May 2012
MRA large

Philadelphia Phlash  
MRA Philadelphia Newsletter
Summer 2012 

MIchael G.


Just a few days ago we remembered the 20th Anniversary of Johnny Carson leaving the Tonight Show.   I'll never forget Bette Midler singing "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)". Yes, 20 years ago! Wow, that went by fast. And so did my year as President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the MRA. And what a year it has been.

We started out with our Wacky Wednesday mixer in Conshohocken at the Manayunk Tavern - followed by the first of our engaging speakers Angelo Scialfa at our Lunch & Learn at Reckner Downtown. As winter came and past, the season was dubbed the winter that wasn't. I don't think anyone cared except maybe the skiers. Next we again had a wonderful time at our post-holiday party at the gorgeous and trendy (but not too trendy) Hotel Palomar in Center City. Then our second rousing speaker Margie Omero on political polling captivated us all. As spring arrived, many were busy traveling to conferences including the NY/Philadelphia Joint Chapter Conference in Atlantic City NJ where educational and social events were the best they've ever been; and we even had some lucky winners amongst us.

It wasn't all about us though. We as a chapter gave two $1,500 scholarships awards to two highly motivated well-deserved students. With your generosity we donated clothing and over $600 to local charities helping area men and women get back on their feet and into the workforce.

I'm extremely proud of us as a chapter and it has been my privilege to be your President. I thank you all for the support and participation throughout the year. I would especially like to thank the board whom I could not have done it without. You are a tremendous group of people that worked hard, bringing the chapter the best ever events.

So to put it in the words of Johnny Mercer - "Well, that's how it goes - and Joe I know you're gettin' anxious to close - so thanks for the cheer - I hope you didn't mind - my bending your ear... So make it one for my baby, and one more for the road."

Michael Georgianna
President, Philadelphia Chapter of the MRA


Event Review

Listen, Learn, Lead


The Greater NY/Philadelphia Joint Chapter Conference was held on April 19-20 at the beautiful Borgata Hotel and Spa in Atlantic City NJ. This year's theme of Listen, Learn, Lead was well played out with the highly anticipated, varied and well-versed speakers.

The conference started with a good laugh from a Conan O'Brian video Joe Arsenault from Time Warner showed. This video humorously showed the issues in his industry. But through the life cycle from symptom, to support, through survey and summarization, TW can send back into the cycle better service for greater customer satisfaction and new and improved features.

Linda McAteer from the Melior Group presented us on how the invisible customer (the internet customer) has high expectations. Where once some on-line services were considered value added, these are now expected functionality for an overall satisfactory customer experience. But the human element cannot be removed from the equation. These customers want human contact to solve their problems and answer questions almost immediately.

This was a perfect example of what ING Direct does as described by Melissa Elliot. ING works predominately with the invisible customer and ING must have the most user friendly site for them. Their research consists of a large percentage of eye tracking usability labs so they can be exact with presenting their desired message directly to their customers.

The day's sessions ended with Joe Ford and Dr. Ewa Kleczyk who took us through their cycle of Listen Learn Lead to make informative marketing decisions and plan sales in a more exact way for increase returns.

Bright and early - but not necessarily bushy-eyed, the next day started with Mark Iorio and The Five Drivers for Success through the Dale Carnegie Training. These included self-confidence, human relations, communications, leadership and reduce stress & improve attitude. After a fun group participation demonstration, he drove the point home to get better at what you do, and don't just be good - be great.

To wrap things up we heard from Barbara Leflein on How to Sell Research to Entrepreneurs by becoming a partner with them and from Justin Fromm of AVC Television who also touched on the same points for the RFP Process - An Insider's Perspective.

Once again, Atlantic City was the perfect setting for learning, networking, a little fun and chance at luck. Big kudos goes out to Lori Young and Meredith Falvo for co-chairing this successful event and all those who volunteered.


