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June 2014 E-News
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»In This Issue

Message from the Chair

Message from the CEO

Upcoming Member Events

YLOK Completes Class XIV

Thank You LOK Donors!

Distinguished Leadership Award Nominations Sought

LOK Annual Membership Campaign

Golden Bull Tradition

Announcements and Deadlines

Easy Way to Give LOK $25,000

Leaders on the Move

Member Directory Updates

»Message From the Chair

Joe Moran III, LOK Chair Having the privilege of chairing the Leadership Oklahoma Board was such an honor, and I want to thank you for your confidence in me. It has been wonderful getting better acquainted with the board members, staff, and the graduates. I was encouraged by meeting the members of LOK Class XXVII and YLOK Class XIV because I know that LOK is still strong and able to recruit such wonderful and talented applicants. The dedicated leaders of our state are plentiful and there is a growing pool of future leaders, as evidenced by the energetic and smart members of this year’s YLOK class. I know that LOK’s best years are ahead!

To Bruce Benbrook, our incoming Board Chair for 2014-15, you are in for an unforgettable experience and you are the right leader to take over. I have enjoyed working with you and value our friendship. I know that I am turning over to you an organization that is in great shape, and that is predominantly due to our phenomenal CEO, Ann Ackerman. Ann, you were recognized this year as one of Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEOs by The Journal Record. That is not news to all of us, and we are glad that you were publically acknowledged for your dedication and direction that you give to LOK. Allyson Carson, our Membership Director, has been a creative force by delivering such high quality events, such as the Fall Forum and our Excellence in Leadership Gala. They were flawless, engaging and thoroughly enjoyed by all of us.  I appreciate your enthusiasm, energy and vision. Lee Anne Stone, as I write, is on her way to Stillwater with this year’s LOK class. Lee Anne, you looked relaxed, poised, and in-control, all the while having that “Lee Anne smile” that makes everyone feel welcome. Your program is perfectly targeted to the youth leadership of Oklahoma, and they have an experience that they will never forget. I was so glad that you were a member of Class XXVII. Our newest staff member, Sheri Penner, our Business Manager, brought with her an ever expanding skill set, so much so that we have elevated her position and broadened her job description to better fit her abilities. Sheri, you have been an awesome addition to the staff, and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Leadership Oklahoma has an extraordinary level of volunteerism, unlike any other organization that I have encountered. That starts with our committed Executive Committee. We are fortunate to have two members returning back next year in their current role, Sam Combs III (VII) as Development Chair and Neil Schemmer (XIV) as Finance Chair. Sam, you re-wrote the record book with your fundraising abilities, which translated to financial stability and sustainability for LOK. Neil, your monthly leadership combing through financials assured that we were a transparent organization and a good steward of the funds we receive from our generous donors. 

Michele Campbell (XXIII), the Adult Program Chair, had a huge job overseeing and attending the Class XXVII sessions across the state. Michele, your organizational skills and calming presence made for a seamless class experience, so thank you for your tremendous gift of time and talent. I am grateful for all of the communities and their committees who have hosted class sessions.  It would be impossible for us to provide an excellent educational opportunity, without their continued support. Katie Kimberling (XXIII), Youth Program Chair, your exuberance and energy made you the perfect choice for this job. It was great seeing you in action at the YLOK orientation, as well as at the Tulsa session. You looked like you were having as much fun as the students, and you deserve it. 

To my fellow XXI classmates, Karen Wicker, Marketing Chair, and Russ Harrison, Jr., Membership Chair, it was great working with you this year. Karen, thank you for making us think strategically and looking forward to the future, by guiding us through the Charting Impact process. Russ, the successful Fall Forum and Gala are a tribute to your genuine affinity for LOK. The member events in Altus focused on water and agriculture, and at DaySpring Villa in Sand Springs, about human trafficking, kept us informed about difficult issues that Oklahoma faces. Congratulations Russ on being selected as Board Chair-Elect for the upcoming year! 

To the rest of the Executive Committee, Karen S. Cunningham (XXVI),  Robyn Elliott-Scribner (XVIII), Albert Johnson, Jr. (XXII), Scott Jones (XIII), Robin Roberts Krieger (XXIV), Warren Langford (XXIII), Xavier Neira (XXV), and Warren Ross (XXIII), I appreciate you stepping up and asking the probing questions and giving thoughtful analysis which led us forward. Thanks also to the rest of the Directors and Advisory Board members, who graciously give of themselves, and assure that we are an accountable and responsible organization. Many of you have served LOK in several capacities for many years; thank you for your service. 

