Greater Oklahoma City is in the geographic center of North America equidistant from the east and west coasts and major trade partners of Canada and Mexico. The ten county region is at the crossroads of the U.S., sitting at the heart of three major national highways on the NAFTA corridor.
There's a reason Greater Oklahoma City is such a great place for business: Location. The ten county region is positioned within a day's drive of the rapidly-growing south-central region (OK, TX, AR, LA) projected to grow more than 44% during the next 25 years.
"For me, getting involved in Maps for Kids was a realization of what we all could potentially achieve - a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to drive a very different experience for our city."
- Cliff Hudson, CEO, Sonic Corporation
OKLAHOMA CITY - Outstanding leadership. Integrity. Commitment. Executives with these traits overflowed Thursday night in a room filled with the top minds of Oklahoma's business and nonprofit communities at The Journal Record's inaugural Oklahoma's Most-admired CEOs event.
These leaders have shown the tenacity in tough economic times while possessing values that have earned them respect from their employees as well as the business and civic communities.
Eight executives received top honors in seven categories at the event: Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake Energy Corp., and J. Larry Nichols, Devon Energy, public companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue; Harland Stonecipher, Pre-Paid Legal Services, public companies with less than $500 million in annual revenue; Tom E. Love, Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores, private companies with more than 500 employees; David K. Hill Sr., Kimray Inc., private companies with fewer than 500 employees; George Stephen Mason, Cardinal Engineering Inc., small businesses with 50 or fewer employees; Tom J. McDaniel, Oklahoma City University, nonprofits with more than $10 million in annual revenue; and Lou Kerr, The Kerr Foundation, nonprofits with less than $10 million in annual revenue.
"This inaugural event has far surpassed our expectations, both in terms of response and attendance. We were not at all surprised, however, with the caliber of our finalists, as we all know the high level of leadership prevalent in our business and nonprofits communities. Each of our finalists consistently demonstrates strong leadership, integrity, values, vision and commitment to the community. It is important for these outstanding leaders to take a moment to allow their employees, as well as the community, to recognize them for their contributions to Oklahoma's economy and quality of life," said Mary Mélon, president and publisher of The Journal Record. .
More than 450 people attended the event at The Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.
"Our winners in each category especially showcase the remarkable leadership in Oklahoma, though the panel of judges certainly had a difficult time selecting just one from each category. In the large public companies category, the task was just impossible. Larry Nichols and Aubrey McClendon have done so much for not only their employees, but for all Oklahomans, that it was only fitting to bestow the honor of Oklahoma's Most-admired CEO to both of them," Mélon said.
The honorees were selected from a panel of business and community leaders and are also profiled in the Oklahoma's Most-admired CEOs magazine inserted in this issue of The Journal Record. Brought to you by presenting sponsor UMB Bank, the event was also sponsored by Hogan Taylor, GableGotwals and Oracle.
Other finalists honored included:
Public companies with less than $500 million in annual revenue
Private companies with more than 500 employees
Private companies with fewer than 500 employees
Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees
Nonprofits with more than $10 million in annual revenue
Nonprofits with less than $10 million in annual revenue