Thursday, December 01, 2011

Jasmine Pascoe gets perfect sore on ACT exam

Edmond Memorial High School senior Jasmine Pascoe is one of only 704 students in the United States so far this year (out of 1.6 million) to earn a perfect score on her ACT exam. Way to go, Jasmine. See Edmond student hits perfect act score, nov 5, 2011.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Spc. Sarina Butcher first female OK National Guard soldier killed in combat

Not only was Sarina Butcher the first female Oklahoma National Guard soldier killed in combat, she was also the youngest Oklahoma National Guard member to die in either Iraq or Afghanistan. 

Sarina died November 1 when the vehicle she was driving as part of a resupply mission was struck by a roadside bomb in Paktia province in Afghanistan. 

For more, see "Family, friends say goodbye to fallen Checotah soldier."

Image from

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mary Fallin, Jari Askins Documentary "First & Female"

This Thursday, Dec 1, at 9pm, watch or record "First & Female" -- the documentary film produced by Oklahoma City’s deadCENTER Film Festival. It will be on OETA - Cox channels 14 & 713. Oklahomans interviewed include Rita Aragon, Gena Timberman, Jane Jayroe, Debby Hampton and several more Oklahoma women.

Judy Copeland Remembered

We were all shocked and saddened to learn of the recent death of Oklahoma attorney and public servant Judy Copeland. Legal counsel to Governor Mary Fallin at the time of her death, Copeland was only 42 years old. Read her obituary here. Her untimely death from a stroke has many Oklahoma women determined to double their efforts on the "Go Red for Women" campaign which raises awareness about women and heart disease.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Okie Women Running Hospitals

The Journal Record ran a lovely article recently on Cathy Hibbs who is CEO of Deaconess Hospital in Oklahoma City. She was born in Tulsa and raised in Miami, OK. After working in Texas and Kentucky, it is great to have her back home in Oklahoma!

Know any other women running hospitals in Oklahoma? If so, leave a comment and tell us about them, please!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kathy LaFortune to be Honored

Congratulations to Tulsan Kathy LaFortune. She will be the 2011 recipient of the Oklahoma Psychological Association Distinguished Professional Service Citation at the annual OPA meeting in November.  A licensed psychologist and attorney, LaFortune serves as Chief of Forensic Psychological Services for the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System. She is also an Adjunct Faculty Member in both the College of Law and the Department of Psychology at the University of Tulsa.  She received a  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

OKC's Girlie (Art) Show 2012

It’s only 9 days away! The 8th Annual Girlie Show is coming up! Is it on your calendar?
Here’s the scoop: Friday, November 4th, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday, November 5th, noon to 5 p.m.
Farmer’s Public Market in OKC

Friday features fab food from some of the finest area restaurants, so get there early and get some! (First 100 in the door get a Girlie goodie bag, too!)

Saturday there is live music from some of the hottest female musicians around; they'll be rockin’ the house all day.

Friday admission: $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Friday ticket stub gets you in FREE on Saturday.
Saturday admission: $5. Tickets available at the door only. Kids 12 and under FREE.

Purchase tickets online at

Or in person at Blue 7 on N. May & Grand and DNA Galleries in the Plaza District.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Donna Branson Inducted into Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Dr. Donna H. Branson who was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame at the 2011 induction ceremony October 11 at the Oklahoma Athletic Hall of Fame Museum in Oklahoma City. Here is the Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society's write up on Dr. Branson:

Donna Branson has left a matchless record in the area of material design and construction of body protection clothing.

In 1972, she earned a Ph.D. in Family Ecology, emphasizing functional apparel design, from Michigan State University. She had already served as instructor at the University of Rhode Island and at Michigan State University for several years before she was hired as Associate Professor in the Department of Clothing, Textiles, and Merchandising in the College of Human Environmental Sciences at OSU in 1983.

She became Professor in four years and in 1992 was chosen Head of her department. Under her leadership, for nearly seven years (1998 to 2005), almost all faculty obtained external funding for their research projects, and she was instrumental in setting up the Christine Salmon Endowed Visiting Professorships. As well, Donna Branson has produced an inspiring record as a researcher.

She has co-authored 32 journal articles, 23 pamphlets and professional reports, refereed 86 presentations, and juried seven design exhibits or competitions. Over the years, she has obtained 28 grants and now owns one manufacturing license and has four pending patents. Much of this scholarly output has been related to designing body armor that protects against bomb attacks but still allows for mobility and temperature control. Her work has been instrumental in protecting United States soldiers in the Middle East.

For her work, she has been given the Mortar Board Outstanding OSU Teacher Award, the Marguerite Scruggs Award for Meritorious Research, the National Textile Center Scientific Excellence Adviser, Oklahoma State University Regents Professor, and in 2006, the Homeland Security Award.

Professor Branson retired from OSU in 2006 but continues to serve as the Director of the Institute of Protective Apparel Research and Technology in Stillwater.

