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616 Gunderson Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60304 * 708-848-9233 * mv6cff04@westpost.net

Passionate about helping organizations understand and uncover the needs of their
market to drive actionable strategic direction that builds competitive advantag
e and distinguishes them from the competition. Known for obtaining hard-to-uncov
er information from numerous sources and turning it into insights to drive growt
h. Works effectively with Board members, executives, professionals, staff and co
nsumers. Excellent at planning, coordinating, focusing on details, taking initia
tive and resolving problems before the C-suite knows they exist. Ability to tran
slate complex research content into understandable information for any audience.

* Frequent speaker at conferences

* Author of white papers and peer-review articles
* Evaluating and defining best options for international market expansion
* Identifying customer needs and issues to focus new product development
* Designing brand strategies to create competitive advantage in marketplace
* Utilizing business intelligence to revitalize mature products and declining sa
* Analyzing information to refocus product lines on highest margin/strongest app
eal products
Collaborated on strategic plan for non-profit. New vision and plan was created f
or West Suburban PADS that will result in a refocus of resources from primarily
emergency shelter to homeless prevention and rapid rehousing.
Conducted customer needs analysis, leading to service refocus and added profit.
Follett's recent acquisition, a public library media distribution company, was l
osing $2-3M/year. Conducted conjoint study, demonstrating that the company was s
pending 20% of its budget on low demand services. Presented analysis, resulting
in focus shift to higher-demand products, increased loyalty, and $500K profit in
following fiscal year and $1.2M in second year.
Isolated customer issues to ensure second generation product's success. Follett
had done little research prior to releasing its first e-Book platform, leading t
o market failure. Conducted ethnographic research to identify customer issues. C
ollaborated with software development, marketing and sales teams to create conce
pts for next generation product and conducted consumer interest study, resulting
in inclusion of customers' preferred for features/benefits. Provided analysis t
hat led to 20% increase in e-Book reader sales over next six months.
Authored unifying brand strategy to provide competitive advantage in recession.
Seven companies owned by Follett had different brand/market identities, leading
to market confusion and inability to leverage breadth/depth of corporation. Led
project to find common image/brand. Developed competitive advantage and position
ing for future, resulting in 4% increase in market share and revenue while compe
titors' revenues declined during recession.
Identified strategy to reverse declining sales for mature drug product. Abbott's
blockbuster neurological drug was maturing and company wanted to increase marke
t share/revenues for declining drug. Led study to determine physicians' and pati
ents' use and conducted competitive analysis, yielding insights into off-label u
se for newer drugs. Off-label use approved by FDA, the drug was marketed, and th
e decline reversed, increasing revenues 1%.
Created Center of Excellence to spearhead revenue growth. Joined Cardinal Health
and identified need for focused market/competitive intelligence. Developed/deli
vered two-year plan to establish Center of Excellence to conduct market research
, competitive intelligence, and econometric forecasting. Became valued member of
Senior Leadership team. Worked on new platforms, service areas, channels of dis
tribution and acquisitions. Provided insights that led to five acquisitions, thr
ee new markets for global product, and creation of consulting division, generati
ng in total approximately $700M in revenues over five years.
Articulated need to reduce products in core line, lowering production costs. Car
dinal Health gloves division manufactured eight different types of globes, confu
sing the market, generating spotty revenues, and reducing market share. Conducte
d thorough analysis with recommendations that led to elimination of three gloves
, saving division $1M in first year and $3M by second year in production costs.
Enabled reduction in raw material costs.
Defined best options for opening international market. Revenues for Cardinal Hea
lth's medical devices had peaked and company wanted to identify new markets. Eva
luated international market where company had little presence. Presented best te
n options based on ease of doing business, competition in market, cost of doing
Michaelle Van Linden Page 2
business, regulations, setting up distribution channels, legal qualifications, c
