Oklahoma Academy cites key contributors

By Danna Sue Walker | World Staff Writer | The Tulsa World

[ AUGUST 29, 2009 – TULSA, OK ] – It is the people who contribute their knowledge and time to the Oklahoma Academy who help the organization move ideas into action.

Every year at the Oklahoma Academy Salute, the organization presents the Key Contributor award to a select few who have given generously of themselves to support the organization’s events, public policy recommendations and implementation efforts.

The Key Contributor awards were presented to Roy Peters, Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, Tulsa; David Stewart, Cherokee Nation Entertainment and Cherokee Nation Businesses, Catoosa; Doug Branch, Phillips Murrah, Oklahoma City; and John Feaver, University of Arts and Sciences of Oklahoma, Chickasha.

Julie Knutson, Oklahoma Academy president & CEO, said, “The academy wanted to appropriately recognize these gentlemen, because they have supported the work of the organization, shared the ideas with others, and helped advance the recommendations derived from the academy’s annual Town Hall conference.”

The academy also presented its first Making a Difference award, which shows appreciation to people who take initiative with an Oklahoma Academy recommendation and work to make it a reality.

Michael Harrison, a strategic analyst for the University of Oklahoma’s Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth in Norman, received the first award. He spent nearly two years working on a 2006 Town Hall recommendation on broadband initiatives.

Knutson said the Oklahoma Academy has a unique, consensus building process, the Oklahoma Academy Town Hall, which identifies pressing public policy issues and develops recommendations that address the issue.

The 16th Annual Academy Salute was held recently at the Doubletree Hotel at Warren Place. The annual fundraiser featured Mayor Kathy Taylor, political pundits Pat Hall and Jim Dunlap, and Washington D.C.’s hilarious Capitol Steps.

The Oklahoma Academy is a private citizen-based organization that serves Oklahoma as a think tank and catalyst on public policy development and community action. It is nonpartisan and serves as the state’s “honest broker.”