Meet the team

The NWA team is led by Directors, Norma and David Wilburn, and is very much a family affair with three of their adult children amongst the seven strong leadership team based in Stockton on Tees. They also employ more than 100 professional interviewers across the country, organised and managed by four supervisors. You can learn more about the leadership team by clicking below.

Norma is a Full Member of the Market Research Society, (MMRS) and has a BA (Hons) in Sociology. She has considerable experience in public, voluntary and private sector management. Specific voluntary sector knowledge has been acquired through management of ‘not for profit’ organisations at Chief Executive level over a period of ten years. Her unique experience has given her considerable insight into both the needs of local authorities and concerns and priorities of the voluntary and private sector and these inform and focus her approach to research.

Norma founded NWA (Norma Wilburn and Associates) in 1989 and has built the reputation of the company by ensuring that staff are academically well qualified, major processes are covered by quality systems and the research experiences of researchers are combined and utilized in a true team effort. She has commissioned project planning software which is at the heart of project management of the company’s workload which ensures that not only are projects managed to time but also that tasks cannot be signed off without the quality controls being addressed. In this way quality is built in to the process and not simply bolted on.

Over the years Norma has led NWA from a small consultancy to a well known and highly respected research company, retaining key staff and attracting new.

David Wilburn [CMIM, MBA, Post Graduate Certificate in. Social Research Methods] has considerable experience, at senior management level, of research within both private industry and the public sector. Following a senior management career in industry David entered local government and occupied a number of senior roles at Borough Council, at a County Council and finally as Head of Policy Development with a Unitary Authority. David’s responsibilities included development of Social and Equal opportunities policies, collection and management of the Council’s Performance Indicators, liaison with the District Audit service, commissioning of major surveys, recruitment and management of the Council’s Citizens’ Panel etc.

Since joining NWA in late 2000, David has been responsible for a number of major schemes. These have included: a large scale programme of qualitative and quantitative research with children and young people for the Learning and Skills Council; a consultation programme with ‘hard to reach’ groups, and a survey of voluntary and statutory organisations providing services for young people on behalf of the Connexions careers service.

Joyce has a BA (Hons) in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Social Research Methods. She also holds the Market Research Society Diploma – the highest professional qualification in Market Research. Joyce is a full Member of the Market Research Society. She began her career at ICI at Billingham and prior to joining NWA some ten years ago, spent five years as a Research Executive with a leading regional market research agency. She has considerable experience in all aspects of both qualitative and quantitative research.

Wide ranging support for the Research Executives has been provided for four years by Catherine and her team. Catherine has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and an MSc in Social Research Methods with specialisation in advanced analysis techniques. Catherine will shortly complete her doctorate in Cognitive and Behavioural Psychology specialising in research with children. Catherine is supported by Research Assistants: Dr Richard Waterton BA(Hons), MSc, PhD and Gillian Hayes BTech/HND