by Lisa A. Grimaldi | July 16, 2019

Melissa Van Dyke, president of the Incentive Research Foundation for nearly a decade, will step down from her post next month to join incentive firm Creative Group as vice president of its new design and insights practice. At Creative Group, Van Dyke will focus on combining data insights with experience design using the company's proprietary design methodology, i|xperience, and will draw from her decades of work in consulting and research to provide clients with behavioral insights on their programs and develop better strategies for unlocking engagement in their core audiences.

Of her new role, Van Dyke said, "One of the biggest gaps in meetings and incentives today isn't the production of data, but rather the harvesting of data insights back into program design. I'm excited to apply years of research and data expertise to produce business insights and better design for programs. If our goal is to ensure that our client's employees, channel partners and customers thrive, then marrying data insights with behavioral design knowledge is critical for success."

She told Incentive, "I have loved every moment of my time with IRF. I leave knowing it is strong in every sense of the word.  Not only is it strong financially and operationally, but it is also in the very capable hands of amazing trustees and tenured staff. I have no doubt, under the [current] leadership, the next iteration of IRF -- as it heads into Vision 2025 -- is truly going to be outstanding. "

At the same time, the IRF has launched a search for a president who is an "inspirational leader with deep experience in the incentives, rewards, meetings or hospitality industry."

"It is with both excitement and sadness that we launch this search for the next iteration of IRF leadership," said Mike May, chairman of the IRF trustees and president of Brightspot Incentives & Events. "The IRF is in an unprecedentedly strong position, coming off its most successful Invitational ever, maintaining a strong research engine, and enjoying a deep bench of tenured trustees and staff."

A full job description and information on how to apply for the IRF president position can be viewed here