Tricia Everest, a native of Oklahoma City and 4th generation Oklahoman, attended Casady High School before receiving her Bachelor of Science from Vanderbilt University in 1993. After returning to Oklahoma she earned her Juris Doctor from University of Oklahoma School of Law in 2003. Her professional law career led her to the Attorney General’s office where she was Assistant Attorney General representing the State of Oklahoma. She also holds an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Oklahoma City University. Tricia serves Oklahoma County as Chair of the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority.
Tricia serves as a Trustee of E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation and Chair of Inasmuch Foundation’s Advisory Committee, continuing her family’s legacy of philanthropy while simultaneously crafting her own. Tricia focuses most of her time leading initiatives designed to help people find hope and purpose by creating pathways for stronger lives. She plays an integral role as the founding Chair of Palomar, Oklahoma City’s Family Justice Center which removes barriers for abuse victims to access the services they need. Tricia was also the founding Chair of ReMerge, which diverts mothers from prison and empowers the women to build healthy foundations for themselves and their children. Her other philanthropic endeavors include Chair of Allied Arts, past-Chair of YMCA – the organization’s first female chair in its 128-year history – and service on numerous nonprofit boards. Recognized by United Way of Central Oklahoma as the John and Berta Faye Rex Community Builder Honoree in 2019, Tricia was also named Societies Philanthropist of the Year in 2012 and received the Lee Allen Smith Oklahoma Legacy Award in 2013. In 2019, inducted into the OCU Meinders Hall of Honor for Business and Commerce. Tricia received the State’s Highest Honor in 2019 with her induction into the Oklahoma Hall Of Fame.
Kelly Dyer Fry retired early 2021 after a 26-year career with The Oklahoman. A third-generation Oklahoma journalist, she began her career at her family’s newspaper, The El Reno Tribune. While at The Oklahoman, Fry served in several capacities. She started as features editor in 1994 and became managing editor and later general manager of The Oklahoman’s digital efforts. She led the team that launched NewsOK which started as a converged website for The Oklahoman and KWTV News 9. Fry was promoted to vice president of multimedia, vice president of news, editor and ultimately editor and publisher in 2019. In 2019 Gannett purchased The Oklahoman and Fry was promoted to regional editor for Gannett’s Sunbelt region of Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. She is a member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame and has been honored for her work with addiction and mental illness within her community. She now works for the Mental Health Association Oklahoma as a development director for Oklahoma City. She is married to Chris Fry and together they have four children.
Bob Howard, a native Oklahoman, leads a diversified group of successful businesses. He is President of Mercedes-Benz Jaguar Volvo of Oklahoma City; he is Managing Partner of Midtown Renaissance, a real estate development company that engages in the redevelopment of over a half-million square feet of mixed used properties in the Midtown area of Oklahoma City; and he owns REHCO, LLC, which engages in an array of investments including private equity, hedge funds, real estate, and oil & gas.
Bob has long been involved in state governmental function. He currently serves as a board member of the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision, is a member of the Attorney General’s Opioid Task Force, and has been actively involved in efforts to improve Oklahoma’s governmental infrastructure as related to the medical and law enforcement community, and prescription drug control. Bob has also served as a member of the Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Commission. He has been involved with and served as a director for several community organizations including the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma Health Center Foundation, the Jim Thorpe Association, and Downtown OKC, Inc. He was the 2010 recipient of the Neal Horton Award for a Renaissance of a Downtown Oklahoma City Area. He has additionally been integrally involved in several philanthropic projects including Children’s Medical Research, the Jim Riley Outreach Program, the Oklahoma Aids Care Fund, the Oklahoma Heart Association, and Integris Arcadia Trails.
Bob is a U.S. Army veteran, a devoted fan of Oklahoma State University, and avid fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Dr. LaFortune is a licensed Oklahoma attorney and psychologist and currently works at the Tulsa County Family Center for Juvenile Justice, coordinating forensic services in delinquency and dual status cases. She graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories before returning to Oklahoma to attend the University of Tulsa College of Law. She then worked as a Municipal Public Defender for the City of Tulsa and realized that some of her clients struggled with severe mental health issues. This prompted her to pursue a degree in Clinical Psychology at TU where she met forensic psychologist Dr. Robert Nicholson who acted as a mentor in forensic work. She was a Carl Albert Fellow while working at Rader Treatment Center for juveniles and later did her pre and postdoctoral internships at Eastern State Hospital, now Oklahoma Forensic Center, with incompetent and insanity acquittees. Dr. LaFortune then worked with the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System as Capital Counsel and then Chief of Forensic Psychological Services in the Executive Division for 13 years coordinating mental health expert requests in capital and noncapital cases.
She has been an Adjunct Assistant professor at OSU Forensic Sciences Master’s program since 2002, and at The University of Tulsa College of Law since 1996 and the Clinical Psychology Department at TU. She taught for five years as an adjunct instructor for New York Law School’s Mental Disability Law program and received the Otto L. Walter Distinguished Writing Award in 2013 from NYLS for her article on mental disability and law in child custody cases. She is presently on the nine-member Committee on Legal Issues of the American Psychological Association, the SPSSI Court Watch Committee (Division 9, American Psychological Association) and serves as a regular contributor to the Judicial Notebook in the American Psychological Association Monitor. She also serves on board of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and Parkside Psychiatric Hospital and Clinic and has served on the Oklahoma Child Death Review board, the Tristesse Grief Center, and the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System board.
