Tricia Everest, GableGotwals attorney, named among 50 most

Nichols tops state poll 5th year
Vicki Clark Gourley
Fri, Jun 27, 2014
300 Ballots were mailed statewide to business, civic, government and industry leaders. The
ballots had to be returned in the envelope provided by May 30th to be counted. The ballots are
secret and voters do not sign their name, but an unusually high number did write comments.
Larry Nichols Bill Anoatubby
Clay Bennett
Mary Fallin
David Boren
Mick Cornett
Burns Hargis
Harold Hamm
George Kaiser
Jim Inhofe
Tom Cole
John Richels
Tom Love
Pete Delaney
David Rainbolt
David Green
Robert Henry
Roy Williams
Jim Couch
Gene Rainbolt
Doug Lawler
Meg Salyer
Lee Allan
Barry Switzer
Robert Ross
Russell Perry
Judy Love
Tom McDaniel
George Nigh
Ron Norick
Bartlett, Jr.
Brian Bingman
Todd Lamb
Mike Turpen
Cliff Hudson
Mary Melon
Tricia Everest
Polly Nichols
Sam Presti
Ed Martin
Jeff Hickman
Glen Johnson
Gary Pierson
Bill Cameron
David Griffin
Tom Colbert
Devon Energy Executive Chairman Larry Nichols continues his reign as "Oklahoma’s Most
Powerful” drawing more votes and winning by a wider margin than ever before in the OKC
FRIDAY poll of the state’s business, civic and political leaders.
The Nichols family and Devon Energy have long advocated community involvement and
outreach in every area where they drill and especially in Oklahoma City, where their corporate
headquarters tower 50 floors above the skyline. Nichols’ civic leadership, charitable and
educational contributions, Devon’s donations and its employee’s volunteerism keep this much
admired man at the top of most everyone’s list. Nichols uses money and leadership to impact in a
powerful way.
Bill Anoatubby, Governor of the Chickasaw nation, began his rise to power in 1987, the year he
was elected to lead the twelfth largest tribe in the United States. Previously he was employed by
Little Giant Corporation, working in the areas of accounting, budgeting financial analysis and
electronic data processing before joining the Chickasaw Nation government as Director of Tribal
Health Services.
He is widely respected for his business acumen in directing the Chickasaw Nation to literal fame
and fortune with the tribe’s casinos, thought by most to be the classiest of all the state’s casino
operations. His civic roles include Oklahoma City University’s Board of Trustees (1991-98),
Easter Seals and numerous state and national boards.
The Chickasaw Nation’s television commercials for its cultural center, Oklahoma City and the
state of Oklahoma have been viewed across the country leaving OKC and Oklahoma deeply
grateful. He finds ways to promote the Chickasaws through donations from everything from the
Centennial to most recently a new children’s playground at the National Cowboy and Western
Heritage Museum.
Anoatubby has climbed steadily in OKC FRIDAY’s "Most Powerful Oklahomans” poll and
ranks No. 2 this year.
Thunder Owner Clay Bennett occupies the No. 3 position again this year. The city and whole
state loves the NBA team, its stars and Bennett for bringing The Thunder to Oklahoma City.
Governor Mary Fallin fell two rankings to No. 4 this year. The numbers for the top five differed
by only a few votes for all except Nichols. The state legislature gave Fallin fits this year,
overriding one veto and threatening to do the same if she vetoed the repeal of Common Core
standards. She remains extremely popular state-wide, but the capitol gang put a little chip in her
University of Oklahoma President David Boren polled at No. 5. His power has remained
undiminished over the years, even in years when OU did not finish the football season by beating
Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm survived the Wall Street Journal’s constant stories
about his divorce, by continuing to be, as FORBES described him, "the most disruptive oilman
since Rockefeller” and Hamm’s television appearances saying he would keep control of the
publically trade company. (A judge’s ruling indicates a 70 percent majority.) Hamm’s belief that
through hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling America could become energy independent,
makes him Oklahoma’s King of the Bakken in North Dakota, with Continental Resources
producing more than 10,000 barrels a day there and Hamm worth almost $17 billion. But it takes
more than money to make the "Most Powerful” list. Hamm’s generosity to education and
charitable organizations, his involvement in politics, his employing thousands, his enriching
initial stockholders by 600 percent... gives him a well-deserved 6th place.
