Engineering Integrity and Secret Shoppers
This week I was joined by guest co-host, Lara Hodgson, CEO of NOWaccount. She introduced us to Traci Morgan, founder of Morgan Consulting, Inc., and Lisa van Kesteren, CEO/founder of Mystery Researchers. Morgan Consulting focuses their expertise on the food and beverage processing and manufacturing industries.
Traci Morgan is a senior process engineer who has been in consulting engineering for over 30 years, with 25 years being focused on Food, Beverage, and related Consumer Products industries. Ms. Morgan’s industry experience includes beverage, dairy, brewery, biscuit, bread, and snack baking, meat and poultry, sauces and dressings, fresh cut produce, consumer household products, personal care products, tobacco, and injectable pharmaceuticals. She holds a BS of Chemical Engineering from Ohio University.
In addition to experience as a design engineer, Ms Morgan has expertise in the plant operations environment, as well as in product and process development. She has a high level of experience in operations management, production, maintenance, sanitation, quality assurance, and regulatory requirements, and a working knowledge of the Product Development process. Ms Morgan has the ability to bring people together from a wide variety of roles and backgrounds and develop proactive and synergistic teams.
Traci spent the early part of her career working for large consulting engineering firms. As a field engineer in large food manufacturing operations, she developed an appreciation for the importance of digging into more than just the engineering aspects of an operation. Through her comprehensive approach to projects, Ms Morgan has demonstrated the ability to fully integrate all aspects of manufacturing from concept development through the delivery of consumer products to the shelf.
She saw an opportunity to develop a more hands-on, practical, and relationship-based approach to consulting. And Ms Morgan recognized a niche for bringing together experts with the ability to address every facet of product manufacturing. Most importantly, she emphasizes the importance of understanding the client’s culture and fully developing the customer/supplier relationship.
Traci’s aspirations of finding a more effective way to serve manufacturing clients were realized with the inception of Morgan Consultants, Inc in 1997. Morgan Consultants, Inc provides specialized engineering, management, and consulting services to manufacturing companies. Morgan Consultants, Inc has the ability to assist clients and help shape their business direction by 1. Working upstream in the areas of product, process, and equipment development, 2. Executing traditional design, build, and startup projects, and 3. Analyzing and recommending improvements to current operations.
Morgan Consultants, Inc leverages their impressive group of industry experts to drive operational excellence and bring innovation to their clients in a cost-effective manner. Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 clients include PepsiCo and Frito-Lay, Famous Brands and Mrs Fields, Kraft Foods, Kellogg’s, Clorox, Sara Lee, Pinnacle Foods, Chiquita Brands and Fresh Express, Anheuser-Busch, Beam Global Spirits, RJ Reynolds, Coca-Cola, General Mills, McCormick, ConAgra, Kroger, Energizer, Unilever, Monsanto, Eli Lilly, Procter & Gamble, and HJ Heinz.
Owner and operator of Mystery Researchers, Lisa van Kesteren, has more than 25 years of experience in the mystery shopping industry. She began her career in the early 90’s and over the course of the next 15 years established mystery shopping divisions for two large global corporations. During this time, Lisa was one of the founding members of the industry association, Mystery Shopping Providers Association, which was created in 1997. She served as the Chairperson of the Professionalism and Ethics Committee, and in this role she was responsible for the creation of the original Code of Ethics for the industry. In addition, she earned an MBA from Kennesaw State University.
In 2008, Lisa decided to go out on her own and so established her own mystery shopping company, Mystery Researchers. Since that time Mystery Researchers has grown rapidly, nearly doubling in revenues each year. In 2014, Lisa was able to raise the capital necessary to make two acquisitions, both also in the mystery shopping industry. Her company is now one of the largest privately held companies in the industry.
Lara O’Connor-Hodgson, CEO of Nowaccount Network Corporation
- MBA Harvard Business School
- Former Adjunct Professor of Finance, Georgia Institute of Technology
- Board of Directors, Georgia Regional Transportation Authority
- Owner, Insomnia Group
- Chairman of the Board, Atlanta Heights Charter School
- Second Language–Japanese
Traci Morgan, Principal, Morgan Consultants, Inc.
- BS, Chemical Engineering, Ohio University
- Former Lead Engineer, Lockwood Greene
- Previous Senior Project Leader, Cadence Technologies
Lisa van Kesteren, CEO/Founder, Mystery Researchers
- MBA, Business, Kennesaw State University, Michael J. Coles College of Business
- Previous Vice President, Field Research Division, Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations
- Former SVP, Mystery Shopping Division, TNS US Custom