connections management news

September 2014
Vol. 13, Number 7

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

From the President

Kendall Nash,

It’s hard to sit down and put pen to paper in an attempt to fully capture what these past years serving on the Board have meant to me. We’ve tackled so many significant things and I’ve learned much about myself and the beauty of what others bring to the table. I have had the honor of serving with amazing human beings and have had a unique opportunity to see the contributions of so many of our members.  To consider it all in one sitting is truly overwhelming.

The year began with an amazing conference in San Diego. It was filled with content that energized everyone in attendance. I think back on several conversations I had with people about the distinct vibrancy of the venue, event, and people there. At a personal level, I know I developed my own thinking, and the thought-provoking dialogue from San Diego has fueled many new research initiatives for me throughout the year that has followed.

When the Board convened in January, we spent a lot of time focusing on the current and anticipated future needs of QRCA. We worked (and reworked!) our Strategic Plan, identified the goals we really needed to emphasize for the year, and worked relentlessly toward a budget that would propel us in the right direction, while also being fiscally responsible to our Membership. 

We engaged in rich conversation with BrandCom, PRAG, and others who focus on external-facing communications, and the decision was made to discontinue the relationship with our PR agency, regroup on our audiences and specific needs of our external communications, align our external communication efforts by creating a Marketing Committee, and solicit proposals for holistic marketing efforts to guide and support the work of this group. Identifying and solidifying the right committee to do this work was critical and this team has already proven they are up to the challenge. We are grateful for the work they’ve already done and will continue to do as we refocus our approach to marketing.

Another sizeable task tackled was the vetting process of a publisher for VIEWS.  While it’s often easiest to continue working with current partners, we diligently worked to find a partner who could really understand our needs, deliver a high-quality product, deliver the strongest possible revenue for QRCA, and had a vision for what VIEWS could do for QRCA in terms of digital presence, increased SEO, and greater visibility for both the association and our wonderful content contributors. 

In addition to these tasks led by the Board, numerous volunteer-led initiatives have enhanced our understanding of the industry and QRCA’s place in it. FieldCom has diligently explored the magnitude of problem participants and how we can help to improve things for the research industry. The Content Evaluation Task Force has taken a 360-degree view of the content we currently have access to on the website, as well as what gaps may exist. This will give the Board solid direction on where to invest energy in developing educational content next year so that our members have what they need to be successful, well-informed professional partners for their clients. The Membership Expansion Task Force conducted extensive research on the Qualitative Professional landscape to investigate how we best remain relevant, while simultaneously protecting the unique benefits of the current dynamic among members. Members of many of our committees have invested so much of themselves in tasks that often go unnoticed or under-recognized. Chapters and SIGs provided members with local and industry-specific networking opportunities, and the programming offered has been exceptional.

This Board hasn’t shied from anything when opportunities for improvements or benefits for members have presented themselves. The membership has remained front and center, and we’re lucky to have such passionate people carrying us forward in the year to come. I continue to be grateful that you have entrusted me with this role, and am thrilled to watch as Mark Sumpter steps into the Presidency.  His passion for QRCA is palpable and his desire for the absolute best things for our members is undeniable.

Thank you. And now let’s raise our glasses (come on, it’s 5:00 somewhere!) and celebrate the year behind . . . and the many vibrant years ahead. Thank you for your patience and trust, and I look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!

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2014/2015 Board of Directors Announced!

Thank you to all of the members who voted for the 2014/2015 Board of Directors.

daniel berkal
Daniel Berkal
jay zaltzman
Jay Zaltzman

The election is now complete. Daniel Berkal and Jay Zaltzman have been elected to the Board for a two-year term.

Shaili Bhatt, Corette Haf, and Manny Schrager have been re-elected to a second two-year term. They will join current Board Members Mark Sumpter, Marc-André Leduc, Susan Sweet, and Monica Zinchiak who are midway through their two-year terms.

The Nominating Committee will propose a recommended slate of officers and an announcement will be made to the membership when the positions are finalized.

QRCA wishes to thank the Nominating Committee members for their important work. Additionally, thanks to all of the members who stepped forward with an interest in Board Service.

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Monica Zinchiak
Monica Zinchiak

Action! From the Board

Monica Zinchiak, QRCA Secretary,

Your 2013/2014 Board of Directors completed its year with a final meeting in August, with the newest 2014/2015 Board members to begin work in September. The Board of Directors would like to recognize and thank Liz Van Patten and Kendall Nash for their years of hard work and dedication to the organization as they leave their board positions. We wish them both much success as they retire from the Board.

We now welcome two new directors for 2014/2015: Daniel Berkal from Toronto, Canada and Jay Zaltzman from Southern California. The entire Board is looking forward to working with these dynamic individuals.

Updates to report from the August Board of Directors meeting are brief and include:

  • QRCA membership saw a bump up in July; however, the organization still falls below membership levels at this time in past years.
  • The Member Expansion Task Force completed its findings, and the Board has had a chance to review them. Findings will be presented at the QRCA general meeting in New Orleans during the conference. The report will also be available soon on the website.
  • Conference registration numbers are in line with expectations.
  • Several great Rising Star candidates emerged and the winner will be announced in New Orleans at the conference.
  • Congratulations to our Young Professionals Grant winners:
    • Alexa Megna, PERT Group
    • Howard Josephs, See Research Limited
    • Kim Schonfeld, Lieberman Research Worldwide
    • Peter Schamp, Market Dynamics Research Group
    • Kathryn Winland, Mozaic Group Inc.
    • Anisha Shetty, Hawk Partners
    • Beth Preece, Burke Inc.
    • Sarah Tax, Research Partnership
    • Berkley Webster Wooten, The Link Group
    • Karin Chrisville, Edge Research
    • Susan Lackey, Fulcrum Research Group
    • Chelsea Gibbons, iModerate
    • Karlene Hanko, Slover Linett Audience Research
    • Arielle Trammel-Fisher, Galileo Research & Strategy LLC
    • Katie Davis, Hall & Partners

The Board of Directors plans to meet next on September 15, 2014, and notable news from this meeting will be reported next month. The Board is looking forward to seeing all our members at the QRCA Conference in New Orleans, October 15-17, 2014. 

