May 2018
Vol. 17, Number 4

Management News

Conference News

Chapter News

Committee News

SIG News

Member News

grey calendar iconRemember to check out the QRCA calendar of events
for upcoming Chapter events

NY Metro Chapter and Content Committee Train Future Focus Group ‘Master Moderators’

Shannon Danzy,

It started with an observation by chapter lead Roben Allong (Lightbeam Communications) that there wasn’t a lot of local, low-cost, hands-on training for focus group moderation. And from there, a day-long training was born.

On Friday, April 27, the NY Metro Chapter and the Content Committee held Modern Masters Sessions: Focus Group Moderation 201. Split into two sessions, one for those with less than three years’ experience and another for those with four to five years’ experience, twelve researchers each moderated a 30-minute focus group with up to six participants. Following each session, group feedback was provided and questions answered by the organizers and member "master moderators." The following week, trainees received evaluations from "master moderators" who viewed their session, plus the opportunity to chat with a "master moderator" for additional 1:1 feedback. For their participation, trainees received points toward the new QRCA Advance Program and training on Schlesinger Group’s The Wall, an interactive platform for the display of study stimuli, the use of which was built into the discussion guide.

What made this training unique? The discussion guide was written for a real client, Little Essentials (a Brooklyn, New York, non-profit) that sought help developing messaging to drive awareness and donations. A full client experience was created, with staff from Little Essentials sitting in the back room, tweaking the guide and concepts as the day went on, exposing trainees to a common group occurrence. Perhaps most importantly, the training was held informally in a safe, judgment-free setting among peers — both those who were learning like them and active practitioners fully invested in helping participants build their skills.

Many thanks to our volunteer “master moderators”: Paul Bruening (Intelligent Future), Marc Engel (engel research partners), Susan Fader (Fader & Associates), Katrina Noelle (KNow Research), Tom Rich (Thomas M. Rich & Associates), Andrea and Manny Schraeger (Consumer Centers) and Laurie Tema-Lyn (Practical Imagination Enterprises)! Thanks too to Steve Schlesinger and his team at the Schlesinger Group for being a gracious partner and host!

Learnings from running this session will be shared soon with other chapters. In the interim, if you’d like to hear more, contact any of the organizers: Roben Allong, Jessica Broome, Shannon Danzy, or Janina Weigl. We’d be happy to chat!

NYC Chapter Event - Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson (Aviants Insight & Strategy LLC), L, discussing participants’ reactions to a concept

NYC Chapter Event - Tina Michel

Tina Michel (Branding Science), L, using The Wall by Schlesinger to prioritize drivers of donations

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Register Now for the Pacific Northwest (PNW) Chapter Business Development Workshop

Marta Villanueva, and Cheryl Dalisay,

The Pacific Northwest Chapter of QRCA is thrilled to announce a workshop scheduled for May 18. This full-day event will give you the chance to brush up on your business development skills as well as your creativity. 


9:30 – 10:00am Meet and Greet, Registration, and Light Breakfast
10:00 – 10:15am Announcements & Introductions
10:15 – 11:15am A Fresh Look at Business Development: It's Easier Than You Think! (Presentation)
Marta Villanueva and Cheryl Stella Dalisay
11:15  – 11:30am Break        
11:30am – 12:45pm A Fresh Look at Business Development: It’s Easier Than You Think! (Workshop)
Marta Villanueva and Cheryl Stella Dalisay
12:45 – 1:45 pm Lunch & Facility Tour
1:45 – 3:15pm Get Out of the Qual Box: Leverage Creative Thinking for Richer Insights (Workshop)
Marta Villanueva
3:15 – 3:30pm Break
3:30 – 4:00pm Business Development Challenges (Workshop)
4:00pm and beyond Optional cocktails and/or dinner out


Fieldwork Seattle Downtown, 520 Pike St #2610, Seattle, WA 98101  


QRCA members: USD $75
Non-members: USD $150  

We have two payment options: 

  1. Send a check (made out to “PNW Chapter of QRCA”) to: 8720 SE 45th Street, Mercer Island, WA 98040
  2. If you would like to pay via PayPal, Nancy Hardwick can send you an invoice or you can send the money to

Your payment guarantees your spot. Given the popularity of these events and the fact that your registration includes lunch, if you register you must pay — whether you attend or not.

