Meet The Team

  • Parks Associates, About Parks Associates


    Twitter ID: @ParksAssociates

    Parks Associates is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start-ups through market reports, primary studies, consumer research, custom research, workshops, executive conferences, and annual service subscriptions.

    The company's expertise includes new media, digital entertainment and gaming, home networks, Internet and television services, digital health, mobile applications and services, consumer electronics, energy management, and home control systems and security.

    Each year, Parks Associates hosts industry webcasts, the CONNECTIONS™ Conference Series, and Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer.

  • Tricia Parks, Founder


    Tricia Parks is the founder of Parks Associates, a market analyst and research company dedicated to providing meaningful information and counsel to companies offering technology-based products aimed at improving people's lives. She presents worldwide on consumer trends, market requirements, and industry structure, with an eye to meshing visionary and progressive ideas to consumer needs and wants.

    Parks Associates hosts CONNECTIONS™, an international conference and showcase for the digital home hosted in the U.S., and CONNECTIONS™ Europe, hosted in Europe and focusing on market opportunities for digital products and services in the many nations of Europe. Tricia Parks also developed the Relevancy Theory, a forecasting model for sales across a broad range of digital electronic products and services.

    Tricia has served on a variety of industry boards including CEA's Home Networking and Information Technology division, the National Research Council's Committee for a Partnership to Assess Technology for Housing (PATH), the AMD Board of Global Consumer Advocacy, and CABA. Tricia Parks has a BA from Sweet Briar College and graduate studies from the University of Texas.

  • Elizabeth Parks, President


    Twitter ID: @elizparks

    As President, Elizabeth supports all teams within Parks Associates, a woman- and family-owned market research and consulting firm. She oversees research topics and coverage areas for the company and directs the integrated strategic communications plan for Parks Associates, including advertising, public relations, and marketing. Elizabeth has supported the growth of Parks Associates business and marketing services for twenty three years and is the key organizer for all of Parks Associates' events, including Parks Associates signature event CONNECTIONS™. She also drives the overall mission to provide clients with the best consumer and industry research and analysis on the SMB and consumer technology markets to inform strategic market decisions.

    Elizabeth joined Parks Associates on a full-time basis after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in psychology.

  • Research Team

  • Jennifer Kent, Vice President, Research


    Twitter ID: @JenniferMKent

    INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Connected Health, Connected Home Technologies and Services, Connected Entertainment Products and Services

    Jennifer manages the research department and Parks Associates' process for producing high-quality, relevant, and meaningful research. Jennifer also leads and advises on syndicated and custom research projects across all connected consumer verticals and guides questionnaire development for Parks Associates’ extensive consumer analytics survey program. Jennifer is a certified focus group moderator, with training from the Burke Institute.

    Jennifer earned her PhD in religion, politics, and society and an MA in church-state studies from Baylor University. She earned her BA in politics from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

  • John Barrett, Director of Consumer Analytics


    Twitter ID: @ParksData

    John Barrett leads Parks Associates questionnaire development and specializes in survey design that elicits accurate, insightful, and actionable data. He regularly advises companies across consumer technology markets on research methodology and business strategy and has authored dozens of industry reports. He also teaches college-level courses on research methods and other topics at LeTourneau University.

    He holds a PhD in Religion, Politics, and Society from Baylor University, an MA in international economics from the Johns Hopkins University: School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a BS in international affairs from Georgetown University.
     

  • Paul Erickson, Senior Analyst


    Twitter ID: @PaulEricksonAV

    With more than 20 years of technology industry experience and over 15 as an analyst, Paul Erickson’s coverage has spanned connected consumer electronics, pay & broadcast TV, digital & physical media, streaming devices and services, home and pro AV, smart home, user interface technologies, and digital rights management.

    Prior to joining Parks Associates, Paul was an analyst for Omdia, IHS Markit, and NPD DisplaySearch. He has regularly attended, spoken, and/or moderated at industry events and tradeshows across the consumer, service provider, and pro AV technology landscape, such as CES, IFA, IBC, MWC, NAB, InfoComm, NAMM, and Integrated Systems Europe. Paul is also a several-time AVIXA Emerging Trends Fellow honoree.

