Thanks to the considerable efforts of volunteers working on behalf of the dozen Insights Association Chapters, market researchers across the U.S. and internationally enjoyed scores of convenient educational and networking opportunities in their region during 2018.

If you haven’t been involved with your local Insights Association chapter, you’ve been missing out. Growing enthusiasm among an expanding membership portends even more valued events during the coming months – right in your own backyard!

Check out what your local chapter was up to during 2018 and reach out to your area contact via the links below or contact our Director of Chapter Engagement Hilary Fischer to learn more about getting involved with your local chapter.

Thanks to all who provided these highlights and kudos to the volunteers who made each gathering and learning opportunity possible.

- Provided by Maria Henson, Immediate Past President

It was an exciting and productive year as we continued to evolve into the new national organization while keeping up with a multitude of Chapter activities. The Chapter held four educational/networking events in 2018. 

In April, we welcomed Dr. Jennifer Avery, Senior Director of Consumer Insights for Universal Parks and Resorts, who spoke about the unorthodox ways she has used conjoint analysis to understand holistic guest expectations; specifically relating to guests’ ride experiences.

Our second event took place in July and featured a Personal Branding workshop conducted by Lorin Drake, Manager of Consumer Insights for Publix Super Markets. It was a thought-provoking 90-minute session discussing various myths and misconceptions about personal branding. Lorin then guided everyone through the steps of developing their personal brand.

From left to right: Glen Lasher, Quest Marketing Group; Maria Henson, Visit Orlando; Linda Irizarry, Visit Orlando; Missy Carvin, New Directions Consulting; Sharon Roebuck, Universal Orlando; Maria Parra, Ingenium Research Boutique; Lucinda Burke, Universal Orlando; Bonnie Reenstra, Blue Sky Research Group.

In August, we hosted a workshop in south Florida featuring Victoria Arellano of Vidi Insights. Victoria gave an insightful presentation of best practices in market research with the Hispanic population. This generated great interest as Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic segment in the past decade.

In October, we welcomed Missy Carvin, President of New Directions, who spoke to us about getting weird to get great insights. She offered great suggestions of how to ask questions in a non-traditional way.

We also kicked off a new “Member Spotlight” feature in our newsletter with George Brezny of GB Marketing Research solutions.

Finally, another notable accomplishment for us was having the honor of hosting a cocktail hour at the Insights Association’s national Corporate Researchers Conference (CRC) in Orlando in October. Great food and fellowship was had by all!

Maria Henson, Visit Orlando, right, at the cocktail reception at CRC in Orlando.

Great Lakes
- Provided by Randa Ulankiewicz, President

The Great Lakes Chapter (GLC) has long stood as a chapter that provides education and networking events for the Mid-West.  In the past year, the GLC watched membership grow and provided opportunities to those that needed continuing professional development, while adding a little time for play.

In January, GLC Winter Conference attendees Charted Their Market Research Journeys with us in Ft. Lauderdale at the Gallery ONE Hotel. With the sandy Floridian beaches, attendees soaked up the sun and some continuing education! Attendees heard speakers from NBCUniversal, Mercy Health and ALMA. Later in the evening, they sailed away on a sunset catamaran cruise.

The annual Sharon Mutter Multi-City Forum (SMMCF) was held in April. This forum uses technology and a live audience to create a cohesive conference without the travel. Three speakers taught us about focus groups, digital research and customer experience surveys. Locations of the SMMCF included Cincinnati, East Lansing, Chicago and St. Louis. We were honored to win a Special Project Grant from the national Insights Association to support the SMMCF, as well as recognition for our continuing efforts with diversity and education initiatives.

The GLC Spring Conference in Cincinnati took us downtown to learn and meet great and courageous people. Prior to the event, a President’s Reception was held to get to know GLC members and the Board of Directors. The Fall Conference had the pleasure of hosting Jeff Berding, President and General Manager of the FC Cincinnati MLS Soccer team and Bill Donabedian of Brandemonium. David Krier and Colleen Hennegan explained the value of market research online communities to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and how it helped establish better care for their patients. Tommie Lee of Make It Plain, LLC enlightened the group on diversity.

Jeff Berding, FC Cincinnati MLS Soccer team, at the GLC Fall Conference.

Every year since 2012, the GLC presents the Amy Morris Spirt Award. This year Natalino Xuereb was honored for his dedicated work with GLC communications. The GLC also presented the Chapter Service Award to Sue LaGrippe of LaGrippe Research. Sue has continuously attended, sponsored and helped at our events without hesitation. 

