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July 2015 E-News!
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                                  »In This Issue

Message from the Chair

Message from the CEO

New Board of Directors

Class XXIX Announced

Youth Summit & Reunion

Message from the Membership Chair

Save the Dates for these Upcoming Events

Distinguished Leadership Award

Membership Campaign

Mix & Mingle Honoring Ann Ackerman

Class Reunions

Deadlines & Upcoming Events

Did You Know?

In Memory

Leaders on the Move


Member Updates


»Message from the Chair

As we embark on our 29th year as an organization, I am humbled and excited to have been selected to serve Leadership Oklahoma as its chair this year. I believe wholeheartedly that LOK members are a catalyst for positive change within their communities and across the State of Oklahoma. Our vision, mission, beliefs and values provide the foundation for the membership to flourish and it offers me the opportunity to serve you and the state in a unique way.

As you all know, we said goodbye to Ann Ackerman the end of June. Ann dedicated the last 9 ½ years to leading LOK and her positive imprint on the organization will be long felt. We witnessed her passion for LOK where she created an atmosphere of excellence and fiscal responsibility. We wish her well in her new life but expect to see her often at LOK events.

After a thorough selection process to find LOK’s new CEO, I am pleased to announce Marion Paden has accepted the position beginning in July. A member of LOK Class XXI, Marion has a distinguished record of leadership and service to the state of Oklahoma. I am confident that she has the skills necessary to be a remarkable CEO for Leadership Oklahoma, its members and donors/supporters. Join me in welcoming Marion for what I know will be an exciting year.

Every class prides itself as “the best class ever” and LOK Class XXIX will no doubt feel the same way. The organization does an excellent job ensuring diversity; from professions to regional location throughout the state. I look forward to meeting the new class and encourage all alumni to do so as well.

The network LOK offers is one of its most valuable assets. I urge you to be intentional about taking advantage of the opportunities this offers you in building and sustaining relationships.  Attend one or more of our fantastic educational membership events, come to the Fall Forum, support the Excellence in Leadership Gala or volunteer on a committee.

This year will also be an exciting time as we plan for Leadership Oklahoma’s 30th Anniversary! I challenge you to get involved this year. At the very least, let the LOK staff know how LOK can work better for you. Send us ideas for events and other ways the organization can show value to its membership.

In closing, I want to thank the LOK staff for their dedication to supporting the mission of Leadership Oklahoma. Without their support, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are today. I am honored to chair this wonderful organization and look forward to seeing all that is accomplished this upcoming year.


C.W. "Russ" Harrison
Chair, 2015-2016
Class XXI

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»Message From the CEO

Last night, on day thirteen in my new role, I attended the Youth Leadership Oklahoma (YLOK) Summit where OU Women’s Basketball Coach Sherri Coale was the keynote speaker. It was a tremendous opportunity for dozens of YLOK grads, several of their friends and for me. The young adults I met were so complimentary and thankful for their YLOK experience and the connections that they now have across the State as a result of the program, I was reminded of the tremendous opportunity and responsibility I have been given by the Board to continue this important work to build and strengthen a network that will shape Oklahoma’s future.

Coach Coale’s thirty minute speech was extemporaneous, witty and inspiring. She provided many insights on leadership and life, including James Michener’s quote “The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both. ”

Helping Oklahoma become the leader is work but it is also fun, and I am excited about the future of LOK. In May, 49 members of Class XXVIII completed the program; bringing the total number of LOK graduates to 1430 in 28 years. In June, 51 members of YLOK Class XV completed a transformational experience as they traveled across the State.

I look forward to meeting the members of the new LOK class on August 23 at the Class XXIX Orientation that will be held at the Oklahoma Hall Of Fame - Gaylord-Pickens Museum, 1400 Classen Drive, Oklahoma City. I can remember the excitement and anticipation I felt as I began my class journey can you? I hope you will join me at the Museum for a 2:30PM reception to show your support and meet the new class members. Details can be found in the Message from our Adult Program Committee Chair Brent Kisling as well as a list of the new class members.

The 2015-2016 LOK Annual Report and Directory is preparing to go to print. Please make sure that we have your correct contact information and that you have paid your membership dues by July 25th. (If you cannot remember if you have paid, please call or come by the office.)

