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November 2015 E-News!
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                                  »In This Issue

Message from the President & CEO

Class XXIX in Sulphur

YLOK Applications Due December 1st

Development Update

Helping Oklahoma Contest

November Member Education Event

RSVP for the Holiday Party

February Member Education Event

Save the Date! 2016 Gala

Deadlines & Upcoming Events

Did You Know?

Leaders on the Move!

Class XXVIII in Tulsa

 2015 Fall Forum

Member Updates

»Message From the President & CEO

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. - Winston Churchill

As thoughts turn to giving thanks at this time of year, I want to express my appreciation for the support I have received from you and the staff over the past few months.

n behalf of Leadership Oklahoma, I thank you for your support of this outstanding organization for the past 29 years. You have helped Oklahoma be a great state in which to live and work. LOK continues to educate current and emerging leaders about the challenges facing Oklahoma. We also provide a unique opportunity for participants from across the state to become more informed, involved, and inspired leaders – leaders who are passionate in their desire to work for the betterment
of all Oklahomans.

Leadership Oklahoma relies upon the generous support of donors to further our mission of “Oklahoma Leaders making Oklahoma the Leader.” Support comes in many forms. Whether as a sponsor, speaker, volunteer or friend of the organization, you have helped us promote the mission and goals of Leadership Oklahoma. Your engagement and commitment inspire a deep passion for what we do. Thank you for giving to LOK and being a valued and dedicated member of our community. 

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»Class XXIX In Sulphur

Class XXIX Tribal and Tourism Session was held October 29-31, 2015, at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur.  Read reflections from members of Class XXIX below, and click here for more photos from the session.


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Reflections on the Tribal Government and Tourism

Jeanette Capshaw, Class XXIX
Deputy Superintendent
Moore Norman Technology Center

Driving home from our visit to Sulphur, and reflecting on time spent at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, images flash in my mind like a photographer taking pictures with an old camera—

“Flash”— Driving into Sulphur and being pleasantly surprised with the first glimpse of a revitalized town;

“Flash”— The beautiful Artesian Hotel and the anticipation of a relaxing spa date after our less than spa-like barracks adventure at Ft. Sill (no MRE’s here!);

“Flash”— The powerful presentation of the Posting of the Colors by the Chickasaw Honor Guard;

“Flash”— My conversation with a Chickasaw artisan, and realizing the importance of keeping tribal history in future motion from his proud display of beadwork taught to him by his grandmother.

The session goal of understanding tribal government and tourism, and realizing the extent of tribal contributions to our great state surpassed my expectations. We were shown how tribal sovereignty has enhanced Oklahoma’s economy with its distinctive cultural businesses attracting tourists from all over the world. Governor Bill Anoatubby stated “a rising tide raises all boats” with the communal collaboration of state and tribal economies. The broad spectrum of employment in our state generated by tribal businesses is impressive. Oklahoma history shows it became the new home for many tribes. It has built thriving state and tribal relationships which continue to provide a positive economic impact.

This session left me with a deep appreciation of tribal history and the importance of keeping this knowledge in the present. Governor Anoatubby’s statement of “united we thrive” is a perfect description of the journey between our state and tribal partnerships.


Ld Jones, Class XXIX


Duncan Convention & Visitors Bureau

As a director of a destination marketing organization in rural southwest Oklahoma, it was no surprise to me that tourism is currently the third largest economic engine for our great state. It was no surprise to me that the tribes of Oklahoma play a vital role in that engine with their varied business interests.

The Chickasaw Nation’s growth alone is amazing and, as Duncan is fortunate to fall within their geographic lands and partners with them when opportunities present themselves, my community benefits from their efforts as does the entire state. It was also no surprise to me that the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department does a good job in marketing the 14 diverse ecosystems, their natural wonders, the state parks and their tourism industry partners. What did surprise me? That in spite of the significance of tourism to our economy as a state, the tourism department continues to be reduced in funding by our legislature and now has a smaller marketing budget than that of Oklahoma City. That we, as Oklahomans, do not necessarily know about all the amazing tourism products that are right here in our back yard ready to be experienced. Air Donkey Zipline!

And lastly, it did not surprise me when I, alongside my classmates, had a blast planning out itineraries exploring this great state that we all call home. My take away? Educate our legislators about tourism and plan more staycations…”Oklahoma…come see for yourself”!

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»Youth Application Deadline is December 1st

The application deadline for Youth Leadership Oklahoma is almost here! If you know a current junior in high school that you think would be a great fit for the next YLOK class, please encourage them to apply!

Applications are on the LOK website or can be requested from Lee Anne Stone, Youth Director, at Applications are due back in the LOK office no later than Tuesday, December 1, 2015. The dates for the YLOK program this year are June 5-10, 2016.

Cristy Morrison, Class XV
YLOK Program Chair

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»Development Update

Class XXIX has started the year off in a big way. They appear to be on track to perhaps become the “Best Class Ever.” But that wouldn’t be possible without the groundwork laid and the support received from the other 28 “Best Classes Ever.” So thank each of you for that.

