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November 2014 E-News
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»In This Issue

Message from the Chair

Message from the CEO

Helping Oklahoma Contest

Class XXVIII Visits Lawton

YLOK Accepting Applications
for Class XV

ALP Regional Conference Comes to Oklahoma City

Film Event Highlights

Upcoming Member Events

Announcements and Deadlines

Leaders on the Move

In Memory: Liz Beaty, Class XI

Class Reunion Notices


Member Directory Updates


»Message from the Chair

Bruce Benbrook, LOK Chair

It was another great month for Leadership Oklahoma.  Lights, Camera, Action!  The “Reel” Scoop on the Oklahoma film industry was held in Stillwater on November 6th.  It was an extremely educational and informative day bringing all in attendance up-to-date on a very important industry in our state.  Thank you to all who worked on this wonderful program.

The Association of Leadership Programs held their annual meeting in Oklahoma City with LOK being one of the sponsors of the program.  Many leadership programs from throughout the country were in attendance.  It was a great opportunity for LOK to share our story and also learn from other programs.

Class XXVIII had a very successful trip to Fort Sill to learn about military issues and look forward to the next session on state government and energy in Oklahoma City.

YLOK is sponsoring the first Youth Leadership Oklahoma Forum in Tulsa at the BOK Center.  The program has over 270 Tulsa high school students registered.  The purpose of the event is to share YLOK’s mission to instill hope, pride and responsibility in Oklahoma’s youth and to share our leadership message throughout the Tulsa schools. I know it will be a tremendous event and will help inspire many young people.

The LOK Holiday Party is coming up.  Please register and make plans to attend at the home of Rhonda and Phil Cook at 6025 River Oaks Road in Edmond, Oklahoma on December 5th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  I know it will be a great evening to kick off the holiday season and see your many LOK friends.

As always, a big thank you to a tremendous staff and those volunteers who do a fantastic job in making sure Leadership Oklahoma is the best it can be.


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

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»Message from the CEO

Ann Ackerman, LOK CEO
During the orientation for Class XXVIII, the LOK video was shown.  It briefly depicts the history of our organization and tells the story of our founding.  Then at the Class XXVIII Retreat, Gary Richetto, facilitated for the 28th time and got the new class off on the right foot.  Ken Busby and Bill Andoe brought the St. Crispin's Experience to the retreat for the seventh time. To close the retreat, Charlie Baker and Bill Blew, both from Class I, did their version of leadership speed dating.  Class XXVIII experienced the bonding and connections we all felt during our LOK class.

As I experienced this with the new class and as a proud member of Class I, I sat in wonder at the how amazing our organization is.  In Class I we had no idea that what started in 1986 by a group of Oklahoma leaders inspired by the belief that there was a need for more leadership at the state level met to discuss what to do. From that meeting came a proposal to have a statewide leadership program. People at the meeting left probably thinking that nothing more would be done but they were wrong. Clayton Taylor, Hershel Lamirand, and David Miller from Oklahoma City along with Dale Teeters, Rusty Richards, and Suzie Woody from Tulsa began meeting regularly in Stroud at the Quarter Horse Inn to develop an idea. The Quarter Horse Six, as they became known, divided Oklahoma into six regions, Oklahoma and Tulsa Counties plus the four quadrants of the state, to identify leaders to attend a meeting with the goal of forming a new statewide leadership program.

In October 1986, 32 people met in Norman to form the first Board of Directors of what would become Leadership Oklahoma.  Committees were formed. Office space and support was generously provided by Ron Yordi at Yordi Construction in Oklahoma City. A part-time executive director was hired, Sue Ann Hyde. To initially start the program, LOK was affiliated with the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals until LOK could get its own 501(c)(3). Major donors in the beginning were Southwestern Bell Telephone, Phillips, Texaco, McCasland Foundation, Yordi Construction, Doctors Hospital (Tulsa) and others.

On September 27, 1987, LOK Class I was started. After eight class sessions, the 52 members of Class I graduated on May 1, 1988. LOK became incorporated and established its own tax-exempt status that same year and history was in the making.  We have now entered our 28th year with 1,381 graduates from 166 communities. In 2001, Youth LOK was developed and has now completed 14 classes with 720 graduates from 224 schools.

