Allison C. Dake, 38
Owner/Operator, Brown Egg Bakery; Co-owner, Dake Morgan: A Modern Wedding Collaboration
“Starting a business and keeping it running and successful is not for the faint of heart,” Dake says. As the owner and operator of two small businesses, she is well aware of the challenges and drawbacks that business owners face. However, for Dake, the rewards far outweigh the missed holidays, birthdays, vacations and social events. “I work when most people are off, and that’s just a part of the job. If you want it bad enough, and you are able to grow accustomed to the workload, the benefits will be far more rewarding than the disadvantages,” she says. Dake also uses her baking and design skills to provide birthday cakes to children in the foster care system in the Oklahoma City area. “Many of them have never had the opportunity to celebrate their birthday, let alone have their own birthday cake,” she says. “I hear stories of 18-year-old young adults crying when the children and staff sing happy birthday to them because it just has never happened to them before.”
Daniel T. Miller, 36
Financial Advisor, Edward Jones
Miller moved to Muskogee shortly after he graduated from college. He has enjoyed living in this small community and being involved with great causes. He is a member of the Rotary Club and was the youngest president in the Muskogee club’s 100-year history. He also sits on the board of the Muskogee Foundation, which seeks to make positive changes in the city; as well as on the board of CASA, which advocates for abused and neglected children. He also serves as vice chair of the Muskogee Chamber of Commerce. Miller says that helping others can help one feel successful in both professional and personal lives. “Find a career that you truly enjoy, can be passionate about and have the ability to help other people,” he says. “Be excited about what you’re doing, and I think that type of fulfillment is success.”
Dr. John Rogers, D.D.S., 37
Dentist, Refresh – Dentistry by John Rogers
Rogers’ first career was as a high school band director, but after several years, he returned to the University of Oklahoma to pursue a degree in dentistry. He now owns a successful dental practice in west Tulsa, focusing on full-mouth cosmetics and complex restorative dentistry. But that doesn’t mean he has left music behind. “I still play the baritone in the Sapulpa Community Band,” he says. Rogers serves on the board for Tulsa CARES, an organization dedicated to delivering social services to those with HIV and AIDS. He advises others wishing to achieve success to be open to new opportunities. “Don’t be afraid to let ‘success’ change its definition as you grow,” he says.
Mana Tahaie, 32
Director of Mission Impact, YWCA Tulsa
In her capacity at the YWCA, Tahaie leads the organization’s work in racial justice, women’s empowerment, public policy and advocacy, and research and evaluation. “The YWCA has a bold mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all,” she says. “I’m incredibly lucky to be responsible for helping advance that mission in Tulsa through training and consulting, dialogue programs, initiatives to help women through transitional points in their lives, community collaborations and grassroots and legislative advocacy.” Tahaie says her volunteerism looks a lot like the work she does. She currently chairs the board of the Center for New Community, a national racial justice organization headquartered in Chicago; and supports campus groups at The University of Tulsa, including the United Campus Ministry, the Women’s & Gender Studies and Sociology departments and multicultural student programs.
Heather Van Hooser, 39
Senior Vice President; Director of Private Banking, Mabrey Bank
Growing up in rural Stillwater, Van Hooser learned the importance of working hard and giving back to the community. “With a collaborative effort from the bank’s management team, I have had the good fortune of starting Mabrey Bank’s Private Banking division from the ground up,” says Van Hooser. “Our Private Banking team provides a boutique banking relationship for higher net worth individuals.” Van Hooser is very active in the community; she is currently the chair-elect for Oklahoma Project Woman as well as a big sister in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program. She was paired with her little sister, Antwanette, in 1999, and today, Antwanette is in nursing school at the University of Oklahoma. They are still close. Van Hooser has shown quarter horses since the age of 8, and they continue to play a large part in her life.