Board of Directors Ballot - 2012

The QRCA Nominating Committee has assembled a recommended slate of Candidates for your consideration to serve a two-year term, 2012-2014. The candidates have distinguished themselves as being qualified to serve on the QRCA Board of Directors. They have been interviewed and carefully considered by the Committee.

There are five open Board seats this year, and the winners of the election will join the following current board members:

Name 2011-2012 Current Role 2012-2013 Status
Susan Saurage-Altenloh Vice President Automatically slated as President by succession.
Susan Abbott Director Second Board term lasts one more year.
Kendall Nash Director First Board term lasts one more year.
Monica Zinchiak Director First Board term lasts one more year.

On the Board Election Ballot below, please vote for up to five (5) of the Director Candidates. The Director candidates are presented in alphabetical order.

The following board member has completed her first term and is running for re-election:

  • Liz Van Patten

To assist you in the voting process, a brief platform statement and listing of QRCA activities is included for each nominee. All platform statements are presented as submitted by each Candidate for inclusion on the ballot. Pursuant to New York State law and the QRCA bylaws, the proxy ballots designate a QRCA officer, this year Susan Saurage-Altenloh, to cast the member votes pursuant to each member's direction.

All ballots will be tabulated in strict confidence. No one in QRCA will know for whom you voted unless you tell them.

Please note that the deadline to vote is August 10, 2012. Once voting is complete, Officers will be identified from among the elected Directors in accordance with QRCA Bylaws, Article VI, Section 5:

"Following the election of Directors, the Nominating Committee will present a recommended slate of Officers to the Board of Directors for their majority approval.”

Thank you very much for taking the time to vote in this important election! QRCA belongs to you, and your chosen Directors will help set the course of our Association in the coming years. If you have questions about the election process or ballot, you may email them to

QRCA thanks the Nominating Committee chaired by Susan Saurage-Altenloh and consisting of John Cashmore, Kendall Nash, Joel Reish, Philip Smith, Susan Thornhill and Jay Zaltzman for all of their efforts on this important task.


Susan Saurage-Altenloh, QRCA Vice President
Liz Van Patten, QRCA Board Secretary

Shaili Bhatt

Since joining QRCA in 2004, I have loved giving back to an organization that is devoted to teaching, listening, and sharing such wonderful tools and friendship over the years.

Our extraordinary members are among the best and most prepared researchers that I have met. We are collectively dedicated to the art and science of qualitative research, and I enjoy discussing meaningful ideas with QRCA members at our events, the Annual Conference, chapter meetings, and online.

I strongly support the quality and excellence of our research community, and I am prepared to take that next step to devote the next two years to serving QRCA members. My service would include:

  • Enhancing our role in the marketplace, looking for ways to increase the awareness of QRCA among research buyers!
  • Protecting the value of QRCA membership.
  • Expanding the awareness and outreach of the organization to young professionals in marketing and research (e.g., who could benefit from reading the mobile app of QRCA Views magazine, even attend the symposium).
  • Finding ways for members to blend the traditions of qualitative research with new technology.
  • Carrying on the spirit, heart, and energy of our supportive organization!

QRCA Leadership
Feature Editor for QRCA Views Magazine, 2007-Current
Co-Chair of Chicago Chapter, 2010-2012
Vice-Chair of QRCA Annual Conference, 2009

QRCA Committees
Member of Task Force to Investigate Credentialing, 2007

QRCA Activities
Conference Presenter
Qcast Presenter
Chapter Presenter
Ambassador/Guardian Angel
Rising Star Award Recipient
Views Contributor

Member since 2004

Rebecca Bryant

Board service has been a part of my routine for the past three decades, starting with director and then chair positions in local arts organizations, a small business incubator, federated funds as well as environmental education and advocacy groups. I value giving back. It is of particular importance to me when the organization’s mission aligns with my own values and/or I have received benefits from the organization. Both are true about QRCA. Professionally, I have benefitted greatly from the sharing culture created by our founding members. Personally, QRCA’s passion for knowledge, respect, sharing, creativity and ethics fit well with my own values. If elected to the Board, I will focus on:

  • Building awareness regarding QRCA among research buyers with the goal of increasing the value buyers associate with our members
  • Fiscal responsibility
  • Maintaining our unique organizational culture

I welcome the opportunity to give back at the Board level.