The LOK Fall Forum will be at the Embassy Suites OKC Downtown/OU Medical Center on October 20 from 1:00 until 9:00 PM. Read more about this from our Membership Committee Chair Jodi Cline. Plans are also underway for a membership event on November 23rd regarding the Unmanned Arial Vehicle Industry, the Holiday Party in Tulsa on December 11th, as well as the Gala in OKC on February 27th.

I am looking forward to working with and for you and hope to see you at LOK activities and events this year! If you have any comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 405-848-0001 or or come by the office – we would love to visit with you!


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»Leadership Oklahoma 2015-2016 Board of Directors

Officers/Executive Committee:

Chair - C.W. "Russ" Harrison

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect/Chair-Administration - Laurie Tilley

Secretary/Treasurer/Chair-Finance - Greg Wheeler

Chair-Development - Mark Williams

Chair-Youth Program - Cristy Morrison

Chair-Membership - Jodi Cline

Chair-Marketing/Public Relations - Robyn Elliott-Scribner

Chair-Adult Program - Brent Kisling

Past Chair/Chair-Nominating - Bruce Benbrook

At Large Executive Committee Members:

G.T. Bynum

Greg Elliott

Gilmer Capps

John Harper

Carolyn Cummins

Paula Huck

Julie Daniels

Robin Roberts Krieger






Julie Daniels

Tom Evans

Carolyn Cummins

Gilmer Capps

John Killam

Jason Hitch

Brian McClain

Greg Elliott

Kyle Powell

Jane McDermott

Monica Neal

Joe Gallagher

Scott Stidham

Roger Rinehart

Xavier Neira

Jed Winters

Oklahoma County

Tulsa County

                     At-Large Directors

Kevin O'Connor

G.T. Bynum

Michele Campbell

Jennifer Meason

Robin Roberts Krieger

Shane Fernandez

Risha Grant

Kristin Peck

Meg Salyer

John Harper

Blu Hulsey

Krista Roberts

Mike Thompson

Paula Huck

Ben Kimbro


Brian Byrnes

Rex Horning

Mike Lockard

Karen Wicker

Sam Combs III

Albert Johnson, Chair-

Kevin Matthews

Tony Zahn, Chair,

April Danahy

Elect, Youth Program

Jim Robertson

LOK Ambassadors

Diana Hartley, Chair-

Phil Kaiser

Kimber Shoop

Elect, Adult Program

Katie Kimberling

Rose Washington

Past Chairs:

Howard Barnett, Jr.

Nance Diamond

Hershel Lamirand III

Toney Stricklin

Bruce Benbrook

Becky Frank

Ken McBride

Lee Symcox

Don Betz

Jim Griffith

Mary Mélon

Clayton Taylor

Steve Brown

Shirley Hammer

Joe Moran III

Vicky S. Wilcoxen

Bill Burgess, Jr.

Greg Hodgen

Leslie Paris

David Woods

Sam Combs III

Rhonda Hooper

Leo Presley

Ron Yordi

Bruce Day

Jim Howard

Chris Salyer


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»Class XXIX Announced

The Leadership Oklahoma Board of Directors is proud to announce our newest class of leaders, Class XXIX. These 51 individuals represent the broad and diverse interests and areas of this great state.

A reception and orientation honoring Class XXIX will be held on Sunday, August 23, at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame - Gaylord-Pickens Museum, 1400 Classen Drive (corner of NW 13th Street and Shartel Avenue) in Oklahoma City. The reception will begin at 2:30 p.m. and the orientation follows at 3:00 p.m. Please RSVP here and join us in welcoming this exceptional class of leaders.

I look forward to seeing you at Orientation!

