Market Research Council Announces 2020 Hall of Fame Inductees

Ed Keller, Alan Wurtzel, to be honored at 43rd annual ceremony that recognizes outstanding active and retired marketing research professionals; organization to present inaugural Change Maker Award

New York, NY (September 16, 2020) – The Market Research Council (MRC), the nation’s leading organization devoted to promoting the field of marketing research, today announced the inductees for its 2020 Market Research Council Hall of Fame Awards and its inaugural Change Maker Award.

This year’s Hall of Fame Inductees include Ed Keller, CEO, Engagement Labs, in the Active Practitioner category and Alan Wurtzel, former President of Research and Media Development for NBCUniversal, in the Retired Practitioner category, for their outstanding contributions to marketing research.

The Council’s first-ever Change Maker Award will be given to Kalinda Fisher, founder of The Great Reset, and founder and President of the Advocate Market Research Bureau, a leading provider of qualitative research. While not an induction into the Hall of Fame, this award looks to recognize an individual who has exhibited exceptional vision and passion in advancing Market Research as a profession during the past year.

The 2020 recipients will be celebrated virtually at the MRC’s 43nd annual Hall of Fame ceremony, sponsored by Geopath and Dynata, on September 24, 2020 from 5-6pm ET.

Active Practitioner Ed Keller has had a career spanning four decades, starting with Yankelovich and then Roper Starch Worldwide (later Roper ASW), where he rose to CEO. During that time, Keller earned a reputation as a respected intellect and industry leader as evidenced by his role as President of the MRC and member of the ARF Board. Keller started the Keller Fay Group with Brad Fay, and developed the only syndicated tracking study of Word of Mouth, which is acknowledged as the standard by which offline consumer conversation is measured. That work evolved when Keller Fay merged with Engagement Labs and is now the only data and analytics platform to integrate offline and online word of mouth, with predictive analytics to prove their significant impact on marketing ROI and brand performance. In addition to being inducted this year into the MRC Hall of Fame, Keller was also inducted into the Word of Mouth Marketing Hall of Fame in 2014.

Alan Wurtzel’s career spanned more than 40 years in the media industry. In addition to serving as President of Research and Media Development for NBCUniversal, this year’s Retired Practitioner led the company’s Broadcast Standards & Practices Department, which oversees program content, advertising and commercial clearance. He joined NBCU in 1999 and retired in October 2017.

Prior to NBCUniversal, Wurtzel spent 21 years at ABC in a variety of managerial positions, including Senior Vice President, Media Development, Brand Management and Research. In that position, he was responsible for innovating and managing a variety of initiatives designed to leverage existing ABC media businesses. Wurtzel also served for more than five years as Senior VP, News Magazine and Longform Programming for ABC News and taught at the University of Georgia and Queens College, City University of New York. He authored many articles for both academic journals and consumer publications and is the author of the textbook Television Production, which was a standard in the field for over 20 years.

This year’s first Change Maker, Kalinda Fisher, created “The Great Reset” in 2018. As Chief Encourager, Fisher leads the virtual ‘grey space’ for conversations that could be difficult. Through an agreement that all parties must follow to allow each other humility, grace and confidentiality, the organization often sees members become friends and ask to return. In 1998, Fisher founded Advocate Market Research Bureau, a leader in qualitative research. As President, Fisher’s clients gain the understanding and insights they need to reach their customers in the most effective ways possible.

“Success in market research has long been defined by industry legends, many of who are responsible to a great degree for creating this profession, which is why I am pleased to induct Ed Keller and Alan Wurtzel into the Market Research Council Hall of Fame this year,” said Josh Chasin, President, MRC and chief measurability officer, VideoAmp. “And while we honor what they have accomplished, these awards also symbolize the responsibility we have to build upon their contributions. With that, I am also delighted to present Kalinda Fisher as our inaugural Change Maker for her innovation and commitment to the future of market research.”

To register for the virtual Hall of Fame awards ceremony, visit: https://geopath.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_mPNzbV38R1SsYrWEyq6rRw

About The Market Research Council
The Market Research Council is an invitation-only club of marketing research and insights professionals, founded in 1927 by the leading lights of market research industry to provide an ‘off-the-record’ confidential forum for the exchange of ideas and issues.