Chad Wilkerson

Senior Vice President and Oklahoma City Branch Executive
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Chad Wilkerson serves as Oklahoma City Branch Executive and Senior Vice President of Community Development for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Wilkerson has been with the Federal Reserve since 1998, starting in Kansas City’s research department. He was appointed OKC branch executive in 2006 and senior vice president in 2022.

As Oklahoma City branch executive, Wilkerson serves as the Bank’s lead officer and regional economist in Oklahoma. He recruits and works closely with the OKC branch board of directors and is responsible for briefing the Kansas City Fed’s president, a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, on  economic trends in the state. His team conducts research and surveys on key regional issues such as energy, manufacturing, and migration.

As senior vice president of community development, Wilkerson supports a team located across the Kansas City Fed’s seven-state region who work to understand and help address issues affecting the ability of underserved communities and small businesses to access credit. The team’s focus areas include financial resiliency, affordable housing, community investments, workforce development, rural development, and digital inclusion.

Wilkerson holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago, as well as a master’s degree from Southwestern Seminary and  bachelor’s degree from William Jewell College. He serves on the boards of the Economic Club of Oklahoma, the United Way of Central Oklahoma, and OKC City Rescue Mission. He lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with his wife and children.

1st Vice President

Cathy O’Connor

COalign Group


Cathy is Founder and President of COalign Group. Cathy has been instrumental in furthering development throughout Oklahoma City and promoting job creation. She led the efforts to create the NE Renaissance Urban Renewal Area and Tax Increment Finance district that resulted in the development of a new grocery store to serve northeast Oklahoma City. She led efforts to develop several key projects including the Omni Convention Center Hotel to complement the new MAPS 3 Convention Center, the redevelopment of the Skirvin Hotel, the GE Global Energy Research Facility and several projects at Tinker Air Force Base. She also led the team that developed and implemented the Small Business Continuity Program in response to the COVID 19 pandemic to help support small businesses in Oklahoma City.

Cathy is active in a variety of organizations and currently serves on the board of directors of the United Way of Central Oklahoma, Commercial Real Estate Women of Oklahoma City, Historic Preservation Inc., The Foundation for the Oklahoma City Public Schools and Economic Club.

A graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City (XVIII) and Leadership Oklahoma (XX), she was named the Journal Record’s Oklahoma Woman of the Year in 2009, received the Stanley Draper Award for Community Excellence from Downtown Oklahoma City, and a Byliner Award for Economic Development from the Association of Women in Communications.

She is a member of the International Economic Development Council, the Urban Land Institute and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

2nd Vice President

Rusty LaForge

EVP, General Counsel
Stride Bank, N.A.


Rusty serves as EVP and General Counsel for Stride Bank, N.A., based in Oklahoma. Rusty has helped lead Stride Bank’s tremendous growth in recent years, including highly specialized payment solutions for innovative technology companies throughout the country including Lyft, Doordash, and Chime, among others.

Rusty’s prior experience includes having served as EVP and General Counsel for Oklahoma-based companies including Mammoth Energy Services, Inc. (ticker: TUSK) and before that Southwest Bancorp, Inc. (ticker: OKSB) (parent of the former Stillwater National Bank), where he also served as Director of Investor Relations. Before OKSB, Rusty served as Director of Investor Relations for Guaranty Financial Group, Inc. (ticker: GFG) headquartered in Texas. Rusty began his law practice as an associate with the law firm Bracewell in Texas, and after returning to Oklahoma served as a Shareholder at the law firm McAfee & Taft. While in law school, he served as a Carl Albert Executive Fellow with the Oklahoma Department of Securities. Prior to law school, Rusty served as Director of Finance for the Office of Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating.

Rusty is actively involved in civic and leadership activities including currently serving on the Planning Commission for the City of Oklahoma City and the Parks Subcommittee of the Oklahoma City MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board, and previously served on the Boards of the OKC Public Schools Foundation, the Urban League of Greater OKC, the Girls Scouts of Western Oklahoma, the Board of Governors of the OSU Foundation, and the Advisory Board of the OSU School of Accounting. He also previously served on the MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board representing Oklahoma City’s Ward 8 until 2012.

Rusty has a B.S. degree in accounting from OSU, and his law degree from OU. A native of Chickasha, Rusty has been married to Mandy, also an OSU graduate, for over 20 years, and they have two daughters.



Kelly Sachs

BE Capital

In 2019, Kelly formed BE Capital (BEC), a consulting and real estate investment firm. With thirty years of banking experience, Kelly retired as Market President with Commerce Bank in Oklahoma City, having previously served as EVP/ Manager of Middle Market Banking.

Prior to joining Commerce Bank, Kelly was a senior banker with JP Morgan Chase Bank She has spent her entire banking career in Oklahoma starting in 1989 at Bank of Oklahoma in Tulsa; for Bank of America and its predecessors, and for Local Oklahoma Bank.

Kelly is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting and Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications. She also earned an MBA from Oklahoma City University, graduating with Highest Honors.

