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QRCA 2023 Charlotte Annual Conference Encore: Powering Up for the Future of Qual

Total Credits: 9 including 9 Advance Credits

Tags: Encore


QRCA 2023 Charlotte Annual Conference Session Bundle

Look back on the sessions from QRCA's Charlotte Annual Conference in 2023

as we Power UP to prepare for the next era of qualitative research.

Technology has fundamentally changed the ways we observe, how we listen, the methods we use, and even how we are influenced. Every day we interact digitally and there is a constant barrage of misinformation and disinformation that makes it difficult to become educated both as a consumer and a professional researcher. Culturally, these conflicting resources contribute to a fragmented society and as quallies we have to learn new ways to adapt our senses in order to find insight through all the noise.

We are in a unique position in the marketing research industry being solely focused on the practice and discipline of qualitative research and how it intersects a wide variety of subjects from hybrid design, UX, social, and more. Our members and attendees represent consultants, in-house researchers, suppliers, and martech. Let’s pause for a moment and consider this: New quallies will never experience a digital-free research environment. Now is the perfect time to learn from professionals in a wide range of practices including UX, Academia, Authors, Industry Verticals, and more. Together we will tune our senses in the now tech-first environment where we live and work.

To view the original conference schedule, click here. 


Benjamin Allen's Profile

Benjamin Allen Related Seminars and Products

Labrador Agency

Benjamin started his career working third shift at a gas station in rural southeastern Ohio where he learned the value of hard work and that working hard isn’t enough. He also developed a taste for cheap coffee.

Fueled by the coffee and gas, he drove across the country and found himself working in advertising. First at W+K, then Hal Riney and FCB where he learned to take care of clients and tell compelling commercial stories. But what got him excited was uncovering the insights and crafting the strategies that could move a brand, product and message forward in a relevant and differentiated way – the advertising was just the output.

He transitioned to brand strategy and research, rising to become President of Tattoo Brand Strategy and later SVP Brand Transformation at Sterling Brands and founding partner of THINK Conservatory - all with a heavy focus on using qualitative research to drive decision-making in partnership with clients such as Oprah, Cirque du Soleil, Microsoft, Viacom, American Express, Conde Nast, NFL, Levi’s, and the Government of Costa Rica to name just a few.

Roben Allong's Profile

Roben Allong Related Seminars and Products


Lightbeam Communications (M\WBE)

Founder and CEO of Lightbeam Communications Corp., Roben started a boutique research firm in New York City to provide evidence-based, more culturally relevant, on-trend solutions for brands and public sector entities.

Lightbeam’s clients tap her in-depth knowledge, research expertise, and deep understanding of the influence of social and cultural movements of previous decades on consumer attitudes, and behaviors to help them meet and exceed business objectives. She is an outspoken advocate of helping brands develop a competitive edge and be more inclusive by using cultural insights as effective soft power diplomacy.

As a former international senior music business executive, Roben Co-Chaired Global Music Committee Conferences responsible for strategic creative product development and marketing around the globe. Today, she is hailed by colleagues as the “Oprah” of the focus room and has presented research findings on emerging social and cultural trends at several distinguished organizations such as the Fashion Institute of Technology, University of San Francisco, and New York University as well as various industry conferences.

Most recently, Roben is a former President of QRCA and her compelling articles have been featured on both Quicks and Greenbook annual Editors' lists.

Kristin Ameruoso's Profile

Kristin Ameruoso Related Seminars and Products

Vice President of Qualitative Research

Recruit and Field, Inc.

Stumbling into the world of Qualitative Research at the age of 18, Kristin did not know what she was getting herself into. Starting off on the bottom of the totem pole as a recruiter and proving herself was no easy task. List recruiting came easier than speaking up, sharing ideas and creative ways to recruit! Clearly that was a long time ago, now we cannot get her to STOP talking. There is a lot to say about someone when you see the passion, they hold for what they do.

Twenty years later she is making an impact with Recruit and Field, as well as those in the industry she strikes up a “simple” conversation with. We all know nothing in ever simple in MR. All the pieces that make recruiting a success from within the engine, is more than just finding the perfect respondents, it starts the moment that RFQ hits your inbox. Kristin inspires those around her, builds a continuous culture of improvement, a proactive stance in business that bleeds out into everyday life. Her knowledge and expertise in this space of MR—gleaned from first-person hands on experience over the years-- has ignited a need to share what has been proven to be successful when partnering with clients on Qualitative research projects as well as learn more about industry areas outside of her current expertise.

