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MeetingMetricssm Professional Staff and Network


The research professionals available to MeetingMetrics licensees are are full-time staff and members of the extended network of GuideStar Research, MeetingMetrics' parent firm. They bring a wealth of both meeting research and measurement expertise plus years of customer, employee, partner network and organizational communications research experience.

MeetingMetrics licensees have access to a research consulting team of exceptional range, able to assist licensees and users in many key survey methods, content areas to enrich questionnaire development and survey results analysis.
Ira Kerns: Managing Director
Caterina C. Bulgerella, Ph.D.: Consultant
Dr. Howard V. Perlmutter: : Deep Dialog Developer & Emeritus Professor of Management and Social Architecture at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
James Watts: Statistical Analyst and Consultant
Katrin Y. Dambrot: Senior Marketing Consultant
Ira Kerns
Managing Director

Ira Kerns founded MeetingMetricsSM in 2006 and formed its parent, GuideStar Research, in 1987 in New York City. He is the firm's Managing Director. GuideStar is a Web-centric survey research firm specializing in the measurement and quality improvement of its clients' primary business relationships - with employees, customers, distribution channel networks, licensee/franchise networks and alliance partners.

Organizational communications research is one of GuideStar's core capabilities - measuring and consulting on the effectiveness of an organization's communications effectiveness through communications audits and large group meeting measurement.

Kerns leads a staff of experienced research analysts and consultants, predominantly Ph.D. level professionals specializing in organizational and social psychology. The combined GuideStar-MeetingMetrics staff is supported by an extended network of research professionals in North America.

The firm has developed proprietary, validated methods and technologies for diagnosing, measuring and analyzing the quality of relationships between organizations and the groups that matter most to their success. Kerns is the primary collaborator with Howard V. Perlmutter, Ph.D. and Emeritus Professor, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, in the development of Deep DialogSM relationship research methodology and analysis.

As the firm's Principal Consultant, Kerns is a trusted advisor to the senior leadership of GuideStar's clients, Kerns provides strategic counsel on the improvement of key relationships that impact the firm's clients' business outcomes.

Kerns is a pioneer in the measurement and productivity improvement of large group meetings and events using pre- and post-event surveys and measures which he developed originally as the Meeting Productivity Process (MPP) in the early 1980's.This process is the methodological foundation for the MeetingMetrics online service.

Kerns has extensive experience in the meeting industry. Before founding GuideStar and developing MeetingMetrics, Kerns was Chairman of Creative Establishment, Inc., a leading national corporate communications agency for seventeen years. CE specialized in premier meeting and event programs for Fortune 500 companies, specifically, the design, production and staging of major corporate meetings, shows, teleconferences and other communication events as well as award winning audio/visual presentations video, film and multi-image and corporate communication programs

As a writer and creative director, Kerns has designed and scripted literally hundreds of executive meeting presentations. The company was the most awarded production firm in industry festivals, primarily AMI and the New York Film and TV Festival, for three years in succession. Among CE's major innovations was the development of audio/visual adaptations of important business books such as "Megatrends', "In Search Of Excellence" and "The Marketing Imagination"

Mr. Kerns was a founding member of MPI, Meeting Professionals International, and a director and past President of CAPA, the Chicago AudioVisual Producers Association, comprised of over sixty member firms.

Mr. Kerns also founded the Chicago Coalition, an organization of over 20,000 professionals to protect the community from runaway productions and revitalize the television commercial industry in Chicago. The revitalization, growth and prosperity of the production industry in Chicago during the seventies is acknowledged to be a result of the Coalition's formation and actions.

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Caterina C. Bulgarella, Ph.D.
Consultant

Dr. Bulgarella’s work at MeetingMetricssm and GuideStar has involved the management of numerous research projects supporting the design and planning of corporate and association meetings and the performance measurement of these key communication events.  Working in collaboration with professional meeting planners, and corporate and association executives, the thrust of Dr. Bulgarella’s work in this area has been understanding drivers of success and optimal performance for events that really want to make the difference and harvest powerful and long-lasting results at the organizational level. 

Using the MPP approach, Dr. Bulgarella has conducted insightful pre-meeting research, both qualitative and quantitative, providing her clients with research-based guidance for designing and developing meeting content that can effectually meet attendees’ needs and expectations, while helping organizations and organizers produce events that meet critical objectives.  At the same time, her work has focused on measuring large events’ performance by using a strategic approach aimed at evaluating the role of such events in the larger organizational picture. 

