connections member news

November 2015
Vol. 14, Number 9


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

Personal Connections: Here Comes the Bride!

By Abby Leafe,

Kate and Mac Watson Wedding

On September 19, Kate Wagenlander — now Kate Watson! — married Mac Watson in a ceremony at the Biltmore Estate in beautiful Asheville, NC. It was a spectacular fall day and luckily there were a few QRCA members on hand to witness the big event. Abby Leafe, Nicki Lavoie and Mark Sumpter were all there, and I’m sure no one will be surprised to hear that wine was consumed, Mexican hat dances were danced and a good time was had by all. Abby particularly enjoyed her bridesmaid duties (the dress was lovely and she may just wear it again!).

The happy couple is now in the midst of building a house in Auburn, Alabama and enjoying married life.

Kate and Mac Watson Wedding

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Get to Know These Four New QRCA Members!

Reid Glaze

Reid Glaze

Reid Glaze is a moderator-in-training and currently is an Insights Consultant for D. Gustafson & Associates, LLC. In May 2014, he was hired as an intern for DGA’s sister company, SPYCH Market Analytics, where he acquired in-depth knowledge in the field of digital marketing and social media insights. After leading a social intelligence project for SPYCH’s largest client for over a year, Reid was hired as an Insights Consultant for DGA in July 2015. Reid works on consumer-based projects centered around Gen Y and Millennial research — including social media insights, digital brand audits, and online communities. He has over a year of social intelligence experience with knowledge in a variety of digital talents, including social media analytics, real-time insights, presentation development, and video clipping and editing. He has also assisted with report writing/analysis, consulting and presentation of findings. 

Reid graduated with a BBA in Marketing from the College of Business at the University of North Texas in May 2015, and now resides in Dallas, Texas.

Francesca Kulzer

Francesca Kulzer

Francesca Kulzer is currently a Research Manager with the online communities team at Edelman Berland. She came to Edelman Berland with 3 years of market research experience and 3 years of marketing analytics experience. Before joining Edelman Berland, Francesca worked at Acxiom, a marketing technology and services company, where she managed direct marketing analytics projects. Prior to that, she worked at Harris Interactive on the Consumer Goods, Restaurants and Retail team.  While there, Francesca primarily worked on quantitative research projects ranging anywhere from Awareness and Usage studies to Segmentations.

Francesca joined the QRCA to connect with other qualitative research professionals and to learn more about qualitative research in general. She has a particular interest in online qualitative research.

Francesca currently resides in Rochester, NY with her husband. In her spare time, she likes to read, travel and spend time with her friends and family.

Mokeira Masita-Mwangi

Mokeira Masita-Mwangi

Mokeira is an accomplished researcher with a unique blend of hands-on professional experience and qualifications. She has extensive experience in the design and implementation of research and development initiatives as in usability and user research, as well as in social research and market research projects.  

Mokeira has provided project management and technical assistance to a wide range of local and international organizations and has worked extensively in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has led and directed hundreds of empirical research interviews, discussions, observations, analyses, and co-creation activities for community interventions and solutions in her capacity as a senior research consultant for 12 years. Mokeira has worked for three leading research agencies and research-centric organizations providing specialized research expertise to a wide range of governmental as well as non-governmental, donor, and private sector programs, alongside regular technical advisory inputs. She is passionate about the potential and impact of well-designed and executed qualitative research for development initiatives in Africa.

Taking on increasing levels of seniority and portfolio responsibility in her roles, Mokeira has established a reputation as a skilled qualitative researcher, an excellent communicator, and an experienced community solutions developer. In April 2013 she co-founded Research PLUS Africa, a specialized research agency which provides critical research support to various organizations seeking to tap into the research industry in Africa. At Research PLUS Mokeira doubles up as CEO and Head of Qualitative Research. During her career she has also contributed significantly to mentoring and nurturing young research talent more so in qualitative research. She is delighted to have become a member of QRCA and attended the 2015 QRCA conference.

Mokeira holds a Master of Research in Educational and Social Research from the University of London. She is married with two children.

Daniela Rubio

Daniela Rubio

Daniela’s qualitative focus and approach helps clients understand consumers from different cultures through deep-dive ethnographic immersion and insights from the field. She has over 7 years of market research and consulting experience and has worked extensively in domestic and international markets including US (Hispanics and General Market) and Latin America.

Daniela is actively involved in intercultural and international strategy and has led work in market positioning and market entry opportunities, competitive trends and partnering in the financial services, consumer goods and health care industries. Daniela has a B.A. in International Relations from the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) and a M.A. in International Education Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University. She is a bicultural and binational.

Daniela is currently based in Mexico City but travels regularly to US markets and Latin America. She enjoys spending time with her dog (a black lab), with family, and friends. She loves swimming and spends a couple of nights a week swimming. She also enjoys food and loves trying new things in each city she visits.

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Kudos Corner, Conference Edition

By Monica Zinchiak,

President’s Award

It was my great honor to present the 2015 President’s Award at the Annual Conference in Orlando. The official description of this award states that it is given "for exemplary service and dedication to QRCA.” The President’s Award often goes to someone who has a long history of contributions to QRCA and also to members who have done noteworthy efforts for QRCA. The 2015 winner, Rick Weitzer, exemplifies both reasons that people receive this award.

