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PDMA Crawford Fellow
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Crawford Fellows

The Board of Directors of the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) created the Crawford Fellows in 1991 to honor C. Merle Crawford, founder and charter President of the Association from 1976-1977. He operated the association’s office as a volunteer until 1984. Fellows are selected in recognition of superior and unique contributions that have advanced the state of professionalism in the discipline of new products management through direct contributions of knowledge, service, practice and stature in the field of managing product innovation. This is a highly selective honor, so several years can pass between appointments with a maximum of one Fellow appointed in a single year. The following individuals have been recognized as PDMA’s Crawford Fellows:


Gloria Barczak, Northeastern University

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Gloria BarczakGloria has been a member of PDMA since 1984 when she was in the doctoral program at Syracuse University.

She was Editor of JPIM for 6 years for the period 2013-2018. Prior to her editorship, she was on the Editorial Review Board of JPIM. As Editor, she served on the PDMA Board and the Operations Committee as an ex-officio member as well as the Publications Committee. She has been a Faculty Fellow at all 4 of the PDMA Doctoral Consortiums, chaired the Research Competition twice, and chaired/co-chaired the Research Forum twice. She was on the Academic Committee from 2007-2012 and the Board Nominations Committee in 2016. Gloria was also on the Board of the PDMA Boston Chapter for 2016-2017.

Gloria is currently a member of the PDMA Board, the Academic Committee, and the JPIM Editorial Review Board. She also serves on the IPDMC Scientific Committee, through the relationship between the two organizations. She has published numerous articles in JPIM including a recent, co-authored Virtual Issue on Design Innovation.

Over the years, she has given talks at several PDMA events including the Research Forum, Foundations Workshop, Frontier Dialogue, Thought Leadership Symposium, and two presentations to the Netherlands Chapter.


Christer Karlsson, Copenhagen Business School

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Christer KarlssonProfessor Christer Karlsson has been appointed a Crawford Fellow, based on both his contributions to the academic and professional growth of the fields of innovation and new product development outside of North America, with a resulting impact on the growth of the PDMA in those regions. He created an annual innovation conference, organized through the European Institute for the Advancement of Studies of Management that recently celebrated its 26th meeting. This annual Conference, held in various European Universities, draws between 175 and 275 academic attendees every year. The Journal of Product Innovation Management has been associated with the conference from the its beginning, publishing selected papers from the first meeting and then becoming the ‘official’ journal of the conference from the second meeting onward. This Conference has been a major engine driving PDMA’s and JPIM’s early visibility throughout Europe and was a driving force behind the creation of PDMA chapters in several European countries.


Gina O’Connor, Babson College

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Gina O’ConnorGina has been a member of PDMA since 1992 and has served the Academic and Industry membership in many ways.

As an Academic Scholar, five of her papers have been selected as Best Paper of the Year in JPIM, and a sixth was nominated for that honor. She has served on the Editorial Board of JPIM for many years, and as Associate Editor since 2018. She has served on PDMA’s Academic Affairs committee since 2006. She has co-chaired the Research Forum, the Research Competition and the Dissertation Proposal Competition. She has co-edited two special issues of JPIM, one on Teaching and Learning New Product Development, and the second on Corporate Entrepreneurship. She has participated in the PDMA’s Doctoral Consortium, and served on numerous special topics panels at PDMA’s research forum over the years.

Gina served as a member of PDMA’s Board of Directors from 2003-2005. She served on the Body of Knowledge development team, the Nominations committee, and the Management Transition Task Force. She has offered webinars on Breakthrough Innovation to the membership, given keynote talks in the industry members’ conference based on her research on Breakthrough Innovation in Large Mature companies, given talks at chapter meetings in Western NY, Pittsburgh, Boston, Western Michigan and more, and initiated and advised the PDMA student chapter at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She has initiated the Industry/Academic Research initiative to help leverage the strength of PDMA’s two pronged member community.


Albert L. Page, University of Illinois, Chicago

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Albert PageAl’s served PDMA by wearing various hats for the organization for over a decade of service to the organization. Perhaps his most well-known contributions are in the areas of best practices and success measurement research. Al initiated PDMA’s best practices research stream in 1990, designing the first best practices survey, which is now called the Comparative Performance Assessment Study (CPAS), which has provided PDMA with both brand recognition as well as a knowledge dissemination leadership position. Al’s research developed a number of critical questions on innovation, which have been asked identically in each subsequent study, providing PDMA with a very unique longitudinal understanding of the changes in practice and outcomes in new product development. His studies on measuring success in new product development (with Abbie Griffin) have garnered thousands of citations and have left a deep impact on the field of NPD. For the members of the PDMA family, Al was always a great colleague and mentor.

Watch Al Page Receive the Award


Abbie Griffin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Abbie GriffinAbbie Griffin’s contributions to the PDMA began in 1992, when she held the Vice President of Research position on the Board of Directors. In this position she designed and executed the PDMA’s research projects measuring new product success (Griffin and Page 1993, 1996) and the 1995 PDMA Best Practices (Griffin 1997, 2002; Markham and Griffin 2004), and initiated the Ph.D. Student Dissertation Proposal Competition. She was PDMA’s treasurer from 1994 – 1998. Between 1998 and 2003, she was the Editor of the PDMA’s Journal of Product Innovation Management. From 2013 to 2018, Professor Griffin was the PDMA’s Vice President of Publications. Over her association with PDMA, she has co-edited 3 editions of the PDMA Handbook for New Product Development, 3 PDMA Toolbooks for New Product Development and 3 books in the PDMA Essentials series (all published by Wiley and Sons) and published numerous articles in the Journal of Product Innovation Management, all focused on improving both academic and industry understanding of new product development.

