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Chamberlain Was (and Is) a Trailblazer

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The recession and the subsequent slow recovery have claimed more than a few iconic businesses, but the one that stands out to me is the recent closing of Chamberlain Research. The news provided unfortunate proof that even a well-run business, one that had proven its salt in the fickle world of advertising and marketing, can sink in choppy economic waters.

Over roughly one-quarter of a century, Sharon Chamberlain’s business conducted more than 5,000 research studies for companies in Wisconsin and beyond. From her, I learned more about the science of revealing consumer behavior than anyone I’ve ever interviewed. Every time we explored this topic, she was the number one “go-to” person on my source list.

We talked about a number of things over the past decade or so, including how different (and better) business ownership is for women these days. Nothing is ever ideal, but like a lot of things, entrepreneurship is much more democratized than it was in the late 1980s, when Chamberlain launched her business. 

In the Greater Madison market, she played a leading role in helping women executives gain traction, joining other local trailblazers like Laurie Benson (Inacom), Marsha Lindsay (Lindsay Stone & Briggs), and Judith Faulkner (Epic Systems). 

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