The Olinger Group’s Founder and CEO, Jude Olinger, began his career in market research over 25 years ago. He now leads a research firm that is on the cutting edge of technological innovations in the industry. Jude began his career in market research part-time during his university studies. After graduating with a B.S. in Business Administration from Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge in 1990, Jude continued along his career path in market research, becoming Director of Corporate Accounts for a regional market research firm. In 1994, he founded The Olinger Group in New Orleans. “I started the business to leverage what I saw was happening with technology and how it was changing the market research industry,” says Jude.
The Olinger Group began as a modest enterprise. As the company grew, so did client relationships, some remaining as valued clients today. “We did a really good job of listening to the client and understanding their specific business problems,” says Olinger.
Quick growth propelled the company to move into more spacious offices, which sadly would be destroyed by four feet of water after Hurricane Katrina flooding overwhelmed New Orleans in 2005. Within days, Jude and his employees set up temporary offices outside of the city. Employees were scattered around the country, some of whom personally lost their homes. Jude was committed to standing the company back up and within a week resumed normal operations. Despite the many difficulties caused by the disaster, The Olinger Group met all client deadlines. Post-Katrina, the office moved into its current space: a high-rise office tower on Poydras Street in the heart of New Orleans’ Central Business District. Jude is determined to support the rebuilding the city he and his employees call home.
As a result of his experience, Jude has become a sought-after speaker on disaster recovery efforts and business continuity, speaking at many national conferences on the topic. When asked how to recover from any business emergency, “Stay focused on the tasks that you have to accomplish to recover. Prioritize tasks and act upon them immediately. Time, or rather lack of time, is your enemy,” says Jude.
Jude is active within the entrepreneurial community on a local and global level. He has served as President of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) New Orleans chapter and was Global Director for its Accelerator Program. Jude is also a leader in the national market research industry, serving on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) and is a member of both the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the Marketing Research Association (MRA).
As CEO, Jude leads The Olinger Group and focuses his expertise and energy on the firm’s growth and development as well as ensuring that the firm delivers on its commitment to its clients – providing answers to their business questions through scientific market research. In addition to his role as leader of the firm, he is a veteran focus group moderator having conducted over 500 focus groups over the last 20 years.
Jude lives in New Orleans with his wife and daughter. He’s passionate about life in New Orleans and sharing the culture with others. Jude enjoys meeting with clients face-to-face, and brings a positive energy to The Olinger Group’s operations. “I’m proud of our reputation with our clients and within our industry,” says Jude. “What we do has a greater good. We’re helping companies and organizations deliver what their customers want and I’m very proud of that.”