At the end of the day, that is what we all want. Isn’t it?

Sandra Bauman's Profile

Sandra Bauman Related Seminars and Products


Bauman Research & Consulting LLC

Discovering the 'whys' of the world has fascinated Sandra from an early age. Her mother claims she started asking questions very early in life – quizzing strangers in grocery stores, parks and other places with eclectic questions. After graduating from Northwestern with a master’s in journalism, she started as a newspaper reporter and editor. But she quickly became frustrated with reporting – it lacked the opportunity to make meaningful inferences and solve problems – to go deeper into why people behave and think the way they do. Thanks to a professor at Northwestern, she found her way to market research via a Ph.D. program and has never looked back. Being able to combine intellectual curiosity along with unique approaches is what makes this profession so gratifying for Sandra.

After working in academic, political and commercial research at several large NYC research companies, Sandra founded Bauman Research & Consulting in 2002, a boutique qual & quant firm. Sandra is a RIVA-trained moderator, whose work has spanned myriad audiences from business owners to biochemists, teens to techies, and farmers to physicians. Her formal training and decades of experience mean she’s skilled in both traditional and innovative online methodologies. Her roots in journalism mean she’s adept at asking the right questions and designing unique activities to get at the “why’s” behind human behavior. She’s testified before Congress, which was fascinating, but she promises she will NEVER do that again!

Jill Bishop's Profile

Jill Bishop Related Seminars and Products

Multilingual Connections

No matter where in the world Jill is or what she’s doing – she’s always focusing on creating connections across languages and cultures. After studying and teaching internationally, Jill brought her PhD in Linguistic Anthropology to the corporate world, where she worked as a user researcher for Sapient and then oversaw Language, Culture & Diversity Programs for 100+ Chipotle Mexican Grill locations.

In 2005, she launched Multilingual Connections to help organizations understand, engage, and grow their multilingual audiences. Their customized services include translation, transcription, multimedia localization, and bilingual research support services. When she’s not working, Jill is spending time with her husband and teen son, renovating houses, and trying to make her garden grow.

Tasheenah Brown's Profile

Tasheenah Brown Related Seminars and Products

Lightbeam Communications

Tasheenah applies her diverse lived and professional experiences and background in Sociology to her work as a Research Analyst and Moderator. Her methodology goes beyond understanding what people think, to examining the cultural and systemic factors that influence behavior. Brown has partnered with corporations, government agencies, nonprofits, higher education institutions, and communities to advance their missions by incorporating diverse and inclusive values and products. She has more than 5 years of experience facilitating one on one interviews and focus groups with a wide variety of participants. When moderating, Brown places an emphasis on establishing a safe environment for participants to share openly and honestly, both virtually and in person.

Tasheenah has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and a minor in Communication from Eastern Connecticut State University. For the past ten years, Tasheenah has worked to communicate the interest of underrepresented communities in the worlds of energy, education, finance, health care, and insurance. In her personal life, she is an advocate for social justice and it is her passion to create a more just and equitable world for all people.

Anaïs Dodson's Profile

Anaïs Dodson Related Seminars and Products


Anaïs’ experience lies in foundational and generative research which is used to guide cross functional team members to understand people’s beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes while building new, emerging, or improved product experiences. With 6 years working in the tech sector for companies like Google, eBay and Rodan + Fields Anaïs continues to pull from her academic background in anthropology leveraging critical theory, futures thinking, and sociolinguistics to help her stakeholders to think outside of their own worldviews.

Educated with a Masters in Applied Anthropology from Cal State East Bay and Undergraduate in Cultural Anthropology from UC Berkeley, Anais further leans on her own lived experiences ranging from military life, dual citizenship, blue and pink collar ethos, and street culture to offer multiple and marginalized perspectives.

