New Year, New Beginnings

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January 2, 2018 — New Year.  New Beginnings.

A note from Don.

The New Year brings the promise of new beginnings – or in my case, a new beginning rooted in the not so recent past.

I am excited to share that with the retirement of Pollara’s founder, the inimitable Michael Marzolini, I am coming home as owner of Pollara Strategic Insights.

Research has always been my first professional love, since my mid-term paper in Politics 101 more than thirty years ago.   And today’s research industry is surrounded by deep disruption and requires some fresh ideas on how to light a path forward.

I am convinced that the path charted by the team at Pollara, led by Executive Vice President Craig Worden is the right one:  Steering clear of political party work to focus the best and brightest research minds on the corporate, public, and third sectors.  That’s why Craig will be taking the reins going forward as President.

Craig and Chief Operating Officer Wendy Iwai have built a great team with such leading industry talents as Vice-President Lesli Martin, and Research Managers Daniel Dharmasurya and Mubashera Kothawala.

And I am thrilled to announce that one of Western Canada’s most esteemed pollsters and strategists, Mike McDonald, is coming on board at Pollara as Senior Associate, located in Vancouver, joining our terrific Research Associates Danielle Armengaud and Martin Redfern in Ottawa.

Pollara is a welcome complement to my ongoing work with Brian Topp, Ken Boessenkool, Marcella Munro, and a great team of public affairs advisors at KTG.

The addition of Pollara also rounds out my international work with Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, with the role of Managing Director of GQR Canada passed to Elizabeth Sena in early 2017.  Pollara and GQR will be working closely together to bring the best research solutions to clients in Canada and abroad.

That’s all for now, but Pollara will have more exciting news in the days and weeks to come as we work to build up and build out on our strengths – experience, creativity and perspective in designing and interpreting public opinion and human behavior.

I want to close by saying that I owe Michael a tremendous debt of gratitude, as a mentor and supporter of my career.  There simply couldn’t have been a better place to learn and grow than the Pollara he led for so many years.

Happy 2018, and I hope to see you soon.


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