Staff Interview: Beth Mulligan
10/10/19 / Kevin Raines
The world was changing in 2006. Pluto was downgraded from planet status to dwarf planet. Google purchased YouTube to expand their empire. Barry Bonds hit his 715th (asterisked) home run to pass Babe Ruth on the all-time list. And Beth Mulligan, a newly minted PhD psychologist at the University of Colorado, was considering her career options.
As an academic, she was interested in moving to a job that had practical application in the world, and that had an emphasis on making the world a better place. A friend from graduate school was working at Corona Insights (then, Corona Research) and let her know we were hiring. She was intrigued by our mission and the variety of work that we do. She won the job and has been a Corona-ite ever since, rising through the ranks from an associate position all the way up to principal. She is now one of the most senior people at Corona Insights, leading our evaluation practice. She also participates in many other types of projects, providing in-house expertise in statistical techniques and research methodologies.
So why has she Corona’ed with us now for 13 years and counting? We asked Beth, and her answer was enlightening. “I love our people,” she told us. “It’s our biggest asset. I like working with people who care about what they’re doing and who are smart and reliable and helpful. Everyone has a slightly different skill set, which is an asset that other firms don’t have. I also like our wide variety of clients who are mission driven and being able to help them increase their impact.”
Since building her career at Corona, Beth enjoys helping others through the same career development path. She enjoys watching others build their careers at Corona and feels particularly connected to the firm when she’s working with a team to complete a particularly challenging client assignment or meet a deadline.
We asked Beth about her most memorable moments at Corona, and she noted that many of them happened during business trips. She recalled one year when project travel brought the opportunity to dip a toe in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans (from Montauk, NY and San Diego, CA). “Getting a chance to roadtrip with my coworkers has always been a fun experience at Corona,” she said.
We also asked Beth about a particularly memorable project that she’s completed, and the answer didn’t surprise us. We all remember our first proposal win, and Beth’s occurred not long after she joined us, when she won a project to create an animal welfare report card for Colorado. The project was memorable to Beth not only for its timing, but for its content. It gave her an opportunity to help identify indicators of animal welfare that could guide Colorado to become a model state for animal welfare. Beth and others on her team studied all variety of animals relative to their relationship with humans: pets, wildlife, livestock, exotic animals, zoo animals, and others. It was not just a great client, but also a wonderful learning experience in a topic of personal interest to her.
That project led to another project examining dog bite patterns by breed for the same client. That work eventually contributed to her adoption of Mylo, a pit bull mix (and a breed that the data found to have no more propensity to bite than other breeds).
The downstream impact continues through Beth’s choice of a mission-driven organization for her $500 Corona anniversary donation. Having recently relocated her household, Beth learned firsthand about the challenges that pit bull owners face with issues such as rental housing and insurance. Many landlords will not allow pit bulls on their property, and some insurance providers will refuse to sell policies to pit bull families. During her relocation with Mylo, Beth learned of “My Pit Bull Is Family,” a nonprofit located in Minneapolis. The organization offers nationwide assistance to pit bull pet parents who are seeking pit-friendly housing and protections such as renter’s insurance, and they are Beth’s choice for her 20th anniversary Corona Insights donation of $500.
Off the clock, Beth stays busy leading her small tribe of pets, which include the aforementioned Mylo and also Alabama, a wizened leopard gecko who is twenty years old. She enjoys water activities such as swimming, kayaking and canoeing, and she also knits and crochets, with a typical focus on making stuffed animals for the children in her life. She and our fellow Corona-ite Kate have a tradition of knitting staff gifts for the employees at annual Corona retreats, which has often required late nights of crafting in the days leading up to the retreat. Corona employees have been delighted to receive unique retreat gifts such as knitted sea creatures or stocking caps or the highly coveted “Coronerd”.
As a final question, we asked Beth about her ideal vision for Corona’s future, and we’ll let her summarize it in her own words:
I really like Corona the way it is. Slowly but surely, we’ve lived into the breadth of skills that we have across the firm. Our research, evaluation, and strategy practices are coming together more and more into a single continuum of comprehensive services for clients. We have people who cross-pollinate across areas and it helps bring the human side and analytical side and process side together. Over time, we’ve been good at filling out that entire range of client needs. We’ve done a nice job of bringing people together with different strengths and the ability to share them. I think if you have people who are bright and who care, and you empower them to participate, it’s the foundation for having a successful firm. We’re set up for success.Beth Mulligan, Principal
Throughout 2019, to help celebrate our 20th Anniversary, we are profiling our staff and select clients. Corona is also donating $500 on behalf of each staff person to a charitable organization of their choice. Click here to view all of our interviews.
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