New Rotarians 2017-18

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8-1-17

Beth Kerr grew up in Dallas Texas and never intended to cross the Red River…until she met her future husband at SMU…and then she became an Okie!

Beth earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a Minor in Women’s Studies from Southern Methodist University. After becoming an Okie she returned for her Juris Doctorate from the Oklahoma City University.

Beth has been legal counsel at the University of Central Oklahoma for nine years, having previously served as a municipal judge in Edmond…and she does do weddings, if you are interested. She serves on numerous boards and committees, both at the state and community level. She was recently appointed to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. Beth was recognized this year by the Junior League as a “Sustaining Member”.

Beth will be joining their family reunion at Rotary 29 each week, as her husband, Steve Kerr; her mother-in-law, Lou Kerr; and her aunt, Georgia Fiering, are also members of our Club!

Beth and Steve have two wonderful sons – James, who is an actor in LA and Wilson, who is an Urban Planner for the City of Garland, Texas. Steve and Beth also have a brand new daughter-in-law, Devyn, as of May 27th of this year. She and Steve enjoy yoga, hiking, and musical theatre.

Rotarian Sponsors: Kathleen Stevenson, Clayton Taylor, and Marnie Taylor

 

Sarah Roberts was born and raised here in OKC, attending Christ the King for elementary and Bishop McGuinness for High School. Interestingly, her husband, Hayden, was also born in OK and they were high school sweethearts.

She was gone from Oklahoma for twelve years – to attend college at Sweet Briar in Virginia to earn her BA in Government and a Teaching Certificate – and then moving on to Tennessee after graduation. But when it was time to raise their family, they returned back to OKC and both of their families – both families encouraged them to move back to OKC when they were expecting their first son and they are so grateful they listened and moved back home.

Sarah has worked for the Inasmuch Foundation for 14 years and is their Senior Program Officer, which means she works with nonprofits pre-grant through post-grant. She thoroughly enjoys and feels fortunate to have her amazing job, working the with OKC nonprofit sector (best in the world) as they develop grant applications for Inasmuch Foundation and she then gets to see them carry out their big ideas successfully post grant. She works for Bob Ross, who she considers a visionary leader in our city and state.

Sarah is also the current chair of the Board for ReMerge, an OKC nonprofit serving mothers facing nonviolent crimes. ReMerge diverts mothers from prison and provides trauma informed mental health and substance abuse services, employment services and all basic needs for 18 months-2 years. Continuing Care is also available to women post graduation. Most importantly, ReMerge reunites families and breaks the cycle of poverty and addiction and allows moms to model being tax paying, positive members of OKC to their children.

Sarah loves to read and does it anytime she has a free moment. She adores hanging with her husband, Hayden and their two boys, Jackson and Owen. They have a busy, fun-filled life that she loves being the ringmaster of in terms of scheduling everything. They have all decided that their favorite days are the occasional days when their whole bunch has nowhere to be — they hole up together at home and never get out of pj’s while playing board games, watching movies, reading books and playing tug of war with Clark, their dog. Her favorite thing to do – besides reading – is to plan surprises of any kind for my family. Latest surprise is this fall, when they are all headed to Disney World for the first time ever — she can’t wait!

Rotarian Sponsors: Russ Florence, Marnie Taylor, and Meg Salyer

Thanks to Devery Youngblood for the biographies !


8-8-17

Bob Parrish was raised in Ft. Cobb, OK, took a job out of college in OKC; He has been in OKC since September 1984, moved briefly to Stillwater from 1995-1999. Been back in OKC since April 1999 to present.

Bob was named Superintendent of Metro Technology Centers on July 1, 2017. He has work at Metro Technology Centers since April 1999 as Purchasing Manager, CFO and Associate Supt. of Business; Previously worked at OK State Dept. of Education and OK Dept. of Career & Technical Education

Bob attended Ft. Cobb High School; Southwestern OK State University (SWOSU) Weatherford, OK B.S. in Business Administration; Master’s Degree from SWOSU in Educational Administration

He loves travelling to mountains and beaches; Fishing; Golf; Involved in Metro Tech Foundation to help students overcome obstacles to be able to complete their area of study at Metro Technology Centers

Rotarian Sponsors: Ron Perry, Collins Peck

 

Moira Watson is a native Bostonian (before you ask, the accent is dormant until round 2 or 3 at the pub…) She arrived in OKC via England about 2 years ago when her husband took a job as a professor in Classics at OU.

Moira is a lawyer with Hall Estill and her practice area these days is mostly finance and corporate transactional work (She a recovering tax lawyer). She also teach a couple of courses down at OU Law (Secured Transactions and Corporate Finance), which is fun (even at 7.30 am on a Monday).

Moira attended Rice, with a BA, (Double Major – History and International Relations); University of Pennsylvania Law School, JD; and University of Oxford, DPhil (aka PhD) in Law.

