connections management news

May 2014
Vol. 13, Number 4

QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
Member News
kendall nash
Kendall Nash

From the President

Kendall Nash,

Come out, come out wherever you are… 

For those who attended the 2013 Annual Conference in San Diego (ahh, I can still picture the amazing backdrop and outdoor tables now…), you’ll recall that the keynote speaker, Merrill Dubrow, asked anyone in the room under 30 years of age to stand up, and there were only a handful. He challenged QRCA to take leadership in getting young professional researchers into our ranks and to our conference. The challenge led to many great discussions among the Board, and we’ve spent some time thinking about the importance of that mission. 

Why is it so critical to ensure we have young members in our midst? We need these members in order to tap into their diversified perspectives and talents; ensure the longevity of our organization; and help dictate and align the future of our industry. It’s also important for experienced QRCs to pass on learning to those who are younger.  This helps our association and our industry as a whole.

Now, we’re not in quite the lackluster position that the standing-up-to-be-counted exercise might have indicated – in fact, hey, I’m in my 30s and know I’m still a youngun’.  But it did highlight a trend. Our need for more young members can be addressed with a few well-considered steps by the association. In his keynote, Merrill offered to help fund the attendance of young researchers at next year’s conference in New Orleans. In addition, Steve Schlesinger agreed to chip in for the cause financially as well as leverage his wide communication net. As a result, the Board is happy to present the Young Professional Grant, which will award 10 free registrations for the 2014 Annual QRCA Conference to members and qualified non-members who are 35 years of age or younger. Assuming this program will be as successful as we anticipate, we’ll be thrilled to have others contribute to this grant in years to come.

This will be a great way to increase the number of younger researchers in our midst at what is already shaping up to be an amazing conference in New Orleans. If you know of anyone who may be interested in QRCA or who you think this nudge may be enough for them to consider attending the Conference, please encourage them to apply. Grants will be awarded based on age (35 years or younger), experience level, and a personal statement provided by the applicant. All individuals must meet standard membership qualifications for attendance at the time they apply – but need not join QRCA. Only one grant will be awarded to a single company or firm. Grant awards are non-transferable. We will begin accepting applications later in May. In the meantime, applicants can visit the QRCA YPG page to sign up for immediate notification when the application process begins.   

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Monica Zinchiak
Monica Zinchiak

Action! From the Board

Monica Zinchiak, QRCA Secretary,

The Board of Directors met April 14, 2014, via conference call, to take care of the association’s monthly business. Due to travel conflicts, all but one board member were in attendance. Updates to report from this meeting include:

  • We currently have 723 members, the same number of new members joining as compared to last year at this time, but this total reflects 50 fewer members having renewed.  
  • The QRCA Group on LinkedIn has more than 8,000 members. Special thanks to Ricardo Lopez for acting as our group manager.
  • QRCA VIEWS team is in the process of collecting proposals from prospective publishers to produce the print and online version of the magazine. If you know a firm that might be interested in proposing, please contact Shaili Bhatt or Laurie Pumper.
  • The board of directors is continuing its efforts working towards a holistic marketing strategy for the organization. To this end, the board has decided to create a Marketing Committee to oversee all public relations, branding, digital media efforts, etc., which will replace PRAG and BrandCom.
  • The board of directors is currently drafting an RFP to address our redefined marketing needs and is looking for guidance with this effort. If you have knowledge and time to help with this task, please contact Kendall Nash or Shannon Pfarr Thompson.
  • Steve Schlesinger and Merrill Dubrow have agreed to grant ten young researchers the opportunity to attend the Annual Conference in New Orleans this fall. The Young Professionals Grant (YPG) will cover recipients’ registration fees (travel or lodging not included). See for more details.
  • The April Qcast registration hit a new all-time high of 287, with nearly 160 attendees (also a new record).
  • The closing date for the Global Outreach Scholarship applications is May 30, 2014.  If you know of a qualitative researcher outside of the US, UK or Canada who may be interested, please contact Corette Haf or visit the Global Outreach Scholarship page.

Your board will meet next on Monday, May 19, 2014.

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manny schrager
Manny Schrager

Getting to Know Your Board

Manny Schrager,

Editor’s Note: Each month, one Board member contributes an article to Connections on a topic of his/her choice. In this way, members get to know their Board of Directors a bit better.

Sanity Can Come in Shades of Green or Red or White

I remember going to my first QRCA conference and hearing one of the speakers ask, “How many of us would have chosen this profession if we realized we’d be writing term papers for the rest of our lives?” I had never thought of it that way. I was always the term paper procrastinator, and this made me realize that waiting for the last minute on reports would likely drive me over the edge. So instead, I turned report writing into an internal contest, promising rewards to myself for reaching milestones. I became very adept at writing on airplanes, because the reward I was offering myself if I wrote enough (time and temperature permitting) was a round of golf when I landed. For me, golf is relaxing, a true way to de-stress. I view it as 18 opportunities to get it right, while enjoying nature and fresh air.

A second great reward and de-stressor is red and/or white. With many moderating assignments going from east to west over the course of a week, Andrea and I would often wind up on the west coast together at the end of a week. Link that with the fact that many airlines would charge a very significant premium if travel did not include a Saturday night stay, and you had a good reason to stay the weekend. On these trips, we found ourselves often traveling to Napa or Sonoma to spend the weekend – not for the drinking but the good vibes you get from others who go to wineries to enjoy themselves. What a great cross-section of the population and great places to conduct impromptu one-on-ones and mini-groups. (Too bad we never got paid for them.) Now, I don’t want you to think I’m an alcoholic. I actually enjoy collecting wineries as much, if not more than, collecting and drinking wines. For me, wine always tastes better when there’s a story to go with it. As a result, many of our vacations have included trips to wine regions, whether it be in the Douro Valley in Portugal, right in the middle of the Australian Outback, the Golan Heights in Israel or the North Fork of Long Island. 

Hope you all find your own rewards!

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shannon pfarr thompson
Shannon Pfarr Thompson

Note from the Executive Director

Shannon Pfarr Thompson,

QRCA Presents the Latest QRCAtv Episode on Your Brain on Qual

QRCA is proud to provide the latest installment in the QRCAtv series, with Chris Shields Kann, Peggy Moulton-Abbott and Kathy Jacobs-Houk providing highlights from their 2013 QRCA Talks session at the Annual Conference.  

In this short seven-minute interview, Chris shares information about how to access the subconscious mind of respondents; Peggy shares information about biometric communications research and how that impacts research; and Kathy talks about decoding consumer behavior and how neuroscience comes into play for researchers.

One of QRCA’s core tenets is to provide continuing education for members. By sharing content like this from our events, we are excited to provide member-only resources that are helpful for your work and personal development.

Click the video below to watch the interview. If you cannot view the image, you can watch it here:

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