connections management news

November 2015
Vol. 14, Number 9

QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
Member News
monica zinchiak
Monica Zinchiak

From the President

Monica Zinchiak,

The QRCA Annual Conference in Orlando was fantastic!  Many thanks to the Conference Committee for all the time and energy spent putting the great programming and wonderful networking experiences together!

Special thanks to Kelly Heatly and Chris Kann for their leadership; the Board could not be more proud of your entire team!

“What does the annual conference mean to you?” was the question Board member, Daniel Berkal, asked everyone the final day of the event. From my perspective, the conference meant the chance to recharge my batteries personally and professionally.  Getting outside the four walls of my office and being surrounded by curious, enthusiastic, intelligent and like-minded individuals really gets my motor running

This peer group is incredibly valuable to me.  Many of the professional relationships I’ve made have turned into cherished friendships. You can never have too many connections or friends. These are the people I regularly turn to throughout the year for advice and project support. 

Having this trusted network is one of the most outstanding QRCA member benefits the conference provides for me.    

In-between conferences I attend my local Chapter meetings for a “quick-charge.” But nothing is the same as the incredible energy I absorb at the conference, which carries me through my busy season and into the New Year. 

However, we don’t have to wait a whole year for the next major re-charge. The QRCA World Wide Conference is only six (6) short months away.  Conference Chairs Susan Abbott and Kendall Nash will lead A Symphony of Transformative Thinking and Discovery.  Be sure and mark your calendars, and purchase advance travel, for Vienna, Austria April 13-15, 2016

The date for the next annual conference is changing too. If you can’t get to Vienna, you will have to wait 14 more months until the annual conference in Los Angeles, California, January 2017.

This shift to Q1 has long been a request from our members. It helps relieve the pressures of having to coordinate annual conference attendance while managing fourth-quarter business. And, moving the conference forward, almost certainly affords the opportunity to visit someplace warm and sunny in January 2017.

If you didn’t already get the chance to answer Daniel Berkal’s question, “What does the annual conference mean to you?” you can by making a short video and emailing it to Daniel hopes to have enough content to create something wonderful for the member website. So whip out those cameras or mobile devices and start recording!

Equally important: The Board of Directors is currently preparing for its annual strategic planning meeting in January. This is a 48-hour summit that guides the next two years of QRCA organization initiatives.

And, it is very important to hear member concerns to enable the Board to address them. 

So just a reminder: I am monitoring the Member Forum closely for your questions (see the QRCA Suggestion Box) or you can contact me directly at

I look forward to hearing what’s on your mind.

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corette haf
Corette Haf

Action! From the Board

Corette Haf, QRCA Secretary,

By all measures, the 2015 Annual Conference was a success. There were 225 attendees, 10 Young Professional Grant recipients, a great line-up of speakers and a full exhibit hall.

Some of last year’s grant winners made their presence known, with their preparation of a terrific video showcasing the Marketing Committee’s positioning recommendations.

And, there was much positive feedback from attendees who spent time with the two 2016 Global Outreach Scholarship winners.

The Board met the day prior to the Conference start and ended the meeting with the annual Leadership Dinner for all Committee, Chapter, and SIG leaders.

Items discussed included:

  • The fact it is merely fourteen months until the next Annual conference in Los Angeles; and only six months until the QRCA Worldwide conference in Vienna.
  • A Content Committee will be created to curate and manage all QRCA materials, based on Chapter Success Task Force recommendations.
  • The QRCA website will be upgraded to become fully mobile-responsive, to address rapidly increasing mobile device use and search.
  • The Board approved the Marketing Committee’s initial repositioning action recommendations.

The next Board meeting is November 16.

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Laurie Tema-Lyn
Laurie Tema-Lyn

Getting to Know Your Board

Laurie Tema-Lyn,

Please join me in my kitchen. It’s cozy in here. Smell the garlic and onion sautéing! The last of my garden chilies are hanging here on braided twine to dry. The tomatoes are slowly ripening in bags. Something fresh and delicious will be on the menu tonight!

Zippers the cat is curled in her bed watching the koi in the pond outside the living room glass doors. NPR is playing in the background.


My husband Ron (story-teller and personal historian) is in his studio outside the main house. Our quirky country home (circa 1742) just isn’t big enough for our two respective businesses to reside together!

Practical Imagination Enterprises is the third floor of our residence, with an expanded view of sky, treetops, squirrels and birds; perfect for dreaming big and program planning.

I thank my blessings every day for my family and friends. My new love is 14-month-old granddaughter Luciana.

I’m also grateful for my fascinating work, and the many worlds intellectually and physically my work has taken me. This quarter’s excursions included future bathroom fixtures, women’s fashion, loyalty travel cards and retail deals.

My path to market research gave me a wide angle perspective with careers in direct marketing advertising (Rapp Collins) to creative problem-solving (Synectics) to founding a bi-coastal innovation consulting company (IdeaScope).

In fact, it was an IdeaScope client who catalyzed my path to qualitative market research, asking if we could apply the creativity techniques used with his internal teams to uncover insights and ideas from their product users.

At that time qualitative research was rather limited, running through a laundry list of probes in face-to-face focus groups or in-depth interviews.

Drawing upon our consulting experience, we developed new quali models, with a toolbox of activities: doodles, metaphors, analogies, theater improvs, meditation and projective techniques.

These methods proved deeply revelatory to our insight gathering; and to our research participants, who often left these “focus groups” feeling they learned something about themselves as well.

Fast-forward to the present. I formed Practical Imagination Enterprises in 1995. My work continues with Co-Creation programs, Shopalongs, Ethnographic Immersions and Trend tours topping the bill. The work constantly evolves with new digital tools and technologies and collaboration with QRCA colleagues.


I relish my ability to stay an entrepreneur and satisfy my curiosity about what makes us tick.

I get to make a living doing what I love and am able to give back to our community as well.

I have been honored to serve many years on the editorial team of VIEWS and as Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Chapter.

I am now excited having the opportunity to draw upon my experiences and serve on the QRCA Board.

If you are coming out to my neck of the woods (don’t be afraid, New Jersey really is “The Garden State!”) let me know and we’ll cook up a delicious meal together!

Until then, do let me know how I can be your voice on the Board.

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