Philadelphia Chapter MRA

Winter 2015
MRA large

Philadelphia Phlash  
MRA Philadelphia Newsletter
Winter 2015
Newsletter Title
Newsletter Subtitle
Newsletter Title
Newsletter Subtitle
Newsletter Title
Newsletter Subtitle
My President's "intro" is longer than usual - a trade off for fewer emails and interruptions from us this year.  Thank you for waiting until after the Thanksgiving break for the release of this season's Philadelphia Chapter newsletter. It was important to make sure this email didn't get buried in days' worth of Black Friday and Cyber Monday solicitations and personally, I felt I needed a few days afterwards to recover from it all.

Let's start by addressing the merger discussions which are under way between MRA and CASRO (Council of American Survey Organizations).  In late October a joint statement was released acknowledging the talks and disclosing a goal of creating one newly branded association.  The MRA Chapter Presidents have had group conference calls with David Almy and the rest of the National Board to discuss this, along with other matters relating to what makes a successful organization for the members (you).  Frankly, we always run out of time in those calls and tend to leave with more questions than they can answer in any one pass.  We've therefore been having individual calls with David, lots of back and forth emails, and are now set for another large group call on the 15th of December.  

After active reflection, I consider only a few items to be exciting so far about the merger:
*    Financial growth.  There doesn't appear to be a ton of overlap at first glance when looking at MRA members (individuals) versus CASRO members (companies).  With a potential ESOMAR like hybrid membership structure, the new organization could collect a compelling number of new prospects in both camps.  More cash equals more benefits to the members in an ideal scenario.  If you know me, you'll know I'll be watching this.
*    Advocacy strength. Let's face it, there are benefits to be had since two wallets, I mean heads, are better than one when it comes to influence. Recent TCPA rules have the telephone research industry members scrambling for clarity and risk-management.

Outside of that, we'd probably have new life given to the annual conferences.  Keep in mind all of this is only talk still. The changes would need to be approved by both sides, and we as members also get to weigh in.   Surveys are coming out soon, and in the meantime we are encouraged to write to  

The MRA current structure, dues, benefits, and agendas will remain largely intact in 2016.  This much we are assured.  If you were considering renewal, please don't let this activity stop you. In fact, I'd encourage you to refer a colleague to join us!   Our local Philadelphia chapter is thriving, and will continue to serve you with many local educational and fun networking events like the one we just held on November 12 at the Chart House with PMRG and the upcoming Lunch and Learn at Temple on December 14.  Details for these events are below, along with a photo gallery and registration, respectively.  

Also important to me this year as stated in June was the return of our Joint NY-Phila Chapter Conference in the Spring.  Our current President Elect, Rajesh Bhai, is co-chair and aggressively seeking committee leaders and sponsors for the April 2016 ALL-DAY event with cocktail parties the night before and night of the event in Philadelphia.  We decided, given all the work that has to go into planning and executing such a large local Joint Conference, there will be no end of 2015 Holiday party.   They tend to be lightly attended and more work to put on than is worth. We will put on some Thirsty Thursdays in early 2016 leading up to the main Joint Chapters Conference, and of course, a few other large collaborative panel events for education credits.

Again, thank you for your membership and engagement.  I hope your fall was a productive one, and that your winter is equally enjoyable.  Hope to see each of you soon at one of our upcoming events or around the area during our normal hustle and flow via one-on-ones.  Please contact me directly for a deeper dive into MRA volunteer work, or to just catch up.  On behalf of the board, we look forward to continuing our goal of providing personal market research connections.

Warm regards,

Angela Wood
Philadelphia Chapter MRA
888-678-7782 x7305
888-268-1735 (Fax)

Recent Event Review and Pictures
  • Annual PMRG-PMRA Joint Event, Nov 12, Philadelphia PA
Great turnout last month for the Joint PMRG - Philadelphia MRA Health Literacy Dinner, as about 60 healthcare and market researchers in attendance for networking and some education from Merck and Baltimore Research.

