connections management news

April 2015
Vol. 14, Number 3

QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
Member News
mark sumpter
Mark Sumpter

The Bylaws Change Votes Have Been Counted with an Unqualified Result

Mark Sumpter,

Over the last six weeks, membership has been voting on a bylaws change to help determine the future course of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association. I am pleased to announce that the proposed Membership Expansion Bylaws change has been approved by 90% of those who voted.

Here are the official results:

  • 33% of QRCA members voted (30% was the required, minimum threshold)
  • 90% supported the Bylaws change
  • 10% did not support the Bylaws change

The change in bylaws opens membership to:

  • Academics – including instructors and graduate students who instruct and/or specialize in the conduct and analysis of qualitative research
  • Other qualitative research consultants in strategy or product/service development firms who primarily practice qualitative research

The results clearly speak for themselves. Membership recognizes and embraces the change in our industry and QRCA’s role. The Board will work closely with our Membership and Marketing Committees over the next few months to develop plans to grow membership inclusive of our new definitions.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the QRCA Membership, I want to extend one last thanks to Rick Weitzer and the Membership Expansion Task Force for all the hard work they completed.

As always, the Board wants to hear from you. Please feel free to reach out to Shannon or me with thoughts, questions, or new ideas!

In your service,

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jay zaltzman
Jay Zaltzman

Action! From the Board

Jay Zaltzman, QRCA Secretary,

Last month the Board was busy doing “board-y” things: updating manuals, and dotting i’s and crossing t’s! Our focus has been on looking at ways to increase the value that members receive and to increase our membership. Some highlights include:

  • The Young Professionals Grant program is continuing this year and we are looking for up to three supporters. This great program will pay the conference registration for up to 15 young qualitative researchers.
  • We were excited to hear about the work done by the Membership Committee on an expanded ambassador program, modeled after our successful program at our annual conference, that will welcome and engage new members.
  • We have changed our guidelines for chapters and SIGs, limiting non-members to attending two chapter or SIG meetings (and four total QRCA member-only meetings). We want to make sure potential members can try our programs, but we want to convey that our chapter and SIG meetings are benefits for QRCA members and avoid situations where potential members might not join the association because they feel they can get most of the benefits without becoming a member.

Thanks again to all of the members who volunteer as part of our chapters, SIGs, and committees to make QRCA great!

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corette haf
Corette Haf

Getting to Know Your Board

Corette Haf,

If I asked you to use an analogy and liken the QRCA Board of Directors to the President of the USA’s Cabinet, I would likely be the Secretary of State. And I’m very happy to report that all is well with the Foreign Affairs Policy.

I’m very thankful to the President and the rest of the QRCA Cabinet for living our organisation’s mission statement, i.e. being dedicated to advancing the discipline of qualitative research worldwide.

Recent proof of this includes their support for:

  • The repositioning and renaming of the Virtual Chapter as the International Chapter. I would also like to pay tribute to Julia Spink for championing this cause and congratulate her and co-chair Ilka Kuhagen and their team for the enthusiastic re-launch of this chapter and their successful first meeting. I trust that all interested members have indicated on their member profile on the website that they would like to be a member and thus receive communications from this chapter.
  • Continuing with the Worldwide Conference. We are very excited about the planning that is underway for the late April / early May 2016 conference under the guidance of the power-girl-team of Susan Abbott and Kendall Nash. Can’t wait to hear which European city will host this great event….
  • Board approval to continue with the subsidized benefit of a discounted membership fee for qualitative practitioners in countries with a per capita GDP of less than $30,000.
  • Our annual Global Outreach Scholarship, which is such a worthwhile opportunity to share the benefits and advantages of QRCA membership with up-and-coming international colleagues who would not have been able to attend under normal circumstances.

I would like to thank each QRCA member who yearly reaches out to our GOS recipients; treats them like VIPs, and make them feel so very welcome in our loving QRCA midst!

As in the past, my turn to communicate with you coincides with the launch of the 2015 Global Outreach Scholarship. I would like to once again appeal to all of you, and in particular those who have international contacts in their network, to spread the news about this wonderful opportunity. As in previous years, we will award two scholarships, a Foundation Scholarship to a newcomer to our field, as well as an Advanced Scholarship to an established QRC who would like to advance their career to the next level. The fortunate recipients will receive:

  • Free membership in QRCA until 31 December 2015 (provided they are not already a member)
  • Free conference registration (valued at up to US $1,495) to attend the QRCA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL, from 7-9 October 2015
  • Travel and accommodation expenses associated with attending the conference, up to a total of US $1,000.

Full information about the scholarship criteria, application forms and previous winners can be found here.

The closing date for all applications is Friday, May 29, 2015

Thank you in advance — looking forward to see you in Florida and to meet our 2015 winners!!

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shannon thompson
Shannon Pfarr Thompson

A Note from the Executive Director

Shannon Pfarr Thompson,

This month I want to put a special focus on the volunteers of QRCA, because April 12-18 is National Volunteer Week. This week was designed as a time to thank one of America’s most valuable assets — volunteers — and call the public’s attention to all that they do to improve our communities. Sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network, National Volunteer Week began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing this annual celebration of volunteering.

I want to thank all the volunteers of QRCA who contribute to QRCA by putting together this publication and VIEWS, planning events that help qualitative researchers grow and improve their skills, and wrestling with organizational issues every day. QRCA is fortunate to have such a strong group of leaders who work to improve the field of qualitative research. I am thankful for their efforts and am grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from them.

As we continue into 2015 and beyond, I encourage members who are not currently volunteering to consider the role they could play in working to improve the field of qualitative research. Our volunteers consistently tell me that by volunteering they build a stronger network, learn more about the research industry, and end up gaining as much as they give. If you are not involved in QRCA but are interested in becoming more engaged, there are several opportunities that you might find interesting. Contact our Matchmaker, Jeff Walkowski, at for more information.

Serving on the QRCA Board of Directors is a wonderful way to share your talents in a very impactful way for QRCA and the industry. The Nominations Committee is just beginning its work; committee members are looking for members who are interested in serving on the Board, or who have recommended colleagues they believe would make good Board members. Get more information and submit your name, or a colleague’s, by the May 3 deadline.

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