Monday, July 27, 2009

Chickasaw Nation to honor Lisa Johnson-Billy & Tessie Mobley

On August 13, the Chickasaw Nation will host their Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Riverwind Casino near Norman. Inductees are Lisa Johnson-Billy, Daniel Worcester, the late Tessie Mobley and the late Overton Love.

Lisa Johnson-Billy of Purcell is a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives (Republican-District 42). First elected to this post in 2004, she is the first woman and American Indian elected in the district. In 2006, she began the Oklahoma Native American Caucus and serves as co-chair. She is also vice chairwoman of the Republican Caucus in the House of Representatives and serves as deputy whip. Johnson-Billy previously served six years as a legislator for the Chickasaw Nation and was an educator in the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Oklahoma.

Born near Ardmore, Tessie “Lushanya” Mobley was a world famous operatic soprano in the 1940s and 1950s. After she sang in the Hollywood Bowl for the 1929 Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial, a promoter arranged for her to perform in Germany. She debuted with the Chicago Opera Company at the Teatro Verdi Opera House in Italy and eventually traveled and performed throughout Europe. She was known as the "songbird of the Chickasaws."

Inductees make a red carpet entrance at 6 p.m.; the Native-themed banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. There is no charge to attend but reservations are required for the event. They expect 525 so you'll want to arrive early for good seating. Make your reservations by contacting Brian Cooke at 580-559-0781 or e-mail

Source. Ada Evening News (

Sunday, July 26, 2009

OU Engineering Prof Amy Ceratore receives national honor

Amy Cerato, an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma, teaches civil engineering and environmental science. She is among the 100 recipients nationwide to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from President Obama. That is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers starting their independent careers. Congrats, Amy! Read The Oklahoman story HERE and the Lafayette College Alumni News article here . Here is the White House press release (Amy is under the National Science Foundation which is listed towards the bottom of the list).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The LINKS are coming to OKC

Over 500 members of the Links, Incorporated from 17 states in the Central Area of the US will be in Oklahoma City for 5 days beginning July 27. Founded in 1946, the Links is one of the oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. Learn more about the Links by clicking HERE.

They will be using the Renaissance Hotel, the Sheraton Hotel and the Cox Convention Center. The Links national president, Dr. Gwen Lee of Chicago, will deliver the keynote address at the civic luncheon on Friday. This is a great honor for our fine city. I got to speak to the Links several years ago and was so impressed by this remarkable group of African American women leaders. I'm hoping I'll get a chance to attendor at least stick my nose in for a little while.

Journal Record's 2009 "50 Making a Difference" Named

The Journal Record has announce the 2009 honorees for their "50 Making a Difference" program. The grand winner will be named at their 7 pm banquet on October 1. Individual tickets are $150, and corporate table sponsorships are available. Reservations for the banquet can be made by calling Kari Koster at (405) 278-2820 or by visiting their website (

I'll never make made it into the elite group of Oklahoma women who are honored this way but I DO love to attend the banquet and hope some of you will plan to attend, too. It is a great night and this year's keynote speaker is Imaculee Ilibagiza, Rwandan genocide survivor and author of Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust.

The link to the Journal Record article is at but the Journal Record usually makes you sign in as a subscriber (boo hiss) before you can view their articles. Anyway, try the link and see what happens.

Here are this year's honorees; congratulations to them all:

