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About Us

Providing research-based evidence for the big decisions

Athena Research Consulting provides evidence-based consulting to inform your business strategy. Our experience, unique proprietary methods, and collaborative style make us an effective results-driven provider. We pursue information sources until we gain the insights you need to answer vital questions —ones that drive strategic planning and effective action.

Focus Areas

When assessing your strategy and competitive readiness, it is important to consider key aspects of your organization—and your competitors’—especially those related to top talent and what it takes to compete and consistently win. Our customized and flexible services are designed to provide insights to inform your key decisions.


Susan Brzezinski

Susan’s commitment to understanding client needs and providing targeted, insightful solutions is one of her many strengths as a research professional.

Susan co-founded Athena Research Consulting in July 2009. Prior to Athena, Susan served as the Director of Research for a boutique executive search firm in Chicago, where she directed a team of information professionals, providing targeted research and consulting services for clients in the Life Sciences, Real Estate, Industrial and Technology, markets.

Related experience of Susan’s includes serving as the Director of Research and Operations with a retained boutique executive search firm specializing in financial services. In that role, Susan conducted search related research and consulting projects for asset management and life insurance clients on a national basis. She began her career in research with a New York-based recruiting firm in financial services/capital markets.

Susan received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Middlebury College. She is also trained in the art of French Pastry and when she is not conducting research, Susan enjoys sharing dessert creations with her family and friends. After many years as a resident of Chicago, she now resides in beautiful Greenville, SC.

Kate Kauffmann

As Research Manager with Athena Research Consulting, Kate plays an integral role in managing day-to- day operations and conducts research on a wide array of complex client projects.

Kate’s years of experience have made her an expert in identifying and qualifying market leading executive level talent across multiple industries and functions. She also supports the Managing Director in business development activities including executing on strategic research.

Prior to joining Athena in 2010, Kate was a Research Associate at New Directions Search, a retained executive search firm in the Chicago suburbs.

Kate began her career in the mental health field, assisting adults with mental illness to function independently in the community.

Kate received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology at Northern Illinois University and a Master’s of Business Administration with a certificate in Human Resources from Keller Graduate School of Management.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, and her two German Shepherds, Leia and Chewie.