Most-admired CEOs

Published: Thursday, February 18, 2010 7:00 am By: Jessica Mitchell

The Journal Record

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

  • Cathryn Hibbs, Deaconess Hospital.
  • Billy Taylor, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
  • Randall White, Educational Development Corp.

Private companies with more than 500 employees

  • Garyl Geist, Valir Health.
  • Tom Maxwell, The Flintco Companies.
  • David Stewart, Cherokee Nation Entertainment LLC and Cherokee Nation Businesses.

Private companies with fewer than 500 employees

  • George Basore, Scott Rice.
  • Stephen Benefield, Choctaw Defense.
  • Kelley Brewer, Lakeside Women's Hospital.
  • Genter Drummond, Drummond Communications LLC.
  • Dale Hageman, Accord Human Resources.
  • Tom Legan, Coppermark Bank.
  • Richard Nix, McAfee & Taft.

Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees

  • Umi Chahal, Choice Home Health Care.
  • Rhonda Hooper, Jordan Associates.
  • Jeff Lytle, Sandy Beaches Software.
  • Renzi Stone, Saxum Public Relations.
  • Melinda Stinnett, Stinnett & Associates.

Nonprofits with more than $10 million in annual revenue

  • Michael Cawley, Sam Roberts Noble Foundation.
  • Joe Hodges, St. Anthony Hospital.
  • Steve Rasmussen, FAA Credit Union.
  • Gary Roulet, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative.
  • Paul Sechrist, Oklahoma City Community College.
  • Robert Spinks, United Way of Central Oklahoma.
  • Robyn Sunday-Allen, Oklahoma City Indian Clinic.

Nonprofits with less than $10 million in annual revenue

  • Ann Felton, Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity.
  • Shannon Nance, Oklahoma Heritage Association/Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum.
  • Anne Roberts, former CEO of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (now Integris Health director of legislative affairs).
  • Cathy Stackpole, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma.
  • Kari Watkins, Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum.


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