The 2020 Town Hall topic will focus on mental health
Last week the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Academy met at POSTOAK Lodge to determine the focus of the 2020 Town Hall. 

Once again thank you to all who completed a survey on the issues facing Oklahoma. The Academy Board used that information from the surveys to decide next year's Town Hall topic. The results of the survey showed Oklahomans see there are several areas that public policy can be improved upon. The top issues submitted were education, health and mental health, the criminal justice system, and poverty. 

The Board had an important strategic discussion on these issues facing our great state and determined the 2020 Town Hall topic should be a focus on comprehensive mental health. The Board believed by focusing on the policy issues of mental health you will address many of the problem areas facing education, the criminal justice system, the economy, poverty, and Oklahoma's workforce. 

According to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the state has some of the highest rates for Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders. Based on 2012 data, Oklahoma ranks 3rd (22.4%) in the nation for rates of Any Mental Illness. Also, for rates of Any Substance Abuse Disorders, Oklahoma ranks 2nd in the nation at 11.9%. This means that between 700,000 and 950,000 adult Oklahomans need services; most are not receiving the care they need to fully recover from their illnesses.

This will be the first time the Academy Town Hall has focused solely on mental health and there is no doubt that recommendations that come out of the 2020 Town Hall will have a positive and important impact on the future of our state.

26th Annual Oklahoma Academy Salute

Mark your calendars now for “A Gem of an Evening” at the 26th Annual Oklahoma Academy Salute. The evening’s Masters of Ceremonies will be Burns Hargis and Mike Turpen, the original Salute emcees, who will be sure to make the evening an event to remember.

Join the statewide leaders of business, community, education, health, and economic development at the Renaissance Hotel & Conference Center, August 23, along with Oklahoma’s congressional delegation, statewide elected and appointed officials, key legislators, and tribal leaders at a fun-filled evening to “Salute” dignitaries, and laugh with the hysterical Capitol Steps from Washington, DC, who will roast all the major politicos! 

The evening will also honor the Honorable Dan Boren, President of Corporate Development for the Chickasaw Nation Department of Commerce, with the Oklahoma Key Contributor Award.

“Saluting those who publicly serve in statewide positions, elected and appointed, is very important, and to give that recognition during a celebratory evening is wonderful,” said Julie Knutson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Academy. “This year is very special as we recognize the Honorable Dan Boren with the Oklahoma Key Contributor Award! The Academy presents this award to an individual, business, or group who has steadfastly made a positive difference for Oklahoma and Dan has definitely done that!”

Another true highlight of this celebratory evening is the entertaining and hilarious performance of the Capitol Steps, Washington DC’s musical political satire troupe that puts the “mock” in Democracy and shines through as an “equal opportunity offender"! Their nonpartisan satirical performance each year is up-to-the-moment in the happenings…or not…of the national and world leaders, all set to tunes we know. 

So, join The Oklahoma Academy on Friday evening, August 23, at the Renaissance Hotel & Conference Center, 6808 So. 107th E. Avenue, Tulsa 74133, beginning with a Celebrity Reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Dinner and Salute Program at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are still available by contacting The Oklahoma Academy at (405) 307-0986 or

2019 Town Hall Nominations

Better understanding this new energy system, and how to optimize our resources, technologies and behaviors is now more important than ever to guide our path into the future. That is why the Oklahoma Academy 2019 Town Hall - OKLAHOMA ENERGY: Optimizing Our Resources for the Future - will focus on our energy resources and determine how best to maximize our role as an energy leader to enhance our economy, consumer needs, and the environment. We hope you will be a part of this important opportunity to create a robust future for Oklahoma and increase Oklahoma’s energy leadership role in the world. 

The 2019 Town Hall that will be held October 20–23 at WinStar World Casino, Resort & Convention Center, Thackerville, OK. If you're interested in participating in this Town Hall you must first be nominated. You can self-nominate or nominate someone you believe should be involved in this important event by filling out the Town Hall nomination formfound hereNomination forms must be completed and returned by June 26!

Lynn Thompson | Jun 18, 2019