10 Questions With...

January 5, 2012

What brought you to KS&R?

The "perfect storm" - in a positive way! I wanted to stay in Central New York after getting my MBA. My "city" friends still think I'm crazy, but I love the area and it keeps me close to family. I also love market research and wanted to find the right environment to do that - a firm with a solid future and where people know each other, work as a team and strive for excellence. After 15 years, I can honestly say how fortunate I was to have been hired by KS&R.

What changes have you seen at KS&R in the 15 years you have been with the company?

KS&R has grown significantly in size, scope and resources. We've tripled our professional staff since I joined, and also have expanded INSITE (KS&R's contact center). Global research was the exception then, whereas now it's the norm. And, technology in support of market research was in its infancy; since then, we've added many resources around automation, portal sites, and multi-modal data collection. What hasn't changed is our commitment to superior client service and the best quality product. The caliber of our people has also remained top notch.

What personality trait is key to your success?

I would actually say there are three traits: patience, perseverance and the desire to learn. Good things come to those who wait, and a strong work ethic is an essential ingredient. But one has to continue learning in order to grow - so I would say this trait comes first.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

President of the United States - I was absolutely certain about it. :-)

Which two people would you like to have dinner with the most?

Well, since I wanted to be president, Harry Truman. I admire the way Truman stuck to his principles and vision for the future, even when he was misunderstood and faced strong criticism. The other person would be Doris Kearns Goodwin, not only because we're both history and presidential buffs, but I appreciate her ability to truly figure out the person she's writing about.

What book are you reading?

I'm a voracious reader and like to spread my time across different genres. Right now I'm reading two books - one leisure, one business. November 22, 1963 by Stephen King is an exciting mix of "what if", along with time travel. The other book is Landing in the Executive Chair, by Linda Heman. It offers some great insights on how to develop a plan for personal and organizational success.

OK, so you like time travel. If you had a time machine and could jump back or spring ahead, which would you do?

I suppose that depends on my objective. Springing forward would give me insights on what and how to prepare for a successful future. But that's cheating a bit, so I would likely jump back to the 1940's - I'm a huge fan of swing music and it seems like a simpler time and place to be.

What natural gift would you like to possess that you do not?

To be a better athlete. I played sports in school and still get out to the golf course every once and a while, but my coordination skills are lacking. I've heard that you play better golf with better golfers - I'm still waiting.

What is your principle defect?

Ha! That depends entirely on whom you ask. I would say that it is being too hard on myself to the point where it becomes bothersome to others.

What would your advice be to aspiring market researchers?

Remain curious and patient in developing your career. Curiosity is essential for being a market researcher - to want to explore every nook and cranny for what the data is telling you, not just what is says on the surface. As for patience, be willing to put in the time to learn, to have an opportunity to grow. Besides, life is too short if one keeps waiting for the end of the journey without enjoying the ride along the way.