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About RIVA

Our Philosophy

When RIVA began offering services, we had only a vague idea of how to serve the qualitative research industry. Now, in our fifth decade, we have strong philosophy:

“We do what we teach and we teach what we do.”

We promote the industry of qualitative inquiry by supporting clients to use consumer insights to drive strategic planning, and training the next generation of qualitative researchers.

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RIVA Timeline

RIVA is created
RIVA [Research in Values and Attitudes] started in the basement of Naomi R. Henderson’s home as RIVA Associates, first ‘associate’: a cat named Blackjack
RIVA Training Institute is created
Co-founded RIVA Training Institute with JoAnn Hairston to offer moderator training to freelancers and those working inside organizations
RIVA finds a home
Moved to 4800 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, Maryland; over a Chinese Restaurant; Luc Henderson joins firm as CFO
RIVA grows
Moved to 7316 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD - Luc Henderson promoted to President and Naomi Henderson became CEO
RIVA creates VISAR
Created a holding company [VISAR] that purchased two RIVA divisions, forging a new corporate direction by creating a doorway to take on non-research and non-training activities.
RIVA offers Master Moderator course
RIVA moved corporate offices from Bethesda, MD to 1700 Rockville Pike, Rockville MD and offered first Master ModeratorTM Certificate class.
President Luc Henderson passes away
President Luc Henderson passed away from pancreatic cancer on May 2, 2005
RIVA Research celebrates 30 years
RIVA staff celebrated 30 years of the RIVA Research Division with trip to NYC. First publication: Secrets of a Master Moderator, released under the VISAR imprint
3rd edition - Secrets of a Master Moderator
Publication of the third edition of Secrets of a Master Moderator
Naomi speaks at QRCA conference
Naomi Henderson presented as the Keynote Speaker at the Annual QRCA Conference in Phoenix, Arizona – the first time a member received that honor
IACET accreditation
RIVA applied for and received accreditation for its courses from IACET and now students earn CEUs to forward their careers
RIVA goes online
COVID-19 mandates forced RIVA to close its doors to in-person classes on March 15, 2020. In April, RIVA started researching how to conduct “distance learning”, officially offered our first eLearning course in June 2020; Moved to 1201 Seven Locks Road, Rockville, MD
Expanded our online footprint
Expanded Zoom trainings to teach classes with students located within the US and ten other countries; celebrated our 40th anniversary on June 1, 2021
RIVA offers contract moderator training
Signed contracts with two large corporations to offer moderator training to staff on a quarterly basis; designed new courses for RIVA LMS [a platform to offer asynchronous offerings]; implemented corporate plan to offer courses both via Zoom and in-person; CEO entered doctoral program in Strategic Communications.
Amber becomes CEO
In 2022, Amber Tedesco becomes RIVA’s CEO.
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We are a small company with a huge footprint in the world.

Working as an interchangeable team, with each staff person able to take over for another, has helped RIVA have a tremendous, positive impact on the world of qualitative research.

Continuously learning, refining, and practicing our craft has paid dividends: as we look back over 40 years, we see the practice of qualitative market research has “arrived” and is now an integral part of market research.

We are grateful for the opportunity to instrumental in growing this important profession, proud of the unique and strong team we’ve built, and we’re excited for what the next decades hold.

10,000 QREs [Qualitative Research Events]
Over 300 clients have grown thanks to insights from RIVA
6,000 Students
…and counting, in 10 countries, have learned the art and science of qualitative market research at RIVA
Books, Essays, Articles, Presentations
Trade journals and industry organizations seek out our expertise regularly
IACET Accredited
This allows us to confer CEUs on graduates of RIVA courses
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There’s More to explore
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Travel to RIVA

Detailed directions and hotel recommendations.

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RIVA Webinars

Tips, techniques, and continued training packed into our webinars.

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Read our Latest Blog

We post a thoughtful essay on an industry topic each Friday.