Watch Abbie Griffin Receive the Award


Robert G. Cooper, McGill University

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Bob CooperBob was one of the earliest members of the PDMA and in fact co-hosted the first PDMA Conference held outside the USA: in Montreal in the early 1980s (when he was a professor at McGill University). Bob also had the distinction of writing the first ever article published in the PDMA journal, Journal of Product Innovation Management: Volume 1, Issue 1, “How new product strategies impact on performance”, pp 5-18. Bob went on to publish a total of 18 articles in JPIM and over 130 articles in leading journals on new product management. The Stage-Gate® process, used by hundreds of companies in the USA and globally, to move from idea through to successful launch and beyond is Bob’s brainchild. Such research led to an early understanding of the critical success factors in new-product development, and ultimately to the Chapter 1 in successive PDMA Handbooks, and to his first book, Winning at New Products in 1986. Now in its 5th edition, Winning at New Products continues to be the bible for new product best practices. Bob is three times winner of the prestigious Maurice Holland Award from the Industrial Research Institute, Washington, DC; five times winner of the UK’s award for the best article in the publication R&D Management; and winner of the Hustad Award for Best Paper of the Year in PDMA’s JPIM. He is also the winner of the Lee Rivers Award from the Commercial Development & Marketing Association (USA) for his contribution to member companies from his Stage-Gate® process. His more recent work in the field of Agile Development has resulted new ways to accelerate new products to market, and how to apply agile methods borrowed from the software world to physical products, specifically the Agile-Stage-Gate model. PDMA recognized Bob for his legendary contribution to the field with the Crawford Fellow Award in 2000. His recent articles are available at


Thomas P. Hustad, Indiana University

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Thomas HustadTom was the 49th member to join PDMA in 1976. He was the fourth president of the Product Development & Management Association, served on PDMA’s board for over 30 years, and operated the association’s headquarters as a volunteer from his Indiana University office for 15 years, a time when membership increased from 300 to over 2600 and annual revenue increased from $10,000 to over $1,250,000. He is founder and was long time editor (15 years) of the Journal of Product Innovation Management. Creating JPIM was a high risk project at the time and took four years prior to signing a contract with the publisher which eventually provided PDMA with one of its top sources of net income. His contributions to PDMA include creating its first monograph, publishing subsequent monographs and conference proceedings, chairing its third conference in 1979 (initiating sessions on product design and featuring the first public release of the Carter White House Domestic Policy Review of Innovation in the US), and co-chairing PDMA’s first international conference held in London (1995). He was editor of one segment of PDMA’s first Body of Knowledge, focused on “Co-Development and Alliances.” By reaching out to Christer Karlsson in 1990, Tom set the stage for the ongoing relationship with Christer’s European innovation conference, greatly extending JPIM’s and PDMA’s presence outside North America. He was a member of PDMA’s Outstanding Corporate Innovator selection committee and the PDMA Foundation Board of Directors for many years, contributed to three PDMA Handbooks and many conferences and doctoral consortia, and created the book about PDMA’s history available at


C. Merle Crawford (1924-2012), University of Michigan

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C. Merle CrawfordMerle joined the faculty the University of Michigan as an associate professor of marketing in 1965 after rising to the position of marketing director at Mead Johnson and Company and serving in other roles in that company for a decade. He retired from Michigan in 1992, taking his final year as a sabbatical leave. The combination of work in industry and in academe gave him a unique and valuable perspective that ultimately led him to become the primary force in the creation of The Product Development and Management Association in 1976. Simply put, Merle felt that academic researchers could do their best work when addressing challenges faced by leading managers, and that those leading managers would benefit from dialogue with leading academics. Merle served PDMA in many capacities, beginning as its charter president for two years (1977 and 1978) while doubling in the role of secretary treasurer for both years, collecting dues and publishing occasional newsletters. He operated the association from his university office as a volunteer from PDMA’s founding until 1984 and also served in many other capacities including VP research (1984 and 1985), VP publications (1989), and as a director in seven years of the eight years that followed (1987-88 and 1990-94). During this time Merle was joined by many others, many of whom he enlisted, to help PDMA develop into the World’s leading association of new product development professionals with membership exceeding 1700 by the end of his final term as a director. He also worked to create the first regularly scheduled executive development program in new products management offered by a US university. Merle’s research documented actual new product failure rates following launch in 1979, helping to demolish the resilient myth that “most new products fail.” He refined his original concept of the Product Innovation Charter through discussions with program participants and colleagues and he created concise templates for product concept statements and his original depiction of the product protocol. These emerged as fully defined tools in his pioneering textbook that became a foundation of professional education in our profession, appealing to both managers and students alike, providing foundation skills for today’s professionals. Another of his enduring gifts to our profession was his development of a comprehensive glossary of new product terms, first published in the 3rd edition of his book and continuing as the foundation for the glossary long presented in three languages on PDMA’s website.

Merle was skilled in building bridges to connect new products professionals who may have come to the profession from diverse backgrounds. In the first edition of this book’s introduction he wrote the following, “… the new products process is both an art and a science. That process demands creativity and emotional commitment, but it also allows and rewards thorough and sophisticated analysis. Both aspects of the new products process are emphasized here.” Those words were powerful and framed a foundation for the growth our profession enjoys today. Perhaps one thing would have disappointed him. He defined new products inclusively, including both tangible goods and intangible services. Today, common usage separates these forms, with the word product restricted to tangible goods, separate from services. He might smile, though, in the irony that most of us realize that there are very few tangible products that lack a significant intangible service component (including customer support), and intangible services that lack any sort of tangible element, whether taking the form of a physical location, accessible website, or supportive elements of form and technology that help to frame their successful delivery.

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