As an active member of the Oklahoma City business community, she serves as an advisory board member of the Oklahoma City University Meinders School of Business, is a board member of the Greater Central Oklahoma United Way, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and the Greater Oklahoma City Jewish Federation.

Additionally, Kelly and her family also actively support the Oklahoma City Ronald McDonald House Charity.


Valerie Thompson

Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City

In the affiliate’s 70+ year history, since 1999, Valerie has served as the second female President/CEO for the Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City. She provides strong leadership and ambition for the Urban League, working to further its mission to assist African Americans, other minorities and the poor achieve social and economic equality.

She is a passionate advocate for issues affecting the underserved by serving on local and national boards such as the Governor’s Workforce and Education Council, OKC Metropolitan Area Public Schools Trust, the MAPS 3 Seniors Health and Wellness Committee, OKC Adventure District, Potts Family Foundation, the Oklahoma Academy, OKC Quality Schools, First Tee of Metropolitan Oklahoma City, and the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation Board.

Valerie received a Doctorate in Political Science and an MBA from the University of Oklahoma. She also has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University.  She is an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University’s School of Social Work, and her research and professional interests remain on nonprofit strategic planning and program evaluation.

Valerie and her husband, Warren, have one daughter, Maya Rae who attends OSU.


Jon Cargill

Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Hobby Lobby
Jon Cargill began his career at Hobby Lobby working for Greco Frame and Supply in 1991.  He was hired as controller and eventually assumed leadership of both the finance and warehouse/manufacturing operations of that company.  Jon has dual undergraduate degrees in accounting and business administration and passed the CPA exam in 1991. 
Jon is active in his church and is a member of the Board of Directors of the City Rescue Mission of Oklahoma City.  He is a member of the Financial Executives Council of the National Retail Federation.  His professional affiliations include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants, and Association of Financial Professionals. 


Jim English

Lopez Foods and Dorada Foods

Jim English is Vice-Chairman of Lopez Foods and Dorada Foods and serves as Secretary/Treasurer on both of their Boards of Directors.  In his 27 years with the companies, he previously served as President, COO and CFO.

Jim serves on the boards of United Way of Central Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and the Economic Club of Oklahoma and is a member of the OKC Downtown Rotary Club and the Fortune Club.

He graduated from the University of Texas and received an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  Jim and his wife Vicki have one adult son, Davis, an energy investment banker in Houston.


Ellen Fleming

SVP/Regional Executive - Institutional Wealth Group
Bank of Oklahoma

With over forty-five years of experience in financial services for institutions and businesses, Ellen has been an officer of Bank of Oklahoma since 1980, and today manages client service teams in OKC, TX, NM, AZ, CO and KC.

A graduate of Oklahoma State, Ellen is a life member and former director of the OSU Alumni Association, and is a long-time member of the OSU Board of Governors, previously serving two terms as a trustee of the OSU Foundation.  She completed her Master’s at the University of Central Oklahoma.

A recipient of the Rotary Club’s Rotarian of the Year, Ellen is past president and treasurer of the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City, having served on the board for ten years, and also chairing the club’s foundation.  She currently serves on the executive committees of the Last Frontier Council of Boy Scouts and the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma.

A graduate of Leadership Oklahoma and Leadership Oklahoma City, she previously served as president of the Alumni Association.   A Woodward native, Ellen and husband Tim have 2 sons and 2 grandsons.


Tony LoPresto

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Griffin Communications, LLC

Tony is the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Griffin Communications, LLC.  Griffin is based in Oklahoma City and has served Oklahoma communities for more than 55 years.  Griffin offers a well-rounded platform of media outlets, focused on television, radio, outdoor advertising and digital advertising.  Additionally, Griffin has an investment team focused on media, real estate and oil and gas.

Tony graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA in 2001 and 2012 respectively. Tony is a Certified Public Accountant.

Prior to his current position at Griffin he served as an Audit Manager in the KPMG-Oklahoma City practice from 2001 to 2007 and as the Director of Finance of Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores, Inc., from 2007 to 2018.

Tony currently serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association.  Tony has been involved in several civic activities including board service in Oklahoma City at The Christmas Connection, Boy Scouts – Last Frontier Council, The Employment and Education Ministry, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Oklahoma City Arts Council and the Oklahoma Center for Non-Profits. In addition to the Alumni Association, Tony also currently serves on the Boards of the Oklahoma State University School of Accounting.  Additionally, Tony serves on the Board of Governors for the Oklahoma State University Foundation.

Tony is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City’s LOYAL program. Tony is also a Lifetime Member of the Alumni Association and is a member of Rotary Club 29.

Tony is married to Lexi, they live in Nichols Hills and are proud parents to Harper and Anderson.


Richard Parry

President and Chief Investment Officer
Tom Johnson Investment Management

Richard is the President and Chief Investment Officer with Tom Johnson Investment Management, LLC in Oklahoma City. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Colorado with an emphasis in International Business, and his MBA from Oklahoma City University.

He is a CFA charter holder, past adjunct professor for Oklahoma City University, past president of the Oklahoma Society of Financial Analysts, and is an alumnus of Leadership Oklahoma City (VIII).

