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October 2014 E-News
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»In This Issue

Message from the Chair

Message from the CEO

Helping Oklahoma Contest

Class XXVIII Visits Durant

YLOK Accepting Applications
for Class XV

ALP Regional Conference Comes to Oklahoma City

Fall Forum Highlights

Upcoming Member Events

Announcements and Deadlines

Leaders on the Move

In Memory: Liz Lewis, Class III

Class Reunion Notices


Member Directory Updates


»Message from the Chair

Bruce Benbrook, LOK ChairIt has been another great month for Leadership Oklahoma. Thanks to Mark Williams and his committee for an outstanding Fall Forum which was held at the Devon Tower in Oklahoma City. It was a tremendous opportunity for over 250 LOK members to get together and renew friendships as well as hear from candidates for State Superintendent, Congress and the U.S. Senate. In addition, we had two very impressive panels “Show Me The Money” and “What Drives Voters To The Polls.” We had an annual membership meeting in conjunction with the forum as well. All in all, it was a great day in every respect.

Class XXVIII had a very successful first session in Durant focusing on tribal government and water. Many thanks to the Durant area LOK alumni for your time and effort organizing a very successful session for the Class. Class XXVIII is looking forward to their next session on Military Issues in Lawton.

Nominations are now being received for our “Helping Oklahoma” contest. I hope that you will find someone you know that does outstanding volunteer work for a non-profit in our state and nominate them for this special award. The details can be found at

I want to offer my sincere congratulations to Sam Combs III on receiving the Leadership Oklahoma “Distinguished Leadership Award”. Sam has devoted over 20 years to LOK, assisting the organization in numerous ways including serving as Board Chair, and most recently, the Development Committee Chair for the past three years. Thank you, Sam, for all you have done and are continuing to do to make LOK the best it can be.

There are several other events coming up in the near future. I encourage you to look at the LOK calendar and take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about our great state.

As always, a big thank you to all who have volunteered their time, effort and financial support to help Leadership Oklahoma make a positive impact on our state.


Bruce Benbrook, (Class XIII)
2014-2015 LOK Chair

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»Message From the CEO

Ann Ackerman, LOK CEO Does it sound interesting to work with 1,381 LOK members? To ensure that LOK keeps accurate, transparent records of all its financial transactions? To keep LOK members connected through our website, social media and membership database? That is what the LOK Business Manager does.

Sheri Penner has resigned to take a position with Comtec Electronics Systems. Sheri will be missed, but this is an exciting opportunity that will allow her to be closer to home and to spend more time with family. Her last day is today, October 15.

We need your help to identify the perfect person to fill this important position. To view a job description, click here, and feel free to share it with others. We are looking for someone with excellent communication skills, ability to work with people, experience in recording of all financial transactions, maintenance of official accounting records, and preparation of financial statements and reports for LOK. The Business Manager is also the person responsible for coordinating social media and information management on the website and electronic membership database as well as producing the LOK E-News. If you know the perfect person, please ask them to send a resume and cover letter to as soon as possible. With your help, we will identify someone to fill the big hole that Sheri is leaving behind.

Best wishes to Sheri and thanks to you in advance for helping us identify a new business manager.


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»Helping Oklahoma Contest

On October 1, Leadership Oklahoma kicked off its 2014 Helping Oklahoma Contest. This year, Karen Wicker, chair of the LOK Marketing and Public Relations committee, kicked off the contest with a fun challenge. View her challenge video here. Since then, several LOK members have also shared the challenge and promoted the Helping Oklahoma contest. You can check out some of the videos on the Leadership Oklahoma Facebook page.

The Helping Oklahoma contest was started by Leadership Oklahoma to help recognize outstanding volunteers in Oklahoma. The winner of the contest will have $2,500 donated in their name to a charitable organization of their choice. What a great way to recognize an outstanding individual and help a charitable organization at the same time. However, your nomination of a volunteer is needed! Visit to nominate someone today. Nominees do not need to be a member of Leadership Oklahoma.

