Burke, Inc. announces the promotion of Diane Surette to President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the retirement of current CEO Jeff Miller after 31 years with the company. The management change will be effective October 1, 2019.
“Diane has a strong strategic perspective, a creative approach to solving problems, and an intuitive desire to foster a culture of collaboration. She is devoted to building enduring partnerships with clients and colleagues, earning their trust and loyalty,” said Mr. Miller. “Diane’s clear vision for the future and approachable, open leadership style will continue to support Burke’s growth and success.”
Ms. Surette, who has been with the firm since 1996, is currently Burke’s President and Chief Client Officer (CCO). Before joining Burke, she was a consultant with Organizational Effectiveness Consultants. After starting a new strategic consulting division for Burke in 2004, Ms. Surette was promoted to SVP, Client Services, and was later promoted to Executive Vice President with responsibility for leading the entire Client Services function. Ms. Surette was named Burke’s first CCO in 2017 and was promoted to President in 2018. She has served on Burke’s Board of Directors since 2007.
While Burke has traditionally had a gender-diverse management team, Ms. Surette will be Burke’s first female CEO since Alberta Burke, the firm’s founder, retired in 1964.
“I am truly excited by the opportunity to lead Burke and to continue working with the phenomenal Burke team to build upon the company’s rich history of quality and service,” said Ms. Surette. “Jeff has been an outstanding mentor and leader. Under his leadership and with the benefit of his strategic vision, Burke has thrived and enjoyed many successes. I look forward to the challenge of continuing his record of achievement.”
Mr. Miller has been with Burke since 1988. His responsibilities have included serving as Chief Operating Officer for the company prior to becoming President (2009) and CEO (2010). Mr. Miller has been a tireless advocate for preserving Burke’s heritage of outstanding research quality through multiple research and development initiatives and through the attainment of ISO certification for research quality and data security. His vision for growth led to Burke’s acquisition of Seed Strategy in 2014, which added Seed’s expertise in strategic innovation to Burke’s expertise in research-based decision support, allowing Burke to better serve its clients.
Mr. Miller has been an active contributor to the marketing research industry as a frequent presenter at industry events and leading seminars for the Burke Institute. His support of the industry includes serving as current Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors for the Insights Association and as past Chair of the AC Nielsen Center external advisory board at the University of Wisconsin and as past Chair of the MMR advisory board at the University of Georgia.
“While it is a difficult decision to leave the company that I love so much, knowing we have a capable management team led by Diane as President and CEO makes it easier to step away,” said Mr. Miller. “Burke has grown and evolved as a company and is extremely well-positioned to continue the success we have enjoyed.”
Mr. Miller will continue to serve on Burke’s Board of Directors and act as consultant to the company.