Malena Donas Related Seminars and Products

Senior Researcher

Independent Consultant

Malena Donas is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural, and multi-passionate professional. She started her career as a psychology major in Uruguay and quickly pivoted to qualitative research where she spent the next 12 years working on both the agency and client side with the world’s largest research and CPG companies. Malena is currently a Senior Qualitative Insights Manager with GLG, a consulting firm that connects experts with researchers. Alongside her passion for insightful research, Malena loves working with startups to define and structure their brand purpose, with the hope of building brands that positively shape society. Malena’s passion for the environment has led her to be president of an NGO in Costa Rica that works with regenerative agriculture, further deepening her hopes of creating a sustainable future.

Her session, Researching the Researcher, leverages her education in psychotherapy as well as her extensive qualitative experience to examine some thought-provoking questions about ourselves as researchers. She will take a closer look into how our work shapes us as consumers and how our consumerism shapes us as researchers.

Marc Engel's Profile

Marc Engel Related Seminars and Products

President & Founder

Engel Research Partners

Marc began his research career 30+ years ago in quant, shifting to qual 20 years ago—with a very non-linear path in between. A moderator, creative facilitator and strategic consultant, he was a partner at B/R/S Group before venturing out on his own in 2010. Marc’s eclectic background—stand-up, improv and sketch comedy, creative writing, P.R. and copywriting, and law—is an asset in his research and innovation work. He uses applied improvisation in an ideation technique he developed in 2010, called, “Out of Focus Groups®,” which grew out of his experience in two improv and sketch comedy troupes with Kristen Wiig, and his migration from quant to qual.

2021 Maryanne Pflug Spirit Award winner.

Together with Pascal Patenaude, they have developed ‘Blocks + Clay’, applying improvisational thinking and the power of play to uncover innovative insights and translating into action. In this workshop, they will lead you through play with purpose, allowing you to experience ways to get in touch with all your senses, even sharpen your 6th one.

Daniel Fazekas Related Seminars and Products

Bakamo Inc

Since 2016 Daniel has been the CEO of Bakamo, a qualitative social intelligence agency. Using social media, Bakamo finds human insights without asking. Daniel was trained in qualitative research at Environics and Research International. He later worked with a string of Internet technology start ups in web analytics, IndexTools (acquired by Yahoo!), social networking, Netlog, and social media monitoring, Replise, in commercial and product management functions. Prior Bakamo, Daniel co-founded, launched and exited the online video focus group platform KwaliTools.

Pam Goldfarb Liss's Profile

Pam Goldfarb Liss Related Seminars and Products

President/Big Brain

LitBrains-Igniting Ideas!

Pam Goldfarb Liss (she/her), a 30-year veteran researcher, loves the always-changing-never-knowing-what’s-coming-next elements of moderating and facilitating creative consumer discussions, especially with kids and teens! With over three decades of experience working with Fortune 100 brands and non-profits, Pam has seen a lot shift in families especially around gender and family structure. Watching now three generations (Millennial, Gen Z and now Gen Alpha) of consumer kids grow up; she knows that the only constant is change. Pam also realizes that curiosity and comfort are about staying open and bravely asking. Pam spent more than a decade living on the east coast in New York City and Washington DC, and she returned ‘home’ to be with her family in colder, but kinder Minneapolis to live with her east-coast bred husband and Gen Z/Alpha cusper daughter. 

Lynn Greenberg Related Seminars and Products

Lynn Greenberg Associates/DigitalQual

Lynn’s QRCA Journey began in February 1985 when she attended her first QRCA meeting in New York City. She developed her qualitative proficiency over a decade at global advertising agencies in NYC. From her last position as VP, Director of Marketing Research at TBWA she launched Lynn Greenberg Associates, a strategic consultancy that met the “independent qualitative consultant” criteria for QRCA membership.

With QRCA an invaluable resource, Lynn’s qualitative consultancy flourished rapidly with a stellar client list including Citibank, Colgate, Unilever, M&M Mars, Clorox and BBDO, to name a few. In 2014, she became the Chief Collaborator of DigitalQual, a collaborative partnership of marketing research experts in the evolving digital landscape. Lynn moved to Houston in 2018 to be closer to her grandchildren and transitioned to her “Next after Qual.” Her post qualitative research goal is working towards making the world a better place for future generations and is doing so as a Volunteer Docent at Holocaust Museum Houston.

