Photo: Tom Witta, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Photo: Tom Witta, Minneapolis Star Tribune

About Steve Epley

Steve earned his PH.D. from the University of Iowa and became a college professor in the field of psychology. He then turned to a career in research—first as an academic, then at the Institute of Child Behavior and Development at his alma mater, and finally at Frank N. Magid Associates, the nation’s leading research and consulting firm serving the broadcast industry. At Magid, Steve served top clients such as the ABC Network in New York City. He became the firm’s director of research and later created a division of the company to serve clients in health care, banking, and higher education.

In 1987, Steve founded Epley Research and Consulting. The company quickly became known for its highly personalized approach to researching customers, and has served some of the nation’s largest and best companies. Driven by his love of uncovering what lies beneath the surface of what customers say and do, Steve leads a research team that helps companies discern what it takes to be successful and to build solid, mutually beneficial relationships with the people they do business with. In the summer of 2014, Steve welcomed his daughter Rachel Epley to help lead the company she grew up with.


Photo: Tom Witta, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Photo: Tom Witta, Minneapolis Star Tribune

about rachel epley

Rachel learned the research business almost literally from the ground up. Her earliest duties included cleaning the floors and painting the walls of Epley’s headquarters. Over the course of her schooling and through the early stages of her career, Rachel stayed connected to the firm, contributing her writing, editing, and research talents. This work fueled her passion for the rigorous pursuit of answers that characterizes an Epley study. Today, she participates in every aspect of the company’s work, from research design to interviewing to developing new information-delivery techniques. 

Rachel earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Ohio State University, and master’s degrees from Northwestern University and Illinois State University. From 1997 to 2007, she performed as a musician with orchestras from Miami to Napa Valley, and she held teaching positions that included an assistant professorship at the University of Alaska. While practicing music therapy in Chicago she co-founded and served as executive director of The Song in Me, a nonprofit dedicated to a treatment model based on the latest research in her field. Rachel directed the organization’s program design, mission, marketing, and outreach. She brings a diverse portfolio of skills and experiences to her role in guiding Epley Research & Consulting toward its fourth decade of service.