From a start of one part-time executive director, we now have a full-time staff of three plus a part-time Youth LOK Director. Sue Ann Hyde gave birth to the program as executive director; Jeanne Gillert helped raise the child as the second executive director; and then Nancy Leonard became the heart and soul of the program for 12 years. Now I have the good fortune to follow in the footsteps of these great women.

What sets this organization apart from others is the collective result of what happens when Oklahomans come together and work toward something positive through the mutual respect that has been developed and the common experiences shared.  When Leadership Oklahoma graduates tell me they want to remain connected to the organization, what they really mean is connected to the participants. During each Leadership Oklahoma class, I am able to watch as class members learn more about the issues facing their communities and other communities all around our state. The real payoff is when participants are inspired by what they have learned and find ways to get more involved in improving our state.  Leadership Oklahoma is making a difference. It provides hope for the future as we work together to make Oklahoma a better place in which to live and work.


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»Development Update

This month’s election begins a new chapter of leadership in our state’s history. Those elected officials, both Republican and Democrat, will play a critical role as the state faces the challenges that lie ahead.  As important as our elected leaders are to the future of Oklahoma, there is a collection of people even better poised to grow Oklahoma – Leadership Oklahoma graduates! Leadership Oklahoma has provided educational opportunities for both adults and youth that increase awareness of issues and encourage positive action for the betterment of our state. However, you may not be aware that over 73% of the LOK budget is from donations and that approximately $500,000 must be raised each year to sustain at the level we are today, much less to extend our programs and our offerings.  Would you consider extending your support with a $150 year-end donation to LOK?  Your donation, in addition to the membership dues that you’ve already given, will help LOK deliver on its mission, “Oklahoma Leaders Making Oklahoma the Leader”. Please send your checks or credit card information for this End-of-the-Year Sustainability Campaign to Leadership Oklahoma, 5500 N. Western, Suite 142, Oklahoma City, OK 73118 or you may donate by clicking here.

Sam Combs III

2014-2015 Chair, Development Committee

»Helping Oklahoma Contest

Oklahoma is blessed with a tremendous volunteer community, people whose generosity of time and talent has an immeasurable impact on the lives of Oklahomans in need. Does this describe someone—or several people—you know?  The "Helping Oklahoma" contest is designed to recognize Oklahoma volunteers who go above and beyond to make a difference in their communities and/or Oklahoma.   It is an opportunity for you to nominate a volunteer in your community who makes the kind of positive difference that deserves to be recognized.  The winning volunteer will be awarded $2,500 for the charitable organization served by the volunteer. Details can be found at Nominations must be made online at no later than November 21, 2014.

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»Class XXVIII Visits Lawton



Class XXVIII was able to learn “firsthand” the social and economic importance and impact of all branches of the military on the state and the nation curing their visit to Lawton/Ft. Sill.  They also increased the understanding of current critical military issues that are impacting the lives of Oklahomans. 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, Kathleen Patton

For a civilian accustomed to a lifestyle filled with personal freedoms including choices in food, clothing, schedule, bedding, privacy, thermostat settings, etc., the LOK Class XXVIII visit to Lawton/Fort Sill was a mini demonstration of the absence of those freedoms – a scaled-down boot camp, early PT, cold showers, scratchy bedding, quick meals (on the military schedule) and “purposeful” walking.  Did I mention the cold showers? 

Although I’ve always felt gratitude for our military men and women, my visit to Fort Sill provided me with context. For the seemingly inconsequential personal sacrifices I noticed and listed above, and for the sacrifices of individuality, I’m grateful. My gratitude deepens when I consider our military’s sacrifice of opportunities - dinner parties with friends, drop-in visits with parents or grandparents, leisure bike rides around the lake, and attendance at a child’s band contest, etc. 

Through the 48 hours spent with the soldiers, I gained confidence in our nation’s security as I saw our military leadership and soldiers in action.  I watched them handle explosives with well-designed precision and safety. I watched them honor our nation’s history with poignant ceremonies. I watched them display physical and mental discipline.  I watched them demonstrate technology with knowledge and skill.  I saw individual and collective strength and remarkable leadership – all the things you would hope for in our military.  We’re in good hands! 