Currently, he serves on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City University, Rotary Club 29, Economic Club of Oklahoma and is a member of the Fortune Club.

He and his wife Gayle have two children;  Kristi Pointer who works for Myriad Genetics in Oklahoma City, and Michael Parry who works for Trinity Private Equity Group in Dallas.


Steve Slawson

Slawson Companies
Vice President of Operations

Steve Slawson, vice president of operations for Slawson Companies, graduated from Duke University with a double major in mechanical engineering and economics. He worked for Gulf Oil and a consulting firm before going to work for Slawson Companies in 1983, working as a reservoir engineer and operations manager before assuming his current role. Steve and his wife, Linda, a former Mrs. Oklahoma, are the parents of three children. A resident of Oklahoma City, Steve has served on several state boards and commissions and helped raise funds for Head Start and Alzheimer’s research.

Immediate Past President

Tipton Burch

Security Bancshares Corporation

Tip has thirty-eight years of experience in the banking industry.  Prior to forming Security Bancshares, Tip served in various management positions over a twenty-five year career with JPMorgan Chase Bank.

Tip has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Oklahoma Christian University and a Master’s in Finance from the University of Central Oklahoma.

In addition to serving as an officer of the Economic Club of Oklahoma, Tip’s community involvement has included board positions with Oklahoma Christian University, the Tulsa Chapter of the American Red Cross, the YMCA and the Community Action Project in Tulsa.

Corporate Secretary Emeritus

Carlos E. Johnson, Ed.D., CPA

Executive Director Development
David Capital Partners & BankOnITUSA


With 60 years of experience in the financial services industry, Carlos operated as a management consultant for BKD CPAs & Advisors as a resource to the Oklahoma partners, management team and staff for over 8 years.

Carlos serves on both local and national boards including, the Oklahoma Board of Accountancy, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, the Academic Experience, Oklahoma Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs. He donates his time to community and civic affiliations such as Oklahoma State University, the Oklahoma Zoological Society, the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits and CASA.

He holds a Master of Science and Doctorate (Ed.D.) from Oklahoma State University and is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma (Class IX). He was recognized as a member of the “100 for 100 Years” outstanding graduates and named to the 2015 Hall of Fame by the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University.


Young Professional Advisory Director

Stephen Brown

Assistant Vice President
BOK Financial Services
Stephen was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has worked as an Institutional Investments Sales Officer at the broker-dealer of Bank of Oklahoma, BOK Financial Securities, since 2014 in Oklahoma City. Stephen was promoted to Assistant Vice President in April 2021. As an Investment Officer, he primarily works with institutions such as banks, asset managers, corporations and municipalities buying/selling fixed income securities and assisting with cash management. Stephen is a graduate of Texas Christian University where he earned a BS in Finance with a minor in Accounting.
In addition to serving the Economic Club of Oklahoma, Stephen is a member of the board for Smart Start of Central Oklahoma. He also serves on the Young Professionals Board for Cleats for Kids and is in the current class of Leadership Oklahoma City’s LOYAL program.


1955 Hardin W. Masters

1956 Howard J. Bozarth

1957 Richard W. Camp

1958 Charles B. Stewart

1959 Grady D. Harris, Jr.

1960 Mather M. Eakes

1961 William M. Murray

1962 M.G. McCool

1963 John Kilpatrick, Jr.

1964 George H.C. Green, Jr.

1965 W.F. Pralle

1966 Herbert L. Branan

1967 John H. Miller

1968 A. Francis Porta

1969 Louis F. Danforth

1970 Monte H. Goldman

1971 Thomas W. Utterback

1972 C.B. Cameron

1973 Alex P. Aven

1974 John W. Nichols

1975 Edgar R. Oppenheim

1976 John M. Mee

1977 John N. Booth

1978 James V. Baker, Jr.

1979 Gordon D. Williams

1980 Dan Hogan, III

1981 Sidney P. Upsher

1982 C. Randolph Everest

1983 Leo M. Rodgers, Jr.

1984 Edward H. Cook

1985 Leslie L. Ming

1986 James Harlow, Jr.

1987 William B. Cleary

1988 J. Larry Nichols

1989 Bob Anthony

1990 Frank McPherson

1991 Wayne Von Feldt

1992 Bill Swisher

1993 Harrison Levy, Jr.

1994 George J. Records

1995 John Linehan

1996 Ray Potts

1997 James R. Daniel

1998 Patrick J. Ryan

1999 Rocky L. Duckworth

2000 Douglas R. Cummings

2001 Luke R. Corbett

2002 Kenneth K. Mcllhaney

2003 Joseph M. Fleckinger

2004 John P. McMillin

2005 Paul Odom, III

2006 Carlos E. Johnson

2007 Duke Ligon

2008 Tom Legan

2009 Nancy Anthony

2010 Steven Agee

2011 Lt. General Richard Burpee

2012 Patrick Rooney

2013 Lee Symcox

2014 William Shdeed

2015 Jacque Fiegel

2016 Tony Shinn

2017 Doug Stussi

2018 James Couch

2019 Nicholas Harroz, III

2020 Robert H. Clements

2021 Rhonda Hooper

2022 Tip Burch