A Message from the CEO: August 2016

On the Move 

The Oklahoma Academy is definitely following its motto, ?Moving Ideas Into Action!?   As Chairman John Harper promised, we are moving across Oklahoma in our six membership regions sharing the consensus recommendations that were developed from the 2015 Town Hall "Oklahoma Priorities: The Government and Taxes We Want." These recommendations provide a model for addressing the budget fairly, if the legislature will use it.

We?ve been in 15 communities so far this year, most recently in Claremore for a luncheon forum at RSU.  We had 30 guests attending and our speakers did a fabulous job encouraging Oklahomans to be informed and engaged.  Kudos to our Chairman John Harper, Craig Knutson, Michael Gordon, and Mickey Hepner!  Upcoming forums already scheduled are Enid for a luncheon forum August 30, Tahlequah for a mid-morning forum September 15, and Edmond for an evening reception forum September 27.  Thanks to our planners Molly Helm and Brian Gaddy in Enid, Jerry Cook in Tahlequah, and Josh McClintock, Anne Holzberlein, and Darryl Schmidt in Edmond!

July Board of Directors Evaluative Planning Retreat 

The Board had a super successful planning retreat mid-July at the Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center in Sulphur.  What a beautiful facility, and lovely setting!  For the Thursday session, Daniel Billingsley with the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, facilitated our discussions, and Friday confirmed several of the programs and events the organization will focus on as we make sure we are reaching Oklahomans who care about major issues facing our state, relevancy, civil discourse, the importance of raising the common denominator, and having a representative voice.  All of the Board members able to attend were engaged, thoughtful, deliberative in the discussions, and everyone had a good time too!

Congratulations to our Website Word Find Winner!  

We want to give a shout-out to Oklahoma Academy member Austin Sheehy who was the winner of our ?Find the Word? contest associated with the launch of our new website!  Austin received two tickets to the Academy?s 23rd Annual Salute and lodging at the Southern Hills Marriott for one night.

Town Hall Trainings 

This October, we will hold two trainings for those interested in being Town Hall Panel Leaders and Town Hall Recorders!. These two positions are critical to the success of the Town Hall process.  If you are interested in participating, contact Julie Knutson ( or Jamie Wade (

Jennifer Engleman | Aug 1, 2016