Naomi R. Henderson, Founder and CEO
Naomi Henderson opened RIVA in 1981 and is its CEO, directing policy and procedures for two divisions: Research and Training. She is co-founder of the RIVA Training Institute, where she serves as a Master Trainer writing curriculum for public and custom courses and fulfilling her dream to leave the industry in better shape than when she entered, by training researchers in the art and science of rigorous qualitative research techniques. Naomi has been a researcher since 1964, and has led more than 6,000 focus groups and interviewed more than 60,000 people in groups or individually and is a nationally recognized Master Moderator. She is most responsible for the well earned phrase sought after by moderators and potential clients alike: "RIVA Trained Moderator".
Naomi holds a M. Ed. and a B.S. in Education and Psychology from American University. She is a licensed practitioner of NeuroLinguistic Programming [NLP] - a tool that accelerates the collection of behavioral data. As well, she is a certified Master Coach and has earned certificates of completion from Synectics, and the Creative Problem Solving Institute. She is a guest lecturer at George Washington University, Georgetown University and Hood College.
She writes a quarterly column, "Reflections," for the American Marketing Association Journal of Marketing Research. She is also a frequent contributor to Quirk's Market Research Journal on issues related to qualitative research. She has been quoted in American Demographics, Forbes and the New York Times. Appearances on TV include CBS Evening News, PBS Health Week, and NBC Dateline.
Naomi enjoys reading fiction, writing poetry, creating crafts such as making jewelry & greeting cards.
Jo Ann Hairston, Master Moderator & Master Trainer
The work Jo Ann does for RIVA is diverse. She works in both the Research and the Training division, shifting hats with ease. As a researcher she is - assigned to focus group projects that range from medical issues to health and beauty aids and from politics to new products. After leading more than 3,200 groups, and earning the title Master Moderator, Jo Ann helps clients access POBAs [Perceptions, Opinions, Beliefs and Attitudes] from respondents that range from homemakers to the homeless and from ages 7 to 97.
As a Co-Founder of the RIVA Training Institute she serves as a Master Trainer and developer of the framework and curriculum for both standard courses and custom courses designed to meet the needs of clients in a variety of industries. She is a credentialed Master Coach for Qualitative Researchers, as well as, individuals transitioning from one career to another.
Amber Tedesco, Executive Director of Research and Training/COO
Amber is COO as well as the Executive Director of Training and Research. Amber is the first point of contact for research clients and companies seeking information to help craft custom courses to meet internal needs. She is responsible for the strategy, planning and management of all research projects from proposal through the final report. That means being deeply involved with clients from first request to research methodology and scheduling and logistics and steering them through the planning process so their objectives can be achieved.
In her role as the Executive Director of Training, she works with clients to create custom courses for their staff members. She also manages the multiple open courses held at RIVA headquarters in Rockville, MD. Amber is a RIVA trained Moderator, Coach and a Research Analyst, giving her the ability to participate as a researcher on projects; write reports; and shepherd projects thought the RIVA 12-Step research process.
In addition to her experience at RIVA since 1998, her completion of the following RIVA courses is the platform for the standard of excellence she offers RIVA's clients:
Fundamentals of Moderating
The Art & Science of Qualitative Analysis and Report Writing
Fundamentals of IDI Moderating
She holds a B.S. in Family Science from the University of Maryland
In her spare time, she is the President for her children's PTA, holds board seats with the RCA and FoWF. She also enjoys being outdoors & on the water with her friends and family.
Linda Mui, Training Coordinator & Recruiter
As Training Coordinator and Recruiter, Linda is responsible for the enrollment process of RIVA students for the courses/workshops offered at the Institute. Her enthusiasm, organization, and commitment to RIVA's students make the enrollment process as individually attentive as the experiential training that makes RIVA training courses unique.
By taking the fundamentals of moderating course herself she not only speaks about the course as an opportunity for those calling for information, but from insight based on her experience as a student of the RIVA Method. In addition to working as the Training Coordinator, Linda also oversees the recruitment of respondents for the experiential portion of the RIVA workshops where students practice on recruited respondents as part of their training.
Before joining RIVA in 2014, Linda worked in event marketing and social media marketing in New York City. Her position at RIVA allows her to pursue her interests in administration and event planning.
Romaine Bailey, Master Coach
Romaine has several hats she wears for RIVA one of which is a Master Coach for the training classes that are offered. She works closely with the students, guiding and supporting their learning.
Prior to her experience at RIVA, Romaine led seminars for hundreds of people in group settings, as well as individuals in accessing areas of possibility within themselves, she brings a deep sense of integrity to her work and supports staff and clients alike in mastering win/win principles.
Romaine enjoys traveling, attending live theater, the opera, and loves throwing and cooking for dinner parties with her friends.
Bonnie Heiserman, Bookkeeper and Human Resource Manager
Bonnie is the Bookkeeper and Human Resource Manager at RIVA. She brings over 25 years of experience working for private industry in the fields of bookkeeping, office management, and human resource development. Bonnie is responsible for the day to day financial responsibilities including Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable , Payroll, and Fiscal Reporting. She also runs the Human Resources department.
Bonnie enjoys reading historical novels and cooking, especially creating her own recipes!
Kelley Stillwell, Receptionist/Hostess
As Receptionist, Kelley works to ensure that each student has the best possible experience during their time at RIVA. Kelley prepares the administrative materials for all in-house training courses, custom courses, special projects, and focus groups. Additionally, she manages the day-to-day logistics for each class, meeting the needs of the trainer and students.
Kelley joined the RIVA team in 2015 and prior to doing so she attended the University of South Carolina and Montgomery College. Kelley has been working in the customer service and office administration fields for 5 years and is able to bring those experiences and knowledge with her to make each class exceed expectations.
Kelley and her husband Spencer married in 2008, before his deployment to Iraq. Upon his return, they lived in Hubert, North Carolina until permanently relocating back to the DC area. Kelley enjoys cooking, baking, and spending time with her dog, Opie.