    Paul holds a BS in International Business from Georgetown University, an MBA in Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin, and can converse in English, Spanish, German, Mandarin Chinese, and Taiwanese.
     

  • Liam Gaughan, Researcher


    Twitter ID: @LiamAtParks

    Liam Gaughan is a researcher at Parks Associates, specializing in entertainment content and services. He is a published writer and journalist with over seven years’ experience covering entertainment content, media, and streaming distribution. Liam earned a bachelor’s degree in digital and print journalism from the University of North Texas with a minor in political science.

  • Kristen Hanich, Senior Analyst


    Twitter ID: @KristenAtParks

    INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Consumer electronics, mobility services and devices, connected health and wellness

    Kristen Hanich heads Parks Associates' consumer electronics and mobility research, with expertise in other verticals including connected cars, mobile networking, healthcare, wellness, and independent living. She leads a mix of custom and syndicated research projects throughout the year, with a focus on major players and emerging trends. Kristen specializes in bridging the gap between data-driven and narrative approaches to understanding the consumer markets via a mix of qualitative and quantitative research approaches.

    Kristen has dual master's degrees in applied anthropology and public health from the Universities of North Texas in Denton and Fort Worth. She earned her BSc in health at the University of Texas at San Antonio and has a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems.

  • Sharon Jiang, Research Analytics Intern


  • Yilan Jiang, Director


    Twitter ID: @YilanJiang

    Yilan leads Parks Associates' Consumer Analytics team and manages numerous primary research and custom research across all areas of the consumer IoT, including consumer electronics, entertainment services, voice assistants, and connected home solutions. Yilan conducts consumer behavior analysis to understand market trends, predict consumer demand, and provide quantified market intelligence that guides strategic business decisions. Yilan leads research that provides rich insight into consumer preference and deep analysis of competitive strategies and business models.

    Yilan earned her MA in economics from University of Texas at Arlington and BA in economics in Nankai University, P.R. China.
     

  • Frank Saldana, Intern


    Frank Saldana is an intern on the Parks Associates research team and is currently working on a variety of custom projects, including syndicated deliverables such as the Smart Home Tracker. Frank is currently studying Political Economy at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Patrice Samuels, Senior Analyst


    Twitter ID: @PatriceatParks

    INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Smart home products and services, technical support services, consumer experience

    Patrice covers smart home products and services and leads Parks Associates Smart Home Tracker product, keeping clients informed of industry developments and competitive shifts across more than 10 smart home product markets. She also leads digital home technical support services with a focus on market trends, business models, and provider strategies. Patrice manages custom research projects and strategy workshops that help companies understand the consumer experience in the connected home.

    Patrice earned her MBA from Texas A&M University at College Station and BSc in Psychology from the University of the West Indies.
     

  • Xiaofan Tan, Consumer Insights Analyst I


    Xiaofan Tan is a member of the Consumer Analytics team. She researches and analyzes various kinds of consumer data to explain market trends, predict how consumers will react to innovations, and recommend strategies for success in a changing business environment.

    Xiaofan is completing her MS in Business Analytics degree from University of Texas at Dallas. She also earned her BS in Business Administration from University of La Verne.
     

  • Mark Vena, Senior Director, Smart Home and Strategy


    Mark Vena is the Senior Director of Smart Home Research at Parks Associates. Mark is a strategic technology executive with more than 25 years in the high-tech space with companies such as Compaq, Dell/Alienware, Synaptics, Segway, Sling Media, and Neato Robotics. He has led and managed numerous consumer technology brands in the PC, gaming, consumer electronics, and smart home space, giving him a unique and real-world “end-to-end” understanding of the challenges that companies face with developing innovative products and services for consumers, especially distributed in the retail space.

    Mark is passionate about consumer technology and the role it plays in enhancing people’s lives. Mark graduated Cum Laude from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.
     

