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Enabling human understanding is more than a job to the associates of NRC Health. Meet our executive team.

Michael D. Hays


Mike Hays has served as the Chief Executive Officer and a director since he founded NRC Health (National Research Corporation) in 1981.

Prior to launching the company, Mike served as Vice President and as a Director of SRI Research Center, Inc. (now known as the Gallup Organization). His background as founder of NRC Health, and his long successful tenure as Chief Executive Officer, demonstrates consistency in providing direction and vision for the company today.

“We’re championing a way of thinking that’s less about scores and more about insight. Less after-the-fact and more in-the-moment.”

Steve Jackson


Steve Jackson serves as President of NRC Health. He joined NRC in September 2014, bringing nearly 20 years of experience advising health systems in a variety of terrains including, patient experience, physician engagement, and patient access.

As President, Steve oversees company strategy and NRC’s portfolio of solutions that bring Human Understanding™ to healthcare.  Today, NRC enables more than 75% of the Top 200 U.S. health systems to better understand the people they care for and design experiences that inspire loyalty.

Prior to joining NRC, he held roles of increasing responsibility at Vocera Communications, The Advisory Board Company, Neoforma, and Stockamp & Associates. Steve graduated with honors from the University of California, Davis.

Outside the office, he serves as his family’s chief transportation officer, short order cook, and food and wine critic.

“NRC Health provides a new view into what matters most to consumers before, during, and after their experience with a healthcare organization.”

Kevin Karas


Kevin Karas joined NRC Health in December 2010 as Senior Vice President of Finance, and became Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, and Corporate Secretary in September 2011.

Prior to joining NRC Health, Kevin served as Vice President of Finance for Lifetouch Portrait Studios, Inc., a national retail photography company. In addition, he spent time as Chief Financial Officer for successful firms, including CARSTAR, Inc., an automobile collision repair franchise business, and Rehab Designs of America, Inc., a provider of orthotic and prosthetic services. Previous to those tenures, Kevin was regional Vice President of Finance and Vice President of Operations at Novacare, Inc., a provider of physical rehabilitation services. He began his career as a Certified Public Accountant at Ernst & Young.

“We are focused on being a valued strategic business partner, providing solutions that enable our clients to be successful in meeting their strategic objectives while driving measurable economic results.”

Helen Hrdy


Helen Hrdy has held multiple roles during her 15 years at NRC Health; primarily leading teams that have helped hundreds of healthcare organizations measure and improve the quality of the patient experience. Helen has a passion for service excellence and for leading and developing our associates to help our hospital, medical group, and long-term care partners improve the patient experience.

“The work we do with our partners in pursuit of human understanding will improve healthcare—the way it’s designed and delivered—but more importantly, it will improve lives.”