Dr. LaFortune has published or co-authored articles on forensic psychology and criminal law in various journals including the Journal of Psychiatry and Law, Behavioral Science and Law, APA Monitor, American Bar Association Family Law Quarterly in 2012, and Law and Human Behavior. She has served as a reviewer of a national juvenile competency manual for publication, as well as a member of the Oklahoma Juvenile Competency Workgroup for the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth. She has also helped coordinate a jury trauma and stress project in Tulsa County to assist jurors post-verdict to receive free counseling in difficult cases.
Roger Ramseyer serves as vice president and market leader for Cox Communications’ operations in northeast Oklahoma.
Roger is responsible for alignment between regional and corporate reporting teams including construction and planning, Cox Business, Cox Media, Cox YurView Oklahoma, field engineering, and residential services. He also focuses on field operations, government and regulatory affairs, marketing, diversity and inclusion, and growing talent in the Tulsa market.
Before coming to Cox, Roger served as managing director of global government affairs, public affairs, and corporate communications for INVISTA and Koch Industries in Wichita, Kansas. He also served as vice president and managing officer of a Koch family foundation. Previous to that, Roger worked for Bank IV and NationsBank (now Bank of America) for 12 years where he served as corporate spokesman and senior vice president of corporate marketing.
Roger has been a longtime community advocate in the communities in which he has lived and has held leadership roles in a variety of civic, religious, and educational organizations.
Roger is a member of the board of directors of the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, for which he serves on the executive committee and served as board chair in 2020. He also serves on the boards of the Oklahoma BizPac, Tulsa’s Future, Inc., and Flight Night, Inc., a non-profit involved with STEM educational initiatives.
He is a member of the Rotary Club of Tulsa and the Oklahoma State University-Tulsa Business Advisory Council. Roger is a trustee of the Tulsa Community College Foundation. He is a member of the Healthy Minds State Policy Initiative Council and the Oklahoma Business Roundtable.
He holds a BS in Business from the University of Kansas and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.
Peggy Simmons leads a team of 1,600 Oklahomans responsible for all aspects of providing electric service for PSO’s more than 562,000 customers. Responsibilities include customer service, operation of the distribution system, safety, communications, external affairs, regulatory and financial functions.
Previously, Simmons was managing director of transmission asset strategy for American Electric Power (AEP), responsible for transmission strategy and policy, regulatory support, as well as outreach, siting, and rights-of-way for transmission projects across the AEP 11 state footprint. Simmons has also held responsibilities for wholesale energy auctions in deregulated markets and in the areas of renewable energy and commercial operations.
Simmons joined AEP in 1999 as an energy trading scheduler in AEP’s commercial operations. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Ohio State University and a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Central Michigan University. Simmons is a graduate of the Executive Program-Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and is a member of the G100 Next Generation Leadership program.
Simmons serves on the board of trustees for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust and Tulsa Community Foundation, and on the board of directors for BOK Financial Corporation, the State Chamber of Oklahoma, the Tulsa Regional Chamber, and the Tulsa Area United Way. Simmons serves as a founding council member of Tulsa African American Leadership Academy. She also serves on the advisory council for Meals on Wheels Metro Tulsa and as an Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence commissioner for the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. Additionally, Simmons is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) and Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), serves on the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) Members Committee and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Advisory Council.
Reggie Whitten is Co-Founder of the Whitten Burrage Law Firm. In 2013, Reggie was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, and in 2015, the University of Oklahoma inducted him into the Law School Hall of Fame, the Order of the Owl, and later that year, presented Reggie with an honorary Doctoral Degree for his contributions to the university, state and nation. In addition, Reggie has been inducted into the prestigious fellowship of the American College of Trial Lawyers, which is considered to be the top 1% of lawyers nationally.
Reggie is an adjunct professor at the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has been lecturing there on the subject of addiction since 2010.
Reggie has been the recipient of many honors, including the Journal Record Leadership in Law, Oklahoma Association of Justice Tommy D. Frasier Award, and the Oklahoma Bar Association Trailblazer Award. In 2019, Reggie received the inaugural Melvin Moran Humanitarian Award from the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum.
In 2004, Reggie co-founded the Whitten-Newman Foundation in memory of his eldest son, Brandon, who passed away in 2002 as a result of a traffic accident caused by alcohol and prescription drug abuse. In 2010, he founded F.A.T.E. (Fighting Addiction Through Education), and he has spoken to more than 20,000 high school and college students throughout Oklahoma about the dangers of addiction and substance abuse. Reggie produced Killing Pain, a docuseries about the Opioid Epidemic in Oklahoma.
In partnership with the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, Reggie’s family foundation co-founded the ExplorOlogy and Native Explorers educational programs which has impacted over 50,000 young people in Oklahoma. His family foundation is also the leading supporter of Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, of Gulu, Uganda, a CNN Hero and TIME 100 Most Influential Award recipient and the first Veritis Splendor laureate, in honor of Saint John Paul II.