Newspapers annually offers a series to highlight individuals who are predicted to be newsmakers in the coming year. In December we will look back at this year’s “Ten People to Watch in 2012,” and in early 2013 we will look at ten more interesting people. Newspapers began this series in 2010.
Jan Slater is of Oklahoma State University Medical Center. Having grown up in India with American missionary parents, Slater came to the U.S. for college. She did post-graduate work in health administration and has a joint degree in law and business administration. Slater served for 19 years as a corporate legal counsel for St. John Health System before being appointed to her current post in June.
Under her guidance, OSUMC has undergone expansion, improvements and renovations. A two-year strategic plan was also created. In addition, a mobile cardiology program began, which offers vital healthcare to those living in rural areas of the state.
This year, Slater will continue to grow the medical reach of the center, which is critically important for providing medical education to students, medical care for many in the region, and a solid presence in the southwest part of downtown Tulsa.
Alan Armstrong became president and chief executive officer of Williams in January 2011. Previously, he served as president of Midstream and was responsible for leading Williams’ midstream and olefins businesses in Canada and the United States. Additionally, Armstrong serves as chairman of the board and chief executive officer for Williams Partners L.P., the master limited partnership that owns most of Williams’ gas pipeline and domestic midstream assets.
Previously, Armstrong served as vice president of Gathering & Processing from 1999-2002; vice president of Commercial Development from 1998-99; vice president of Retail Energy Services from 1997-98 and director of Commercial Operations for Williams Field Services’ Gulf Coast from 1995-97.
Armstrong graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
William Collins was named vice president of base maintenance for American Airlines in October 2010. Collins oversees American’s maintenance operations at its major repair, overhaul and modification bases that employ more than 8,800 employees who support a fleet of more than 600 aircraft.
Since 2004, he held leadership positions at GE Aviation. Most recently, Collins led GE Aviation’s Electric Power division, overseeing the development, implementation and aftermarket support for advanced electric power systems. Prior to that, he was responsible for GE Aviation Systems’ Electronics Divisions, leading the organization’s electronic manufacturing, supply chain and aftermarket groups.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology and completed the Kellogg School of Management Executive Development Program at Northwestern University.
Wes Smithwick has enjoyed his role as president and of the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce. This year is sure to bring even more opportunities to make a difference in the community.
He has been involved with the new revitalization efforts of historic Main Street and hopes to continue to bring more businesses to the area.
With his help, the downtown lined with shops and services has become even more popular for residents. This in turn has increased the awareness of what Main Street has to offer.
In conjunction with his duties for the chamber, Smithwick is involved in Build a Better Broken Arrow, Broken Arrow Development Authority and the Indian Nations Council of Governments.
Smithwick is overseeing growth in one of Oklahoma’s most vibrant cities, home to beautiful neighborhoods, excellent golf courses and a top high school.
Trish Richey has been an important part of the recent and continued growth in Bixby. As the City of Bixby’s economic development director, she has enjoyed finding ways to bring businesses and more residents to the community.
Already this year, she had the opportunity to help break ground for the newest location of Reasor’s. She is also looking forward to the development of various restaurants and residential areas in the coming months.
In addition, Richey works closely with the community to address the economic impact of amenities. She says that this year will again bring positive results for those visiting the area while their children participate in sports tournaments at the Bentley Sports Complex.
Bixby continues to show impressive growth, both economically and residentially. Richey will continue to be an important player in the progress of Bixby.
The talented Rev. Joseph Bias, minister of worship at First United Methodist Church, met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while in high school and later sang a solo at his funeral. Johnny Cash and Amy Grant are just two of the many who have shared the stage with him.
His involvement with Tulsa Rotary led to the creation of the Crescendo Music Awards in 1999. Under his guidance, the annual event has given students from around the world an opportunity to earn college scholarships. The event has grown from a budget of $1,500 for awards and from several students to over 700 students in line for auditions and prizes that total $35,000. This year two matching grants of $100,000 have been offered with a goal of reaching $1 million by 2015.
This year’s event is March 22-24 at the VanTrease Center at . For more information, see www.crescendomusicawards.com.
Becky J. Frank was recently named the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s chair of the board of directors. She is currently the chairman and of Schnake Turnbo Frank PR. Frank succeeds Chair Dr. Gerard Clancy, president of the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa.
This year, she plans to help the chamber with initiatives that include continuing the chamber’s efforts to lead progress by advancing change and initiating development in the region and maintaining the chamber’s long-term strategic plan and focus on economic development, regional tourism, legislative success, education and expanding regionalism.
Frank also plans to focus on promoting a positive and confident attitude about the Tulsa region. She invited the community to “Envision the Future,” the possibilities for strengthening the region’s foothold as Oklahoma’s center for culture and quality of life.
Gary Kloppenburg is looking forward to what 2012 will hold for the Tulsa Shock. He has been named the head coach of the franchise and has already taken to the court.
Kloppenburg got his start in the with the Seattle Storm in 2000 where he served as an assistant until 2003. After a brief stint with the Phoenix Mercury, Kloppenburg served as an assistant with the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats from 2004 to 2007 before joining the Fever in 2008.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to come to Tulsa, rolling up my sleeves and getting to work on building a winning franchise,” he says. “I’ll work non-stop with our staff and front office to build a team that the community can be proud of.”
Since his arrival, the Shock has signed several impressive players. Good luck to Tulsa’s new coach of the major league team!
Nadia Guevara has loved having the opportunity to reach out as the executive director of Owasso Community Resources.
With her help, the organization serves over 8,000 individuals in the communities of Owasso and Collinsville with a number of assistance services. She is dedicated to helping families experiencing financial crises rebuild strength and hope.
“It is an honor for me to be part of an organization making a difference in the lives of so many in this great community of Owasso. Looking ahead, we are focusing on helping our clients achieve a better quality of life and we want to bring opportunities to them. I am incredibly excited about the journey we are on with our new job center and refreshing partnership with the youth in our community.”
The Owasso Community Resources is a private non-profit 501©(3).
University of Tulsa Athletic Director Ross Parmley has entered his new position with several important challenges, the foremost finding a new conference for the NCAA’s smallest Division I school in enrollment.
Tulsa’s conference, Conference , was weakened when , Houston, Memphis and Central Florida announced they will be leaving to join the Big East. The underlying problem is the , which designates some conferences with large payouts. C- is not one of those conferences, leading to defections and confusion throughout much of college athletics.
Parmley gained experience in athletics at Norman Public Schools before coming to TU in 2007, where he has served in various important capacities, including that of associate athletics director. At 38 years old, he is the youngest athletic director in the current 12-school Conference .