connections management news

August 2014
Vol. 13, Number 6

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

From the President

Kendall Nash,

Hello and happy August. The last few months have flown by and were as busy as ever. It’s easy to keep your head down, working hard to deliver insights to clients, and for things to sneak up on you. So, do something meaningful for yourself and your current (and future!) clients… Take 2 minutes to go look at your calendar right now and make sure that October 15-17 is earmarked for a visit to New Orleans with some of your closest QRCA friends — for a Conference that is certain to provide significant ROI for your time and investment. Learn about changes in the Qualitative landscape and how to harness it in your own business, cultural realities that impact research, storytelling and bringing findings to life, advancing moderating skills, developments in communities, neuromarketing and cognitive science, technology, and mobile platforms, practical tools for building your website and business, and more.

Of course, we have to include plenty of fun to make room for three days of mind stretching content — and what better backdrop than New Orleans to enjoy the company of so many fun people as we all learn, share, and shape the industry?

So, make sure you get it on the calendar now so that you can do your best to schedule around these three days. You will not regret it!

October 15-17, 2014: Hilton New Orleans Riverside, New Orleans, LA

Member: $845 (on or before September 15)
Member: $995 (after September 15)
New Member First Time Attendee*: $635 (on or before September 15)
New Member First Time Attendee*: $750 (after September 15)

If you go to ONE conference in 2014, it should be the annual QRCA conference — the one time all year when members come together from around the world to share, learn, and grow together. And this year, the conference will be held in historic and beautiful New Orleans — who says you can’t mix business with pleasure?'

The QRCA conference is the premier conference for Qualitative practitioners, with unparalleled opportunities to:

  • Connect and network with other QRCs
  • Expand and strengthen skill sets via hands-on collaborative practice
  • Learn from the best of the best in the industry
  • Refresh your perspective and reinvigorate your business with new methodologies, tools, and partners

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Monica Zinchiak
Monica Zinchiak

Action! From the Board

Monica Zinchiak, QRCA Secretary,

The Board of Directors met on June 17 and again July 21, 2014 via conference call to take care of the organization’s monthly business. Updates to report from these meetings include:

  • At the end of June we had 747 members; 51 less than last year at this time.  
  • QRCA Group on LinkedIn has more than 9000 members. This is more than 1000 new members in just the last 60 days. How incredible is that?!
  • Receivables from the AQR/QRCA Joint Conference in Budapest have been tallied and QRCA will net about $10,000.
  • Many thanks to the nominating committee for all their great work in putting together an impressive slate of candidates for 2014-2015 board candidates. Please don’t forget to cast your vote on the member side of
  • The board approved a restricted Legacy Fund to recognize members who have passed, including a policy document and memorandum of understanding.
  • QRCA VIEWS welcomes our new publishing house, New England Business Media LLC.
  • Amendments were made and approved by the board to the Annual Conference Policy documents to reflect revised policies language and current processes related to conference leadership.
  • The board of directors approved Ben Smithee as the chair for the 2015 Annual Conference. 
  • Member Expansion Task Force members debriefed the board on the findings of their exhaustive research and made recommendations to the board for their consideration. A presentation of these findings will be made to the membership at the Annual Conference. The board is grateful and thanks the members for lending their skills and hearts to this task force.
  • The Young Professionals Grant (YPG) has received 45 applications to date. See for more details of this program and pass along to a young qually you feel might be able to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.
  • Global Outreach Scholarship recipients have been selected and notified. We look forward to meeting them in New Orleans. 

Your board will meet next on Monday, August 18, 2014.

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shaili bhatt
Shaili Bhatt

Getting to Know Your Board

Shaili Bhatt,

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.

First-Term QRCA Board Experience

As I complete my first term on this QRCA Board of Directors, it’s helpful to step back and reflect on the journey of volunteering for QRCA.  