Please take a few minutes to nominate a deserving individual or to post a video challenging those around you to nominate someone.

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»Class XXVIII Visits Durant

Class XXVIII was able to experience their Tribal Government and Water program on September 26-27 in Durant, Oklahoma. See the comments below from two of the class members about their experience.

Robin Roberts Krieger
2014-2015 Chair, Adult Program Committee

Comments from Class XXVIII member, Karen Gilbert

Wow, what a fantastic time I had in Durant. The discussions on both Friday and Saturday were great and left lots to think about. Being a history buff, I truly enjoyed the lecture we heard from The University of Oklahoma's Dr. Amanda Cobb-Greetham. I was fascinated listening to the tribal chiefs and learning more about the cooperative projects that included infrastructure, schools and housing.

The discussions on Saturday were just as stimulating. It was interesting to hear that we still have a ways to go to improve our communications between municipalities and rural water districts for cooperative efforts with storage, supply infrastructure and conservation.

When you roll all of the great discussions we had from this past weekend and the upcoming months meetings as well as our socials, I know that our state is moving forward with better informed leaders.

Comments from Class XXVIII member, Zac Perkins

We are just two retreats in to our class experience with Leadership Oklahoma and already we have learned about three huge issues critical to the future of our state – arts, tribal government and water. As we all know, each of these issues is uniquely complex. They have no “silver bullet” solutions. By the time our curriculum completes next spring, we will have gotten up close and personal with more, equally-weighty issues and it occurs to me I should be thinking now about what I can be doing to contribute to their solutions.

So, I would like to put this to our class and others. What counsel would you have for me in how to turn awareness and understanding into meaningful action? What can I do now to dig into an issue? How can I carry it forward after the work of our class ends? If this is something that some or all of us can work on together, what are our steps?

We can all learn about issues, but unless we take action, are we truly leaders? Leadership Oklahoma has already been an amazing experience and I am looking forward to what is next – not only what I can learn from it, but how I can contribute.

Check out pictures from the September Class XXVIII program in Durant.

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»YLOK Accepting Applications for Class XV

Do you know of an outstanding Junior in high school who would be a great fit for Youth Leadership Oklahoma???? If so, YLOK is now accepting applications for its fifteenth class (YLOK Class XV)! Each year, approximately 50 exceptional high school juniors from across Oklahoma are selected for Youth Leadership Oklahoma.

The class will spend June 7-12, 2015, traveling to selected locations in Oklahoma to learn about and experience our state’s treasures, meet community and state leaders, and develop personal leadership skills. Thanks to the generosity of Leadership Oklahoma supporters, there is no charge for students to participate in the program. To read more about the Youth Leadership Oklahoma program, click here.

Applications can be downloaded from the LOK website. You can also contact Lee Anne Stone. Applications must be RECEIVED in the LOK office no later than 5 p.m., Tuesday, December 2, 2014.

Xavier Neira

2014-2015 Chair, Youth Program

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»ALP Regional Conference Comes to Oklahoma City

The Association of Leadership Programs will be holding their Central Plains Regional Conference at The Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City.  On Sunday evening, November 2, festivities begin with a walking tour of Bricktown in the Downtown Historical District. Following the tour, a welcome reception hosted by Leadership Oklahoma and Leadership Oklahoma City alumni offers a chance to meet visiting colleagues.

The conference will kick-off Monday morning and features a stellar selection of speakers and sessions for those involved with leadership programs. Speakers include opening keynote - Adam Seaman author of Positive Leadership and lunch keynote, David Woods (Class XII) with GiANT Partners, author of The Art of Networking - Beyond the Handshake. Additional speakers and panelists throughout the day include LOK members Rich Cantillon (Class XI), Diana Hartley (Class XXIV), Bob Nelon (Class VI) and Lee Anne Stone (Class XXVII).  Click here for a detailed schedule which includes the topics and descriptions of the sessions being presented.