QRCA Leadership
Chair, Brand Communications Committee, 2012
Chair of Symposium on Excellence in Qualitative Research, 2011

QRCA Committees
Symposium on Excellence in Qualitative Research, 2009

QRCA Activities
QRCA Annual Conference Presenter, 2012
AQR/QRCA Presenter, 2010
Qcast Presenter, 2010

Member Since 2006

Michelle Ellis

I am excited for the opportunity to serve on the Board of QRCA. I have been moderating since 2001 but only joined QRCA shortly before going out on my own. QRCA has provided education, support and resources that have been invaluable to me. Because of this and all of the wonderful people I have met in the organization, I got involved immediately and want to continue to grow my involvement with QRCA.

I would like to ensure it continues to be a valued resource for new and experienced QRCs. I also feel it is important for QRCA to continually reinforce its position in the market research community as a center of excellence in qualitative research. To do this, we need to stay in the forefront of industry changes. By serving on the Board, I hope to build on all that the past Boards have accomplished and continue to push QRCA forward.

QRCA Leadership
Co-chair of Florida Chapter, 2010-Present

QRCA Committees
Conference Session Host Leader/Chair, 2011

QRCA Activities
Conference Ambassador, 2011
Chapter Presenter

Member since 2008

Barbara Gassaway

The experience of discovery and translating that insight so clients can apply data is both rewarding and inspiring! Sharing these skills, experiences, and spirit of enthusiasm is as gratifying, if not more so! As a RIVA trainer, I expand students’ knowledge along with bestowing the sense of responsibility warranted by our profession.

Named one of "Maryland's Top Business Women" and "Future 50 Companies" by SmartCEO Magazine, I am principal of The Research Group. A differentiator appreciated by clients and colleagues, I have a comprehensive understanding of strategic marketing principles, along with current trends and practices in the qualitative sciences. I am an expert in managing client teams, project priorities, and implementing creative methodologies to discover intimate, underlying feelings from respondents. You can learn about the "I Generation,” from my recently published article in the AMA’s Journal of Marketing Research.

My rationale for running for the QRCA board is two-fold:

First and foremost, as our premier association, I support the continued mandate for a high level of integrity in our beloved qualitative research industry; Second, I am committed to growing our members’ knowledge, engagement, and acumen in new methods, trends and best practices, while respecting traditional best practices that continue to provide value.

QRCA Leadership
QRCA DC Chapter Chair, 2009 to present

Member since 2006

Corette Haf

I know it sounds clichéd, but I often tell people that joining QRCA has been a life changing experience for me. Operating in a somewhat isolated environment starved of professional fellowship and inspiration, I was overwhelmed by the educational injection and convivial and sharing culture I found in this organization. I have enjoyed and gained much being part of the volunteer team over the past few years. My main motivation for making myself available for the QRCA Board is therefore borne out of a willingness to continue to serve this unique organization on a next level, to the best of my abilities.

QRCA’s dedication to promoting excellence in the field of qualitative research worldwide is vital in these times of increasing globalization. As an international member I can vouch for the extent to which joining QRCA has broadened my qualitative research world. While recently screening applications for the Global Outreach Scholarship I could identify with the extent to which QRCs outside North America and Europe yearn for the opportunities that QRCA offers. If elected I would therefore strive to be an ambassador and to contribute to growing QRCA membership externally amongst qualitative researchers worldwide, and internally to represent the interests of our diverse membership.

QRCA Leadership
Virtual Chapter Co-Chair, 2006 - 2011

QRCA Committees
International Committee, 2010 to present
AQR/QRCA Conference Committee, 2010
Nominating Committee, 2007
Annual Conference Committee, 2006

QRCA Activities
Qcast Host, 2011
Annual Conference Presenter, 2007 and 2010
Conference Ambassador, 2005 – 2010
Qcast Presenter, 2008
Virtual Chapter Presenter, 2008
VIEWS Contributor, 2008

Member since 2004

Jenifer (Simson) Hartt

The last few years we’ve seen QRCA expand its membership benefits and opportunities for members to grow and thrive professionally. Rapid and profound industry changes are bringing enormous opportunities … and questions on how each of us can best play to our strengths, incorporate techniques and approaches from other disciplines and schools of thought, and enhance the quality of our deliverables.