For this marvelous record of research and service to state and nation, the OHEHS proudly inducts Donna H. Branson into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Dana Weber Named 2011 Oklahoma Woman of the Year

Congratulations to Dana Weber (left) for being named "2011 Woman of the Year" by the Journal Record this evening. Weber is President/CEO and Vice Chairman of Webco Industries in Sand Springs. Under her leadership, she took her family's business from less than $20 million in sales when she started in 1971 to around $450 million today. In addition to her corporate success, Dana is active in the Tulsa Metro Chamber, The State Chamber of Oklahoma and Tulsa's Young Professionals and many other civic organizations.

Kudos to Mary Melon, President and Publisher of The Journal Record Publishing Company, for hosting the Woman of the Year Gala  and the morning Forum - both extraordinary events!  During the morning forum, we talked about our role models so I thought I'd have this picture taken in front of a protrait of my mother, Margaret McAvoy. In the image below, I am holding the special edition Journal Record magazine which contains  bios on all 50 "women making a difference in Oklahoma." (The bio of Dana Weber (click to enlarge) is on the right). In addition, Terry Neese and Shelia O. Lee were honored this evening. AND - five women-serving organizations were honored -- Suited for Success, Work of Women (World Neighbors), the YWCA of Oklahoma City, Stand in the Gap Ministries, and the Women's Leadership Initiative. There were also five runners up: Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women, Smart Start of Central Oklahoma, Legal Aid of Oklahoma, Inc and - - - -  wait for it. . . (ta da) . . .  the Oklahoma Women's Coalition!!! Yeah.

This year, the decorations, magazine cover and forum materials all bore the image of a peacock feather  which is why they are in the floral arrangement (a take home centerpiece from the banquet) and the feather I'm holding in the picture below. All in all, it was GREAT day!

Monday, September 26, 2011

World Neighbor's "Work of Women" to be Honored October 4

At their 31st annual Woman of the Year Gala on October 6, The Journal Record is also honoring five Oklahoma nonprofits that benefit women. One of the five honorees this year is World Neighbor's Work of Women! (WOW!).

Members of the WOW! program are committed to improving women's lives in poor, rural villages throughout the world. By joining together in this work, their efforts are multiplied and truly create change.

In keeping with World Neighbors approach, members partner with women in World Neighbors program sites to support collective work that builds skills, community trust and better living conditions. Women are encouraged and supported to join together for development work that moves them beyond subsistence, improves their and their families' health and inspires increased participation and leadership in their villages and beyond. Involvement with this work changes our lives as well.

WOW! members join this effort by donating $35 ($25 for students) or more per year to WOW! at World Neighbors. Membership is spread throughout the world, but WOW! members are predominately girls and women living in the U.S. of all ages, backgrounds, races and religions.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Suited For Success to be Honored Oct 6

At the Woman of the Year Gala on October 6 in Oklahoma City, The Journal Record will honor five outstanding nonprofits that benefit Oklahoma Women.

One of the five organizations to be honored is Suited For Success. This nonprofit provides professional clothing and career development services to low-income women who have completed a job training or job readiness program and are actively seeking employment.

They strive to empower clients to successfully obtain and maintain employment thus ensuring their economic independence. These services are available at no charge. Clients are referred by a number of social service agencies and job readiness programs in Central Oklahoma. Clients range in age from 18 to 65; many entering the job market for the first time. 95% are single mothers, many of whom have been abused, and many come from area shelters. They recently opened their doors to those coming out of prison, too. Almost all of the clients report incomes of less than $10,000. Suited For Success is the only organization in the central Oklahoma region providing these services.

Monday, September 19, 2011

"Stand In The Gap" to be Honored by Journal Record

This year, The Journal Record is adding a new feature to their Woman of the Year Gala on October 6. They are honoring five nonprofits benefiting Oklahoma women. One of the honorees is Stand In The Gap.

This nonprofit encourages and trains churches to equip their members to reach out to... Stand in the Gap. They are located at 3939 S. Harvard, Ste. 120 in Tulsa, OK. The organization was founded in 1997 by three businessmen wanting to help individuals in poverty.

In early 2007, they launched the "Women in Transition" project which prepares women in Oklahoma prisons for their release to the community, and in some cases forming Stand in the Gap™ ‘families’ to support them long term following their release. They have launched a pilot program with Prison Fellowship International using their method as part of a holistic continuum of support for prisoners re-entering society. Additional partnerships and programs include the Catholic Diocese of Eastern Oklahoma, the David L. Moss Tulsa County Jail, DaySpring Villa Shelter for Battered and Abused Women, the Tulsa Boys Home & The Bair Foundation, Boys and Girls Town of Missouri & the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home and Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kelli O'Hara Booked for Broadway

Elk City native Kelli O'Hara is set to star in the new Broadway play "Nice Work If You Can Get It" opposite Matthew Broderick. O'Hara has been nominated for a Tony Award three times. A graduate of Deer Creek schools and Oklahoma City University, she is also a singer; her second album, "Always," was released last

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

20 Tulsa "Women of Distinction" Honored Today

Congratulations to all the women honored by the Tulsa Business Journal as "2011 Women of Distinction" at a luncheon today at the Hyatt Regency in Tulsa. Honorees are:

Kelli Bailey, executive partner and president of GiANT Partners;
Billie Barnett, director of the Barnett Family Foundation;
Felicia Collins Correia, CEO of YWCA Tulsa;
Paula Bryant-Ellis, senior vice president of BOK Financial Corp.;
Nancy Feldman, community activist and co-founder of the Tulsa Global Alliance;
Lynn Flinn, president and managing partner of The Rowland Group of Staffing Cos.;
Becky Frank, chairman and CEO of Schnake Turnbo Frank | PR;
Peggy Helmerich, philanthropist;
Roxane Jolley, senior manager of marketing at Cherokee Nation Entertainment;
Karen Keith, Tulsa County commissioner for District 2;
Gail Lapidus, CEO of Family & Children’s Services;
Moscelyne Larkin, co-founder of the Tulsa Ballet;
Kara Gae Neal, superintendent of Tulsa Technology Center;
Lori Pumphrey, vice president of finance for U.S. Beef Corp.;
Rose Washington Rentie, executive director of the Tulsa Economic Development Corp.;
Kelly Jo Rickman, director of sales for Post Oak Lodge;
Mary Smith, director of the aerospace division for SpiritBank;
Jan Slater, CEO of the Oklahoma State University Medical Center;
Kathy Taylor, attorney with McAfee & Taft; and
Wendy Thomas, executive director of Leadership Tulsa.

Valerie Naifeh Selling Jewelry on Shop NBC

Oklahoman Valerie Naifeh recently debuted her jewelry on the home shopping network Shop NBC. This Tulsa native started her business in 1993 and initially sold out of Samuel Gordon Jewelers. She set up her own business, Naifeh Fine Jewelry, in 1998. Naifeh is a graduate of Tulsa University and now has her own store in Casady Square in Oklahoma City. You can follow her on Twitter at!/Valerienaifeh or on Facebook. She also blogs at

Monday, September 12, 2011

Shelia O. Lee to be Honored by Journal Record

Shelia O. Lee will be honored posthumously at the Journal Record's 31st Woman of the Year gala. The former Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, Lee was a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma Class XVII. She was a victim earlier this year in a tragic murder-suicide incident.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Oklahoma Artist Jean Ann Fausser Exhibits at State Capitol

The work of Tulsa artist Jean Ann Fausser is currently on display at the Oklahoma State Capital in Oklahoma City. Entitled "Roots and Connections," the show involves fiber work, sculpture, and quilt work. Words can't do it justice. If you are in the Oklahoma City area, swing by the State Capital and see for yourself. This exhibit is sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council.  

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Debbie Schramm Named Saxum President

Oklahoma public relations and marketing firm Saxum recently promoted Debbie Schramm to President. She previously served as Executive Vice President and General Manager. Congratulations, Debbie. Saxum is based in Oklahoma City and also has an office in Tulsa.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Five "Programs Making a Difference" to Be Honored Oct 6

On October 6, not only will The Journal Record name the 2011 Oklahoma Woman of the Year. They will  also honor five "Programs Making a Difference" in Oklahoma. This year's honorees are: Stand In the Gap MinistriesSuited for Success; Women's Leadership InitiativeWork of Women; and YWCA of Oklahoma City.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Annie Funke Picked for Actors Program

Edmond, Oklahoma native Annie Funke has been participating in the renowned 10-week summer residency program at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. Expect involvement in this intensive learning experience to boost this 26 year old graduate of the University of Oklahoma to new professional heights.

Funke holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theater performance. Her regional work experienceincludes Hairspray (Tracy), Charlie Brown (Lucy), Grease (Jan and Cha-Cha!), Godspell (Gilmer) and Once Upon a Mattress (Winnifred). She performed in Hairspray on Broadway.

Source. Rick Rogers. Actor participates in prestigious program. The Oklahoman. 8-21-2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jane Jayroe To Lead Monthly Women's Luncheon Series at St Luke's UMC in Oklahoma City

St Luke's United Methodist Church is offering a luncheon series starting next month called "Esther Women." The series is designed to stimulate discussion and fellowship among Christian women. Sessions are from 11:30 to 1 on the first Wednesday of the month through January. Led by former news anchor and former Miss Oklahoma Jane Jayroe, the program will feature fabulous Oklahoma women speakers including Kim Henry, Yvonne Kauger, Lisa Boone, Sherri Coale and others.

“These luncheons are not about networking or promoting a cause,” Jayroe said. “They are meant to encourage and inspire women who already serve their families and communities and will benefit from this time for themselves. It is about the bonds of friendship and the strengthening of faith.”

Enrollment for the full series is $150 of $20 per session. To register, call 405-232-1371 or visit

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rosie's Daughters: The "First Woman To" Generation Tells Its Story

Rosie's Daughters: The "First Woman To" Generation Tells Its Story is a book by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett. It tells how how the women of the WWII era were the role models for the next generation and an important influence on the US women's rights movement of the 60s and 70s. 

Butler believes that growing up as a teenager In Oklahoma in the 1960's helped shaped her interest in this topic. She told The Oklahoman reporter Yvette Walker that it was in Oklahoma that she first felt a sense of freedom as a woman. 