Also, to Shannon Rich (XXI), thank you and the Oklahoma Heritage Association for your hospitality as our venue for our board meetings. Being in a museum that houses tributes to Oklahoma’s ground-breaking leaders inspired us to strive to accomplish all that we could to educate the future leaders of Oklahoma.

Finally, thanks to Toney Strickland (XVI), Immediate Past Chair and Nominating Committee Chair for handing me such a well-run organization. I learned a great deal while watching your calm and thoughtful demeanor, which translated to the smooth running operation that I inherited. Thanks also to all of the past Board Chairs; you have chartered our path to greatness and I fully appreciate your contributions and continued support. Everyone knows that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and LOK is not an overnight success. It took the vision and hard work of yourselves and your fellow board members to create and maintain such a prestigious organization.

While I am riding off into the sunset as Board Chair, I look forward to remaining active and involved with LOK. It was a profound, life-changing experience that I treasure. The impact on my life was because of all of you working together to make LOK such a remarkable organization, so thank you for making this experience so extraordinary.

Many Thanks!
Joe Moran III
2013-2014 LOK Board Chair

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»Message From the CEO

Ann Ackerman, LOK CEOLOK’s 27th year has been a memorable one.  Under the leadership of our Board Chair Joe Moran III and our other officers and directors, we have accomplished a lot to further our mission of creating a statewide network inspired to move Oklahoma forward.  It has been a busy, successful, and fun year.  Listed below are a few of the highlights from the 2013 – 2014 year.  


  • Youth Summit for all YLOK graduates
  • LOK Class XXVII traveled the state and graduated 51 Leaders
  • 2013 Fall Forum, "The State of Trust," at Skirvin Hilton Hotel (Oklahoma City), featuring Greg Link, author of Smart Trust, Co-founder/Sr. Vice President of the Covey Leadership Center
  • Rhonda Hooper (Class XXI) was honored with the 2013 Distinguished Leadership Award
  • Helping Oklahoma Contest recognized Mark Williams (Class XXV) for service to the Central & Western Oklahoma American Red Cross by awarding $2,500 in his name to them
  • Excellence in Leadership Gala - Award winners were: Statewide Community - The Chickasaw Nation; Business Leadership - First National Bank of Miami; Distinguished Graduate - Stan Clark (Class IX); Lifetime Achievement - George Nigh
  • Membership Activities held across the state: "Guthrie, Oklahoma’s Own National Treasure", “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” in Oklahoma City, "Human Trafficking: Combat through Prevention" in Sand Springs, and "Hey Altus…Wat-er You Doing With Water?"
  • Sponsored "Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up" with Paul Schmitz, CEO of Public Allies, part of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits National Speaker Series
  • LOK Lawn Party at the home of Dewey (Class II) and Victoria Bartlett in Tulsa
  • 51 Statewide Youth participated in YLOK Class XIV
Looking ahead, the future for Leadership Oklahoma is bright.  We have approximately 1,380 graduates, all sharing a common experience, and a common vision.  The experience of Leadership Oklahoma brings awareness, and with awareness comes a responsibility to act.  I am confident you will help us realize the vision of Leadership Oklahoma: “Oklahoma leaders making Oklahoma the leader.”

Thank you.

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»Upcoming Member Events

Today is the last day to RSVP! LOK will be kicking off summer on June 20th with the LOK Lawn Party. The party will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the home of Tulsa Mayor Dewey (Class II) and Victoria Bartlett.

LOK members and their guest can enjoy a fun-filled evening catching up with other class members and making new connections. A Fajita bar with all the fixings will be served. There is no cost to attend the event, but we do ask that members register here so there will be plenty of food and drink for everyone. The deadline to register for this event is June 13, 2014.

LOK Fall Forum

It's time to "Save the Date" for a great educational opportunity. With the election cycle in full swing, this year’s forum will be about the election process, examination of the primary election races, the influence of PAC’s, and more! The 2014 LOK Fall Forum will be held October 7 at the Devon Tower on the 50th floor. The program will be from 1:00 p.m. until the close of the auction at 9:00 p.m. The event is being chaired by Mark Williams (Class XXV). 

Online registration will be open later this summer. Interested in helping plan the Fall Forum or donate items for the live/silent auction? Email Allyson Carson.

For those wishing to spend the night, a special room rate has been arranged with the Colcord Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. LOK members can contact the Colcord at 405.601.4300 for a group rate of $130 until September 8. Just mention LOK  when reserving your overnight stay for the Fall Forum.

