Fifth Annual MSMR Alumni Marketing Research Conference

The Fifth Annual MSMR Alumni Marketing Research Conference was held on April 3, 2014, at The University of Texas at Arlington.

The conference brought the marketing research community together to develop relationships, share ideas, motivate our community, and heighten the impact of marketing researchers everywhere.

Attendees included top marketing research professionals, both clients and suppliers; rising stars look for opportunities to learn from seasoned experts; and current and prospective students interested in pursuing an advanced degree in marketing research.

The conference focused on real world applications to make the best of what you have, to help you build your own brand in a way that makes you invaluable to your organization and to your clients. Attendees learned about new and transformational industry models, how to take your business from commoditized data collection to the next generation of marketing research

Plan to attend this motivating conference in 2015, where you are certain to walk away with several good ideas to improve your research performance and a dozen new contacts!

For more information about the upcoming 2015 conference, please contact Erik Montenegro

2024 Speaker Biographies

Michelle AdamsMichelle Adams

Michelle Adams is founder of Marketing Brainology, a consulting practice focused on translating consumer and shopper insights to marketing and corporate America; especially the latest findings from Virtual Shopping, Behavioral Science, & NeuroScience. Working with PepsiCo the past 10 years, most recently as V.P. of Customer Strategy and Shopper Insights, she was responsible for the SMART Learning Center, a retail theater focused on state-of-the art consumer and shopper research.

Michelle is an industry thought-leader, and POPAI Board Member; serving as co-chair of their research sub-committee. In 2012, she received the Industry Achievement Award from POPAI. She has a Ph.D. in Political Economy from University of Texas at Dallas. She was an adjunct professor for the University of Texas at Dallas and SMU for 15 years.


Casey Bernard Casey Bernard

Casey Bernard is a skilled researcher and professional communicator with experience in both quantitative and qualitative marketing research methodologies as well as secondary and competitive intelligence research. Her experience ranges from online surveys to online focus groups, telephone surveys to in-person research.

After graduating with an MSMR from UT Arlington, Casey worked with Decision Analyst learning the traditional marketing research approaches. She later moved to an interactive agency, imc2, where she started with early web analytics and later evolved into social media listening. She now consults with brands on how to combine new research approaches with conventional techniques.

Casey holds a master’s degree in marketing research from The University of Texas at Arlington and a bachelor’s of journalism in public relations from The University of Texas at Austin. Casey lives and works in Austin, Texas.


Simon ChadwickSimon Chadwick

Simon Chadwick is the Managing Partner of Cambiar, a management consulting company dedicated to the market research industry. Before founding Cambiar in 2004, Simon was Global CEO of NOP World, a $400 million market research and consulting company. In this role, he was responsible for creating a cohesive global group out of nine highly distinctive and successful research companies in the UK, U.S., Europe and Asia. Before joining NOP, Simon ran a number of research companies within Kantar.

Simon is active in the leadership of the market research and marketing industries; he was 2004 Chair of CASRO (the Council of American Survey Research Organizations) and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Marketing Science Institute. He and his colleagues at Cambiar are prolific authors and commentators on the research profession and recently launched the Future of Research (FoR) annual study of trends in the industry.

In addition to his role at Cambiar, Simon is Editor-in-Chief of Research World, ESOMAR’s global magazine, and serves on the Board of Directors of a number of research-related companies.
Simon is a Fellow of the Market Research Society. He holds an MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, England and has done post-graduate studies at both Columbia and Harvard business schools in Change Management and Strategic Management.


Robert ClancyRobert Clancy
VP, Insights & Strategy

Robert Clancy is the Vice President of Insights and Strategy at uSamp™, where he focuses on developing and utilizing mobile as a research tool that satisfies insights needs. He has worked extensively in the CPG and retail industries as an insights leader for PepsiCo, Blockbuster, Diageo, and JCPenney.

Robert holds a Master of Marketing Research degree from the University of Georgia and a B.B.A. in marketing from Texas Christian University, where he currently sits on the M.J. Neeley School of Business Marketing Advisory Board.


