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February 2015 E-News
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»In This Issue

 Message from the Chair

 Message from the CEO

 Class XXVIII Visits Stillwater

Community Support

Recruiting Class XXIX

Excellence in Leadership Gala

Vision 20/15

Member Events

Deadlines & Upcoming Events

OSSM Volunteer Opportunity

Leaders on the Move

Member Updates

»Message from the Chair

Bruce Benbrook, LOK Chair

It has been a tremendous start for LOK in 2015. Class XXVIII just finished an outstanding session on education in Stillwater. The class was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to hear a panel consisting of Dr. Glen Johnson, Chancellor of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Ms. Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction and Dr. Marcie Mack, State Director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. In addition, they had an opportunity to participate in a version of “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader.” 

There were presentations from Representative Lee Denney and many other leaders from various segments of our state educational system.  It was a tremendous class session as the host group from Stillwater did an awesome job of making the class feel welcome and provided a program that was first-class in every respect.  After spending time getting to know the members of Class XXVIII, I can assure you that this class will continue the LOK tradition of expanding their devotion to public service and providing leadership for our state.

Please take time to think about people that you think might be good candidates for Class XXIX.  The deadline for applications is April 1, 2015.

I look forward to seeing all of you at the “Excellence in Leadership Gala” in Tulsa on February 28th as we honor several outstanding LOK graduates and celebrate another great year for Leadership Oklahoma.

As always, a big thank you to all of the volunteers and staff who continue to amaze me with their dedication and service to LOK.

I am truly honored to serve as your chairman.


Bruce T. Benbrook
Leadership Oklahoma




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»Message From the CEO

Ann Ackerman, LOK CEO

Have you ever been walking in a shopping mall and run into someone that you met 25 years ago? Or gone to lunch and looked up to see a friend across the restaurant that you knew a long time ago? How about looking across the aisle in a plane to see a long time friend sitting there?

In the last few months all of these have happened to me and all of the people involved have been my LOK friends from Class I. In addition, I saw several classmates at the LOK Fall Forum and the LOK Holiday Party and others when they have made presentations at Class XXVIII sessions.

Without LOK, I probably would have only known two or three of these remarkable people. The fact that I had not seen some of them since our class year did not hinder the connection that we felt towards each other.  We will always be connected, but it is hard to explain this to someone who has not been through LOK. In addition to the great learning experience that LOK provides its members, you get the benefit of developing lifelong friendships and connections to the greatest network of individuals in Oklahoma.

With your help, we will find the perfect members for Class XXIX.  We are looking for leaders who have demonstrated a history of leadership and giving back to their communities, are successful in their professional and personal lives and have potential for greater leadership. Look around you and identify individuals that would make good LOK members and encourage them to apply for Class XXIX. You are the best person to explain the value of the class experience and the on-going benefits of staying involved. With your help, LOK Class XXIX will be another outstanding link in our LOK network. Applications are on the LOK website or click here.

 Happy Recruiting,


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»Class XXVIII Visits Stillwater

The most recent stop for Class XXVIII was Stillwater to examine critical issues in education, to gain better understanding of all levels of education in Oklahoma, as well as, the economic impact of education in Oklahoma Below are some reflections from Class XXVIII members Janet Smith and Brian Byrnes:

Robin Roberts Krieger, Class XXIV
2014-2015 Chair, Adult Program Committee





Janet Smith, Class XXVIII
Manager, Economic Development
Public Service Company of Oklahoma


I just returned from weekend. 

I had ambivalent feelings about the education session before-hand.  How can you cover such a broad, complex and critical topic in a short time? As always, the local team did a great job putting together the program.  From listening to principals who had turned around an under performing school, to interacting with the new superintendent of schools, head of Career Tech and the chancellor of higher education, the discussions were thought provoking and even fun. (Yes, we learned we are not smarter than a fifth grader.)

What has been most "educational" are the emails shared following the session.  The topic certainly brought out the passion of our class!   To say that there is diversity of opinion would be an understatement.  But we respect and learn from those opinions.   We gain knowledge and insight from the sessions.  However the most important aspect of the LOK experience comes from the relationships that become genuine, rare friendships or partnerships for future causes or opportunities.  I'm proud to be a member of Class XXVIII!

