Our Science

The whole Pairin process starts with a simple 10—15 minute survey that only requires an 8th grade education. We combine the value of personality tests and specialized testing (specific jobs, 21st century skills, leadership, culture, etc.) to deliver the most comprehensive results ever available in a people development and hiring system.

While most measures lump people into a handful of broad categories, we look deeper into what makes people unique. You might not guess it from the survey, but Pairin measures over one hundred behaviors that provide key insights into what makes individuals successful. When it comes to science, our research has stood the test of time. Over sixty years of peer review and over 700 scholarly studies have given our customers the confidence to rely on Pairin science.

Behind the scenes, our powerful analytics system performs countless equations to provide eloquent solutions to your business problems. The data we analyze with the Pairin Solution is presented in a friendly, graphical way, without requiring a PhD to translate. We already did that. The data provided, of course, allows you to learn about a person’s personality, that’s easy. But, what makes a real difference is learning about the coachable/changeable behaviors like ways of interacting with others, character strengths, leadership qualities, relational needs, the type of organizations they thrive in, and how they give and receive help — just to name a few.

Businesses can automatically compare the unique qualities of their top performers with every applicant to see how they might potentially perform in their organization before a first interview, and where they might need development.

The process is a simple one — just register as little as 5 top and 5 bottom performers and our patent-pending Gold Standard process goes to work identifying what makes your rock stars special once they take the survey. You also get a custom web site with your logo to easily integrate the Pairin survey with your Applicant Tracking System or hiring website. When an applicant applies, they take the survey and are evaluated against the Gold Standard, helping you prioritize which applicants get your first attention. We even give you a custom Hiring Insights Interview Guide for every applicant, to make the face—to—face more real.

For educational institutions and businesses interested in developing their existing staff, or just not ready to do pre-employment selection, the same survey also serves your needs. Just test your existing students or staff, and we help you identify which behaviors, if developed, might be key to their future success. We can even compare the development progress of individuals and groups over time with subsequent tests.

For example, if you are interested in identifying which of your up and coming stars might be at risk of burn-out and need some special care before it’s too late, we can build that profile based on exit interviews and/or top performer modeling and identify those people. Then, after their new development program (coaching, etc.,) is in place for a while, you can test that individual again and see how they are progressing.


Our process and results are more scientifically valid than any other pre—employment selection offering currently on the market. Where others have either created their own reference, licensed someone else’s tests to apply to a different purpose, or leveraged 1—3 areas of psychological research and methodologies (in some instances only partially), we leverage Freud, Jung, Mead and Murray, including Murray’s Need-Press Theory of personality; Berne’s Transactional Analysis Theory of Personality ; 9 topical scales measuring various aspects of personality and social dispositions; and George Welsh’s research on Creativity and Intelligence. Our test is also the most peer-reviewed (tested and evaluated by those outside of our organization) of any on the market.

The Pairin test is a normed, standardized personality and behavior measure based on The Adjective Check List (ACL). The ACL module is based on the Adjective Check List Manual by Harrison G. Gough & Alfred B. Heilbrun, Jr., © CPP, Inc. It has been in use since its development in 1949. In addition to the unchanging personality attributes, the Pairin System also measures changeable, coachable behaviors, such as emotional intelligence (EQ), leadership and professional behaviors. It provides a wealth of information that is not otherwise available.

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Pairin removes the stress of hiring and allows our owners to focus their energy on the business' daily needs.

- Jodi Messa, True Value

What's New

our team


Michael Simpson

Co-founder and CEO

As a son of educators, and serial intrapreneur turned entrepreneur, Michael learned to uncover hidden gems in people and products. His passion for helping people reach their potential was fueled by his own rise from poverty to international recognition as a strategist working closely with CEOs and executives in startup to multi-billion-dollar corporations. At Pairin, he works to bridge the opportunity gap for future generations by making education more relevant for students and their future employers through the development of attitudes, motivations and behavioral proficiencies.

Michael has contributed to books on Knowledge Management (KM), Identity and Networking, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). His background in strategy and marketing for all identity, security and management products while at Novell, Inc. contributes to Pairin’s unwavering commitment to digital personal privacy. He is an avid cyclist; fly fisherman; and award winning chocolatier.


