Meet some of the women in marketing research who are helping drive the industry forward! They are among the influencers in the industry who are using their leadership and expertise to demonstrate great innovation, skills and potential to push research and insights to be better and faster.
A go-to source of knowledge
Chelle Precht, President, Complete Research Connection
With a career of over 30 years in market research, Chelle Precht has built up an immense collection of work experiences and skills that have led her to become a go-to source of knowledge for many.
Chelle honed her skills at Burke/Bases and other research companies before starting her own company, Complete Research Connection (CRC), in 2003. Executing thousands of projects while at these companies has enabled her to ascertain the many intricacies of a successful marketing research project. This allows her to offer superior service and actionable insights.
As the president of CRC, Chelle has consistently offered high-quality work and support to her peers. Chelle’s role today is multifaceted, working as a researcher, moderator, auditor, field manager as well as administrator of CRC.
Please feel free to contact Chelle for her expert consulting, guidance or advice any time you have the need. She’s always willing to help.
Agile health care research partner
Lynn Welsh, Chief Strategy Officer, Olson Research Group
Lynn Welsh has been a driving force behind establishing Olson Research Group as a leader in health care marketing research.
Olson Research was founded in 1995 by a formidable woman in research, Susan Olson. Shortly after, Lynn and current CEO and owner Chip Olson joined Susan to create a research firm dedicated to providing high-quality deliverables with superior client service. What started as a niche agency has grown into a solid, 50-person-strong firm that supports the marketing decisions of global pharmaceutical companies, medical device firms and related consultancies. Olson Research also offers a la carte options such as access to a robust physician database, recruiting prowess and high-caliber programming capabilities to marketing research firms and independent researchers.
Olson Research sets itself apart by staying true to its core values. “From the outset, our focus was on being an agile research partner, providing dogged recruiting and superior client service and we have not wavered,” says Lynn. “In fact, as we have grown we have only improved on these tenets.”
Olson Research’s health care provider database offers unparalleled access to over 2 million health care decision makers, with numerous segmentation parameters enabling access to the right target for each research endeavor. Custom programming and Web development capabilities enable Olson Research to deliver on even the most complex research designs.
With deep experience and access in oncology, neurology, psychiatry, dermatology, orthopedics, gastroenterology and pulmonology, Olson Research has found a niche in supporting the marketing decisions of health care entities, enjoying a true partnering relationship with many long-standing clients.
“I am proud of the culture we have instilled at Olson Research,” says Lynn. “We take care of our team members and they in turn take care of our clients. What we started 23 years ago is continuing to thrive today and our future is bright.”
Custom consumer research specialist
Katie Simmermon, President, SMARI
Katie Simmermon is president of SMARI, an Indianapolis-based full-service market research firm that specializes in custom consumer research, primarily in health care, retail and manufacturing. Over 35 years, projects have included methodologies ranging from B2B decision maker journeys to 360-degree brand audits and product concept tests.
Katie’s background is in analytics and account management in the research and consulting industry. Katie started at SMARI as an intern and, while not planned, stayed with the company over three locations and several decades.
Now, Katie has worked to transform a 35-year-old company to meet the challenges of an emerging marketplace powered by multi-generational employees and fast-paced technological changes. Attracting the Millennial researcher has been a focus and has produced unique moments for the company like working with monthly subscription services to refine consumer dashboards, performing numerous market assessments for digital-native products and publishing the Millennials and the Modern Buyer e-book in partnership with Indianapolis-based agency Element Three. Under Katie’s leadership, the culture of SMARI transformed and the firm was named Indiana’s No. 2 Best Place to Work by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce in 2017.
Katie enjoys serving the community and currently supports Ball State University as a board member for the MBA program and sits on the board of directors for the Indianapolis War Memorials Foundation.
But don’t let the professional appearance fool you. Katie is a rancher and lives on a 60-acre cattle ranch that she and her husband personally maintain. This hidden life is a constant adventure ranging from bottle-feeding a calf in stiletto heels on the way out to work to using vacation days to attend a cattle auction somewhere in middle America. The attempt at work-life balance in its truest form!
Responsive team of translation specialists
Nancy Hernon, CEO, G3 Translate
G3 has been partnering with the market research and insights industry as a comprehensive translation partner for more than 12 years. Through this laser-focused specialization, the company has the deepest understanding of how translation plugs into all your MR projects.