ost of sales force, and others. Company entered two international markets, gener
ating $300K in first year revenues, $950K in second year.
Designed strategy to improve commoditized product, increasing revenues. Operatin
g room caps/gowns were becoming commodity product and hospitals wanted to cut co
sts. Cardinal Health products were top of line, but more expensive than competit
ors' products. Led research to identify design and test concepts for superior pr
oducts. Created cooler, less permeable product to test in actual operating room
settings. Created product viewed as superior by customers, driving $250K increas
e in year one, $300K in year two, and $500K in year three.
Director of Market Intelligence, Career Education Corporation, 2009 - 2010. Deli
vered market insights to inform company of national/regional geographic and prog
rammatic expansion opportunities for $1.8B owner/operator of 75+ domestic and in
ternational higher education campuses offering certificate and degree programs.
* Provided insights that led to identification of opportunities for new programs
, increasing enrollment 8%.
* Developed methodology using key data sources to analyze market for optimal car
eer outcomes.
* Monitored emerging fields of study and employment/industry trends to identify
* Drafted proposals for funding of projects.
Director of Customer Strategy and Insights, Follett Corporation, 2004 - 2009 Est
ablished new department for $2.4B book store developer and library automation so
ftware publisher. Reported insights on market share, customer satisfaction and r
etention, competitive landscape, brand equity and market trends to Board of Dire
* Drove company to refine mission/vision and value propositions and provide seam
less voice to customers.
* Monitored emerging fields of study and employment/industry trends to identify
* Designed customer insights program. Transitioned to customer-centric focus, gr
owing revenues 4%.
* Led re-branding effort, driving 3% market share growth in key divisions.
* Realized $1M in new revenue from first international expansion market. Rolled
out to Top 10 countries.
* Assessed competitive strength with key market-driven attributes, contributing
to 2% revenue increase.
* Recognized by President for ability to develop growth strategies.
Senior Consultant, NDCHealth, 2003 - 2004. Recruited to sell/deliver projects fo
r $800M provider of health information services/e-Commerce solutions to clients
in pharmaceuticals, hospitals, pharmacies, insurance firms and physician groups.
Presented analysis on prescription data to biotech firm that increased market s
hare 10% in first six months. Office closed.
Senior Manager, Market Research, Abbott Laboratories, 2002 - 2003. Managed $4.5M
budget and seven-person team for neuroscience pharmaceutical division. Tracked/
forecasted national/international sales. Conducted in-depth and focus groups. Su
pported marketing neuroscience drug team in developing strategic plans.
* Identified areas to reinforce sales coverage, increasing market share 1% in hi
ghly competitive territories.
* Played key role in market share increase of drug by exploring off-label applic
* Expanded brand market share 2% by introducing rigor in to forecasting process/
instituting success factors.
Director, Center for Business Knowledge, Cardinal Health, 1999 - 2002. Led globa
l analytical center providing market research, customer, business and competitiv
e intelligence to $7.4B company's 10 divisions. Collaborated with divisions to f
ormulate/present strategies to C-level executives. Managed $1.5M budget and seve
n staff.
* Led due diligence research resulting in three acquisitions, increasing top lin
e results by $6M in first year.
* Provided analysis that led to product redesign and more accurate global demand
forecasts, saving $3M.
* Grew sales in surgical products $250K in first six months after developing new
operating room cap/gown.
* Identified need to expand globally, leading to entering two international mark
ets with $300K first year sales.
VP/GM Chicago Office, Elrick & Lavidge, 1998 - 1999. Ran the Chicago office of a
top market research supplier including hiring/firing (staff of 40), P&L respons
ibility ($30m budget), business development, client management and staff trainin
g and development. Leveraged other E&L offices to reduce redundancy saving $2m/y
Earlier: Director of Research CNA Insurance, The Gallup Organization and America
n Bar Association; Qualitative Analyst and Focus Group Moderator for Bruskin/Gol
dring (market research supplier)
Key skills: SPSS expertise, focus group moderator, one-on-ones and ethnographic
research, various analytical techniques, e.g., regression, conjoint/discrete cho
ice, factor analysis, CHAID, econometric forecasting
Leisure: Licensed pilot. Board Member West Suburban PADS, Taproot Foundation vol
unteer, various associations.