Brent Kisling, Class XVI
Chair, Adult Program Committee

 Class XXIX
Ina Agnew, Okmulgee Heather Griswold, Edmond David Madigan Jr., Lawton
Anna America, Tulsa Stephania Grober, Tulsa Dan Martel, Edmond
Kathy Banks-Monroe, Lawton Steve Hahn, Edmond Matt McGuire, Edmond
Paula Barrington, Nichols Hills Richard Haldeman, Tulsa Wayne McMillin, Enid
Jim Beckham, Blanchard Melissa Hall, Stillwater Susan Meeker, Tulsa
Hilarie Blaney, Oklahoma City Brooke Hamilton, Tulsa Dan Molina, Oklahoma City
Mary Booth, Miami Jon Harrison, Norman Lari Ann Northcutt, Caddo
Stephanie Cameron, Tulsa Cody Holcomb, Ada Patti Parrish, Oklahoma City
Jeanette Capshaw, Norman Gary James, Oklahoma City Ashley Perkins, Edmond
Susan Chambers, Oklahoma City Molly Jarvis, Tulsa Kyle Reynolds, Woodward
Pat Crofts, Tulsa Jay Johnson, Duncan Steve Sherman, Purcell
Kristin Daffern, Tulsa Ld Jones, Duncan Mike Simpson, Guthrie
Brent Dishman, Edmond Jalinda Kelley, Ada David Thomas IV, Tulsa
Jay Fields, Wynona Todd Lisle, Edmond Jeri Towler, Edmond
Sarah Jane Gillett, Tulsa Erika Lucas, Edmond Jill Wallace, Ardmore
Cassie Gilman, Norman Tiffini Lyda Kelley, Oklahoma City Allen Wright, Edmond
Marsha Gore, McAlester Marcie Mack, Enid David Yarbrough, Broken Arrow


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»YLOK Summit and Reunion

On Tuesday, July 14, 2015 Youth Leadership Oklahoma held their annual YLOK Summit and Reunion at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame - Gaylord-Pickens Museum. Following check in, the evening started off with a mingling of classes and networking between graduates. Lee Anne Stone, Youth Director, welcomed the group and took a roll call of YLOK classes to see which class had the most in attendance, which was won by YLOK Class XV. The keynote speaker for this event was University of Oklahoma Head Women’s Basketball Coach Sherri Coale. Coach Coale spoke to the group about her definition of leadership, how to overcome adversity, and how to deal with others and their leadership styles. A little over 60 former YLOK graduates were in attendance of this wonderful event.


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»Message from the Membership Chair

I can’t tell you how excited I am to serve as your Membership Chair this year. We are off to a great 2015-2016 year! I’m here to help guide the educational events and engage the membership to keep the networks and connections alive. Exciting things are already happening. If you have ideas for membership events, please let myself or Allyson know. I hope you will mark your calendars and come be part of the fun! Other events are in the works with details available soon.


Here's to another fantastic year at Leadership Oklahoma!

Jodi Cline, Class XXVI
2015-2016 Membership Chair


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»Save the Dates! Upcoming Member Events

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.

It’s not too late to join us if you’d like to be a part of the committee! Come be a part of this fun group.




  Unmanned Arial Vehicle Industry:
  Understanding Its Uses and Impact to Oklahoma
  November 23, 2015
  Details TBD – Mark your calendar now! 



LOK Holiday Party - Tulsa
December 11, 2015
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
The Ross Group
510 E. 2nd St., Tulsa

LOK has secured a group rate of $94 (King) or $104 (Double Queen) at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Tulsa Downtown for those wanting to spend the night.  To receive the discounted rate, you may either call the reservations line at (918) 879-1800 and mention the Leadership Oklahoma Holiday Party or use the link below to easily book online within the block:

Click here to book your group rate for the Leadership Oklahoma Holiday Party



Excellence in Leadership Gala – OKC
February 27, 2016
The Skirvin Hilton
One Park Ave., OKC

LOK has secured a group rate of $129 for those wanting to spend the night at The Skirvin. To receive the discounted rate, you may either call the reservations line at 1-800-HILTONS and mention the Leadership Oklahoma Gala (or group code LOG) or use the link below to easily book online within the block:

Click here to book your group rate for the Leadership Oklahoma Excellence in Leadership Gala

Please remember to pay your dues! You should have received a graduate update profile and an invoice for the 2014-2015 LOK annual dues campaign. As a reminder, annual dues are $150 (in state), $25 (out of state), or $2,500 for a lifetime membership. You now have 3 options to become a Lifetime Member. Option 1: one-time payment of $2,500. Option 2: 4 quarterly payments of $625. Option 3: 8 quarterly payments of $312.50

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»Distinguished Leadership Award

Distinguished Leadership Award Nominations Sought
Deadline is July 28, 2015

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:

2014 – Sam Combs III, Class VII

2003 - Brad Henry*, Class IX

1994 - Hal Pennington, Class I

2013 - Ronda Hooper, Class XXI

2002 - Jess Nelson*, Class X

1993 - Ann Ackerman, Class I

2012 - Michelle Finch-Walker, Class XV

2001 - Lindy Ritz*, Class I

1992 - Nance Diamond, Class I

2011 - Cristy Morrison, Class XV

2000 - Larry Brummett*, Class I

1991 - Ron Yordi, Class I

2010 - Mary Mélon, Class XVI

1999 - Drew Edmondson*, Class IV

1989 - Clayton Taylor, Class III

2009 - Howard Barnett, Class II

1997 - Bob James, Class IV


2008 - Steve Brown, Class VIII

1995 - Jack Herron, Class II



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»Annual Membership Campaign

LOK began its annual membership campaign June 1st. You should have received your graduate update profile and invoice for 2015-2016 membership in the mail. Please contact the LOK office if you have not received the mailing. To update your profile online, click here to preview the contact information we have for you and make changes as needed. Don’t forget to sign up for a committee or two as well!