The GLC can have some fun, too! Networking events continue to live strong with the GLC. In December, we hosted holiday networking events on the same day in Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis and Cincinnati.

The GLC is proud of 2018 and looks forward to bigger and better events and accomplishments for 2019.  In March of 2019, we invite all Insights Association members to join us as we head into Spring with the first in-person conference of the year in St. Augustine, FL. 

- Provided by Walter Blotkamp, President

The Mid-Atlantic chapter is 450+ members strong and covers Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia. As a Board, we have embraced the call to further the role of marketing research through educational events while having a little bit of fun along the way.

Among the highlights this past year was our summer symposium: “Research Developments: Disruption or Distraction”, which featured a full day of speakers from NPR, VizBii, MyTake, Dynata, MMR and our own Insights Association VP of Advocacy Howard Fienberg. The event was well attended and well received, and we look forward to developing an even better symposium this summer.

Summer Symposium Speakers: (L to R) Roddy Knowles, Dynata; Howard Fienberg, Insights Association; Rich Armstrong, My-Take; Susan Leland, NPR; Bruce Olson, MMR Research; Julie Moreland, VizBii.

We also began a program to reach out to students while creating additional educational opportunities for members by organizing a research panel during a marketing research class at George Washington University. With the help of past president Adam Weinstein of Full Circle Research, we connected with David Ashley’s class at GWU to field a panel with speakers from PS-B, AARP and our own board member Sean Wargo of Avixa. Each highlighted research challenges, successes and career experience and encouraged students to broaden skill sets for the widest impact. Student engagement was strong and we look forward to continuing the program this year and possibly extend it to universities in the Baltimore and Richmond areas.

Education is great, but so is gathering to socialize. At the end of the year we had our happy hour in Bethesda, MD. We plan to have a series of these in the coming year, if for no other reason than to capture many photos!

These three events do not happen without time freely given by board members and volunteers, so thanks to all for their efforts. To continue such events, we need more volunteers and would love to have additional board members, so reach out with your ideas and energy to help move our industry forward!

Bethesda Happy Hour: Because all Research Initiatives Need Winding Down Time

New England
- Provided by Jane Mount, President

It was a busy year as we hosted not one, not two, but THREE educational conferences – our most ever! In total, we offered 14 education hours to our local chapter members. May’s Spring Conference in Waltham, MA, engaged attendees on wide-ranging topics from consumer panels, to high-value customer segmentation, to neuroscience techniques and the “secrets” of political polling. In September, we participated in our first-ever three-chapter joint conference in New York City. The New England, Philadelphia and Greater New York Chapters “met in the middle” for a day of great education and lively discussion. Afterward, attendees of the packed social hour were serenaded by the music of our own Ken Berry of Jibunu. On the heels of this successful joint conference, in November we descended upon Waltham again for our annual Fall Conference. Always trying to expose our members to varied topics and educational experiences, our latest conference took on subjects such as Immersive Research, Competitive Intelligence and Data Science.

Peiter Shelt-Voss of Protobi presents at  the NE Fall Conference.

That’s not to say that we can’t also have fun – we held a popular networking event at the New England Aquarium, punctuated by a few speedy research presentations. Members met and networked, all while petting real sharks and stingrays! We also held four Research Rendezvous – geographically targeted events that combine education and networking – two in Providence, RI, one in Portsmouth, NH, and a beer-tasting event (a little sensory research!) in Portland, ME. Tallying up the year, the New England Chapter offered members more than 15 hours of networking.

As a chapter, we also worked toward improving our marketing communications and meeting the requirements of our Partnership Agreement with the national Insights Association. The latter half of the year also saw us in a push for additional volunteers – allowing us to keep up our efforts into 2019. Our mission is “To inspire your professional life through connection and education.” In that spirit, 2018 was a resounding success for the New England Chapter.

Cory Mann, Cory Mann Market Insight, and Andy Adelson, VDC Research at the NE Spring Conference

Greater New York
- Provided by NancyAnne Canaletich, Immediate Past President

It was a year filled with learning, networking and reaching out to recruit new members and leaders. The year began with social events which encouraged current members to bring potential members and to inform potential volunteers about the many ways they can assist the Chapter. Another highlight from last winter was hosting a cocktail reception in Brooklyn following the Quirk’s Conference.