Lynn is a QRCA Past President who has played a pivotal role in QRCA’s journey. She ideated and led the first annual QRCA conference with Gina Thorne in NYC, October 16 - 17, 1986, duplicating its success in 1987. In 2019, she created the monthly Emeritus SIG with Rick Weitzer and now co-chairs it with Michele Zwillinger. Lynn Greenberg is excited to be hosting the inspiring “Back to the Future” qual journey presentation, created by The Emeritus SIG Team, under the leadership of Janet Standen, Kathy Doyle and Frankie Johnson to kick off the “Powering Up for the Future of Qual” 2023 Conference.

Dave Hoover's Profile

Dave Hoover Related Seminars and Products

Method Insights

With over two decades of global qualitative and quantitative experience, he has dealt with his fair share of unqualified respondents. He knows first-hand the importance of speaking with qualified respondents who are capable of providing genuine, actionable input which leads to better insights. This led him to create his own solution for improving respondent quality and, ultimately, find a tool that allows him to vet respondents faster and more efficiently.

He has decades of experience in innovation, branding, and packaging research. He has conducted projects across the America’s as well as Asia, Middle East, and Europe. He is the President of Method Insights, a custom research firm specializing in Consumer-Packaged Goods.

Kristin Howell (formerly Schwitzer)'s Profile

Kristin Howell (formerly Schwitzer) Related Seminars and Products


Beacon Research

Kristin has three decades of marketing and market research experience, including both client-side brand management at Procter & Gamble and agency-side strategic planning at two ad agencies. She launched her own consumer insights consultancy, Beacon Research, in 2000. She is a pioneer and thought leader in online and mobile research and was dubbed the “Queen of Cool Research” by her peers long before Zoom became a household brand.

Kristin is a past QRCA Vice President and founding long-term Chair of QRCA’s Online Special Interest Group. Her work focuses heavily on new product innovation, branding, shopper insights, communications research, and website/mobile app development. Personally, she is the older sister/acting parent of her Down’s Syndrome brother, which makes her more sensitive to championing the voice of the underrepresented. Kristin is also the mom of two successfully launched young adults, a pickleball fanatic, and a lifelong boater.

Chris Kann's Profile

Chris Kann Related Seminars and Products


CSK Marketing, Inc

Jim Kempland's Profile

Jim Kempland Related Seminars and Products

BARE Zero Proof Spirits

The question “Why can’t I have a non-alcoholic bourbon?” began the quest for James over four years ago leading to the launch of BARE Zero Proof Spirits as Co-Founder and CEO. A spirits marketing veteran Mr. Kempland led the business integration and marketing for Angel’s Envy Bourbon during and after the Bacardi acquisition and was Managing Director for Papa’s Pilar Rum before devoting his energy to the immerging non-alcoholic spirits category.

As a business owner and marketing consultant, James’ experience spans the full food chain supply process. A food and beverage industry marketing executive for over twenty-five years, Mr. Kempland began his marketing career with the global agricultural leader, Monsanto. He then evolved into consumer packaged goods with strategic marketing responsibility and consulting with The NutraSweet Company, Brown Foreman, Diageo, Unilever, P&G, and Miller Brewing Company, in general and luxury marketing, strategic communication and brand management. On the side – he dabbles in politics.

Mr. Kempland holds a BS degree in Business Administration from Maryville University-St. Louis and a MS degree in Political Management from The George Washington University. Whether business or politics, Kempland’s belief is all consumer motivation stems from personal connection and marketing excellence is all around us – yet few know the secret.

Deborah Klotz Related Seminars and Products

Vice President, Qualitative Research

Upwords Inc.

Deborah’s curiosity drives her to explore people’s motivations and behaviours, to understand her client’s business and to dig deeper for insights. In recent years, Deborah has taken a keen interest in evolving her qualitative research skillset into UXR. She is excited by how UXR allows her to be the eyes and ears of clients and to see the tangible impact insights she illuminates have on continuous product development and refinement.

