumer behavior in what has become known as the Hartman World Model, a type of segmentation based on consumers' level of intensity in a given "world of activity" rather than standard demographics. Clients have found this proven worldview approach highly successful and inspirational in innovation, building brands, new product development, creating compelling product and retail experiences, and developing marketing strategies that connect with consumers and engage shoppers.

Laurie received her MBA in Marketing and Environmental Management from the University of Washington and her BA in Political Science from Cornell University.

James Richardson, Ph.D. : Senior Vice President, Knowledge and Innovation

James RichardsonJames is a professionally trained cultural anthropologist turned marketing consultant. He has studied consumer behavior in food and beverage for twelve years, working with a variety of clients from Whole Foods Market to Walmart. In his current role, he oversees the development of Hartman’s intellectual property and analytical toolkit to ensure that the company is filling critical knowledge gaps in the food and beverage industry. He is the creator and author of Hartman’s quarterly whitepaper series on strategic issues facing the food industry: Hartbeat Exec. James’ unique perspective on food marketing and innovation draws on his doctoral training as a cultural anthropologist and twelve years of market research and innovation consulting for leading food companies based in the U.S.

James holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from University of Wisconsin-Madison and BA in Anthropology from Harvard.

Donna Duncanson : Senior Vice President, Research Operations

Donna DuncansonDonna is responsible for the Ethnographic and Quantitative Research teams at The Hartman Group, bringing client-side experience in food and beverage marketing and consumer insights. Prior to joining Hartman Group, she served as Vice President of Marketing for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, one of the leading portfolio wine companies in the country. Her experience includes strategic planning, new product development, advertising, consumer research and brand building in both retail and food service channels.

  • MBA, University of Oregon
  • BS, The College of Human Ecology, Michigan State University

Shelley Balanko, Ph.D. : Senior Vice President, Business Development

Shelley BalankoIn a world where complex, constantly changing and unpredictable consumers rule the marketplace, how do companies begin to make sense of it all?

With a first love in understanding people, this is just the type of question Shelley Balanko relishes. After years studying consumer behavior as an ethnographer and then directing The Hartman Group's Analytic and Worldview teams, Shelley now leads The Hartman Group's Business Development. The listening, questioning, and observation skills she applied to understanding consumers' struggles and desires are now applied to understanding client business challenges and insight needs.

As an experienced speaker, Shelley looks forward to opportunities where she can share leading-edge insight from the field, an understanding of the evolving consumer culture, and effectively communicate the implications to diverse audiences across the consumer packaged goods and retailing marketplace.

An ideal resource for business leaders and marketers, Shelley Balanko has an informed understanding of social and cultural influences impacting the marketplace of today and tomorrow. She has served clients in healthcare, social services, education, technology, manufacturing, retail, and foodservice. Shelley Balanko graduated from the University of Windsor with a Ph.D. in Applied Social Psychology. She has a MA in Applied Social Psychology from the University of Saskatchewan and a BA in Psychology from the University of British Columbia.

rfp logo
Hartbeat Vista       
Hartman Retainer Services       
Custom Research       
Hartman Strategy

© 2015 The Hartman Group, Inc. 3150 Richards Rd Suite 200, Bellevue, WA 98005 All rights reserved.