Business and People Notes August 2018

Tulsa Opera, one of the nation’s most veteran regional opera companies and an historic incubator of rising vocal talent, has appointed Ken McConnell interim executive director and chief executive officer. General Director and Greg Weber is stepping down to pursue personal interests, but he remains closely connected with the organization.

McConnell has been with Tulsa Opera since 2014, initially serving as chief financial officer and then promoted to chief administrative officer in 2016. McConnell has guided the organization in balancing its budget four out of five past seasons. He served as Weber’s right-hand man on all organizational decisions, and he is a trusted collaborator with the board of directors.

McConnell says, “I am honored to accept this role with Tulsa Opera and will continue to advance the company’s longstanding vision of educating and providing the highest quality artistic product to current and future generations for years to come.”

Now entering its 71st season, Tulsa Opera’s mission is to produce professional opera of artistic integrity and enrich its region through innovative education and outreach programs.

Griffin Communications, an Oklahoma-owned multimedia company providing news, weather, sports and information content across the state, including Channel 6 in Tulsa, recently hired Tony LoPresto, , as chief financial officer. In this role, LoPresto will lead financial operations for both Griffin Communications and its subsidiaries.

LoPresto is an Oklahoma City native and received his bachelor’s degree in accounting and from Oklahoma State University. He is chair elect of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, serves on the Oklahoma State University Foundation Board of Governors and the board of the Oklahoma Center for Non-Profits. LoPresto and his wife, Alexis, reside in Oklahoma City with their family.

Dewberry, a privately-held professional services firm, announced that Eric Vogt, , GA, has been promoted to director of design in the firm’s Tulsa office. In his new position, Vogt will be responsible for overseeing design direction and providing quality assurance for architectural projects in the office.  

Vogt has 15 years of experience in the architecture profession, with extensive experience as an architectural designer. His project portfolio includes the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Science – A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Medical Academic Building, Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City Allied Health Building, Lawton Public Safety Facility, and the Midwestern Regional Medical Center expansion.

He is a registered architect in Oklahoma, as well as a Green Associate. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NACRB).

The Tulsa Library Trust has named Shawn Crawford executive director.

“We are excited to welcome Shawn to this position,” says Martin L. J. Newman, president of the trust. “He brings a wealth of experience and passion to the trust.”

Crawford most recently served as of the Bartlesville Community Foundation. Under his leadership, the foundation increased its assets six-fold over five years. Crawford has also served as the director of development for the Catholic Diocese of Salina, Kansas. He guided the diocese through the first capital campaign in its 125-year history.

Earning his Ph.D. in English from Oklahoma State University, Crawford says the trust position feels like the perfect combination of his interests in literacy, art, educational opportunities, and nonprofit advocacy. “Books transformed my life, and my local public library was the place where I could discover the world. Supporting the outstanding work of the Tulsa City-County Library can offer everyone in the community access to their own transforming discoveries.”

The mission of the Tulsa Library Trust, a 501©3 foundation, is to increase the Tulsa City-County Library’s capacity to provide the highest quality programs and services to citizens for lifelong learning. The trust invests in services and programs beyond the funding capabilities of the Tulsa City-County Library’s annual operating budget.
Oklahoma State University-Tulsa faculty member Kenneth Ede, Ph.D., was recently appointed to a three-year term on the state’s Hazardous Waste Management Advisory Council.

The council serves as the initial rulemaking body for the state’s Land Protection Division at the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. Ede will serve on the task force as a member representing the general public.

Ede is director for the Environmental Science Graduate Program, Professional Science Master’s program and scientist-in-residence at -Tulsa. He is also an adjunct professor in management in the Spears School of Business.

Prior to his current university positions, Ede was associate director of the environmental science graduate program and served as assistant dean of engineering.

He was environmental health and safety manager for American Airlines Maintenance and Engineering Center in Tulsa for 18 years before joining .
Ede’s research areas include environmental chemistry, environmental management and industrial environmental sustainability.

The Tulsa City Council has announced that Patrick Boulden, longtime municipal law expert, will serve as council administrator for the council office beginning Aug. 20.
Boulden recently served as a special assistant city attorney for the City of Stillwater, where he focused on land-use planning and rights-of-way management and is currently the city prosecutor for the City of Jenks, as well as an Associate municipal judge in Tulsa’s municipal court.

Boulden began his career serving eight years as a police officer for the City of Tulsa. He then continued his work with Tulsa, serving 28 years in the City Attorney’s Office. During this tenure, Boulden worked in the fields of human resources, criminal prosecution, labor relations, contracts, zoning, condemnation, environmental law and telecommunications law. While in the Tulsa City Attorney’s Office, he served as the manager of the Contracts and Condemnation Division, the Criminal Division and the Real Property and Zoning Division.

Boulden holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Studies from the University of Tulsa.

Keith Smith, a former Video Coordinator of the Year honoree, returns to the sport of football following 17 months working in NASCAR. Smith was named the director of football video operations at The University of Tulsa, it was announced by Head Coach Philip Montgomery.

Smith comes to Tulsa from the Hendrick Motorsports team where he has been since February 2017. During his time at Hendrick Motorsports, he organized film from multiple race teams pit stops and converted all film from practices and races each week for the 488 Hendrick coaching staff.

Before that, Smith spent three seasons as the director of football video services at Kennesaw State University, where he organized all phases of the video department. Smith was named the 2016-17 Coordinator of the Year.

Smith is a veteran of the United States Army, where he served from 2001 to 2006. He received his bachelor’s degree from Shepherd University in Sports Communication in December 2013.

Updated 08-13-2018

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