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mark sumpter
Mark Sumpter

Getting to Know Your Board

Mark Sumpter,

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.

September is a month of excitement and change as those north of the equator receive the crisp autumn air and those south get their springtime — we will all welcome our new seasons while squeezing in those last few projects before the conference and holiday season. For me, I most look forward to seeing many of my closest friends and colleagues at the QRCA Annual Conference in New Orleans — please register for the conference and join us if you can!

A new Board term begins in September as we welcome new directors Daniel Berkal and Jay Zaltzman, and returning directors Shaili Bhatt, Corette Haf, and Manny Schrager. They will be working alongside Marc-André Leduc, Susan Sweet, Monica Zinchiak, and myself to serve QRCA. 

It is with both great humility and honor that I have the opportunity to serve you and QRCA over the next 12 months as President — I am sure many of you are asking the same question I ask myself, “How did this happen?” All kidding aside, I eagerly look forward to the coming year and am anticipating all QRCA can do for our colleagues and the industry.

QRCA plays a vital role in my professional development and growth — as an independent Qualitative Consultant, I could not imagine a better organization to be involved in or better people to be surrounded by. The last two years serving on the Board have taught me that much happens unknown and/or unseen by the membership that keeps this amazing organization running. I invite you all to join me in thanking Kendall Nash for her amazing leadership over the last year and in celebrating some of the Board’s key accomplishments:

  • Renewal of our contract with Ewald, our association’s professional management company.
  • The formation of the QRCA Marketing Committee, aligning the Brand Committee and Public Relations Advisory Group under one area.
  • The Membership Expansion Task Force work which provides a deep and holistic look at current and future membership potential for QRCA.
  • Transitioning to New England Business Media, LLC, as our new publisher for VIEWS with no publication interruptions.
  • The Young Professionals Grant, which supports conference attendance for younger qualitative professionals who have not previously attended a conference.
  • Approval of the newly formed Rocky Mountain QRCA Chapter.
  • Implementation of the Legacy Fund, spearheaded by Judy Langer.

As this fall approaches, I have consistently been asked what my strategic focus will be for the organization. Being a good corporate citizen, I have three primary areas for focus and development in the coming year:

  • Increasing Awareness and Stature of QRCA: Fully develop and implement the QRCA Marketing Committee and secure a public relations firm that can fulfill QRCA’s needs to anticipate and reflect our rapidly changing industry.
  • Strengthening Membership: Membership is the backbone of any organization. We will focus on growth and retention for long-term sustainability.
  • Revenue Building: QRCA is fiscally strong. We will look at more holistic approaches to growing revenue in face of growing competition from other research organizations.

This will truly be an exciting year. The organization would not be where it is today nor be able to continue without the dedicated support of all our volunteers. Now is the time to get involved, and I ask you all to consider what you can do to support QRCA. I want to hear what you have to say. Feel free to email me at and I will do my best to respond to all of you.

Thank you for this exciting opportunity to serve. Let the good times roll — both in New Orleans and in 2015!

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shannon thompson
Shannon Pfarr Thompson

Note from the Executive Director: QRCA Presents the Latest QRCAtv Episode — Little Data That’s Pretty Big

Shannon Pfarr Thompson,

QRCA is proud to provide the latest installment in the QRCAtv series, with Jim Chastain providing highlights from his session at the 2013 QRCA Annual Conference. In this seven-minute interview, Jim shares insights on how to transform the way that clients think of qualitative researchers (as thinking partners) and how to provide clients with an analysis (not a report). Jim shares tips on how to focus on the right information in an analysis, how to structure interviews to get the best information, and how being seen as a partner improves your business.

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 here to watch the interview.

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Announcing the QRCA Legacy Fund

Darrin Hubbard,

The QRCA Board recently approved a proposal submitted by Judy Langer to establish the QRCA Legacy Fund. With several members requesting an opportunity to honor those in the QRCA family who have passed away, the concept of the Legacy Fund is to honor those members. As Judy says,

"‘We ♥ QRCA!’ That’s the way many QRCA members feel about our organization. It’s special, maybe even unique, in its warmth and sharing. The recent loss of Lloyd Harris, one of our most beloved members and brother of JR/Bob Harris, was a ‘now is the time moment’ to start the Fund. It’s a way for us to memorialize our colleagues and friends who have passed away by helping QRCA, which they cherished, to more fully realize its goals."

The Legacy Fund will support QRCA and provide another source of revenue that will enable the organization to further its mission. Examples of possible activities include funding:

  • Scholarships for young professionals, minorities, or researchers in financial need to attend conferences
  • Pro bono research projects that QRCA members collaborate on
  • Support of Professional Development Initiatives (e.g., at conference, Qcasts, chapters, or Special Interest Groups)
  • Other programs as proposed to and approved by the Board of Directors

For more information, please visit:

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