connections member news

September 2015
Vol. 14, Number 7

  • Welcome New Members!

  • Personal Connections
    • Another Kind of Life on the Road
    • Kate Wagenlander Is Getting Married!
    • Pat Sabena and Nicole Sabena Feagin

  • Get to Know These 12 New Members!
    • Shelley Abrams
    • Sean Campbell
    • Lois Conklin
    • Anne Barea Chahad
    • Lisa Chiapetta
    • Jenny Karubian
    • Débora Montibeler
    • Rebecca Rampton
    • David Robinson
    • Laurence Robitaille
    • Neal Sandin
    • Ryan Sexton

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

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.

Claire Casey

TripleScoop Premium Market Research
4358 W Sawmill Ct., Unit B
Castle Rock, CO 80109-2843
United States

Rachel Ceasar

27 St. Andrews Road
University of the Witwatersrand
Johannesburg, Gauteng 2192
South Africa

Susan Chiasson

Eureka Qualitative Consulting
1600 Lieschen Ct
Arlington, TX 76012
United States

Curt Fedder Life Stage Research Insights
5049 N. Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60640
United States
Julie Knox

Jigsaw Research
525 NE 9th Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601
United States

Francesca Kulzer

Edelman Berland
320 Goodman Street North
Rochester, NY 14607
United States

Mokeira Masita-Mwangi

PO Box 50960
Nairobi 200

Holly Moore Holly Moore
32 South Portland Avenue #1
Brooklyn, NY 11217
United States
Amone Redelinghuys

109 Lechen Place, 269 Glover Avenue
Pretoria, Gauteng 157
South Africa

Daniela Rubio Daniela Rubio
Carretera Mex-Toluca
5500 apt 8
Mexico DF
Mexico and USA
Eduardo Sincofsky

Rua Maria Adelaide Freire Trindade
Sao Paulo 4531060

Casey Sloan

C+R Research
500 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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Personal Connections

Another Kind of Life on the Road

Layla Shea,

As qualitative researchers, we’re all used to being on the road.  But lately I’ve been experiencing a different kind of ‘on the road’ – being married to a singer/songwriter!

We’re just back from three days in NYC, where my husband Scott Shea played to a crowd of about 5,000 people on the main stage in Central Park!

scott shea
Scott Shea (left) on the main stage in Central Park.

When I met Scott nearly 20 years ago he was writing songs with his brother, and on the verge of getting signed to a label. But he got cold feet and turned it all down for a quieter, more ‘respectable’ life.  

Scott’s dad, Red Shea, played guitar for Gordon Lightfoot and had been on the road during Scott’s early years.  Scott didn’t want that life for his kids; he put down the guitar, picked up a hammer, and started a successful custom home building business.  

But there were remnants of songs on scraps of paper everywhere, and he always had a melody in his head.

In 2008 we moved to Vancouver Island with the intention of slowing down and enjoying life more. This was when I started my boutique online qualitative research firm, Upwords, and Scott started to question what he wanted to do ‘when he grew up’ since no longer enjoyed the highly stressful life of home building.

Scott kept eyeing the Martin J55 guitar his dad left him; and one day in 2013 I told him to do us all a favour and just pick it up.  The guitar didn’t leave his hands; songs literally poured out of him, and for months he did nothing but write.  

In 2014, an old music industry connection led to his first solo record — “Let It Storm” — cut in Willie Nelson’s studio.  Willie’s sister Bobbie, who normally plays only with her brother, heard a few of Scott’s songs and said she wanted to be part of the project. She ended up playing keyboards.

Scott spent the spring ‘on the road’ touring Canada. A musician’s ‘on the road’ is very different than a qualitative researcher’s. No high-end hotel stays. No clients covering breakfast, lunch, and dinner tabs. We might get frustrated when we have to lug around a pile of concept boards, but that’s nothing compared to traveling with the expensive musical instruments that are your livelihood.

scott shea
Left: Scott and the evening's emcee, Hoda Kotb of the NBC Today Show
Right: This is the only picture taken all evening of Scott (center) and Layla Shea (at right) in the same frame. They are on their way to pre-concert dinner.

My business keeps me busy at home most of the time since I specialize in online qual.  But, I couldn’t miss Scott’s two sold-out gigs in Toronto where two fellow QRCA Toronto Chapter members, Kate Dennis and Meredith Morino, joined me, a bunch of my clients, and even my favourite recruiter.  

