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Two Minutes with Kari Vrba

The new Incentive Research Foundation Board chair is excited about an upcoming study that’s “on point."

Kari Vrba, chief commercial officer at MotivAction, an Augeo company, has been named chair of the Incentive Research Foundation Board of Trustees, with a 2020 executive committee that includes Jim Kelley, Fern Expo; Mark Alt, Maritz; and Patrick Smith, Leading Hotels of the World. With the IRF coming into the new year with an ambitious lineup of monthly research releases planned, we asked Vrba about the results she’s most eager to see and her thoughts on where the incentive industry needs to make progress going forward.

MeetingsNet: Which of the IRF research reports coming out in 2020 is most intriguing to you personally and why?
Kari Vrba: A unique attribute of the IRF is that we deliver material on the full spectrum of incentive practices. I like our top performer studies because they demonstrate the impact of well-designed incentives focused on specific verticals. But this year I’m most excited about the points study we’ll deliver in the fall. It’s important that we continue to look at what really drives behavior and motivates performance, and focusing on the impact and perspectives of points as a currency—a look that others haven’t taken—will give us great insight into stronger program design.

MeetingsNet: In what ways do you think the incentive industry needs to evolve over the next decade to meet the demands of a changing market?
Vrba: As an industry we need to continue to evolve in terms of diversity and inclusion—to attract, engage, and retain top talent; to leverage the creativity of diverse perspectives; and to be more reflective of the corporations we support. We also need to be nimble and provide data-driven insights that prove the worth of our programs and improve their effectiveness going forward.

MeetingsNet: What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
Vrba: I love to experience new cultures and have visited every continent except for Antarctica.


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