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Jodi Cline
2017-2018 Adult Program Chair
Class XXVI and Lifetime Membe

Class 31's session on State Government and Oil & Gas was held in Oklahoma City on January 12 - 13, 2018. The goals of the fifth class session were to enhance participants’ knowledge of the role of state government and the major issues facing our state, as well as exploring the economic impact of the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma. The session began with a variety of optional activities, including a tour of Tinker Air Force Base, a tour of new development in downtown Oklahoma City and a reception at GE’s Oil & Gas Technology Center.

On Friday, Governor Mary Fallin welcomed Class 31 to the State Capitol. They heard experts expound on the state budget with a focus on revenue streams and funding core services. Next, the class traveled to Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation where five of the gubernatorial candidates engaged in candid conversations about their plans for our state. Senator James Lankford talked about the impact that D.C.’s decisions have on our local economy. In the evening, the class took a trip to Chesapeake Arena where the OKC Thunder organization hosted dinner and a presentation by Tom McDaniel on the "Evolution of OKC into a World Class City.”

Saturday morning kicked off at the Devon Tower with presentations on all things oil and gas, with topics including history, technology, innovation, economics and policy impact. At the close of the session, the class took a behind the scenes tour of the Devon Tower.

Sponsors for the Oklahoma City event were Acorn Growth Companies, The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City, Arnall Foundation, Bank of Oklahoma, Michelle Britten, Citizens Bank, Cox Communications, Sammye Cravens, Devon Energy, Heritage Institutional, IBC Bank, Jones PR, Farooq Karim, David Lewis, Todd Lisle, Manhattan Construction, Metro Tech, Brad Naifeh, Newview Oklahoma, OG&E, OKC Convention and Visitors Bureau, OKC Thunder, Rees Associates, Sonic, America’s Drive-In, The State Chamber of Oklahoma, Marnie and Clayton Taylor, Timberlake Construction and the University of Central Oklahoma.

Scroll down to read reflections from  class members and click here to see some photos from the event.

Rick Grundman
Vice President, Government Affairs and Community Relations

Growing up in a family of oil and natural gas workers heavily influenced my decision to spend the last 23 years working for Oklahoma Natural Gas and ONE Gas. I have seen the value this business brings to the areas its serves and am proud to have served this industry for most of my career.

During my tenure, I’ve experienced energy booms and busts.

During my time with Class 31, our Oklahoma City host committee helped to ensure our class experienced a “boom” during our session. We were able to take advantage of state-of-the-art facilities, hear world-class speakers and learn from those graciously shared their expertise and knowledge about the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma.

We were hosted at Devon Tower by Allen Wright, Class XXIX, and had the opportunity to hear from an impressive group of Oklahoma leaders and energy experts.

Mike Ming, GE Oil & Gas Center, presented an overview of the innovations that continue to improve the performance, productivity and cleanliness of our industry.

Kate Richard, Warwick Group, led an economically focused session on the SCOOP and STACK plays, which simplified these complicated issues and made the importance of the plays much more apparent to class members outside of the energy industry.

Tim Baker, Oklahoma Corporation Commission, shared data and lessons learned over the past several years about seismic events in Oklahoma, and Chad Warmington with the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association discussed oil and gas policy implications and the impacts of taxes, regulation and diversification.

The LOK process has allowed our class a unique opportunity to experience and learn about traditional and renewable energy sources, and raised questions and ideas about the importance of all energy sources and their impacts to the future well-being of Oklahoma.

I am appreciative of the opportunity, and judging from the questions that I have already heard from my classmates, there are more Oklahoma leaders prepared to support a balanced energy approach to policy going forward.

Cyndi Munson –
State Representative, District 85
Oklahoma House of Representatives
Oklahoma City

Our visit to Oklahoma City to learn more about State Government proved to be interesting and complex, leaving us all with a better understanding of our government and the intricate parts at play to make it work for the good of all Oklahomans. Though I live this every day, I feel more equipped to do my job well in the year ahead.

After hearing from state and issue expert leaders, it became clear how complex state government is when trying to solve our most challenging issues. Government is not only about navigating politics, but also the personalities of those who hold the most power and influence during the lawmaking process. We are now more aware of the importance of Oklahomans being informed, engaged, and empowered to be a part of the legislative process to guide the priorities of state leaders. Oklahoma faces many challenges, but also many opportunities. Now is the time to decide what path we will take, one of a brighter future or continue with the status quo. It will take all of us, together, to ensure the brighter future we all hope for.

Now that it is 2018, our focus is on who will become Oklahoma’s next Governor. We had the unique opportunity to hear from most of the Gubernatorial candidates and ask them tough questions about how they will lead should they be elected. It is clear that the next Governor will need vision, a spirit of unity, and innovative ideas that will put Oklahoma on a new path of progress. Our class has set high expectations, and for that, I am truly grateful.

When we want to know our state’s priorities and values, we can look to State Government. Our government is and should be a representation of Oklahoma’s people. I cannot reiterate more the importance of all of us being engaged in what is happening at the State Capitol. As I tell people every day, your legislator is more powerful than any national elected leader when it comes to the impact on your daily life. As a class, we are better educated and more engaged than ever before. We must speak up about the challenges we know our state faces to ensure the priorities align with solving the state’s most pressing issues. I feel empowered and excited about Class 31’s ability to enact change with our collective voices, now and for years to come.

Jan Peery
Chief Executive Officer
YWCA of Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City

January’s LOK session included tours of OKC and Tinker AFB, with a look at the oil and gas industry , technologies and related regulatory environments. However, the segments on state government, funding core services, gubernatorial candidates and DACA perspectives from Senator James Lankford were the session peaks for me.

The true impact of our state budget crisis seems lost in partisan diatribe. Yet, as CLASS 31, (with various partisan perspectives), listened to realities of our education crisis, it was clear that NON partisan, non-political answers to impact the future for our children and our state are imperative.

In the same vision, criminal justice reform (CJR) must be addressed. Research validates that “smart on crime” changes are vital to altering our broken, cost-draining justice system. Without change to laws, fees/fines, sentencing and more, we are assuring a cycle of crime and poverty for generations rather than keeping our community safe.

As we seek leaders who also dream of creating solutions and building cohesive governance across party-lines, it was fitting to have Q & A with gubernatorial candidates. It an opportunity for the candidates to HEAR what we were asking – and recognize citizens are seeking vision and leadership from candidates in our next election.

Sen. Lankford’s DACA message, “our nation doesn’t hold children accountable for crimes of their parents”, gave hope that solutions are on the horizon for the Dreamers in our nation. His efforts to build cross-partisan leadership also gave hope that our country can heal the devastating divisiveness.

Experience, knowledge, process….leadership -- Truly LOK!


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