Deborah has a degree in Psychology from the University of Toronto and for over 15 years has been passionate about delivering actionable insights, teaching moderating skills, speaking at, and chairing conferences. She stays highly involved in industry associations (she is currently a co-chair of the QRCA Canada Chapter). Prior to joining Upwords as Vice President, Insights in 2022, Deborah led the qualitative research practice for two full-service research firms. She works with a broad range of clients in industries including (but not limited to) Technology, FMCG, Media, Financial Services, Professional Services, Education, Travel & Tourism, and Crown Corporations/Government Agencies. Since joining Upwords, Deborah has been leading at least one UXR Rolling Research session per month.

Sidi Lemine's Profile

Sidi Lemine Related Seminars and Products

Founder and CEO

Jade Kite

Born with an outsider perspective and a deeply analytical mind, Sidi has always strived to reconcile his belief that each one of us unique with his innate perception of formal patterns of though. After 15 years in insights both client and agency side, he founded Jade Kite, an agency dedicated to enhancing empathy and intuition through Artificial Intelligence. His session will give a brief overview of how combining different AI analysis angles can greatly add to depth and robustness of established qualitative methods.

With a Masters in Artificial Intelligence from Université Paris-Jussieu, Sidi stumbled into world of market research world by setting up the first formal studies in Mauritania, West Africa. Falling in love with the process, he obtained his market research diploma from MRS and worked at several leading global qualitative agencies in London. He has conducted insights work in over 40 countries to define the strategic direction of a number of billion-dollar brands across sectors. He remains a committed futurist who believes smarter thinking and stronger technology can help us focus on what makes us human.

Sidi nació con una mirada única y una mente profundamente analítica y desde siempre se esforzó para conciliar su creencia de que cada persona es única con sus percepciones innatas y sus respectivos patrones formales de pensamiento. Luego de estar durante 15 años, tanto desde el lado del cliente como de la agencia, fundó Jade Kite, una agencia dedicada a mejorar la empatía y la intuición a través de la inteligencia artificial. En su sesión, dará un repaso general sobre cómo la combinación de diferentes ángulos de análisis de IA puede agrandar la profundidad y la solidez de los métodos cualitativos establecidos.

Luego de obtener su maestría en Inteligencia Artificial obtenida en la Universidad Pierre et Marie Curie de Paris, Sidi se encontró con el mundo de la investigación de mercado al instalar sus primeros estudios formales en Mauritania (África Occidental). Enamorándose del proceso, obtuvo su diploma de Investigación de Mercado en MRS y trabajó en varias agencias cualitativas líderes a nivel mundial en Londres. Lleva dirigidos varios trabajos de investigación en más de 40 países para definir la dirección estratégica de varias marcas multimillonarias de distintos sectores. Hoy en día sigue siendo un futurista comprometido que cree que un pensamiento más inteligente y fuerte nos puede ayudar a enfocarnos en aquello que nos hace más humanos.

Dotado de uma perspectiva externa e uma mente profundamente analítica, Sidi sempre lutou para conciliar sua crença de que cada um de nós é único com sua percepção inata de padrões formais de pensamento. Depois de 15 anos em insights, tanto do lado do cliente quanto do lado da agência, ele fundou a Jade Kite, uma agência dedicada a aprimorar a empatia e a intuição através da inteligência artificial. Sua sessão trará um breve panorama geral de como a combinação de diferentes aspectos da análise de IA pode contribuir para a profundidade e robustez de métodos qualitativos estabelecidos.

Com mestrado em Inteligência Artifical pela Université Paris-Jussieu, Sidi entrou no mundo da pesquisa de mercado ao estabelecer os primeiros estudos formais na Mauritânia, África Ocidental. Apaixonando-se pelo processo, graduou-se em Pesquisa de Mercado na MRS e trabalhou em várias agências líderes globais em pesquisa qualitativa em Londres. Conduziu trabalhos de insight em mais de 40 países, definindo a direção estratégica de várias marcas de bilhões de dólares em todos os setores. Ele continua sendo um futurista comprometido que acredita que o pensamento inteligente aliado à tecnologia mais forte podem ser úteis no enfoque do que nos faz humanos.

Frankie Lipinski's Profile

Frankie Lipinski Related Seminars and Products

Insights Analyst


Frankie is driven by the potential for purpose-driven business to change the world and is passionate about understanding brand intentions and supporting impactful strategy. Her passions center around access & empowerment, inclusive research design, and societal wellness.