• Ann Archer, Integris Comprehensive Breast Center, Oklahoma City.
• Cheryl Borelli, BancFirst, Oklahoma City.
• Katy Boren, Cox Communications, Oklahoma City.
• Sylvia Burgess, Cameron University, Lawton.
• Barbara Butner, Calm Waters Center for Children & Families, Oklahoma City.
• Shelley Cadamy, Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Oklahoma City.
• Priscilla Cude, First Bethany Bank, Bethany.
• Linda Dzialo, Lawton Public School, Lawton.
• Amy Eldridge, Love Without Boundaries, Edmond.
• Robyn Elliot-Scribner, The Chickasaw Nation, Ada.
• Robyn Ewing, Williams, Tulsa.
• Staci Freudiger, Valir Health, Oklahoma City.
• Caroline Boecking Gist, Putnam City Public Schools Foundation, Warr Acres.
• Rhonda Godwin, Investrust NA, Oklahoma City.
• Margo Gray-Proctor, Horizon Engineering Services Co., Tulsa.
• Debbie Harrison, Oklahoma Environmental Management Authority, El Reno.
JoAnn Haysbert, Langston University, Langston.
• Cathryn Hibbs, Deaconess Hospital, Oklahoma City.
• Lori Westbrook Hill, Morgan Stanley, Oklahoma City.
• Pat Hoerth, Turtle Rock Farm, Red Rock.
• Gail Huneryager, Crowe & Dunlevy, Oklahoma City.
Jia Bane Johnson, Choctaw Electric Cooperative, Idabel.
• Sandy Scaffetta Johnson, Anautics Inc., Oklahoma City.
• Marti Jourden, St. Anthony Hospital, Oklahoma City.
• Cathy Keating, Express Employment Professionals, Oklahoma City.
• Kerry Robertson Kerby, Kerry Robertson Communications, Oklahoma City.
• Karen Langdon, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma Inc., Tulsa.
Debbe Leftwich, Oklahoma Senate, Oklahoma City.
• Janet Levit, University of Tulsa Law School, Tulsa.
• Melanie Macdonald, World Neighbors, Oklahoma City.
• Susan McCalmont, Kirkpatrick Family Foundation, Oklahoma City.
• Ann McFerron, Turtle Rock Farm, Red Rock.
• Teresa Moisant, Moisant Promotional Products, Oklahoma City.
• Vanessa Mushrim, Eide Bailly, Oklahoma City.
• Cathy O’Connor, City of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City.
• Colleen Payne-Nabors, Mobile Cardiac Imaging LLC, Tulsa.
• Mary Blankenship Pointer, UMB Bank, Oklahoma City.
• Brenda Porton, McCurtain Memorial Hospital, Idabel.
• Lisa Putt, Willis HRH, Oklahoma City.
• Joyce Reed, Griffin Communications LLC, Oklahoma City.
• Kathy Lee Santangelo, Midwest Regional Medical Center, Midwest City.
• Sue Lynn Sasser, University of Central Oklahoma Center for Economic Education, Edmond.
• Jeanna Sellmeyer, Asset Group Inc., Oklahoma City.
• Katrina Shaklee, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond.
• Robyn Sunday-Allen, Oklahoma City Indian Clinic, Oklahoma City.
Rebecca Dunning Switzer, Switzer Talent Agency and Trapeze LLC, Norman.
• Marsha VanHoutte, Choctaw Police Department, Choctaw.
• Kristy Ventimiglia, HR Solutions, Oklahoma City.
• Penny Mills Voss, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Norman.
• Mary Whitson, SandRidge Energy, Oklahoma City.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Oklahoma women receive Emmy nominations

The Emmy nominations are out. Broken Arrow native Kristin Chenoweth is nominated for her role in "Pushing Daisies." Tulsan Jeanne Tripplehorm is nominated for her performance in the HBO movie "Grey Gardens."

Other Oklahoma connections this year: Tripplehorn and Mary Kay Place (from Tulsa) are part of "Big Love" which was nominated for outstanding drama series, Holly Hunter was nominated and her series, "Saving Grace" takes place in Oklahoma City, "The Amazing Race" is nominated for best reality competition series and Christine Volkmer from Choctaw was part of that production and "Saturday night Live" is nominated for outstanding variety, music or comedy series and Tulsa native Bill Hader is part of that production. Winners will be named during the 8 pm September 20 broadcast on CBS.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Muskogee Women's Leadership Conference a Success!

I was delighted to be a part of yesterday's Women's Leadership Conference hosted by the Muskogee Chamber of Commerce.

Kudos to Sue Godwin, Indian Capitol Technology Center, who chaired the event and the other women who planned and carried out this event.

The photo is from the closing session which featured (left to right) former State Senator and current chair of the Oklahoma City Public School board, Angela Monson, Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins, Tri-County Technology Center superintendent (just retired) Anita Risner, and former Chief of the Cherokee Nation Wilma Mankiller (click to enlarge image).

Everything I attended was excellent but I especially enjoyed the luncheon speaker Elaine Dodd who is former Director of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and now works as VP-Fraud Training with the Oklahoma Bankers Association. She was filled with good ideas on how to succeed in life PLUS she shared tips on how to avoid the many kinds of financial scams out there these days!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tulsa's Irma Russell picked as Dean, Univ. of Montana School of Law

Irma Russell, formerly a law professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law, is now Dean of the University of Montana's School of Law. Russell is the law school's first female Dean. A graduate of the University of Kansas, she is a national leader in environmental and energy law. Read more here.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

~ Terry Stuart Forst Is First Woman President of Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association

Congratulations to Terry Forst who makes history this month by becoming the first female president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association. Read The Oklahoman's article "Historic role awaits cattle group's leader" by clicking HERE.

~ Oklahoma's Pioneer Woman Museum

Last Saturday night, the YWCA of Oklahoma City presented me with their Embrace Award (thank you, thank you) PLUS the gorgeous statue in this photo!

It reminded me that I wanted to purchase "Pioneer Women' statues to present to women who do extraordinary things to advance the mission of the Oklahoma Women's Coalition. But it turned out I couldn't FIND a "Pioneer Woman" statue. Not even a little bitty one. I need to make a trip to the Pioneer Woman Museum and see if I can't talk them into selling statues on their website.

Speaking of their website, it begins with the following paragraph.
The Pioneer Woman Museum showcases the history of women in Oklahoma and their influence on the development of the state and nation and preserves the legacy of women from all races, creeds, and nationalities who have made significant contributions to the history of Oklahoma. The world-famous 30 ft. tall bronze statue commemorating the heroic character of the women who braved dangers and hardships to settle in Oklahoma is featured.
Now I am really inspired to make the trip to Ponca City!