Jeanne CorriganJeanne Corrigan
Mosaic Insight Group

During her 15-year partnership with research firm On Your Mark, Jeanne observed how effective long-term listening could be to business strategy. She envisioned an approach that placed conversation at its center, one where women were encouraged to provide ongoing, authentic insights about her clients’ products – and Mosaic Insight Group was born. Today, she has opened up conversation channels for several iconic brands, helping to transform the way they do business.

Based in Austin, Texas, Jeanne is surrounded by innovation and creative risk-takers, who inspire and inform her worldview. She serves on the marketing committee for GENaustin, an organization that provides support and guidance for girls, celebrates their strengths, and helps them make wise choices.


Doug Grisaffe, Ph.D.Doug Grisaffe, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Marketing, UTA

Dr. Grisaffe received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. He is the former Vice President, Chief Research Methodologist for Walker Information. In that capacity, Doug concentrated on strategic customer relationship measurement and management for multi-national Fortune 500 companies, emphasizing development and application of advanced marketing research methodologies. Prior to joining UTA’s marketing faculty in 2005, Doug also was an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Managerial Studies at Vanderbilt University. At UTA Dr. Grisaffe teaches undergraduate, Masters, Doctoral, and Executive level courses, including applied research methods and statistics courses to students in the MSMR program. Doug has published scholarly research in a variety of professional journals along with several applied trade articles on a broad range of marketing and marketing research topics. Recognition of Dr. Grisaffe’s teaching includes the University of Texas System, Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award, the UTA College of Business Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, and the UTA College of Business Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award.


Greg HeistGreg Heist
Vice President, Strategy & Innovation

Greg is responsible for driving the innovation and corporate strategy at Gongos, Inc. From future trends to product development, Greg guides the company’s innovative spirit, helping clients get closer to “decision intelligence” through the synthesis, curation and socialization of knowledge. He leads the company’s Innovation Think Tank and collaborates with an eager team of developers and external experts. A former practitioner with over 20 years of experience under his belt, Greg is a visionary at heart. He believes our industry is in the midst of a revolution, and plans to help pave the way. When he’s not being a daddy, he can be found tweeting, blogging and frequenting his HootSuite account.


David HowlettDave Howlett

As SVP of innovation, Dave is charged with creating and implementing forward-looking solutions for iModerate. A seasoned product development, marketing and market research executive with social media expertise, Dave has built and led successful organizations in a variety of industries.

Most notably, Dave was a co-founder of Umbria, the social media research and analysis firm which was sold to McGraw-Hill/J.D. Power and Associates. He drove the business forward by overseeing the development of both the firm’s product and platform. Prior to Umbria, Dave founded or was part of the founding teams of four start-up technology companies and served ten years in various product management and innovation capacities at the Sprint Corporation. During his tenure at both start-ups and Fortune 500 organizations, Dave made impactful advances in the areas of product development, social media analytics, market research, digital marketing and strategic planning. In 2010 he founded a non-profit/non-governmental organization dedicated to economic development in Southern Ethiopia.

Dave received his MBA from the Wallace E. Carroll Graduate School of Management at Boston College and a B.S. in business administration from the University of Kansas.


Will LeachWill Leach
Sr. Director, Insights & Strategy

Will Leach is Senior Director of Insights and Strategy at uSamp™.  In this role he partners with clients to leverage the power of mobile technology to better understand how context influences consumer’s behaviors.  

Prior to uSamp, Will ran the Behavioral Activation Unit at BrainJuicer and worked at PepsiCo in various brand, innovation and shopper insights roles.  In 2011, Will was the recipient of the IIR EXPLOR Award for his ground breaking use of behavioral economics & decision science based methods to drive cross-category promotions at PepsiCo.  He received his B.S. in Natural Resource Economics from the University of Florida and his M.S. in Applied Economics from Texas A&M University. 


Lenny MurphyLeonard “Lenny” Murphy

Leonard “Lenny” Murphy has been in the Market Research industry for over a decade in various senior level roles, most notably as CEO of full service agency Rockhopper Research, CEO of tech-driven start-up BrandScan360, and Senior Partner of strategic consultancy Gen2 Advisors. A major aspect of his work focuses on collaborating with multiple organizations to help advance innovation and strategic positioning of the market research industry, most prominently as the Editor-in-Chief of the GreenBook Blog and GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report, 2 of the most widely read and influential publications in the global insights industry. Mr. Murphy is a key consultant to numerous insight-focused organizations on both the supplier and client side and an advisor to several technology start-ups via his consulting practice. He is involved with numerous organizations including the Insight Innovation Exchange, The ARF, NY AMA, NewMR & University of Michigan Masters in Marketing Research program. He also Chairs and produces conferences globally in collaboration with other leading organizations, and speaks about the future of insights and how to deliver maximum business impact at many events annually. He lives in Atlanta, GA with his 5 (yes, 5!) children, Should- be-Sainted wife, dog and a clinically insane cat.


