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October 2015 E-News!
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                                  »In This Issue

Message from the President & CEO

Class XXIX Lawton/Ft. Sill

YLOK Recruitment

Distinguished Leadership Award

2015 Fall Forum

November Member Education Event

Save the Date! Holiday Party

February Member Education Event

Save the Date! 2016 Gala

Helping Oklahoma Contest

Deadlines & Upcoming Events

Did You Know?

Leaders on the Move

In Memory of Ellen Millard

Member Updates

»Message From the President & CEO

We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.
                                                                                         ― Max DePree

Now in its 29th year, Leadership Oklahoma is at the threshold of phase three in its organizational life-cycle.

In its initial phase, LOK selected 50 of Oklahoma’s most influential leaders annually to go through a program designed to expand their knowledge of statewide offerings and to extend their network of fellow leaders. Following this initial phase, a second mission was added in 2001, when LOK established a program to develop leaders from among Oklahoma youth (YLOK).

LOK Board of Directors has now engaged public relations firm Candor, and its principles Karen Wicker and Jim Kessler, to conduct a series of interviews with a group of LOK graduates who are not currently serving on the Board, in order to gather their feedback regarding the current status of LOK and its future. The results of the interviews will be used to help formulate a Member Survey that will be created and administered in November. The Board of Directors will review the findings of the Member Survey at a day long retreat to be held in January 2016. It is anticipated that the Board retreat will result in a plan that will provide a framework for the future, internally called LOK 3.0, which will enable the organization to leverage its network, measure its impact and expand its reach.

When you receive the email link to the Member Survey, I do hope that you will participate.  You have a unique perspective of the organization and your input is critical to our planning for the future. I look forward to what LOK will become with your support and guidance.

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»Class XXIX In Lawton/Fort Sill

Class XXIX Military Session was held September 24-26, 2015, at Ft. Sill and Cameron University in Lawton. With the hard work and dedication of the Lawton Community, Class XXIX had an experience they will never forget. Read reflections from three members of Class XXIX below.



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Reflections on the Military Sessions

Anna America, Class XXIX
City Councilor
City of Tulsa

“Ft. Sill will be awesome!” former LO-ers told me. “It will change you forever!’

Still, I admit, I was secretly dreading it. Barrack sleeping? 5:30 PT? Group showers? Sounded like something to endure, not enjoy.

As it turned out, the most obvious highlights were those “hardships” that ended up being fun (mostly because we knew we only had to do it for a few hours) – getting yelled at by the drill sergeants, the pre-dawn PT, learning to make the military style beds, the slumber-party type atmosphere in the barracks, shooting lessons, eating MREs for lunch.  

We learned a lot – about the economic impact of the bases, about the relationship between the base and the community, about the challenges facing those coming in to the military, those in service careers, and those transitioning into civilian life.

But the greatest impact came in conversations with the soldiers. Over and over, we saw the human face of the tremendous courage, commitment and sacrifice that we ask of those who serve in the military and their families. I think all of us went home determined to find ways to do a better job of recognizing and honoring that.

Both days, I breakfasted in the mess hall with soldiers midway through basic training. Eager to talk after weeks of being able to say little more than “YES DRILL SEARGEANT!”, they spoke of home, of the family they left behind, of missed girlfriends, of what they hoped to learn and see and do for the country. A 19-year-old from Nebraska told me he snuck in the latrine at night to scrawl letters home to his mom, and I smiled so I didn’t embarrass him by crying. I couldn’t stop thinking about my 17-year-old son at home, just months away in age from these young men and women (“Babies!” My head kept saying. “They are babies!”). I make him text me when he is driving late at night so I know he has arrived safely. Sometime soon, these young men and women who could be his classmates might be asked to kill to protect us – or to die for us.

So yeah, you all – you were right. Ft. Sill was awesome. And it changed us forever.


Steve Hahn, Class XXIX
AT&T Oklahoma

To capture my experience in Lawton / Fort Sill in a phrase: "eye-opening."  I'm certain that some, perhaps many, of my classmates have the same feeling. Sure, I was aware of the military facilities around our state. Sure, I knew it was important to our economy. Sure, I've always respected the service and sacrifice made by our military men and women. But the Leadership Oklahoma visit to Lawton / Fort Sill truly opened my eyes.

I was stunned by the caliber and character of the people we encountered, from the decorated senior leaders to the 18-year-old soldier in the middle of basic training. I'm a little embarrassed that during my time here in Oklahoma and in my home state of Texas, I've lived very near huge military installations and never really knew, or more pointedly bothered to find out, what went on behind those gates.

As we heard again and again at Fort Sill – it’s OUR Army. And I now believe it is our duty, not just as business and community leaders but as everyday citizens and parents, to share what we learned, what we saw, and what we experienced with our families, neighbors and friends. 


David Yarbrough, Class XXIX

Deputy Director

City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority

Drill Sergeant Garza stood imposingly in front of the loosely formed ranks of Leadership Oklahoma's Class XXIX, eyes barely visible under his razor straight campaign hat. The brim of that hat was just inches away from the forehead of one of my hapless classmates.

