Board Member Spotlight: Kay Goebel

Oklahoma Academy Board Member Spotlight: Kay Goebel

You’ve been on the Oklahoma Academy Board for nearly 30 years. Why did you originally become involved with the organization? 

I joined on the suggestion of a good friend, and I'm glad I did!

What excites you the most about the Oklahoma Academy’s mission?

The Academy takes an issue of importance to Oklahoma and studies to come up with action plans to make a positive difference in the state.

What do you find most challenging about supporting the organization’s mission? 

It is sometimes hard to get the financial resources that we need to do our work. Our work is worthy and valued by many; but in a state with so few resources and so many doing noble work the fundraising challenge is real. We're constantly exploring how best to communicate what we do to those who are passionate about supporting consensus-driven, citizen-centered public policy development. 

What do you wish other people knew about the Oklahoma Academy?

The important work we do to take a broad view of issues of importance to the state. The Academy provides crucial research not only for the legislature but, perhaps even more importantly, for the citizens of Oklahoma. We also work earnestly to bring that research to citizens in every region of the state and involve them in developing public policy. We don't try to lead them to an already pre-conceived conclusion, but rather inform and support them in considering how the issue and policy affects their lives and the quality of life for all Oklahomans. 

How do you think the Oklahoma Academy helps improve our state’s landscape? 

Our emphasis is on awareness and citizen involvement in developing public policy recommendations, but we don't stop there. We also focus on following up with action plans to implement changes, and we take those plans to citizens, community and business leaders, legislators and other policy leaders in state, tribal and local government. 

In your opinion, what Town Hall topic has been the most important or interesting?

The Town Hall on Criminal Justice . It is a crucial issue that continues to need attention.

You have been very involved with Oklahoma Academy events over the years; which is most memorable?

Town Halls are always interesting and the Salutes are the most fun. As mentioned above, the Criminal Justice Town Hall was eye-opening and produced some very do-able and practical recommendations. We've seen some of those implemented, but there's still so much work to do. The passage of SQs 780 and 781 were another step in the right direction. Still challenges remain, so the topic and Town Hall results are still relevant. 

As you look ahead to the next several years, what do you see for the Oklahoma Academy?

I think our focus on continuing outreach to communities across the state is crucial to getting citizens informed and engaged in issues important to the state. The perception is often that the metropolitan areas of the state - OKC and Tulsa - set the policy agenda. However, as we get out to the communities in the corners of the state, we're talking to and listening to passionate people who care about their communities, region and the state as a whole. They have ideas and they want to be heard. This state is rich in its human resources, and we're excited to be bringing all these voices and ideas together in policy development. 

What public policy issue do you think is most important for Oklahoma and/or would you like to see the Oklahoma Academy take on? 

Continued focus on how we can become financially stable

What is your hope for the Oklahoma Academy in the future?

That we get more Oklahomans involved in working for a better future for Oklahoma - I think this can be accomplished by much of what the Academy already does in terms of community outreach, communications and programs. Still, we need involvement from our members in spreading the word, recruiting members from all regions/backgrounds/industries, and encouraging various types of involvement like hosting events and volunteering.  

Jennifer Engleman | May 7, 2017