The Best of the Best 2014

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Artist

Art speaks differently to every person, but these artists produce works that please many. Tulsa artist P.S. Gordon creates beautiful watercolor paintings of still lifes and portraitures. Rosalind Cook continues to impress with her large-scale bronze sculpture works that can be found throughout Tulsa and beyond. Otto Duecker paints in the hyperrealist style and has collectors throughout the world. A former NBA star, Desmond Mason has established a successful second career as an artist in Oklahoma City. He draws inspiration from well-known artists like Banksy and Picasso. Keisha Register is an artist best known for her Wallpaper Project, a series of photographic portraits set against similar wallpaper backdrops. Greg Burns uses ink and watercolors to commit his vision to canvas. Burns, who is afflicted with a joint disease that affects his use of his arms and legs, holds the watercolor brush between his teeth to paint.

P.S. Gordon, Best Artist. Photo by Nathan Harmon.

P.S. Gordon, Best Artist.
Photo by Nathan Harmon.

Charity Event

Hundreds of charity events are thrown in the Sooner state each year. In Tulsa, Carnivale, which benefits Mental Health Association Oklahoma, raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to help the state’s mentally ill population get necessary care and a secure living space. Red Ribbon Gala benefits Tulsa CARES and raises funds to deliver social services to those affected by HIV and AIDS. Painted Pony Ball, benefiting The Children’s Hospital Foundation at Saint Francis, brings in well-known entertainment acts for a night of boot-scootin’ fun. Red Tie Night benefits the Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund in Oklahoma City. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $11 million to help local people living with HIV and AIDS. The Warren Spahn Award is a gala that honors Major League Baseball’s best left-handed pitcher. The award and gala raises funds for Bricktown Rotary Club and Jim Thorpe Association. Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifying event and has been voted as one of the 12 “must-run” marathons in the world by Runner’s World magazine.

Chef

Oklahoma’s chefs create beautiful plates. James Shrader owner and executive chef at Palace Café, is once again recognized for the superior culinary skills he displays at his popular restaurant in Tulsa. Justin Thompson, executive chef and proprietor of successful Tulsa restaurants Juniper, Prhyme, Tavolo and the new 624 Kitchen & Catering, is also recognized for inventive dishes that taste as good as they look. Tim Inman, owner and executive chef of Stonehorse Café, wows crowds at his Utica Square gem with fare that features flavor and creativity. Ryan Parrott is a powerhouse chef in Oklahoma City. Currently overseeing Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill’s Oklahoma City location, Parrott continues to use his culinary chops for good. Daniel Nemec, executive chef at Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse, serves signature steaks, chops and seafood in the swanky restaurant located in Oklahoma City’s Bricktown district. Kurt Fleischfresser, owner and executive chef of The Coach House, has influenced many young chefs in Oklahoma and continues to produce stellar cuisine in his Nichols Hills restaurant.

Kevin Durant, Best Local Icon. Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images.

Kevin Durant, Best Local Icon. Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images.

CEO

A company’s chief executive officer can set the tone for a workplace’s corporate culture. Jake Henry Jr. of Saint Francis Health System receives kudos for overseeing a successful health system that saw more than 120,000 emergency room visits; 5,441 births and 51,397 inpatient admissions during the 2013 fiscal year. Alan Armstrong of Williams Companies leads the global energy company based in Tulsa. Paula Marshall of The Bama Companies continues to lead a company founded by her grandmother. The company has operated in Tulsa since 1936 and places emphasis on employee satisfaction and giving back to the community. Harold Hamm is CEO of Continental Resources, an energy company whose headquarters are located in downtown Oklahoma City’s thriving business district. Hamm has led the company for nearly 50 years, and has seen the company through many changes. Chuck Spicer is CEO of OU Medical Center, a world-class medical complex that employs thousands and serves patients whose illness range from a common cold to those more severe. David Green is CEO of Hobby Lobby, one of the largest arts and crafts store chains in the nation and headquartered in Oklahoma City.

Company to Work For

There are companies both large and small that provide a great atmosphere in which employees can thrive. Williams Companies places importance on its company’s core values and beliefs that include integrity, safety and environmental stewardship. ONEOK, a natural gas company, focuses on developing dynamic employees that fit the company’s culture and can change along with the company. Saint Francis Health System employs thousands in its various hospitals and clinics across the Tulsa metro area. Cherokee Nation Businesses employs more than 9,000 people in various industries, including gaming, information technology, health care and environmental services. Manhattan Construction provides its employees myriad opportunities for growth and promotion within the company. Chesapeake Energy continues to foster a corporate culture that keeps employees happy. Beyond benefits, employees enjoy a picturesque campus and onsite health and dental services as well as a fitness center and restaurants. In addition to working in a modern skyscraper in downtown Oklahoma City, Devon Energy employees enjoy encouragement and results-driven rewards. Chickasaw Nation is recognized as a great company for which to work because of great benefits and opportunities for promotion within the nation’s various sectors. Sandridge is an energy company in downtown Oklahoma City that provides great perks for its employees.