Rick Weitzer has been a member of QRCA for 17 years. In those years, he has served in many roles including leading the Public Relations and Industry Relations Committees; serving as a chapter chair; and recently, leading the Membership Expansion Task Force. To demonstrate why Rick was recognized with this award, some comments are shared below:

  • “He has a way of organizing huge endeavors that make them manageable. He thoughtfully brought together a stellar team last year and then found a way to maximize everyone's strengths for the greater good of QRCA. He is a master at organizing people and then letting them shine!” Susan Sweet
  • “Rick is an organized and effective leader who helps everyone stay on track and continuously move projects forward. His kindness, wit and ability to keep meetings on time make him a joy to work with”. Shannon Pfarr Thompson

It was an honor to present the President’s Award to my esteemed colleague, Rick Weitzer. Although he couldn’t be there in person, the Board shared the news via a call that was recorded to share during the awards luncheon. The entire Board joins with our members to congratulate Rick on this recognition!

Rising Star

Sidney Clewe is the 2015 Rising Star Award recipient! Since she joined QRCA in 2014, Sidney has been a passionate and active volunteer who has taken on critical roles with enthusiasm, dedication, and effectiveness. Some of the contributions that Sidney has made to QRCA since she joined:

  • Helped to establish and serves as Co-Chair of the Rocky Mountain Chapter
  • 2015 Chapter Success Task Force (CSTF) member
  • Conducted research on behalf of the CSTF

Sidney received a beautiful “star award” at the Awards Luncheon on Thursday in Orlando and is a wonderful role model for new members, showing how getting involved can benefit members both personally and professionally.

The QRCA Board approved the Rising Star Award in 2009. Its goal is to provide recognition and incentive to QRCA members who have less tenure with the Association and yet have made significant contributions. The Board asks members for recommendations for this award, so please keep it in mind throughout the year as you observe outstanding volunteer efforts by our newer QRCA members. 

Congratulations to Sidney on receiving the 2015 QRCA Rising Star Award. Thank you for your leadership on behalf of QRCA and its members! 

Maryanne Pflug Spirit Award

It was wonderful to watch as a truly outstanding QRCA colleague, Marta Villanueva, received the Maryanne Pflug Spirit Award. This award has been presented each year since 2003 to honor the memory of a cherished member and her contributions to QRCA. This award is intended to uphold and celebrate QRCA’s cultural heritage of collegial commitment to the organization and its members.

Marta exudes the qualities and characteristics that Maryanne Pflug embodied: friendliness, creativity, commitment to QRCA, leadership, optimism, humor, mentorship, a passion for life, and unconditional positive regard for all. Here are some of the things colleagues said about Marta’s spirit:

  • She is a ray of sunshine and a true lady with a pure heart of gold — she is super smart and experienced, yet she makes everyone feel warm and welcome at conferences.
  • She is an iconic QRCA member who lives by the association's goal: to promote excellence in qualitative research by pooling experience and expertise to create a base of shared knowledge.
  • She makes the time and effort to reach out to colleagues and check in on them, not for the sake of booking work but to genuinely know how they are doing.
  • [When] I joined QRCA [I] knew nobody. I met her at the conference and, although not my official mentor, she immediately served as a one-woman welcoming committee, introducing me to others and selflessly offering to assist in my assimilation. Her optimism and passion for life are immediately apparent and contagious.

Marta was happy to receive the infamous Maryanne Pflug Spirit Award trophy — a HUGE martini glass — in honor of Maryanne’s favorite drink, which even made an appearance at the evening reception! I am grateful that I have gotten to know her and her spirit in many capacities over the years.

Congratulations to Marta on receiving the 2015 QRCA Maryanne Pflug Spirit Award, and thank you for your passion and leadership on behalf of QRCA and its members! 

Cheers to those who made the conference, the conference!

A big shout-out to Kelly Heatly and Chris Kann for their leadership on the Orlando Annual Conference! From the Demo Connections to the educational sessions to the Glow New World party, the event was wonderful.

Thanks to all of the Annual Conference volunteers who worked so hard to make every detail of the conference a success for QRCA members.

Outgoing Board Members

It was my honor to recognize three amazing board members who have completed their terms on the Board this year after a combined 8 years of service.

Mark Sumpter served as treasurer, vice president and, last year, as president. His leadership and ability to get things done have made him a joy to serve with over the last few years. Thanks, Mark, for your dedication to QRCA and willingness to help in so many ways!

Susan Sweet shared her leadership, insights and enthusiasm with the Board and committees for which she was the board liaison. She will be missed.

Marc-André Leduc brought his unique perspective, ideas and joie de vive to every meeting and I am grateful for his service.

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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. 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.

Nicole Brasof

River Town Research
750 Brighton Way
New Hope, PA 18938
United States

Amy Graglia

260 Ranchitos del Sol
Aptos, CA 95003
United States

Erica Plachter

Mars Research
550 West Cypress Creek Road Suite #310
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
United States