Vol. 13, Number 5
In Memory of Lloyd J. Harris, August 25, 1953 – May 5, 2014
J.R. Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lloyd Joseph Harris was born on August 25, 1953, in New York City to James Robert (“Bob”) and Ruth Boutté Harris. Lloyd was the youngest of three children; he had a sister, Mildred, and a brother, Bob Jr. (“J.R.”).
Lloyd grew up in Pomonok, a New York City public housing project in Queens. Following his older siblings, he attended St. Nicholas of Tolentine elementary school. When he reached the eighth grade, he was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious St. Johns Preparatory School in Danvers, Massachusetts, where he graduated with honors in 1971.
Following high school, Lloyd attended Harvard University, also on a full scholarship. His scholastic achievement put him on the Dean’s List, and he graduated in 1975 with a degree in Psychology.
As is typical of the Harris family, Lloyd loved to travel. He spent some time living in Europe (in France, Corsica and London), and along the way he learned to speak French, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, and Russian. While living in London, he decided to join his brother’s new consultancy, JRH Marketing Services, as a partner. The brothers opened a London office, where Lloyd was Managing Director.
When he returned to New York as V.P. Director of Client Services, he assumed leadership of the company’s quantitative research division. JRH Marketing Services was a pioneer in multicultural marketing research, and Lloyd developed new and innovative ways of sampling and screening for ethnic-oriented surveys, polls, and product tests. His enduring professional love and talent, however, was in the more interactive area of qualitative research. In the mid-1980s he joined the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA), an organization co-founded by his brother a few years earlier. Lloyd was always an active and enthusiastic member. He was elected to the Board of Directors, served as an officer, and ultimately was awarded the organization’s Maryanne Pflug Spirit Award.
Lloyd had a gazillion friends. They covered every age group, ethnicity, religion, political persuasion, sexual orientation, and geographical dispersion. He was a raconteur, a letter-writer, and always an appreciator of irony and the wry comment. He also had a contagious sense of humor, and he loved to dance. He was a brother, uncle, colleague, mentor, confidant, co-conspirator (when appropriate), and an all-around amigo bueno.
Lloyd is survived by his niece and nephew, April and Evan; by his brother, J.R.; and by all the extended-family members of the Harris clan.
Tributes by friends and fellow QRCA Members:
Judy Langer (New York, NY):
Lloyd received QRCA’s Maryanne Pflug Spirit Award, which “upholds and celebrates QRCA’s cultural heritage of collegiality among members and commitment to the organization, and is awarded to a member who demonstrates ‘spirit’ in the association.” He really embodied the essence of that idea: always warm, friendly, genuine. We miss him so much. It’s comforting to know that his spirit lives on in our organization, as well as for his friends and family members.
Linda LaScola (Washington, DC):
I'll always remember Lloyd's shocked expression when he leapt to the stage to accept QRCA's Spirit award, exclaiming, "I didn't know a man could be a spirit!" That's the image I'll keep of him.
Betsy Leichliter (New York, NY):
I once asked Lloyd to help me with a little focus group project where we had to take a busload of third graders to a movie theater, show them a short film, and then have two focus groups – me in one corner with the girls, and him in another corner with the boys.
All was going great, and just as we were wrapping the groups, I heard a big commotion over in Lloyd’s corner of the room. All of the little boys had rushed up to Lloyd and were giving him a huge group hug and screaming, “We love you Lloyd! We love you Lloyd!”
I was delightfully stunned. Never saw that happen in a focus group before. But with Lloyd, I’m sure it happened all the time. :-)
Susan Thornhill (Hermosa Beach, CA):
One of our cherished Harris Brothers, Lloyd, first came on my radar at the 2000 San Diego Conference. I saw this tall, charismatic, handsome guy with a light-up-the-room smile wearing all white with dark shades. He could really rock a tuxedo! When I got to know Lloyd, I learned he was even more wonderful and genuine on the inside. One of our Maryanne Pflug Spirits, he will now become a true spirit for us all. The QRCA family will miss this beautiful man.
