Devery Youngblood’s life has known both failure and success. His success has been noted through his leadership in launching one of America’s most successful downtown revitalization efforts and rebuilding the commercial district most damaged by the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Devery has been interviewed by and quoted in publications ranging from the Boston Globe to the Christian Science Monitor, and is widely sought for his entertaining and inspiring speeches.
Devery’s career has been spent leading efforts that often required taking on difficult challenges. He served for four years as Senior Advisor and District Director for U.S. Representative Ernest J. Istook (OK-5th), where he led efforts to create efficient use of tax dollars in transportation and infrastructure, economic development, medical research funding, and other strategic initiatives. He was a strong and early advocate for returning the federal workforce to downtown Oklahoma City in a new structure after the bombing of the Alfred P. Murray Federal Building in 1995 caused them to be dispersed throughout the community.
Devery spent eight years leading private sector development efforts surrounding Oklahoma City’s visionary MAPS Program, with over $1 billion of private sector development created during his tenure. He led redevelopment after the Murrah Bombing as founding president of Automobile Alley, the commercial district most damaged by the bombing. Devery led massive development in the Bricktown Warehouse Entertainment District that included America’s only urban Bass Pro store, a major movie theater complex and more, while developing creative promotions throughout downtown that included a holiday season ice rink. With an original goal of generating one dollar of private development for every dollar of public investment, the MAPS program has to date generated $10 of private development for each $1 taxpayers funded, while serving as a catalyst to positively restructure the entire city, metro area, and state.
Devery has led the Community Affairs efforts for the Chickasaw Nation since 2007, working with Chickasaw Governor Bill Anoatubby and leaders of this proud Native American Tribe to actively coordinate investment and leadership in the communities within the historic Chickasaw boundaries and other strategic communities central to Chickasaw investments.
Devery is extremely active on community boards throughout Oklahoma. He was appointed by Governor Mary Fallin as a Regent to Oklahoma City Community College, one of the five largest colleges or universities in Oklahoma. His other service includes Board positions for the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health, the Oklahoma City and Yukon Public Schools Foundations (where his wife, Karen, serves as President of the Board of Education), the Oklahoma City and Norman Chambers of Commerce, as well as positions with the American Cancer Society, and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. He formerly served on the Board of Directors of the International Downtown Association.
Devery and Karen live in Yukon where their greatest pride is in their four children and four grandchildren, and a network of great friendships from all walks of life.