QRCA is uniquely positioned to shine light on these challenges. As a Board member, I will invest energy and talent to advance the following objectives – always with an eye to what benefits QRCA members:

  • Rich learning experiences – QRCA offers members opportunities to hone their craft and expand their skills through conferences, chapter workshops, Qcasts, VIEWS magazine, etc. wrapped inside a supportive, collegial culture. I’ve been privileged to have played a small role in promoting learning as a chapter co-chair and VIEWS feature editor.
  • Organizational and financial strength – To continue delivering quality benefits, QRCA needs to grow and remain financially strong. As a former (and recovering) CPA and investment analyst, I will embrace those challenges.

Our charge is to position QRCA to flourish in response to challenges in our profession. I would be honored to serve.

QRCA Leadership
New England Chapter Co- Chair, 2007-2011

QRCA Committees
Qually Award Committee, 2010-11

QRCA Activities
QRCA VIEWS, ToolBox Feature Editor 2010-present
Qcast Moderator, 2012
QRCA Personal Connections, Member News staff editor, 2010
QRCA Personal Connections, Member News staff, 2007-2009
QRCA VIEWS contributor, 2007

Member since 2007

Greg Rathjen

I ran for Junior Class President in high school with the rallying cry: "You’ll go far with GJR,” bolstered by a shameless borrowing of "Blowing in the Wind” as a campaign song: "The answer my friend is Greg Rath-a-Jen, the answer is ….” These tactics "focused grouped” well back then, and I squeaked to victory by two votes. Doubt any of these will work with the far more savvy QRCA membership, even as I imagine everyone humming "Blowing in the Wind.”

I have been a member for 9 years, and despite serving on a couple of committees, I have been mostly a passive observer--absorbing and appreciating the sharing, collaborative and learning culture that sets QRCA apart from other professional organizations. When asked to run, I realized that I’d not done my part in giving back. So I am running, willing to serve and committed to helping address the challenges we face from: 1) stagnant membership, 2) the growing research buyer willingness to believe that big data and social media monitoring can replace in-depth qualitative analysis, 3) the supply chain mentality that disadvantages the independent consultant, and 4) proliferating new methodologies that never cease to complicate how we remain competitive.

QRCA Leadership
Southeast Chapter Co-Chair, 2007-2008

QRCA Committees
QRCA Nominating Committee, 2011
Speaker Committee, QRCA Symposium, 2010
Dine-Around Coordinator at two conferences: Atlanta, 2006 and Fort Lauderdale 2008

QRCA Activities
Ambassador, 2010-11
Moderated Panel on Qual-Quant Dynamics, 2008
Annual Summary of QRCA Presentations to SE Chapter, 2009-2011

Member since 2003

Manny Schrager

Prior to becoming a QRC, I lived on the "Dark Side” as a financial consultant for a major consulting firm. Here I learned how different organizations operate and the factors that contribute to successes or failures. I finally saw the Marketing Research "light” when I joined my wife, Andrea Schrager, at her MR firm.

As a QRC and facility owner, I have a distinctive perspective on qualitative research and how our industry is evolving. I understand that the relationships between moderators and facilities must be proactive and seamless so our clients always find value in what we QRCs do.

I believe strongly in the QRCA, having been an active member since 1988 (with a brief hiatus). To address the programming and organizational needs of the QRCA, the Board must represent a wide range of skill sets, and I hope you agree that management and financial acumen are critical. I look forward to bringing these skills along with my Chapter Chair experience, my synagogue board experience where I served stints as Treasurer and VP, Finance, and moderator/facility insights to the Board.

I am committed to utilizing all our resources to attract new members and enhance the experience for existing members so that QRCA remains relevant and provides value to members and clients alike.

QRCA Leadership
NYC Chapter Co-chair, 2008 to present

QRCA Committees
Investment Advisory Group, 2009 – 2011
Membership Committee, 2011 to Present

QRCA Activities
Conference Presenter, QRCA, AMA, MRA
Chapter Presenter
VIEWS Contributor
Annual Conference Committee Round Table Leader, 2008 - 2010
Annual Conference Committee Speaker Liaison, 2011

Member since 1988-1998 and 2000-present

Mark Sumpter

Serving as QRCA leadership for the past two years has been one of the most rewarding and enriching opportunities of my professional qualitative career. QRCA represents a vibrant organization filled with passionate and committed individuals striving for excellence in qualitative research – a passion that pulled me to and keeps me involved in QRCA.