Steve Appel (Washington, DC):
Needing some NYC help on a bid, I called Lloyd to join me for an opportunity to conduct marketing research with respect to reviving the economy in lower Manhattan, a few years after 9-11. Despite knowing that the awarder was a heavily-political public authority not bound by the usual state government rules, and that I would be recognized as affiliated with the party not in power, I still thought that we could put together a winning proposal.
Lloyd agreed, but warned me about the nature of this particular gang – we might put in a lot of wasted effort, lacking the knowledge that the offering was “pre-wired,” as we say. (Yes, there is a “post-wired” too, in New York.)
The first hint of trouble came with a thorough reading of the RFP. The applicant was required to show proof of experience in underwater construction, using a diving bell! I chalked it up to sloppiness on the part of the proposal writer, who obviously took a different proposal and changed some words for this one, but probably missed a few. Lloyd, however, suggested that, just maybe, this strange requirement wasn’t there by accident.
At a bidders meeting, we pointed out the diving bell provision, and the political-operative-now-executive-in-charge dismissed our concerns. Also present were several architectural firms, who had contacts with engineering firms, who had contacts with construction firms, etc., all potential and actual political contributors. Marketing research firms were few (actually, I don’t remember any, but I’ve learned to hedge my words), although the task clearly called for a variety of qualitative and quantitative studies.
I began to think we had a legitimate shot when we were called in for an individual presentation, but again, Lloyd warned me about getting overenthusiastic … and I was supposed to be the expert on political machinations. Upon arriving, we met some of the same architectural representatives, waiting their turns.
Needless to say, we didn’t win the contract. In fact, we weren’t even notified that the contract had been awarded, and they wouldn’t tell us the winner over the phone, let alone the value of the bid or the other bidders, as is usually required by New York State law. I could have carried this further, but Lloyd counseled, “get over it,” and I finally listened.
I will miss “L.L. Cool – H,” as he reluctantly allowed me to call him.
QRCA friends celebrating Lloyd’s life at his funeral service on May 17 in Jamaica, NY.
With Corette Haf in 2007, wearing a coat he made out of a blanket and wore on an adventurous train trip across Canada following the Vancouver Conference.
Lloyd and J.R. at the Vancouver Conference in 2007.
The man had MOVES!! On the party boat at the Vancouver Conference in 2007.
With Diane Harris at the Beverly Hills Conference Red Carpet Party in 2005.
Lloyd and friends at the Atlanta Conference in 2006.
See the QRCA Forum for a special topic recently posted with comments and photos:
Visit the CaringBridge site set up in honor of Lloyd:
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QuickTips: Experience the Magic Livescribe!
Kelly Heatly, kelly@HeatlyCustomResearch.com
Have you tried out the Livescribe™ pen? If not, you may be missing an opportunity to enrich your research in a very efficient manner. When explaining the Livescribe pen to those not familiar with it, I feel like I'm describing a magic wand.
What is it?
The Livescribe pen is a functional ball-point pen with an audio recording device installed. But that's not all: the "magic" lies in the pen's ability to instantly summon audio to match what you wrote, when you wrote it. The catch: you have to use special Livescribe paper (not expensive, in my opinion), and you have to remember to press "start" before writing (easy to forget at first).
How exactly does it work?
Let's say you are taking notes during some type of meeting or interview on Livescribe paper, which is currently sold in spiral or journal-bound perforated paper of various sizes.
- Power on the Livescribe Pen—recharged via USB cable—and press the "start" button on the paper (located on bottom margin).
- Write something, anything, on the paper.
- Once you are done taking notes, press the stop button on the paper; the audio recording is captured.
- Tap on any written word on the paper with the pen, and the pen will play the audio recording of what was said at the exact moment you wrote the notes.
- You can press fast-forward, rewind, speed-up, etc., just like an audio recording device. And the sound and range are unbelievably good! Livescribe also works with Evernote®.
The beauty of this technology is to minimize writing while maximizing information.
As moderators, we all know it's difficult, if not bad practice, to take copious notes while interviewing respondents. But what if you don't have transcripts or a note taker, or you need to recall information quickly and verbatim? Livescribe to the rescue! Write down a key word to clue you into what the respondent/client said, and you simply click on the key word later to hear the entire statement, soliloquy, or diatribe related to that key word.
