A Little About Big Sofa

Big Sofa is a disruptive technology company. We combine technology with our skills in research to help our clients get the most from their video, image and audio files.

Throughout our evolution we’ve drawn heavily on our research and commercial backgrounds, putting the focus on human interaction and business application. The result is a platform which is intuitive to use and allows our clients to analyse quicker, faster and better.

Five years ago our vision was to bring consumers’ stories to life on video. We took a real sofa out on the streets and created our own authentic, conversational video content. Nowadays we’ve ditched the physical sofa - dealing in media captured by our clients in any number of ways from in-home cameras to mobile capture apps. We combine our skills and tech to ensure that they derive maximum value from the multi-layered insight that exists within every piece of media. Our platform also allows clients to store, share and repurpose video, images and audio files from historic projects.

Meet the team that keeps our tech great and market-leading.

Meet the Team

Simon Lidington

Chief Executive Officer

Matt Lynch

Chief Strategy Officer

Richard Collins

Chief Customer Officer

Joe MacCarthy

Chief Financial Officer

Hugh Reid

Chief Technical Officer

Sam Paice

Client Director

Alicia Nicholls

Senior Insight Consultant

Lauren Docampo

Consultant

Johan van Meeuwen

Consultant

Flora Somogyi

Consultant

Claire Fenton

Marketing Director

Sally Brogan

Product Director

Alex Jordan

Product Manager

Ipek L'Aimable

Marketing Executive

Lauren Kelleher

Finance Manager

Martin Chapman

Systems Architect

Krzysztof Kaczmarczyk

Developer

Rob Gilbert

Front End Developer

Elias Damastiotis

System Administrator

Our US Team

Steven M. Aukers Ph.D

President & Chief Executive Officer

Kevin Dermody

Chief Operating Officer

Sheri Lambert

Chief Growth Officer

Michele Salomon

Client Services Director

Emily Grogan

Client Services Director

Brian Livell

Senior Consultant

Simon Lidington

Chief Executive Officer

Over the last 35 years, Simon has worked across many sectors and built enduring relationships at senior levels with many blue chip clients including Audi, Regus, QVC, Volkswagen Group, Prodrive, B.A.R, Coca Cola, Vauxhall Motors, Barclays, VW Financial Services, NatWest, Alliance & Leicester, Nokia, the Office of Government Commerce, Business in the Community, Royal Mail Wholesale, Amex, Citroen UK and many others.

Simon set up Big Sofa in 2005 as a creative consultancy aimed at helping clients improve their staff and customer experience. Having worked extensively as a management consultant with CEOs, Boards and management teams - as well as serving as a CEO at Research International for 18 months - Simon could see the potential for a new kind of consultancy that harnessed conversation, collaboration and co-creation to build organizational strength and performance through people. He is regarded as a thought leader in the consumer intelligence industry.

Simon has an Honours BA in Sociology and a Masters in Interorganisational Relations both from Exeter University, and an Honorary Doctorate from Middlesex University. He is a Fellow of the Market Research Society, a Fellow of the RSA, and sat on the Advisory Council for the Economic & Social Research Council's 'Cultures of Consumption' Programme between 2003-8. He is married with 4 grown up children and is a West Ham supporter.

Matt Lynch

Chief Strategy Officer

Matt heads up our client strategy, helping current and future clients to get maximum value from the application of our technology and thinking.

He began his career in marketing and category management, before broadening his experience in a range of research and consulting roles. After completing a Masters in Organisational Behaviour, Matt joined up with Simon to establish Big Sofa as a modern, agile insight business that balances humanity with automation.

Matt is experienced in leading projects for blue chip brands like Coca Cola, Unilever, BP and Barclays, working within and alongside global agencies, and collaborating with tech start-ups. He combines strategy, creativity and delivery in an informal approach that is commercially grounded and direct.

