About Us

The company was founded in 2016 to research patient usage of cannabis in treating medical conditions – and expanded to include cannabis and CBD consumers. Across multiple studies, the results were clear across patients AND consumers – Cannabis is not  about getting HIGH, it’s about getting WELL.

Our four years of consumer insights across medical and adult use markets gives us a broad view of consumer usage, drivers of category entry and the retail shopping experience.  

Our team of CPG and cannabis professionals help our clients connect the dots and deliver the product innovation, marketing messaging that their consumers are looking for TODAY.

Carmen Brace - Founder and Principal
Carmen Brace founded Aclara Research in 2016 to bring real time access to cannabis consumer insights that inform business strategy. She developed cannabis and hemp research panels to measure consumer usage and purchase behavior across the United States. Her experience spans consumer research and retail insights, enterprise strategy, sales leadership and category management across the leading manufacturers in the US food and beverage industry -- including Conagra Brands, the Mars – Wrigley Company and the Campbell Soup Company. She has worked and studied in six countries across Europe and the Americas, and consulted internationally across confectionary companies, advertising agencies and community organizations. She was repeatedly named to ‘Who’s Who List of Shopper Insights Professionals’ by Shopper Marketing Magazine, and named a ‘Rising Star’ by Progressive Grocer Magazine. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Chicago NORML (National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws) chapter, is an expert witness for the Illinois legislature, and is a featured speaker at the Marijuana Business Conference, the Marijuana for Medical Professionals Conference, and multiple CPG conferences on cannabis and health. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Agricultural Economics from The University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign and The Ohio State University. She leads the Aclara Research team based in Illinois and Florida.
Tekisha Harvey - Lead, Marketing Strategy
Tekisha Harvey is a highly versatile marketing professional with 15+ years of brand management, strategic marketing planning, and market expansion experience. She has worked for Fortune 500 companies Macy’s, Coach, Ralph Lauren and Conagra Brands and has proven track record of maximizing sales profitability, building client relationships, and engaging key decision makers. Tekisha has a Bachelor's in Economics from Florida A&M University and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Maryland. She leverages her expertise to help cannabis brands grow in the marketplace. She is an influential thought leader known to spark idea generation and encourage “big picture” thinking.
Matt Bielawski - Lead, Operations
Matt Bielawski has nearly 20 years of professional experience transforming complex data into actionable insights. He is uniquely talented with expertise across a variety of roles spanning market research, technology, financial services and manufacturing. Matt has an MBA in Finance and Accounting, a BSE in Chemical Engineering and is a CFA charterholder.
Suneet Lad - Lead, Client Engagement
Suneet is a results-driven leader that enjoys building and strengthening relationships with diverse, visionary stakeholders who appreciate creative solutions. His experience in a variety of industries including banking, CPG, and nonprofit lends well to helping Aclara’s clients drive impactful business results. Suneet has an MBA from Indiana University, an MPPA from Northwestern University, and an AB from the University of Illinois. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for Meals on Wheels Chicago and enjoys spending time with his first love – the Chicago Cubs.