New Members Join Market Research Institute International’s Board of Directors

Global nonprofit market research education and training institute adds four new members to its board 


January 23, 2024 – West Dover, VT Market Research Institute International (MRII) today announced the election of four new members to its Board of Directors. The new Board members, Tatyana Bacon, Katie Gross, Finn Raben, and Stan Sthanunathan, each bring unique insights and experiences that will contribute to MRII’s mission. As the organization continues its commitment to advance market research education globally, these additions bring a wealth of industry expertise and diverse perspectives.

Tatyana Bacon, Head of Consumer Insights at Zaxby’s, has an extensive background in market research across industries and responsibilities. Over the course of her career, she has consistently demonstrated an intuitive ability to unravel the complexities of consumer preferences and translate them into actionable strategies. Bacon’s role at Zaxby’s showcases her innovative approach to data analysis, leveraging exciting new technologies and methodologies to extract meaningful insights. Her commitment to education is evident through lecturing on research practices at SCAD and UGA. 

Bacon said, “I am a graduate of the UGA-MRII curriculum and can attest to its high quality and value.  I have a life-long love of learning which I am excited to share with future generations of insights professionals through my new role with MRII. Consumer expectations are ever-evolving – the education and training that MRII provides can help researchers stay a step ahead, as well as contributing to the growth of the market research field.”   

Katie Gross serves as Chief Customer Officer at Suzy, where she manages the sales, customer success, and market research Center of Excellence teams to provide best-in-class customer service for Suzy’s roster of enterprise clients. Gross is a seasoned veteran of the market research sector with 20 years of international experience. Her diverse background includes roles at Mintel, Stylus, Avilton Foods, Cint and Toluna, giving her a deep understanding of the full market research value chain. Katie is passionate about bringing consumer perspectives into every business decision and advocates for women in the workplace, participating in the Women In Research (WIRe) exec program and serving as an Insights Association board member. 

Gross said, “I’m excited to apply my industry experience as a new board member of the MRII, and help to educate and build excitement within the next generation of market research, with a particular lens on digital adoption, automation and AI.” 

Finn Raben, an independent consultant with over 35 years of insights experience, has previously served as Director General of ESOMAR and held leadership roles at Synovate and TNS. His strategic advisory roles with prominent organizations reflect his commitment to advancing market research. Raben’s dedication to bridging traditional research tenets with digital applications makes him a valuable addition to MRII’s board. Throughout his career, Raben has lived in different cultures, embracing technological advances and contributing to socio-political and environmental debates.

Raben said, “I have long been an ardent supporter of MRII’s mission, and was an ex-officio Board member during my tenure at ESOMAR.  I am delighted to be more involved with the institution as a board member once again. I look forward to helping ensure that the next generation of researcher understands both the traditional tenets of research as well as their fit-for-purpose applications to the digital age – be that establishing simple respondent engagement principles or looking at the ethical ground rules of A.I.”

Stan Sthanunathan, retired EVP of Consumer Market Insights at Unilever and current CEO of i-Genie.AI Inc, boasts more than 30 years of international experience in the market research sector. Prior to joining Unilever, he was Vice President of Marketing Strategy and Insights for The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, heading up the function on a global basis. He has also served as a Patron and Fellow of The Market Research Society (MRS) and as a Board Member of The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF). Recognized with a Lifetime Achievement award at TMRE 2022, Sthanunathan is an author, lecturer and keynote speaker, contributing significantly to the industry. 

Sthanunathan said, “It’s a thrilling time to be in the market research field, with new technology transforming the way we uncover insights. Educating the market research community is going to become more and more critical in the months and years ahead, and I’m looking forward to contributing to this in my new role with MRII.

Market Research Institute Board
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