It was really fun to catch up with people from all over. We had Boston, NY, NJ, Baltimore, Virginia, and of course a nice Philadelphia area crowd in attendance at the Chart House, Penn's Landing. Will definitely do another one of these soon.

Click the link below to view pictures from the event!

In This Issue
Upcoming Events!
Member Spotlight
Recipe Box
2014-2015 Board Members
Angela Wood
(888) 678-7782

President Elect 
Rajesh Bhai
Marketing Systems Group
(215) 653-7100 

Past President
Omar Barquet
Focus Pointe Global

Meghan Surdenas
Focus Forward, LLC.
(215) 367-4000

Rick Eisenberg
Marketing Systems Group
215.653.7100 (x157)
Mary Conran
Temple University
John Piechowski
(215) 286-4096
Janet Sykes
Just Worldwide Ltd
(609) 275-7410
Angèle Surault
(215) 635-7090

Nick Urda
Reckner Healthcare
(267) 956-5084

Upcoming Event - DEC 14 - Philadelphia Lunch-n-Learn






Please visit our site for further information including registration. 


MRA Spotlight With Nahson Wilson: Marketing Candidate - December 2015, Fox School of Business and Management 
A Student's View of Market Research

As business students at Fox, we are encouraged to explore different career tracks within our field of study. Throughout my academic career I have done this; in addition to some great course work (Marketing Research, Digital Marketing, Data Analytics, etc) I have also completed three internships.  Each of these experiences has allowed me to continue my professional development and have now led to another internship, this one in market research. I believe that understanding marketing research, and the tools used in marketing research, is important as these will allow me to build and polish skills I can use as I launch my career.


Why I believe market research is important:


Market research can be used to identify potential customers, understand existing customers, and develop effective strategies. One of my tasks with my current internship is to look for prospective customers; I must determine whether a company could benefit from the type of solution the organization is offering. This decision requires that I gather information on a number of companies and organize this data into spreadsheets; these reports serve as the "insights" which can be used by our sales organization to reach out to these prospective customers and foster new client relationships and generate revenue opportunities. I also help to gather the data used to create profiles of existing customers and analyze their buying behavior, needs, and wants; a step critical to a company seeking to offer additional products and services to existing customers based on the insights generated from the research I helped create.


What skills I can use to be an asset to an organization:


My strong analytical skills, ability to collaborate, and my work-ethic will set me apart from other candidates in the job market.  I have worked to develop strong analytical skills; I've invested time examining large data sets and developing useful insights as a result of analysis. Recently I used SPSS to analyze a company's financial performance and determine what factors were driving its revenue and costs. After analyzing the company's financial performance, I was able to make suggestions where costs could be cut or where marketing strategy investments might be tweaked to capture potential revenue.  


After working at a few different companies, I have also learned the importance of team work. Collaborating with different people allows for innovation and creative breakthroughs; well beyond those that would be accomplished by a single person.  


As a market research intern, I realize I am presented with many ideas and/or strategies that I may not fully understand (yet) but when I analyze companies I am able to leverage my ability to identify and quickly categorize the products/services it offers. This analysis allows me to be an asset to my internship coordinator and sponsor.  I look forward to launching a career in research as an analyst and seek to continue to build and use these skills.



Recipe Box

Each newsletter will feature a special recipe from one of our members.  For this newsletter, our Lunch-n-Learn sponsor Blueberry provided the following recipe which has been enjoyed annually at the company chili kick-off.  It is Pete Grubb's Smokin' Chili and it will make your knees weak. 
1lb bacon
1 chub breakfast sausage
1lb ground meat
2 cans kidney beans drained / washed
1 onion
½ tbs ground chipotle peppers
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs onion powder
1 tbs Smoked paprika
Cajun seasoning to taste
Creole seasoning to taste
5 cans tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
Brown meats, separately if need be.  Season with salt / pepper / ½ garlic powder / ½ onion powder
Sautee onion in bacon oil
Return meat, onion to pan, add tomato sauce, paste, kidney beans
Add remaining garlic/onion powder
Add remaining seasonings, stir and simmer.
View our profile on LinkedInLike us on Facebook