Ronald C. Young, PhD

Co-founder and Chief Science Officer

Dr. Young is a unique and highly sought-after practitioner of measurement and leadership development services. He is recognized for his ability to help executives understand context and maximize contribution, while maintaining a healthy balance of life. His success as a management consultant and executive coach, principal and executive counsel for a premier executive learning organization, founder and president of a thriving outpatient psychology practice, and senior vice president of organizational development for a private, for-profit corporation established his passion for creating Pairin, Inc. In these roles, Dr. Young equipped executives and teams for maximum performance and fulfillment.

Dr. Young’s extensive experience includes the design and implementation of customized, in-depth, integrated solutions for such companies as Cox Enterprises, Manheim Auto Auctions, Dent Wizard, The Bell Oaks Company, CNN, CIBA Vision, Chick-fil-A, APAC Customer Services, Home Banc Mortgage, Whirlpool, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, and The United States Air Force.


Adam Fisher

Founding Member and Product Director

Beginning with his young life in the corn belt, through his years inside the beltway as a government affairs specialist, and now at Pairin directing products, Adam seeks to make a difference in the lives of future generations. We haven’t quite figured out what he is best at doing, but he is remarkably adequate at just about everything, except writing his own bio.


Matt Garrison


Matt has been writing software for 15 years, creating and managing websites and web apps for the City of New Orleans, the state of Louisiana, internal software for the Dept. of the Interior, and other private industries. Matt loves Ruby on Rails, leveraged his passion for the Ruby programming language into working with RubyMotion, native speed iOS development using Ruby, and has been developing apps with it since it was introduced. Matt helps host and run MotionMeetup, a monthly online video meetup of RubyMotion enthusiasts . Matt has a B.S. in Computer Science from Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Following his passion for technology, Matt co-founded Iconoclast Labs as a personal product development and consulting shop. Matt lives in Denver, Colorado and when he's not at the keyboard he enjoys spending time with his family, homebrewing beer, building things with Legos, food science and camping.


Alison Gellman

Talent Science Consultant

Alison Gellman has an extensive background in psychology, assessment, education, and finance. She has held various leadership positions at National Jewish Health and Denver Public Schools. In addition, she was a principal at The Digital Couch, an employment assessment firm. Alison holds a BA in Psychology from Michigan State University and an MBA from University of Colorado.


Tara Laughlin, Ed.D.

Director, Readiness Curriculum

Tara Laughlin spent the first decade of her career as a teacher, helping students at the elementary and middle school levels to discover their personal potential. Throughout her teaching career, Tara took on numerous leadership roles within her schools and at the district level. As a frequent conference attendee and occasional presenter, she finds that well-designed professional development can inspire teachers and breathe life into a classroom. Tara holds an M.Ed in Divergent Learning, a program which focused on “teaching outside the box” in order to reach at-risk students who learn best through non-traditional methods. She also holds an Ed.D. in Curriculum, Innovation, and Educational Reform from the University of Northern Colorado. To earn this degree, she spent 18 months engaged in her dissertation research on the systematic integration of social emotional learning into classroom content. This passion led her to her current role as a Readiness Curriculum Director for Pairin.


Susan Simpson

Professional Readiness Coach

Susan earned a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from Kansas State University, where she graduated with academic honors, championships, and records while captaining her NCAA Division I Basketball Team. Her diverse background and skill set contribute to her reputation as a relational and professional “bridge” in the process of change. While at Frito-Lay, she established a prototype position that pulled together Operations and Marketing by unifying values, goals, and perspectives for dramatic corporate returns. Later opportunities led her to start-ups and entrepreneurism, as well as to international nonprofit work centered on human development.

Susan is a member of the International Coaching Federation, and her vision for coaching is bolstered by her ability to relate with individuals at all levels of business. Susan’s extensive worldwide travel, fluent Russian, and life abroad in executive leadership and liaison positions fuel her openness to uncommon and groundbreaking ideas. She enjoys playing a role in individuals’ journeys to discover and reach their full potential, in the realms of both business and education.


Alejandro Vazquez


Alejandro doesn’t like writing bios because it feels creepy. Fortunately, Pairin’s behavioral science and our own resident psychologist have uncovered the source and a possible solution. Dr. Young believes the magical properties of the office espresso maker, if ever fully grasped, may yet produce a rather swiftly written bio.