Source. Walker, Yvette. "Matilda Butler: Oklahoma girl grows up to be ‘Rosie’s Daughter," The Oklahoman, 4-24-2011 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tulsa Community Women's Reentry Project

Created by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Division of Female Offender Operations in partnership with Resonance Center for Women, Inc., the Tulsa Community Women's Reentry Project has been in operation since April 2011. The project's goal is to help female offenders find jobs within 30 days of prison release. To qualify, one must be a non-violent female offender with children, who will be returning to Tulsa upon release and who has a parole officer.  Project leaders begin meeting with these women 3 to 6 months prior to their release.  Upon release, they receive a reentry basket filled with necessities. They enter work readiness classes, get help finding child care and, if necessary, receive substance abuse  treatment. On graduation after 6 months, the women receive a professional mentor. The project is took 100 women during the first year. This effort is funded by a federal grant with additional funding from the George Kaiser Family Foundation of Tulsa. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Karen James is New REI Board Chair

Karen James has been elected Chairwoman of Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc. She is the BancFirst regional executive for south-central and southeastern Oklahoma. She is a graduate of east Central University and has a masters degree from Oklahoma City University. Congratulations, Karen!

When REI was founded, I served on the Board of Directors. (Rep Wes Warkins called one day and said, "Jean, I want you to serve on this board. It's an exciting new initiative and it will be e fun!")

He was right. I hardly knew what I was doing though and didn't stay on very long but it was a wonderful honor and a great adventure at the time. It was brand new and inventing itself.

Who knew today it would have a wonderful section that focuses on the needs of women business owners across Oklahoma? You can learn more about REI, Inc at and their Women's Business Center at

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Kathy Potts Honored by Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits has named Kathy Pottts as "Volunteer of the Year." Potts is a board member of the Center and Chair-Elect. She is a VP and senior member of the health care group at REES Associates, Inc. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Arts, Fine Arts & History from Oklahoma State University.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sara Jane Richter Authors Book on Oklahoma Panhandle

Sara Jane Richter, PhD, is Dean of the School of Liberal Studies and professor of English at Panhandle State University in Goodwell, OK. She is also the author of a recently published book entitled The Oklahoma Panhandle. This book illustrates the region's history through photos and captions. It is filled with outlaws, college students, settlers, ranchers, Native Americans, dust storms, immigrants, dinosaurs and much more. Richter has a BA from Phillips University in Enid and a MA and PhD in English from Oklahoma State University. She gives literary and historical programs on a range of topics including Depression era women, women of the Santa Fe and Oregon trails, and women of the western gold fields. She has researched the WPA, the Dust Bowl and much more. Her book would make a great gift for Oklahomans and others. It is available in bookstores, online and through Arcadia Publishing (888-313-2665). 128 pages, soft cover, $21.99.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Meredith Siegfried Named CEO of Nordam

Meredith Siegfried is the new President and CEO of Nordam, the aerospace manufacturer. Nordam's corporate offices are in Tulsa, OK. They specialize in the manufacture, repair, and overhaul of aircraft bonded-honeycomb and composite components. The Tulsa World reports that:
"Siegfried, the daughter of NORDAM founder Ray Siegfried II, who died in 2005, joined the company in 1999. She has a degree in finance from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. Siegfried also is chairwoman of the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust and the Tulsa Airport Authority."
You can read more about Siegfried in a Tulsa World article at and learn more about Nordam at

Monday, August 08, 2011

Women of the South Has Scholarships for Single Moms

Women of the South recently elected officers and board members for the coming year. Their new President is Mary Blankenship Pointer. Treasurer is Penny Hampton and Secretary is Lynda Fjeseth. Women of the South is a non-profit organization comprised of women helping women. Their focus is South Oklahoma City. Among their many programs, they provide "Primary Provider Scholarships" to women who are the sole or primary providers of their household. Recipients of this scholarship receive funding from Women of the South towards obtaining an associate degree from Oklahoma City Community College. Yu can read more about this fine organization at

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Jane Haskin Profiled

The August 1, 2011 Journal Record had a super spread on Jane Haskin - the first woman to chair the Oklahoma Bankers Association. She is president and CEO of First Bethany Bank and Trust. A native of Drumright, OK, Haskin is a gradute of University of Central Oklahoma. Sadly, the JR makes you subscribe and then log in to their website - ie, they have a paywall -- to read this fine article. Bummer!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Three Oklahoma Girls Named OCU 2011 Bishop's Scholars

Hannah Frye, Samantha Erickson, and Leigh Smith have been named Oklahoma City University 2011Bishop's Scholars. The award recognizes academically advanced United Methodist youth committed to careers in Christian service. Hannah is a Durant High School graduate; Samantha graduated from Carl Albert High School; and Leigh is a Westmoore High School graduate. Congratulations to these Okie women!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tulsa Shock's Breast Health Awareness Night

Aug. 5 is the Tulsa Shock's breast health awareness night. All the details are at

Plan a Tulsa Shock Team Night Out.

Bring your team to a Tulsa Shock game and enjoy early entry into the BOK Center, a chance to watch player warm-ups from courtside seats, a team photo with a Tulsa Shock player, team name recognition on the scoreboard and discount group seating – tickets as low as $10!

