Our team

Annette Alvarez, MBA




Annette brings more than 20 years of experience in general management, finance, operations, strategic planning and customer engagement across several industry verticals. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Bryant College and went on to earn an MBA at the University of New Haven. She has been repeatedly recognized for excellence in the creation, nurturing and supervision of high-functioning teams, productive work environments, and organizational culture. Taking the helm at FirstIdea in 2016, she has refined and extended the brand into new markets with the adoption of innovative technologies and business practices.

Guillermo Alvarez, MS

Guillermo Alvarez, Vice President, FirstIdea


 A veteran of the U.S. Air Force with 20 years of subsequent experience in major corporations such as US West, Qwest, and Raytheon, Guillermo brings vast expertise in process effectiveness and assurance, quality assurance, statistical analysis, testing, and business development. He holds a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Colorado Technical University and a master's degree in Industrial /Organizational Psychology from Grand Canyon University. In his role as vice president at FirstIdea, Guillermo serves as a critical corporate strategist and rainmaker. 

Frank Arduini, MBA



With more than 35 years’ experience in some of the largest corporations in America, Frank brings a broad range of functional experience in field operations, IT, marketing communications, and new business development. He earned a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the US Military Academy at West Point, and an MBA from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. He excels at communicating across diverse functions and communities to drive authentic collaboration and partnerships. At FirstIdea, Frank ensures that the corporation’s value proposition is made with crystal clarity. 

James Coughlin, Ph.D.



Having worked in both the clinical and business arenas, Dr. Coughlin brings broad experience in the administration, analysis, and interpretation of cognitive, personality, and workplace-based assessments. He earned his bachelor's degree in Psychology from Stockton University, his master's degree in Psychology from Monmouth University, and his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Grand Canyon University. Dr. Coughlin is a long-standing member of the American Psychological Association, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Society for Consulting Psychology, and the Society for Human Resources Management.

George Norris, Ph.D.



 Throughout his career, George has developed custom assessment solutions as both an internal and external consultant for some of the world’s highest performing organizations. He specializes in individual assessments used in selection, promotion and employee development processes. George has also done extensive work measuring and analyzing organizational level constructs like engagement and culture that contribute to organizational performance. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the Ohio State University and his bachelor’s in Psychology from DePauw University. 

Michelle Chancey, MA



As FirstIdea’s most experienced consultant, Michelle has innovated and implemented state-of-the-art measurement tools for more than 12 years. Her technical experience is partnered with a robust project management foundation, having led hundreds of projects from conception to completion. She earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Vermont and a master's degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver. Michelle is rarely matched and never surpassed in her areas of expertise. 

Jenneh Peabody, MA



Carrying experience from both the private business and public education sectors, Jenneh brings a unique marriage of both the technical and soft skills necessary for effectively and sustainably guiding organizations through growth. She earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in Industrial / Organizational Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Her graduate research extended our understanding of human behaviors at work, especially in the field of motivation theory. At FirstIdea she is a key developer and author of knowledge-based content for written assessment instruments and tests. 

Susan Quarles

Susan Quarles, Operations Manager, FirstIdea


The operational heart and soul of FirstIdea, Susan has assembled a distinguished 40-year career in operations management. A veteran of the U.S. Army, Susan was recognized as a “Distinguished Honor Graduate.” Susan carries a broad portfolio of responsibilities from day-to-day office management to customer-facing project duties. She also plays a crucial role in long-term planning geared toward operational excellence and collaboration. Continuously challenging procedures to increase efficiency, her passion for creating and implementing innovative process improvements enhances organizational effectiveness, client satisfaction, and confidence, and drives ongoing expense reduction.

Janet McCartney

Janet McCartney, Administrative Assistant, FirstIdea


With more than 30 years of experience working with major technology companies, Janet brings deep skills in administration, government contracting, security and office management. 

The consummate utility player, Janet’s passion for accuracy and efficiency is neatly balanced by unmatched diplomacy, critical assets for the sensitive, subtle and essential work of FirstIdea.