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Archive for the 'Industry Spotlights' Category

Industry Spotlight–Jack

Friday, October 13th, 2006

Over the past twenty-something years I have met many wonderful people. Some of my fondest times in the industry were back in the late 80’s when I was working for Marianne Schafer at Field Facts. During that time I was working in the Framingham, Massachusetts location. We had a one-room focus group facility that was quite busy. Like most facilities we had a number of recruiters—a handful of which were full-time.

I still recall one very clearly. His name was Jack. I don’t remember his last name but perhaps the folks who worked with me at Field Facts back in the day can help me out and post his last name.

He was an interesting guy for a lot of reasons. For more than seven years he was on the radio. He had that radio voice, deep and clear—the kind of voice that if you closed your eyes you would want to hear him on the radio. Jack was GREAT at recruiting! The company had tons of contests back then, and he won every one of them. In fact he always out performed the other recruiters by a large margin. I still believe people wanted to talk to him every day on the phone—not because of the research topic or incentive—but because of his voice.

Jack always showed up to work ten minutes before his scheduled shift. He was never late (which was amazing because he had to take public transportation to work.) He had a work ethic that was second to none. He always wanted to do a good job and always wanted to do more. Jack was a perfect employee!

All of those things were amazing, but the most amazing thing about Jack is he is legally blind! He worked day after day, call after call, and had to bring the screeners a half inch away from his eyes so he could recruit. He never let that stop him. His attitude was great. In the years I worked with Jack he never complained. Not once.

I am sure most of you have stories that involve someone like Jack. All of us look forward to reading them.

Industry Spotlight – Sandy Schwartz

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

When I hear words that describe a person like:

  • Successful
  • Intelligent
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Competitive
  • Giving

I can close my eyes and one person comes to mind very quickly. His name is Sandy Schwartz.

I first met Sandy when he was President of Elrick & Lavidge in 1988. During that year, Sandy was growing the company and acquired Field Facts where I was working.

Sandy has had an unbelievable career in research that has spanned over 30 years. He clearly was responsible for accelerated growth at many research companies:

  • Elrick & Lavidge
  • Harris Interactive
  • Market Facts
  • Quick Test
  • Westat

Sandy is currently involved with Phoenix Marketing International. Two of the companies listed above are in the Honomichl top twelve, while Phoenix Marketing International achieved a revenue growth of over 14% in 2004—one of the highest increases on the Honomichl top 50 list.

Sandy received his B.A. from George Washington University in 1973, a Ph.D. in Sociology from Catholic University in 1983, and an M.S.W. degree from Fordham in 2005. He is an amazing man who decided to go back to school when he was in his late 40’s to become a psychotherapist and now has his own clinical practice in Scarsdale, NY.

Sandy is one of the most giving people I have ever met. In 2001 he started City Squash, a not-for-profit after-school enrichment program based in the Bronx at Fordham University. City Squash provides motivated and talented young people from economically disadvantaged households with a nurturing and structured team environment.

Over the years Sandy has become a good friend and mentor. I am not sure I have learned more from anyone in the industry than Sandy. One of my favorite memories of Sandy is when we were playing tennis in Florida. Sandy hit a 110 mph serve that would have certainly landed me in the hospital, had it hit me in the chest.

Sandy is a natural athlete and can play any racquet sport. A few years ago, he decided to take up golf seriously, and now shoots in the high 70’s or low 80’s.

If you have had a chance to meet Sandy, I am sure you know how special a person he is. If you haven’t, and see him at a research conference, he is a person you should meet. He is that special.

He has touched many lives over the years. I hope people will post their comments so everyone can read even more about Sandy and his impact.

Thanks for everything Sandy!

People I Have Met Along My Research Journey!

Friday, September 1st, 2006

Marianne Schafer

Since I entered the research industry in 1984, I have met literally hundreds of people. Many of them I still call friends. Like countless others, I entered the industry by accident. Over the past 22 years I have met many interesting, smart and passionate people. I would like to highlight a few researchers from time to time (those that I don’t currently work with or am not related to).

The first of researcher I would like to highlight is Marianne Schafer.

Marianne was founder and President of Field Facts and is still involved in the industry today working at Field Facts Worldwide. Marianne was my first boss. She always had a can-do attitude. I wish I had a dollar for every time she said “just take the job and we will figure out a way to get it done.” She was right EVERY time. She also knew all the tricks of the trade. I remember 20-something years ago when she walked over to a table I was working at and noticed I was counting questionnaires to send to 30 cities for a research project. She looked at me, took a stack of 50 questionnaires, weighed them and said in her British accent, “Don’t bother counting them; just put 2 1/2 pounds in each box!”

I didn’t realize the effect she had on my career until years after I left the company. As I recall, Marianne’s dad worked until he was well into his 90’s. I think this is one of the reasons she has the incredible work ethic she has. What a lady!

Please feel free to post comments, especially if you happen to know Marianne and have stories that you would like to share.