 Leadership Oklahoma has been even better than I expected.  I thought I knew a lot about Oklahoma.  I did not!  I look forward to learning more at each LOK weekend, and more importantly, doing more to make a difference.

Brian Byrnes, Class XXVIII
Senior VP, Sales & Marketing
Oklahoma City Thunder


As we transition to the second half of our Leadership Oklahoma schedule, I am reflecting on our experiences to date. Given the issues that we have been exposed to are diverse and complex, it is encouraging to see our class united through the prism of strong leadership – keen listening, respectful debate and encouragement of new ideas.  Most importantly, it is the trust that is developing as we become more transparent with our opinions and intentional engagement with meaningful and sophisticated dialogue.  

Another observation has been the unique opportunity to hear directly from key influencers and decision makers relative to the subject matter at hand. For example, in our recent visit to Stillwater to focus on the education platform, I was impressed with the session that hosted the Oklahoma State School Superintendent, Chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education and the State Director of Career Tech.  While we all have different opinions about their personal influence, vision and/or accomplishments, it reminded me how powerful this experience is for us as we learn first-hand from key personnel who are actively involved.

Each of these experiences provides content that is enlightening yet divisive.  The content cuts across political persuasion, challenges rural and urban influences and forces a debate about our vision for Oklahoma. The lingering take-a-way each month is ‘what can we do’ relative to the session.  As I write this note, I am reminded of Greg McCortney's challenge to our group on Saturday morning ­– “…what can we ask ourselves to do that is reasonable and appropriate?”

We all bring a different perspective and resource allocation to the discussion. Regardless of your political or economic influence, we have an opportunity to be a part of a solution oriented culture.  Greg’s challenge to “do what you can” provides the direction we need to engage, learn and act when appropriate.

In the days following our session, there was an increased volume of email traffic amongst our group challenging the positions that we took last weekend.  Additionally, we are encouraging each other to continue developing our knowledge of issues, define our perspective and engage accordingly.  It is humbling to see our group unite through these experiences and provides great hope in our ability to support the mission of Leadership Oklahoma.

I look forward to our continued development as colleagues, friends and leaders for our community.

Click here to see photos from this session.

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»Community Support Applications Sought

The foundation of Leadership Oklahoma is the class program, an educational, issues-oriented nine-month experience. Monthly sessions are held in communities throughout the state.  Each class is exposed to the numerous social and environmental complexities of the state in order to stimulate inquiry, analysis and independent development of solutions for the public good.  Class members meet and talk with Oklahoma's current leaders and explore the state's opportunities, needs and resources.  Based on the interaction and respect developed during the class year, a living network is formed -- a network capable of identifying, evaluating and implementing projects of value to the people of Oklahoma.  The class program and the network formed by it allow members of LOK to meet the challenge of the LOK Mission Statement, “To create, inspire and support a dynamic network of leaders whose increased awareness and commitment to service will energize Oklahomans to shape Oklahoma's future.”

To host a class program for 2015-2016, a completed community application must be submitted no later than May 8, 2015.  Communities will be notified no later than June 1 regarding the selection of host communities.  After notification, communities work with the statewide Leadership Oklahoma Program Committee to submit a draft agenda and budget.  Responsibilities of a host community and the selection criteria used to determine host communities are attached along with the application.

Click here to download the Community Support Application.

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»Recruiting Class XXIX

Remember how fired up you were during your LOK experience? If you’re like me, that experience has left an indelible mark on you for the years since then. You can share that opportunity and ignite that passion for our state with those in your circles of influence. Please encourage those you know to consider completing an application and investing 10 weekends in what will surely be a life changing adventure. You can invite qualified candidates to apply and help them through the application process.

Applications are on the LOK website. March 16, 2015, is the application deadline for submission with a discounted application fee of $25. Applications received after that date must submit the $40 application fee. Completed applications are due in the LOK office no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 1, 2015. Thank you.

Thank you for your willingness to search out the best and the brightest for the next "Best Class Ever!"