As you know, the economy in Oklahoma has hit a bit of a bump overall and, in some sectors, it has hit a pothole. Like many nonprofits, Leadership Oklahoma is no different, which is being reflected in donations to and support for the organization.

In order to get our donations for Leadership Oklahoma back on track, you will soon receive a letter asking for your help. I would ask that when you get that letter that you consider a year-end gift to Leadership Oklahoma. I know you believe in the work of LOK and you see its impact in our communities.

I hope that each of you have a safe and happy holiday season and a prosperous new year.

Mark Williams, Class XXV

Chair, Development Committee
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»Helping Oklahoma Contest Deadline is November 20th

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?

Leadership Oklahoma's "Helping Oklahoma" contest is your opportunity to nominate a volunteer in your community who makes the kind of positive difference that deserves to be recognized. If selected as the winner, your nominee will receive a $2,500 prize to be donated to the charity outlined in the nomination.

"Helping Oklahoma" is a contest developed to further Leadership Oklahoma’s mission to create, inspire and support leaders whose commitment to service energizes Oklahomans to shape our state’s future. Nominations of Oklahoma volunteers who go above and beyond to make a difference in their communities and/or Oklahoma will be accepted until November 20, 2015.

For more information, go to, or contact the LOK office at 405-848-0001 or email

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»Upcoming Member Event for November


New Heights in Aviation: A Bird’s Eye View of UAV’s in Oklahoma
November 23, 2015
1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
OSU - College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, Stillwater
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm (Optional Social Event) - LOK networking social event at MoJo’s Rock’n’Bowl Grill
Dress: Business Casual
Cost: Member is free; non-member is $20
RSVP by November 17, 2015 -  Click here to register!

Don’t miss out on this great event! You won’t “drone” out, we promise. Warren Thomas, Managing General Partner for Tinker Business & Industrial Park; Dr. Stephen McKeever, OK Secretary for Science & Technology; Dr. Andy Arena, Professor at OSU, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; and Congressman Jim Bridenstine, 1st District, will discuss UAV’s in Oklahoma giving insight into the marketable industries and its applications, an overview of the State’s interest in this industry, discussion from the academic perspective and potential policy and legislation regarding UAV’s. Cu Nguyen (Class 3), CEO of HeliDirect and Founder of Vis-Analytics will be discussing business entrepreneurial and development along with Gary Ambrose, ‎Director of Strategy & Applied Research at OSU Research Foundation. Inspector Billy Risley will discuss the FAA’s role in the UAV industry and highlight new guidelines for the industry. The afternoon will end with tours through OSU’s indoor flight area, the wind tunnel and simulation facility.

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm (Optional Social Event) – LOK networking social event at MoJo’s Rock’n’Bowl Grill: Whether you come to the UAV event or can only come by after work, we’d love to see you! This is a great opportunity to catch up with other LOK alums and possibly bowl a game or two. The cost is on you; the fun is on us!

A big thank you to the planning committee: Lindy Ritz, Carolyn Stager, Rex Smitherman, Phil Kliewer, Ben Kimbro and Toney Stricklin.

Click here to register NOW!

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»RSVP for the 2015 Holiday Party!

LOK Holiday Party - Tulsa
December 11, 2015
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm (come & go)
Ross Group
510 E. 2nd St., Tulsa
Cost: Free to LOK Member and guest
Dress: Festive Holiday Attire

Click HERE to register.

Deadline to RSVP is December 4th.

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»Upcoming Member Event for February


Current Issues Affecting the Middle East: A Conversation with Don Betz
February 9, 2016
CKH Central Boathouse
732 E. 6th St., Oklahoma City
5:30 pm – Reception
6:15 pm to 7:00 pm – Conversation with Don Betz
Cost: TBD

Mark your calendar now! More details to follow…

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»Save the Date for the 2016 Gala!


Excellence in Leadership Gala – OKC
February 27, 2016
The Skirvin Hilton
One Park Ave., OKC
Dress: Black Tie Optional

Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations! The gala Co-Chairs are Linda and Drew Edmondson and Nina and Robert Butkin. Due to the Oklahoma City Thunder game on this day, we are planning to start the event earlier so people could come to the gala, then head off to the game (or stick around and watch it downtown). Please mark your calendars NOW to attend. Printed invitations will be mailed in January.

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

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»Deadlines and Upcoming Events

November 17, 2015
 Deadline to register for member event:
 New Heights in Aviation: A Bird’s Eye View of UAV’s in Oklahoma
November 20, 2015
 Deadline for Helping Oklahoma Contest nominations
December 1, 2015
 Deadline for YLOK applications
December 3, 2015
 Deadline to RSVP for the Holiday Party

Upcoming Events:
November 23, 2015
 New Heights in Aviation: A Bird’s Eye View of UAV’s in Oklahoma
 OSU - College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, Stillwater
December 11, 2015
 LOK Holiday Party - Ross Group - 510 E. 2nd Street, Tulsa
February 9, 2016  Current Issues Affecting the Middle East: A Conversation with Don Betz
 CKH Central Boathouse 
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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»Leaders on the Move

Chad Alexander, Class XXV, debuted his own political talk show on KOKC 1520AM on November 9th.