Session Details

A Fresh Look at Business Development: It’s Easier Than You Think!
Our industry has changed drastically over the past few years, leaving us with greater competition, smaller budgets, and clients who often are choosing to go the DIY route. If you have not been consistent with business development in the past, your business may pay the price now or in the near future. Don’t love to sell? Don’t have the time? Neither do most QRCs, according to our deep dive into this topic with QRCs of all tenures. The morning sessions will be dedicated to reviewing the results from our speakers’ study and incorporate tricks of the trade from many of the best qualitative practitioners. Marta and Cheryl will highlight solutions that can be incorporated quickly into busy QRC business lives. Understanding that self-imposed constraints and business development are not “one size fits all” can lead to unique solutions that will get QRCs unstuck and on a new path to greater success.

Get Out of the Qual Box: Leverage Creative Thinking for Richer Insights
In the afternoon, Marta will also share some tips and tricks from her creative thinking models. Using Marta’s creativity tools, we’ll get a chance to bring all that we have learned together as we workshop how we can improve our own business development efforts. More details to come…

Presenter Bios

Marta Villanueva is President of NuThinking Inc. She is a bilingual/bicultural expert with nearly 20 years of experience in insights. Marta has a proven track record advising top 500 companies. She holds a Master’s degree from the International Center for Studies in Creativity. She is a creative thinker, grounded in marketing, who gets more from consumers by using customized thinking tools. Marta has served QRCA in many roles, including co-chairing the Latino and the Creativity and Innovation Special Interest Groups, 2012 conference Speaker Team Leader, and chairing the Business Development SIG. She is the QRCA 2015 Maryanne Pflug Award Winner.

Cheryl Stella Dalisay is President of Stellar Strategic Services, Inc. Providing both qualitative and quantitative research services for the past 28 years drives her unique perspective into both disciplines. She has been intimately associated with client-side, agency-side, and supplier-side experiences that allow her to drive her business, and those of her clients, with uncommon solutions. Cheryl graduated from the University of Illinois with a “custom” B.S. in Communications/Advertising, specializing in statistics, research methods and social psychology. She is co-chair of the QRCA Online SIG and an active participant in the Business Development SIG. She has contributed to several QRCA conference committees as a Speaker co-chair, Dine-Arounds Committee and Session Host chair. She is a single mom of four who understands the meaning of “too busy for business development!”

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Texas and Friends Chapter QRCs Present at Ninth Annual MSMR Insights Conference

Lorie Poe,

Members of the Texas and Friends Chapter met on April 12 in Arlington, TX, to cheer on our very own April Bell and Marta Villanueva in their presentations on qualitative topics at the annual qual-quant conference. The conference is hosted by the Master of Science in Marketing Research (MSMR) program at The University of Texas at Arlington, one of the few programs of its kind in the country. The conference provides an opportunity for MSMR students to interact with professionals in the Texas marketing research community and for all to benefit from the sharing of ideas and networking. QRCA members Kelly Heatly and Casey Bernard are graduates of the program.

April followed the opening speaker with a presentation on her “Design Thinking + Montessori” approach to designing and executing innovation research projects. Marta presented in the afternoon on turning insights into innovation, sharing learnings from her study with top innovators. Cheers to April and Marta for a job well done in bringing qualitative excellence to this conference and sharing their wisdom and practical tips in such an energetic and engaging way.

Most other presentations were quantitative and included such topics as the changing e-commerce landscape, customer segmentation by personality type, and even using conjoint + qual to design theme park rides.

It was an enjoyable day of learning and connecting with friends. We will be back next year.

TX & Friends Chapter Event Attendees

From left to right: Dana Boone, Lorie Poe, Marta Villanueva, Kelly Heatly, Brian Olson

TX & Friends Chapter Event - Marta & April

Marta Villanueva and April Bell on stage

TX & Friends Chapter Event - April Bell

April Bell presenting Design Thinking + Montessori

TX & Friends Chapter Event - Marta Villanueva

Marta Villanueva

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