Women Make Up Majority of Teachers

Women comprise nearly three-quarters of the American Federation of Teachers 1.5 million members. I.e., cut back on K-12 education spending and that policy decision falls most heavily on the shoulders of women.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Judith James Honored by OMRF

The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation recently presented Judith James, MD, PhD with their Edward L and Thelma Gaylord Prize for Scientific Achievement. This is OMRF's highest scientific honor. James is a native of Pond Creek, Oklahoma. Her work on hlupus has led to several discoveries on both the causes and how lupus progresses.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lynn Mitchell Appointed OU Chief Medical Officer

The University of Oklahoma College of Medicine has appointed Lynn V. Mitchell to be the Chief Medical Officer of OU Physicians. She's got a heck of a resume! She was state Medicaid director (2000-2010), Medical Director at the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (1995-2000), faculty at the OU College of Medicine (1989-1995), etc. You can read more about Lynn at

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Becky Switzer, Amy Regan and Other Outgoing Tourism Commissioners

There are changes afoot in Oklahoma's Tourism and Recreation Department including a new director and several new commissioners. Melvin Moran and Becky Switzer had a nice guest article in The Oklahoman recently listing many recent accomplishments of this state agency. They - plus Tony Benson, Jason Glidewell, Amy Regan and Frank Sims - are stepping off the Tourism Commission. Any statewide appointment involves substantial time and effort. So, for your good efforts on behalf of our dear state, thank you all.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Girls Gone Wine Celebrates 5 Years

Girls  Gone Wine is a winery located near Broken Bow Lake and Beavers Bend State Park in Southeastern Oklahoma. It recently turned 5 years old.

It is owned by three women - Chandra Rickey, Rhonda Reed, and Michelle Finch. The company has a staff of 12 women.

You can sample and purchase their wine at a tasting bar, make your own wine and shop in their gift shop. They now sell 14 wines plus a special wine at Christmas. Their most popular wine is a pomegranate zinfindel named Twisted Sisters.

Visit their website at Happy birthday, ladies!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Breast Impressions and Turn Tulsa Pink

This image is of the wonderful Judy Grove who founded Breast Impressions, a nonprofit in Tulsa.

Breast Impressions makes plaster casts of women's breasts before they undergo mastectomy -- and artists decorated them!

They also do so many other really important things including a fabulous Breast Cancer Awareness Day at the Oklahoma State Capitol each Spring.

Their next big project is Turn Tulsa PINK, October 22 - 29, 2011 (see  Turn Tulsa PINK is part of the Pink Heals Tour international -- a countywide effort to honor and support all women and children in our community who have experienced any form of cancer. In this case Pink is for women and kids. Get on the Pink band wagon!

Check out Breast Impression's website and follow them on Facebook.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Two Women Inducted To Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame

Nine Oklahoma journalists - including two women - were inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of fame on May 13, 2011. The two Oklahoma women were:

~ Gloria Brown, Managing Editor of the Perry Daily Journal

~ Joan Henderson, Publisher of Oklahoma Today Magazine

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Vashina Butler is First Black Female Captain for OK City Police Department

The Oklahoma City Police Department has promoted the first black female to the rank of captain. Congratulations Captain Vashina Butler! You can read her story at

Betty Shaw Elected President of Oklahoma Mortgage Bankers Assocation

Congratulations to Okie Woman Betty Shaw who has been elected President of the Oklahoma Mortgage Bankers Association. A resident of Chickasha, Shaw is Senior Vice President and Mortgage Operations Manager at Spirit Bank in Oklahoma City. You can read an interview with her at

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Ruthe Blalock Jones Selected "Honored One"

Ruthe Blalock Jones was celebrated this past weekend as the "Honored One" at the 2011 Red Earth Festival in OKC. Blalock is a visual artist who has supported and promoted and taught American Indian art her whole life. She is Director Emeritus and Associate Professor of Art, Bacone College, Muskogee, Oklahoma and her paintings are in permanent collections including at the Heard Museum, Five Civilized Tribes Museum and the Museum of the American Indian. This is a great recognition for a most deserving Oklahoma artist. Congratulations, Ruthe!

You can learn more about Blalock at the following sites:

Red Earth Festival:

The May/June 2011 issue of Oklahoma Today Magazine:

View some of her amazing works here:

Image is from

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Rebecca Manzer Honored by Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce

Rebecca Manzer and her husband run Certified Carpet Cleaning and Restoration in Skiatook, Oklahoma. Rebecca was recently named "Small Business Person of 2011" by the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce. Her 10-year old business saw sales increase 84% over the past year. Manzer also supports schools and organizations that assist women and children. Congratulations, Rebecca! You can read more about the award ceremony on the Chambers website by clicking here.

Image is from the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce website

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Teresa Knox Honored by Tulsa Chamber for Entrepreneurial Success

The Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce recently honored Tulsan Teresa Knox for her "Entrepreneurial Success." Knox is founder and CEO of Community Care College, Clary Sage College, and Oklahoma Technical College. These private colleges employ 200 and offer 47 degree programs.
Read a nice interview with Knox in the Tulsa Tribune in 2008 HERE. You can read more about the awards event on the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce website by clicking HERE.

