TEAM

We are innovative and experienced strategic thinkers, problem solvers and researchers. Our team consists of professionals with different experiences and backgrounds, ranging from financial services, to travel and leisure to communications, entertainment, healthcare and everything in between. Our diverse backgrounds and experiences enable us to grasp business issues unique to a client’s industry and the target they are trying to reach and employ a strategic approach to solving the problem.

Iris Yim

Principal

With over ten years of experience in the industry, Iris has led a wide-ranging variety of strategic projects. Her experience in both qualitative and quantitative research across multiple cultural segments makes her a versatile researcher that approaches research in a holistic and innovative way to solve clients’ business problems and uncover insights. A natural extrovert, she brings her passion, forthrightness and creativity to every project.

Prior to forming Sparkle Insights, Iris was a senior project director at Phoenix Marketing International working with Fortune 500 companies across industries to better connect with multicultural consumers. She is one of the authors of the award winning Asian American Market Report and serves on the board of Asian American Advertising Federation.

Iris has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in public relations from the University of Southern California. She currently resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with her husband and two children.

Patricia Lopez

Senior Consultant

With over 20 years of qualitative research experience, Patricia quickly recognizes patterns, easily sees the “big picture” and provides the emotional intelligence required to make the very best business decisions in today’s marketplace. Having moderated hundreds of focus groups with General Market and Hispanic consumers across acculturation levels, she has developed a deep understanding of cultural nuances and how these relate to the research findings; enabling her to provide clients with rich cultural insights and actionable business recommendations.

Previously, Patricia served as Qualitative Research Director at Phoenix Marketing International (PMI) where she designed, managed and executed qualitative research for Fortune 500 companies such as NBCUniversal/Telemundo, Nickelodeon, Disney Chanel, Bank of America, Chase, Kraft, Kimberly Clark, General Mills, AARP, United HealthCare, AARP, Target, Toyota, Honda, PepsiCo, Carl’s Jr., Taco Bell, and McDonald’s among others.

Patricia is experienced in many qualitative methodologies particularly testing ads, concepts and product packaging, program (content) research as well as website usability studies and ideation sessions. In addition to traditional focus groups, her qualitative research experience includes ethnographic research, shop-alongs, dial-test studies, biometrics, online community boards, maxi groups, dyads and one-on-one interviews. In addition, she has special experience conducting groups with seniors, children, tweens, and teens.

Ren Pan

Senior Consultant

Ren Pan offers more than a decade experience in the manufacturing industry, driving achievement of sales and market share growth, new market exploration, brand development, product launch, distribution expansion and operations efficiency goals. As a Global Product Strategy leader and an Entrepreneur, Ren brings valuable insight and knowledge regarding the product portfolio development and consumer behavior in high-growth markets, particularly the emerging markets.

Starting his career as an Automotive Engineer, Ren developed an interest in corporate strategy of defining a product portfolio to meet customer requirements for global products through insightful consumer and competitor research. Leveraging an ever-expanding portfolio of qualifications covering marketing strategy, product planning and operations, Ren pioneered initiatives of joint venture research, consumer behavior study, distribution expansion, volume and pricing forecasts and other key strategic opportunities that have a truly impact on corporate sales and profit.

Ren leveraged his industrial experience and network to co-found Astre Technologies, LLC in the machinery test instruments business with supply china in China and customers around the world. Under his leadership in global sales and customer relationship management, the business grew at a 10% annual rate from 2008 to 2013.

As an activist in promoting career developments among Chinese communities, Ren co-founded a non-profit organization CCU (Chinese Career Union) to provide a network platform and training opportunities to Chinese professionals in US and abroad.

Ren holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alabama.

Macuqui Robau-Garcia

Strategic Partner & Moderator

A native of Cuba, Macuqui Robau-Garcia is skilled at conducting all types of qualitative research in Spanish and English with homemakers, seniors, teens, children and business owners in a wide range of industries. She has experience in exploratory research, product and concept positioning, ad/copy testing, package and taste tests, and internet usability studies and has worked with a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies including Philip Morris, Frito-Lay, PepsiCo, ConAgra Foods, Tyson, Bank of America, Visa, AT&T, State Farm, Wal*Mart, Hallmark, Telemundo, Ford, Abbot, Sanofi and Novartis among others.

Macuqui Robau-Garcia is a bilingual/bicultural moderator and qualitative research specialist with over 15 years of industry experience focusing on both the general and Hispanic markets.

Her background in marketing and advertising gathered from her years as an Account Supervisor at Lopez Negrete Communications and La Agencia de Orci contributes to her ability to articulate insightful debriefings and strategic actionable recommendations.

In the field of Hispanic research, Macuqui brings to the table an intrinsic understanding of the cultural nuances inherent in the Latino culture due to her years of living in Cuba, Mexico, and numerous high density Hispanic markets in the US (Miami, Phoenix, Houston, and Los Angeles). She has a deep understanding of the Hispanic market which allows for a culturally sensitive approach that puts the respondents at ease even on issues that are traditionally difficult to engage.

Hanh Bui

Project Manager

Hanh has a diverse academic background spanning an interdisciplinary range of subjects from foreign studies to social science to market research. As an experienced researcher, she has managed qualitative and quantitative studies including coordinating and recruiting research participants for various social science and market research projects. She is also well-versed in using different research methodologies. Previously, Hanh worked as a project coordinator /field director at Phoenix Marketing International (PMI), and as a research associate at San Diego State University and the University of Michigan. Hanh has a master’s degree in Educational studies from the University of Michigan.