Having earned her MSMR degree from Michigan State University in 2020, Frankie has experience in the full scope of research, bringing critical reflection and a holistic perspective to the strategy design and implementation of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research. She has a fascination in human thought systems having studied Psychology and Marketing as well as Leadership in Integrated Learning for her Bachelor’s degree, and is always blending empathy and analytics together in practice.

Antonio Lopez's Profile

Antonio Lopez Related Seminars and Products

Lightbeam Communications

With just over a year in the Qualitative field, Antonio Lopez has already had extensive experience in nearly every aspect of Qualitative research. Whether it is in moderating, both virtually and in-person, analysis, writing, and even recruiting, which is where our conversation today will explore. Antonio started his professional career in the arts. After 5 years working in children’s programming, he learned to utilize his empathic approach to live moderating with his respondents. With his additional experience in theatre and community engagement, Antonio has found himself able to transition his skills into qualitative research from more than just moderating, but analysis as well.

With his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Macaulay Honors College, Antonio became a part of the Qualitative Market Research profession unplanned. However, with the robust toolset that he has gathered from past experiences, and under the leadership of Lightbeam Communications, he is excited to assist companies that truly want to understand and engage their consumers in meaningful ways.


MICHAELA MORA Related Seminars and Products


Relevant Insights, LLC

Cassini Nazir's Profile

Cassini Nazir Related Seminars and Products

University of North Texas

Cassini Nazir is a designer of conversations, curricula, and interfaces. He is an Assistant Professor in the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas, where he teaches classes in interaction design.

His current research explores how curiosity can be meaningfully infused into design processes. Because curiosity is linguistically rooted in the notion of care, he explores ways that designers can also extend care to those for whom they build as well as that which they choose to build.

In spring 2020, he was Designer-in-Residence for the SMU Masters in Design and Innovation (MADI) program.

Prior to joining UNT, Cassini taught at The University of Texas at Dallas for 10 years, where he directed two research labs. He was founding director of the Arts and Technology Usability Lab, which fosters collaborative research with community partners and offers experiential learning to students. He was also Director of Design for the ArtSciLab, a transdisciplinary research lab helping the arts, science, and technology communities by pursuing initiatives of societal urgency and cultural timeliness.

His academic projects include collaborations with art historians, astronauts, biochemists, brain scientists, futurists, materials scientists, new media artists, and a university press. He has worked with industry partners such as Toyota, Intuit, Sabre, DFW Airport, and projekt202.

Marion N. Njoroge's Profile

Marion N. Njoroge Related Seminars and Products

Frontier Consulting Services Kenya

Marion is one of the founding directors of Frontier Consulting, a Kenyan based market research agency that seeks to achieve inclusion for Africa’s consumers and markets by enabling access to quality data and insights.

This presentation speaks to Frontier’s corporate passion to showcase Africa’s Base of Pyramid (BOP) consumers as a socio-economically viable market segment. With the right insights and incentives, brands and businesses can discover new market opportunities by developing products and solutions that are responsive to this population that is part of the 4 billion consumers globally, representing a USD 5 trillion dollar consumer market. (source: The Next 4 Billion-Market Size and Business Strategy Report by World Institute & IFC)

Keyona Osborne Related Seminars and Products

C Space

People in Charlotte, NC joke that if the topic of justice is being discussed, Keyona Osborne will be there! Keyona has a unique love for data and people, which she currently combines to lead C Space’s DEI ThinkTank. After spending the last 10 years creating change in industries such as financial services, technology, higher education, and religion, she now aims to create change in the market research industry as a whole. Her session will focus on the importance of learning to hear from the underrepresented groups our industry has ignored or minimized for far too long.

Keyona has worked both client and vendor side in different research capacities, and as a consultant for several Charlotte-area nonprofits. Keyona has a Bachelor's degree in Statistics from Elon University, with a focus on social science. In her free time, she loves traveling the world and engaging with new cultures.

Pascal Patenaude's Profile

Pascal Patenaude Related Seminars and Products


Patenaude Research & Communications

Sam Place's Profile

Sam Place Related Seminars and Products

Lead Qualitative UX Researcher

Project Management Institute

Sam is a mental health therapist turned UX Researcher, who brings an empathic and person-centered approach to her work investigating user needs in digital experiences. Sam’s training in Gestalt Therapy uniquely enables her to conceptualize user behaviors and motivations, as well as quickly build rapport and connect with users on a human level.