Here are a few ways I’ve used my Livescribe in practice:
When conducting qualitative concept testing using focus groups or IDIs, use the Livescribe to capture respondent reactions by using your own code, i.e., “+” for positive, “-“ for negative, etc., noted under columns you’ve created for each concept. On the back-end, you can click on your tally of positive and negative comments, and then sit back and listen, as well as provide instant verbatims to your client.
The Livescribe provides an excellent way to jot down “a-ha” moments and respondent verbatims during a shop-along interview, using just a pen and clipboard. You can go a step further and create a one-page discussion guide template, printed off on Livescribe paper. Then you can make quick notes in your template without distracting from the interview.
Bonus: If you are videotaping your interviews, make a quick notation (like a check mark or star) to remind yourself of any good video clips to consider later. The Livescribe pen has a time stamp on it, so you can actually pinpoint where to find the good video footage later.
Client Kick-offs and Debriefs:
Whether on a kick-off conference call using speakers or in a back-room debrief meeting, take notes with the Livescribe to recall the “client speak” and details of the project. This has been especially valuable for me when working with a newer category where I’m not as familiar with the industry jargon, as I can tailor my proposals and reports to communicate in the client’s language. Be sure to inform your client that you are recording the meeting for note-taking purposes.
Let the magic begin!
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Michelle Finzel, email@example.com
A Mother’s Day Tribute by Terah Farness
Terah Farness, firstname.lastname@example.org
My mother taught me what her mother taught her: to never be afraid to ask a question and to always seek to understand, not just know. This means that my approach in life is centered on the curiosity of wanting to understand how things work, and why they work, without judgment on right or wrong but just a desire to better understand the world around me, and the many complex and interconnected concepts that make it work. This often means that things take longer, and I find the fun is most often in figuring them out the first time. But it also means there is always a new skill to learn and a new question to ponder!
Terah Farness with mom, Kim Grimmer,
while traveling to California on a research trip together.
Mark Sumpter Experiences England with a Local Friend
April Bell, email@example.com
Mark Sumpter, firstname.lastname@example.org
I had the good fortune to have a few slow weeks which allowed me to tag alongside Derek, my partner, during his business trip to London this past spring—the first time I have visited England for holiday in over 25 years. Darren Harvey, a fellow QRC and friend, was most generous with his time and helped create memorable experiences in London and Leighton Buzzard.
We kicked off our trip meeting Darren for an early-evening drink at Comptons of Soho. Comptons has been a pub since the 1950s (known then as The Swiss Tavern) and a central fixture to the “alternative scene” since that time. Notoriously known for heading to bed early, we hoped the six-hour time difference would work to our advantage, allowing us to have a late night out. What we learned was, awake or not, a crowded bar with loud music just wasn’t acceptable to our ears or conducive to conversation!
Comptons of Soho
So we strolled across the street to Balans for a more subdued atmosphere. Once again, we successfully (and by sheer luck) stumbled into a trendy, hipster establishment. While being neither trendy nor hipster, we always enjoy the food and creative drinks at such places. If you can get there, you must order the Porn Star Martini—the perfect balance of fruit juice, Champagne, and vodka to keep you up till the early hours of the morning… enough said!
Darren and Paddy strolling along the Grand Union Canal, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
Balans, for sampling Porn Star Martinis!
Darren, Mark, and Paddy arriving at The Globe Inn in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
The next day, we took the 40-mile Midland train ride to Leighton Buzzard, looking forward to experiencing a day in the country with Darren and several of his friends, and we were not disappointed. Hands down, the highlight of the day was a stroll along the Grand Union Canal with Darren and his adorable sheltie, Paddy. The lovely 1.5 mile walk took us to the Globe Inn, where we had beer and snacks. Most intriguing to us were the number of long, narrow house boats along the canal. Darren informed us that many rent these houseboats for holiday on the canal. Shortly after, we found the rental facility with a dozen rentals available. Such a holiday is now on our bucket list!
