Our executive team is…

Jane is responsible for the leadership of MRS. Jane was previously at HM Revenue & Customs where she developed and led the individual customer function and the behavioural evidence and insight unit.
Before moving to HMRC in 2006, she held senior roles in both public and private sector organisations including Shell, Unilever, the Department of Constitutional Affairs and the BBC, where she was responsible for the iconic 'Perfect Day' campaign which, as well as winning advertisement of the year, raised £2.5m for Children in Need.
Debrah is responsible for all MRS operations and leads the Society’s standards, policy and public affairs activities. Debrah graduated from Southampton University in the early 90’s with an honours degree in Geography.
She first worked in accountancy and then moved to the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) in 1994. After working in auditing and compliance for ABC, she joined the management of MRS in 1999 to establish a new Standards and Policy department.
Debrah is the co-author (with Peter Jackson) of the book, Quality in Market Research: from Theory to Practice and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
With over 15 years experience in B2B publishing and events, Nikki leads the planning and implementation of logistics, production and delivery of all products and services issues throughout the MRS.

As Content and Digital Director at MRS, Chris oversees the editorial, digital, advertising and data teams, including Impact magazine, all MRS websites, social media and CRM. Chris works closely with the MRS Delphi Group and other industry experts to produce special reports that distill the latest thinking on critical issues for the insight and data analytics sector. He has worked in a number of industries as a journalist and editor, and has managed digital communications for several international businesses.

Helen is responsible for the sales and marketing activities within MRS covering training, membership, company accreditation and sales. Having worked in marketing for three professional organisations over the past 20 years, she specialises in marketing for membership bodies.
She worked for six years from 1986 for the Chartered Institute of Quality (CQI) as editor and then head of communications, and in 1993 moved to head up the marketing team for 11 years at the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).
With a degree in social science focusing on society and psychology, her original subject matter interests are proving very useful for working in the research sector. Helen recently completed the Marketing Week Mini-MBA in Marketing and was awarded an A.
Before joining MRS William spent seven years at the Institute for Family Business looking after their recruitment and retention strategies. There is nothing more that he likes to do than speak with his members and discuss what they really care about and how they can benefit most their membership. William has spent a career in sales and business development roles, both B2C and B2B, for businesses of all shapes and sizes, so he is excellently placed to understand the challenges they face.

William has an MBA from City University business school, in his spare time he very much enjoys cycling, swimming, running and where possible skiing, generally anything outside or fitness related.

Samantha has worked at MRS since 1991 in a variety of roles and Departments, including Conference & Events, Training and Qualifications.

She is now responsible for the delivery of all detailed operational and service development relating to both individual membership and MRS qualification programmes

On behalf of MRS Main Board, the MRS Management Board is charged with oversight and scrutiny of the performance and direction of MRS from a financial, business management and reporting perspective.

The Management Board is specifically responsible for:

  • Links between MRS Main Board (strategy/policy/priorities) and Staff (implementation/operations/delivery)
  • Business plans and budgets
  • MRS as an employer

John Haworth

Debrah Harding
Phyllis Macfarlane
Dr. Nick Baker
Jane Frost

MRS Board is made up of MRS members elected by the membership from across the research sector. MRS Board is responsible for MRS achieving its overall vision, mission and objectives.

With more than 30 years’ experience working in marketing and advertising, Jan has a strong track record of using research to inform strategy.
She joined Aviva in 2008 as Marketing Operations Director before becoming Group Brand Director, ultimately leading the development of the “Good Thinking” campaign which launched in the UK in early 2016.
In January 2017, Jan began a new role as Global Inclusion Director at Aviva, spearheading the company’s commitment to fostering a more inclusive culture and ultimately more diverse workplace across the group.
Jan’s commitment to championing social change means she will be taking on the MRS Presidency alongside her other non-executive board commitments. Jan is Chair of the LGBT equality charity Stonewall, Chair of PAMCo (Publishers Audience Measurement Company), an Executive Committee member of WACL (Women in Advertising London) and a Fellow of the Marketing Society.”
Dr Nick Baker is UK CEO at Savanta. Formerly MD at Verve and Group CEO at Quadrangle, Nick has specialised in the application of research and insight solutions to help drive his clients’ commercial performance. Now as CEO of Savanta he also has a responsibility to drive the continued growth of the business. Savanta was born when five best-in-class agencies, all specialists in their fields, joined forces to offer big agency benefits, whilst retaining a refreshingly boutique mindset. A full range of integrated intelligence services at global scale, married to deep sector, issue and methodological expertise, delivered with an entrepreneurial spirit and client-first mindset. Nick Chairs the MRS think-tank, the Delphi Group and has a non-executive role for Severn Trent Water Plc. as part of their ‘Customer Challenge Group’.

