Our Team


Founded in 2002 by Dr. Timothy McLarney (President) and Richard Sarles (Principal Researcher), the True North team has designed and conducted more than 1,000 research studies for public agencies and companies.


Timothy McLarney, Ph.D.

As President of True North, Dr. McLarney is responsible for the design, management and analysis of True North's qualitative and quantitative research projects. Dr. McLarney's work to date has provided California cities, counties, special jurisdictions, transportation planning agencies, councils of government, school districts, corporations, and political campaigns with research to address their often complex marketing, planning and performance measurement needs. During his career, Dr. McLarney has occupied a lead role in over 1,000 research studies.

Dr. McLarney is a nationally-recognized expert in survey research methodology, sampling theory, weighting, and the use of statistical methods to generalize survey results. His research has been recognized at national and state conferences, has been published in academic journals, and has earned him honors including the title of Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley. He has also served as an independent expert witness in survey research methodology for legal cases. Dr. McLarney earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University in Government with an emphasis in survey methodology, statistics, and public opinion.


Richard Sarles, M.S.

As Principal Researcher and co-founder of True North Research, Mr. Sarles brings expertise in sampling, database management, statistical analysis, and interpretation of results to all of True North's research projects. A veteran of over a thousand research studies in the past 18 years, public, private, and non-profit clients throughout the United States have relied on Mr. Sarles' research findings and recommendations to help them meet their goals.

Prior to co-founding True North Research, Mr. Sarles was the Associate Research Director at another west-coast research firm. A published author whose work has been cited in sociological, psychological, and industry-specific journals, Mr. Sarles received his M.S. in Experimental Psychology from Illinois State University with magna cum laude honors. He also received a B.S. in Psychology from Illinois State University, graduating with summa cum laude honors.