G.T. Bynum

Adult Recruitment Committee Chair

Contact for the regional recruitment chairs below:





Michele Campbell

Ed Fulmer

Jason Hitch

Tom Evans















Julie Daniels

Jason Kirksey

Greg Elliott

Rick Henry















Jesse Boudiette

Cassie Reese

Kristin Peck

Marnie Taylor




Oklahoma City






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»Excellence in Leadership Gala


February 28, 2015
Excellence in Leadership Gala
Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa
6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Dress: Black Tie Optional

There is still time to register for the Excellence in Leadership Gala!  Don’t delay, click here to get your tickets.  Sponsorships are available for purchase as well.   The deadline to register is February 19, 2015. 

This event is a wonderful opportunity for LOK to shine the light on businesses and individuals that make Oklahoma the great state that it is. 

2015 Recipients:

 Lifetime Achievement:

Robert Henry

 Distinguished Graduate:

Ken Busby

 Business Leader:

Wymer Brownlee

 Statewide Community:

Oklahoma Heritage Association & Gaylord Pickens Museum

 For more information or assistance, call the LOK office at 405.848.0001 or email Allyson at

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»Vision 20/15:  The Year to Perfect Education in Oklahoma

Reflection on Conversation with State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister

On Monday, January 26th, I was joined by several LOK Class XXVIII members at this LOK event to hear State School Superintendent Joy Hofmeister speak at The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics.  Following is my synopsis from Superintendent Hofmeister:

Her general theme was to unify all stakeholders within the education community.  She demonstrated that by going last Wednesday to some rural school districts in eastern OK with her General Election opponent Dr. John Cox.   She quoted President Eisenhower saying, “One can’t lead by hitting others over the head.  That is assault, not leadership.”  She continued with “leaders cannot perform without confidence.”  She wants to act on evidence of success from education for the benefits of our children.


Although I am not an educator and she used a lot of letters describing programs (what Amy had to get them to stop using with her on the State Board of Education), I am a stakeholder and intensely interested in our common education in OK.  I was encouraged by her energy, thoughtfulness and apparent willingness to build consensus.


We were hosted by the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics.  What a magnificent facility and program for some of our most gifted students!  Dr. Frank Wang is president and has a remarkable personal story coming from business to education.  He holds a degree from Yale and a PhD in Pure Mathematics from MIT.  (I was excited to learn about pure mathematics.  1 + 1 should = 2 instead of that X + 1 = Y nonsense.)


The LOK team provided a positive glimpse into a part of our education system. Click here to read the entire article, and click here to see more photos of the event!


Kent Carter, Class XXVIII

Vice President, Banking Division
First Mortgage Company





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 »Upcoming Member Events


March 31, 2015
Cushing: The Center of America’s Energy Hub and Its Global Impact
Fechner Pump and Supply Conference Center 
1402 N. Little
Cushing, OK 74023
LOK Members and Guests – Space is limited to the first 50 people who register!
11:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Dress:  Casual

Cost:  $10 per person (lunch provided)

Deadline to register is March 23, 2015

All that crude has to be stored somewhere—and a good portion of it makes its way to tanks in the small Oklahoma town of Cushing through a vast network of pipelines.  It is a vital transshipment point with many intersecting pipelines, storage facilities and easy access to refiners and suppliers.  Crude oil flows inbound to Cushing from all directions and outbound through dozens of pipelines.  Presentations will be around the impact Cushing has on the world energy market and an explanation around the pricing of oil/gas (how it is determined).  With the current issues surrounding oil prices and the economic impact this will have on the state makes this a very timely event.

Details are being worked out, but don’t forget to save the date!

Click here to register.




2015 Fall Forum

October 20, 2015

Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Downtown/Medical Center

Ted Streuli, Class XXIV, will be chairing the forum this year!  If you would like to be on the planning committee, please email Allyson at 

The focus this year will be on mental illness and its impact on the many challenges Oklahoma faces today.  Prevention, education and services are needed to make a positive difference.  We are in the planning stage right now, so join us if you’d like to be a part of the committee!