Images is from the Clary Sage College Facebook page.

Monday, June 06, 2011

An Overview of Higher Education in Oklahoma

A while back, I accompanied my husband, Larkin, to Stillwater where he spoke to Leadership Oklahoma Class XXIV. The session topic was Oklahoma education and Larkin's assignment was higher education. It was fun to see friends in this year's class including Deena Fisher, Connie Schlittler, Robin Roberts Krieger, Marnie Taylor, Steve Potts and Greg Wheeler.  If you'd like to see Larkin's handout, go to

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Liz Hunt Named 2011 Women in Business Champion by Tulsa Chamber

Liz Hunt is Chief Executive of Hunt Media and Marketing, a 10-year old full-service public relations firm in Tulsa. She developed and executed a project that connects small business owners in all 77 Oklahoma counties -- many of which are women-owned -- and is developing leadership opportunities  for these women. She has been named by The Journal Record one of the "50 Women Making A Difference in Oklahoma" and one of Oklahoma's outstanding "Achievers Under 40."  Last month, the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce named Hunt their 2011 Women in Business Champion. You can read the article on the Tulsa Chamber's website HERE.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Remembering Lawton's Sheila Lee

Thank you, Clytie Bunyan, for your article in the Sunday Oklahoman remembering the extraordinary Sheila Octavia Lee of Lawton, Oklahoma. She was a long-time employee of the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce - ending up as the CEO last October. She was a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma and active alum. State Representative Don Armes on his blog said this of Sheila:
She served as a board member for the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, the United States Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Oklahoma, the Lawton Food Bank, the Oklahoma University Cancer Institute, and the Fort Sill Federal Credit Union. She was a member of Leadership Oklahoma Class XVII, the Lawton Business & Professional Women, the League of Women Voters, the Association of the United States Army and the United States Field Artillery Association. Shelia participated in numerous professional organizations including the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Annual Convention, the Great Plains Association and the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association. Shelia was an instructor for the United States Chamber of Commerce and the Oklahoma Chamber Management Institute. She was also a member of the Artillery Order of Molly Pitcher and was a very active volunteer for many organizations, but she was most proud of her work with Army Community Services and military families who were in need. She worked numerous hours to enhance the "Loan Closet," a program designed to allow military families to borrow common household items while in transition between duty assignments. The program was unfunded and owes its success to Shelia's tireless efforts to ensure the care of soldiers and their families.
Sheila's life was cut short as a victim of a murder-suicide. The Lawton Chamber of Commerce has established a scholarship in Sheila's memory at Cameron University to benefit a female full-time student pursuing a business degree. To contribute to this memorial scholarship, send your contribution to “The Sheila Lee Endowment” c/o Cameron University Foundation Inc. 2800 West Gore Blvd., Lawton, OK 73505

Read Clytie Bunyan's article at

Friday, June 03, 2011

Margo Gray-Proctor Named Minority Small Business Champion

The Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce recently named Margo Gray-Proctor their 2011 Minority Small Business Champion.

An Osage business woman, Gray-Proctor is President of Horizon Engineering Service Company. She is the only woman to have served as Chair of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.

You can read about the awards presentation by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lori Montag Honored With 2011 Innovator of the Year Award

The Journal Record's Innovator of the Year award recently  went to Broken Arrow based Big Time Brands which is owned by Lori Montag and Jim Howard.

Among their hugely popular products are the zany bandz, the Slap Watch and the Splash Watch. See a Tulsa World article on the watches popularity.

You can read all about Lori and Jim and the awards banquet HERE and view JR photos by clicking HERE.

Beverly Kinzie's New Book "Early Woods County"

I don't ordinarily take guest blogs but I believe in promoting Oklahoma women writers. So here is a piece written by Beverly S. Kinzie. She is the author of a new pictorial history entitled Early Woods County. This book went on sale today, May 30, 2011. For more information, visit You can save 20% of the purchase on this book by going to and typing in WOODSCO at checkout. Enjoy!

The women of Woods County, Oklahoma were from the time of the ‘Run’ of 1893 till the present a sturdy lot.

When reading journals of the early pioneers to gather information for my book, Early Woods County, the women talked about living for months at a time on claims with small children, far from any town while their husbands traveled to find work for cash money, so that they could come back and make improvements on their claim. She was the glue that held the family together.

Many of the original women that came west to settle in the newly opened Cherokee Strip were from back east, and had probably lived for a while in Kansas. They came from established homes, and had attended school and were church orientated.

They moved here to live in sod houses, dug-outs, or half dug-outs. This generally was one large room with a small loft for the children to sleep in. They cooked over an open fireplace and in the summer cooked outside. They felt lucky to have a dug well on their claim, or be close to a spring for water.

The women of Early Woods County were very concerned about education, and after getting a roof over their heads, the next thing they wanted was schools for their children.

This has carried forward until this day. Woods County is fortunate to have good public schools, a Vo-Tech School and Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Women that have the desire for education can obtain it to any degree that she wants.