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»YLOK Completes Class XIV

Youth Leadership Oklahoma has just finished another exciting and rewarding class experience. The YLOK Class XIV program kicked off Sunday, June 8th, with 51 of the state’s top incoming high school seniors. The week-long journey took them to Oklahoma City, Norman, Lawton, Sulphur, Tulsa, Stillwater and Enid where they learned lessons about leadership, trust, problem solving, communication, cooperation, but most importantly, “why Oklahoma is such a great place to live and work.”

Along the way, the class visited the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, toured Eskimo Joe’s Printing Press in Stillwater, and spent time at the Sarkeys Foundation in Norman where they learned about philanthropy. They also toured the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, and Advance Pierre Foods in Enid. 

The class had the opportunity to spend time at Ft. Sill where they participated in physical training with Drill Sergeants and experienced simulated warfare situations in the Joint Fires and Effects Training System Facility. They also had a chance to bond and learn about their leadership styles during a ropes course at The University of Oklahoma and a You Zoo presentation. They learned about practicing medicine in rural Oklahoma and even got to perform surgery…on a pumpkin! Class XIV visited Sandridge to learn about the energy industry.  They also learned about entrepreneurism from Stan Clark of Eskimos Joe’s and Elliot Nelson of the McNellie’s Group. 

The week concluded at the State Capitol with a mock legislative session in the House Chamber. Lastly, a graduation luncheon was held at the Governor’s Pavilion with key note speaker, former Governor George Nigh.  What a great group of students we had participating this year who will for sure be making an impact on Oklahoma!

If you would like to read more details about their adventures during the week please read the Youth Leadership Oklahoma blog at The website was written by Andy Stewart (YLOK Class XI), our Americorps member for the summer.  Also, check out the Leadership Oklahoma website next week to see more photos of the YLOK Class XIV program.

Andy is a graduate of YLOK Class XI, from Duncan and a student at the University of Oklahoma.  Thanks go to Katie Kimberling (Class XXIII), YLOK Committee Chair, for her hard work with the Youth Council this year, as well as joining the class during its travel.  Thanks also goes to Xavier Neira (Class XXV), YLOK Committee Chair-Elect, who attended several sessions, and Sandra Park (Class XXVII) who was a big help as chaperone. 

Lee Anne Stone
Director, Youth Leadership

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»Thank You LOK Donors!

Thank you to all of our donors and supporters!!!!   Through your generosity, LOK has had the resources this year to continue the quality of our programs and reach new heights. Our annual end-of-the-year sustainability campaign to LOK members was a tremendous success. In addition, we are fortunate to have strong corporate, community and foundation support.

While we celebrate our past donors, we are actively seeking others to join the companies, foundations, and individuals below with three-year pledges. Please contact the LOK office if you are interested in being a multi-year donor.

LOK could not fulfill its mission of “Oklahoma Leaders Making Oklahoma the Leader” without these supporters. Thank you to all of LOK’s donors, sponsors, and supporters.

Sam Combs III

Multi-Year Donor Commitments

Premier Level

The Chickasaw Nation and Continental Resources

Director Level

Mary K. Chapman Trust
Harrison Gypsum
MidFirst Bank
Joe Moran III
OGE Energy Corporation Foundation
The Journal Record

Benefactor's Level

Bank SNB
Bill Burgess, Jr.
Groendyke Transport
First American Bank
Public Service Company of Oklahoma
Sonic, America's Drive-In
Western Farmers Electric Cooperative

Other multi-year sponsors are:

Clark & Wanda Bass Family Foundation
Dillingham Foundation
First National Bank & Trust – Okmulgee
McGowan Foundation
Puterbaugh Foundation
Saxum Strategic Communications, LLC.

Annual Donors:

Premier Level

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and Russ Harrison, Jr. and Natalie Shirley