Leadership Oklahoma members who have paid their 2014-2015 membership dues are able to register for the conference at the member rate.

The event planning committee is being chaired by Marion Paden (Class XXI). Committee members working to bring this quality program to Oklahoma include LOK's CEO, Ann Ackerman (Class I); Beth Shortt, Leadership Oklahoma City Executive Director; Erica Millar, Leadership Norman; Sarah Rhea, Leadership Montgomery County, Texas; Wendy Thomas, Leadership Tulsa; and Harriet Harral, Leadership Fort Worth, Texas.

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»Fall Forum Highlights

Another Fall Forum has come and gone! The afternoon was full of great candidate discussions. The panels did a fantastic job explaining what “dark money” is and isn’t; highlighting some of the election trends; discussing what motivates voters and explaining how social media has played a large role in getting the candidates "message" out to the masses. Mike Turpen was his usual entertaining self and helped raise money for LOK by auctioning off live auction items. Congressman Tom Cole capped off the dinner program offering highlights and insights during his tenure on Capitol Hill.

The Golden Ticket raffle was a huge success! Congratulations to Allen Brown for having the winning ticket. A big thank you to Mark Williams, Class XXV, and the Fall Forum planning committee for all the hard work put into ensuring everyone had a good time.

See you next year!  Be sure to take a few minutes and fill out the evaluation survey of the event that has been sent to registrants by email. 

To see more pictures from the Fall Forum, click here.

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»Upcoming Member Events

Lights, Camera, Action! The "Reel" Scoop on the Oklahoma Film Industry

LOK will be sponsoring a member event to highlight Oklahoma's Film Industry on November 6, 2014, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  The event will be held in the Oklahoma State University Student Union, Case Study Room 1 (4th floor) in Stillwater. Attire for the afternoon will be business casual and cost for members and a guest to attend will be $15 per person. The deadline to register is October 30. Click here for more information and to register.

Yes, you CAN do it all in Oklahoma!  Created in 1979, the Oklahoma Film & Music Office attracts film, television, video, and music industries to Oklahoma for the promotion and growth of these industries within the state.  LOK members will get the “reel” scoop on the economic and community impact of film production, what it takes to produce movies in Oklahoma, and take a look at what’s happening in film education within our local universities.  The afternoon will end viewing a number of short films produced in the state.

Leadership Oklahoma Holiday Party

LOK's Holiday Party will be held on Friday, December 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the home of Rhonda and Phil (Class XXVII) Cook. Invitations will be in the mail soon for you and a guest to attend. Attire for the event will be festive holiday attire. Please RSVP by November 26, 2014. Click here to RSVP.

Excellence in Leadership Awards Gala

The Excellence in Leadership Gala will be held February 28, 2015, at the lovely Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. The Gala will honor 4 individuals and/or businesses in the areas of Lifetime Achievement, Distinguished Graduate, Business Leader, and Statewide Community. Click here to read the descriptions and download your nomination form. The deadline to nominate is November 11, 2014.

Events Still in the Planning Stage

Some of the upcoming events being discussed are: January 2015 - Meet and Greet With the State Superintendent; April 2015 - Energy Industry Update and Tour of Oil Rig.

Paula Huck
2014-2015 Chair, Membership

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»Announcements and Upcoming Events


 October 15, 2014
Deadline: Second registration discount for the Central Plains Regional Conference (Association of Leadership Programs)
 October 30, 2014
Deadline: Register for Lights, Camera, Action! The "Reel" Scoop on the Oklahoma Film Industry
 November 11, 2014
Deadline: Excellence in Leadership Award Nominations Due
 December 2, 2014

Deadline: YLOK Class XV applications due IN LOK Office before 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Events:

 November 2-3, 2014
Association of Leadership Professionals Central Plains Regional Conference, The Skirvin Hotel, Oklahoma City, hosted by Leadership Oklahoma and Leadership OKC. More information can be found on their website.
 November 6, 2014
Lights, Camera, Action! The ”Reel” Scoop on the Oklahoma Film Industry, OSU Student Union Case Study Room 1, Stillwater, 1:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
 December 5, 2014
LOK Holiday Party, Edmond, Home of Rhonda and Phil (Class XXVII) Cook, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 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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»Leaders on the Move

Larry Findeiss (Class XX) was the recipient of the Veteran Small Business Champion award from the Tulsa Regional Chamber during the Crystal Star Small Business Award luncheon.

