About the MRA
The Marketing Research Association, based in Glastonbury, CT (USA), was formed in 1954 as an outgrowth of the Trade Problem Discussion Group of the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) New York Chapter.

MRA has a fully operational Headquarters with a full time staff. The Association’s activities are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. MRA is a self-managed, not-for-profit organization providing programs and services for members to:
  • Enhance their professional development
  • Stay connected with the marketing research community
  • Gain insight into information about trends occurring in the industry
  • Network with fellow researchers
MRA currently has approximately 3,000 members internationally, representing all segments of the research profession.
Mission Statement
MRA is in the information business --- providing members with information through:
  • Educational Programs
  • Training
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Publications
  • Conferences
...to improve their opinion and marketing research businesses and personal performance. The 3,000 members nationwide represent all segments of the research industry.

MRA advances, protects and promotes, knowledge, standards, excellence, ethics, professional development and innovation, for the global market and opinion research profession.

We lead the global opinion & marketing research profession by helping businesses and organizations leverage the voice of the customer.

Membership Information
Meet the members of the Minnesota/Upper Midwest Chapter of Marketing Research Association. A full directory including contact information is available to members only.

This is only one of the many reasons to become a member. What are some others?
  • Being linked to other marketing research professionals and end users in your area.
  • Access to fantastic online education events.
  • Letting others know that you are a serious professional who constantly strives to improve your knowledge about your industry.
  • Having a “voice” in the issues that may have a major impact on your industry.
  • Receiving a Chapter Newsletter 4 times per year.
  • Reduced rates for attending Chapter Events.
  • Being able to attend selected AMA events at their member rates.
  • Access to continuing education credits to maintain your Professional Researcher Certification (PRC)
For information on how you can become a member and obtain a Chapter Directory, contact info at mnmra dot org

If you are a member and wish to change any contact information, please contact info at mnmra dot org with your new information.

Downloadable ByLaws
Click Here to view the MRA ByLaws.

Chapter Roots
        The Minnesota/Upper Midwest Chapter is the youngest of 12 chapters of the Marketing Research Association (MRA). The Chapter was officially incorporated in 1996 after careful assessment of the needs and desires of the local research community.

        The initiative started with a few local researchers (Darlo Martin, Kathy Dumas, and Carolyn Ruble) who recruited volunteers and formed a chapter steering committee which consisted of Gayle Belkengren, Harold Cook, Beth Fischer, Kathy Fredell, Bev Koser, Randi Luoto, Tom McGoldrick, Judy Opstad, Jane Stegner, and Jean Wallis. Other significant mentions: Tom Quirk, Lisa Denning, Lisa Rae Ruud, Martie Needham, Stuart Rosen, Tammie Frost-Norton, and Lori Laflin. Together, the committee members combined their skills, knowledge, and resources to create a database of researchers in the Twin Cities area. In November 1995 the committee conducted a mail survey to determine if there was a need or an interest in a local MRA Chapter. The results of the study were favorable and the committee felt inspired to further evaluate the idea of a local chapter.

        In the spring of 1996 the committee, with support from the National MRA, organized and held its first open-forum meeting at Marshall Fields (then Dayton’s) in downtown Minneapolis. The meeting was well attended by local researchers who shared their thoughts and expressed interest in the development of a local chapter. This event encouraged more volunteers to come forward.

        The steering committee was now convinced the research community was ready and willing to support a local chapter. With guidance from the National MRA, the steering committee continued to proceed with their mission. Following the formalities of paper work, a nominating committee was developed and an election was held in March 1997 for the first board of directors (President Darlo Martin, President-Elect Judy Opstad, Secretary LeeAnn Williams, Treasurer Harold Cook, Directors at Large; Tammie Frost-Norton, Martie Needham and Stuart Rosen). With the help of many volunteers, supporting committees were developed and a number of programs and social/networking events were held. The chapter logo and newsletter were introduced. Essentially, the groundwork was completed and the Minnesota/Upper Midwest Chapter was well on its way to making history.

        Today, the Minnesota/Upper Midwest Chapter remains committed to the educational and networking needs of our membership. The Chapter provides event programming throughout the year that takes into consideration the diversity of our marketing research community. Up to eight programming events are planned each year – some events have a broad general audience appeal, others are geared specifically to the niche needs of suppliers, end-users, qualitative researchers, quantitative researchers, and those new to the world of marketing research.

        The Minnesota/Upper Midwest Chapter Board meets monthly for the purpose of conducting Chapter business and guiding the activities of the Chapter's sub-committees: Programming, Membership, and Publicity.
Our Board Chairs, June 2015 – May 2016

President/Chair UM MRA
Craig Dormanen
Account Executive at Survey Sampling International

Vice President/Vice Chair
Brian Ward
Client Delivery Consultant at Survey Sampling International

Program Chair & Past President
Jean Fasching
President JFK Insights & Sr Consultant Isometric Solutions

Publicity Chair
Deb Connelly
Owner, The Research Shop

Membership Chair
Robin McDougal
Senior Program Manager at MaritzCX

Immediate Past President
Darren Alick
Director of Operations, ISG

The MRA Minnesota/Upper Midwest Chapter’s Past Presidents
1997 – 1998
Darlo Martin
1998 – 1999
Judy Opstad
1999 – 2000
Tammie Frost-Norton
2000 – 2001
Lori Laflin
2001 – 2002
Bev Koser
2002 – 2003
Dave Koch
2003 – 2004
Lisa Morse
2004 – 2005
Robert McGarry
2005 – 2006
Doug Skipper
2006 – 2007
Linda Daniel
2007 – 2008
Bonnie Sargent
2008 – 2009
Tammie Frost-Norton
2009 – 2010
Gayle Belkengren
2010 – 2011
Danelle Gorra
2011 – 2012
Jeannie Hesse
2012 – 2013
Scott Weinberg
2013 – 2014
Jean Fasching
2014 – 2015
Jean Fasching
2015 – 2016
Darren Alick

Our Chapter has grown from a handful of members to over 120 members. We’ve had our highs, such as winning the first Chapter Educational Event Award from the National Marketing Research Association in 2005 and we’ve had some lows, most contributed by Father Winter.