Dr. Bulgarella has years of research experience in various areas of organizational consulting such as employee satisfaction and loyalty, employee morale, job burnout, ethics in the workplace, conflict and negotiation, competition, leadership, individual and group decision-making processes.  As a skilled analyst with command of several advanced statistical techniques, Dr. Bulgarella seeks to extricate the layered levels of information that complex data-sets capture, evaluating the impact of specific findings against key outcome variables and strategic frameworks. 

Prior to joining GuideStar, Dr. Bulgarella worked for several years as an independent researcher at New York University where she also taught undergraduate courses in Statistics and Applied Psychology.  Before moving to the States, Dr. Bulgarella lived in Italy where she worked in the HR field. 

Dr. Bulgarella received a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and an M.A. in Personnel Psychology from New York University.  She also received a Baccalaureate in Business Administration from Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy. 

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Dr. Howard V. Perlmutter
Deep Dialog Developer

Vice Chair, Professor of Social Architecture and Management Emeritus, Director, Emerging Global Civilization Project, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Howard V. Perlmutter, is a world authority and pioneer on the globalization of firms and other institutions. He is an internationally recognized teacher, scholar, advisor to corporations, cities and governments, and universities. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Tau Beta Pi) from M.I.T., an Honorary Master's Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in Social Psychology.

He assumed his professorial post at Wharton in 1969, and served as Secretary of the Faculty of Wharton School. Currently he is an Emeritus Professor and Director of the Emerging Global Civilization project, where he teaches one course and conducts research on different aspects of our First Global Civilization and its implications for the transition to transformation of international organizations, including the UN, national governments, religious institutions, enterprises, cities and global leadership.

His paper "The Multinational Firm and the Future," published in the Annals of Political and Social Science in 1972 accurately forecast the evolution of the viability and legitimacy issues for MNCs. In 1998-1999, the Financial Times published a four article series by Prof. Perlmutter on the MNC in the Emerging Global Civilization which drew up a scenario for the next thirty years which received world wide attention and the need to develop a Global Civilization Mindset and Missing institutions and Networks to meet increasingly global challenges which range from those which are ecological such as renewable energy, ethnic and religious conflict, global terrorism with Weapons of Mass Destruction, and issues of Global regulation. A new version of this work on the Multinational Corporation is called "The Tortuous Evolution of the Globally Civilized Enterprise in the 21st Century."

At Wharton, he led the internationalization process as Chairman of the Multinational Enterprise Unit and Founder-Director of the Worldwide Institutions Research Center. During this time with his colleague, the late Eric Trist, he formulated his vision the Social Architecture of the Global Societal enterprise, based on this paradigm for organizations in the 21st Century, now being applied to many other international organizations, nations and cities.

At Wharton, he introduced research and teaching on the global social architecture of the multinational enterprise, multinational organization development, global strategic alliances, global cities, and the globalization of education, in a course called Cross cultural management in the context of the First Global Civilization.

In executive education, he acted as Academic Advisor for Wharton's Advanced Management Programs for thirteen years, a program where globalization was a central theme and which brought senior executives from countries around the world. He was also Director of the Wharton- Samsung Advanced Management Program, and Wharton's Senior Management programs for Wharton in Beijing and Shanghai, China and Taiwan. Over his career, he has been involved in advisory roles and in executive education with over 100 multinational corporations based around the world, including IBM, GE, GTE, Whirlpool, Woodside Travel Trust, KPMG Peat Marwick, JP Morgan, Unilever, Nokia, and SKF.

He has served in professorial, lecturing and research posts in many countries. As a Fulbright Scholar at the Sorbonne, University of Paris, he introduced the study of group dynamics. Later, he served as Project Director of the International Communications Program at MIT's Center for International Studies. Other research and teaching areas and roles include Visiting Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics where he helped guide The Futures of Sweden study, and Professor at IMD in Switzerland where he pioneered Global Leadership learning through (PMF) Personal and Managerial Feedback Groups.

At Wharton, he has frequently won outstanding teacher awards among the tenured professors including the David W. Hauck Award and most recently, in 2003, the Whitney Award. In 2003 he was also made an Honorary Member of the Golden Key International Honor Society. In the field of international management, he has published numerous articles most recently on Deep Dialog and the "Futures of China." His books include the Theory and Practice of Social Architecture, (also in Spanish), The Muffled Quadrilogue: Technology Transfer to Developing Countries (2 volumes), and Multinational Organizational Development (also in Japanese) with David Heenan.

His work on cities extended to Paris as a 21st century world city, written under the auspices of the French Government, published as Paris: Ville Internationale. He also wrote the plans for Philadelphia as an International City. He has acted as an advisor to other cities on the globalization processes in Asia and Western Europe. His current research on global cities is on "Building the Global Virtual City for the 21st Century."