G3 works in 500 language combinations with hand-selected linguists who, in addition to translation, evaluate visuals and other cultural aspects for relevancy. The G3 team is highly responsive, with a commitment that has earned Preferred Vendor Status with many Fortune 500 companies, including leading MR firms. The human component of G3 is augmented with various workflow technologies thereby lowering costs and time while ensuring quality.
Nancy’s passion for language, innovation and giving a global voice to clients has led her to a career in the translation industry spanning nearly 20 years. She takes special pride in G3’s success in the MR field, where the company has partnered on over 15,000 study translations for clients, spanning 135 countries. She also holds a Professional Researcher Certification from the Insights Association, serves on their Southwest board PPAC and is the incoming president of the Greater New York chapter of the Insights Association.
Your inner-circle team
LynMarie, Kayla, Carmen, Kate
Discovering market insights is a team effort. We have proven that no single individual can ensure that your project is over the top without a committed support team! For over 14 years the Ascendancy Research team has been superiorly rated and commended for project management, recruiting, hosting, site management and outcome delivery, as one of the tops in the country.
Our all-in-it-for-you leadership team has consistently proven that as your research support, we bring your projects in on time, on the budget, with no drama or surprises! We have expanded-out technologies, national recruiting, inner-circle services and shortened turnaround times in qualitative methodologies that are second to none. Our refreshing, custom-set facility and committed on-site support brings rave reviews from our clients throughout the research industry. Our fast-turnaround, detailed bids ensure that you are in a leadership position with your clients.
We are here to serve you as your all-in-it-for-you inner-circle partner.
U&I Collaboration – practicing the science and art of deep understanding for 20 years
Thorny problem? Need a better solution to understanding your consumer or customer? Tired of the same approach packaged differently? Looking for a company that can empower the client with knowledge and insights… and then gets out of your way?
U&I Collaboration LLC and its founding organization, The Understanding & Insight Group LLC, has been solving issues like the ones above for nearly 20 years of practice in the strategy, business development and products research technology area. U&I Collaboration is a female-owned and -operated company in the deep design thinking, commercialization and research fields.
Through their innovative Founder Jacqueline Beckley and now with their compelling leadership team lead by Jennifer Vahalik, U&I Collaboration delivers the only proven hybrid approach to consumer and business strategy – where deep qualitative understanding scales seamlessly to advanced behavioral and choice-based quantitative findings, leading to enrichment of client-based big data.
With U&I Collaboration, you are not following a research trend of the moment. Rather you are driving ahead with context-based learnings that adapt to each business situation that is encountered using U&I’s real-time research approach.
The women of U&I are anchored in the “hard” sciences, yet fully implement the essential insights from the arts and social sciences. U&I Collaboration has active research in the new findings of Mouth Behavior, which impacts all product design decisions in food, pharma and all orally-based products; Adaptive consumer guided surveys through Quessence™, a proprietary online survey tool that incorporates storytelling to understand people’s reactions to products, services and experiences; a range of workshop approaches that connect people, their products and businesses for agile design thinking; and is implementing new-to-the-world approaches to speech science and linguistics through an AI/ML proprietary engine called VaDi®, a conversation and data analytics system, which uses “unblinking ear technologies.”
Contact Jennifer Vahalik for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or send an e-mail to email@example.com. U&I’s Web site is: www.theuandigroup.com.
Making a difference through research
Debbie Balch, Founder and CEO, Elevated Insights
Debbie leads a thriving team of qualitative and quantitative strategists at Elevated Insights, a full-service insights agency based in Colorado Springs. Despite over 25 years of conducting strategic marketing research as both a supplier and client (P&G, PepsiCo), each year brings new opportunities to grow as a researcher and make a difference in consumers’ lives.
In addition to varied, strategic B2C and B2B research efforts, Debbie and team use their research skills to give back. Last year, the Elevated Insights team helped the City of Colorado Springs understand the burgeoning panhandler population and how to best meet their needs. The company also launched AskCOS™ in 2017, an annual study tracking resident satisfaction, priorities, substance use, spending habits and desires.
Debbie continually challenges the team to create authentic connections with consumers and use engaging methods to deliver deep insights and inspire smart action. This way, every study can make a difference and improve lives.
