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Executive Leadership

Leadership That Empowers a Better Understanding of Healthcare

The executive leadership of National Research Corporation and National Research Corporation Canada (NRCC) bring a multitude of experience in areas ranging from psychology and business to sales and marketing. Our unique perspective provides clients with dedicated resources to improve the patient experience. We visit hundreds of clients each year to understand their needs and improve our product and service offerings.

Michael D. Hays
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
 

Mike Hays has served as the Chief Executive Officer and a director since he founded National Research Corporation in 1981.

Prior to launching the company, Mike served as Vice President and as a Director of SRI Research Center, Inc. (now known as the Gallup Organization). His background as founder of National Research Corporation, and his long successful tenure as Chief Executive Officer, demonstrates consistency in providing direction and vision for the company today.

Steve Jackson
President
 

Steve Jackson serves as President for National Research Corporation. Prior to joining National Research, Steve served as Chief Operating Officer for ExperiaHealth (a subsidiary of Vocera Communications). Over the past 17 years, Steve has worked with leading academic medical centers, health systems, community hospitals, and children’s hospitals to address their most pressing strategic, operational, financial, and clinical imperatives. Earlier in his career, he held positions of increasing responsibility at The Advisory Board Company, Neoforma, and Stockamp & Associates. Steve graduated with honors from the University of California, Davis.

Kevin Karas
Chief Financial Officer
 

Kevin Karas joined National Research Corporation in December 2010 as Senior Vice President of Finance, and became Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, and Corporate Secretary in September 2011.

Prior to joining National Research Corporation, Kevin served as Vice President of Finance for Lifetouch Portrait Studios, Inc., a national retail photography company. In addition, he spent time as Chief Financial Officer for successful firms, including CARSTAR, Inc., an automobile collision repair franchise business, and Rehab Designs of America, Inc., a provider of orthotic and prosthetic services. Previous to those tenures, Kevin was regional Vice President of Finance and Vice President of Operations at Novacare, Inc., a provider of physical rehabilitation services. He began his career as a Certified Public Accountant at Ernst & Young.

Sonia Jacobs
Vice President of Canadian Partnerships
 

Sonia Jacobs joined National Research Corporation Canada in July 2013 as Account Director and became Vice President of Canadian Partnerships in November 2015.

Prior to joining NRCC, Sonia served as Senior Program Manager of Patient Experience at Cancer Care Ontario. Previously, she sat on the Senior Management Team at St. John’s Rehab Hospital in Toronto, ON, in the role of Director of Quality, Patient Safety, Risk Management, Decision Support/Health Information Services and Privacy. Sonia also served four years as a Senior Health Planner at the former Toronto District Health Council.

Sonia is a board member at the Bernard Betel Centre for Creative Living, a community seniors’ center and serves on the Executive Committee of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Chapter of the Canadian College of Health Leaders.

Helen Hrdy
Senior Vice President of Client Services
 

Helen Hrdy has held multiple roles during her 15 years at NRC; primarily leading teams that have helped hundreds of healthcare facilities measure and improve the quality of the patient experience. Helen has a passion for service excellence and for leading and developing our associates to help our hospital, medical group and long-term care clients improve the patient experience.

National Research Corporation Board of Directors

Donald Berwick, M.D., MPP

Dr. Berwick has served as director of National Research since October 2015. He is the former President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), which he co-founded and led for almost 20 years, and where he now serves as President Emeritus and Senior Fellow. In 2008, Dr. Berwick and colleagues at IHI developed the Triple Aim framework for the goals of high-value care—improving the care of individuals; improving the health of populations; and reducing the per capita cost of healthcare. In 2013, the IHI added “Joy in Work” to its strategic goals for healthcare.

Dr. Berwick was appointed by President Obama as the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a position he held from July 2010 to December 2011. Prior, he served on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. He was also vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the first "Independent Member" of the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association, and chair of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.

John N. Nunnelly
John Nunnelly has served as a director of National Research Corporation since December 1997. John is a retired Group President from McKesson Corporation, a leading provider of pharmaceutical distribution and healthcare information technology. During his 28-year career at McKesson, he served in a variety of other positions including, Vice President of Strategic Planning and Business Development, Vice President and General Manager of the Amherst Product Group, and Vice President of Sales-Decision Support. These responsibilities included leading several business units, including one with over $360 million in annual revenue. In addition, he was involved in managing a number of mergers and acquisitions.

John also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts, School of Nursing, advising students and faculty on matters pertaining to healthcare information technology. These experiences and his expertise as a professional and educator in the field of healthcare information technology led to the conclusion that he should serve on the board of directors for National Research Corporation.

Gail L. Warden
Gail Warden has served as a director of National Research Corporation since January 2005. Gail is currently President Emeritus of Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer from 1988 until 2003. Prior to this role, Gail served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, as well as Executive Vice President of the American Hospital Association.

