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 http://bit.ly/kpprAd. You can save 20% of the purchase on this book by going to http://bit.ly/kpprAd 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 http://reddirtramblings.com/?p=18180

Image by KFOR.tv

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 http://ydok.wordpress.com/caucuses/womens-caucus/ 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 tclark@uco.edu.

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 http://newsok.com/women-changing-the-world-one-venture-at-a-time/article/3559209#ixzz1KN4PDi00