connections management news

September 2015
Vol. 14, Number 7

QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
Member News
monica zinchiak
Monica Zinchiak

From the President

Monica Zinchiak,

Ushering into my fifth, and final, year on the Board of Directors, I take on the title of President. I recognize that this title holds additional responsibilities that I am excited to accept, while I fully understand that guiding this organization happens in a collaborative manner. I want to acknowledge and thank all of the Directors who have served with me and before this time. The journey QRCA has taken comes from the collective power of us all — Directors, volunteer leaders and our members — over nearly the last three decades. In the last four years I have been proud to be part of the QRCA teams that have made much advancement for this organization. Naming the few that stand out for me are: 

  • Bylaws revisions for membership expansion
  • Focusing our marketing approach
  • Increasing educational content for our members
  • Engaging young professional researchers with QRCA
  • Optimizing conference experiences for our members

Yet, I can never shake the feeling that the QRCA journey is always just beginning.  Every initiative the Board of Directors works towards opens a bright beautiful landscape for all of us. But every path pursued generates new, and some recurring, questions about the destiny of QRCA, our members’ needs and attempting to understand the marketing research world around us. Is our gradual development and steady progress enough to sustain our organization, maintain the perceived value to our members, and increase the stature of our profession/organization? I am committed to keeping these questions in the forefront of my mind as I work for QRCA in the coming year. 

I am certain you have questions, too. Therefore, I will dedicate a portion of this section of Connections, From the President, during my term to your questions.  Everything is up for discussion! I will monitor the QRCA member Forum closely for your questions, you can intercept me at the Annual Conference in Orlando, October 7-9, 2015 to ask me questions, or you can contact me directly at I look forward to hearing what’s on your mind. 

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jay zaltzman
Jay Zaltzman

Action! From the Board

Jay Zaltzman, QRCA Secretary,

Wow, how time flies! This Board had its last meeting in August. In September, the new Board will begin work. So we bid a fond farewell to Mark Sumpter and Marc-André Leduc and we thank them both for their work for QRCA. Well, it’s really more of a “so long” than a “farewell,” since we look forward to seeing them at our annual conference in Orlando in October. 

And we’re looking forward to welcoming our new Board members, Kathy Doyle, Tom Rich and Laurie Tema-Lyn.

But we still had time to get some things done at our last meeting:

  • We chose the winners for the 2015 Rising Star Award and the 2015 President’s Award. The awards will be announced at the annual conference (another reason not to miss it)!

  • The Qualitative Excellence Award Task Force has been created and is being led by Valerie EsquedaDaniel Berkal is the Board liaison. Thanks to you both!

  • We approved the Marketing Committee’s recommendations for QRCA branding, presented by Julie Medalis. The committee did a wonderful job; stay tuned for more on our marketing direction moving forward.

  • Abby Leafe presented the recommendations from the Chapter Success Task Force. The Task Force came up with some great ideas to increase the value of chapter meetings. The next Board will continue to discuss the recommendations and the best way to implement them. Once again, stay tuned!

  • We received 50 (yes, fifty!) applications for the Young Professionals Grant to attend the annual conference.  The 10 lucky grant recipients will be announced soon.  We look forward to meeting them in Orlando! 

And we look forward to seeing all of our members at the Annual Conference in Orlando, October 7-9. If you haven’t registered yet, hurry! The early-bird rate ends September 18. See you there!

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jay zaltzman
Jay Zaltzman

Getting to Know Your Board

Jay Zaltzman, QRCA Secretary,

Hello again! It’s me, Jay Zaltzman, the same person who wrote “Action from the Board” above. I seem to keep turning up in this issue of Connections!

It’s strange for me to write a “getting to know you” article, because I feel like I know everyone, after being a member for 19 years! But if we haven’t met yet, I hope to meet you in person at the Annual Conference. (Did I mention that the Annual Conference will take place in Orlando from October 7 to October 9 and that the special early-bird discount ends September 18? Go to to register.)

So what can I tell you about myself? I live in Palm Springs, California with my partner, Kurt. No, we’re not married; since we have been together for just 24 years, we don’t want to rush things! 

My business is almost completely qualitative. I do work on a wide variety of topics, but one area of focus for me is the digital world. I do a good deal of work relating to websites, including both conceptual work as well as website usability research.

I love conducting focus groups: the challenge of making participants comfortable, creating rapport, drawing them out and hearing from everyone. But I realized I wanted to make sure I wasn’t recommending focus groups because it was the only thing I knew how to do! So I made a conscious effort to gain experience with other qualitative methods, both in-person (interviews, ethnography) and remote (webcams, online communities, etc.), in order to be able to recommend the most effective methodology possible. I frequently recommend a combination of approaches, and happily, focus groups are still a part of the mix!

I also like to keep learning new things in other areas of my life. When we moved to Palm Springs five years ago, Kurt and I started Salon for the Parched – a monthly gathering. Each month, we have a presentation about something interesting (topics have ranged from self-driving cars to making your own olives) followed by wine and conversation. We call it a “think and drink!” It has been a great way to meet lots of interesting people. Let me know if you’re ever in Palm Springs and perhaps you can come to one of our gatherings.

And I love to keep in touch. I send out a monthly email newsletter, “Research Tidbits”, about things that are new or interesting in the marketing and market research fields. Please send me an email if you’d like to receive it.
See you in Orlando!

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