Our People

Our executive management team has a combined 55 years of experience in the customer experience measurement field.

Leadership Team

Elaine Buxton, President

Elaine is deeply committed to the customer experience industry, She was involved in the formation of the Mystery Shopping Professionals Association (MSPA-NA), having served on the Operating Committee which formed the Association and then serving on its Board of Directors for two terms and then as its board president in 2010. Elaine earned a BSBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Heels!) and an MBA from Meredith College. She became president of Confero in 1999.

She is currently or has been active in:

  • Womens Foodsvice Forum 
  • Women Presidents Organization (WPO)
  • BBB serving Eastern North Carolina (Board of Directors since 2010, Chair 2016)
  • MSPA
  • Meredith College School of Business Advisory Council (Executive Committee)
  • Meredith College Board of Trustees (Executive Committee)
  • President of the Raleigh Professional Women’s Forum
  • Cary Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
  • Board Chair of the non-profit Life Experiences. 

Over the years, she has been recognized for leadership in her community and in business:

  • Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Woman of the Year, 2010 
  • Trailblazer Award, Greater Women's Business Council, 2016
  • Womens Foodsvice Forum (Committee Contributor of the Years 2011)
  • Business Leader Media’s Women Extraordinaire, 2009
  • Triangle Business Journal’s Women in Business Award, 2001
  • Meredith College’s 100 Graduates in 100 Years, Centennial Celebration, 1999

Elaine has been featured or cited professionally in Inc Magazine, Triangle Business Journal, Business Leader Magazine, WRAL-CBS News and My Carolina Today.  Her case studies or articles about mystery shopping and customer satisfaction research have been published in Quirk’s Marketing Research Review, Enterprising Women Magazine and the Southeastern Case Research Journal.

Paul Jacobi, Director of Data Services

Paul spent 10 years with Washington Inventory Service performing various roles including auditing, recruiting, training and office management prior to moving to North Carolina in 1997 and joining the Confero staff. He was quickly recognized for his experience, enthusiasm and ability to learn within the IT fields and was promoted to Data Services Manager in 1998. Paul’s responsibilities include management of data analysis based on client expectations, integration and interconnectivity of Confero mystery shopping data with other client data, as well as design of data formats for shopping programs. Paul is also a programmer, specializing in SQL/Access databases. Most importantly, Paul is a problem-solver and thrives on the detailed aspects of data migrations and custom reporting requirements. He studied Mathematics at the State University of New York.

Kara Gammon, Client Services Manager

Kara joined Confero in 2002 as Executive Assistant to the President. Her tenure in this position allowed her the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the inner workings of Confero’s business, as well as clients from a strategic and a project point of view. It was obvious she was eager and prepared for even more responsibility, so she was promoted to Client Services Manager. Kara is now responsible for account management, client interface, quality review, client reporting, and program implementation for her clients’ national programs in automotive, banking, retail and food service. Kara holds a BS in Communications from Elon University.

Laura Leary, Client Services Manager

Laura joined Confero in 2004. Laura had worked for Nynex Mobile Communications for 11 years, progressing to a Collections Supervisor role. Laura’s collections background was extremely valuable as Confero launched on-the-spot rewards shopping services on a national scale. Laura served as Fulfillment Manager for Confero, taking care of all details related to the logistics of prize distribution, inventory and collection. Laura was promoted to Client Services Manager and is now responsible for account management, client interface, quality review, client reporting, and program implementation for her clients’ national and regional programs in food service and retail.

Janet Morrison, Business Development Manager

Janet Morrison joined Confero in 2009. She brings more than 20 years of marketing and sales experience, and 18 years of experience in the financial services industry. Her background includes leading client service and sales initiatives, business development, sales management, marketing research and focus group moderation. Most recently, Morrison served as the regional sales and marketing officer with BB&T, and was responsible for communicating mystery shop goals and results, providing guidance to managers on how to access shop results, encouraging improvement and recognizing employees for superior mystery shop behaviors. Janet earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., and currently serves as a board member for Junior Achievement of Eastern North Carolina, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.

Rob Barry, Account Executive (In Memoriam)

Rob passed away May 5, 2018 after a long and brave battele against cancer. He was very active in the mystery shopping industry and enjoyed the client partnerships he forged and managed during his 14 years at Confero. 

We were extremely pleased with the quality and professionalism of the entire Confero team...they executed, problem solved and asked questions when required.

Fortune 500 Foodservice Company