Sue Ann Arnall, Class XXIV, was presented the Department of Human Services Partner Award for her extraordinary support for the Youth Village initiative to help children in foster care. She was joined by former LOK CEO Ann Ackerman, Class I, as well as Class XXIV classmates Robin Roberts Krieger, Connie Schlittler, Joe Leverett, Betsy Brunsteter and Beth Kerr.

Allied Arts has announced several LOK Graduates as additions to its executive committee and board of directors for 2015-2016. New executive committee members are: Brian Byrnes, Class XXVIII, branding and marketing chair; Renzi Stone, Class XVIII, board chair; and David Woods, Class XII, strategic planning chair. New board members include: Elizabeth Hunt, Class XXI, Chris Kenney, Class XXI, and Brad Krieger, Class XXV.

Jeannie Barbour, Class X, will receive the Governor’s Award for longtime leadership and contributions to the arts on December 2nd during the 40th annual Governor’s Arts Awards.

Brenda Jones Barwick, Class XXV, was awarded the 2015 Headliner Award by the Association for Women in Communications.

Phil Berkenbile, Class XIV, and Greg Pierce, Class IX, were inducted into the 2015 Oklahoma Career-Tech Education Hall of Fame.

Lauren Brookey, Class XXIV, has been accepted into the PRSA College of Fellows.

Martha Burger, Class I, was inducted into UCO's Order of the Clocktower for her successful leadership of the Always Central campaign.

Pete Galbraith, Class XIII, was named president-elect of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors.

Cassie Gilman, Class XXIX, received the award for Outstanding Fundraising Professional Outside Oklahoma City by the Oklahoma Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Anil V. Gollahalli, Class XXIII, has been named president of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.

Several LOK grads are involved with companies named to the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce 2015 Metro 50 list of privately held fastest growing companies in the metro area. David Nimmo, Class XXVIII, of CNI Advantage, LLC, Karen Wicker, Class XXI, principal of Candor, Clint Parr, Class XV, of liquidfish, Brenda Jones Barwick, Class XXV, of Jones PR, and Dan Martel, Class XXIX, Debbie Schramm, Class XXVIII, and Renzi Stone, Class XVIII, of Saxum.

Susan Harris, Class XXII, received the Tulsa Community College Foundation’s 2015 Vision in Education Leadership Award.

Melissa Houston, Class XII, has been appointed Labor Commissioner for the state.

Bill Lance, Class XXV, was inducted into the Oklahoma Commerce & Industry 2015 Hall of Honor, and received the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Several LOK grads are involved with companies receiving awards from the Oklahoma Quality Award Foundation. Larry Hawkins, Class XII, Elaine Stith, Class XXVIII, of Metro Technology Center, 2015 Leadership in Excellence Award, Mike Neal, Class XXI, of Tulsa Regional Chamber, 2015 Foundation of Excellence Award, Robyn Sunday-Allen, Class XXVI, and Dan Molina, Class XXIX, of The Oklahoma City Indian Clinic, 2015 Pursuit of Excellence Award.

Warren Ross, Class XXIII, has established the Ross Group Distinguished Speaker in Engineering Series, the first endowed lecture series at OSU-Tulsa.

Susan Tarp, Class XXIV, was promoted to community bank president by First United Bank.

Darrell Weaver, Class XXIII, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Oklahoma.

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»Class XXVIII Members Get Together

Kevin Matthews, Michelle Hardesty, Kent Carter, Sherri Wilt and Phil Kaiser at Cosmo's Cafe in Tulsa.

 Send photos of your class events to

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»2015 Fall Forum

Click here to see more photos from the Fall Forum.


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»Member Updates

The 2015-2016 LOK Annual Report and Membership Directory has been mailed to LOK lifetime members and those members who have paid their 2015-2016 membership dues. Below are  membership contact information changes from October 16 to November 15. Click HERE to see all member updates.

XXIII • Julie Bohannon
Director, Associate Planned Giving
Salvation Army, Arkansas-Oklahoma Division
6601 N. Broadway Ext., Suite 300
Oklahoma City, OK 73116

XVI • Timothy Dowd

VII • Scott Draughon

IV • Drew Edmondson

XV • Barry Farbo
HR Specialist, Employee and Labor Relations
HIS – Claremore Indian Hospital
101 S. Moore Avenue
Claremore, OK 74017
T: 918-342-6692

XXIII • Garyl Geist
Executive Vice President – Chief Operating Officer
Dean McGee Eye Institute
608 Stanton L. Young Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
T: 405-271-5214
F: 405-271-3013

XIII • Ron Matlock
Law/Self Employed
44 Crestview Road
Lake Eufaula, OK 74432

III • Cu Nguyen

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