connections chapter news

April 2015
Vol. 14, Number 3

Remember to check out the QRCA calendar of events
for upcoming Chapter events

QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
Member News


SF Chapter Shows its Everyday Brilliance!

Jennifer Berkley Jackson,

The San Francisco Chapter kicked off 2015 with a new meeting format, “Sharing Our Everyday Brilliance”. 

This format was driven by the fact that the most actionable insights at our chapter meetings were the “little things” members shared over lunch or during breaks, be it a fantastic tip, a trick, or a strategy.

Attendees were asked to share something that has made a difference in their business. Some of the highlights are:

  • New ideas for group participant introductions
  • Creative uses for plain white paper placemats
  • Digital-immersion project exercise examples
  • Great app and digital tool suggestions like…

The meeting was a huge success!

san francisco chapter
From left to right in the photo: Michael Lachman, Judith Wright, Joyce Ng, Jane Pepe, Jen Berkley Jackson, Dorrie Paynter, Katherine Horrocks, Laura Nugent, Ellen Schaefer

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Eastern Canada Chapter — “Coming Soon at a Retailer Near YOU!?”

Mark Lovell,

The Eastern Canada Chapter met March 5, in Montreal. The meeting was held at MBA Research, which generously provided a group discussion room, along with beverages and desserts.

Pascal Patenaude provided updates on chapter name changes and proposed timing for future annual QRCA conferences. He also urged everyone to vote on the new membership proposal and to help identify willing and eligible overseas candidates for the two annual international scholarships.

In the absence of Shaili Bhatt, Kat Figatner conducted a QCast, “Wearables in Qualitative Market Research – What You Need to Know.”

Kat’s presentation covered specific equipment like Google Glass, Looxcie and Go-Pro, along with a range of important considerations. The presentation was an engaging and useful build to Shaili Bhatt’s article in the Winter 2014 edition of VIEWS.

Other potential research equipment options were mentioned in the chapter discussion following the presentation. The options included drones and the BirdCam. What about a little drone floating close to the ceiling at, say, Walmart? Could this be ‘coming soon to a retailer near you’? (Wait a minute! What if one’s up there already?!)

Clearly, there are a variety of new qualitative technology options, and the group is excited to learn more.

Those present were:

eastern canada
Back row from the left: Anne-Marie Filion, Karen Hofman, Pascal Patenaude, Carole Charland.
Front row from the left: Guylaine Ally Bakerdjian, Maryse Hudon and Mark Lovell.

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Florida Chapter Learns about Extreme Presentations

Mary Turso,

On February 28, 2015, the Florida Chapter met in Miami at the new WAC research facility in Doral. A presentation was shared using principles from Dr. Andrew Abela's “Extreme Presentation” method. A copy of his latest book, Encyclopedia of Slide Layout, was given to each participant. 

After the presentation group members shared their own best practices, tips, and tricks for elevating client reports. Mary Turso discussed the importance of not only generating great insights but also helping to socialize them into the organization through better reporting, events, and workshops. After the business meeting, the group toured the facility (which is beautiful) and enjoyed lunch together. 

florida chapter
Attendees included Ana Fernandez Rockwell, Claudia Liemann, Kathy Glandorf, Mary Turso (co-chair), Albert Sanchez (chair), Gisella Emiliani, Richard Kaminski, Mary Sayer, Carlos Ribero, Mark Sandler, Kathy Jacobs-Houk, Elizabeth Beristain, and Stephanie Alaimo.

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International Chapter Announces Second Meeting 21-23 April

Julia Spink,

After the great success of the inaugural meeting of our new chapter, which attracted 30 attendees from 13 countries, we are delighted to announce our second chapter meeting.

This will take place on 21 to 23 April, again using a virtual bulletin board format to allow everyone the chance to log in from any time zone.

We had a good response to the idea of allowing members to interact to start to develop a network of contacts around the globe, so this time we are planning to conduct the meeting in two parts.

In the first part after allowing attendees to introduce themselves, we will have an open discussion about broad areas related to conducting fieldwork in different countries. In this part all attendees are welcome to contribute. The intent is for members to learn from each other and to start to build connections across our global membership.

Then in the second part we will hear from chapter member Raji Bonala from India, who has a fascinating presentation on the emerging psychographic opportunities in India. Anyone involved with rapidly developing markets will find this very interesting.

Just send an email to to register for this event – and put it in your diary!

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Master Moderator Motivates Minnesota at February Chapter Meeting

Pam McCarthy,

Minnesota is the land of legends: Hubert Humphrey, Prince, Paul Bunyan and especially Naomi Henderson.

naomi henderson

At our February meeting Naomi showcased the wisdom, courage and passion framing her 34-plus years of qualitative market research success.  

Local chapter members, along with other chapter members viewing livestream courtesy of FocusVision, learned how Naomi “tames ‘tiger’ clients” who want too much or know too little; along with other thoughts based on her years of experience:

  • Clients are the stars, not you. Your role is to give them good information and make them look good. 
  • Don’t compromise your integrity just to get a project. Simply say, “Your needs and my skills are not a good match.” Do what’s right, not what’s easy or comfortable.
  • Don’t say “I want your open and honest responses today.” (You just told them you couldn’t trust them.) Instead, say, “I’m here to listen to whatever you want to tell me. I’m not here to change your point of view. Whatever you believed when you came in here is fine for you to leave with — or you can change it, if you want.”
  • When teen respondents are hesitant to share, ask them to text their answers to you on a dedicated line, read their responses to them without attribution and ask for responses from others in the group. 
  • Every question is a grenade. Throw it out and let them respond as the “shrapnel” hits them as desired. Don’t go around the table.
  • Questions should be short. Ninety percent of them should not wrap to the second line in 12-point type on your computer.   
  • Let clients summarize key points after the group, rather than you. Ask clients to share their “ahas” as well as “confirmation” insights.

Naomi’s journey through 6,000 focus groups and countless trainings has allowed her to put her own stamp on the qualitative research world. 

Like all legends, her unique and seasoned insights will influence and inspire chapter members for a long time — about as long as Minnesota has winters. 

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Southeast Chapter to Meet Friday, May 15…Everyone Is Invited!

Randi Stillman, 

QRCA Southeast Chapter is planning a lunch meeting for Friday, May 15, at California Pizza Kitchen, North Point Mall in Alpharetta. Mark your calendars now! Specific meeting details to come; please stay tuned.

Along with local chapter members, any out-of-town QRCA members who are in Atlanta that day are invited to attend. We can even try to find a local member with a spare bedroom to help you save on hotel costs. For more information, feel free to contact Chapter Co-Chairs: Randi Stillman (, 404-326-0671) or Joel Reish (, 770-609-5500).

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