Conference pictures



   Upcoming Events 

Look for more information on these up coming chapter events:
  • End of Year Cocktail Party - Installation of Officers.  June 28th at the Manayunk Brewery, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Click here for details. 
  • MRA 2012 Annual Conference - San Diego, June 4 - 6.  Click here for conference details.


In This Issue
Feature Article
Member Spotlight
Student Perspective
Review Corner
Recipe Box
Michael Georgianna
(215) 981-0120
Past President
Meg Ryan. PRC
Survey Technology & Research

Project Management Institute
Omar Barquet
Focus Pointe Global

Jason Eric Saylor
MAXimum Research


Social Networking
Carrie Skinner
Survey Technology & Research


Please take a look at the volunteer list to see where you can help the Philadelphia MRA.


Feature Article


Reaching Out and Giving Back


Historically, the members of the Philadelphia MRA have been a generous and thoughtful bunch. We will continue to support the scholarships and children's charities with which we have been working with, but we knew our members could do even more!

 With that in mind the Philadelphia Chapter's Board of Directors was looking for a new and different way to give back in the region we call home and where we make a living. The chapter set out to find a Philadelphia Area charity that would help others in a way to which our members could relate. But how to choose a charity? There are so many! We started the thought process this way...we come together and enjoy our MRA relationships because we all are in the same field of Marketing Research. We are fortunate to have our careers that bring us together. What about those who don't have the same opportunities?  What about those area residents who have not had access to an education or those low income folks who would work hard and could be successful if only they had access to the resources needed to find a good job. Surely that is something our membership could get behind.

 So we looked for those types of charities and found two: The Career Wardrobe and MenzFit! Both charities help "bridge the gap" between job training and employment for low-income residents of the Philadelphia Community. 

The Career Wardrobe empowers women in transition by providing programs which inspire the confidence necessary to achieve self-sufficiency and pursue a productive career. They do this by providing professional work attire, educational programs and networking tools and opportunities. MenzFit provides low-income men with minimal prior formal education with professional interview clothing, career development and financial literacy services.

These services impact the lives of the women and men in the programs.  In many cases, these services are fill in that previously missing link , allowing them to go forth and support themselves as well as provide for their families.

Some numbers to demonstrate the success of these charities:

The Career Wardrobe has outfitted nearly 70,000 women since their first client walked through the door in December 1995.

  •          50-60% of the women served by The Career Wardrobe report securing employment*
  •          60% are working full-time, with 40% earning over $11/hour and some earning salaries as high as       $20/hour
  •          54% receive a job offer within 2 interviews after receiving professional clothing and consultation
  •          30% are successful in finding clerical and office administration jobs and 20% in the healthcare industry, which are the jobs with the greatest opportunity for advancement in our region

*Outcomes data based on surveys of The Career Wardrobe's client and other self-reported information  

MenzFit, a much younger organization founded in 2001, is already showing great promise. They have helped more than 3,000 men compete for jobs and are currently seeing an average of 60 percent remaining employed.

The Philly MRA had been passing the hat and taking donations of used clothing on behalf of both of these fine organizations. The groups appreciate our efforts and will plan to report success stories to us in the future. We are excited about these partnerships and thankful to our members for supporting these causes!




Philadelphia MRA Chapter Elections 

 Election results for the 2012-2012 year:                                         Election 

  • President - Natalie Dunn
  • Past President - Michael Georgianna
  • President Elect - Jason Saylor
  • Treasurer - Mike DeLia
  • Director-At-Large
    • Carrie Skinner (returning)
    • Omar Barquet (returning)
    • Brian Kenyon (new board member)
    • Meghan Surdenas (new board member)
    • Angela Wood (new board member) 

 Click here to see bios


Student Perspective

Undivided Attention

by David Quake, Temple University Fox School of Business


My perspective on marketing research has been shaped by my experiences as a marketing major at the Fox School of Business, and through my work at a research facility in Philadelphia. One class project involved developing an online survey, which my team distributed to approximately fifteen thousand people across the country. This project demonstrated to me how online methodologies can be used to efficiently conduct research across many geographic locations. I have also observed focus groups and in-depth interviews in-person through assisting clients and moderators to conduct studies at a marketing research facility. Through these experiences I have learned about the benefits of conducting qualitative research in-person compared to online.

