Coulter Welcomes New Client the Incentive Research Foundation

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Global Nonprofit Shifts Management Model to Enhance Motivation and Incentives Research and Services

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The IRF’s leadership and constituency are daily advancing the science of motivation and incentives through research, and we are excited for the organization to continue to excel with Coulter’s strategic guidance.

Coulter, the award-winning association management company, is proud to announce the Incentive Research Foundation (the IRF) as its newest full-service client. The IRF funds research studies and develops education serving all segments of the global incentive and recognition industry. Melissa Van Dyke, Coulter associate vice president, will continue to serve as the IRF’s president.

The IRF’s research and education focuses on incentives, recognition, and motivation in the workplace with specific research in engagement, incentive travel, and non-cash awards. The organization’s constituency includes hotels, destination management companies, and suppliers of incentives and rewards products; program managers in Fortune 500 companies that run reward and recognition programs; and the many incentive management companies that serve the industry. The IRF also provides hundreds of hours of education each year to all aspects of the incentives and meetings industry, and executes its own annual event that brings together 400 of the industry’s top executives for four days of education and networking.

“The IRF’s leadership and constituency are daily advancing the science of motivation and incentives through research, and we are excited for the organization to continue to excel with Coulter’s strategic guidance,” noted Erin M. Fuller, FASAE, MPA, CAE, Coulter president. “We are eager to collaborate with Melissa Van Dyke, whose impressive history with the IRF and in the incentive and recognition industry has greatly advanced the organization.”

For over five years, Melissa Van Dyke has served as the IRF’s president, where she has proudly helped triple the organization's research and education footprint. As president, Van Dyke manages all day-to-day operational, financial, and marketing aspects of the organization. She came to the IRF from her position as Managing Consultant of the Employee Engagement Practice at Maritz. Prior to this, Van Dyke held leadership positions in Solution Management, Product Development and Business Technology Solution Management at Maritz. Van Dyke was selected as Incentive magazine’s 2007 “Rising Star in the Incentive Industry” and co-authored the chapter on “Nonmonetary Awards: Experiential, Tangible, and Cash Equivalent Awards” in the fifth edition of the “Compensation Handbook.”

“As IRF laid out its ambitious five year plan, Vision2020, we knew we could not reach our shared goals of increasing industry unification, universal research, and greater university support without taking a very different approach,” said Van Dyke. “We are delighted to become a part of award-winning Coulter and are thrilled to have them as partners in bringing our vision to life.”

Coulter increases the market relevance, brand power and economic capacity of socially-principled, high-potential nonprofit organizations. Coulter provides association management services with comprehensive headquarters solutions and project-based outsourcing for trade, professional and cause-based associations and foundations. Coulter’s nonprofit events division produces conventions, conferences, trade shows and live awards programs, from concept through execution. Coulter’s consultative unit delivers solutions which enhance nonprofit capacity and brand. Coulter is Charter Accredited by the Association Management Company Institute. Coulter is division of the Coulter Companies, a professional services firm recognized by the American Business Ethics Awards as one of the top companies in the United States. For additional information on Coulter, visit

MCI is the world’s largest provider of strategic engagement and activation solutions and has been a key driver of innovation in the meetings, events, association and congress industries since 1987. Through creative live experiences and digitization, globalization, brand enhancement and content strategies, MCI helps multinational companies and international associations enhance organizational performance, grow globally, energize communities and drive business results. An independent, privately held company with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, MCI’s now 1,800 professionals in 60 cities and 31 countries help clients across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, India, the Middle East and Africa unlock their potential and deliver real change. Find out more at

The Incentive Research Foundation funds and promotes research to advance the science and enhance the awareness and appropriate application of motivation and incentives in business and industry globally. The goal is to increase the understanding, effective use, and resultant benefits of incentives to businesses that currently use incentives and others interested in improved performance.

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Elizabeth Johnson
The Coulter Companies
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