Joy Young

Senior Consultant, Readiness Curriculum and Training

Joy has over 25 years of experience in education, with roles including teacher, assistant principal, and principal. She holds a Master of Education from the University of Georgia and has been awarded certificates in Educational Leadership and Instructional Supervision. In addition to her teaching and leadership roles in schools within the United States, Joy has served as an International Service Team Leader in Kenya, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Australia.

She has taught students at the pre-school through university level, and describes herself as a lifelong learner. Joy enjoys music, reading, and learning about neurodiversity, especially with a cup of coffee and the company of her husband and children.


Brooke Ballenger

Student Readiness Consultant

Brooke is from Memphis and graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1991 with a degree in Agricultural Journalism. She also attended Stephens College and completed the requirements for a degree in Equestrian Science. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership from the University of Memphis. Along with being a member of the American Council of Teachers of Russian, Brooke is a Wordsmith Writing Olympics coach and a study skills coordinator for the Victus Study Skills System. She has been teaching Russian to middle and high school students in Memphis, Tennessee since 2010.


Jeff Paul

Ligature Creative, UI/UX design and branding

Since graduating from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota with a Graphic Design degree, Jeff has rotated through a number of advertising and digital agencies in the rocky mountain region. While at The Wendt Agency in Great Falls, Mont., Jeff led the digital team to help create a number of award-winning campaigns including the Meth-Free Montana project. Jeff moved to Denver and started working with startups in 2012, initially as a part of the Slice of Lime User Experience team. Jeff co-founded Ligature Creative Group in early 2012 to establish stronger and longer-lasting relationships with clients and work with people who are changing the world for the better.

Jeff learned to juggle recently. It’s a meditative thing and forces his mind to work a little differently than it would otherwise. It’s a good metaphor for the act of running, and working with, startups. Things are always moving, always changing and you have to be ready to catch things that are a little out of place. Outside of work, Jeff is usually somewhere in the mountains kicking up fresh powder, listening to live music or obsessing about Michigan sports from afar. Maybe one day he’ll develop that baseball app he’s been thinking about.


Matt Meier

Ligature Creative, UI/UX design and branding

Based in Denver, Matt began his career working with companies and organizations across the country including National Center for Learning Disabilities, National Theatre Conservatory, Denver Art Museum, Los Angeles LGBT Center, and San Francisco Opera. Working three years as the in-house art director of Law Week Colorado, Matt sent more than 4000 pages to press for the weekly trade publication before he co-founded Ligature Creative Group in 2012 to focus on working collaboratively with people who do good work.

Matt is the team’s resident type nerd and won’t patronize businesses with poor typography. After four years at the University of Evansville, Matt ventured west into the heart of the Rockies in an un-air conditioned Honda with a Visual Communication Design degree settling a mile high. Matt’s a CMYK ninja with a background in national award-winning publication design. If he’s not at his desk working, he can be found sipping whiskey, enjoying live theatre, Colorado Rockies Baseball, or daydreaming about traveling around the world. Okay, so maybe the working and sipping whiskey are not mutually exclusive.


Terry Devine

Director of development at Ligature

What’s better: Terry’s mad coding skills or his badass juggling skills? Hard to say. He’s damn good at both. Outside of writing awesome code and designing beautiful user-interfaces, you’ll find him on the ski hill, jamming to live music, enjoying time with friends, and of course, juggling badassery.



Behavioral Science Experiment

Choco is a bit of a domestic man of mystery. Rescued from captivity and certain death by boredom in April 2013, he soon joined the Pairin team as resident distraction, receiver of superficial praise, and thiever of peaches. An experiment to reduce his roaming ways led to what Choco refers to as a tragic medical accident in late 2013. He seems to have recovered well, although he appears to miss the ladies. Which is acceptable, because he is somewhat precariously married to The Madam. When not whining for attention, Choco enjoys running, sleeping on ridiculously small spaces, spelunking, adoring his Precious, devouring anything that might kill him, and temporary graffiti. He is deathly afraid of his wife’s temper, which, along with his tragic accident, seems to explain the many suicide attempts.



