Total Credits: 1 Advance Credits
The Emeritus SIG is thrilled to propose a panel presentation and discussion for the Virtual track of the annual QRCA Conference. Our diverse panel of five is comprised of long-standing legacy members of QRCA and perhaps lesser-known qualitative experts. Panelists are: Jim Bryson, Ellen Good, JR Harris, Judy Langer, and Bonnie Perry. They embody a range of exciting and diverse paths: wilderness trekker/ author/speaker, health and life insurance broker/educator, an adjunct professor at Wharton, a docent with the Holocaust Museum Houston, the Executive Director of the Center for Learning and Living, the Tennessee Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Parks & Conservation. Each panelist has a unique story to tell of how they used skills cultivated during their career as a QRC, their personal vision and fortitude to create satisfying new endeavors with or without remuneration. Their journeys have not been seamless; there have been challenges, learning and re-directs along the way. Panelists will bring their passion, wit, wisdom, and experience to this presentation with an interactive discussion. The aim is to inform and inspire others who may be wondering what comes next after a gratifying and successful career in market research.
|Slides (3.2 MB)
|Available after Purchase
Jim Bryson is the Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Parks & Conservation for the State of Tennessee. In that capacity, Jim manages Tennessee’s 56 state parks, 85 natural areas, 6 lodges, 9 golf courses, 8 restaurants, 36 campgrounds, 370 cabins and 5 outdoor recreation grant programs. Additionally, the Bureau includes the Division of Natural Areas responsible for protecting endangered plant species and the Division of Archeology responsible for preserving Tennessee’s many ancient archeological sites. The Bureau employs approximately 1100 people full-time with an additional 400 seasonal employees. The Bureau manages approximately 220,000 acres of Tennessee public land.
The mission of Tennessee State Parks is “To preserve and protect, in perpetuity, unique examples of natural, cultural, and scenic areas and provide a variety of safe, quality, outdoor experiences through a well-planned and professionally managed system of state parks.” State parks include historic sites, archeological sites, wilderness areas and resort parks in both rural and urban settings.
Jim also serves as the Founder and Board President of The Joseph School, located in Cabaret, Haiti. The school provides a globally competitive education for poor and orphaned children in Haiti. The school began in 2015 with 30, 1st grade students in a rental house. It has added one grade and 30 students each year. In August, school will re-open with 180 students in grades 1–6. In addition to a free education, students receive books, uniforms and two meals a day. Summer nutrition programs assist food-insecure students to maintain health when school is not in session. The market research community has been very active and helpful with The Joseph School over the years. Approximately 50 researchers from around the world have visited The Joseph School and many support the school financially.
Jim was the Founding Chairman of The Sycamore Institute, a non-partisan public policy research center focused on Tennessee state policy and located in Nashville. He continues to serve on its Board.
He is a member of the Nashville Downtown Rotary Club and of First Baptist Church, Nashville where he teaches a weekly Bible study class.
Past service and positions:
Jim was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He graduated from Baylor University and received his MBA from Vanderbilt University. Jim and his wife, Carol, make their home in Nashville, Tennessee. They have four children and two grandchildren, all living nearby.
During her transition out of the qualitative marketing research world, Ellen became an “early adopter” of the new-at-the-time Life Coaching profession. She completed coaching training with The Coaches Training Institute in 1997 and worked as a career, career change, transition, and retirement coach for about 10 years while winding down her research business. In 2004, she and her husband relocated from Massachusetts back to their home state of Pennsylvania, where Ellen continued to work with a couple of research clients as well as her coaching clients.
While still living in MA, Ellen was a volunteer for the MetroWest Homecare & Hospice and made a mental note at the time that if she ever needed “a real job”, hospice would be something to consider. After moving to PA, she joined a networking group of healthcare professionals where she met the owner of a relatively new hospice serving Chester County, PA, where she now lived. In 2007, Willow Tree Hospice needed a social worker, and invited Ellen to interview for the job. Although she had received her MSW from St. Louis University in 1977, she had never worked in a traditional social work position. Her MSW stood her in good stead, though, and she loved working for Willow Tree for about 4 years.
