connections member news

May 2015
Vol. 14, Number 4

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

Welcome New Members!

Please welcome QRCA’s newest members. Feel free to email new members directly and help them transition to our association. See someone from your home state? Consider reaching out to say “welcome” — one click and one minute of your time brings immense value to a new member.

Daniel Attivissimo

B2B International
707 Westchester Avenue
White Plains, NY 10604
United States

Lisa Chiapetta

Lisa Chiapetta & Associates
5 Ridge Road
San Anselmo, CA 94960
United States

Ian Fureman

The Qual Shop, LLC
444 Kenwood Rd
Drexel Hill, PA 19026
United States

Michelle Gonsalves

Maykir Marketing
177 Webster St
Monterey, CA 93940-3119
United States

Joanna Jones InterQ
11351 Skyline Court
Truckee, CA 96161
United States
Margaret Mariani The StratLab
4705 W Brookwood Dr
Tampa, FL 33629-4220
United States
Graeme Trayner

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, Inc
54 W. 40th Street
New York, NY 10018
United States

Karen Tsai

China Cultural Insight
38 Dapu Road, Building 1, 21C
Shanghai, Huangpu District 200025

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Personal Connections

Jay Zaltzman: More Fun with Passports

You may recall a few years ago, I wrote about how I got caught trying to enter Israel as an American tourist (as a dual citizen, I have to use an Israeli passport when entering Israel).  Since then, I got a new Israeli passport, and everything has gone smoothly. But this month, my partner Kurt was going to the Furniture Fair in Milan, Italy. I’m no expert on furniture, so I thought I’d visit my sister and family in Israel, and then join Kurt for a few days of fun in Milan. 

I was trying to use frequent flyer miles for all the flights, and it’s always difficult to get business class seats with miles. For the flights home from Milan, there were seats available in business class on Emirates, flying through Dubai. It made for a long trip, but we had heard good things about Emirates, and thought it would be fun... but then I realized I would have my Israeli passport with me. The United Arab Emirates doesn’t recognize the existence of Israel and bans Israelis from entering the country. Of course, I would use my American passport to enter the UAE, but what if they searched my bags and found my Israeli passport? I didn’t want to find out!  After some anxiety, we hit on the idea of simply mailing the Israeli passport to myself from Milan, since I would have already used it to enter and exit Israel. That’s what we did. When we arrived in Dubai, it turns out that transit passengers don’t even go through passport control, so I didn’t have to show any passport to anyone. But what if the flight had been delayed and we would have had to stay in a hotel overnight?  Better safe than sorry!

The trip itself was a lot of fun. I got to spend time with family and friends in Israel and enjoy local food like hummus, falafel and borekas.  And in Milan, we attended a concert at La Scala and had box seats.  It felt like something out of the movies! And on our last day, we even got to see The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. You have to reserve tickets in advance and can only stay 15 minutes. They limit it to 25 people at a time, so that moisture and dust won’t damage the painting (it’s actually a mural on the wall of a convent). But it’s worth it – it really does look better in-person!

jay zaltzman and kurt
Jay and his partner Kurt at La Scala in Milan

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carol charland
Carol Charland

New Member Interview: Carole Charland, Pointe Claire Quebec

Mike Courtney,


Who were you and what did you do before you got into marketing research?

I worked in public health as an anthropologist for eight years, focusing on infectious disease prevention programs, primarily HIV but also tuberculosis.  I was also involved in academic research with a group affiliated with the Université de Montréal Faculty of Medicine.

What drew you to qualitative research?  Did you stumble into the field or was it your childhood dream to moderate?

I was curious of people and their homes.  I remember being very intrigued as a kid when I realized how different each neighbor’s apartment was.  I was literally ‘nosy’ and wondered why each one had a specific odor.  At some point, I knocked at someone’s door and very politely asked if I could have a look inside.  My neighbor laughed but refused.  That was my first recruitment challenge.  I could have become an interior designer or fragrance specialist.

