Getting to Know Your Board
Shaili Bhatt, ShailiB@crresearch.com
Editor’s Note: Each month, one Board member contributes an article to Connections on a topic of his or her choice. In this way, members get to know their Board of Directors a bit better.
First-Term QRCA Board Experience
As I complete my first term on this QRCA Board of Directors, it’s helpful to step back and reflect on the journey of volunteering for QRCA.
I have been a QRCA member since 2004, and my first conference was in Phoenix. I vividly remember my first Town Hall meeting from that conference, where a row of Directors faced a ballroom of fellow qualitative researchers. They shared stories of a year of work, accomplishments and lessons learned. When the President, Secretary and Treasurer shared their presentations on the association’s value and investments, I was in awe of the confidence and professionalism on stage.
That Town Hall meeting, hugs vs. handshakes, and the knowing smiles from that conference… All of this portrayed a warm and compelling image of this association that I’d just joined.
In those early years of volunteering, I was unsure of the work entailed in running local QRCA meetings, setting up a conference, or the output of our association’s committees; but I was willing to offer increments of my time in any meaningful capacity.
One day, I received an incredibly kind phone call to join a new task force to investigate the issue of credentialing. I accepted! This added a new set of regular meetings into my calendar. Over the course of a few months, as a team, we conducted interviews with buyers; and I shared with them my strengths with online qualitative research. Later that year, I was asked to co-present the task force findings with the committee co-chair at the annual conference the following year.
In 2007, QRCA VIEWS magazine decided that we should have a column devoted to “Trends,” and I was approached in a similar fashion to create this column. My task is to find several authors each year to write a piece on marketing or research-related trends, and I work with the writers to edit their piece into an article. It’s always a thrill to see Trends articles appear on the cover of VIEWS! I love the team of highly dedicated VIEWS committee members that create our magazine.
I will also add a not-so-secret caveat: The more you volunteer with this organization, the more you will get out of your QRCA membership.
Thanks to QRCA, I am connected with a strong network of qualitative researchers, and I feel that I add my own dose of research-geek expertise into the mix. The more I volunteered, the more I became more attuned to my fellow researchers’ strengths — I certainly pass along work to other QRCA members when I need help. It’s the magic of QRCA!
I am excited by the drafts of plans I’ve seen for our near future, and I hope you will continue to turn to QRCA for compelling educational content. From my story to yours, we are all connected by the qualitative quilt that is QRCA. My dream is for QRCA membership to be worth your renewals every year without hesitation. Please continue to be an excited, active, plugged-in member, and feel free to reach out with your stories and suggestions for our organization!”
If you are reading this as a member who hasn’t attended a conference… Join us in New Orleans! With such a storied backdrop, NOW is the time to see QRCA live in action! I can verify that I always return from our annual conference with a notebook of ideas and a renewed passion for research.
Lastly, I am currently running to serve a second term on the Board. I want to mention that there is a list of talented QRCA leaders who are up for nomination to represent your voice. Please remember to login and vote in this election!
I have nothing but good things to share about my first-term Board of Directors experience. Thank you for the faith so many of you have had in my abilities to serve our association at this level.
Hope to see you in New Orleans!
Back to Top