Miss Helen’s, APSCO Celebrate Success

SALUTING 110 YEARS: Celebrating 110 years of business with Miss Helen’s Private School and APSCO, Inc. are, from left, Mike Neal, president of the Tulsa Regional Chamber; Kathy Taylor, CEO of IMPACT!Tulsa and former Tulsa Mayor; Jerry Holder, president of Holder & Associates and co-founder of OK2GROW; Karen Gilbert, chairwoman of the Tulsa City Council; Larry Mocha, president & CEO of APSCO, Inc. and co-founder of OK2GROW; and Lynda Wingo, executive director of Miss Helen’s Private School and co-founder of OK2GROW.


Two of Tulsa’s top small businesses celebrated their past and collective 110 years in business and now look forward to even bigger success in the future. Miss Helen’s Private School marked its 60th anniversary, while manufacturing firm APSCO, Inc. of Tulsa hit a milestone of 50 years in business.

A special event to honor these businesses and their impact on Tulsa took place on Sept. 4 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Special guests included Todd Lamb, Lt. Governor; Kathy Taylor, of IMPACT!Tulsa and Former Tulsa Mayor; Mike Neal, president of the Tulsa Regional Chamber; Karen Gilbert, chairwoman of the Tulsa City Council; John Smaligo, Tulsa County commissioner; and Leigh Goodson, president of Tulsa Community College.

In 2012, Larry Mocha of APSCO, Inc. and Lynda Wingo, executive director of Miss Helen’s Private School, along with Tulsa business owner Jerry Holder founded OK2Grow, which helps Tulsa students stay in school, graduate and join the workforce. Since then, the small business-driven and transformational force of OK2Grow continues to engage and inspire students to realize their dreams each year.

Wingo is the daughter-in-law of Helen Wingo who founded Miss Helen’s Private School in 1954 to offer children quality education. The family-owned business provides a positive year-round learning environment where students are challenged to reach their full potential. The school has been named the “Best of the Best” by the Greater Tulsa Reporter Newspapers for 14 years running, and Tulsa Kids has been calling it the “Parent Pick” since 1995.

“Sixty years ago, Helen Wingo realized young children needed support transitioning from home to school. She created one of the first preschools in Tulsa, and her dream has helped more than 12,000 children make a successful shift. She is an inspiration to me for being a pioneer in both women-owned businesses and early childhood education,” explains Wingo. “I am honored to have carried Miss Helen’s dream forward and couldn’t be prouder that my daughter will continue to lead the school into the future as the director of Miss Helen’s Private School. Miss Helen had a vision for Tulsa children more than 60 years ago, and we are excited to be carrying on her legacy.”

Wingo has been a powerful force in the school’s success and in helping other small businesses. She served on the board of the Tulsa Metro Chamber, the Signature Symphony Advisory Board and Broken Arrow Advisory Board. Wingo was also named the Small Business Pioneer in 2012 and has received the Woman Business Person of the Year Award.

Mocha was the first employee in his dad’s business, APSCO, Inc., founded in 1964. Today, as president and , Mocha has taken the family business to new heights as they celebrate a half-century of success.

“This is an exciting time for our company. I’m so proud of what my father accomplished and that we’ve been able to maintain and grow the business through the years. It is truly a reflection of our past and present employees that we have been able to build and continue on our journey,” Mocha says.

Mocha has also made a big impact in the small business community. He’s been a long-time volunteer of the Tulsa Regional Chamber. The Chamber named him Small Business Person of the Year, and he’s been honored with Oklahoma’s Small Business Person of the Year by the and the 2014 Partner of the Year by the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s Partners in Education program.

Updated 09-25-2014

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