Richard Collins

Chief Customer Officer

Richard has spent the last 25 years working at technology providers within the market research industry. Richard’s experience includes senior roles at IBM/SPSS, Confirmit and most recently he founded Decipher’s EMEA operation in London (latterly acquired by FocusVision). Richard understands both quant & qual research methodologies and sees video as one of the key growth areas in the research industry, as a natural way to humanise the numbers.

Richard lives in Guildford, a market town, a few miles south west of London in the beautiful Surrey Hills.

Joe MacCarthy

Chief Financial Officer

Joe started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers and for the past 10 years has been working in investment management, with a particular focus on start-ups and smaller company investing. He has been responsible for managing more than £100m of investments across a variety of sectors including media and infrastructure.

Joe holds a degree in Economics from Durham University, is a Chartered Accountant and also holds a Diploma in Corporate Finance from the ICAEW. Joe joined Big Sofa as CFO in 2016.

Hugh Reid

Chief Technical Officer

Hugh is an experienced CTO with a background in delivering strategic innovative solutions and technical leadership in start-up and enterprise scale companies.

Hugh has worked in a number of industry sectors including media, defence, transport, banking & insurance.

Sam Paice

Client Director

Sam joined us in 2011, and since then he’s worked with all of our major insight clients across a broad range of industries, helping them think differently about how they collect, manage and use video, audio and images from multiple sources.

Creating deep, shared consumer understanding and better collaboration in increasingly 'noisy' digital organisations means using skills from a mix of disciplines from insight and analysis through organisational understanding and consulting to client and business development. With the amount of new technologies competing for time and space in staff workflows, he's passionate about working with our team and our clients to keep Big Sofa ahead of the curve a platform that earns its place in organisations by creating efficiencies, adding value and being genuinely helpful for the people who use it.

Alicia Nicholls

Senior Insight Consultant

Alicia joins Big Sofa having worked for 5 years in both quant and qual research. As a Millennial (though hating the label), she is keen to stay on top of trends and well as remain relevant in research. She sees enormous value in using video to connect with consumers and internal stakeholders. Outside of work, you’ll find Alicia planning her next holiday or visiting the various markets of South East London.

Lauren Docampo

Consultant

Lauren's training and early experience was in Production Management. She joined Big Sofa in 2012 to assist on location during filming and then went on to use her expertise in a role which involved managing all aspects of production from pre to post for global client projects. Although these skills are still invaluable to Big Sofa, she has now taken on a new role in the Digital Team. This involves managing digital projects, helping facilitate the implementation of an agile framework and efficient development process and assisting with user testing.

Johan van Meeuwen

Consultant

Johan joined us in 2016 as a project manager in our growing client services team. He moved from the University of Exeter, where he worked and also graduated from, with a degree in Business and Management with Industrial Experience. Johan works on all stages of project delivery and is passionate about working closely with clients to help derive significant value from Big Sofa technology. He will also happily accept anyone's challenge to a game of squash!

Flora Somogyi

Consultant

Flora joined Big Sofa in November 2016 as a Junior Consultant on the Client Service team, focusing on insight and analysis and working on digital projects. Her passion for research is the reason behind her education and extensive experience with research jobs and projects before Big Sofa, she was a postgraduate student at University College London (studying political sociology), a junior researcher on a range of freelance projects, and an intern at Streetbees. She brings her devotion to research, analytical skill and a constantly curious mind to the team.

Claire Fenton

Marketing Director

Claire is Big Sofa’s Marketing Director. Working with clients on a range of projects from initial discussion to delivery of the technology and project outputs she is ideally positioned to ensure the Big Sofa philosophy and offer is effectively communicated to clients and partners. Her expertise in Digital Marketing means she takes an innovative approach to improving brand presence, creates attention-grabbing marketing materials, external communications and is instrumental in generating new business. Claire’s knowledge of our product and ability to engage and understand what clients both want and need, make her a natural at selling Big Sofa.

She started her career in event management in Edinburgh and London and put these skills to use when she joined Big Sofa in 2012, she still gets to put it to occasional use organising events for the team!

Claire studied at the University of St Andrews graduating in 2010 with an MA in Mediaeval History.