I left with a very strong sense of responsibility – to make sure that I take part in ensuring that we are providing our nation’s sons and daughters with the appropriate tools, weapons, training, support, bedding, food and clothing to keep them strong, healthy and safe while they serve us, and to make sure I actively support their successful transition from military to civilian life in a way that honors their sacrifice and service.

Comments from Class XXVIII member, David Nimmo

Leadership Oklahoma Class XXVIII enjoyed the privilege of spending forty-eight hours with some of the brightest, best trained, and bravest soldiers in the world recently.  Our class was hosted by Major General John G. Rossi, the Commanding General of the Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Lawton, Oklahoma.  General Rossi made it clear that his desire is to share with the civilian population the work of the Fires Center of Excellence and the confident, competent, and dedicated warriors and leaders serving there.  We were treated to a significantly toned down version of “boot camp” complete with toned up drill sergeants that taught us how to “move with a purpose” among other things.  Although that activity started our experience with fear and intimidation, the balance of the weekend filled us with awe, inspiration, and confidence in our all-volunteer citizen army.

I was surprised to learn that only one percent (1%) of the citizenry serves in the military, and only twenty percent (20%) of those seeking to serve are accepted.  Perhaps I should not have been since it was observed by Heraclitus more than twenty-five hundred years ago.

“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.”

We had the opportunity to meet the ‘one’ over mealtime as we scattered amongst the trainees on their way to becoming soldiers.  I can assure you we are in good hands.  Mature, dedicated, disciplined men and women who are being provided the best in equipment and training the world has to offer.  Veterans Day on November 11th will be special for Class XXVIII as we stop and give thanks for all those who serve now and who have served in the past.  

Check out pictures from the October Class XXVIII program in Lawton.

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»YLOK Accepting Applications for Class XV


The deadline is fast approaching for Youth Leadership Oklahoma applications! The deadline to submit is 5 p.m. Tuesday, December, 2, 2014 to the LOK office. The YLOK program dates are Sunday, June 7-Friday to June 12, 2015. If you know an outstanding junior in high school please encourage them to apply. You can download the application from the LOK website at or by contacting Lee Anne Stone, Youth Director, at 405-848-0001 or      



Xavier Neira

2014-2015 Chair, Youth Program Committee


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»Members attend the ALP Regional Conference

Association of Leadership Programs’ Regional Conference was held in Oklahoma City this past month.  Marion Paden, Class XXII, chaired the conference which was hosted by Leadership Oklahoma and Leadership Oklahoma City. Rich Cantillion, Class XI, Lee Anne Stone, Class XXVII, and Diana Hartley, Class XXIV were speakers for breakout sessions and David Woods, Class XII was the luncheon keynote that was attended by approximately 140 people from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas and Nebraska.

       David Woods, Keynote Luncheon Speaker                             Marion Paden, Conference Chair                         

Diana Hartley, Breakout Session Speaker 


 David Woods, Ann Ackerman, Mary Blankenship Pointer                                   


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»Lights, Camera, Action!

LOK members got the “reel” scoop on the economic and community impact of film production, what it takes to produce movies in Oklahoma, and looked at what’s happening in film education within our local universities.  The afternoon ended viewing a number of short films produced in the state while snacking on popcorn and coke floats.  A big “thank you” to Lance McDaniel (Class XXVII) for putting together a fabulous afternoon.  We had 30 LOK members and guests attend the event.  One main takeaway from the event is that the film and music industry is a vital part of our economy and we as LOK members can encourage our legislators to work with the industry to help it continue to grow.

Below are some photos from the afternoon. To see more photos click here!




 Tony Payne and Cristy Morrison enjoying the popcorn!


Tony Zahn waiting for his Coke Float!

Eileen Leonard, Carolyn Stager, Aaron Fulkerson and Jayne Detten

Xavier Neira, Ann Caine, Melinda Johnson, Pat Martin and Jamie Payne

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»Upcoming Member Events

Leadership Oklahoma Holiday Party

The LOK Holiday Party is on December 5, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the home of Rhonda and Phil Cook (Class XXVII), 6025 River Oaks Rd., Edmond, OK  73013.  LOK members and guests are invited to attend.  Dress is festive attire.  Valet parking will be available.  If you haven’t done so already, please RSVP by November 26, 2014. Click here to RSVP. Let's hope the weather cooperates this year!