  • Dr. Kenneth Wacks, Contributing Analyst


    Dr. Wacks has been a pioneer in establishing the home systems industry and a management advisor to 150 clients worldwide. His business spans home and building systems, utility customer services, and digital entertainment networks (including HDTV and IPTV). Clients seek his help to locate strategic business partners, financing, and new customers. He also provides due-diligence for investors and expert witness services for litigants. Please visit www.kenwacks.com for information about clients and projects.

    He was appointed by the United States Department of Energy to the 13-member GridWise Architecture Council to develop smart grid strategies for reliable and efficient distribution of electricity. The Consumer Electronics Association chose Dr. Wacks to chair the international committee (ISO/IEC) establishing world standards for home and building systems and energy management. In addition, he has written American National Standards in home automation.

    Dr. Wacks chairs the Editorial Advisory Board of the CABA magazine iHomes & Buildings (available at www.caba.org) and is a featured contributor under the byline “Ken Wacks’Perspectives.” Dr. Wacks received his Ph.D. from MIT as a Hertz Fellow and studied at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

  • Chris White, Senior Analyst


    Twitter ID: @cwhiteinsights

    Chris is a Senior Researcher with Parks Associates, covering the connected home market. He was previously a Director of Insights at PeopleMetrics in Philadelphia and the Data Manager of a youth-serving collaborative in New Orleans. He has performed research for companies in a variety of industries, including the telecom/ISP space.

    Chris earned his BBA in Marketing from the College of William & Mary and his MBA in Marketing and Finance from American University.
     

  • business development

  • Jason Paris, Vice President, Business Development


    Twitter ID: @paris4jason

    Jason Paris joined Parks Associates in 2007 as an analyst studying international telephone, cable, and satellite providers and is now a member of the business development team.

    Jason graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in psychology and government. After working for the Texas House of Representatives, Jason spent the previous seven years in New York City working with portable and enterprise healthcare technologies.

  • Patrick Caflisch, Strategic Account Executive


    Twitter ID: @PatrickAtParks

    Patrick joined Parks Associates with over 10 years in business development and account management with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100, focusing on physical security and commercial real estate. Patrick is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with degrees in Economics and Molecular Biology.

  • Ashton Gambrell, Strategic Account Manager, Events & Marketing Services


    Ashton joined Parks Associates with over 15 years experience in sales, business development, account management and sponsorship sales within the hotel and sports industries. She is now part of the business development team managing event sponsorships and custom marketing services.

    Ashton graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a BA in Business Administration and concentration in Marketing. After working for Four Seasons Resorts for nearly 10 years, Ashton spent the next seven years working with PGA TOUR pro golfers and their corporate sponsors/partners before joining Parks Associates.
     

  • Wendi Greene, Strategic Account Executive


  • marketing

  • Mindi Sue Sternblitz-Rubenstein, VP, Marketing


    Twitter ID: @mindisue00

    Mindi Sue plays a primary role in Parks Associates event management, including Parks Associates-hosted events and the outside events the company participates in. Mindi Sue is responsible for strategic planning and marketing of Parks Associates’ 6 hosted executive conferences. Mindi Sue is responsible for coordinating speaker relations activities for Parks Associates’ conferences and webcasts, including managing all proposals to speak, speaker communication, logistics, and coordination for national and international events and over fifty outside industry events that the Parks Associates analyst team participates in.

    Mindi Sue oversees Parks Associates’ public relations efforts including social media, press outreach and event attendance, analyst relations, training, executive communication, and corporate events. As a tenured executive and company-wide leader, she continuously supports all divisions of the company with her enthusiasm and strives to improve company efficiency, creativity, and cohesiveness.

    Prior to joining Parks Associates in early 2008, Mindi Sue worked with ad agencies, start-ups, consulting firms, retail stores, nonprofit organization, and real estate companies in designing profitable sales and creative marketing programs. Mindi Sue has an MBA from University of Texas at Dallas and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems from Texas A&M University.