Jane is responsible for the leadership of MRS. Jane was previously at HM Revenue & Customs where she developed and led the individual customer function and the behavioural evidence and insight unit.
Before moving to HMRC in 2006, she held senior roles in both public and private sector organisations including Shell, Unilever, the Department of Constitutional Affairs and the BBC, where she was responsible for the iconic 'Perfect Day' campaign which, as well as winning advertisement of the year, raised £2.5m for Children in Need.
Crispin is chief executive of Chime Insight and Engagement Group, having joined from Post Office Ltd in 2008. He previously held senior research positions at BT and Dixons Stores Group. Crispin is a Chartered Accountant and a keen conservationist.

Rebecca Cole is Managing Director of Cobalt Sky, an award-winning market research operations company specialising in online data collection and data processing. She joined Cobalt Sky as a graduate in 2006 and is a highly experienced web scripter and quantum programmer. As well as being on the board of the MRS, Rebecca has spent almost 10 years on the board of the Association for Survey Computing (ASC) which delivers conferences on the latest technologies being used in market research.

Babita is Head of Strategic Partnerships and a member of the Leadership Team at Zappi. Babita is responsible for looking after Zappi’s most important customers and partners, collaborating on product design, digitisation strategies and change management, with a goal to elevate the role of insights professionals within organisations. Babita has over 20 years industry experience, anchored mostly in tech, commercial and digital roles. She is an Advisory Board member for WIRe (Women In Research) and also leads the European arm of their Exec Group. Babita was elected to the MRS Main Board in April 2020.

Geoff is an independent research consultant, having previously spent a number of years as a Research Director at Synovate and Ipsos MORI. A passionate exponent of qualitative research, he has also spent time clientside and in key account management. He is Chair of the Market Research Standards Board.

John is CFO for Ipsos MORI UK & Ireland.

Cecilia Patterson is a management consultant and a qualitative researcher
who joined MRS Main Board in April 2021 following thirteen years in a chairman
role for consultancy holding company in Africa. She managed to form
excellent relationships with private local and international corporate institutions.
She played a significant role in positioning the group as a business partner of
affordable quality consultancy which resulted in a listing inclusion on
Wikipedia as one of the top 10 brands and big local companies in Botswana.
She worked as the Chief Executive Officer for a full-service marketing research
agency for 15 years before moving to the UK. She is an entrepreneur with
extensive experience managing complex problems and spearheading
organisational growth, leading complex projects, and informing business
strategies, plans and policies.
Cecilia Patterson is currently a management partner for MTC Consultancy
Limited, in London, UK. She has served on two other international
boards. She brings to the MRS main board her experience in
Board Advisor & Member | Entrepreneur | Leadership & Development | Product
Management/Marketing | Business consulting |Hard-Hitting Negotiations |
Resource Mobilization | Strategic Planning & Execution | Revenue Growth.
Sinead is a senior insight consultant, with experience both agency and client-side. Since moving to France with her family in 2015 she has worked remotely for largely UK-based clients and was proud to be included on the Timewise Power Part Time list 2017. Based on her experiences she launched Vela in September 2020 to support individuals and teams to achieve great things, remotely. She acts as a trainer, coach and mentor and helps organisations understand and rebuild working practices as well as offering training on key remote working skills.

Sinead also works as a freelance strategic insight consultant, much of which has been through Watermelon (part of Chime), having been a Board Director for Chime Insight & Engagement and MD of Opinion Leader before moving to France. Prior to joining Chime in 2010 Sinead led the Insight & Intelligence team at Royal Mail.

Sinead is also Chair of the MRS Accredited Company Partner Council.

Jennifer is the MD of respondi, UK. For over 15 years she has been at the forefront of online research in the UK, Europe and beyond. Jennifer has been instrumental in shifting analytical models from those based on self-reporting of consumer behaviour to the fusion of data from a broad variety of sources, including the integration of consumers’ passive online behaviour. She specializes in complex comparative and multi-country research projects.
Under her leadership, respondi recently won the MRS “Best Data Collection (Online)” for a pioneering study of attitudes among refugees in twelve countries across three continents, illustrating that her approach to research not only benefits commercial clients but can be used to tackle and better understand complex issues of importance to society as a whole.

Nick leads the Audiences team at the BBC, which comprises planners, researchers and analysts in TV, Radio and Digital; central audience measurement specialists, marketing sciences and brand insight teams; and the Audience Services team handling direct interactions between the BBC and its audience. He is Deputy Chair of the Market Research Standards Board.

Global Head, Consumer & Business Insights & Analytic at GSK
Zoe Ruffels joined GSK Consumer Health Care as Vice President of Consumer & Business Insights and Analytics in October 2019 where she is focused on ensuring that the global function is set up to deliver competitive advantage in consumer and business understanding. Prior to that she spent over 20 years at Procter & Gamble in regional and global insight and analytic roles in R&D, Marketing and Sales. She is known to be a passionate champion of the industry and its members.

MRS Main Board is supported by Special Advisers.

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