Kate, who closely collaborates with me on research projects, took our collaboration to a new level.  She became the ‘event photographer’ at both Toronto shows!  And, Meredith is on her way to becoming a groupie; she went to his NYC show as well.

Thankfully, Scott is not on the road all the time. Our days at home are pretty interesting. We each have our workspace; and while I’m working on storytelling for my reports, he’s working on storytelling through song! While I’m checking out videos of the inside of my participants’ refrigerators, he’s shooting videos in our living room (which our kids think is pretty cool).

Scott is planning to get back into the studio in the fall/winter.  His second record will be less ‘Americana’ sounding and slightly more upbeat/radio friendly.  Hopefully he will make it out to a city/town near you on his next tour, because inevitably for musicians, just like quallies, life takes them ‘on the road’.

Here’s a link to his YouTube Channel.

You can also find him on iTunes.
Facebook: Scottsheasongs

Kate Wagenlander Is Getting Married!

Kate Wagenlander,

kate wagenlander wedding

My time has finally come! On September 19 I make the change from Wagenlander to Watson! 

Although I stand by the fact Wagenlander is an epic last name, I am beyond thrilled to start this next Watson chapter. 

We’ll be celebrating the big event in Asheville, North Carolina, surrounded by amazing family and friends, a mariachi band, and lots of eager trout (of course)! 

I am honored to have our own Abby Leafe as one of my two bridesmaids who has been supporting and guiding me through this exciting process…and who I have coaxed (maybe guilted) into trying her hand at fly fishing!  Pictures to follow!

It has taken some time but I am grateful I finally found my quadfecta: a man who is smart, funny, interesting, and kind.  BOOM!  Now, time to make some babies!

Pat Sabena and Nicole Sabena Feagin

Pat Sabena’s daughter, and former partner for 12 years, Nicole Sabena Feagin, has completed her Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies, won three awards at graduation, and passed her certification boards.

pat sabena daughter graduation

On August 31 she started her new job at one of the five best companies to work for in Connecticut: Recovery Network of Programs.  

As a Psychiatric/Medical PA-C, she is the Director of two Methadone Centers and two Residential Treatment Centers.  

Congratulations, Nicole!

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Get to Know These 12 New Members!

shelly abramsShelley Abrams

I moved from southern California to Seattle, Washington a little more than two years ago.  I am a freelancer specializing in technical writing and editing — that is, until about a year ago when I met Jean Craciun, owner of Craciun Research and an active QRCA member. 

I have over 20 years’ experience in technical writing, as well as auditing, primarily in the health care insurance industry.  When I met Jean, I mentioned that I loved compliance and research and was looking to incorporate those areas into my business (though at the time I was thinking more along the lines of compliance related research).  After further discussion and observing a couple of meetings Jean had with other research agencies in the Seattle area, I realized how well qualitative research suited my background — so Jean agreed to take me under her wing.  In the past year I have assisted Jean with recruiting for studies, as well as participating as an assistant moderator for focus groups, including doing analysis and preliminary reporting for those groups.  Now qualitative research makes up about 30% of my business.

I have really enjoyed learning a new field and working with Jean as my mentor.  I especially like being able to blend together my love of information, analysis and writing.  I look forward to gaining more expertise in qualitative research, especially with focus groups and in-depth interviews, eventually making qualitative research the primary focus of my business, Shelley Abrams’ Research, Writing & Editing Services.  I plan to take advantage of the many training resources offered by QRCA, though I am not sure yet if I will be attending the QRCA Annual Conference due to scheduling conflicts.

In my free time, my husband of nearly 35 years and I love enjoying what the Pacific Northwest has to offer in terms of nature, beauty and community, with lots of new places to explore and to get centered.  We also love to travel internationally, experiencing other cultures, both together and individually, and try to exercise our passports whenever possible!  

Sean Campbell

After successfully growing and selling my first company, 3 Leaf, I co-founded Cascade Insights nearly a decade ago and have served as CEO ever since. Our company conducts competitive and market intelligence — as well as B2B market research — exclusively in the B2B technology sector. Over the years I have worked with many Fortune 500 and mid-market B2B technology companies.

I share best practices and tips with business professionals on topics related to B2B technology competitive intelligence, market research and business leadership. So far, I have published three books, two eBooks and a plethora of articles and blog posts in addition to hosting and producing the B2B Market Research Podcast at As a public speaker, I have been booked for more than 250 speaking engagements to date.