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett decided to run one more time, when Councilman Ed Shadid
filed for the office and threatened to dismantle some of the MAPS 3 projects. Cornett defeated
Shadid with over 65 percent of the vote and remains OKC’s "Most Powerful” politician ranking
No. 7 in FRIDAY’s statewide poll.
Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis continues to raise money and improve the
university with innovations and ranked No. 7.
Tulsa’s highest rank in the poll is Bank of Oklahoma’s Chairman George Kaiser, who gives to
everything, especial education. He’s No. 8.
U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe ranked No 10. Oklahomans continue to believe that the men and women
in the state are more powerful than a senator in Washington D.C.
Christy Everest moved up 10 positions in the ranking from last year. She fell when she sold The
Oklahoman and other Gaylord properties, but her philanthropy and administration of the
Gaylords’ foundation is making an impact and raised her to No. 11 in the eyes of the FRIDAY
poll voters.
Congressman Tom Cole ranked 12th.
Devon Chairman and CEO John Richels moved up two places this year to No. 13 as he continues
to become more involved in state leadership roles.
Tom and Judy Love are celebrating their 50th year in business and as Love’s Country Stores
have progressed to Love’s Travel Stops and now just plain Love’s, so has their community
activism and philanthropy. From leasing an abandoned filling station in Watonga to making the
FORBES Billionaire list, the couple continues to share their wealth and expertise with the
community, chairing numerous fundraising galas. Tom ranks No. 14 this year and Judy is No.
In our May poll, Congressman James Lankford ranked No. 15 and his opponent for the U.S.
Senate T.W. Shannon ranked No. 57. Last year, Shannon as Oklahoma Speaker of the House
ranked closely behind Lankford.
OG&E’s main man Pete Delaney ranked No. 16.
BancFirst’s CEO David Rainbolt and Aubrey McClendon, CEO of American Energy Partners,
tied at No. 17. McClendon ranked as high as No. 2 while CEO of Chesapeake Energy, which he
founded with Tom Ward. Chesapeake’s current CEO Doug Lawler, No. 24, ranked below
McClendon. While Chesapeake continues to be a major employer and donor, the perception
seems to be Lawler has yet to focus on the OKC community.
David Green, No. 19, is owner of Hobby Lobby. He is still in the national headlines fighting
providing IUDs and morning after pills for employees this year in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Oklahoma City University President Robert Henry, No. 20, is closely followed by Roy Williams,
No. 21, President of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, who has emphasized economic
development, and Jim Couch, No. 22, City Manager of Oklahoma City.
Three prominent women appear on the poll in the 40s. Mary Melon, No. 40, Publisher of the
Journal Record, has managed to keep Oklahoma operations profitable despite the parent
company’s financial trouble and the ousting of CEO Jim Dolan by the board.
Tricia Everest, No. 41, is a lawyer, former Assistant D.A. and the fourth generation of the
Gaylord family in Oklahoma. Polly Nichols, No. 42, OKC bombing survivor, long-time
community activist and volunteer, has headed many nonprofits. As the wife of Devon Executive
Chairman Larry Nichols, she perfected the art of bringing nonprofits and the business
community together to further community and state goals.
Three other women missed the top 50 by one or two votes: Oklahoma Supreme Court Justices
Yvonne Kauger and Vicki Miles-LaGrange; and Editor of The Oklahoman Kelly Dyer-Fry. Fred
Hall, Scott Brooks and Congressman Frank Lucas were tied with them at Nos. 51-53.