The posts here represent the opinions of CMB employees and guests—not necessarily the company as a whole. 

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2021: Accepting, Embracing and Seeking Change

Posted by Jim Garrity

Fri, Dec 18, 2020

2021 Jim Blog Opener

While every new year brings the opportunity to reflect, learn, and look toward the future, this year’s rituals feel especially poignant. As a company, we entered 2020 with a clear vision, and while our grit and resilience were tested, we remained steadfast in our approach. We flexed as needed, and then we forged ahead with focus, agility, and determination—in our commitment to our clients, team-members and communities.

We’re ready to think and deliver big in 2021 because the need to not just understand, but to empathize and connect with people is more relevant than ever. We are focused on leveraging the very best of human intelligence with advanced technology to help organizations make those connections, and as a result better engage with their consumers to innovate and grow.

We’ll continue to raise the bar by doubling down on our strengths, including:

  • Growing the deep expertise and collaborative efforts of our team members: In 2020, CMBers refused to let physical distance be a barrier to collaboration, achieving results, or embracing our clients’ thorniest challenges. We’ll only become stronger because of the indomitable passion, commitment, and integrity which is a hallmark of every member of our team.
  • Deepening our strong client partnerships: we’re so grateful to have incredibly strong client relationships—built by delivering exceptional value and impact, yes, but also through the thoughtful efforts that take place outside of the meetings and the weekly check-ins and through real human-to-human connection. Having genuine connections and bringing value to people’s lives are more critical now than ever.
  • Embracing change to solve problems: We will continue to help our clients solve their newest problem: how to adjust, pivot, and refocus in a time of significant disruption.
  • Investing in our communities. We will continue to invest in the communities in which we live and work through our Foundation Giving and volunteer program. Continuing our support of organizations committed to families, education, health and wellness, and racial equity.

In 2021, we will bring all of this together to amplify consumer voices and stories to the people who can serve them better. And we will do this by leveraging the latest technology and tools to get us there most effectively.

This year has been all about change—we have accepted it, embraced it, and in many ways sought it out. In the coming years we will continue to drive forward and make positive and lasting impact for our clients, our organization, and our community. I am confident that we are well positioned to tackle these new challenges and opportunities together.

Thank you for your partnership this past year and in the years to come.

Jim GarrityJim Garrity is CEO of CMB.

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Topics: strategy consulting, technology solutions, business decisions, marketing strategy, integrated data, growth and innovation, Market research, community, agile research, collaborative intelligence, COVID-19, CMB Culture, customer centricity, mrx, Holidays

Ignited 2020 | CMB Lights the Night

Posted by Clairese Boser

Wed, Nov 25, 2020

LTN Blog Opener Nov 2020After successfully transitioning to a completely virtual workforce earlier this year, CMB was faced with a new challenge this Fall: how to virtually raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Annual Light the Night (LTN) Walk. Since 2008, LTN has been an integral part of the CMB community, with several in-person fundraising activities we look forward to year over year.

Now that we were all working from home, how could we maintain this important tradition and meet our fundraising goal?

Our LTN core team has always been made up of our Boston-based employees, but this year there were no barriers for a full-time remote employee to participate (me!). Since joining CMB two and a half years ago, I had been looking for an opportunity to become more actively involved in CMB’s community, despite the 700+ mile distance between myself and the office. When I heard about our 2020 LTN goal, I jumped at the chance to not only help transition the events to a virtual format this year, but to also build a baseline for how we can continue to involve remote CMBers for years to come.  

After several brainstorming sessions and input from other CMBers, we successfully re-imagined our usual slate of events:

  • BBQ: Initially, the fundraising team didn’t think that it’d be possible to host our annual BBQ luncheon, which is perhaps CMB’s favorite event of the year. But in the CMB spirit, we refused to miss out on award-winning BBQ from our very own CMB pit master, Jared. It was all hands-on deck, and thanks to everyone’s feedback at CMB, we figured out a way to distribute Jared’s BBQ safety and efficiently. Orders were placed, 83 pounds of brisket and 60 pounds of pork butt were smoked, deliveries were coordinated, and a team of volunteers (masked and gloved) met up in a parking lot to pick up and deliver orders throughout the Boston area. It’s safe to say we made a lot of CMBers—and their families—happy and full.

LTN BBQ Gallery Photos 2020

  • AUCTION: Another fan favorite: our annual live auction, with items donated by our coworkers. Fortunately, it was easier to conduct our first-ever online auction since nonprofits have been leveraging online auction fundraising tools for years. In total, 53 items were donated by our teammates– just a few examples are a Zoom Santa visit, chocolate babka, biscotti, homemade Ruth Bader Ginsburg dolls, knit hats and scarves, virtual bread baking class, and a sake gift basket. While we had fewer items up for grabs than in 2019, we still raised close to same amount! As a bonus, the online platform made for some intense (but friendly) bidding wars – and some of us may have spent our lunch breaks coming up with a plan of attacks for the items at the top of our list.

