The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) has honoured Tony Lea, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Methodologist at Environics Analytics (EA) with its Research Career Service Award. Dr. Lea, one of five international recipients of the newly created award, received the honour yesterday at the ICSC’s RECON conference in Las Vegas.

“The Career Service Award is being given to five researchers who exerted noteworthy long-term impact through various events and initiatives on behalf of the research community and the industry as a whole,” said Jean Lambert, research director for ICSC. “They have gone the extra step in sharing their time, talents and efforts with the ICSC community.”

An internationally recognized leader in geodemographics and marketing research, Dr. Lea is a regular speaker at ICSC conferences, advises the group on industry issues and has shared his research during a career spanning more than 30 years. Founded in 1957, the ICSC is the shopping centre industry’s global trade association, with more than 68,000 members in over 100 countries. It established researcher awards in 2007 to recognize industry professionals who have demonstrated a significant commitment and contribution to ICSC and the shopping centre industry.

“It is a great honour to be recognized by the ICSC for my career contributions that emphasized retail research,” says Dr. Lea. “I have used a great deal of data in my research and presented papers on many topics, including the behaviour of customers, the location of stores, the best ways to define trade areas and the optimal mix of stores in shopping centres. This work underscores the data-driven imperative of the discipline—something I’ve come to truly enjoy. To be recognized for doing what you love to do is very rewarding.”

At EA, Dr. Lea currently oversees research and development initiatives, population estimates and projections and site evaluation models, and was instrumental in the development of EA’s PRIZM C2 segmentation system and WealthScapes financial product. Prior to joining EA in 2003, Dr. Lea was Senior Research Associate with the Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity at Ryerson University, Managing Director of MapInfo Canada and Senior Vice President of Compusearch. The recipient of master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Toronto, he also teaches research and techniques at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, and has also taught at the University of Minnesota and Queen’s University. “I believe that passing on some lessons and methods to the next generation is especially important,” he says.

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