Guthrie, Best Small Town. Photo courtesy Guthrie Chamber of Commerce.

Guthrie, Best Small Town.
Photo courtesy Guthrie Chamber of Commerce.

Local Icon/Landmark

Every city has iconic markers that are synonymous with its identity. ONEOK Field, the home of the Tulsa Drillers, has become an iconic marker in Tulsa’s downtown area. The BOK Center brings world-class acts that are rivaled only by the building’s unique, instantly recognizable exterior. The Tulsa Golden Driller stands along 21st Street, the signal of the city’s rich heritage in oil. Kevin Durant, the NBA’s MVP and leader of the Oklahoma City Thunder, proves iconic in Oklahoma City. Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the Thunder and host for concerts and world-class acts, also serves as an icon in downtown Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum reminds us of the destruction and devastation of domestic terror.

Local Radio Personality

Many listen to the radio to hear their favorite DJ. In Tulsa, Chris Plank of 1430 KTBZ-AM wows his fans with sports coverage delivered with a healthy dose of humor. Heather Miles of 100.9 KXOJ is a DJ on the Christian radio station’s morning program, providing entertainment to those weekday commuters. Bud and Broadway on 106.1 KTGX, better known as The Twister, host their show on weekday afternoons on the country radio station. In Oklahoma City, Ronnie Kaye of 92.5 KOMA delivers the greatest hits from the past from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Duo Drew and Kaci on 98.9 KISS FM intersperse pop culture tidbits with top 40 hits during weekday afternoons in Oklahoma City. On the same radio station, Jack & Ron provide entertainment for Oklahoma City’s morning commute.

Local TV Personality

We depend on local news anchors and reporters to deliver us the latest news happening in our community. Tulsa’s Chera Kimiko of KOTV Channel 6 provides dependable news to those tuned in to her nightly newscasts. Terry Hood, an evening anchor on KOTV Channel 6, is known for her stellar reporting as well as her touching stories, which have won the anchor numerous Emmy Awards. Craig Day, an anchor and reporter on KOTV Channel 6, also wins over audiences for his reporting and coverage of breaking news events. In Oklahoma City, Kelly Ogle of KWTV Channel 9 is merited for his coverage of news and events as well as his “My 2 Cents” segment. Veteran anchor Linda Cavanaugh leads the desk on KFOR Channel 4 and delivers breaking news as well as feel-good stories. Reporter Abigail Ogle on KOCO Channel 5 is respected for her sports coverage on the station.

Meteorologist

When breaking weather hits, we want to hear it from a person we can trust. Tulsa’s Travis Meyer, chief meteorologist on KOTV Channel 6, delivers accurate forecasts as well as breaking weather coverage. Mike Collier and Andrew Kozak, both of KTUL Channel 8, are recognized for their weather prediction. Dick Faurot of KOTV Channel 6 is a reliable voice during fair and stormy weather. Mike Morgan, chief meteorologist for KFOR Channel 4 in Oklahoma City, is heralded for keeping his cool during tragic storms. Damon Lane, chief meteorologist on KOCO Channel 5, provides precise predictions for Oklahoma City’s residents. Emily Sutton is both a meteorologist and storm chase for Oklahoma City’s KFOR Channel 4.

Small Town

The beauty of a small town rests in the eye of the beholder. Tulsa suburb Jenks is recognized for its quaint downtown and wealth of locally owned shops. Owasso is a small town that has experienced exponential growth in the last several years of both housing and retail development. Bixby has also seen tremendous development recently, and the city continues to expand. The Victorian charm of Guthrie makes it one of the state’s favorite small towns. Tours both on foot and by trolley provide a glimpse into the history of this throwback city. Stillwater is a small town that doubles in population nine months during the year thanks to Oklahoma State University. The town’s collegial feel and local shops and restaurants make it a preferred choice. Duncan, located in southwest Oklahoma, is truly a small town and attracts admirers for its scenic rural surroundings.

Williams Companies, Best Company To Work For. Photo courtesy Williams Companies.

Williams Companies, Best Company To Work For.
Photo courtesy Williams Companies.

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