I have been a QRCA member since 2004, and my first conference was in Phoenix. I vividly remember my first Town Hall meeting from that conference, where a row of Directors faced a ballroom of fellow qualitative researchers. They shared stories of a year of work, accomplishments and lessons learned. When the President, Secretary and Treasurer shared their presentations on the association’s value and investments, I was in awe of the confidence and professionalism on stage.

That Town Hall meeting, hugs vs. handshakes, and the knowing smiles from that conference… All of this portrayed a warm and compelling image of this association that I’d just joined.

In those early years of volunteering, I was unsure of the work entailed in running local QRCA meetings, setting up a conference, or the output of our association’s committees; but I was willing to offer increments of my time in any meaningful capacity.

One day, I received an incredibly kind phone call to join a new task force to investigate the issue of credentialing. I accepted! This added a new set of regular meetings into my calendar. Over the course of a few months, as a team, we conducted interviews with buyers; and I shared with them my strengths with online qualitative research. Later that year, I was asked to co-present the task force findings with the committee co-chair at the annual conference the following year.

In 2007, QRCA VIEWS magazine decided that we should have a column devoted to “Trends,” and I was approached in a similar fashion to create this column. My task is to find several authors each year to write a piece on marketing or research-related trends, and I work with the writers to edit their piece into an article. It’s always a thrill to see Trends articles appear on the cover of VIEWS! I love the team of highly dedicated VIEWS committee members that create our magazine.

I will also add a not-so-secret caveat: The more you volunteer with this organization, the more you will get out of your QRCA membership.

Thanks to QRCA, I am connected with a strong network of qualitative researchers, and I feel that I add my own dose of research-geek expertise into the mix. The more I volunteered, the more I became more attuned to my fellow researchers’ strengths — I certainly pass along work to other QRCA members when I need help. It’s the magic of QRCA!

I am excited by the drafts of plans I’ve seen for our near future, and I hope you will continue to turn to QRCA for compelling educational content. From my story to yours, we are all connected by the qualitative quilt that is QRCA. My dream is for QRCA membership to be worth your renewals every year without hesitation. Please continue to be an excited, active, plugged-in member, and feel free to reach out with your stories and suggestions for our organization!”

If you are reading this as a member who hasn’t attended a conference… Join us in New Orleans! With such a storied backdrop, NOW is the time to see QRCA live in action! I can verify that I always return from our annual conference with a notebook of ideas and a renewed passion for research.

Lastly, I am currently running to serve a second term on the Board. I want to mention that there is a list of talented QRCA leaders who are up for nomination to represent your voice. Please remember to login and vote in this election!

I have nothing but good things to share about my first-term Board of Directors experience. Thank you for the faith so many of you have had in my abilities to serve our association at this level.

Hope to see you in New Orleans!

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shannon thompson
Shannon Pfarr Thompson

Note from the Executive Director: It Is Time to Vote for Your 2014-16 Board!

Shannon Pfarr Thompson,

The QRCA Nominating Committee has assembled a recommended slate of Candidates for your consideration to serve a two-year term, 2014-2016. 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 those elected will join the following current board members:


2013-2014 Current Role

2014-2015 Status

Mark Sumpter

Vice President

Automatically slated as President by succession.

Marc-André Leduc


First Board term lasts one more year.

Susan Sweet


First Board term lasts one more year.

Monica Zinchiak


Second Board term lasts one more year.

Members can vote for up to five (5) of the Director Candidates, and NomCom members have made it a very difficult decision by having such a strong slate of candidates!

To assist you in the voting process, a brief platform statement and listing of QRCA activities is included for each nominee on the ballot, as well as an introductory video that is approximately one minute for each candidate. Please note that the deadline to vote is August 15, 2014.

QRCA thanks the Nominating Committee chaired by Mark Sumpter and consisting of Farnaz Badie, Barbara Gassaway, Kendall Nash, Susan Sweet, Laurie Tema-Lyn and Kate Wagenlander for all of their efforts on this important task.

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