LOK is successful because of you – your time, energy, ideas and resources. We share a commonality of a sincere concern about the future of Oklahoma and how each of us individually can do our part to help shape that future. Your commitment to sustain the organization enables us to keep providing innovative and challenging programs for Oklahoma’s leaders offering that “once in-a-lifetime” experience and ensures students continue to attend the Youth Leadership Oklahoma program free of charge.

As a reminder, annual membership dues are $150 (in state), $25 (out-of-state), or $2,500 for a lifetime membership. 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, 2015). Option 3: eight quarterly payments of $312.50 (beginning July 1, 2015).

Class I has proved that it’s never too late to be a lifetime member; four of them paid for lifetime memberships last few years!

We are happy to email you another invoice if you have misplaced yours. Contact the LOK office or go online to pay your renewal.


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»Mix and Mingle Honoring Ann Ackerman


Bruce Benbrook, Ann Ackerman and Bruce Day


Class I Presenting a gift to Ann





Scott Stidham, Matt Guillory, Michele Campbell,
Ann Ackerman and Brent Kisling


Class XXVIII - Ann's last class had a great turnout




“Always look on the pink side of life.” After serving as LOK’s CEO for 9 ½ years, Ann decided to replace her pink high heels with pink flip flops. Board Chairman Bruce Benbrook thanked Ann for the tremendous impact she has made on the organization and the people she has served. A member of Class I herself, she built on the great legacy of the past, strengthened LOK’s commitment to build a dynamic network of leaders, led the organization forward and created a strong financial position for its future. Representatives from just about every LOK class came to demonstrate their appreciation and help her celebrate. With over 400 attending, it was the largest LOK event of the year and served as a catalyst for networking with people from across the state while honoring Ann’s service to LOK. Click here to see more photos from the event.


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»Class Reunions

Class XXVII Celebrates One Year Reunion!

Class XXVII held its first annual reunion on June 19 and 20 in Oklahoma City. For many of our class, this is the first time we had seen each other since our graduation celebration in Broken Bow. Coming back together for great food and fellowship reminded us all the true depth of the relationships we developed over all those weekends exploring the corners of our state. We had so much fun, in fact, we agreed to meet the first week of June each year until the next to last of us are gone.

Scott McDaniel
Class XXVII Ambassador


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»Deadlines and Upcoming Events

July 28, 2015
Deadline for Distinguished Leadership Award Nominations

Upcoming Events:
August 23, 2015 Class XXIX Orientation
October 20, 2015
Fall Forum - Embassy Suites, Oklahoma City Downtown/Medical Center
November 23, 2015
Unmanned Arial Vehicle Industry: Understanding Its Uses and Impact to Oklahoma
Details TBD – Mark your calendar now!
December 11, 2015
LOK Holiday Party - The Ross Group - 510 E. 2nd Street, Tulsa
February 27, 2016
Excellence in Leadership Gala - The Skirvin Hilton - One Park Avenue - OKC


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»Did You Know?

Did you know.... You can find LOK Members with similar interests! Have you been working on a program, sitting on a board, or planning a meeting on a particular topic and wonder, “who in LOK would be interested in being a part of this?” Click here to learn more about "Areas of Interest"!