Sally Brogan

Product Director

Sally is Head of Product and Product Operations at Big Sofa. Her role involves managing the evolutionary journey of Big Sofa’s product offering. She works closely with the client services, technical, marketing, sales and commercial teams to ensure Big Sofa provides an innovative offering of technology and services that meet our clients’ needs and delivers value.

Her previous experience at Big Sofa covers a range of business functions from heading up Operations, Logistics and Project Management to Account Management. Her ever growing technical competence and understanding of approaches to development has enabled her to become heavily involved in the product delivery and technical integration projects leading to transition to her current role. Her experience has provided her with a solid understanding of market needs and the commercial instinct to develop viable product lines that delight users.

Alex Jordan

Product Manager

Alex joined Big Sofa in August 2016 as a Product Manager. His role involves contributing to development and ongoing improvement of the Products and Services we offer clients by really understanding the market needs and translating them into viable commercial offerings.

He takes on strategic projects around both internal business operations and also development of new product features and functionality.

His background in product operations at his previous company Virtual Walkthrough has equipped him with the commercial understanding and creativity to ensure that our clients will love what we build.

Ipek L'Aimable

Marketing Executive

Ipek joined Big Sofa in June 2016 and has very quickly become a key member of the team. Acting as assistant to our CEO and as a marketing assistant ensures no one-day is the same. Ipek deals with her dual roles with aplomb and we’re thrilled to have her as part of the team.

Her InDesign skills are pretty epic too.

Lauren Kelleher

Finance Manager

Lauren is a Charted Accountant from South Africa who began her career at PwC in the financial services division of Johannesburg and New York. Her first foray into media was as a financial analyst at WPP where she gained invaluable skills relating to business performance analysis and Sox compliance. Her move to Big Sofa in 2016 was prompted by a desire to be at a start up company in order to gain a more holistic view of operations. When not crunching numbers, Lauren can be found going to gigs of bands that nobody has heard of, drinking wine and travelling.

Martin Chapman

Systems Architect

Martin joined Big Sofa in 2011 as a freelance video editor to work on an early prototype of the application. As Big Sofa grew Martin started taking an interest in back end development and as a result his role has changed drastically. He has spent the last year learning Ruby on Rails and has now been integrated into the digital team on a full time basis. As one of the longest serving members here, having worked on the 'Big Sofa' from its conception, he has a unique insight into the working of the application which he now puts into practise with his new skills. He also speaks fluent Italian and is a self confessed foodie.

Krzysztof Kaczmarczyk

Developer

Krzysztof specialises in Ruby and Ruby on Rails development and other surrounding technologies like JavaScript/CoffeScript, jQuery, Ember.js, Node.js and others. Besides the Ruby world he also has a keen interest in Java platform and is currently starting to learn Scala language which he finds very interesting. Krzys began contracting for Big Sofa in 2014, and is an excellent asset to the team.

Rob Gilbert

Front End Developer

Rob joined Big sofa in August 2016, having previously been working as Senior Developer at the housing charity Shelter. He brought with him his passion for Front end design and development and an his encyclopedic knowledge of the limitations of old versions of Internet explorer.

He has built websites and apps using a host of front end technologies and frameworks and enjoys desperately trying to keep up with the frenetic pace of the Javascript ecosystem.

He has absolutely no spare time owing to the fact he has 4 children, but when he gets the chance he enjoys binging on the latest series on Netflix and Amazon and riding his mountain bike.

Elias Damastiotis

System Administrator

Elias joined Big Sofa in Summer 2016 as our System Administrator. He has over 10 years experience working in IT infrastructure.

Steven M. Aukers Ph.D

President & Chief Executive Officer

Steve is a seasoned chief executive, professor and management consultant. Steve served as Chief Executive for J. Reckner Associates and Blueberry - top 30 research consulting firm serving the Fortune 500.