Sam holds an MS in Clinical Psychology from Pacific University in Oregon, and an Honors BS in Psychology from Oregon State University. She has also earned a certificate in User Experience Design, issued by General Assembly in New York City.

While completing her graduate studies Sam fell in love with qualitative research and the richness of individual’s stories that can be uncovered through this kind of work. Abandoning academia with a newfound passion, Sam pivoted towards a career in technology where she could apply her love of qualitative research to inform the design and development of digital products. In her UX career Sam has always conducted research with a wide international audience. After earning her UX Design certificate, Sam worked for the city of New York’s tourism board where she was a UX Researcher for the digital face of NYC to the world - Because any person in the world with a passport is a potential user of, it was in this role that Sam became familiar conducting research with people from all over the world. Now, in her work at Project Management Institute (, Sam also works with an extremely wide audience as PMI is a global organization with 300 local chapters dispersed internationally.

Nichola Quail Related Seminars and Products

Founder and CEO

Insights Exchange

Nichola Quail is a veteran Global Insights Strategist, Research Specialist and Demography Expert. After working independently as a qualitative researcher for 10+ years, she saw an opportunity in the growth of professional services marketplaces and wanted to ensure market research had a place. Now as Founder and Director of Insights Exchange, a platform that connects businesses with a global network of on-demand researchers, Nichola has been driving ‘collective human intelligence’ for over two decades.

Her session, How Technology, Remote Working and the Rise of the Independent Specialist is Ushering a New Era for Qualitative Researchers, will cover the rise of the professional gig economy and how qualitative researchers can take advantage of this new era to build a career that works for them, while being mindful of the challenges that come with this evolution. She is passionate about the consumer technology space and presented at a number of conferences including ad:tech, iMedia, Digital Masterclassing and MMS in NZ and Australia.

Proudly Kiwi born and bred, she completed her Masters in Political Communications Studies. Then after her first graduate role in a political polling firm, she was hooked in the world of market research and the power of human connection. Nichola likes nothing more than connecting with fellow researchers and enabling more businesses to access the power of qualitative research.

Eric Santos's Profile

Eric Santos Related Seminars and Products


Eric Santos is the current Vice President of sales at VoxPoPMe, a powerful video survey and video analytics platform. Eric is the former COO and co-founder of HubUx, a research automation platform for community management, participant management, video auditions and more. VoxPopMe acquired HubUX in October 2022 in an effort to create a comprehensive qualitative research platform.

Eric is previously the CEO of Benchmark Intelligence, a consumer insights tool for brick & mortar businesses. Eric started his career in research at FocusVision (formerly Decipher) . working in a number of roles including customer success, sales, survey programming and more. When Eric isn't working on HubUX, he spends his time running trail races, boxing, writing and giving back through his non-profit Big Brother Boxing.

Andy Smith's Profile

Andy Smith Related Seminars and Products

Flowers Bakeries, LLC

Andy is the S.V.P. of Consumer Insights for Flowers Foods which markets iconic brands such as Dave’s Killer Bread, Wonder Bread, Nature’s Own and Tastykake. Prior to Flowers he has worked at Mars, Nabisco and Hershey. During his career, Andy has supported both base business and innovation. He also has international experience driving initiatives in developing markets, primarily China, Brazil, Mexico, and India.

Andy is currently on the 2022 Board of Directors of the Advertising Research Foundation and he is chairing their Creative Council initiative to help better drive creative excellence through insights. During prior years he has participated in the ARF’s Neuro 1.0 “How Advertising Work” Forum and participated in the initiative on data quality (FOQ 1&2). Andy has also been an Ogilvy advertising judge.

David Spenser, MMR Related Seminars and Products

Direct Dialogue

After more than 30 years as a qualitative researcher, David hopes he might be starting to get the hang of it. This year he has been shortlisted for the Market Research Society’s coveted Independent Consultant Award.

Throughout his career David has been known as a highly creative researcher, challenging conventional thinking and pioneering new methodologies; many have subsequently been adopted into mainstream use. At this conference he will speak of recent cutting-edge work.

He lives in deepest Suffolk, UK in an eco-house he designed and built.