Seasoned psychological researcher
Tanya Mingione, President, Pinnacle Research Group LLC
Tanya Mingione is president of Pinnacle Research Group LLC. She has over 20 years of research accomplishments ranging from developing and testing winning communications strategies for leading advertising agencies to formulating and directing strategic research studies for the world’s foremost pharmaceutical corporations. Tanya is a seasoned psychological researcher with a proven track record of identifying motivations, perceptions and attitudes and turning those findings into actionability. She is an insightful interviewer, writer and editor. Prior to returning to the Midwest in 1997 and starting Pinnacle Research Group in 2002, Tanya managed a leading market research firm on the East Coast for more than 10 years.
Pinnacle Research Group is a think tank of educated, intelligent, forward-thinking professionals (psychologists, sociologists, marketers) who combine psychological insight and theories with real-world experience to take your research efforts further. Our philosophical approach is simple: dig deep. Leave no stone unturned. Provide a fresh perspective to clients. Do it all while maintaining an intense focus on quality and excellence.
Authentic leadership and team-building expert
Jacqueline Rosales, COO, SoapBoxSample
Five years ago, when Jacqueline Rosales was faced with the enormous task of building a start-up from scratch, she decided to start with an aspect of company-building that many leaders don’t tackle at all: She wrote the company ethos. Known as the Telltale Ten, these are the 10 guiding principles that became the basis for the establishment and rapid growth of SoapBoxSample.
“I realized the first step was really to focus on what type of company I wanted to build. That’s what I was most excited about. You can be smart, skilled and experienced but if you are not willing, able and genuinely pumped about working for a company that embodies these 10 principles, then I am sorry (not really), you can’t play with us,” says Jacqueline.
Flash-forward to today, SoapBoxSample has 45 full-time employees. They’ve expanded their product offerings to include a full-service division, passive metering and mobile missions and have integrated the operations of icanmakeitbetter, an Insight Community Platform.
Jacqueline attributes the company’s success to her staff, while her staff says it’s her authentic leadership style. “If you hire the right people, you can overcome any obstacle. They drive growth and success. My goal is to charm them enough that they want to become integral parts of a greater whole.”
In 2015, Jacqueline began documenting her entrepreneurial journey – both in and out of the office – in her blog, The Telltale Ten. Popular posts include No Budget Isn’t an Excuse for No Brains, So You Want to Be the Boss? and Yay, My Kid is Not a Jerk.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know. Brands need insights that lead to great ideas. SoapBoxSample helps you turn your business questions into actionable insights. Our team of super likable humans combines decades of research experience with a nimble and disruptive start-up mind-set. We believe in making your life easier, saying no even when you don’t want to hear it and giving you a research experience that improves your business’ bottom line. Offering a FRESH blend of research and technology, our suite of services includes: community insight platform (icmib); mobile and app-based research; passive metering; online data collection; and full-service design and analytics.
Expert in choice analytics
Megan Peitz, Ingenuity Ambassador, Sawtooth Software
A self-proclaimed nerd with her master’s in mathematics and statistics, Megan Peitz has challenged stereotypes as the ingenuity ambassador at Sawtooth Software, the global leader in tools and training for choice analytics.
“I’ve admired Sawtooth Software since my early days of marketing research. When I had the opportunity to meet Bryan Orme, president of Sawtooth Software and Parlin award winner, I couldn’t pass up the chance to ask him for a job,” says Megan.
“And we weren’t even hiring!” says Orme. “But she possessed that rare balance of quant and people skills, which was exactly what we needed.”
Megan shares her love of choice analytics by hosting Sawtooth Software’s free Webinar series, teaching at choice modeling workshops and presenting at industry conferences. She also mentors female students and was recently the keynote speaker at a high school STEM night.
Sawtooth Software provides sophisticated analytic tools for uncovering consumer preferences in an easy-to-use survey platform. For more information, visit sawtoothsoftware.com.
Leading data collection company
Bonnie Breslauer, Chief Customer Officer, Active Measure
Bonnie is chief customer officer at Active Measure, a leading data collection company that is setting the highest standard for data quality. Active Measure was built on the premise that people, when properly engaged, will share time, opinions and data to better their world. Active Measure provides first-party data at massive scale to insights professionals, researchers and marketers through its proprietary research panel.
Bonnie is building on Active Measure’s customer-driven growth and is sharing its profound message throughout the research and insights community. She thrives on working with clients to help them achieve their objectives and mentoring staff for their career development.
