Market Research Council Announces 2021 Hall of Fame Inductees

Walker Smith, Norman Hecht, to be honored at 44th annual ceremony that recognizes outstanding active and retired marketing research professionals; Alfred A. Kuehn Wins Change Maker Award

New York, NY (June 17, 2021)–The Market Research Council (MRC), the nation’s leading organization devoted to promoting the field of marketing research, today announced the inductees for its 2021 Market Research Council Hall of Fame Awards and its Change Maker Award.

This year’s Hall of Fame Inductees include J. Walker Smith, Knowledge Lead for the global Consulting division of Kantar, in the Active Practitioner category and Norman Hecht, CEO, Norman Hecht Research, in the Retired Practitioner category, for their outstanding contributions to marketing research.

The Council’sChange MakerAward will be given to Alfred A. Kuehn, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Management Science Associates. While not an induction into the Hall of Fame, the Change Maker Award recognizes an individual who has exhibited exceptional vision and passion in advancing Market Research as a profession during the past year.

The 2021 recipients will be celebrated virtually at the MRC’s 44th annual Hall of Fame ceremony, sponsored by Geopath and The Media Audit, on June 17th, from 5:30 to 6:45 PM EST.

J. Walker Smith is the Knowledge Lead for the global Consulting division of Kantar. Previously, he was Executive Chairman of The Futures Company, President of Yankelovich, and Director of Marketing Research for DowBrands. Walker has been described by Fortune as “one of America’s leading analysts on consumer trends.”  He is coauthor of four highly regarded books, including Rocking the Ages (1997), which is regarded as one of the standards in the field of generational marketing, and Life is Not Work, Work is Not Life (2001), selected by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top ten work-life books of 2001.  He is also afrequent blogger, a former Marketing News columnist, and a former public radio commentator.  Walker is the 2020 recipient of the AMA’s Charles Coolidge Parlin Award for outstanding contributions to the field of market research and is a 2012 inductee into the N.C. Journalism and Media Hall of Fame.  In 2014 and 2015, he won the WPP Atticus Award for Strategy and in 2013 for Consumer Insights.  His commentary about the Baby Boomer generation was included as bonus content for the Mad Men Season 7 DVD.  Walker holds a doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Norm Hecht’s involvement in media and marketing research spans more than forty years. Norm Hecht Research still serves many of the leading TV companies in the US and abroad. Before founding NHR, Norm was President of the country’s first supermarket scanning market research firm, National Brand Scanning, Inc. (NABSCAN) which pioneered bar code scanning in market research. Prior to NABSCAN, in 1980, Norm founded Information &Analysis, Inc., a full-service electronic media and consulting firm whose clients included the three traditional television networks, major broadcast groups, cable networks and MSOs, and a long list of television stations and related organizations.

In November 1983, AGB Research PLC acquired a major interest in Information & Analysis; as President of the new American company, AGB Television Research, Inc., Norm and his team introduced the people meter television measurement system to the United States, a program and process which included the successful benchmark Boston test of people meters.

Norm spent thirteen years at Arbitron in various executive positions involving radio and television research and marketing. Norm joined Arbitron when it was less than a ten-million-dollar company and resigned after a lengthy tenure as General Manager and achieving a tenfold growth in corporate revenue.

Other positions Norm held at Arbitron included Vice President General Sales Manager for Radio & Television and Vice President Corporate Planning and Research. Before joining Arbitron in 1967, Norm held media research and media planning positions with three major advertising agencies: Grey Advertising, Kenyon & Eckhardt, and Gardner Advertising.

This year’s Change Maker, MSA’s Founder Dr. Alfred (Al) Kuehn, leads one major area of MSA research and innovation since 2013, in the Cannabis and CBD industries in the US and Canada.

Working with an eye towards customers’ interests in areas like Branding and Market Structure, Demand Chain opportunities including DTC and eCommerce, Consumer Loyalty and Switching, and Medical Outcomes, MSA has made great progress integrating the various consumer and marketplace data to answer these questions.  Al is very optimistic about newer research using the integration of large consumer data sets and purchase panels with real-world health data to better understand the linkages between Cannabis and Hemp-Based CBD consumption, and health outcomes.

“Research and insights have always served as the foundation of informed decision making for the nation’s marketers,” said Josh Chasin, President, MRC and chief measurability officer, VideoAmp, “and that need was never more heightened than during the course of the pandemic, when all were in uncharted territory and needed accurate guidance as to how best to proceed.Walker and Norm, through their career work have played a significant role in advancing the ability of this industry to provide that type of informed guidance.  And Alfred is continuing that tradition today. We are delighted to honor these practitioners for their contributions and for helping to make the Market Research industry a vital force.”

To join the virtual Hall of Fame awards ceremony, visit:

Passcode 951750


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.

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