"Do you think this is funny? Am I funny?”, he challenged. Garza and six of his fellow drill sergeants swarmed, glowered, and yelled.  "All you have to do is line up and stand at attention! Is that so hard?"

Apparently, it was. We were a motley lot of Army wannabes, and the Drill Sergeants had their way.  Our titles and ranks were of no relevance -- President, CEO, Superintendent, Director, Judge, and even Colonel. We were all new recruits, and Drill Sergeants are no respecters of persons.

So began the Leadership Oklahoma - Ft. Sill Experience.

For the next thirty-six hours, our class received an intense crash course in army life and practice. This included sleeping in the barracks and awaking at oh-five-hundred hours for PT (PT evidently stands for Physical Torture, although I'm not sure if that refers to the pushups or the sleep deprivation).

Breakfast, however, was an unexpected delight. Not the cuisine, although it was fine, but the opportunity to sit at table and visit with soldiers in training was encouraging and uplifting. Without exception, those young recruits were bright, articulate, and inspiring. I enjoyed hearing my LOK classmates share the conversations and impressions gleaned from this time.

The busy day moved swiftly, and our LOK hosts were efficient. We wore body armor and Kevlar helmets, fired rifles at digital terrorists, and witnessed a live artillery exercise with the 434th Field Artillery Brigade. We were serenaded by an Army Bagpipe Brigade, ate MRE's (the 'Meatballs in Marinara Sauce' is exquisite), rode in a military convoy, and launched Patriot missiles (Ok, they may have been simulated missiles). Again and again, we encountered fascinating and energetic members of the world's greatest volunteer military force, the U.S. Army.

The LOK Program's goal of learning firsthand the social and economic importance and impact of the military on our state and nation was certainly accomplished, and my already high esteem and respect for our Nation's military was only increased by this incredible experience.

"Thank you" to all of the officers, non-coms, soldiers, and civilians of Ft. Sill, representatives of the City of Lawton, Goodyear Tire officials, Cameron University, LOK alumni and staff, and others who made this visit an extremely valuable, memorable, and enjoyable event.

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»Youth Recruitment Begins!

Cristy Morrison, Class XV
YLOK Program Chair

Recruiting for YLOK Class XVI has officially begun! 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.

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»Distinguished Leadership Award


Congratulations to Joe Moran III, Class  XXI, recipient of Leadership Oklahoma's 2015 Distinguished Leadership Award.
Joe will be presented the award at the 2015 Fall Forum on October 20, 2015. Join us in congratulating Joe on this recognition.

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»Mobile Bidding Available for the Fall Forum!

Click HERE to check out our page for this year's Fall Forum! If you can't make the event, you can still be a part of the fun! Start by purchasing a "not attending" ticket and include your name, cell number and email address. You will have the option to register your credit card information, and should you be the winning bidder, this option offers easy convenience.

2015 Fall Forum Mind Shift: Silencing the Stigma, Changing Perceptions
October 20, 2015 Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Downtown Medical Center
1:00 – 5:30 pm Forum & Annual LOK Meeting
5:30 – 6:30 pm Reception
6:30 – 9:00 pm Dinner Program
Dress: Business Casual

How we talk about mental illness matters. It contributes to the stigma, funding issues, continuum of care, the criminal justice system. The goal of the forum is to attempt to change people’s perceptions of mental illness and ways to begin to make change in our state through federal, state, local, personal perspectives and solutions. The planning committee has been hard at work finalizing all the details. Ted Streuli (Class XXIV) is the chair.

From 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm forum highlights will include an overview of what mental illness is, experience simulations of what it’s like to suffer from various mental illnesses, learning the challenges and difficulties navigating through life with a mental illness, and hear from Terri White regarding the Smart on Crime Initiative. Throughout the day personal stories will be shared. From 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm, the participants will have an opportunity to network with each other during the reception. Immediately following the reception, Liza Long, author of The Price of Silence: A Mom’s Perspective on Mental Illness, will join us as our dinner speaker. Mark your calendar now and plan to attend this event!

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»Upcoming Member Event for November


Unmanned Arial Vehicle Industry: Understanding Its Uses and Impact to Oklahoma
November 23, 2015
1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
OSU - College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, Stillwater
Cost: Member is free; non-member is $20
Dress: Business Casual
RSVP by November 13, 2015

Click HERE to register! A panel of experts from the industry will discuss UAV’s in Oklahoma giving perspectives on the marketable industries and applications, the State’s perspective, overview of the commercial technology development happening and the academic involvement to move the industry forward and available in OK. The Congressional delegation has been asked to come to give a policy/legislative perspective as well as a representative from the FAA. The event will end with the group splitting up to tour UAV labs and indoor UAV demonstrations. Static displays will be available to view from various companies/organizations.

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm (Optional Social Event) – LOK networking social event at MoJo’s Rocki’n’Bowl Grill: Stan has a new addition to the Stan Clark Companies! 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.

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»Save the Date for the 2015 Holiday Party!