Other annual donors giving significant support include:
American Fidelity Foundation
Anchor Stone Company
ARL BIO Pharma, Inc.
Gary Armbruster
Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa
Arvest Bank
Bank of Oklahoma
Bank of Oklahoma Foundation
Bank of the Panhandle
Howard & Billie Barnett, Jr.
BlueCross BlueShield of Oklahoma
Dan Boren
BP America, Inc.
G.T. Bynum
Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Central Liquor
Charles Oppenheim
Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation Businesses
Chesapeake Energy Corporation
City National Bank and Trust Company
City of Guymon
Sam & Rita Combs
Phillip Cook
Cotton Electric Coop
Cox Communications
CRI Feeders
Crossland Construction Company
Devon Energy Corporation
Exchange Bank and Trust
factor 110
First National Bank & Trust Company of Miami
Jerry Franklin
Bob Funk & Kim Garrett
Giant Partners
Girls Gone Wine
Bob Gragg
Hall Estil Attorneys At Law
Fred Harlan
Joseph Harroz
Mike Hembree
Hillcrest Medical Center
Hitch Enterprises, Inc.
Ann C. Holmes
Anne Holzberlein
Hunzicker Brothers, Inc.
IBC Bank
Idabel Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Inc.
Jasmine Moran Children's Museum
Krista Jones
Jordan Advertising
Julia D. Chew Insurance Agency, Inc.
Katie Kimberling
Brad Krieger
Robin Roberts Krieger
Lawton/Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce
Leadership Woodward Alumni
Lippert Media, Inc.
Manhattan Construction Company
Jim & Suzanne McAuley
McCasland Foundation
McCurtain Co. Tourism Authority
Mercy Health System of Oklahoma
Meridian Technology Center
Vicki Miles-LaGrange
Joe Moran III
Cristy Morrison
Deidre Myers
Naifeh's Fine Jewelry
OGE Energy Corporation
Oklahoma Blood Institute
Oklahoma Department of Commerce
Oklahoma Energy Resources Board
Oklahoma History Center
Oklahoma State University
OSU Foundation
OSU-Alumni Center
OSU-Sports Information
Jon Patton
Jamie Payne
Peled-Mudgett Trust
Phillips 66
Tom and Lisa Price Charitable Foundation
Pioneer Telephone Cooperative
Ponca City Main Street
Steve Potts
Professional Basketball Club, LLC
Public Service Company of Oklahoma
Don Roberts
Tim Rodriguez
Rogers State University Foundation
Sarkeys Foundation
Kimbra Scott
Seaboard Farms
Seminole State College
Seminole Tourism Council
T.W. Shannon
Stan Clark Companies
The State Chamber of Oklahoma
The Stock Exchange Bank
Clayton & Marnie Taylor
Sandra Trudgeon
University of Central Oklahoma
Visit Stillwater
Karen Waddell
Walton Family Foundation, Inc.
Joseph Weaver
The Williams Foundation
Wymer Brownlee

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»Distinguished Leadership Award Nominations Sought

Now is the time to nominate an LOK member for the Distinguished Leadership Award. Each year we are privileged to recognize an individual that has made significant contributions to Leadership Oklahoma. We honor them for their efforts to promote and support the vision of LOK, their involvement and participation with LOK, and finally, the contribution of their talents to LOK. Click here to download a nominating form.

Past Distinguished Leadership Award recipients are:

2013 - Ronda Hooper, Class XXI
2012 - Michelle Finch-Walker, Class XV
2011 - Cristy Morrison, Class XV
2010 - Mary Mélon, Class XVI
2009 - Howard Barnett, Class II
2008 - Steve Brown, Class VIII
2003 - Brad Henry*, Class IX
2002 - Jess Nelson*, Class X
2001 - Lindy Ritz*, Class I
2000 - Larry Brummett*, Class I
1999 - Drew Edmondson*, Class IV
1997 - Bob James, Class IV
1995 - Jack Herron, Class II
1994 - Hal Pennington, Class I
1993 - Ann Ackerman, Class I
1992 - Nance Diamond, Class I
1991 - Ron Yordi, Class I
1989 - Clayton Taylor, Class III

As a reminder, the nominee must be a LOK dues-paying member who has demonstrated exemplary service to Leadership Oklahoma. The deadline for nominations is July 25, 2014 by 5:00 p.m. in the LOK office. Email the completed form to or mail it to 5500 N. Western Ave., Ste. 142, Oklahoma City, OK 73118.

* The Distinguished Leadership Award honoree was also the LOK Excellence in Leadership Distinguished Graduate Honoree. No awards were given in 2004-2007. Starting with 2008, Distinguished Leadership Award honorees were selected based on service to Leadership Oklahoma.

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»LOK Annual Membership Campaign

You should have received information in the mail encouraging you to renew your LOK membership for the 2014-2015 year.  Annual dues renewals are $150 and out-of-state members pay $25. Lifetime memberships are available for $2,500 (paid in whole or quarterly for 1 or 2 years).  Your membership dues provide the support needed to provide the Youth LOK program, quality educational events for LOK members, and ensures the same "once-in-a-lifetime" experience for future classes.  Click here to pay dues by PayPal or mail a check/credit card information (Visa or MC) to the LOK office at 5500 N. Western, Ste. 142, Oklahoma City, OK  73118. You are also welcome to call the office at 405.848.0001 to renew your membership by phone.

For those who are interested, LOK is continuing the three-payment options to become a lifetime member. Option 1: one-time payment of $2,500. Option 2: four quarterly payments of $625 (beginning July 1, 2014). Option 3: eight quarterly payments of $312.50 (beginning July 1, 2014). Class I has proven it’s never too late to be a lifetime member; three of them paid for lifetime memberships last year!