It was the push of the women that the churches eventually outnumbered the saloons.

There are several entries in journals that stand out in my mind about the early women:

One woman said when she was expecting relatives from back east she was uneasy about them staying in her dugout home, as the relatives had a fine two story home. But, much to her surprise they praised her ingenuity in running the homestead under such primitive conditions.

Another woman thought she was privileged to have a wood floor laid over the dirt.

But when the boards warped and the bugs and snakes came in she ripped it out herself.

Several mothers told how she and the girls would work in the fields at harvest if there were no boys in the family. Today women and girls still work at harvest time driving trucks full of grain to the elevator and plowing with tractors. Of course it is much more comfortable with the cabs and air-conditioning that is now on the tractors and trucks.

My mother-in-law who was born in a dugout in 1894 and lived there for many years always said the greatest invention that came to the homesteader’s was indoor plumbing. When I was a little girl in the 1940s during WWII living on a farm we had an outhouse. It always terrified me to have to go there to take care of business.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dee Nash (Red Dirt Ramblings) Explains Tornadoes

Whenever there is a big tornado in Oklahoma, Okies get phone calls and text messages and emails and tweets asking us about life in tornado alley. On her blog "Red Dirt Ramblings," Dee Nash has done a lovely job of explaining what it is like to live with the possibilities of tornadoes. It is one of those, "Dang, I wish I had written that" reads and I suggest you send the link to your loved ones outside Oklahoma. I especially like the part about weather radios, storm chasers, meteorologists and the practice of switching back and forth (for those of us in Central Oklahoma) between our commercial TV channels - KFOR, KWTV and KOCO!   Check it out at

Image by

Sandra Olson, Juanita Keel Tate Honored

The Oklahoma Historical Society recently honored four individuals -- including Sandra Olson and Juanita Keel Tate (left) -- for outstanding contributions to Oklahoma's history.Olson was recognized for her fundraising efforts and work resulting in restoration of historic buildings in Waynoka. Tate (now 101 years of age) contributed greatly to the preservation of Chickasaw history as well as her own family history. She is author of Edmund Pickens (Okchantubby): First Elected Chickasaw Chief, His Life and TimesRead more by clicking here. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Louisa McCune-Elmore Named Kirkpatrick Foundation Director

Congratulations to Louisa McCune-Elmore on being selected the new director of the Kirkpatrick Foundation in Oklahoma City. A native of Enid, Oklahoma, Louisa is served 13 years as editor-in-chief for Oklahoma Today magazine.

Image from The Journal Record

Jane Haskin Is First Woman to Head Oklahoma Bankers Association

Another first for Okie Women!  Last Tuesday, Jane Haskin, President and CEO of First Bethany Bank and Trust, became chair the Oklahoma Bankers Association.

This makes Haskin the first woman to hold that post in the 114-year history of the organization. Score one for women in banking. Congratulations, Jane!

Click here to read The Journal Record's 2006 "50 Women Making a Difference" bio on Haskin. 

Read The Oklahoman article about Jane Haskin by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Miki Farris is 2011 Mother of the Year

The Oklahoma Association of American Mothers has named Miki Farris 2011 Mother of the Year. She has four children of her own and is also the founder and CEO of Infant Crisis Services in Oklahoma City. This organization aids thousands of babies and toddlers each year. Infant Crisis Services estimates they have helped over 150,000 babies over the past 27 years.  The nonprofit provides formula, food and diapers to needy Oklahoma babies. Jennifer King of Newcastle, Oklahoma was named Oklahoma Young Mother of the Year.

Source. FRIDAY, Local named top mom, 5-6-2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shelly Campbell is 2011 Oklahoma City Teacher of the Year

The Foundation of Oklahoma City Public Schools recently named Shelly Campbell as 2011 Oklahoma City Teacher of the Year. A teacher at John Marshall High School, Campbell teaches ninth and tenth grade English classes for special education students plus advance placement classes in language arts and literature. She also helps with Student Council much more. Congratulations, Shelly! Read more ->>

Image by Nate Billings with NewsOK

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sara Bizzell Named Oklahoma Court Clerk of the Year

The Oklahoma Municipal Court Clerks Association recently awarded Sara Bizzell their Anne Thompson Court Clerk of the Year designation. Bizzell is municipal court clerk on Piedmont, Oklahoma.  She has served the City of Piedmont for 22 years. Congrats to Sara Bizzell -- a notable Okie woman! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oklahoma Ranks 50th on Women's Health

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health:

Oklahoma has 1.8 million females. Seventy-four percent are non-Hispanic White, while American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) women comprise 9 percent.

The state ranks at the bottom on most major causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, and chronic lower respiratory diseases.

It does have a better record on death rates for colorectal cancer.

Its women fare poorly on most health risk factors, including eating 5+ fruits and vegetables a day, smoking, high blood pressure, leisure-time physical activity, and obesity.

Rates of obesity are higher among non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and AI/AN women than for non-Hispanic White women.

As with health risk factors, the state ranks near the bottom for all presented preventive care measures except colorectal screenings.