I’m married with two boys, ages 10 and 12. In my spare time, I am a volunteer coach for youth baseball and soccer and enjoy fishing, camping, hiking and reading everything, especially history. I’m also a long-suffering Cubs fan.

lois conklinLois Conklin

I’ve been moderating for over 20 years and have extensive research experience in the pharmaceutical, consumer health, and high technology industries. I received my advanced certification from Burke Market Research Institute.

Professionally, the majority of my moderating has been health-care related and my research has included a wide range of respondent types: primary care physicians, many types of healthcare specialists, key opinion leaders, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, nurse educators, social workers, patients, caregivers, managed care and payers.

I’ve conducted more than 5,000 interviews including workshops, focus groups, IDIs, TDIs, Triads and observational methods. This has given me the opportunity to explore patient journeys, the treatment process and treatment landscape, and other areas such as positioning, advertising/message and ethnographic research.

In my spare time, I like to participate in helping others through volunteer work. I’m inspired by continuous learning and like to surround myself with inspirational people.  I’m a mother to two young adults who I’m very close to. I also love fitness activities and many outdoor activities.

Anne Barea Chahad

My name is Anne and I’ve being working for Albar since 2010. I am actually a speech therapist but after some years working in that field, I decided that it was time for a change. So I took a chance and started working at Albar Research. The partnership worked so well that I never left.

I am currently the Project Manager of one of the project teams and it’s part of my job to also conduct interviews and do the analysis of some projects. I really like that part of the job as it makes it possible for me to frequently learn new things. I enjoy the contact with different people, the exchange that happens and I believe that it helps me to be a better person. At the same time, family is another big part of my life. I got married three months ago and I can say that I am in a special moment of my life. 

Being able to learn is really important to me; that’s one of the reasons why I am looking forward to being part of QRCA as a member and attending the annual conference in October.

lisa chiapettaLisa Chiapetta

Although many in the research community know me from my years at a field service in San Francisco, I am excited to be celebrating my one year anniversary as an independent research consultant. Lisa Chiapetta & Associates is located in the Bay Area and provides a wide range of services that help support the qualitative research needs of moderators, non-profits, and corporate clients. 

It has been gratifying continuing to work with so many of the colleagues with whom I have had the privilege of partnering with in the past.  I hope being a part of the QRCA will be a way to keep in touch with my valued colleagues and continue to stay abreast of the latest trends in the industry. 

When I am not working, I love being outdoors — swimming, hiking, discovering new running trails on Mt. Tam or biking to Pt. Reyes station.

jenny karubianJenny Karubian

I was originally trained as a cultural anthropologist at UCLA, the New School for Social Research, and Emory University. I have two MA degrees.  My graduate research concerned violence against women at the US Mexico Border. I have published 4 Kindle books on the subject and did ethnographies in the border region.

I own my own company called Lotus Research LLC, where I specialize in ethnography, digital qualitative methods, and general qual (focus groups, IDIs). Ethnography is my true passion as I love really getting to know respondents in the context of their daily lives.

In my spare time I enjoy international travel, yoga, going to the beach, socializing, taking road trips, attending live music events, photography, writing and hanging out with my dog. I went to Peru in March and I am going to South Africa in January.

I’m originally from Los Angeles and moved to Clearwater, Florida last fall.

debora montibelerDébora Montibeler

I majored in Psychology and always have had an interest and curiosity about people, what motivates them and what drives their daily choices. In addition, the corporate world has always been very appealing to me; I always wanted to be in the backstage of major strategic decisions in companies. Qualitative research came to me as the work solution that combined both interests, and I fell in love with the area. 

I am a senior analyst and moderator at Market Analysis Brasil, an independent research firm that has conducted market research and public opinion studies since 1997. We are a national reference for research on corporate sustainability and green consumption, and we contribute to the generation of ideas and discussions around the topic along with corporate, academic and media spheres.

My role is to carefully examine and reveal the target audiences' behavior to our clients, uncovering issues and unmet needs and understanding the phenomena of the decision making process. I also have a role in strategic consulting, including providing assistance with business plan & sales strategy development.

When the director of our company approached me to discuss about memberships at Market Research Associations, I was very excited to hear of the possibility of becoming a member of the QRCA. The idea of sharing and learning about the trends, different experiences and methodologies in Qual through such an important platform, along with making new connections, was very appealing to me. I am very happy to be able to introduce myself as a new member!

Now a little bit about me: outside of work I am a very energetic person, I love exercising, dancing, reading and I am a big (really, a big) food enthusiast, I’m always very interested in trying new tastes and textures. Also, I am passionate about traveling and experience different places.