After several unexpected personal losses, Ellen realized she needed to take a break from her role as a hospice social worker. About the same time, her husband was turning 65 and needed to learn about and get signed up for Medicare. When meeting with a young insurance broker, her questions prompted him to ask, “Do you think you’d like to do this? I think you might be good at it.” Ellen decided to give it a try and has now worked as a health and life insurance broker specializing in Medicare since 2011. There is one word people use when they are starting to navigate the waters of Medicare, and that word is “confusing”. Hence, Ellen sees herself as more of an educator for people new to Medicare than a salesperson, but the two go hand in hand.
As an insurance broker, she still has the flexible schedule that she has enjoyed for most of her professional career, and her home in an over-55 community has proved to be a great location for her insurance business. She has been fortunate to be able to build a referral business that has made her the top Medicare salesperson for the field marketing organization that handles her contracts for the past several years.
J. Robert “J.R.” Harris, is President of JRH Marketing Services. Established in 1975, it is the oldest and most experienced marketing and research consulting firm in the United States. J.R. has over 50 years of diverse marketing and research experience, including media, packaged goods, international, and ethnic marketing and research assignments from major corporations, agencies, organizations, and government ministries. He holds a degree in Psychology from the City University of New York, has studied Spanish and French at New York University and the Berlitz School of Languages, and has taught a course in Market Research at NYU.
Harris is an experienced qualitative research consultant and has moderated more than 4,500 focus groups. He has worked extensively in social marketing, having implemented numerous consulting assignments both domestically and internationally in the areas of nutrition, anti-smoking, the environment, substance abuse, public health, family planning, and others.
A proud Founding Member and past President of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA), he also chaired the organization’s Professionalism Committee for 20 years and has been awarded the organization’s Presidents Award for distinguished service.
Mr. Harris has written a number of articles for marketing and research industry publications and has been a popular speaker at industry conventions worldwide. He is an elected member of the Market Research Council, a past Chairman of the Research Industry Coalition, and in 2016 he was elected to the Market Research Hall of Fame.
When not providing insights for his clients, you might be able to find him alone in some of the most remote wilderness areas on the planet. He describes these exploits in his best-selling memoir, “Way Out There: Adventures of a Wilderness Trekker.” J.R. is also on the board of directors for the prestigious Explorers Club, and is chair of the organization’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee.
Executive Director, the Center for Learning and Living, Inc., a non-profit school for people 55+, for 5 years. Planning the course program with a wide range of classes on politics, other current events, societal legal issues, history, literature, the arts, etc. with volunteer teachers; attend all/most classes; supervise 2 administrative assistants; plan marketing efforts; oversee the website (clandl.org). Planned the transition to online classes during the pandemic, with training for teachers and students. Head the board and its meetings. Class sizes vary from small (about 12) to large (for us, up to 80); we’re small enough that everyone gets to know one another. Interaction is encouraged – Q&A, comments.
QLR skills play several roles: deciding what types of courses will interest our students; writing course descriptions, with a background in working on concept statements; developing marketing ideas; moderating/helping to moderate class discussions (posing questions, dealing with talkative students, encouraging more people to participate).
CL&L started in 1994 at Marymount College, is now an independent organization affiliated with the College. I became a student, was asked to join the board, had no plans to play a leadership role but the executive director stepped down and a volunteer was needed.
Adjunct Professor, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 2012 – present
Teach: Business Communication and Crisis Management
Debate Coach, Harriton High School Lower Merion School District, Ardmore, PA – 1998 - present
Communications Consultant, Qualitative Researcher, and Focus Group Moderator
To: Business, Educational Institutions, and Non-Profit Organizations.
Bonita L. Perry Associates, Wynnewood, PA – 1981 to present
Director, Qualitative and Communications Research.
Booz, Allen, and Hamilton (National Analysts Division), Philadelphia, PA – 1971 – /1980
Personal Accomplishments and Awards: