27 October 2020 — Los Angeles, CA — Women in Research (WIRe) joined forces with the Insights Association and Echo Market Research to award the fourth annual iteration of their MRX Diversity Champion award during Corporate Researchers Conference (CRC), this year taking place online. This year’s Gold winner is Damon Jones, VP Telephone Operations at Burke, and the Silver award went to Rebecca Vega, Customer Business Manager for Ulta at Unilever.
Gold winner Damon Jones is the Vice-President of Telephone Operations at Burke, Inc. Damon plays a critical role in Burke’s Data Collection Division as he oversees the day-to-day operations involved in the execution of telephone research projects. In addition to his day to day responsibilities, Damon serves as Chair of Burke’s Inclusion & Diversity Strategic team called Kaleidoscope and serves on multiple teams within the organization.
Of his win, Damon shared that, “I am honored to be nominated by some of my peers and included among a wonderful list of people as a nominee. I am humbled to be selected as a winner. I would like to thank WIRe, The Insights Association and Echo Market Research; Burke Inc. for being equally engaged in striving for a more inclusive and diverse organization and our internal Kaleidoscope I&D team; and the Great Lakes Chapter of the Insights Association’s Board and Diversity & Education team for being engaged and on board for this journey. This is not about me, but it is about us taking the next steps and doing the work necessary to build a diverse and inclusive industry. Insights in Color, #BlackMRX Chat, Think Now Research & many others are on front lines of leading this key movement. There is so much more to do and I am looking forward to the next stages.”
This year’s Silver Award winner, Rebecca Vega, is the Customer Business Manager of ULTA, utilizing her extensive background in consumer behavior and insights to drive profitable sales growth across their omni-channel platforms. Her in-depth experience growing up in the market research world led her to pursue a career in Consumer Packaging Goods (CPG) at Unilever, with a continued focus on data-driven insights. Leading Category Management for Textured Hair, she provided thought leadership and strategic guidance as the cornerstone for growth within the multicultural hair care industry over the past two years.
Reflecting on the award, Rebecca noted, “Success is what you strive for in business, so it was a pleasant surprise when a former colleague of mine nominated my personal contributions as a means to be recognized by WIRe. I always say, ‘the way you do one thing is the way you do everything,’ so needless to say, I pride myself on standing for greatness over good enough. This year more than ever has been a pleasure working for an organization that puts purpose at the heart of everything we do. I am incredibly humbled and furthermore honored to accept the WIRe MRX Diversity Champion Silver Award as a result of following my passion in multicultural hair care to make a difference in the world.”
The MRX Diversity Champion award was created to honor individuals of all gender-identities who are actively embracing all aspects of diversity, encouraging investment in a diverse workforce in market research, and embodying the values of respect, dignity, autonomy, and equality. This year’s award was promoted in partnership with the Insights Association and with support from Echo MR. Past winners include Denene Jonielle Rodney of Zebra Strategies in 2017; Babita Earle (Zappi) and JD Deitch (Cint) in 2018; and Sophia Papadopoulos (Kantar) and Lindsey Brinkworth and Jess Mons at dscout in 2019. WIRe Founder Kristin Luck announced the winners during the virtual CRC event, and noted that, “…in the face of so many obstacles, this year’s nominees and winners are especially representative of the award’s mission and ethos. While we may be unable to celebrate them in person, I’m honored to highlight them during today’s conference and to bring their message and contributions into the homes and offices of research professionals everywhere.”