Several years ago, I was involved in a program named “Take A Closer Look” and the genesis of that group was asking citizens to look closer at their community and see that it was our turn to step up and make a difference. Throughout that year, many people joined together and helped put roofs on houses, paint exteriors, clean yards and also demolish certain properties that had fully depreciated.

When I think about the coming year in Oklahoma, I see that we have both the opportunity, and obligation, to “Take A Closer Look” at many aspects of our State and determine where we as leaders step up, take our turn, and make the difference.

Through the oversight of President/CEO Dr. Marion Paden, past Chair Lana Reynolds, and a committed and diverse board of directors, Leadership Oklahoma is the perfect entity to lead that charge.

LOK has an awareness within our Adult Program of educating a new group of leaders in Class 34 and the topics of discussion for each month are timely and focused on hard issues that need to be met. The Youth Leadership Program this year was overwhelming successful in stimulating younger leaders on our diverse economy and social needs. The Alumni were able to enjoy an incredible Master Class series that allowed for online access to continuing education in key sectors.

Currently, Leadership Oklahoma is participating with other Non-Profits in the Advancing Oklahoma program that will stimulate a much needed discussion on race and allow the discussion on both past events and future opportunities to elevate our response to this critical issue.

I thank each of you for your financial commitment to Leadership Oklahoma, for volunteering on our boards and committees, and your willingness to encourage others in your community to apply for future classes. Together, we will continue to make a difference in advancing Oklahoma for the years to come.


Tom Evans
Chair 2021-2022
Class XVI