Moira Watson is on the Komen board in town, and she and her husband I just formed the Oxford Alumni Society of the Great Plains (Tulsa, OKC, Wichita & Dallas) (it’s brand new actually and we’re trying to get the word out to local graduates or summer abroads). She loves travelling (she quite proud to say that she has been to 48 states), hiking, and reading (with a particular weakness for Agatha Christie’s Poirot). She is enjoying getting to know Oklahoma and welcomes any and all ‘must do’ recommendations. Particularly if they involve BBQ…

Rotarian Sponsors: Russ Florence, Mike McAuliffe, Donny Hector

Sheena Karami claims Norman, OK, but she is originally from Daytona Beach, FL. Her parents actually met at OU in math class, and upon graduation relocated to Daytona Beach. After she was born my father decided that may not be the best place to raise a young lady, so they decided to come back to the place they called home… which is Norman. Growing up she knew she would stay close and with the growth and development of Oklahoma City Sheena can’t imagine living anywhere else.

“Sheena is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and hold a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Mass Communication, and Master of Public Administration (management, policy, and finance/statistics are my focus… of course I had to keep up the “math” theme in my family).”

“Sheena began her career the United Way of Central Oklahoma when she first moved to Oklahoma City. Working in Development, I ultimately transitioned to become the Director of the State Charitable Campaign. Working there I learned so much about who I wanted to be and the community I wanted to be a part of – it was an amazing experience. She then joined the team at Ackerman McQueen as VP in the Office of the Chief Operating Officer and was there for four wonderful years before being snatched up by the team at Express Employment Professionals, where she now serves as Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for the International Headquarters.”

“Express has given me a fantastic opportunity to help mold the message for an international brand, while also working with roughly 800 franchises in three countries… not to mention I also get the chance to work with our beautiful Express Clydesdales. Not many people can say they have such diversity in the scope of their work!”
“Community engagement is very important to me – I believe a life well lived is one spent giving back to others. I’m an active member of the Junior League of Oklahoma City (JLOC), currently chairing our 90th Anniversary Committee. I’ve previously served two terms on the JLOC Board of Directors and I truly believe it is the most premiere women’s organizations in our community. She is an avid cyclist, both indoor and outdoor, and love to run Lake Hefner when the weather allows. In my spare time I enjoy channeling my inner Martha Stewart and garden as much as possible. I adore opening my home for entertaining, which is convenient because I need to show off all of my landscaping skills! Animals are a passion of mine and in terms of land animals I adore dogs… However, in terms of sea life I adore the less fluffy, yet equally impressive shark (all types, with a special shout-out to Hammerheads and Great Whites). Theme parties are my absolute favorite and I host an annual Sharkey Soiree in celebration of Shark Week. Of all that I’ve accomplished in my life, my claim to fame is that the largest shark ever tagged by OCEARCH follows me on Twitter.”

Rotarian Sponsors: Jennifer Anderson, Bob Funk Jr., Tim Strange, Terri Cooper 

 

Herb Gilkey  grew up in Pawhuska, OK., a small town in the northeast part of the state, was recruited to play basketball by several universities and accepted the offer to attend and play basketball at OCU, where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physical Education.

Not being able to live on a teachers salary, even then (1975), Herb began a career in the restaurant industry, specifically McDonald’s, becoming an owner/operator from 1995 – 2006.

He then went to work in the non-profit sector, attended the Kellogg School of Business Executive Management Training and went to work as the ED of Ronald McDonald House Charities until 2009. Herb now serves as the CEO of the Heart of Oklahoma Council of Camp Fire, where we provide a variety of Outdoor Education camps,as well as several In-School and After-School programs.

Herb is a member of the Area Director’s Association of United Way, Leadership OKC Class XXVII, and I serve as an Elder at the New Hope Church of Christ. He has 2 adult children and 5 grandchildren.

As for hobbies, Herb enjoys playing golf, especially with his son and oldest grandson. He  also enjoy working outside, maintaining the landscaping at his home in North Edmond.

Rotarian Sponsors: Ted Streuli, Lana Ivy, Michael Morrison

Thanks to Rotarian Laura Garrett for the Biographies!


9-5-17

Will McGarry was born & raised in OKC. Will went to Westminster Middle School {where I coached him in 5th grade basketball}, Casady High School & OU for both undergraduate in Political Science and then his J.D. And, he married a lovely OKC girl as well – his wife Nicole as you can see

Will is the Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western District of Oklahoma where he is in charge of Asset Forfeiture Program, which works to remove of tools and proceeds of crime and recovers property to compensate victims of crime.

Will is passionate about being of service to the OKC community. He is a Young Professional Board Member and is a member of Wings, which is a non-profit that seeks to enhance the lives of adults with developmental disabilities. Recruit Will for your committee as he told me his purpose in Rotary is to serve his community of OKC and its people!!!

Will has a lot of personal interests including reading, cooking, photography, and traveling. Will is considering a future political career as he feels that he could make a difference in the lives of all Oklahomans and would be eager to serve.

