Reflections on the Legacy of Dick Fordyce

For the last eight years I have had the honor of presenting the R.R. Fordyce award at the Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Group (PMRG) Institute held each fall.  As Dick Fordyce’s daughter, it is a highly emotional evening for me.

Established in 1999, the R.R. Fordyce award is PMRG’s most prestigious award.  It is given to the person who, like my father, exemplifies the principles of excellence, innovation, and integrity in pharmaceutical market research.  Recipients have demonstrated an exemplary level of character, ethics, and leadership in their professional and personal lives.  They have made an outstanding contribution to healthcare market research in their leadership, decision-making, and mentoring activities.

On the evening of the awards dinner each year, many of the people in attendance seek me out in order to share their stories about my father.  I listen with a mix of joy and sadness.  I knew him as a loving, family-focused father who I miss every day even sixteen years after his passing.  But it also warms my heart to hear about the impact he had in the industry that he loved so much.

I have heard stories about how he had a direct impact on people’s choice of market research as a career; how he made C-suite associates see the importance and value of market research; how he mentored others not just by what he said but how he acted; and how so many looked to him for leadership especially during difficult situations.  It is humbling to know that seventeen years after he retired, his legacy lives on.  He made a difference in the industry and in the people he touched during his career.

My father has undoubtedly influenced my inevitably career choice.  After spending ten years in other areas within healthcare, I started my own career in market research after his passing.  I have find similar joy in the industry working with others to make a significant contribution.  He continues to inspire me to learn new things, grow in the profession, and bring integrity to everything that I do.

Looking at the changing healthcare landscape, I can only hope others (and myself included) can continue to follow his example within healthcare market research.

 Katie Fordyce

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