FAIRFAX, VA–John M. Crawford, President of the Screenprinting & Graphic Imaging Association International and the Digital Printing & Imaging Association, died on Sunday, November 18, of cardiac arrest. He was 62-years-old. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and son, John III, along with the associations he led and the industry he loved.
Since 1971, Crawford was the chief executive officer of SGIA International and later, the Screen Printing Technical Foundation, the Digital Printing & Imaging Association, and the Academy of Screen Printing Technology. He began his career with the association for screen printers in 1969.
During his years at the helm of SGIA International, he improved virtually every statistic important to an association, its members and leaders: membership increased by 664.5%; staff was up by 950%; convention attendance improved by more than 1,460% while exhibit booths were up by almost 5,575%; and the association’s budget grew by some 6,366%.
In his spare time Crawford enriched the field of association management to which he’d dedicated his life, serving on numerous boards, committees, councils and projects – for the American Society of Association Executives and the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, civic and religious organizations, his local community center and citizens organizations.
Recognizing his many contributions and achievements, Crawford was awarded the venerable Key Award from the American Society of Association Executives in 1990. "My desire is to contribute, to leave the world a better place than I found it," he told Association Management magazine. "People group together because we can’t survive without one another. Volunteers are important because their activities help build a better world."
Crawford earned the distinguished Certified Association Executive (CAE) and Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) designations from the American Society of Association Executives.
"Mention his name to almost anyone in the association community and immediate recognition flickers in their eyes as a smile plays across their lips," said SGIA Director of Communications Bruce H. Joffe. "A mentor, advisor, colleague and friend to many in the association management profession, who can forget his distinct drawl and ‘Aw, shucks’ demeanor?"
Yet for a Texan with a natural disposition toward a "bigger is better" outlook, Crawford was surprisingly self-effacing and modest–preferring to credit his successes to the competent staff that surrounded him and the network of more than 100 volunteers he’d recruited each year to guide SGIA International’s Board of Directors and serve on its myriad committees.
His vision and perseverance was evidenced in the challenge to rename the association he led – from the Screen Printing Association International to the Screenprinting & Graphic Imaging Association International – to conform with the unprecedented technological changes and trends the industry which it represents was experiencing.
That many associations in other countries around the world followed his lead and similarly altered the names of their organizations, too, seems a fitting tribute to Crawford’s ability to influence and guide the course of the industry internationally.
John Crawford believed that almost anything is possible. His can-do enthusiasm infused that vision and inspired all who knew him, as well as engendered loyalty in those who worked with him.
A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am on Wednesday, November 21, at the Money & King Funeral Home, 171 West Maple Avenue, Vienna, VA, phone: 703-938-7440.
There will be an additional industry tribute at a later date. Details will be provided soon.
In lieu of flowers, his family requests that contributions be made to the University of Texas Alumni Association or the school’s music department.
For Gifts to the School
Attn. Charles Clark
University of Texas at Austin
School of Music
Austin, TX 78712
The Ex-Student's Association
Attn. Carol Barrett
P.O. Box 7278
Austin, TX 78713
For additional information, please contact Mike Robertson, [email protected]
; phone: 703-359-1303.