Excellence In Leadership

Each November, LOK members nominate outstanding leaders from across the state who are making a positive and meaningful difference in Oklahoma. Voting takes place by all membership in January, and awards are presented at our annual gala the following April.



TOM McDANIEL | Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have used their leadership abilities to improve the quality of life for Oklahoma's citizens and its future generations. This year’s Leadership Oklahoma Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Tom McDaniel, of Oklahoma City. McDaniel became president of American Fidelity Foundation on September 1, 2011, after having served as president and Chancellor of Oklahoma City University from July 1, 2001 to August 31, 2011. He retired as vice chairman and director of Kerr McGee Corporation in 2000 and then served as president of Northwestern Oklahoma State University, becoming the first graduate of that school to ever serve as its president, before joining OCU. Prior to Kerr McGee, McDaniel served as Administrative Director of Courts for the State of Oklahoma. He holds a business degree from Northwestern, a Jurist Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from OCU. He is active in the community, serving on numerous boards and commissions and currently serves as Chairman of the Citizens Advisory Board for the MAPS III projects. McDaniel and his wife, Brenda, were selected 2010 “Treasures of Tomorrow” by the Oklahoma Health Foundation. Among his recognitions, he was recently named Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEO in large non-profits and was the recipient of the Dean A. McGee Award from Downtown OKC, the Urban Pioneer Award, and OKCityan of the Year Award. He has been included in the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame and in 2006 was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.


STEVE TURNBO | Distinguished Graduate Award

The Distinguished Graduate Award honors a Leadership Oklahoma graduate whose recent leadership activities have exemplified the highest standards of Leadership Oklahoma and whose activities achieved results or set an example of statewide significance.  The Distinguished Graduate Award belongs to Steve Turnbo, of Tulsa, who has dedicated his life serving his community and investing in the people around him. Turnbo serves as chairman emeritus at Schnake Turnbo Frank, a consulting firm with offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, where he has worked for more than 34 years. He dedicated his life to serving his community and investing in the people around him, and his commitment to integrity and activism is demonstrated by the many merits and honors he has received throughout his life. Turnbo’s professional accolades include the Public Relations Society of America College of Fellows Inductee and 1985 Professional of the Year. Turnbo is a Tulsa Advertising Federation “Silver Addy” award recipient and the 2011 Tulsa Press Club Headliner. His civic involvement with the Oklahoma State and Tulsa Chambers of Commerce, Rotary International and the Oklahoma Heritage Association is also demonstrative of his continued leadership in his community. A graduate of The University of Tulsa, Turnbo is in his 28th year on the TU Board of Trustees and was inducted into the Collins College of Business Hall of Fame as an Outstanding Business Leader in 2015. Turnbo’s passion for human relations is evident in his work with the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice, an organization he has been involved with for 31 years. He served as board chair and is currently the Director for Life. OCCJ honored Turnbo in 2003 with the National Conference for Community and Justice Humanitarian Award and again in 2005 with the Interfaith Understanding Award. Turnbo also served on the Leadership Oklahoma Board of Directors from 1994-1997. His involvement with Leadership Oklahoma and the many other professional and civic organizations continue to make a positive and lasting impact on Oklahoma and its citizens. Turnbo has left a legacy of leadership, development and contribution across Oklahoma, yet maintains a genuine sense of humility, earning him Leadership Oklahoma’s Distinguished Graduate Award.



The Business Leadership Award commends a business entity for its impact in promoting leadership principles and practice, implementing programs worthy of example, and fostering the growth of quality leadership. The Business Leadership Award will honor Perry Publishing & Broadcasting Company (PPBC), the largest independently minority owned and operated radio broadcasting company in the U.S. and headquartered in Oklahoma. Under the direction of Russell Perry, and now his son, Kevin S. Perry, together they have brought more diversity in serving the African American community. Currently, PPBC owns and operates radio stations, newspaper, digital platforms, in the states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, South Carolina and Georgia. The PPBC, established in 1979, continually gives back to the state through many community service events, as well as charities and foundations. Russell M. Perry is involved in numerous civic and professional activities and associations such as a board member of the National Association of Broadcasters and member of the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, and former member of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Advisory council, he has also been inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the American Urban Radio Network Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City Public School Foundation Wall of Fame; Oklahoma Afro-American Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, while Kevin is actively involved on the board of First Security Bank of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City College, Oklahoma City All Sports Association, Eckerd Kids Foundation and the Oklahoma Associations of Broadcasters.


OERB | Statewide Community Award

The Statewide Community Award acknowledges an organization or company that, through specific projects or efforts, has reached across valued differences to develop among Oklahomans a sense of common purpose and a more profound sense of loyalty to their state. This award has been created to promote a heightened sense of appreciation for the possibilities available when Oklahomans work together as a single statewide community. The Statewide Community Award acknowledges the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (OERB).  In 1993, leaders representing Oklahoma's oil producers and royalty owners, working with the Oklahoma State Legislature, formed the OERB. Oklahoma's natural gas producers joined soon after. The mission was to use the strength of the industry to improve the lives of all Oklahomans through education and restoration. OERB's ongoing commitment to clean up Oklahoma's orphaned and abandoned well sites left to ruin by those who have long since passed or disappeared is the core mission of OERB. Funded through voluntary contributions paid by producers and royalty owners, the OERB's environmental restorations cost nothing to landowners or taxpayers. Since 1994, they have dedicated more than $100 million to restoring 15,385 orphaned and abandoned well sites across the state; currently restoring 2 to 3 sites per day. OERB has had a positive impact as seen not only in restored pastures, hillsides and ponds, but also on the faces of landowners, students and teachers across the state. OERB expanded their outreach by sharing an exciting energy curricula and safety messages, training 14,317 teachers to date, educating students about the oil and natural gas industry and energy conservation. These numbers, along with the economic impact the petroleum industry brings to our state economy, continue to prove that Oklahomans work together as a single statewide community producing positive results for Oklahoma.

What's Happening


CELEBRATE - LOK’s Excellence in Leadership Gala will be held April 21, 2018, at The Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City. The four awards to be presented at the gala include:

  • The Distinguished Graduate Award
  • The Business Leadership Award
  • The Statewide Community Award
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award


LEAD - Leadership Oklahoma is proud to highlight its graduates in the news. If you have an item for Leaders on the Move, please email it to the LOK office - lok@leadershipoklahoma.com.


DONATE - What makes Leadership Oklahoma successful? Many would say it is the “LOK Network” which continues to expand with the recent class graduation. Keeping the network connected is critical to the long-term success of our organization and our state. Ultimately, LOK is successful because of you and your generous donations of time, energy, ideas and resources.