Oklahoma Academy-Dave Stewart

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“Oklahoma Academy”

David R. Stewart is currently Chief Administrative Officer and Trustee of the Oklahoma Ordnance Works Authority located in Pryor, Oklahoma. The Authority is a public trust that owns and operates MidAmerica Industrial Park. Mr. Stewart was appointed to this position by the Governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, in December, 2012. The sole mission of the trust is to bring new businesses to the region and increase area employment. The Park consists of approximately 9,000 acres, of which 3,500 are in various stages of development. The Park is the home to over 80 companies in diverse industries with employment of approximately 4,500 people. The Park is one of the largest in the Nation with on-site rail, water and electric power. Current companies that operate at the Park include Google, DuPont, and Conoco Phillips.

Under Mr. Stewart’s leadership, MidAmerica is initiating a work force development system that revolves around the development of a branded STEM-based education and work skills training model that includes the development of a new career center located on the Rogers State University campus in the industrial park. The new center will host industry specific training programs and initiatives. The Career Center operates as a regional partnership of businesses, community organizations, High Schools and Higher Education to engage a new wave of work ready employees.

Mr. Stewart currently serves on the State Board on Career and Technology, which provides oversight of the career technical training system in Oklahoma and is a board member of the Oklahoma State Chamber and the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Stewart earned his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science business degrees from Oklahoma State University in 1978 and 1977 respectively. He was certified in Oklahoma as a Certified Public Accountant in 1978. Civic duties included serving on the Board of Directors of The Oklahoma Academy for State Goals and for the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on the Executive Committee as the Vice-Chair of Communications and on Tulsa’s Future Oversight Committee. He also currently serves as a board member of the Oklahoma State Chamber.

Julie Knutson is a native Oklahoman, born and raised in Tulsa. She has lived in Norman since 1979. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in education (emphasis English, Drama & Debate) and her Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from The University of Tulsa. She is the President and CEO of the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals (The Oklahoma Academy), a private nonprofit statewide membership organization addressing the major public policy issues facing the state. She has been CEO since 1987.

Her previous vocation has been as an educator focusing her teaching in the areas of English, Speech Communications/ Debate, and Psychology. She taught at Cascia Hall College Preparatory School in Tulsa. Her counseling psychology degree along with administrative certification led her to work as a teacher, school counselor, assistant principal and director of counseling for the Norman Public Schools, and an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma, prior to taking the position with The Oklahoma Academy.

She has been and continues to be very active in several organizations. She is Chairman of the Certified Healthy Businesses Committee within Oklahoma Turning Point, and serves on the workgroup committee for Certified Healthy Communities. She currently serves on the UCO President’s Advisory Council. She is an advisory member of N.E.W. Leadership for Women with the Carl Albert Center, and is a member of the Norman Chamber, the Greater OKC Chamber, and the Tulsa Regional Chamber. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Great Expectations, an education program used by many public schools across the state, and in Texas and Missouri. She helped found Great Expectations in the early 1990s. She is also a member of the Creative Oklahoma board. She volunteers with the Norman Chamber Education Committee with tutoring children in reading, and for the Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City. The Journal Record selected her as one of the top 50 Corporate Women in Oklahoma in 1997 and again in 2006. She earned recognition as one of Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEO’s in February 2011.

Past board and organization involvement includes having been a board member of The State Chamber of Oklahoma; President of the Oklahoma Counseling Association; Chairman of the Midwest Region of the American Counseling Association; and Chairman of the National Licensure Committee for the American Counseling Association. She served on the State Department of Education task force on Middle Level Education Development. She was an advisory member for Southern Growth Policies Board and served on the Council on Communities in the South. She was selected a member of Leadership Oklahoma Class II, and subsequently served on their board of directors for three years. She was also selected a member of Leadership Oklahoma City Class XV, and served three years on their board. She served on the board for LINK Norman, the Myriad Gardens, the board of advocates for the OU College of Education, and an advisory board member for the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth.

She is certified in scenario thinking and planning and conducts seminars and workshops with private and public groups utilizing a scenario thinking approach to strategic planning. She also has conducted several workshops on leadership skills, effective communication, decision-making, goal setting, and government relations.