Among the activities taking place during the spring was a cocktail reception during the Insights Association’s NEXT Conference in NYC and a “Lunch & Learn” with Insights Association CEO David Almy, who shared information about “The Past, Present and Future of Insights.” Students from NYU were invited to listen to special guest speaker David Harris discuss questionnaire design and mingle with members.

Summer was celebrated with members, friends and family gathering to watch both of the Big Apple’s baseball teams: The Mets at Citifield in Queens and the Bronx Bombers at Yankee Stadium.

History was made in the fall when for the first time three Northeast Chapters hosted a Joint Conference in NYC which featured a day of diverse speakers followed by networking at a bar/restaurant. Well attended, this event was deemed a huge success!

Three Northeast Chapters joined forces to pack the house in NYC.

Other highlights were a “Brunch & Learn”, two webinars enabling education for members unable to get away from their desks, and perhaps most thrilling of all – our famous Holiday Event, which again proved to be the most anticipated & well-attended event of the year with over 175 attendees!

It was a rewarding year on many fronts. We were excited to award $5000 to a graduate student at NYU for outstanding academic achievement; two $250 donations were made to charities chosen by members; and $500 was donated to the Tree of Life Charity in honor of Howard Fienberg’s late mother. Lynda Manning of Radius Global Market Research was honored for her dedication to the industry through the Joyce Rachelson Silver Service Award

We published four newsletters in 2018 in which several Chapter members were highlighted.

Special thanks to our Past Chapter Presidents for their help advising current Board members; to our 12 elected Board members who offered volunteer service to approximately 750 Chapter members, and to 16 Corporate Sponsors for their support!  

- Provided by Brian Fowler, Immediate Past President     

The Northwest Chapter produced 11 insightful events in San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, OR, in 2018 and featured a chapter record-setting amount of educational and networking hours. Our dedicated and creative staff, with the support of our community, served up more in-person events to more people in 2018 than we have in over 10 years.

We kicked off the year with our (now) annual bowling event in Portland. This event, hosted by locals Tobin Bailey and Jeff Spitzer, combined a friendly game of 10-pin with lively discussion.  We hosted this event again on January 29, 2019!

Bowling in Portland - Back by popular demand in 2019!

Refreshments for this and other events are funded in part by our annual sponsors, Full Circle Research and Disqo.

The Las Vegas Joint Chapter Conference delivered again with great content and a stellar setting, featuring an opening poolside reception at Caesar’s. The Southeast Chapter joined the event in 2018, bringing our chapter partner count for this event to four: Southwest, Northwest, Southern California and Southeast. The show returns February 27-March 1.

In April, we joined the AMASF for a two-speaker set in SOMA with Jessica Wong, CBSi, about video streaming trends and Linda Sharp, CRV Tech, who reminded us how important it is to utilize insights about customer touchpoints to predict profitability.

The 2018 installment of the chapter’s annual education conference returned to Portland in June with “The Northwest Insights Summit”. This event, held on the restored McMenamin’s Edgefield property, featured over 15 speakers sourced across the Pacific Northwest and Northern California from marquee brands like Dave’s Killer Bread, Nautilus, Microsoft, Intel, Salesforce and many more.

The sessions presented at the summit touched on a wide range of newer techniques, theories and technologies including UX, VR, Behavioral Design, The Dark Web and even a live AI demonstration!

In the Fall, we hosted events with speakers in all three of our home markets:

Portland – Insights Over Lunch. Speaker: Roger Straus, PhD, The Blackstone Group, ”Is it Market or Marketing Research?”

SF – A Moveable Feast of Qualitative Research. This downtown event featured speakers from, on “Using AI for Qualitative Research at Scale”, and Sarah Garcia, UEGroup on “Capturing and Measuring Emotions in UX”. 

Seattle – Brains, Bots and Brews, Seattle, featuring David Evans, Microsoft, on the “Ethics of Behavioral Design” and Chris Robson, Deck Chair Data, with a hands-on demonstration using AI to recognize facial changes.

We closed out the year by sharing refreshments with our partner organizations: PAPOR in San Francisco and the PSRF in Seattle. We’re always stronger when we work together!

Behind the scenes, Northwest Chapter leaders completed a long-term project to simplify Chapter operations. Today, our operational footprint leverages the Insights Association for hosting our websites, event registration, sponsorship forms, merchant account services, and even QuickBooks. The payoff can be seen in substantial cost savings, succession readiness, and increased national exposure for our events.

The Northwest chapter is fortunate to have a dedicated team of volunteers who delivered one of our more successful years in 2018 and a strong slate of leaders for 2019, under the capable helm of Scott Laing. Many kudos go to our volunteer staff and board of directors. Your work here will pay dividends in your lives and the lives of others.