David Houston (Class XXI) was presented the Top Producer Award from Northwestern Mutual at their annual meeting.

David Kollman (Class XVIII) has been selected as co-chair of Oklahoma State University's A Stately Affair in Tulsa.

Jeannie McDaniel (Class XIX) was honored with the Teddy Roosevelt Outstanding Public Servant award by the Sierra Club of Oklahoma.

Jeff Moen (Class XXIII) has been promoted to the director of business development for The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.

Darrell Weaver, (Class XXIII) has been selected as a member of the 2014 class of inductees into the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Hall of Fame.

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»In Memory: Liz Lewis, Class III

On August 25, Leadership Oklahoma lost a member of Class III, Liz Lewis. Liz chose banking as a career and worked at the First National Bank in Guymon for more than 40 years, retiring as a Vice President and member of the Board of Directors. In addition, she had a lifelong passion for learning and serving. She was the Oklahoma State President of the Delphinium Garden Club and served in many other roles for the organization over the years. Liz was also President of the Texas County Memorial Foundation, a Charter Member and Past President of the Guymon Community Enrichment Foundation, a Board Member for the Dunaway Manor and Nursing Home, and a Guymon Chamber of Commerce Ambassador. Below are a few remembrances from Liz' classmates:

"Liz was a classy lady. Far and away the nicest person in Class III." - Michael Graves

"Liz was always impeccably dressed and was so kind to everyone. She never called attention to herself. A beautiful spirit!!!" - Tanya Case

"A very unassuming classy lady. She was courteous and bright. What some people might classify as “salt of the earth”. God speed Liz, it was a pleasure knowing you." - Steve Jordan

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»Class Reunion Notices


Class XXIII will hold its annual reunion April 16-18, 2015 at Lake Murray. Contact Katie Kimberling to be on the planning committee.

Class XXV

Class XXV will have their reunion the weekend of Friday, October 31, through Sunday, November 2, in Tulsa. Come to any or all of the events during the weekend! There will be activities on Friday evening, all day Saturday and a hangar party with John Esposito on Saturday night.  There will be a Sunday breakfast for those who want more socializing. Details coming in a few weeks. Contact Molly Helm with ideas or questions.

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»Member Directory Updates

The 2014-2015 LOK Annual Report and Membership Directory has been mailed to LOK lifetime members and those members who have paid their 2014-2015 membership dues. Below are the membership contact information changes from September 16 to October 15. Click here to see all the member contact updates for the 2014-2015 Directory.

If you have not received your member directory, please send us an email or call 405.848.0001. 

XVIII • Paul Beran

XXIV • Bart Boatright
Red Dog Construction, Inc.
116 S. 1st St.
Jenks, OK 74037
P: (918) 706-5674

X • L. Dawn Byram
Director of Business Development

XXV • Jay Calhoun
Correct Zip: 74015

XXVII • Shane Fernandez
President, Southwest Operations
Nabholz Construction

XXIII • Holly Kreidler
Affiliate English Professor Swansea@UCO Ph.D. Candidate

XXVIII • David Nimmo
Correct Email:

XII • H.J. Reed
414 NW 4th St., Suite 110
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
P: (405) 879-4887
F: (405) 642-4587

XIX • Michael Ridgeway
General Counsel and Board Secretary
c/o DFSA
PO Box 75850
United Arab Emirates

XVI • John L. Walker
13832 Wireless Way, Suite 100
Oklahoma City, OK 73134

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