Shannon L. Rich, fifth-generation Oklahoman, became president of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in November, 2004.
A crucial time for the organization, it needed to increase emphasis on marketing and expand programs and services. Rich also was placed in charge of directing its single-largest endeavor in the organization’s 80-year history – opening of the Gaylord-Pickens Museum, home of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
Not from a traditional museum background, Shannon served as the opening director of sales and marketing and later became executive vice president with John Q. Hammons Hotels for the Renaissance Oklahoma City Hotel and Cox Business Services Center, as well as opening the Courtyard by Marriott in January 2004. In 2002 and 2003, she led the Renaissance team in achieving the coveted Marriott Global Financial Excellence Award. During her tenure, she was named to the top 5 percent of John Q. Hammons Hotels sales leaders and set pre-opening sales records for both Oklahoma City properties – the Renaissance and the Courtyard downtown.
She has continued striving for excellence with the Oklahoma Hall of Fame as the Gaylord-Pickens Museum has been recognized with several prestigious awards. The museum has been recognized as the Best New Attraction by Oklahoma State Department of Tourism and Recreation; Nickelodeon’s Best Parents Pick for Teens, Best Day Camp and Best Museum; Neil Horton Award for Excellence in Revitalizing Downtown; and Best New Attraction by Frontier Country Marketing Association, to name a few.
Rich has been recognized as one Oklahoma’s most admired CEOs, she is a three-time honoree and Circle of Excellence inductee for The Journal Record’s “50 Making a Difference” and a member of its inaugural class of Achievers under 40. She served as delegate for the White House Conference on Women and also as a committee member for Governor Frank Keating’s Conference for Women. In addition, she received the Governor’s Commendation on Leadership.
Shannon’s civic and nonprofit affiliations have included volunteering for groups including Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Oklahoma Business Roundtable Arts Festival and co-chair of Septemberfest. She is past president of The Downtown Club of OKC, an active member of Rotary Club 29 and board member of Leadership Oklahoma City & Leadership Oklahoma, The Oklahoma Health Center Foundation, the State of Creativity and the OKC All Sports Association.
Shannon is a graduate of Oklahoma City University. She and her husband Kelly Kerr, an attorney in private practice, enjoy running, playing golf and tennis; however, her favorite role in life is being a bonus mom to Mia Nicole.