Directions to The Cook’s house:  Take I-35 to Hefner Rd.  Go East on Hefner Rd. about 1 ½ miles.  Just past Oakdale School is the River Oaks housing addition gated entrance to use.  The gate code is #2262.  Proceed through the gate to the second stop sign.  Turn right on River Oaks Rd.  The Cook’s house is on the left.


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»Announcements and Upcoming Events


 November 21, 2014
Deadline: Helping Oklahoma Contest Nominations
 November 26, 2014
Deadline: Register for the Leadership Oklahoma Holiday Party
 December 2, 2014

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

Upcoming Events:

 December 5, 2014
LOK Holiday Party, Edmond, Home of Rhonda and Phil Cook (Class XXVII) 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
 January 2015 (TBA)
Meet and Greet with the State Superintendent
 February 28, 2015
Excellence in Leadership Gala, Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
 April 2015 (TBA)
Energy Industry Update and Tour of Oil Rig

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»Leaders on the Move

The Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby, Class III. received the John E. Kennedy Community Service award by the Knights of Columbus Council 1038.

The University of Tulsa Alumni Association has inducted Nevyle R. Cable, Class IX, as Distinguished Alumni.

Be on the lookout for a new lobbying firm started by Gwendolyn Caldwell, Class XXV: Caldwell and Associates.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority has appointed Tanya Case, Class III, to its Board of Directors.

The House Republican Caucus has tapped Representative Lee Denney, Class VII, as Speaker Pro Tempore-elect.

Nance Diamond, Class I, is named trustee by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.

Nabholz Construction Services welcomes Shane Fernandez, Class XXVII, as Southwest Operations President.

Congratulations to Jonathan Fowler, Class XXV, on being named to okc.BIZ Class 2014 Forty Under 40.

Gilbert Hall, Class XIII, has been appointed to the Muskogee Public Schools Board of Education.

The Michi Susan Award was bestowed upon Lance McDaniel, Class XXVII, by the Paseo Arts Association on November 12, 2014.

Sunbeam Family Services welcomes Jim Priest, Class IX, as their new Chief Executive Officer.

David Rainbolt, Class I, has received the President’s Award by Oklahoma City University. He was recognized at the Oklahoma Commerce and Industry Hall of Honor luncheon on October 29, 2014.

The Sonic Corporation has promoted Anita Vanderveer, Class XXVIII, to Senior Vice President of People.

Paul Sechrist, Class XVI, plans to retire from OCCC on July 1, 2015.

Former House speaker T.W. Shannon, Class XIX, has joined Premier Consulting Partners in Tulsa.

Super Lawyers Magazine named Laura McConnell-Corbyn (Class XVI)  as one of the top 50 attorneys in Oklahoma and among the top 25 women attorneys. Laura was also named a Super Lawyer in Family Practice. 

Oklahoma City Friday named “Oklahoma City’s Most Powerful Women” as voted upon by civic and business leaders. In the top ten were Meg Salyer (Class VIII), Ann Hargis (Class V), Marnie Taylor (Class XXIV) and Debby Hampton (Class XIV).

Natalie Shirley (Class XXII), Vicki Miles-LaGrange (Class V), Kim Henry (Class XVII), Teresa Rose (Class XXVII), Jari Askins (Class VI), Cathy O’Connor (Class XX), Rhonda Hooper (Class XXII) were in the top twenty-eight.


Rounding out the rest of the top fifty are Ann Ackerman (Class I), Judy Hatfield (Class XIV), Sue Ann Hamm (Class XXIV), Jane Jenkins (Class XXVII), Mary Mélon, (Class XVI), Marion Paden (Class XXII), Pat Potts (Class IX) and Kathy Williams (Class XXVI).


Oklahoma City Friday also had their readers voted on the most powerful. The results from the readers included on the most powerful list Meg Salyer, Ann Hargis, Vicki Miles-LaGrange, Jari Askins, Ann Ackerman, Marnie Taylor, Rhonda Hooper, Marion Paden, Mary Mélon, Kim Henry, Debby Hampton and Pat Potts.