Julie is married to Craig Knutson, President/CEO of the Potts Family Foundation. They reside in Norman, and have three children, two granddaughters (ages 13 and 8), and a 4 ½ year old grandson!


Chair of the Day

Clayton C. Taylor of Oklahoma City serves as the principal of the Taylor Group that he established in 1994. The Taylor Group is a full-service lobbying and consulting firm specializing in Oklahoma business issues. Their service capabilities include business management and communications consulting, direct lobbying of state and federal legislative and regulatory agencies, community relations, political action committees and campaign management, marketing, client recruitment and development. Their in-depth experience ranges from local to statewide to federal, and includes extensive international business and political management, as well.

A native Oklahoman, Taylor grew up on a small family ranch that his family still operates near Oktaha in Muskogee County. He began his career in Washington, D.C., working on the staffs of five Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, first starting as a Correspondence Assistance and working his way up to Legislative Director and finally the top position of Administrative Assistant – the youngest AA on Capitol Hill at the age of 25. His political campaign background includes management responsibilities in Congressional, Gubernatorial and U.S. Presidential races, in addition to extensive international political campaign consulting work. He had directed successful statewide campaigns that have amended Oklahoma’s Constitution including three Ad Valorem State Questions and SQ 707 to modify requirements of Tax Increment Financing to accelerate economic development investments.

After leaving D.C., Taylor spent the next 15 years working in corporate management, government relations and public affairs positions for McDonald’s Corporation in Chicago, Phillips Petroleum Company in Oklahoma City and Denver, and the Coastal Corporation in Aruba, Dutch Caribbean and in Houston. Before founding the Taylor Group in 1994, he served as corporate vice president for government and corporate affairs for the Coastal Corporation.

For the past 30 years, Clayton Taylor has maintained a close working relationship with the Oklahoma State Legislature and the U.S. Congress. He has always been heavily involved in community activities in Oklahoma ranging from his early start as Oklahoma 4-H Club State President and continuing as a founder of Leadership Oklahoma – serving as President in 1991. Other leadership positions have included President of Oklahoma City Rotary Club #29 (largest Rotary Club in the world), Foundation Chair for Oklahoma City Rotary Club #29, Alumni President of Leadership Oklahoma City, President Rural Enterprises Institute of Oklahoma, Administrative Board Chairman of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, founding chairman of Oklahoma Leadership Congress, Metropolitan Oklahoma City Library Commissioner, one of 6 founders and Past-President of Leadership Oklahoma, Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Executive Board, Board of Ballet Oklahoma, Oklahoma 4-H Foundation and the Community Advisory Board of the Junior League.

Taylor is a 1975 graduate of Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Business Administration. He graduated from OSU as the Outstanding Senior Man in the College of Business Administration and as Top Ten Senior in the University. In 2003-2004, he served as President of the National OSU Alumni Association Board and previously chaired the Building Design Committee for the $14 million ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center built on the Stillwater campus. Currently, he serves on the Building Corporation for his OSU Phi Delta Theta Fraternity Chapter. He was recently recognized by Oklahoma State University as a 2012 Distinguished Alumni.

Clayton Taylor’s lobbying clients represent a strictly pro-business clientele. In behalf of his clients, he has been involved in the successful managing and directing of some of the state legislature’s highest profile issues over the past few years including the Native American motor fuels tax issue, the public-private joint venture for operating the state-owned University Hospitals, ad valorem tax equity issues, auto tag reform and both telephone and electric deregulation efforts. In recent legislative sessions, he has focused his lobbying leadership toward reduction of the state personal income tax, the elimination of the state’s capital gains tax for corporations and stopping locally assessed personal property taxes on intangible business assets.

He is married to Marnie Taylor and they have two sons, Clay and Clark. Clay is married to Becky and is a graduate of Oklahoma City University School of Law and owns Taylor Capitol Group. They are parents to new granddaughter Josephine Louise “Josie”. Clark is a graduate of Oklahoma State University can currently resides in Colorado. Marnie is the President and CEO of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. Clayton’s hobbies include snow skiing, water skiing, scuba diving, wind surfing, basketball and gardening.

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