HOUSTON — APQC, the benchmarking and best practices authority located on The Houstonian campus, announces that Lisa Higgins, previously President & COO, has been elevated to the role of CEO & President. Dr. Carla O’Dell remains as Chairman of the Board and will continue APQC’s legacy of innovation as part of her ongoing research role.

APQC lost its founder, Jack Grayson, in 2017 at age 93, but he left a succession plan. Grayson passed APQC’s CEO role to O’Dell in 2012, and O’Dell to Higgins now.

“Jack Grayson was my mentor for more than 25 years, but nothing could prepare me for stepping into the position he held. My hope is to continue Jack’s legacy with the same level of enthusiasm and passion,” Higgins said in a statement. “My commitment is to ensure that the members we serve and the employees who come to APQC will know Jack, why he built the Center, and its purpose. I am humbled at the thought of becoming the third CEO for APQC in our 40 year history, and I will champion our ‘Grayson Guarantee’ to change the world for another 40 years and beyond.”

Higgins was appointed president in 2012, COO in 2000, and a leader of many departments and strategic initiatives since joining APQC in 1993. She ran APQC’s Benchmarking Services and Custom Solutions Group and with O’Dell launched APQC’s Open Standards Benchmarking, a world-renowned, open source database based on APQC’s Process Classification Framework taxonomy.

“Lisa will be an outstanding CEO,” says APQC Board Member Robert F. Corrigan, Jr., senior vice president, general counsel & corporate secretary, Baylor College of Medicine. “I’ve worked with Lisa and APQC since the early 1990s and can’t think of anybody more qualified. She has essentially spent the last 20 years preparing for this role and developed an innate, strong understanding of the institution of APQC and its philosophy and culture.”

O’Dell Delves into the Next Frontier of Work

As chairman, O’Dell will represent and serve the board of directors in its governance and oversight responsibilities. As a visionary leader, she will continue to play a strong role in APQC’s game-changing research.

“My hope is to inspire the next generation of ideas, research, and people so that the mission Jack started stays relevant and exciting,” O’Dell said. “I’ll be working closely with our team, members, and thought leaders to support today’s needs while thinking two steps ahead. APQC has always researched and embraced advances that make us more productive and enrich our work life.”

Considered one of the world’s leading experts in using knowledge to drive productivity and competitiveness, O’Dell – often dubbed “a practical visionary” – established APQC as the knowledge management (KM) leader by launching APQC’s first KM research and conference in 1995 and leading APQC to produce the largest body of KM knowledge. An active speaker and author, O’Dell served as APQC CEO from 2012 to 2017, president from 1994 to 2012, and in leadership roles since 1978.

“Carla O'Dell has long been a thought leader in knowledge management and process models,” says APQC Board Member Thomas H. Davenport, distinguished professor of IT and management at Babson College and research fellow, MIT Center for Digital Business. “I look forward to hearing what new fields that she and APQC will conquer.”

For more information, visit www.apqc.org.