My experience demonstrates that in-person studies offer several advantages over online focus groups, which should be taken into consideration when initiating a research project. One benefit an in-person study offers is a controlled environment which minimizes distractions for respondents. Online studies using web conferencing technologies offer virtually no control over potential distractions to respondents such as children, cell phones and other websites. Maintaining the focus of respondents throughout the duration of a study is critical to ensuring research teams maximize the return on their investment.

Another benefit is that face-to-face interaction allows a perceptive moderator to read respondents' body language and mood. Respondents' emotions can be easily overlooked when using a webcam or chat room, but are easier to perceive by a moderator when speaking with them in-person. Whether respondents' reactions are volunteered verbally or are strictly physical, they can be critical to a research team's decision making. Conducting a study in-person ensures that researchers don't miss a beat.  


Scholarship Winners 

Scholarship winnersCongratulations to Sarah Fuesler and David Quake (center) - winners of the Philadelphia Chapter MRA Scholarship Award.



Review Corner

Must See Memphis 


As old commercials once said - "I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats" and "don't walk - run to the theater", these hold true for the exuberant musical Memphis currently on Broadway. This foot-stompin' musical will not only put a smile on your face and leave you feeling - well just good. Nominated for 7 Tony awards and the recipient of 4 including Best Musical, Best Book, Best Original Score and Best Orchestration, Memphis is loosely based on Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play "black" music on the airwaves.

The story begins when a young Huey Calhoun (Adam Pascal) is drawn into a honky-tonk bar after hearing the rhythm and blues from within. Huey doesn't find anything out of the norm being the only white person in the bar, though the clientele and owner Gator and his sister Felicia (Montego Glover) are more cautious.   From this moment, the music is etched into his sole and he can't get enough.  

Not able to keep down a job, he is on his last straw at the department store he where he currently works. He makes a deal with his boss that if he can sell enough records before the days end, he can keep his job. Huey then begins to play the rock-n-roll and sells out of his records. Even though he succeeded, his boss still fires him for playing "colored music".   Although out of work but not defeated, this is the beginning of his celebrated yet sometimes controversial career.

As scenes play, we see Huey talk his way into a DJ-ing gig at a local radio station becoming the top DJ on the airways as well as landing his own TV music/dance show (pre-American Band Stand). During all this we see the hard realities of the time. Huey falls in love with Felicia, who he has cut a record, plays it on the airways and becomes and instant hit. Their inter-racial relationship is a forbidden love provoking family riffs and bias attacks. In the end, the couple must choose between a life together or conform to society.

When Huey first opens his mouth, I recognized this voice immediately. Adam Pascal created the roll and won the Tony award for his portrayal of Roger Davis in Rent on Broadway (and the movie version) as well as playing Rademes in Elton John's Broadway Aida. Pascal's Huey charms his way into the hearts of Felicia, everyone around him and the audience as well. Montego Glover's portrayal of Felicia (nominate for a Tony/Winner of Drama Desk Award for Best Actress in a Musical) is a passionate journey of happy times, conflicting emotions, love and fear - all through the beauty and power of her soulful voice. Written by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro, directed by Christopher Ashley and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo, the show takes us back to a time where music and dance was the bridge that connected our differences.

The musical Memphis might be set in the 50's but the story, trials and triumphs are all too familiar today.   Whether you go to NY and see this show on Broadway or catch the touring company in town, this show is a must see.


Recipe Box
Potato Salad
The recipe for the spring newsletter is for  German Potato Salad and was sent in by Michael Georgianna.  Click here to get recipe.

If you have a favorite recipe you would like to share with us in the next newsletter, please send it to
View our profile on LinkedInLike us on Facebook