I feel my skills and 15 years of corporate experience have already contributed to a successful increase in QRCA sponsorship, and I hope to continue to leverage this experience to the benefit of the greater organization. I have the energy and commitment to work for you – to become more involved in the continued pursuit of qualitative excellence, and to further QRCA’s vital role of pursuing industry recognition of members’ commitment to this excellence.

"The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.” - Benjamin Disraeli

I am ready for my opportunity to serve you and this tremendous organization in a greater capacity. I would be honored for your approval to serve on the QRCA board.

QRCA Leadership
QRCA Sponsorship Committee Chair, 2011-present
QRCA Chicago Chapter Co-Chair, 2011-present
AQR / QRCA International Conference Sponsorship Committee Chair, 2012

QRCA Committees
Annual Conference Committee, 2011-present

QRCA Activities
Rising Star Award Recipient, 2011
Qcast Moderator, 2012
Annual Conference Speaker Liaison, 2012
Annual Conference Ambassador, 2011
Annual Conference Session Host, 2009, 2010 and 2012

Member since 2007

Liz Van Patten

What an exciting time to be a qualitative researcher! As soon the dust settles on a new technology-based method or the convergence of social media and qualitative research, another new development pops up to provide us more innovative ways to tap into deeper insights.

QRCA is at a turning point too. Your Board of Directors has been working to develop strong partnerships with allied industry organizations, resulting in more meaningful benefits for our members and increased visibility for the organization. But these efforts must continue if QRCA is to remain vital as an industry leader and a valuable resource to our members.

Should you elect me to serve a second term as a Director, I will continue my commitment to growing our membership and building the strength of the QRCA brand among external audiences. But at the risk of sounding like a Public Broadcasting Campaign, I am asking for more than your vote. I am asking you to join me in becoming more active in this unique organization. Volunteers are the life blood of QRCA, and we need a strong core of leaders to continue to grow and remain relevant. Join a Committee, get more involved with your local Chapter, and take advantage of opportunities to add to your leadership skills.

QRCA Leadership
Board of Directors 2010-2012, Secretary 2011-2012

QRCA Committees
Chair, Qcast Committee 2005-09
Co-Chair, Qcast Committee 2003-05 and 2009-10
Nominating Committee, 2009
Conference Committee, 2007
Membership Committee, 2010-2012
Event Content Task Force, 2011-2012

QRCA Activities
President’s Award Recipient, 2008
Conference Presenter: 2003, 2004, 2008-10, 2012
Qcast Presenter, 2004
SIG Presenter, 2010
Chapter presenter: 2005, 2008-09, 2011-12
Views Contributor, 2002, 2011
Views Podcast Contributor, 2011

Member since 1986

There are five (5) Board positions to be filled for 2012-2014. Please vote for up to five (5) of the following Candidates to serve two-year terms as QRCA Board members. You may vote for fewer than five (5), but please do not vote for more than five (5), or your vote will not be counted.


You may also vote for write-in candidates if you so choose.

1) 2013 Qcast Archives

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
November 7, 2013 Qcast Link  Link  more ] Administration 11/7/2013
October 17, 2013 Qcast Link  more ] Administration 10/17/2013
September 12, 2013 Qcast Link  more ] Administration 9/13/2013
January 10, 2013 Qcast Link  more ] Administration 5/20/2013
February 7, 2013 Qcast Link  more ] Administration 5/20/2013
March 7, 2013 Qcast Link  more ] Administration 5/20/2013
April 4, 2013 Qcast Link  more ] Administration 5/20/2013
June 6, 2013 Qcast Link  more ] Administration 6/6/2013
August 1, 2013 Webcast Link  more ] Administration 8/1/2013
Untitled Document

Copyright 2018 Qualitative Research Consultants Association. All rights reserved.
651-290-7491 | 888-674-7722 |
Privacy Policy

This website is optimized for Firefox and Chrome.
If you have difficulties using this site, see complete browser details.