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»Deadlines and Upcoming Events


February 19, 2015
Deadline to register for Excellence in Leadership Gala
February 26, 2015 Deadline to Volunteer for OSSM Applicant Review
March 16, 2015
Deadline for Discounted Adult Program Application Fee
March 23, 2015
Deadline to register for Cushing: The Center of America's Energy Hub and Its Global Impact
April 1, 2015
Adult Applications Must Be In the LOK Office by April 1, 2015!
May 8, 2015
Deadline for Community Application to Host a Program








Upcoming Events:

February 28, 2015

Excellence in Leadership Gala Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, 6:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

March 31, 2015
Cushing: The Center of America's Energy Hub and Its Global Impact
October 20, 2015  Fall Forum - Save the Date!


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»OSSM Volunteer Opportunity

The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics is the state’s high school for juniors and seniors with exceptional abilities and interest in math and science. Leadership Oklahoma members assisted the school in its early years with its admissions program.  The school’s first class graduated in 1992 and, since its inception, has graduated over 1400 students.  This spring OSSM will be selecting members for its 26th graduating class – the Class of 2017.

 The OSSM Admissions Office would like to invite Leadership Oklahoma members to volunteer to review written applications and to interview semifinalists.  Volunteers will be paired with OSSM faculty and receive an orientation session prior to each day’s activities.   Both activities will be held on the OSSM campus at 10th and North Lincoln (across the street from the State Chamber of Commerce).  Volunteers are needed for the following activities:



12:30 pm

4:00 pm

Review written applications



8:45 am

2:45 pm

Interview semi-finalists


If you are interested in participating, please send an email to with the following information:  date(s) you would like to volunteer; your LOK Leadership Class; mailing address with zip code; preferred method of contact.  Please respond to this volunteer opportunity by Thursday, February 26. 

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»Leaders on the Move

Governor Mary Fallin announced the appointment of Chris Benge, Class XXVI, as Native American liaison within the governor's office.

Laura Boyd, Class VII, was elected to the board of directors for the National Foster Care Coalition.

Governor Mary Fallin has appointed Kent Carter, Class XXVIII, to the Commission on Consumer Credit.

Sharon King Davis, Class XV, was was elected president of the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa board of directors.

John Esposito, Class XXV, is a returning member of the board of directors for the Metro Tulsa Hotel and Lodging Association.

The Stillwater Chamber of Commerce awarded Ann Hargis, Class V, and her husband Burns Hargis  the Hall of Fame Award.

Doug Major, Class XXII, accepted the Chamber Choice award given by the Stillwater Chamber to Meridian Technology Center for its customized programs and impact on economic development in the Stillwater area.

Congratulations to Joe Hill, Class XXVII,  who has been appointed to the post of Executive Director of the Atoka Industrial Development Authority.

The Communities Foundation of Oklahoma has named Randy K, Macon, Class XXV, as its executive director.

Governor Mary Fallin has appointed Greg Mashburn, Class XXVII, to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control Commission.

Oklahoma Hospitality Club has named Mary Blankenship Pointer, Class XXII, as one of twelve honorees for the 49th Annual Ladies in the News Luncheon and Style Show fundraiser, ‘Sharing:  A Simple Pleasure’ to be held Friday April 10, 2015, noon, at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club.

Congratulations to Ron Rainey, Class I, on his retirement from Benbrook Economic Development Corporation.

Cassie Reese, Class XXVI, has accepted the position of Vice President of Client Relations at Nabholz Corporation, Southwest Operations.

Malcolm E. Rosser IV, Class XXI, was selected for inclusion in the 2014 Oklahoma Super Lawyers magazine, an annual publication that names America's top lawyers.

Susan Shields, Class XVII, was honored by The Oklahoma Bar Foundation with its Roger Scott Memorial Award, which honors those who have gone above and beyond to demonstrate their voluntary commitment and dedication to the Foundation.

Governor Mary Fallin has appointed Natalie Shirley, Class XXII, as secretary of education and workforce development.

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»Member 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 January 16 to February 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.


Jim McAuley, Class XVII


Beverly Monnet, Class XVI

15 East 5th Street

Tulsa, OK 74103

P: (918) 947-7913


Cassie Reese, Class XXVI


Peggy Rice, Class XII

15 W. 6th Street, Suite 1214

Tulsa, OK 74119-5406

P: (918) 691-1820


Cody White, Class XVIII

Farm & Ranch Appraiser/Broker

PO Box 1928

Chickasha, OK 73023

P: 405-219-0176


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