Live Auction

  • SOCIAL COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES: In past years, the CMB Social Committee has run a variety of in-person events, such as bake sales, soda & candy sales, board game tournaments, and paint nights. Despite obvious challenges, the team pivoted to virtual with ease, running a step challenge, an online board game tournament, fantasy football, and a “Two Truths and a Lie” game.

2 Truths and a Lie

Never underestimate the power of community! While we will no doubt go back to some in-person events after we return to “normal” (whenever that is), we absolutely plan to include several virtual fundraising events in the future to ensure the growing number of full-time remote employees at our company are able to participate. Through this year’s LTN fundraising efforts, we ignited our community and expanded the ways our workforce can engage with and participate in our culture more inclusively. I am proud to announce that despite the limitations this year, we exceeded our $10,000 goal, raising a total of $12,506 completely virtually!

Please join our support of LTN here.

Clairese BoserClairese Boser is a Sr. Project Manager at CMB, based out of her home in Southeast Michigan, and is a proud member of the 2020 Light the Night CMB team.

Other members who contributed to this year's success include: Ashley Harrington, Athena Rodriguez, Adrianne Economu, Jared Huizenga, Cameron Miller, Blair Bailey, Hannah Russell, Lauren Sears, Daniel Alderstad, Saya Higano, and more. 

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Topics: Light the Night,, Community Involvement, CMB Social Committee, CMB Culture

The Three Pillars of Sustaining Our Culture during COVID-19

Posted by Heather Magaw and Lauren Sears

Tue, May 12, 2020

Two months ago, we closed our digs at Two Oliver Street in downtown Boston--and welcomed new office mates (including some furry and feathered) into our workdays. We’re proud to say that our culture is stronger than ever and in the spirit of openness, we’re sharing creative ways to building and maintaining our bonds:

Nala WFH

“Very productive day for Nala” - Mike Helms, Research Manager

Stay Social

One secret to CMB’s strong and enduring culture? It’s not all work and no play. CMB’s Social Committee does a fantastic job planning and executing events. With in-office banana bread competitions and pub trivia off the table, our Social Committee has been working hard to think of fun virtual events. They’re teaming up with our Board Game Club to host an online game night. We can’t wait!

Outside of events, we are using social media to stay connected with one another and our communities through our #SpringAtCMB campaign. Our need for positive emotions and social connection are greater than ever. Seeing spring through the eyes of our teammates has spread joy within and beyond our CMB community.

SpringAtCMB Twitter Screenshot

Appreciate Each Other

It’s well understood that employee recognition enhances engagement, creating a culture of commitment and passion. Now that we aren’t seeing each other in-person to high-five and elbow bump to celebrate a success, we are fortunate to have a custom engagement solution crafted for us by ITA Group. Our Be The Reason platform allows us to recognize colleagues and share positive feedback across all the ITA Family of Companies by recognizing behavior that reflects our core values.

CMB’s culture continues to thrive even with the close of our offices. We remain as committed as ever to helping the world’s leading brands engage, innovate, and grow and are challenging ourselves to do the same. In fact, some of our long-standing remote CMBers have even commented they feel even closer to the CMB culture now that we are all adopting a remote work lifestyle.

Liz White Quote - Remote COVID Social Culture

Stimulate Conversations

The CMB Virtual Lunchroom simulates our lively in-office kitchen and allows us to still eat together and catch up daily via video conference. Our weekly “Fun Fridays” are now virtual too! Hanging out and having a drink with colleagues is a great way to unwind together at the end of the week.

The Virtual Break Room is in full swing– and it’s a blast! This Microsoft Teams-based forum provides opportunity for CMBers to stay in touch through posts, stories, images and videos.  This is our online water cooler where we can gather to check in with each other and share a laugh or a smile, share a great podcast, and get a movie or book recommendation.  In short, to nurture those fun moments that help make us a supportive and cohesive team. It has something for everyone including topics like Too Cute (wow, so, so many cute pets!), All The Memes, Foodies, and Some Good News.

We are fortunate enough to have many great personal interest clubs at CMB. Documentary Club and Book Club are still going strong and meeting via online platforms. We’ve recently discussed The Tiger King, Chasing Happiness, and Babies! Our next book club is meeting to discuss Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid.

Through all of this, we gained the confidence we needed to keep our culture strong. We have even made strides in better integrating our remote workforce into our events and social gatherings. Because of our efforts to keep our culture alive, CMB feels more connected to each other than ever. Our personal interest clubs have grown in number, and we’re committed to keep this momentum going. Who knows, maybe virtual game nights will become a new tradition! We at CMB hope that you and yours are staying safe, healthy, and connected during this time.

Heather MagawHeather Magaw is VP, People & Culture at CMB. After 15 years of being a part of the CMB culture, she remains committed to preserving CMB’s cultural DNA while continuing to evolve it into the future.


Lauren SearsLauren Sears is a Research Manager at CMB. She is also a co-leader of CMB’s Social Committee and is always looking for fun, new ideas to build employee engagement and relationships.


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Topics: our people, COVID-19, CMB Social Committee, People & Culture, CMB Culture