Bonnie has 25+ years of experience in the market research industry. She has a passion for data quality and is evangelizing its importance throughout the industry. She is actively involved in industry associations and is a frequent speaker at conferences. Bonnie is a founding member of SampleCon and is on the steering committee for the Coalition for Advancing Sampling, a newly formed group that includes a cross-section of leaders representing corporate buyers, such as P&G and Walmart, MR agencies and suppliers to drive data quality.
Female-driven insights consultancy
Katrina Noelle, President, KNow Research
KNow Research is a full-service, female-driven qualitative insights consultancy on the front lines of research. Our senior-level team of boots-on-the-ground investigators deliver valuable insights to our clients with emphasis on our expertise in the financial services and retail industries and lifestyle brands.
Our project teams are carefully curated, connecting research leads with clients based on expertise and category experience.
From traditional interview methods to the latest digital research solutions, we build bespoke projects to support our client’s need for insights that inform key business decisions. Regardless of the methodologies chosen, our goal is to uncover insights by digging deep and keeping our clients In the KNow.
Katrina Noelle, president, is proud to have made KNow Research one of the newest, certified members of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council to further our commitment to women in the research community and beyond it.
Know KNow. Insights, delivered.
Smart with heart
Jennifer Airey: Partner
Beth Forbes: Partner, CXO
Amanda McColl: Sr. Dir., Data
Shireen Olsen: Sr. Dir., Field
Since our 2009 founding, a core group of women with a two-decade history together helped form and grow this strategic consultancy. They are all part of the core leadership team that helps guarantee excellence to our clients.
Jennifer Airey and Beth Forbes helped found the company. Jennifer focuses on client management and putting research to work in effective client strategies.
Beth is our chief experience officer, responsible for designing an end-to-end experience that expresses our company’s mission, capitalizes on the strength of each unique employee and results in delighted clients.
Amanda is relentless in ensuring data quality, accuracy and rigor for our client service teams. She was named an “ambassador of excellence” in 2017.
Shireen’s creativity and resourcefulness ensure our innovative methods stay ahead of client needs and our fieldwork meets the highest standards.
At Heart+Mind Strategies, we can proudly say that 68 percent of our employees are women. Jennifer, Beth, Amanda and Shireen represent everyone as smart, savvy women leading us into the future.
Angela Lorinchak, President, Jackson Adept Research
Women have long been the backbone of our industry and Angela Lorinchak, CEO of Jackson Adept is no exception. Angela has been a leader in our profession for half her life, dedicating countless hours in her desire to strengthen our industry and hone her skills.
In addition to serving on the national board for the Insights Association, she’s also owned her own business, served on multiple boards and mentored young market researchers.
Angela started her career on the front lines at Metro Research, ultimately purchasing, expanding and divesting herself of it just in time to tackle her next challenge – Jackson Adept.
Adept Consumer Testing had been an icon in the industry for over 25 years when Jackson Associates (Atlanta) acquired it in 2015. Since then, Angela has used her time management and leadership skills to return it to greatness. She and her team of experienced professionals host dozens of studies each month in their two LA facilities.
Adept’s Beverly Hills office, conveniently nestled in the heart of the city, offers six focus suites and the latest technology available, including HD recording, in-house streaming and Jackson’s proprietary Instant Access system. The Encino office boasts four focus rooms, each capable of seating up to 20 clients. Between these 10 suites and the eight in Atlanta, Jackson covers clients from coast to coast.
Jackson’s bi-coastal teams conduct hundreds of qualitative and quantitative research projects each year ranging from focus groups, mock trials and usability tests to taste tests and in-depth interviews.
The company believes “the facility experience starts at the airport,” so personal car service is available upon request and cuisine exemplary enough to be served at the finest restaurants is commonplace in our offices.
Angela Lorinchak is now an icon in the industry in her own right and the Jackson family the better for having her on the team.
Provides actionable research results
BJ Gerjes, Director of Data, Creative Consumer Research
Established in 1976 with approximately 80,000 public and private sector projects completed, Creative Consumer Research (CCR) is one of the most trusted market research firms in the U.S.
CCR specializes in health care, public utilities, public transportation, travel/leisure, entertainment, gambling, financial services, restaurant and food service, residential/commercial property development and retail. A comprehensive line of Spanish-language services is available.
CCR offers a full range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies: focus group, one-on-one, telephone, intercepts, executive, door-to-door, regular mail, e-survey, Internet, mock jury and product testing.
