Gary R. Houk, Vice President, OCLC Corporate Information Technology and Business Integration, passed away on Monday, August 18, 2008. He was 56 years old.
"Gary was an exceptional colleague and leader who contributed greatly to OCLC’s success. He will be sorely missed by all of us who had the honor to work beside him for so many years," said Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO.
Gary waged a courageous battle with cancer over the past year. Despite the terrible effects of the disease and the chemotherapy treatments, Gary continued to be actively engaged with OCLC, leading the effort to create a global platform for both operations and development.
Gary joined OCLC in 1974 as programmer/analyst. In the first 18 years of his career, he held various technical and management positions in product development, quality assurance and systems engineering. In 1992, he was named Vice President, OCLC Services, and in 2000, Vice President, Cataloging and Metadata Services.
Since 2004, Gary served as Vice President, Corporate Information Technology and Business Integration. In that capacity, Gary played a key leadership role in the evolution of OCLC from a technological environment based on proprietary systems to a globally networked, Web-based information resource based on open architectural models.
Besides being well known and highly respected in the OCLC community, Gary was also active in local civic and technical groups. At the time of his death, he was serving on the boards of the Dublin, Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the Business Technology Center, Columbus, Ohio.
Earlier, Gary was president of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, 2003-2004, and President of the Dublin A.M. Rotary Club in 1997-98. He also served on the City of Columbus Mayor’s Advisory Council for Volunteer Service and on the Board of Governors of the Dublin Fund.
Gary received a B.S. in Computer Science and a Master’s in Business Administration from The Ohio State University.
We will hold a memorial service for Gary at OCLC in the coming months.
Gary Houk’s obituary is listed in the Columbus Dispatch: http://www.legacy.com/Dispatch/Obituaries.asp?Page=Lifestory&PersonId=115935796.