Hall of Fame! State Representative Crawford honored at mParks ceremony

CANTON, MI - October 5, 2015: State Representative Kathy Crawford (R-38th District) is a Hall of Famer!

The freshman representative, who is well-known as a pioneer and trailblazer of programs and services for older adults, is one of eight new inductees into the 2015 mParks Hall of Fame.

Crawford was honored at the Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony, hosted by mParks (formerly the Michigan Recreation and Park Association), at the Summit on the Park in Canton Township last Thursday.

“I am truly humbled by this incredible honor,” said Crawford, whose district includes Novi, Novi Township, South Lyon, Lyon Township, Walled Lake and the Oakland County portion of the city of Northville. “So many thanks must go to all my friends and associates at mParks. It was night that I will never forget.”

Crawford is a first-term State Representative, after serving her native city of Novi for the past seven years as an Oakland County Commissioner and Novi City Council Members.

But Crawford’s political career evolved after more than 30 years of public service as a recreational professional and leader in the field of seniors and aging.

Crawford’s public service began in Oakland County, where she directed programming for more than 30 senior centers through the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency, an organization that also employed Crawford to manage and train staff to provide a variety of programs for low-income families in Oakland County.

Crawford, well-known as a joyful, caring, and passionate public servant, then served as Novi’s first Senior Citizen Director, where she created an inclusive, comprehensive program for older adults that featured transportation, social services, fitness opportunities, special events, performing groups, and more. While in Novi, Crawford conceptualized, developed, planned and implemented the community’s first senior center.

The facility was the first city-sponsored, affordable housing for older adults.

Over the years, Crawford, has planned park and recreation programming on local, state, and national levels. She was one of the first Senior Directors to become certified in the state of Michigan.

A champion for seniors and services for the aging, she has served on numerous community organizations and committees; was involved in the Senior Committee of mParks; was a frequent guest speaker at workshops and conferences; and was appointed to attend aWhite House Conference on Aging.

Crawford, who is a dynamic professional speaker and a programming master, retired from the City of Novi in 2004 to start her own business. She authored several resources for senior center directors, and released a travel memoir, Two Broads Abroad.

She began her political career serving on the Novi City Council in 2007, and in 2010 was elected to the Oakland County Commission, where she served until her 2014 election to the Michigan House of Representatives. As a legislator, Kathy continues to advocate for parks, recreation, and senior services. She serves on numerous committees, including Health Policy and Families, Children and Seniors.

Crawford has continued her advocacy on behalf of the field as a friend to mParks and the recreation profession. Earlier this year, she co-hosted a luncheon that connected parks & recreation professionals with state legislators, designed to inform senators and representatives of the benefits of parks and recreation.

An honorary lifetime member of Optimist International, Crawford has been honored with the City of Novi’s Outstanding Citizen and Distinguished Service Awards; the State of Michigan Minutemen Award; the Michigan Governor’s Award; Rotary Foundation’s Paul Harris Fellow Award; the Optimist Club’s Honor Club Citation Award; the mParks Program Leadership And Innovative Programming Awards; was named Business and Professional Woman of the Year; and is an honoree on the City of Novi’s Walk of Fame.

The Novi Parks and Recreation Foundation’s Volunteer Award was named after Kathy and her husband Hugh Crawford. It became an annual award in 2006.

Crawford’s introduction into the Hall of Fame was highlighted by three very touching speeches from:
• Jeff Muck, Novi’s Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services
• Carla Scruggs, Saline’s Parks and Recreation Director and mParks’ Awards Committee Chair
• Marilyn Troshak, Business Manager at Miracle Midwest, which supplies outdoor recreation products and services; and former Deputy Director for Novi Parks and Recreation

Kathy and Hugh Crawford have been married for 51 years. They have three grown children, Doug, Amy and Kelly; and four grandchildren, Alexis, Devin, Mya and Amina. Kathy and Hugh were baptized and married at the Novi Methodist Church, now located on Beck just south of 10 Mile Road.