With representatives from businesses, nonprofits and universities, among others, the 2016 40 under 40 class is one of Oklahoma Magazine’s top yet. We visit with each of our selected members and talk to them about what they do on the clock, off the clock and how they’re dedicated to making Oklahoma great.
Travis Owens, 30
Senior Manager of Planning and Development, Cherokee Nation Businesses
Owens, who manages cultural resource development for the Cherokee Nation Businesses, enjoys how his job allows him to contribute to the success of the Cherokee Nation. “As a Cherokee Nation citizen, it is an honor to be able to work towards protecting and preserving some of Cherokee Nation’s most historic assets,” he says. “It gives me great pride to know that the work that I do will help preserve our history and culture for future generations.” Owens stays busy outside of his job as well – in addition to spending time with his family, he is board president of the Tulsa Children’s Museum and serves on the board of Preservation Oklahoma, American Indian Alaskan Native Tourism Association and Fab Lab Tulsa. Owens believes in giving everything he does his full attention. “When you lead a busy life, it is very easy to not fully participate in every aspect of your life,” he says. “Whether it is dinner with friends, meeting with an employee/coworker or reading your email, choosing to be fully present and invested ensures that you get the most out of every situation.”
Terrie Shipley, 30
Owner and Educational Planner, Terrie Shipley Consulting; Associate Director, Youth Philanthropy Initiative
Originally from the the San Francisco Bay area, Shipley not only runs her own consulting firm but also serves as associate director of Youth Philanthropy Initiative and is a candidate for a doctorate in educational administration, curriculum and supervision from the University of Oklahoma. She says she has two dream jobs, serving as both an educational planner who works with high school students on a one-on-one basis with the student as her client, and assisting in the positive development of teens all over Tulsa with the Youth Philanthropy Initiative. She says one of her proudest moments is getting text messages from consulting students who have just been granted admission to a school they really wanted. “They’re so excited and relieved; it’s a turning point in their confidence,” she says. “Those texts are an emojifest in the best way, and I just feel proud of them and the work they’ve put into the process.” She’s also currently acting as board president of Mental Health Association Oklahoma and served as gala chair for Up With Trees. Shipley describes her latest venture as motherhood – she and her husband recently had their first child. She adds she enjoys exploring new places and cultures and has been able to see not only the U.S., but also Europe and Asia in depth. “I’m just as Chinese as I am Caucasian and grew up with both cultures,” she says. “While I can speak and understand Cantonese, I regret not learning how to write in it.”