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Mission

Consumers’ Research is an independent educational organization whose mission is to increase the knowledge and understanding of issues, policies, products, and services of concern to consumers and to promote the freedom to act on that knowledge and understanding.

Philosophy

Consumers’ Research believes that the cost, quality, availability, and variety of goods and services used or desired by American consumers – from both the private and public sectors – are improved by greater consumer knowledge and freedom.

Issue Areas


Health

Given that the burden of healthcare-related costs on the American consumer accounts for 17% of per-capita GDP, Consumers’ Research focuses much of its efforts on researching and reporting on the quality, safety, cost, availability, and variety of consumer healthcare and healthcare-related services , paying particular attention to the impact of healthcare policy and regulation.


Energy

The burden of energy-related costs on the American consumer accounts for 8.3 percent of per-capita GDP. Therefore, Consumers’ Research strives to educate consumers, regulators, policy makers, and industry stakeholders about how to ensure the best quality, safety, cost, availability, and variety of consumer energy and energy-related services.


Technology

Technological advancement, innovation, and disruption has the potential to save consumers time and money as well as make their lives safer and easier. Technology also has limitations. In its endeavor to foster consumer choice and safety, Consumers’ Research explores the benefits and drawbacks of consumer technology as well as related legislation and regulation.


Finance

Given that 29 percent of Americans have no “emergency savings” and another 21 percent have less than three months worth of emergency savings, personal finance is a major concern of American consumers. Issues like savings accounts, interest rates, and credit availability, affect consumers’ ability to pay for their basic wants and needs.

History

Established in 1929

First formed as the Consumers Club in 1927, Consumers’ Research was incorporated in New York City in 1929. The organization moved to Washington, New Jersey, in 1933, where we opened a groundbreaking advanced testing laboratory.

Consumers’ Research pioneered consumer product testing in the United States. From playing cards and radio construction kits in 1937 to the first home computers in 1981, CR provided consumers with unbiased, reliable, scientific results upon which informed consumer choices could be made.

Transition

For fifty years Consumers’ Research tested, rated, and reported on a wide range of products. Of course, the nature of the challenges facing consumers has changed dramatically from the days of our 1930s lab work: A broad array of consumer health, safety, and fraud laws, programs, and agencies have given consumers unprecedented protections; and the advent of the Internet has made every consumer a potential product reviewer and empowered entire markets with information once only available to elites. However, in contrast to the time of our founding, the new pocketbook issues facing consumers are driven in growing part by the expanding involvement of government in the operation of the American economy.

Over the years, we gradually shifted our mission focus from testing products toward providing broader consumer information, and with the closing of our lab in 1983, we shifted our focused almost exclusively to our publication Consumers’ Research Magazine in order to inform and educate consumers.

New Focus

Eighty years ago Consumers’ Research broke new research ground with a sophisticated, science-driven approach to help consumers by providing information they needed to make wise product choices. Today, we are breaking new ground as we broaden our mission to include examining the effects on consumers of government programs, laws, and regulations. We bring to this task the same dedication to unbiased, fact-based analysis as we brought to our lab work.

Even before the operation of a new law, much can be done by consumer pressure.”

F. J. Schlink, Founder, Consumers' Research (1929)

Key Personnel

Joe Colangelo
Executive Director

Joe attended U.C. Berkeley on a Naval ROTC scholarship where he graduated with a BA in Political Science. He was commissioned as a U.S. Naval Officer in May, 2007 and served in the Surface Warfare Officer aboard the U.S.S. GERMANTOWN and U.S.S. HARPERS FERRY where he deployed to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf. He earned his Surface Warfare Officer qualifications and served one joint tour in Afghanistan based out of Bagram Air Field where he was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.

In 2011 Joe co-founded Golden Coast Mead, a beverage company based in San Diego. Before assuming the role of Executive Director for Consumers’ Research he worked as a management consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton with a focus on commercial cost restructuring.

Kyle Burgess
Director of Operations & Editor-in-Chief

Kyle is responsible for CR’s strategic initiatives and serves as the Editor in Chief of CR’s quarterly publication. Since 2003, Kyle has worked with a range of private, public, volunteer, non-profit, and multi-national organizations, including the United Nations, the U.S. Department of State, and the Center for International Private Enterprise.

She is the co-founder of two social enterprises and has served on the board of an international non-profit. Kyle holds a Bachelor’s in political science from American University, and a Master’s in economics from Johns Hopkins University, which published her paper on the need for better corporate governance in non-profits organizations. Currently, Kyle spends her evenings working on her MBA at Georgetown University.

David Weissman
Communications Associate

David graduated from the University of Arizona in 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Journalism. He was involved in politics and government before joining the Consumers’ Research team, working for a political campaign and in the House of Representatives. He is responsible for CR’s day to day communications, including generating web content and helping to oversee the fellowship program, as well as writing for CR’s quarterly magazine.

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