With the weekend over, Derek returned to work and Darren came into London to walk me around the sights—over six miles of walking in one afternoon. (Note for the next trip: take comfortable walking shoes!) We headed out from my hotel in Marylebone to the northeast corner of Hyde Park, home of the Marble Arch. Along the way to the southwest corner, we saw the Royals Park, Serpentine Lido, Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, and the Albert Memorial. One place I’ve always wanted to see was Kensington Palace—it was just several hundred yards away from the Albert Memorial and I missed it! (An excuse for another trek across the Atlantic? I think so!)
We strolled along the lovely streets of Kensington, known as “Albertopolis,” past the Princess Gardens, and then toured the Victoria and Albert Museum, the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. I have never seen so many things made from glass, appreciated the varied textiles from different cultures, nor believed that one building could house over a million architectural pictures, drawings, and models from around the world.
We then strolled up Thurloe Place (yes, I went through Harrod’s), passed by Buckingham Palace for my touristy photo-op, and on toward London’s West End Theatre District. Unfortunately, I did not get to see any theatre, so again, another excuse to go back.
The Albert Memorial in Hyde Park, London
Mark and Darren at Buckingham Palace.
The flag was flying—we think Her Majesty was in
I feel so lucky to know so many wonderful people thanks to QRCA, friends that I would not have if I had not taken that step to become a qualitative researcher. I’m looking forward to more QRCA adventures. Who wants to host me next?
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New Member Interview: Anya Zadrozny, Jersey City, New Jersey
Mike Courtney, email@example.com
Please tell us a little bit about you.
Hello, my name is Anya Zadrozny and I’m a new candidate member of the Association. I grew up outside of Philadelphia and currently live in Jersey City. I have a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University and I’m currently transitioning into market research after being a music and entertainment journalist for MTV and VH1 Radio. I have found QRCA a great resource for helping me with that transition.
I love finding out why people do what they do. That was one of my favorite parts of my job at MTV/VH1, and something that really interests me about a career in market research. I believe in working hard, doing whatever needs to be done, taking initiative, and taking pride in the results.
Recently, I’ve had a flexible schedule and have been taking classes to learn more about website conversion rates, search engine optimization, web-based marketing, and website design It’s interesting learning how to effectively express what you’re doing and selling over the web and how to reach your ideal client base. I’m excited to use these skills and believe they can be applied to any field these days. Wherever I get hired, I want to be a valuable, well-rounded, and reliable asset to the company.
Who were you and what did you do before you got into marketing research?
For the past seven years, since I graduated from Boston University, I have worked for MTV and VH1 Networks. The part of my job I enjoyed the most was conducting one-on-one and group interviews with musicians and celebrities. This was not because of who I was interviewing, but because of the interview process. I enjoyed fostering a non-judgmental, supportive atmosphere that encouraged my interviewees to open up and share, even if they had spent their whole day being interviewed by other outlets. I never took those opportunities for granted and, like everything else I do, I try to appreciate and learn from my experiences. I would like to use the skills and experience I developed at MTV in the market research field.
Anya interviewing (clockwise from top left): Sean Astin; Macklemore and Ryan Lewis; Lorde; and WWE Divas, The Bella Twins.
What drew you to qualitative research? Did you stumble into the field or was it your childhood dream to moderate?
My family friend Bonnie Perry has had a 40-year career in market research. She has been my mentor during this process and her enthusiasm for the field is contagious. I’ve been so lucky to have access to her wealth of experience, and grateful to her for generously sharing her contacts and resources with me.
During interviews at MTV and VH1, I loved exploring each person’s viewpoints and motivations, and their particular perspective on their work and life. I also liked the challenge of carefully listening to the responses and coming up with follow-up questions on my feet, all while being monitored and observed by the management teams for the subjects, movie companies, and music labels. I hope that within the field of qualitative market research I can build on the experience and skill sets I’ve already established. I love the idea that in qualitative market research the emphasis is on the content of the focus groups and one-on-one interviews, and that I would be able to design an interview strategy, facilitate a group discussion, analyze the participants’ comments and present the results to a client.
What motivated you to join the QRCA and what do you hope to gain from your membership?
