Today I learned that a friend and research industry icon, Bill Weylock, has passed away. Lenny Murphy did a very good obituary on the GreenBook blog that gives a detailed outline of Bill’s legacy. Here are a few of my recollections meant as a tribute to a leader and a friend.
Bill was brilliant and an industry pioneer. He was a founding member of the Qualitative Research Consultant’s Association (QRCA) and served as its President. When I first came to know him, he was trying to get QRCA members to participate in a QRCA interactive forum using CompuServe. He was leading the adoption of the online forum and having a difficult time finding followers. That was then. Now, QRCA has a widely used and read forum. LinkedIn and other websites utilize thousands of forums for discussions of various topics. Plus, a major qualitative research methodology, including 20|20‘s own QualBoard, has been built on the threaded forum technology. Bill saw the power of the Internet before the Internet was cool. He led the way for all of us.
When I was President of QRCA, Bill took me under his wing. He helped me to understand the history and the dynamics of the organization. He helped me to see the importance of planning for the future and creating a QRCA that would lead the industry. Bill had strong opinions and was not afraid of a little disagreement. He encouraged me to live with the power of my convictions, even when some members disagreed. He liberally shared his experience and wisdom, but always expected me to go my own way. He was fiercely independent and expected others to be so too. He was a mentor then and became a friend.
Bill Weylock had a tremendous influence on our industry and a tremendous influence on many people. Miss you already, Bill.