January 5, 2021
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Rotary Club of Okla. City Preparedness Plan
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city’s Metropolitan Area Projects, the rebuilding of north downtown, the rebirth of the Skirvin Hotel, the rise of Bricktown, Midtown and Automobile Alley, and the city’s courting of the NBA.
Steve’s family came to town in 1977 when his father led construction of the Sheraton Century Center Hotel. He roamed the brand new corridors of the Conncourse tunnels (now The Underground). He saw the final last gasp of the old downtown and witnessed the destruction of the 26-story Biltmore Hotel. He spent his teenage years watching construction of the Myriad Gardens and a new skyline including Mid-America (now home to Continental Resources), Oklahoma and Corporate Towers, and Leadership Square.
Steve was once referred to as a “downtown partisan” by The Oklahoman’s real estate editor Richard Mize. It’s a beat Steve enjoys, and his column, “OKC Central,” can be read every Tuesday in The Oklahoman’s business section. Lackmeyer also hosts the downtown blog “OKC Central.”
Lackmeyer spent two years visiting Main Street communities around the state, documenting their preservation efforts and the return of commerce to the heart of the state’s small towns. This effort was recognized in 2007 with a “Friend of Main Street” award by the Oklahoma Main Street Center. That same year he also was honored with the B.H. Prasad Award given in recognition of his coverage of architecture by the Central Oklahoma Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. His coverage of downtown Oklahoma City was recognized with a first-time “Presidents Award” given to him in 2014 by Downtown OKC Inc.
Lackmeyer is author of five books about the city’s history, “OKC Second Time Around,” Skirvin,” “Operation Scissortail” and “Cornerstone” (all co-authored by Jack Money) and “Bricktown.” Lackmeyer also authored “Foraging in Oklahoma,” a travelogue and recipe book about produce found at Oklahoma farms and ranches. In 2012 he authored a 1,500-word cover story about the history of development and architecture in Oklahoma City for the magazine Architectural Record.
Lackmeyer’s involvement with Retro Metro OKC began as a founding member and officer of the group, which started with organizational efforts in 2009 and an official launch in 2010. The group is a non-profit organization that has helped or organize displays on the history of city government, the city’s vintage restaurants and Bricktown. The organization’s key effort, however, is the scanning and display of privately owned photographs and materials. The website www.retrometrookc.com is home to thousands of such materials, including original video documentaries and videos of monthly speakers.
Steve is a frequent speaker on Oklahoma City development and history, with appearances on television stations OETA, KWTV, KFOR, KSBI, radio stations KTOK, KGOU, KOSU, WKY, KOKC and NPR, various newspapers including the New York Times and the Seattle Times, local Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs, the 2010 National Main Streets Conference and the 2013 Oklahoma Preservation Conference.
Ashley Smith is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Rose Rock Development Partners, a full-service real estate development company operating in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and specializing in historic renovations and multifamily developments. Ashley wears multiple hats and even manages IT for the company in additional to her legal duties. She also maintains a solo law practice, JAS Law Group, focusing on real estate and business matters, and previously served as general counsel for an Oklahoma City-based e-commerce company with worldwide operations.
Ashley is a fifth generation Oklahoman. She was born in Oklahoma City and is a life-long resident of central Oklahoma. She is a graduate of Edmond North High School, Oklahoma Christian University and the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Ashley has been an active Rotarian since 2013. She currently chairs the AfterHours committee, is a past-Director and will be returning to the Board in July. She is a member of Leadership Oklahoma City LOYAL Class IX and Signature Class XXXIV, was honored as a Journal Record Achiever Under 40 in 2017 and is a member of the Junior League of Oklahoma City. She is also a member of Leadership Oklahoma Class 36, which was postponed for a year due to COVID.
Ashley is an avid cook, and loves trying new recipes from around the world. She also enjoys photography, reading, chess, and travel.