I then wanted to understand people to try to help. I studied psychology and philosophy but wanted a more encompassing, broader reaching view which I found in anthropology and history.  My training focused on anthropology and the history of health.  If I had better grades in sciences, I might have done something related to health science or biology.

While working in public health we used a market research agency for one of our projects.  My first experience with a focus group was as a client behind the glass.  I kept that in mind as a potential future avenue with the idea of offering catering services.

carol charlandPlease tell us about your company.  What brought you to this company and your role within the organization?  Is there a story behind your company name?

I founded Sapiens Strategies.  My collaborator Karen Hofman and I are both anthropologists and I wanted to exploit the idea of human ingenuity—the respondents,’ our clients’ and our own intelligence and complex thinking in finding adaptive solutions.  We promote a renewed approach to answering business questions based on human sciences and are getting a positive response from clients.

Hypotheses, concepts, interpretations and analysis form the strategic part of research (quant and qual) and we are discovering a variety of ways to talk about these aspects in ways that are relevant for our clients.  We aim at keeping abreast of the latest thinking in market research and the human sciences and to share it.
We talk about semiology, credibility as an experience, reputation, leadership and engagement.  Because we work with physicians there are many insights that can be meaningfully situated relative to epistemology and knowledge acquisition.

Do you remember your first few moderating sessions?  If we were able to watch a video of that first session what would we see?

Me breaking out in a cold sweat!  It was an important and stressful interview, 13 years ago when I first joined Ipsos.  It was in a viewing facility.  There were about 10 people from Ipsos and the client side.  It was with an infectious disease specialist about HIV/AIDS treatment which was a bit challenging because of the varied ways physicians might name the drugs and classes of drugs.  I definitely had to do some studying ahead of time.

During the interview, one physician confused some of the drug classes.  Even if I felt sort of confident about this part of the information, I couldn’t be entirely sure I wasn’t wrong.  I tried to prompt again on the class hoping the physician would rectify the information but I almost insulted him.  He said: “I don’t know how much you know about HIV medication but this product is a NNRTI”.  With some apprehension, I went to the viewing room to get feedback. Everyone was smiling: “You were right and the physician was wrong.”  It was concerning, but personally I breathed a sigh of relief.  Phew…

Industry/QRCA related:

What motivated you to join the QRCA and what do you hope to gain from your membership?

I wanted to meet other researchers to continue learning and thinking about research.  In the current era, I think we are moving away from being overly focused on methods and techniques towards finding better solutions and a renewed curiosity.  It is stimulating and I want to be part of it.

Many industries, including qualitative research, have experienced significant changes over these last few years.  What do you imagine qualitative research and/or QRCA will look like in the year 2020?  Any predictions?

I like that we are in a dynamic era for research.  Not all attempts to try new approaches are great, but discussing them contributes to keeping us alert.
As I mentioned earlier, we are finding an interest in the subject of knowledge: the various types, how it is acquired, communicated or transmitted.  It is like a pragmatic epistemology and I find this exciting.  There might be a trend to go deeper in our understanding of complex information and levels of meanings.  In the past, it was very difficult to use words such as “semiology” without losing colleagues’ and clients’ attention.  It is now better received and understood.

I am seeing greater openness and reliance on concepts and interpretation than before.  It is a good time to be a cultural anthropologist in market research.  In an era where we can easily access so much information, it is refreshing to see the refining of our curiosity in how we search and make use of information.

Do you find yourself moderating the family dinner discussion? 

In my natural environment, I am a rather incessant talker.  I even talk in my sleep.
In a family reunion, I act the same as the rest of my family: being loud, argumentative, talking all over each other but apparently able to follow a few conversations simultaneously.  I am not sure how and if this might have contribute to the development of my listening and research skills.  But the desire to learn can make me refrain from talking.

What books are you reading right now (real printed paper book or e-books?)

“Curious” by Ian Leslie and “Curiosity” by Alberto Manguel (as an e-book).  I guess at this point it is not a surprise!

The Final Question: 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 am not that great at games.  I think with some minimal training I can win at those games where you guess different smells or perfumes.  For better or worse, I still have an acute sense of smell.

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