Kyle NelKyle Nel
Head of Lowe’s Innovation Labs at Lowe’s Home Improvement

Kyle Nel is currently flexing his marketing research muscles as the head of International Consumer Research for Lowe’s Home Improvement in Mooresville, NC. He and his team are responsible for all things insights for the international business units including trackers, segmentations experiential research, ad testing, etc. Kyle brings to Lowe’s experience in shopper insights, having come from Walmart’s Global Insights group. He also has a strong background in media and advertising after serving as research director for Clear Channel Radio. Extra-curricular activities include: writing about his passion for marketing research as a blogger for ESOMAR’s RW Connect, watching Yo Gabba Gabba with his adorable daughter, and aspiring to be an ultra-trail marathoner with his wife.

Kyle holds an MBA from the AC Nielsen Center for Marketing Research at the University of Wisconsin and a B.A. in Business Management from Brigham Young University-Idaho.


Bill TannerBill Tanner
Senior Director of Strategic Research at A. H. Belo

Tanner is Senior Director of Strategic Research at A. H. Belo which operates The Dallas Morning News and other media businesses. Previously, he worked in technology marketing [Compaq/HP}, global CPG research [The Coca-Cola Company], telecommunications [US West/ AT & T] and direct marketing [NDL]. He has served on the UTA Advisory Board for 10 years.


Jerry ThomasJerry W. Thomas
President/CEO, Decision Analyst

Jerry W. Thomas is founder and President/CEO of Decision Analyst, one of the largest privately owned research companies in North America. The firm provides marketing research and analytical consulting services to an array of major corporations, advertising agencies, and other organizations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America, and Asia.

During his career, Jerry has conducted research studies and analyses to support the development and marketing of personal computers, word processors, printers, copiers, educational toys, electronic calculators, digital watches, microwave ovens, new software systems, and hundreds of new CPG products and new service businesses. He began his career at Hallmark Cards in brand management, and then at Kraft Foods in brand management focusing on new products. He next worked at a major national research company before launching Decision Analyst in 1978.

Jerry served on the Board of Directors of CASRO (Council of American Survey Research Organizations) for many years. He also helped launch the Advisory Board for the graduate program in marketing research at the University of Texas at Arlington (MSMR), and he headed this Advisory Board for many years. He still serves on the MSMR Advisory Board, as well as the Advisory Boards for the College of Business and the President’s Development Board at UTA. He holds a BA in Marketing/Economics from UTA, and an MBA from the University of Texas in Austin. He also studied graduate economics at SMU. Jerry is a student of marketing strategy, new product development, economics, mathematical modeling, and the natural world.


Jacob TuckerJacob Tucker
Sr. Analyst, Insights & Strategy

Jacob Tucker is Senior Analyst of Insights and Strategy at uSamp™.  In this role he supports all aspects of mobile research projects.
Prior to joining uSamp, Jacob worked as a Research Assistant in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of North Texas. He also served as an Independent Researcher for the Cooper Institute in Dallas. In addition to his role at uSamp, he serves as an associate faculty member at Collin County Community College in the Department of Physical Education. Jacob received his B.A. in Psychology from Howard Payne University and his M.S. in Kinesiology from the University of North Texas.


Rebecca A. VanMeterRebecca A. VanMeter
Ph.D. Candidate, UTA

Rebecca VanMeter is ABD and has completed her University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Rebecca has accepted an Assistant Professor of Marketing position at Ball State University beginning in August 2014. She is currently working on her dissertation as well as several research projects with faculty and other Ph.D. students at UTA as well as other universities. Her current research interests include social media, consumer behavior, internal marketing, and research methods. She has one publication in the Journal of Business Ethics and six papers presented at national conferences.