APQC Names C. Jackson Grayson, Executive Chairman; Carla O’Dell, CEO; and Lisa Higgins, President

(Houston, Texas - May 22, 2012)  The APQC board of directors has elected Dr. Carla O’Dell chief executive officer for APQC, effective May 16, 2012. She previously served as president of the benchmarking and best practices research organization. She succeeds Dr. C. Jackson Grayson, APQC’s founder, chairman, and CEO, who will assume the role of executive chairman. The board also named Lisa Higgins, current chief operating officer, as president/COO.

“Jack Grayson’s early and sustained efforts to help companies improve productivity and quality have enhanced the competitiveness of countless organizations for almost four decades. For the past 15 years he has focused on helping the U.S. public education sector restructure and improve student achievement and system performance through the use of process management and benchmarking. In his new role, he will continue that work full-time,” said Carl G. Thor, chairman of the board of directors for APQC and president of JarrettThor International. “We can find no more fitting individual to take the helm than Carla O’Dell, who has been with APQC since near its founding 35 years ago.  With her keen ability to identify trends and shape research, we foresee continued growth, leadership, and innovation for APQC and its members.”

O’Dell noted “It is a great privilege to be asked to lead APQC. Jack’s improvement mission and mindset as well as his tireless energy have had a profound impact on our staff, our APQC members, and our society. Lisa and I are honored and dedicated to continue this important work to help organizations make best practices their practices.”

Grayson founded the American Productivity & Quality Center in 1977 as a means to halt the decline in American productivity, growth, and competitiveness that he identified while serving as the chairman of the U.S. Price Commission under President Nixon. During his tenure, Grayson and APQC co-founded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in collaboration with ASQ, established the International Benchmarking Clearinghouse, developed the Process Classification FrameworkSM, and launched the APQC Education Initiative.

Considered one of the world’s leading experts in knowledge management (KM), O’Dell has served as APQC president since 1994 and in leadership roles since joining in 1978. Under her direction APQC has built the world’s largest body of actionable best practices for KM. She is the co-author of The New Edge in Knowledge: How Knowledge Management is Changing the Way We Do Business (Wiley, 2011), The Executive’s Role in Knowledge Management (APQC, 2004), and If Only We Know What We Know: The Transfer of Internal Knowledge and Best Practice (The Free Press, 1998). O'Dell has a bachelor's degree from Stanford University, a master's from the University of Oregon, and a doctorate from the University of Houston.

Spearheading many departments and initiatives since joining APQC in 1993, Higgins has served as COO since 2000. She led APQC’s work to create Open Standards BenchmarkingSM, which standardized processes and measurements to benchmark.  The project has grown into the world’s largest database of performance analytics, benchmarks, and best practices with more than 7,000 organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston.

About APQC

APQC is a member-based nonprofit and one of the world’s leading proponents of benchmarking, best practices, and knowledge management. Working with more than 500 member organizations worldwide in all industries, APQC provides organizations with the information they need to work smarter, faster, and with greater confidence. Visit www.apqc.org or call +1-713-681-4020 for more information.

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