The people who find out what makes people tick

Natalie Richards

As a child in the 80s, Natalie suffered multiple injuries from wearing the decade's most popular shoes - Jellies. But time spent on the bench didn't make her bitter; it let her hone her people-watching skills and figure out what makes people tick. She wears classier shoes these days, but those observational skills are still going strong.

After finishing her degree in Management, majoring in Marketing and Psychology, Natalie took a job in research in Auckland. That experience gave her the skills she needed to start work at Versus in 2007.

Now, Natalie is the big boss - our Managing Director. Her natural curiosity (or nosiness) makes her a great researcher; she really wants to know what people think, and how they behave. She's always looking for new ways to connect with people.

Lucy Taua'i

Lucy's 7th form school report said: 'Lucy will take a sledgehammer to the world'. We're pretty sure she meant it in a good way. Lucy is a bit more restrained these days, but that strength and determination comes through in everything she does.

Lucy studied Marketing at Massey before getting into the research side of things. As Senior Research Analyst at Versus, Lucy is responsible for all our new projects as they come in. She's also our online qualitative specialist, so she'll be the one explaining your data when you work with us.

She loves her job because she's obsessed with finding out more - in fact, she describes it as an obsession with mastering new things. That obsession means she knows how to crochet, fix her car, write html, drive a digger, kick the hell out of people in Ju Jitsu...the list goes on. Not all her skills are exactly applicable to her job, but they all add up to a person who's constantly curious and motivated to learn - the defining traits of a good researcher.

Sam Thorburn

Sam has always been an organiser. From a very young age, she wanted things to be perfect - parties were meticulously scheduled and weekends planned well ahead of time. It might not have made her a popular teenager, but it's perfect for her role as General Manager at Versus.

Sam started her career in admin and moved to project management. She's worked in a lot of different roles in a range of organisations, so she knows how to juggle projects, budgets, and people. She's all about the details to get things done on schedule and within budget.

At Versus, Sam's in charge of everything except the research - accounts, HR, budgeting, timelines, project co-ordination, and anything else that comes up. It's lucky she loves being organised.

Marguerite Gilbert

Marguerite's first teacher thought Margie came to school to eat lunch. She's a bit taller and more mature these days, but lunch is still high on the priority list. Luckily for us, work is up there too.

Marguerite's field of expertise is quantitative research. She loves getting into people's heads and figuring out what they think and feel - and why. She studied Design Media and Marketing at Waikato University before starting the job at Versus, and she's never looked back.

As Research Analyst and resident design expert at Versus, Marguerite manages projects from start to finish, and jazzes up our infographics and reports. She's also in charge of lunch scheduling.