Piper Smith & Julia Eschman of Washington-based Nautilus Home Fitness present at Northwest Insights Summit in Portland.

- Provided by Jason Eric Saylor, Immediate Past President

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia! 2018 was a great year for the chapter. Working together with other associations and other Insights Association Chapters proved most successful:

  • A joint event of the Philadelphia chapters of the QRCA and Insights Association, QUAL2025 was held at the Cira Center.
  • A first-ever joint event combining the New England, Greater New York and Philadelphia Chapters of the Insights Association was held at the Convene Conference Center a few blocks from Grand Central Station in New York City

Teaming up with Intellus Worldwide for a meeting in the Adventure Aquarium’s Shark Room, which features an entire wall looking into the 550,000-gallon Shark Realm tank.

Events included presentations on research opportunities in the emerging cannabis industry, buying process research, eye tracking, and analysis models. We also learned different aspects of the new world of Big Data; presented current opportunities for the application of neuroscience to qualitative research; discussed best practices for multi-cultural research; presented results from a study on how Millennials view healthcare and discussed the brave new world of the application of artificial intelligence to market research projects and we learned about research into challenges of Fair Market Value rates for qualitative interview respondents. We even injected some comedy into our year by having Second City Works hilariously demonstrating the potential of humor and improv in research. We have fun in Philadelphia, that is for sure!

Past President Jason Eric Saylor speaks during the QUAL2025 Event.

- Provided by Patricia (Tricia) Houston, President Elect

Catch Us If You Can – A year of networking and learning…

In 2018, the Southeast Chapter Board hosted a variety of networking and learning events for current and potential members.

Our annual event in Atlanta in May featured extensive learning and networking and (unfortunately) a very rainy Atlanta Braves game! We traveled to Charlotte for an evening event with dinner, drinks, and discussion about “Tech in MR: Who’s Serving Who?” A panel debate about all the great advancements in our industry, the right and wrong ways to leverage emerging tech in our space, and how we as practitioners should be adapting/evolving.

In addition to in-person events, we also hosted two webinars, “Learn to Build a Screener that Improves Data Quality” with Annie Pettit, PhD FMRIA, and “Packaging Insights Visually” with KaRene Smith, Owner at Shine Insight.

Throughout the year we realized increased membership and research community engagement and have plans to continue this trend for 2019. Attendance at our signature annual event (Spring Conference) nearly doubled from 2017 to 2018. We look forward to continuing to be a resource for networking and education across all states in our chapter.

Kicking off our Spring Conference with a networking dinner. Pictured L to R: John Delgado (JH Schorr Center of Market Research Resources), Jessica Maginsky (JM Research Solutions LLC), and Roddy Knowles (Dynata).

Southern California

- Provided by Kim Atkins, President Elect & Kevin Lewis, President

As 2018 ends, it’s important for us to reflect on our commitments, recognize our accomplishments, and renew our vows to revitalize our SoCal Chapter in 2019 and beyond! Our Board set out a commitment to provide existing and new members with more opportunities: 1) for education, 2) to give back to our community, and 3) to network – all in order to demonstrate the value of our Chapter and the Insights Association.

This year we accomplished a lot with your help and support – Thank You!  

  • Co-sponsored and actively participated and volunteered in the Las Vegas Insights Association Conference. This was important because our Chapter has not been active with any event in more than two years and it provided substantial education and networking opportunities for our members.
  • Addressed our Chapter and National Insights appetite for information with our first education event that addressed GDPR and included two guest speakers from the business and legal side. This event was a huge success with over 25 people in attendance (stay tuned for part 2 CCPA & GDPR). 
  • Less than a week after our event, a tragedy struck the Tree of Life Congregation in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. Sadly, someone from the national Insights Association lost a family member there. With prayers and love, we donated $500 to the Tree of Life Synagogue to show our support for the victims of this senseless crime.
  • Tragedy hit again with the loss of our SoCal member and good friend Ron Clark (STS) who we all respected and miss as a vibrant contributor to our Association and community. Our SoCal family donated $500 to the Leukemia Foundation in loving memory of Ron.   
  • We held our 2018 SoCal Holiday event at The Standard in downtown Los Angeles. We reserved the ‘Ping Pong’ room and hosted our 1st Annual Ping Pong tournament – which was a huge hit! To finish the evening strong, we sponsored a raffle and raised $1,500 to donate to SoCal fire victims.