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

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

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»Upcoming Member Event for February


Current Issues Affecting the Middle East: A Conversation with Don Betz
February 9, 2016, Details TBD
CKH Central Boathouse
732 E. 6th St., Oklahoma City​

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
5:00 – 7:00 pm
Dress: Black Tie Optional

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). Nominations for the awards are due November 10, 2015. Click HERE to download a nomination form. Please take a few minutes to nominate someone!

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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»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?

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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»Deadlines and Upcoming Events

November 10, 2015
 Deadline for Excellence in Leadership Awards nominations
November 11, 2015
 Deadline to receive special room rate at the Fairfield Inn and Suites for the Holiday Party
November 13, 2015
 Deadline to register for member event:
 Unmanned Arial Vehicle Industry: Understanding Its Uses and Impact to Oklahoma
November 20, 2015
 Deadline for Helping Oklahoma Contest nominations
December 1, 2015
 Deadline for YLOK applications

Upcoming Events:
October 20, 2015
 Fall Forum - Embassy Suites, Oklahoma City Downtown/Medical Center,
 721 N. Phillips Ave., Oklahoma City, 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm
November 23, 2015
 Unmanned Arial Vehicle Industry: Understanding Its Uses and Impact to Oklahoma
 OSU - College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, Stillwater
December 11, 2015
 LOK Holiday Party - The Ross Group - 510 E. 2nd Street, Tulsa
February 9, 2016  Current Issues Affecting the Middle East: A Conversation with Don Betz
 CKH Central Boathouse
 Details TBD
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

Alison Anthony, Class XXIII, was a panelist on the Governor's STEM Conference in Oklahoma City on October 13, 2015.

John Armitage, Class XXVI, Don Betz, Class III, Mike Carrier, Class XXVI, Patti Davis, Class XIII, Russ Florence, Class XVIII, Mark Funke, Class VII, Jim Gebhart, Class XXVIII, Judy Hatfield, Class XIV, Chris Kenney, Class XXI, Brad Krieger, Class XXV, Rick Lippert, Class XIV, Kristin Peck, Class XXVII, David Rainbolt, Class I, Jim Reese, Class IX, have been named United Way 2015 Campaign Cabinet Volunteers.

Tom Bates, Class XXVIII, has been named Governor Mary Fallin's special adviser on child welfare.

Don Betz, Class III, is on the cover of the October/November 2015 issue of ion Oklahoma Magazine. Also featured in this issue is LOK's CEO Marion Paden, Class XXI, and our newest recruits from Class XXIX.

Bill Blew, Class I, is now Senior Counsel at Gungoll, Jackson, Box & Devoll, P.C., in their Oklahoma City office. His primary work will involve complex family law cases, and he will also work with Oil & Gas issues and litigation.

Joseph R. Cunningham, Class XXVIII, has been named the Divisional Senior Vice President of Health Care Delivery and Chief Medical Officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma.

Drew Edmondson, Class IV, will be inducted into the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Hall of Fame on December 12, 2015.

Amy Ford, Class XXVIII, will be honored as one of Broken Arrow High School's Great Graduates on October 30, 2015.

Roger Gaddis, Class XV, and his wife Leigh recently celebrated their company's 20th anniversary, Gaddis & Gaddis Wealth Management.

Jane Jenkins, Class XXVII, will be the guest speaker for AIA Central Oklahoma on November 12th.

Carlos Johnson, Class IX, and Greg Massey, Class VIII, will be inducted into the Spears School Hall of Fame on November 6, 2015.

UCO Empowerment for Excellence will honor Beth Kerr, Class XXIV, with its Third Annual Women Who Inspire award on October 29, 2015.

Robin Roberts Krieger, Class XXIV, was awarded the Chairman’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), for a lasting commitment to the field of economic development.

Monica Wilke, Class XXVIII, will be presented an Honorary American FFA Degree on October 30th. This award honors those who have made outstanding contributions to FFA.

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»In Memory of Ellen Millard, Class I

Ellen Millard, Class I, was born on April 17, 1944 and passed away on Thursday, May 14, 2015. Ellen was a resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma at the time of her passing. Services were held at the Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 10 am. In lieu of flowers to honor Ellen's memory, the family asks that donations be made to cancer research at The Ohio State University, through Ellen's memorial profile by clicking HERE, or through a cancer related charitable organization of your choice.

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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 August 16 to October 15.

I • Bill Blew
Senior Counsel
Gungoll, Jackson, Box and Devoll, P.C.
101 Park Avenue
Suite 1400
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
T: 405-272-4710
F: 405-272-5141

XXIX • Susan Buck (Meeker)

XIX • Mike Homan
T: 405-877-5915

XXII • Mike Miller
3009 River Oaks Drive
Muskogee, OK 74403

XXIV • Marcy Price
Executive Board
Independent Transportation Network of Central Oklahoma

XII • Jerry Regier
20958 Ashburn Heights Drive
Ashburn, VA 20148

XXVI • Jay Weatherford
Wright County Community Action
130 W. Division Street
PO Box 787
Maple Lake, MN 55376

XXV • Brent Wright
Commander, 138th Mission Support Group
9100 E. 46th St. N.
Tulsa, OK 74115
T: 918-833-7211

XX • Dan Zaloudek
302 Sand River Court
Aiken, SC 29801

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