Also included in the mailing is your current information LOK has on file.  Please review the profile sheet to ensure the information is up-to-date.  You can make changes on the form and mail it in…OR log into the website and make changes directly into the database.  Stay actively involved by joining one or more of the many LOK committees. See those committees here. Feel free to sign up for one while you are looking them over!

NEW to LOK members!  Every year, the adult program provides a rare opportunity to learn about issues affecting Oklahomans.  The ability to have open dialogue with experts in the field and meet others who share a similar interest in that area offers a unique learning experience.  It has fueled or rekindled passions through the diverse topics covered each month.  LOK wants to facilitate connecting its members with similar passions to network with each other and continue to make a difference in our state.  On the bottom back page of the profile mailed to you is the list of topics you can check as an interest.  The LOK's member community will allow you to communicate with other LOK members who share your interests.

Click here to update your contact information, join committees, and connect with LOK members.  As a reminder, your login is your email address (unless you have logged in and changed it).  If you have trouble, don’t hesitate to call or email the LOK office.

If you would like to update your photo, email it to Allyson (required format: jpeg file, 600 x 725 pixels at 300 dpi). Changes need to be made no later than June 30th to be included in the 2014-2015 LOK Annual Report and Membership Directory.

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»Golden Bull Tradition

The LOK Golden Bull Award is is a tradition that we want to continue! The artist who has graciously created the golden bull for many years is no longer able to continue its production. LOK has the molds for this ceramic sculpture and would love to find another person who can create this one-of-a-kind award. If you can help LOK with the Golden Bull Award or know someone with that talent, please contact the LOK office.

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»Announcements and Upcoming Events


June 13, 2014
 Deadline: Register for LOK Lawn Party
June 30, 2014
 Deadline: Submit New Photograph for LOK Membership Directory
July 25, 2014
 Deadline: Nominations for Distinguished Leadership Award due in LOK Office
September 8, 2014
 Deadline: Reserve Hotel Room at Colcord Hotel for Fall Forum

Upcoming Events

June 20, 2014
LOK Lawn Party at Mayor Dewey and Victoria Bartlett's home, Tulsa 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
August 17, 2014
Class XXVIII Orientation, Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma City 2:30-4:30 p.m.
October 7, 2014
LOK Fall Forum, Devon Tower, 50th floor, Oklahoma City 1:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
November 2-3, 2014
Association of Leadership Professionals Central Plains Regional Conference, The Skirvin Hotel, Oklahoma City (detailed program information coming soon)
December 5, 2014
LOK Holiday Party, Oklahoma City (Location TBA) 6:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
February 28, 2015
Excellence in Leadership Gala, Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

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»Easy Way to Give LOK $25,000

Tom Price (Class XV) is moving to Colorado to be near his daughter and her family and as a result is selling his wonderful home in Arcadia.  He is offering $25,000 to LOK if we refer the ultimate buyer to their realtor, Lark Dale with Paradigm.  Her contact information and information on the house can be found here.  Take a moment to refer a potential buyer (make sure they mention LOK sent them!) and earn LOK $25,000!

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»Leaders on the Move

Anne Caine (Class XXIII) was selected as Oklahoma Superintendent of the Year by the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators. Shawn Hime (Class XXIV) was selected as Superintendent of the Year for District 3 by the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators. Gay Washington (Class XXVII) was selected as Assistant Superintendent of the Year for District 4 by the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators. She was also chosen as Oklahoma Assistant Superintendent of the Year. Greg Winters (Class VII) was selected as Superintendent of the Year for District 20 by the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators. He was also selected as Superintendent of the Year by the Oklahoma School Public Relations Association.

Lance Benham (Class V) has been elected chairman of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum board of directors.

Betsy Brunsteter (Class XXIV) has received the Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award from the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women.

Ron Dyer (Class XIX) was selected as Assistant Superintendent of the Year for District 20 by the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators.

Anil Gollahalli (Class XXIII) was inducted into the Distinguished Graduate Society of the University of Oklahoma College of Engineering.

Sandra Park (Class XXVII) has been chosen as the Interim Superintendent for Blackwell Schools.

Ted Strueli (Class XXIV) was elected as a board member for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Oklahoma.

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»Member Directory Updates

LOK members are in the process of reviewing their graduate member profiles and making updates. Several have been submitted by mail. To be sure you receive the most current information, please login to the database and search for the member you wish to contact.

All updates will be published in the 2014-2015 LOK Annual Report and Membership Directory which will be sent to members in August 2014.
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