It ranks worst in the nation on routine check-ups and nearly as poorly for mammograms (#51 out of a possible 52).

Of non-senior women, only 77 percent have health insurance, which merits a rank of #47.

Hispanic women have by far the lowest rate of insurance coverage, at less than 42 percent.

Seriously, people. What are we going to do to improve this situation?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tulsan Karen Morgan to be Honored

Tomorrow the Tulsa Professional Chapter of The Association of Women in Communications holds their 39th Annual Newsmakers Luncheon at Southern Hills Country Club.

Honorees this year are volunteer community leader Roxana Lorton, Tulsa Indian Health Care Resource Center CEO Carmelita Skeeter and Karen Morgan (pictured left), former CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma. Under Karen's tenure, Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma established the highly successful program at Turley Correctional Center -- Project M.E.N.D. (Mothers Encouraging and Nurturing Their Daughters). She is currently Vice Chair of the statewide Oklahoma Women's Coalition.

Read more about the event and honorees in a Tulsa World article by clicking here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

State of Women-Owned Business Report

American Express OPEN has released a report entitled
State of Women-Owned Business Report.
Here are just a few findings:

  • Women-owned firms now account for 29 percent of all businesses.
  • But, the share of women-owned firms at the highest levels of business accomplishment has remained essentially unchanged over the past 14 years.
  • When compared to all privately held firms, women-owned businesses employ 13 percent of the workforce and account for 11 percent of all business revenue.

Check out the infographic HERE and the full report HERE.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cathy Keating and Elizabeth Warren to be Inducted into Oklahoma Hall of Fame

The Oklahoma Hall of Fame has announced their 2011 inductees. 

They are Tommy Franks, Harold Hamm, Margues Haynes, Cathy Keating, Steve Malcolm, Roger Miller and (get ready for this) Elizabeth Warren. I am delighted but really, really surprised; she is a Democrat, don't ya know! 

Warren is currently Assistant to President Barack Obama and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on creating the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She is also the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Sadly, our Oklahoma Congressional delegation is working hard to block her from becoming head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

I just hope all the Republicans in the room won't boo Warren when she is introduced!

Photo by David Shankbone via Flickr

Monday, May 09, 2011

Young Democrats of Oklahoma Women's Caucus

Did you know there is a Young Democrats of Oklahoma Women's Caucus? They say "We are the YDO Women's Caucus. We are men and women fighting for gender rights and equality in Oklahoma." Their website is and they're on Twitter as @YDOWC. Good to know.

I've added them to the Twitter follow list on my @OkieWomen account. I added them on my "Women Political  Engagement" list along with @WIPPWeDecide, @WomenCount, @The2012Project, @CAWP_RU, @VOICESWomen, @MomsRising, @CfWD1, @ nwlc, @IWPResearch, and many more.

Would someone with the Oklahoma Federation of Young Republicans or the Oklahoma Young Republican Network please tell me if there is a similar group within the Oklahoma Republican Party structure? Thanks!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Oklahoma Women Journalists Honored

On May 13, nine journalists will be inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. The group includes two women: Gloria G. Brown and Joan Henderson. Brown started as a proofreader for the Perry Daily Journal. She got to be "women's editor" (oh joy) and worked her way up to managing editor. Henderson worked for Oklahoma Today - holding positions of general manager and, in 1997, publisher. She is credited for helping Oklahoma Today win many regional and national awards.

The Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame induction luncheon will take place on the third floor of the Nigh University Center, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond at 11:45am on May 13. Purchase a luncheon tickets for $15 by calling Terry Clark at 974-5122 or emailing him at

Monday, May 02, 2011

Oklahoma is #1 in Growth of Women Entrepreneurs

Oklahoma ranks #1 in the nation for the growth rate of women entrepreneurs -- 40% higher than the national average!  Oklahoma ranks #9 for women-owned business expansions and #30 in new women-owned business starts between 1997 and 2011. 

Thinking of starting a business in Oklahoma? There are lots of good resources to help you along the way. A good place to start thought is with the Rural Enterprises' Women's Business Center. They have offices in Durant and Oklahoma.

Learn more at

Friday, April 29, 2011

Natalie Shirley New President of OSU-OKC

Wow. Civic and business leader Natalie Shirley has been selected to serve as the next president of Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City.  See  I am happy for Oklahoma to have another woman college president.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Oklahoma's Link to Victoria's Secret

Oklahoma has a connection to Victoria's Secret and it is Sharen Jester Turney, President and CEO of the company. She has a degree in business education from the University of Oklahoma.

In fact, she is speaking at OU today (click here to view the invitation)! According to Forbes, her annual salary is $1,250,000; hope President Boren asks her for a donation for the university. I'd appreciate it if she would earmark it for scholarships for low-income single mothers. Just a thought....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Small Business Administration Launches Women's Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration on February 4, 2011 launched a new women-owned "Small Business Federal Contract Program." This initiative allows set asides for women-owned businesses - 5% federal agencies' contracting dollars.  Questions? Contact REI Women's Business Center in Oklahoma City at (405) 319-8190. This program was 11 years in the making! It is finally launched. Women business owners, check it out.  Read more here.