A 20-year CCR veteran, BJ Gerjes is director of data and works to provide her clients valid and actionable research results. BJ believes in maintaining the high standards of data for the integrity of her 800 projects per year.
She serves as the immediate past president of the American Marketing Association Houston Chapter and as a board member of the Damon Independent School District.
BJ holds a bachelor of business administration from the University of Houston.
Experienced market researcher
Michelle Finzel, President, Maryland Marketing Source Inc.
Michelle Finzel was eight years old the first time she said, “Thank you for calling Maryland Marketing Source. How may I help you?”
When her mother, Barbara Bridge, founded Maryland Marketing Source Inc. in 1986, Michelle had no idea she’d be growing up alongside the market research industry. However, doing so has provided her with a unique perspective of the industry’s development and the nuanced roles we all play.
As president of Maryland Marketing Source Inc., Michelle’s overall goals are to blend theory with practice, emotions with insights and numbers with words. Experienced with qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, she has been published several times and has presented at several industry- and communications-focused conferences.
Michelle currently serves as chair of the field committee for the Qualitative Research Consultants Association, has served on the board of the Baltimore chapter of the American Marketing Association and is a member of the Insights Association.
Women of insight: MFour’s senior research consultants
Andrea Han, Joan Martinez and Allyson Wehn
Andrea Han, Joan Martinez and Allyson Wehn come from widely diverse hometowns – Sao Paulo, Brazil; the village of Ordot on Guam; and Fullerton, Calif., respectively – to share a proud and important job title at MFour: senior research consultant. They also share a passion for consumer insights that, among them, has produced 57 years of experience in market research. As a team, they analyze data obtained from validated first-party consumers who participate in research by using MFour’s pioneering mobile app Surveys on the Go®. That includes drawing insights from location tracking data, photo captures and real-time “video selfies” that respondents create and submit with their phones.
“My natural curiosity has driven my career,” says Martinez, who has been doing consumer research since her college days at California State University, Los Angeles. “What intrigues me about MFour is the technology. My thinking was, ‘This is the new frontier, where the world is going.’ I want to be part of that.”
For Wehn, “Sometimes I feel like a detective because clients are asking me to look for answers.” The University of California, Santa Barbara graduate also relishes the populist underpinnings of consumer research. When she’s out shopping, she often finds herself mentally recreating the research behind the merchandise. “When I see the real-life applications, more often than not those decisions come from consumers giving feedback on how they want things to be.”
Han, a graduate of the University of Southern California, says her career satisfaction is tied to her clients’ satisfaction. “They want to know, ‘What does this data mean to us?’ That’s what we’re here for. The real rewarding part for me is when clients look at the insights in the deck and say, ‘This is what we needed… and more.’”
Woman-owned firm specializing in full-service research
Amy Gorelkin, CEO, Beta Research Corporation
Amy takes a very hands-on approach to her role as CEO. She maintains a keen awareness of each project that comes in and its progress toward deadline. She also pitches in where needed, regularly coding, interpreting response numbers and proofreading reports to ensure that clients get what they need when they need it.
One of Amy’s key responsibilities is maintaining Beta’s family sensibility, cultivating easy, collegial relationships throughout the company and ensuring that clients receive prompt, personal attention.
Amy first started working at Beta in 1995. At the direction of the company Founder – her late father – Jerry Kossoff, Amy learned every aspect of the business from the ground up.
Beta Research is a family-owned, full-service marketing research firm that utilizes quantitative and qualitative techniques to obtain key decision-making information for its clients. Beta Research is a certified woman-owned business with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.
Scientific and business acumen
Beverley Kroll, Chairman of the Board, P&K Research
Beverley Kroll co-founded Peryam & Kroll Research in 1957 and served as P&K’s president and CEO until assuming her current position as chairman of the board of directors. Bev is among the marketing research industry’s most successful businesswomen and her scientific and business acumen have established P&K Research as a leading provider of sensory and consumer research to the world’s largest CPG companies. In 1995, Bev founded the David Peryam Award, in honor of her late business partner, which recognizes individuals for contributions to sensory and consumer science. In addition to P&K’s board responsibilities, which she shares with her sons Jeffrey and Dan, Bev remains active on the board of philanthropic organizations, such as the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, the Chicago North Suburban Healthcare Foundation and National Louis University. Bev still finds plenty of time to spend with her family, including seven grandchildren and her beloved pup Molly.