Peter Totman Related Seminars and Products

Head of Qualitative

Jigsaw Research

After 30 years as qualitative researcher Peter is still trying to understand what it is actually is. He is beginning to understand what it isn’t He has worked in research and advertising agencies in UK and US – and in 2005 joined Jigsaw Research to head up its qualitative offering. He was worked across a wide range of different sectors but particular enjoys brand and communication work.

Peter is a seasoned conference presenter and a familiar face (hopefully not overly so) to QRCA, MRS and Esomar audiences.


Marta Villanueva's Profile

Marta Villanueva Related Seminars and Products

Chief Insights Officer

NuThinking, Inc

Marta Villanueva is a bilingual/bicultural qualitative researcher and strategist with 20 years of experience in moderating and facilitating meetings with various group sizes, across categories, different participant types, sensitive/complex challenges, and in various locations (U.S. and internationally). She has a proven track record advising top 100 clients, leveraging experience from 3500+ insights and strategy sessions.

Marta earned a M.Sc. in Creativity, Creative Problem Solving, and Change Leadership from State University of New York. As one of the only market research veterans with a master’s in creative studies, she publishes and speaks in various industry organizations about how creative techniques can empower respondents to be creative, leading to breakthrough strategies. 

Maria Virobik's Profile

Maria Virobik Related Seminars and Products



Maria Virobik is a seasoned qualitative market researcher with more than 25 years of experience in analysis and report writing. She has worked with clients in a wide range of categories, including automotive, packaged goods, pharma and technology. Maria enjoys tackling qualitative data to find the story and collaborating with moderators to deliver sparkling insights to their clients.

Bronwen Ward's Profile

Bronwen Ward Related Seminars and Products

Director of Insights

Upwords Inc.

Bronwen believes every person has a unique and interesting story to tell. She values human perspectives and is always seeking to uncover underlying motivations that drive human decision making and behaviour. For Bronwen, every project is an opportunity help her clients deeply understand the ‘why’ through strategic, actionable insights.

Bronwen has been deeply immersed in the world of qualitative research since 2012. With experience across a broad spectrum of categories, with a variety of methodologies, Bronwen has become an expert at forging connections by allowing people to feel comfortable and relaxed while facilitating deep meaningful discussions. Since mid 2021, Bronwen has had the opportunity to dive deeply into the world of User Experience Research (UXR) by leading monthly rolling research projects aimed at deeply understanding “users” – their behaviours, needs and motivations – uncovering insights to help inform and optimize product development with user-first designs. Through this experience, Bronwen has discovered what works (and what doesn’t!) and how to just roll with it!

Gloria Watson's Profile

Gloria Watson Related Seminars and Products


Gloria Watson is a Research Manager at HatchTank and has close to 15 years experience in Market Research. She has established expertise in online methodologies and loves the continuous learning that comes with practicing as a research generalist.

With a passion for helping clients solve their business problems, Gloria strives to always put herself in their shoes. Her empathic approach mean she can quickly connect with clients and participants, yielding collaborative work experiences with clients and richer responses from participants. She blends innovative approaches with classic analysis to deliver dynamic, story-led reports.

Jay Zaltzman's Profile

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Bureau West: Helping Companies Grow

Jay Zaltzman believes that qualitative researchers can offer true value to clients by combining empathy with creative methodology and analytical rigor.  Jay has been president of Bureau West Market Research for the past twenty years.  He is an active member and past president of the QRCA.

Janet Standen's Profile

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Scoot Insights

Janet Standen turns questions into directions fast - through bringing fresh qualitative insights to brands & businesses in an accelerated process that does not compromise depth of learning. As Co-Founder of Scoot Insights, she leverages over 30 years of consumer & B2B marketing experience to unearth insights that are relevant and actionable, to help management teams make more powerful decisions. Janet is a customer-driven innovation, brand positioning, communication & team facilitation specialist, with a breadth of research experience gained working in the US and in the UK/Europe across many categories and target audiences.

Janet served on the board of QRCA for 4 years and was the 2022 President’s Award recipient for outstanding service to the qualitative research industry and community. She is Co-Chair of the QRCA UX SIG. Janet is Co-Founder and remains actively involved in MRxPros.