If you are looking to conduct a research in Brazil or other countries in Latin America, I will be happy to help you assimilate the culture and understand the Brazilian and Latin consumer.

rebecca ramptonRebecca Rampton

I’m a recent graduate of the Brigham Young University Advertising Program. Rather than continuing on to become the strategic or creative genius of ad campaigns, my interest was sparked with the research realm of discovering the tick behind every consumer’s tock.

I’ve now been working at TripleScoop for a little over nine months now and like all TripleScoop employees, I wear many hats as an account manager, moderator, data analyst, insights divulger, etc.  I love the delicate balance of prying into the details of the backend data while still glimpsing the diverse individual behind every interaction and I enjoy the intimate and collaborative atmosphere with both co-workers and clients.

From my involvement with QRCA, I’m looking forward to proactively learning additional specific moderating techniques from my new colleagues, accessing more educational resources, and gaining an expanded perspective of the similarities and differences of online and in-person moderating. And making friends, of course!

Although I’m living temporarily in Colorado, I was born and raised in Alaska. I moved to Colorado after getting married a year ago and I find it quite enchanting. I love admiring the artwork of the sky, playing tennis with my parents, meandering in the mountains, leisurely reading, and eating cookies and homemade bread.

david robinsonDavid Robinson

My name is David, and I am the International Sales and Marketing Manager at The Thinking Shed, an online qual platform provider in the UK. I've worked there for just over two years now, after completing my degree in International Relations and Politics.

Our company is currently expanding our presence into North America, so I'm looking to utilize the QRCA to promote awareness of online qual and The Thinking Shed in the US and beyond, and to network with other qual researchers.

I've just moved to Long Beach from London, so much of my time is currently spent trying not to sunburn too badly! When I'm not down at the beach, I like to unwind by reading or watching movies, or by playing soccer (and trying to convince Americans that it's really called football).

Laurence RobitailleLaurence Robitaille

I’ve done qualitative research for a number of years now, both in the world of marketing as well as within the context of academic and anthropological research. I was drawn to qualitative research first in the context of cross-cultural research: understanding people, habits, and behaviors from societies that weren’t my own. I guess that’s how I ended up speaking and conducting research in four languages (French, English, Spanish and Portuguese). I must say this profession also combined well with my passion for travelling! More recently, I’ve settled down a little and joined Sylvestre Marketing as a senior researcher.

In my free time, I try to stay on the move by practicing capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that was created by slaves but is now practiced worldwide. It keeps my street-smart sharp and forces me to stay agile. There’s nothing better than cartwheeling into a dance-fight circle to gain perspective.  

I can’t wait to meet all you QRCAers soon and share anecdotes and best practices. I am sorry I’ll miss the Annual Conference in October… but I had already planned vacations in Greece!

neal sandinNeal Sandin

I have been in market research for nearly 10 years and have been a moderator for about eight of them.  After doing some freelance work, I decided to make it official and start up my own company, 643 Research.  I have been very fortunate — I have some fantastic clients and am able to call on several former colleagues and friends to help on certain projects, whether it be as a videographer, an assistant, or as a bilingual moderator. 

Though I grew up in NJ, I received my BA at Guildford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, in International Studies and Religious Studies.  After a few years in Japan teaching English, I decided to get my MA in International Affairs from The New School University.  I always enjoyed doing research, and it is quite a wonder that I am able to do that for a living now.

I have only heard good things about QRCA and its members, and I am looking forward to some of the meetings and conferences.  I am always looking for a better way to handle that difficult respondent or find that underlying insight, and I have found market researchers to be very generous in sharing their experiences.

I consider myself an armchair historian, and I am currently finishing the book 1177BC, The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric Cline. It concerns the end of the Bronze Age, and it is always interesting to see purportedly “modern” behaviors show up in the distant past.  Besides that, I enjoy photography and geocaching as well — both are great excuses to go exploring cities and parks alike.

ryan sextonRyan Sexton

Hello QRCA members! I’m a market researcher from the Greater Boston Area with an interest in IDIs (and the best ways to conduct them), new product development, and B2B research in general.

I have a background in psychology and creative writing, both of which infuse my research with elements of scientific discipline and creativity.

Outside of the office, I enjoy writing short stories and I’m always kicking around ideas for novels, but whether or not they actually get started is another matter. 

I love reading and writing science fiction and I try to do both whenever I’m not working in PowerPoint, traveling, or in traffic on the way to work!

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