He currently serves as Chairman to several national healthcare committees and as a board member to many other healthcare-related committees and institutions. His extensive experience in the healthcare industry and the many leadership roles he has held with healthcare enterprises led to the conclusion that he should serve as a director of National Research Corporation.

JoAnn M. Martin
JoAnn Martin has served as a director of National Research Corporation since June 2001. JoAnn was elected President and Chief Executive Officer of Ameritas Life Insurance Corp., an insurance and financial services company, in July 2005. Prior thereto, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Ameritas. In April 2009, JoAnn was elected President and Chief Executive Officer of Ameritas Holding Company and UNIFI Mutual Holding Company (previously named Ameritas Acacia Mutual Holding Company), where she had served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for more than the last five years. Ms. Martin has served as an officer of Ameritas and/or its affiliates since 1988.

JoAnn also serves as a director of the Lincoln Chamber Economic Development Corp. and the Omaha Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Her financial background, as well as her leadership experiences as a director of financial organizations, led to the conclusion that she should serve as a director of National Research Corporation.


Barbara Mowry
Barbara Mowry has served as a director of National Research Corporation since May 2014. She is Chief Executive Officer of GoreCreek Advisors, a privately held management consulting firm focused on working with CEOs and boards on business strategy and innovation. From 2003 to 2009 she served as CEO, President, and board member for Silver Creek Systems, Inc., a privately held venture capital funded software company where she was awarded technology patents and recognized as a market leader by major technology analyst firms, including Gartner and Forrester. Her extensive corporate background includes CEO positions in four firms and executive leadership positions in three Fortune 500 companies, including United Airlines, TCI (Comcast), and Oracle Corporation.

Barbara currently serves on several boards, including Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; board of trustees member for the Kauffman Foundation; board member for the Carlson School of Management; and is a board member of the Colorado Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and a NACD Leadership Fellow. Barbara’s extensive experience as a board member, corporate leadership background in technology and communications, and M&A experience led her to serve as a director of National Research.

Barbara Mowry
Barbara Mowry has served as a director of National Research Corporation since May 2014. She is Chief Executive Officer of GoreCreek Advisors, a privately held management consulting firm focused on working with CEOs and boards on business strategy and innovation. From 2003 to 2009 she served as CEO, President, and board member for Silver Creek Systems, Inc., a privately held venture capital funded software company where she was awarded technology patents and recognized as a market leader by major technology analyst firms, including Gartner and Forrester. Her extensive corporate background includes CEO positions in four firms and executive leadership positions in three Fortune 500 companies, including United Airlines, TCI (Comcast), and Oracle Corporation.

Barbara currently serves on several boards, including Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; board of trustees member for the Kauffman Foundation; board member for the Carlson School of Management; and is a board member of the Colorado Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and a NACD Leadership Fellow. Barbara’s extensive experience as a board member, corporate leadership background in technology and communications, and M&A experience led her to serve as a director of National Research.

- See more at: http://www.nationalresearch.com/about/executives/#sthash.f9eDpbkf.dpu

Barbara Mowry
Barbara Mowry has served as a director of National Research Corporation since May 2014. She is Chief Executive Officer of GoreCreek Advisors, a privately held management consulting firm focused on working with CEOs and boards on business strategy and innovation. From 2003 to 2009 she served as CEO, President, and board member for Silver Creek Systems, Inc., a privately held venture capital funded software company where she was awarded technology patents and recognized as a market leader by major technology analyst firms, including Gartner and Forrester. Her extensive corporate background includes CEO positions in four firms and executive leadership positions in three Fortune 500 companies, including United Airlines, TCI (Comcast), and Oracle Corporation.

Barbara currently serves on several boards, including Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; board of trustees member for the Kauffman Foundation; board member for the Carlson School of Management; and is a board member of the Colorado Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and a NACD Leadership Fellow. Barbara’s extensive experience as a board member, corporate leadership background in technology and communications, and M&A experience led her to serve as a director of National Research.

- See more at: http://www.nationalresearch.com/about/executives/#sthash.f9eDpbkf.dpuf

Barbara Mowry
Barbara Mowry has served as a director of National Research Corporation since May 2014. She is Chief Executive Officer of GoreCreek Advisors, a privately held management consulting firm focused on working with CEOs and boards on business strategy and innovation. From 2003 to 2009 she served as CEO, President, and board member for Silver Creek Systems, Inc., a privately held venture capital funded software company where she was awarded technology patents and recognized as a market leader by major technology analyst firms, including Gartner and Forrester. Her extensive corporate background includes CEO positions in four firms and executive leadership positions in three Fortune 500 companies, including United Airlines, TCI (Comcast), and Oracle Corporation.

Barbara currently serves on several boards, including Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; board of trustees member for the Kauffman Foundation; board member for the Carlson School of Management; and is a board member of the Colorado Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and a NACD Leadership Fellow. Barbara’s extensive experience as a board member, corporate leadership background in technology and communications, and M&A experience led her to serve as a director of National Research.

- See more at: http://www.nationalresearch.com/about/executives/#sthash.f9eDpbkf.dpuf