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»In Memory

Mike Dickinson, Class II

From The Daily Ardmorite:

Michael was a proud member of Class II of Leadership Oklahoma and the OKC Downtown Rotary Club 29. He served on the board of directors or executive committees of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Allied Arts, Hewitt Mineral Corporation, OSU Foundation Board of Governors, OSU Alumni Association, OCU’s Meinders School of Business, Oklahoma Lawyers for Children, Leadership Oklahoma and Oklahoma Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was Governor Frank Keating’s appointee to the Oklahoma DHS Commission and was the first president of the Oklahoma State Board of Juvenile Affairs. Michael’s passion was experiencing life to the fullest and never letting a moment pass to tell people he loved and appreciated them. Together Michael and Lori backpacked 200 miles of the Appalachian Trail through Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Maine; hiked from the north to south rim of the Grand Canyon twice (a feat he completed six times); climbed Mount Katahdin in Maine; and hiked across the White Mountains and Mount Washington in New Hampshire, to name a few. Michael also enjoyed hiking with friends the last 50 miles of Maine’s 100 mile wilderness and with his older sons on other sections of the AT and in El Paso. Michael and Lori loved to travel to Coronado Island, Taos/Santa Fe, New York City, and thought of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, as a second home and consider friends there their extended family. He was a voracious reader who had an insatiable desire to learn and loved the arts and all things Oklahoma State.

Mike was a gentle man with a contagious smile and a quick wit that endeared himself to his friends. He enjoyed the challenging class sessions and learning more of his beloved state while building special relationships. Mike left us way too soon and will be missed by all.

Kay Martin
Class II

Greg Smith, Class XXIV

From The Miami News Record:

Gregory David Smith, 38, of Miami went to his heavenly home on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at Integris Baptist Regional Health Center surrounded by his family. Greg was born on December 10, 1976 in Joplin, Missouri to Larry David and Carol Jean (Sanders) Smith.

Greg graduated as Valedictorian of the Miami High School Class of 1995. He attended Oklahoma State University where he was member of the Sigma Nu Epsilon Epsilon Chapter and graduated in 1999 with a degree in finance. He then went to work at Bank of Oklahoma before attending University of Oklahoma School of Law, where he graduated with his Juris Doctorate in 2004.

Greg married Julie Kimbrough on July 22, 2000 in Joplin, Missouri. Greg and Julie moved to Miami eleven years ago where Greg went to work with his dad at the family’s business. At the time of his passing he was the President of Larco Enterprises, Inc. Greg was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church in Miami where he was the Treasurer, a Deacon and taught youth Sunday school. He enjoyed coaching Spencer and Sutton’s baseball and basketball teams. Greg was very involved in the Miami community where he was the MDRA Chairman, and set on the boards of MAEDS, Integris Baptist Regional Health Center, Arvest Bank and Miami Public Schools Enrichment Foundation. He was a member of the Miami Area Chamber of Commerce Board where he served as treasurer. He also served on the Sonic Drive-In Franchise Advisory Council.

Greg was a graduate of the Leadership Oklahoma Class XXIV; in 2012 the Journal Record selected him as one of forty Achievers under Forty. He was also a member of the American Bar Association and the Ottawa County Bar Association. Greg was the recipient of the Head for the Cure Keeping the Faith Award for the Kansas City area in August of 2014.

Genuine. If I was asked to describe Greg Smith in one word, it would be genuine. I’ve often heard the quote “A smile is a light in the window of the soul - indicating that the heart is at home. ~Unknown”. Greg’s smile was the first thing that greeted you and was quickly followed by an inquiry about how things were going. He was not an outspoken member of our class, which will make fellow class members chuckle since I wasn’t either, but you better be prepared to listen and reflect when he did speak up or you were sure to miss out on wisdom. About halfway through our year, Greg and I realized that he and my husband were childhood friends. They hadn’t seen each other since they were 8 years old. It was fun to be a part of reconnecting them via e-mail and a good reminder to take advantage of the opportunities we are given in this small world we live in. Our lives are better because we knew Greg Smith – a genuine man.

Mary Kate Wilson
Class XXIV


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»Leaders on the Move

G.T. Bynum, Class XXIV, was appointed to the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Board of Regents.

Julie Daniels, Class XXIV, has announced she will seek a District 29 state Senate Seat.

Kyle Hughbanks, Class XXVI, was named vice chairman of the REI Oklahoma board of directors.

Lou Kohlman, Class XV, was elected as third-term chairwoman by the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women.

Bill McKamey, Class XIV, was reappointed to the Tulsa Community College Board of Regents.

Tim Munson, Class XXV, was honored by OERB as the benefactor for a geology student scholarship bearing his name.

Sandy Pratt, Class XIV, was named director of business development for Flintco, LLC.

T.W. Shannon, Class XIX, was named chairman of The Republican State Leadership Committee Future Majority Project.


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»Member 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 2015-2016 LOK Annual Report and Membership Directory which will be sent to members in August 2015.


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