Previously, he served as an executive on the North American Operating Board of TNS Global leading turnaround efforts as the head of strategy. His tenure at TNS included leadership of business development, client services, and serving as the Chief Executive for a joint venture with ESPN and TNS Sport.

Steve served as an executive for Deutsche Post/DHL leading business intelligence and customer strategy and serving on the executive turn around team. Previously, Steve led as the Chief Executive of a healthcare non-profit, HealthShare, Inc, was a professor and consulting specialist at Texas A&M University and professor at DeSales University and an executive for Eppley Institute – a consulting institute at Indiana University.

Steve earned a B.A., M.S. and Ph.D. from Indiana University, U.S.A.

Kevin Dermody

Chief Operating Officer

Our North American C.O.O. hails from Chicago, IL where he plays too little golf, eats too much of the world’s greatest pizza and cheers on the Blackhawks. For more than 25 years, Kevin has worked across multiple industries as an entrepreneur and a leader bringing innovative thinking and new concepts into business of all sizes. His network extends from small business America to some of the world’s largest global companies. Kevin enjoys a good conversation and finding ways to make a difference through sound planning and execution.

“Finding that disruptive technology or process that inspires an industry to embrace and adopt real change is amazing, but that is just the start. The magic is bringing teams together from companies large and small of varied cultures to garner adoption and execute broadly.”

Kevin holds degrees in International Business and Economics and Spanish from Benedictine University. He is married with two sons, one of whom is presently serving his country in the U.S. Army.

Sheri Lambert

Chief Growth Officer

Sheri has over 25 years marketing research & consulting experience in the Consumer Products and Services space. Managed multi-national studies in both consumer and B2B sectors across a wide range of industries and methodologies, including qualitative and quantitative research.

Currently Chief Growth Officer at Big Sofa. Prior to Big Sofa, Sheri’s experience includes senior roles at Leger Marketing, Ipsos and TNS. Most recently, Sheri acted as Executive Vice President of Ipsos Loyalty, and Global Head and Managing Director of Synovate’s Travel & Leisure Sector. She served as Managing Director of TNS North America Transportation, Travel & Hospitality Sector and eventual President of TNS NFO Plog Research Company.

Some of Sheri's favorite things are, her love of travel and having a nightly dose of popcorn! Yes, popcorn is Sheri's daily staple.

Michele Salomon

Client Services Director

For more than 20 years, Michele has been involved in all aspects of research, having started her career as a telephone interviewer. She has held a variety of operational, research, team leader and senior consultant roles at Harris Interactive, leading research for clients across a number of industries.

With expertise in communications, Michele’s research has been published in major media outlets and academic publications. She has been at the forefront of change particularly during her time at Harris when they led the industry into online research. 

Joining Big Sofa as a Client Director in December 2016 marks a completely new and exciting adventure for Michele. She is part of the North American team, supporting development and growth of the business. She will do this by promoting understanding of how data derived from video can support clients. This in turn brings research to life in new and compelling ways and propels the search for true understanding.

Emily Grogan

Client Services Director

As a Client Service Director at Big Sofa, Emily enables researchers across the globe with their beautiful human technology. A platform set to unlock connection, uncover truth and dictate the future of market research.

Before Big Sofa, Emily was a VP for Ipsos UU, and an Innovation Consultant & Regional Director at SEEK Company. As a consultant, she has supported client work across the Fortune 500 stage (from Procter & Gamble to MillerCoors to McDonald’s) with focus areas from brand strategy to foundational insight development to idea creation and testing.

Emily has led brand teams through journey’s to connect with Women & Moms, Boomers, Teens and Millenials across CPG, Food & Bev & Technology.

Brian Livell

Senior Consultant

Brian joined Big Sofa in the Autumn of 2016 and is already a key part of our North American team. He's worked across the MR industry in a variety of roles and sectors and his expertise with data across Ops is helping us integrate more deeply with our biggest clients.

In addition his experience in analysis is helping us discover more of the data points we create in video to find deeper insights in the quantification of consumer behaviour and language.

Oh, and he's also great at beer pong.