My mentor, Bonnie Perry, has been a member of QRCA for many years and introduced me to the organization . . . and what an amazing resource it’s been to someone transitioning into the field. The connection to the group has been invaluable, allowing me to attend meetings, speak with current moderators, learn about the field, and scan the job postings. I would love to get a job through the connections I make at QRCA. The members I have met are smart, creative, motivated individuals and I’d love to work with them.
You have just been invited on an all-expenses paid trip to speak at a (non-research) conference. Who is in the audience and what do you talk about?
The title of my presentation would be “Laughter, Funny Stuff, and other Diversions from the Serious: How adding humor and joy to your life can increase your happiness, health and wealth.” It would be a fun-loving event that would be open to everyone who wanted to kick back, relax, and have laughs. My goal would be for everyone in attendance to laugh a lot and to feel good about themselves. I think it’s really important to remember that, while work is work, there also needs to be time in your life that is not taken too seriously. I think being able to remind yourself of that perspective and laugh at yourself makes life better for you, and for your colleagues, friends, and family.
A client tells you they'll triple your project fee if you can beat them fair and square in a game. You get to choose the game. What game do you play and how likely are you to win?
I’d challenge them to a good old game of volleyball. It’d be a fun way to get to know my client and the rest of their office team. While we play, I could also study their interoffice dynamics and how they communicate as a group. It’d be a good preview of what it’d be like to work with them and how best to present my ideas, research and end product. I played volleyball as a kid and in high school and play beach volleyball now. I tend to be a leader on the court because I really like playing, and can keep the morale of my team high, win or lose. We’d play our best, but I’d hope even if we lost the game, my client would be impressed with my interpersonal skills, enthusiasm and team spirit. Maybe they’d throw me a few extra dollars even if I didn’t get triple my fee, but if not, at least I hope they’d enjoy the game!
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QRCA Members Get Published!
Editor’s Note: QRCA has established many content partnerships that provide a platform for sharing the knowledge and expertise of our talented members, and QRCA members often contribute articles to industry publications. Each month, Connections would like to recognize those who have recently been published and share their articles with all members. Information provided by Laurie Pumper, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently published member articles:
GreenBook: Tips to Successfully Organize International Research
QRCA member Ilka Kuhagen writes about the different project management stages and the special requirements of global projects. International research always sounds exotic and exciting, but may seem intimidating and challenging as unknown cultures and different languages and mentalities will add to the normal processes of managing large-scale projects.
GreenBook: The Evolution of IDIs
QRCA Member Michele Zwillinger explores IDIs, which are a cornerstone of qualitative research. QRCs have relied upon them for more than half a century to elicit information from consumers.
Survey Magazine: Uncover Deeper Insights with Hybrid Qualitative Approaches
QRCA Member Casey Bernard explains how a flexible research toolkit allows QRCs to get really creative in reaching research participants. Photos, videos, and mobile experiences are all readily available and add richness to a study. Participants tend to give more details online, but by including an in-person interview researchers are able to read facial expressions and body language and go deeper for insights.
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Editor’s Note: The Kudos Corner appears occasionally in Connections – whenever members want to publicly salute others who do good things for the organization. If there’s somebody in QRCA that YOU would like to commend for any contribution (large or small) to QRCA, please let us know at email@example.com. All submissions will go to the Editor-in-Chief of Connections and will be published anonymously.
This month’s Kudos...
Thanks to the Revenue Task force for their great work in researching and recommending potential revenue sources to the QRCA Board. Task force members include Chair Joel Reish, Julie Medalis, Katrina Noelle and Manny Schrager.
Thanks to the 2014 Nominating Committee who has spent the last couple of months seeking and interviewing potential candidates for the 2014-16 QRCA Board of Directors! This small and effective team has put in numerous hours, and you will soon see that they have put together an amazing slate of candidates for your consideration and vote. The 2014 NomCom includes Chair Mark Sumpter, Farnaz Badie, Barbara Gassaway, Kendall Nash, Susan Sweet, Laurie Tema-Lyn and Kate Wagenlander. Your dedication to QRCA is greatly appreciated!
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Welcome New Members!
Please welcome QRCA’s newest members. Feel free to email new members directly and help them transition to our association.
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