Deborah Stearns

Market Research Director

Call it serendipity. Call it the stars aligning. Or just call it good luck all around. On May 1, 2017, Deborah Stearns was part of a big change for herself, Essman Research, and SPPG. And was it ever a great day with lasting impacts and benefits! SPPG gained a great colleague and she gained a larger team to work with her on research projects. 


Deborah Stearns is surrounded by a delightful and supportive family – husband, grown children, and her mom. They even do some of her shopping for her when she needs them to! Deb has to watch herself closely, though, so she doesn’t cut herself. She has pretty much proven that she bleeds Cardinal and Gold. Deb’s joining SPPG + Essman Research brings a bit of intrastate collegiate competition to the office as she loyally supports and serves her ISU alma mater through various volunteer positions and as a cheerleader for the sports teams. 


Take this quick quiz: what does the acronym PRC stand for? Well, if you know the answer to that you may know Deb. Ms. Stearns comes to SPPG with more than 24 years of management and marketing research experience. She has her Professional Researcher Certification, a nationally recognized and respected credential. Deb brings strong professional ethics, confidentiality, and professional research standards to SPPG + Essman Research. To top it off, Deb is calm, deliberative, and just plain delightful to be around. (But don’t try to mess with the numbers!) 


Deb got her early research experience with Iowa Field Research, and then joined Essman/Companies in 1999. She remained with Essman until SPPG acquired the Essman Research in May 2017. It’s safe to say she has served hundreds of clients with her surveys, focus groups, interviewing, usability testing, user experience, and mystery shopping research methods. This woman has a way with logic and words to figure out how to measure the most elusive concepts! 


If you stop by SPPG late in the day, you may well still find Deb at her computer working through one of the research puzzles she thrives on. Her colleagues jump in to help with this newer line of work. There are only two things that peel this dedicated researcher from her projects: her family or the Cyclones. And that’s just fine! 

Learn more about Deb's work with Essman Research by visiting