In addition, the newspaper named the five Most Powerful Women in Small Business, Powerful Voices for Women and Powerful in Volunteerism. Brenda Jones Barwick (Class XXV), Donna Lawrence (Class XII) and Mary Blankenship Pointer (Class XXII) were named in each, respectively.

2014 Mid-Term Election Results

  Gary Banz, Class XVII; State House District 101

  Deborah B. Barnes, Class XII; Court of Civil Appeals, District 2, Office 1

  G.T. Bynum, Class XXIV; Tulsa County, City Council District 9

  Kevin Calvey, Class XV; State House District 82

  Lee Denney, Class VII; State House District 33

  Angele Marsee, Class XXVII; District Attorney, District 2

  Greg Mashburn, Class XXVII; District Attorney, District 21

  Kevin Matthews, Class XXVIII; State House District 73

  Jeannie McDaniel, Class XIX; State House District 78

  Randy McDaniel, Class XXI; State House District 83

  Leslie Osborn, Class XXVII; State House District 47

  Anastasia A. Pittman, Class XXII; State Senate District 48

  Todd Russ, Class XXI; State House District 55

  Ben Sherrer, Class XXIV; State House District 8

  George E. Young, Class XVIII; State House District 99



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»In Memory: Liz Beaty, Class XI

On September 27, Leadership Oklahoma lost a member of Class XI, Liz Beaty, after a courageous battle with cancer.  Liz became a Certified Public Accountant in 1987 and established her own company, Elizabeth L. Beaty, CPA in 1996 in Enid.

 In addition to being a member of Leadership Oklahoma, Liz was a member of Leadership Greater Enid, where she served a term as president. She was a member of the Oklahoma Society of CPAs and the Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce, where she served a term on the board and was the former chairwoman of the Chamber of Commerce Education Committee. She was co-founder of Greater Enid Recognizing Opportunities of Tomorrow (ROOTS) and served on the Advisory Board for National Bank of Commerce.

Below is a remembrance from a classmate of Liz: 

Liz and I developed a great friendship during our year in LOK Class XI, but it was solidified on an LOK trip to Canada.  Liz, Kathy Jones, Lynn Jones and I had a great time.  On the train trip from Ottawa to Quebec City, we shared table seating and laughed so much that we were all exhausted when we got to our hotel.  Some of our fellow travelers thought that perhaps we had been drinking but we were just enjoying life and being together.  I will never forget that trip and Liz.  She and I also shared a love for dogs and I visited her in Enid with my dogs in tow.  She stayed in my home a few times.  I remember, in particular, when she visited me just after finishing chemo for her breast cancer.  What a trouper she was.  She shared so much with me about her experience with cancer.  I was amazed at her spirit and positive outlook.  That was Liz, facing all obstacles with grace and determination.  Although we didn’t spend much time together the last few years, we both knew our friendship was solid.  I miss her and appreciate so much the time we had together.

Ann Metcalf
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»Class Reunion Photos

Below are some class reunion photos for you to enjoy. If you have photos from your reunion, please send them in!


Class XXIV

 Class XXV


Class XXVI


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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. 


Joe Abshere, Class XXVII
Wayne's Drive Inn

Charlie Baker, Class I
3714 East 59th
Tulsa, OK 74135

Michelle Campbell, Class XXIII
Assistant State Director, Communications, Research, and Organizational Development
Oklahoma Small Business Development Center, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
1405 N. 4th Ave., PMB 2584
Durant, OK 74701
P: 580 745-3326

Terry James, Class XIII

Jessica Pfau, Class XXVI
Shiloh Morning Inn Bed and Breakfast
2179 Ponderosa Road
P: (580) 277-9922

Betty Pfefferbaum, Class VIII
George Lynn Cross Research Professor, Dept. of Psychology and Behavioral Science, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, College of Medicine
Post Office Box 26901 WP 3417
Zip Code change: 73126

Terry Wolfe, Class XIV
Chief Operating Officer
Deer Creek Schools
20701 N. MacArthur Blvd.
Edmond, OK 73102
P: (405) 348-6100 ext. 1136


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