Rotarian Sponsors: Eli Hellman, Miles Pringle, & Craig Story

Mark Barth is new to OKC and we are so lucky to have him join our community – he sought us out! In particular, he noted our passage of House Bills 780 & 781 last fall and felt that we were a state, we were a community that was willing to take risks to improve the lives and provide opportunities to those who need them most.

Mark is the President & CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma. He previously served as CIO of Goodwill of Central & Coastal Virginia based in Richmond where he served for 13 years. He actively sought a position in OKC because he loves the “Can Do!” attitude that characterizes our community. He also sought to join us in Club 29 as he has long been a Rotary member and actually visited us during his interview with Goodwill last spring. He met Dawn and President Terri and was eager to join us as soon as he accepted his position with Goodwill.

Mark is passionate about being of service to the community and is not satisfied with being just a part of it. As you can tell from the pictures, he has already embraced the Oklahoma culture. And actually, he is a Bedlam free agent as his education is from Southern Methodist University, the University of Houston and Evangel University.

Mark is passionate about providing job opportunities to those who face challenges to work and will work tirelessly for those who need opportunities in the OKC area.

Mark and his wife have five grown children and enjoy traveling and creating new experiences with their family

Rotarian Sponsors: Dawn Byram and RaLayna Kennedy

Thanks to Rotarian James Bost for providing the New Rotarian bios.


10-3-17

Aurora Lora is the superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools, which serves over 46,000 students.

She moved to OKC 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas. She came here to be the associate superintendent for OKC Public Schools. She grew up in El Paso, Texas.

Aurora has an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Texas in Austin and a Master’s degree in Education Policy & Management from Harvard University.

In her spare time, Aurora enjoys spending time playing with her 3 rescue dogs. She also enjoys international adventure travel and is always planning her next trip. Some of her favorite trips in the past have included camping in the Serengeti, taking a 10-day jungle expedition in Borneo, climbing volcanoes in Guatemala, and going hang-gliding in Rio de Janeiro.

Rotarian Sponsors: Mary Melon and Meg Salyer

 

 Jeremy Sanders is the Chief Executive Officer for Upward Transitions, a not for profit organization formerly known as Travelers Aid, which works with the homeless, and assists in domestic abuse and human trafficking situations.

Prior to joining Upward Transitions in July of this year, Jeremy spent 28 years in ministry in local churches.

Jeremy is originally from New Mexico. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Master’s degree in Christian Ministries from Southern Methodist University.

Jeremy is an “outdoors person” and he spends as much time doing things outside rather than inside. He is married to Ashley Sanders and he has 4 children, Rebekah, Micallah, Rachel and Cooper.

Rotarian Sponsors: Nick Harroz, Phil Greenwald and David Battles

Thanks to Rotarian Cori Loomis for the biographies!


11-14-17

Kelly Sachs, a 27 year veteran of Oklahoma Banking joined Commerce Bank in 2013 and was named President of Commerce Bank – Oklahoma City in 2015.
Kelly is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where she received a BS double major in Accounting and Business Communications, and a Masters of Business Administration from Oklahoma City University – graduating with Highest Honors.
Kelly is active in the Oklahoma City community currently serving as an advisory board member of the Oklahoma City University School of Business, Greater Oklahoma City United Way, and a member of the Economic Club of Oklahoma. Additionally Kelly, her husband Andy and two teenage boys actively support the Oklahoma City Ronald McDonald House.

Rotarian Sponsors: Kathy Williams, Marnie Taylor and Chuck Wiggin 

John Symcox was raised in Norman, went to college at Westminster in Fulton, Missouri, where he played soccer, and got degrees in business finance and economics. Shortly after school, he moved to Tulsa in 2007, where he got his first foray into the consulting business. He moved to Oklahoma City in 2012.

John is a Wealth Management Manager for Frist Fidelity Bank, where he works in the areas of trust services, investments and insurance.

John was a member of Rotary Club of Tulsa while he lived there. And if the name rings a bell, yes, he’s the son of Lee and Suzie Symcox.

Rotarian Sponsors: Tim Dowd, Dave Ortloff and Vahid Farzaneh

Roger Mashore grew up in south Oklahoma City, where he graduated from Southeast High School and received his MBA from OCU. He has lived for 30 years in Jones, which he describes is 40 years east of Nichols Hills.

Since the age of 16, Roger has had a total of one employer: MTM Recognition, formerly Midwest Trophy. He started as an engraver and delivery person, and over the decades worked his way to CEO.

Roger’s a bit of a renaissance man. He plays and writes music, and sings. He’s a marathon runner and has completed an Ironman Triathlon and is a personal trainer. He has one wife, two dogs, nine grandchildren.

Rotarian Sponsors: Clay Cockrill, Clayton Taylor, Ellen Fleming, Bob Funk Jr., and John Higginbotham

 

 

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