44039497 logo15B2810325D

RESTON, VIRGINA, July 26, 2022 – Heart+Mind Strategies, a research-led consultancy, recently launched three industry-specific practices – Travel and Tourism, Public Policy and Issues, and Healthcare – and a Brand and Communication Strategy practice that operates across all industries.

“A critical part of our growth strategy is fueling the specialization our teams have developed over the years serving key accounts in these sectors,” Co-CEO and Founder Dee Allsop explained. “Our tools, methods, and solutions and our people who deliver can now focus on applying that expertise against the opportunities unique to these industries.”

111 1

As part of the specialized industry practices launch, Heart+Mind also hired Bruce Blakeman to lead the Public Policy and Issues Practice. Blakeman is a communications, public affairs, and brand positioning executive with over 25 years of leadership in both domestic and international markets. He has advanced across positions in communications, politics, government relations, strategic consulting, think tanks and international business management that drive growth, build brands, and meet strategic objectives. Blakeman formerly served in the Bush Administration, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and is a guest contributor on Bloomberg, CNBC, Channel NewsAsia, and other media outlets on political environment, trade, sustainability, economic development, and food security. Learn more about Heart+Mind’s Public Policy + Issues work.

“We’ve known Bruce since our days driving change across the globe with Dick Wirthlin and he knows Heart+Mind,” said Co-CEO and Founder Mike Dabadie. “Bruce is a mover and shaker with the horsepower to grow our policy practice beyond the solid foundation we have built.”


Darren Bishop joined Heart+Mind as an entry-level research assistant in 2011 and has since risen to become the Travel + Tourism Practice lead. His experience includes strategic insights research with DMO, ad agency, trade association, education, gaming, and resort/casino clients. A career highlight was winning a David Ogilvy Award from the Advertising Research Foundation in recognition of the innovative methodologies that contributed to an award-winning advertising campaign promoting Las Vegas. Learn more about Heart+Mind’s Travel + Tourism work.


The Healthcare Practice is led by industry veteran Shawn Wade, who has been with Heart+Mind for over a decade. Wade is coauthor of numerous peer reviewed articles focusing on patients and their experience with disease and its treatment. He is also an occasional contributor to Oncology Business Review. Wade received his doctorate from UCLA in political science with sub-field specialties in comparative politics and formal theory. Prior to joining Heart+Mind Strategies, Wade was Senior Vice President with Harris Interactive and Market Strategies International where he supervised research teams representing pharmaceuticals clients across the country. Learn more about Heart+Mind’s Healthcare work.


The Brand and Communications Strategy Practice is led by Carol Gstalder, who has been with Heart+Mind since 2018 and has 35 years of experience as a trusted advisor with the ability to drive brand outcomes, deepen stakeholder relationships, empower talent, and build measurable value. Gstalder formerly led teams and business units at Wirthlin Worldwide, Stagwell, Nielsen, and Harris Interactive. She is a strategic leader known for building and preserving reputations and brands, inspiring organizations to define and live their values, implement strategies to build equity and mitigate risk, and transforming organizational culture. Learn more about Heart+Mind’s Brand + Communication work.

Heart+Mind Strategies is a research-led consulting firm founded in 2008 that uncovers how people think, feel, and make decisions, and helps clients apply these insights to achieve their specific goals. Their scientific approach to understanding how individual and societal values influence decision-making is why many leading global brands and organizations work with them – including Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Strada, U.S. Travel Association, NHTSA, AARP, UBS, Pearson, Las Vegas (LVCVA) and the Specialty Coffee Association. Their services include all forms of custom primary research and applied strategic consulting on branding, marketing, communications, reputation management, and experience planning.