Thank you for your feedback, patience, and participation! We look forward to your continued support as we build on this success in 2019!! Hope to see you at our 2019 Annual Insights Conference beginning on February 27th.  


Gavin Knapp (SEMA) was a 2-time winner - an Echo Dot and nice bottle of wine. Gavin is also one of our newest Board members for 2019.

- Provided by Jeb Bullis, Immediate Past President

We enjoyed the support and wisdom of an excellent Board of volunteers to fulfill our promises to Southwest members in 2018. Our first of two annual events were the 32nd Las Vegas Combined Chapter Conference, held at Caesar’s Casino and Hotel in April. For the first time the event was organized by four Insights Association Chapters: Southwest, Southern California, Southeast and Northwest. The conference started with an amazing reception Wednesday night around the beautiful Jupiter Pool. Nine excellent presenters filled the Thursday and Friday agenda. Locations were negotiated for 2019's 33nd annual event, which will again be held at Caesar's Palace Casino and Resort Wednesday - Friday, February 27, 28 and March 1st, 2019.

2018 Vegas Insights Conference: Networking Around the Pool - Kevin Lewis, Cint; Skip Beals, C3 Marketing and Consulting; Tom Littlejohn, Critical Mix 

The Educational Forum is the Southwest Chapter's second annual event, held August 9-10 in Plano Texas at the Marriot Legacy Town Center. Seven excellent speakers spent the day-long conference educating a group of 90 research professionals. 

Also in Plano that week, our Board conducted annual planning, firming up finances, board elections, marketing, membership and education/programming.

At the beginning of October, before the Insights Association CRC conference in Orlando, our President Elect Lisa Hazen, President Jeb Bullis and Past President Advisor Alice Butler participated in Insights Association Chapter Leadership Training, which provided valuable tools and training for successful growth and execution of our charter.

Thanks to the special grant monies from the Insights Association, the Southwest Chapter was able to support and strengthen our relationship with Scott Hansen and the University of Texas Arlington researchers. Scott and some of his star students joined us at both Las Vegas and Plano events.

2018 Educational Forum in Plano: UTA Alumni!

Throughout 2018, Southwest hosted quarterly webinars and published our chapter newsletter CACTUS CALL quarterly, as scheduled.

In December, our board said goodbye to Tara Miller and Brad Larson as long members of our Past President advisory committee. Both are taking a pause from their many volunteer positions. Thank you, Brad and Tara! 

Our 2019 board elections were held and we welcomed new Directors Julie Landers and Leslie Willis. Mara Riemer has entered the four-year Southwest leadership track as Vice President. We’re all exited to build on the success of 2018.

Upper Midwest

- Provided by Jean Fasching, Treasurer

Our chapter likes to offer in-person, combo networking & education events. These events start with 45 minutes of registration, networking, light food fare, plus one drink ticket, then an hour of an educational speaker with Q & A; finishing off with about a half hour of additional networking. We call these Lunch & Learn or Network or Unwind & Learn (if after work) events. Hosted at local restaurants, they typically attract about 15-35 attendees, who pay $20 (members) & $25 (non-members).  

In 2018 we hosted the following in-person events:

From Guts to Glory: The Evolution on Site Selection at Northern Tools on February 15 by David Drymon, Market Research Manager at Northern Tool & Equipment.

Super Bowl Post-Op: Exceeding customer expectations at MSP airport, May 16 by Steven Gentry, Customer Experience and Operations Analyst, from the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

Other 2018 events included:

Webinar: Storytelling Through Technology: Cart Before the Horse on September 12 by Mike Berendes – Custom Intercept Solutions and our Treasurer.

Conference & Networking: Customer Focus North 2018 Conference, July 17. The theme of this conference was how employee and customer insights, hand in hand, can drive positive business change. Our chapter was an in-kind sponsor of this event, which drew about 350 attendees. We invited our membership for a reduced fee and sponsored the after conference happy hour. The conference was local, inexpensive and at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, MN. We recommend partnering with local educational institutions (low cost venues) and joining existing local conferences, as a great way to support the professional community and gain awareness of the Insights Association.

We moved our newsletter from print to digital and featured as our Member Spotlight Steven Gentry, a first-time board member. Due to the MSP airport's stellar Super Bowl service cited above and Steven’s teams’ monitoring performance measures, the MSP Airport was ranked best in North America for the second consecutive year in 2018. It’s wonderful to see the impact of insights & actions be recognized.

Steven Gentry speaking at our May event.