He has also been advisor to U.S., Canadian governmental agencies, the World Health Organization, the League of Red Cross Societies in Geneva, and advisor to the Finnish government on the Futures of Finland studies.

He has also served as a keynote speaker and lecturer in international programs and conferences in Asia, North and South America, Central and Western Europe. He participated in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on three occasions, twice as a keynote speaker.

He has held board or advisory positions in Alfa Laval and Pharmacia in Sweden. He currently is an active member of the Board of Directors of the Global Interdependence Center in Philadelphia and on the International Advisory Boards of R post (registered E-mail) and Itradefinance, as well as on the editorial board of The Multinational Business Review.

He has been listed Who's Who in the World. He is a Fellow of the Academy of International Business, and the Academy of International Management and a Commissioner on Globalization in the State of the World Forum led by Mikhail Gorbachev.

He is currently preparing a book tentatively entitled "First or Last Global Civilization? The Race," in which he presents some alternatives to plausible current Apocalyptic scenarios with his theory of Symbiotic Societal Paradigms, Collaborative Social Architecture and Deep Dialog to critical 21st century Global Civilization Building Challenges.
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James Watts
Statistical Analyst and Consultant

For the past five years, Jim Watts has made significant contributions to GuideStar’s analytic services as both an analyst and consultant working in collaboration with GuideStar professional staff. Among clients served in-depth are Computer Associates, American Alliance of Insurers and the “Best Companies to Work For” survey programs of Watson Wyatt. His career spans over thirty years of data analysis as a senior analyst for J.P. Morgan, Marriott and the U.S. Postal Service.

Mr. Watts specializes in modeling survey data to estimate the antecedents to behaviors and beliefs, such as purchase data and satisfaction data. Most of his experience is in market research data, but has also directed projects in customer relations management, employee retention, and segmentation of employee preferences for benefits bundles.

He uses structural equation modeling methods to make path diagrams of the explanations of customer satisfaction and retention. He also applies the technique to purchase data from customer panels and in jury selection. He uses conditional categorical modeling to analyze event history data and brand choice experiments.

Event history analysis is an important part of understanding large ticket purchases of households. EHA uses panel data of shopping behaviors prior to purchase to understand how household choose to purchase any of a product category and how decision-makers sort through choices for a final selection.

The data for explanatory models is typically five-point or seven-point ratings scales, raising the question of the meaning of a ‘4’ or a ‘5’ rating to the customer. Mr. Watts applies multiple classification analysis to estimate the percentage reward or penalty for intent to purchase that comes from moving a customer upward (or downward) along a rating scale. In other words the procedure can show the client the reward they can gain for managing customer satisfaction upward on each of the salient product/service attributes.

Modeling is the first step for profitably segmenting a customer class. An overall model of customer satisfaction or purchase preferences masks differences in what underlies satisfaction, customer retention or selection. It’s possible to see some of the segments differences by comparing feature differences in the leading brands of a product category, but such a comparison does not lead to product innovations that reflect current unmet customer needs. Segmentation requires modeling current choices as well as potential choices of hypothetical brand changes to see if latent segments exist, untapped by currently configured brands.

Mr. Watts forms segment definitions from several perspectives. For estimating clusters in single brand intent to purchase or customer satisfaction he uses mixture modeling regressions which find subgroups within the data set that have significantly different choice criteria, that is, the regression coefficients are tested to be different from each other. This technique finds and sizes the price-sensitive group and compares their profile to those seeing greater differences in product/service benefits.

Although most of his education was gained from experience Mr. Watts received an MA in econometrics from Memphis University. He has attended modeling seminars in data modeling at Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and Columbia University.

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Katrin Y. Dambrot
Senior Marketing Consultant

Katrin Dambrot is involved in a wide variety of research projects, product development projects and strategic planning assignments for corporations both in the U.S. and abroad. She brings strong research, strategic marketing and product/service development experience to each project.

In addition to her consulting experience, Dambrot spent 18 years in strategic marketing and product development positions at major consumer packaged goods and financial services firms including Lever Brothers, PepsiCo, Seagrams, Beneficial Corporation and Irving Bank Corporation/Bank of New York.

She has lectured widely for many organizations including the Financial Institutions Marketing Association, Bank Marketing Association, American Marketing Association, Morris County Chamber of Commerce, Society for Human Resource Managers, Rotary Club International and Montclair State University.

Dambrot has been actively involved with the American Marketing Association's EFFIE awards as a judge, was past chair of the AMA/New York Volunteer Action Committee and also served as chair of the Morris County Association for Foreign Trade.

A strong believer in the global marketplace, Dambrot was born in Chile and is fluent or conversant in many languages including Spanish, French and German.
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