A Message from President Wes Milbourn:
Unfortunately President Kayse Shrum has had to cancel her entire week of commitments due to illness. In her place, we look forward to welcoming Oklahoma State University Senior Vice President of Operations Jerome Loughridge.
A native of Duncan, Oklahoma, Loughridge earned a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from Baylor University. A recipient of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship for graduate study, he earned his Master of Public Policy from Harvard University as the school’s first Fellow in Business and Government.
Following a tenure as an energy derivatives trader with Williams Energy, Loughridge returned to Baylor University as Chief of Staff. Loughridge was appointed to serve in the 2003-2004 class of White House Fellows and was assigned as special assistant to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, working on Iraqi reconstruction and splitting time between the West Wing, the Pentagon, and in Baghdad.
Loughridge has spent most of his professional career in leadership positions in the Oklahoma energy sector in both private equity-backed and publicly-traded companies. He previously served as Oklahoma Secretary of Health and Mental Health, a position to which he was nominated by Governor Kevin Stitt and unanimously confirmed by the Oklahoma Senate in March 2019. As Secretary, he was responsible for 54 agencies, boards, and commissions, including the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, Department of Health, and Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Loughridge was a key leader in the State’s policy and operational response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Loughridge serves in a number of community leadership roles, including his final year as an elected member of the Oakdale public school board.
Chair of the Day
Russ Florence is partner, president and CEO of Schnake Turnbo Frank, a firm specializing in leadership development and public relations.
Russ brings a broad range of experience to the firm. With more than three decades in journalism, corporate leadership and consulting, he delivers a multi-faceted, balanced perspective to his clients. His expertise includes leadership development, strategic planning, executive coaching, reputation management, inclusion and diversity, crisis communications, media relations and integrated communications.
He created and developed the firm’s Leadership & Reputation Academy, which has been delivered to more than 500 leaders in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Dallas. He also started the Inclusion & Diversity Consortium, which has reached more than 1,500 people since 2017.
Russ joined Schnake Turnbo Frank 2001. He became a partner in 2007 and was named CEO in 2021. He works collaboratively with his partners in leading the company’s strategic growth and external affairs.
Before joining the firm, Russ managed corporate communications for the BOK Financial Corporation. He relies on every facet of his past experience — journalism, nonprofit, corporate and entrepreneurism — in his work today.