  • Hailey Laughlin, Marketing Manager


    Twitter ID: @LaughlinHailey

    Hailey's primary role at Parks Associates is assisting with video marketing, social media, event attendee marketing, and event logistics. In addition, Hailey contributes to marketing efforts including new marketing initiatives for products and services, press outreach, and webinars.

    With over six years of digital marketing experience, Hailey previously served as a marketing professional in the education, immersive entertainment, retail, and building materials industries. In her previous role, she was the Marketing Specialist for a building materials representative group. Hailey has a BA in communication from Dallas Baptist University.

  • Susan Minner, Office Manager


    Susan joined Parks Associates in 2017 as Office Manager. She manages the accounting, human resources, and benefit administration tasks. She also provides administrative support for the sales and marketing teams.

    Prior to joining Parks Associates, Susan served in various positions and has 20-plus years accounting firm experience. These positions include office manager and firm administrator for local CPA firms, and in her last position, she served as the office/accounting manager for a publishing company in Dallas, Texas.

  • Claire Oye-Ntow, Marketing Intern


    Claire joined Parks Associates with experience in customer service, social media, and marketing research. She is a graduate of Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, with a B.S. in Marketing and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Marketing Research & Analytics from Texas Tech University. At Parks Associates, she supports the marketing team assisting with social media, content promotion, and other marketing efforts.

  • Jay Shelton, Creative Director


    Twitter ID: @JayWShelton

    Jay joined Parks Associates in 2015 as the Creative Director and develops the creative aspects of Parks Associates collateral, presentation materials, and print and digital materials for the firm's hosted events as well as syndicated and custom research. Jay creates and sets the look and direction for all of Parks Associates brands.

    With over 25 years in the graphic design field, Jay brings experience from a variety of industries to Parks Associates, including healthcare, bar code and software/hardware, hotel management, building materials, and beauty supply. Jay graduated from the University of North Texas with a BFA in graphic design with a concentration in illustration.

  • Nick Thrash, Sr. Director, Operations


    Twitter ID: @NickThrash1

    Nick's primary duties are handling the logistics for Parks Associates’ events and marketing efforts. He organizes and maintains vendor relationships for all trade shows that Parks Associates participates in, including CEDIA and The Consumer Electronics Show. Nick provides logistical support to all sponsors and speakers at events and workshops hosted by Parks Associates. Nick is the primary contact for event sponsors regarding exhibitor logistics and fulfillment of sponsorship benefits at CONNECTIONS™. In addition, Nick manages the distribution of Parks Associates’ research materials to individual and Client Service accounts.

    Prior to joining Parks Associates, Nick worked with a full-service advertising agency and graphic design firm. Mr. Thrash has a BBA in marketing from Texas Tech University.

  • Rosey Ulpino, Marketing & Public Relations


    Twitter ID: @RosimelyU

    Rosey’s (Rosimely) primary role at Parks Associates is being the primary point person for the company’s public relations outreach and response as well as managing the company’s email marketing strategy and schedule. Rosey also works closely with members of the Marketing team on additional tasks such as social media, content marketing, event attendee marketing, and other marketing initiatives for Parks Associates events and research products and services.

    Prior to joining Parks Associates, Rosey worked as a Community Relations Specialist in the healthcare industry by managing social media, developing blog content, and creating marketing graphics and designs. She also has previous experience in marketing agency and non-profit communications. She graduated Cum Laude with a BS in Communications with a focus in Public Relations from the University of North Florida in 2018.
     

  • Haley White, Marketing Intern


    Haley joined Parks Associates as a Marketing Intern after graduating from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, with a BS in Informatics and Telecommunications, with a concentration in Digital Media and Journalism. She has experience in sports and news anchoring, sideline reporting, social media, video marketing, and video production. At Parks Associates, she assists with social media, video marketing, content marketing, and virtual conferences.

  • Tam Williams, Marketing Associate


    Tam serves as a resource primarily to the Marketing Team, contributing to press releases, content marketing, event speaker logistics, marketing research, and many other projects.

    With undergraduate and graduate degrees in business and theology, respectively, Tam’s ongoing experience involves freelance writing and editing projects across multiple industries.

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