Madam Latte, The Madness, Smiling Maddie of Brushwaters

Although protecting the Pairin office from all things four-legged is a great joy, Maddie’s passion is her role as co-Madam of The Chocolate Bordello. Her commitment to receiving the adoration of all two-legged creatures is equalled only by her disdain for tiny helpless things. May they rest in peace. She is a proud, goal-oriented woman who lists eliminating any possibility for her husband to enjoy even a fleeting moment of enjoyment in life, and wiping a measurable percentage of rodents from the face of the earth, as her greatest accomplishments to date. Breaking the Guinness Book of World Records for the noble sport of marathon grass-rolling is more of a long term goal, that is believed attainable by experts in the field. To that end, with unwavering determination, she practices daily.


Remy Arteaga

Senior Advisor

Remy is Executive Director of LBAN and runs the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, which is dedicated to facilitating the development of high growth Latino-owned businesses. Previously, he served as Director at the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at CU-Boulder. Remy is recognized as a thought leader and expert in the field of entrepreneurship, and he is coauthor of the book Pivot – How Top Entrepreneurs Adapt and Change Course to Find Ultimate Success.


Scott Fast

Senior Advisor

Scott is currently leading the movement to implement a Cradle to Career initiative in Colorado, which aims to better the outcomes of the education system and of workforce readiness programs throughout the state. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Accenture Foundation, where he developed the strategy for the foundation’s support of Accenture’s Skills to Succeed initiatives and oversaw the foundation’s grant program. Scott is passionate about the effort to ensure that every student has access to the support and resources that enable success.


Rick Forbus, PhD

Co-founder and Company Advisor

Rick holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Resource Management & Leadership, and he has studied Executive Coaching with one of the coaches at The Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC. Rick also studied at CoachU and George Washington University to increase his expertise in coaching and leadership applications to project managers. Rick is a full-time executive coach and professional trainer. He specializes in organizational re-design using behavioral and community-based action research techniques. He maintains an active speaking engagement schedule and is a highly sought-after corporate retreat and workshop facilitator. In his career, Rick has trained, coached or presented speeches to over 40,000 people. His areas of expertise include teambuilding, process consulting, high performance meeting and decision-making, vision casting, people alignment, negotiation and change management.

Rick, and his wife Nancy enjoy the beach and the mountains, and spend time at both as often as possible. Rick loves to play music, rock-n-roll to jazz, and attends concerts and participates in informal jam sessions whenever possible. Rick & Nancy have two sons and six grandchildren. Their family events are fun-loving, loud, and loaded with joking around. Rick and his sons spend as much time as possible in mountain streams fly fishing, traveling for pheasant hunting, and general outdoors adventures. Rick’s motto, “when in doubt, let’s enjoy this!”


Jeffrey Jones

Senior Advisor

Jeffrey Jones of Bloomington, IN, is CEO of Solution Tree, Inc. Jeff, along with business partner DG Elmore, purchased Solution Tree in 1998 after working for sixteen years in higher education administration at Indiana University, Dartmouth College, and Tufts University. Jeff is also the Co-Founder/Chief Operations Officer of Marzano Research Laboratory, Co-Founder/Chief Operations Officer of Hawker Brownlow Professional Learning Solutions (Solution Tree’s partnership in Australia), and sits on the US Board of Directors of The Navigators and on the International Board of Trans World Radio. He and his wife Margaret have been married since 1996 and have been blessed with two daughters and two sons.


Jim Kaufman

Advisory Board

Jim Kaufman has made a career out of helping companies not only succeed, but thrive. Whether in his role as Senior Vice President of Exemplar Companies, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Solutions, and General Counsel at TeleTech Holdings, Inc., or Vice President of Law at Loral Cyberstar, Jim has offered bold ideas and critical solutions that positively impact the bottom line.

Following his passion to be involved with startup, Jim cofounded and subsequently sold a customer service outsourcing company called Cloud 10 Corp. Jim now enjoys sitting on the Advisory Council at the University of Colorado Denver, Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship and as an advisor to several emerging companies.


Scott Miraglia

Board of Directors

Scott Miraglia has an impressive history of developing and leading cutting-edge agencies throughout the United States. Before joining Elevation Marketing as President, Scott served as both COO and CFO for Terralever, one of the country’s premier digital marketing agencies, and prior as President of Liquid Productions, a live event and marketing company with offices across the United States.

Scott’s unique combination of experience, determination and executive leadership has landed organizations under his management on Inc. Magazine’s Top 5,000 list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies on five separate occasions, a list Elevation Marketing proudly joined in 2012.