Annual Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage Awards recognize bravery in market researchers

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In 2012, in partnership with the Research Liberation Front, the Ginny Valentine [Badge of Courage] Awards were born to continue Ginny’s legacy of bravery in research. Unlike other market research awards, which typically celebrate marketing success or methodological rigor, this award is given to researchers (client companies or suppliers) who fought long odds and showed exceptional determination to produce great market research. It recognizes researchers who stand out not only for their bravery but also for their contributions developing new research approaches, setting up new ventures, persevering through controversial projects, pioneering new approaches in a client organization, or even facing physical danger in the course of their work. Yearly worldwide nominations come from every part of the research industry. This year’s awards ceremony took place in June at the IIeX North America conference in Atlanta.

Virginia “Ginny” Valentine was an award-winning pioneer who brought semiotics to market research in the UK. Before her passing in 2010, Ginny touched the lives of so many who remember her generosity of spirit and her words of encouragement. In 2012, in partnership with the Research Liberation Front, the Ginny Valentine [Badge of Courage] Awards were born to continue her legacy of bravery in research.

Please consider joining the ranks of the 30 winners from 4 continents by submitting a nomination for a brave researcher you know, novices and veterans welcome.  Recent winners have been recognized for the following acts of bravery:

  • Fearless qualitative experimentation
  • For doing the right thing
  • Taking the industry to account for diversity
  • Making inclusivity part of the mission
  • Making bravery acceptable in the industry


Manuel (“Manolo”) Barberena was one of the market research industry’s most dynamic and enthusiastic leaders. An entrepreneur who led his company to be one of the largest and most influential in Mexico and Latin America. He was also instrumental in setting up AMAI, the Mexican MR trade association, dedicated to bringing standards and education to the fast-growing Mexican research industry.
Not content with leading his industry at home, he reached out to researchers and associations in the US and Europe, eventually becoming a Board member of CASRO and a Council Member of ESOMAR. These initiatives and the companies he left behind (Pearson and Kitelab) are lasting legacies to a life of leadership that was cut tragically short at the age of 48 in May, 2011.
Manolo’s passion was to enable the Latin American research industry to engage with the industry around the globe. He was also a passionate believer in the coming generations of industry leaders as facilitators of this vision.
It’s is quite simple to join the international research community participating in this initiative:
Nominate a talented professional who demonstrates the potential for being a future Industry leader.
Host at your company a foreign winner of the Award and provide a unique multinational professional experience.
Sponsor the Award by joining an international group of fund supporters.