Teresa V. Cryan

Past Awards

George E. Kimball Medal: Awardee(s)
2013 - Awardee(s)

Teresa V. (Terry) Cryan is the current Director of Meetings for the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).  She has announced her retirement from this position, effective the end of 2013.  This will mark the end of a period of dedicated and highly effective service to INFORMS and the profession. 

Terry received the Bachelor of Arts in United States history from Simmons College. Her initial professional responsibilities involved public relations writing for hospitals, then freelance editorial work for publications.  This led into professional society publishing, then to the management of professional societies.  For a time, she and her husband Peter operated a business providing management services for professional societies.  She also taught graduate courses in marketing at Lesley University for eight years. 

Terry Cryan joined INFORMS on February 21, 2000, at a critical juncture for INFORMS meetings.  The INFORMS Board of Directors had adopted a strategy to have one annual meeting of academics along with a new spring meeting focused on operations research practice. Terry’s assignment was to develop this new meeting.  While academic conferences fill the agenda with contributions by attendees, the content of this new conference would have to be designed to attract the attendees.  Terry’s initial work on this project made such an impact on the Institute that in July of the same year she became acting Director of Meetings and in October, Director of Meetings. 

Terry’s practice meeting, INFORMS’ first, was held in La Jolla, CA in the spring of 2001.  The atmosphere was electric, with professionals engaged in applying the tools and principles of operations research and enjoying a meeting focused on their needs.  This conference, which is now the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research, continues to thrive: for example, over just the past three years paid attendance has more than doubled. 

The Annual Meeting in the fall of 2001 in Miami Beach had 46 tracks and 1,974 abstracts. Under Terry’s leadership over the last twelve years this meeting has grown to 72 tracks and 3,970 abstracts for 2013. Almost 40,000 presentations have been made during this period, and Annual Meeting attendances now routinely exceed 4,400. 

Terry has been instrumental in developing two additional series of meetings. One series is international, starting with her development of the first stand-alone INFORMS International meeting in 2001. The other consists of topical meetings in a biennial pattern, of which the first was the 2011 Healthcare Conference. Big Data will join the topical series next. 

When in 2010 the then executive director resigned, INFORMS again called upon Terry Cryan for extraordinary leadership. She agreed to serve as Interim Executive Director until a new executive director could be recruited, and to do so in addition to her responsibilities as Director of Meetings. She did an outstanding job, maintaining a steady hand on the reins of the organization so that operations continued with no ill effects. In addition to that, she served as an important member of the search committee that in 2011 successfully recruited the next executive director.

For her contributions to the community of operations research and the management sciences, and for her distinguished service to INFORMS, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences expresses its sincere appreciation by awarding the 2013 George E. Kimball Medal to Terry Cryan.