FRIDAY, JULY 11
OKLAHOMA CITY— Oklahoma City University’s Meinders School of Business will honor six local business leaders at the annual Oklahoma Commerce & Industry Hall of Honor luncheon Oct. 15 at the Cox Center.
Inductees announced today are Garland Cupp, recipient of the Chairman’s Award; Roger Simons, Outstanding Achievement Award; Ba Luong, Entrepreneurial Spirit Award; Everett Dobson, Leadership Award; Ann Felton, Lifetime Achievement Award; and Ray Ackerman, Special Lifetime Achievement Award.
“This is an outstanding group of leaders who are most deserving of joining Oklahoma business legends in the Hall of Honor,” said Vincent Orza, dean of the Meinders School of Business. “Individuals of accomplishment such as these serve as role models for our students as a result of their dedication, perseverance, service and success.”
Cupp retired from the position of executive vice president and CIO of the travel related services division of American Express. Prior to joining American Express, he was director of business systems services for McDonnell Douglas Automation Company. He currently is chairman of the board for BMC Software Inc and Apex Mortgage Company and is a board member of Edmond Bank and Trust.
Simons has built Simons Petroleum from a small family-run business into one of the nation’s top independent fuel and lubricant distribution companies, operating in 46 states. Simons Petroleum has pioneered numerous unique services for its customers including risk management programs for diesel fuel, the Pathway Network and environmental services.
Simons began his career while still in college as an employee of Union 76 and Mid-Continent Systems. He developed truck stop marketing strategies and along with Mid-Continent, established a nationwide truck stop chain. During the 1970s OPEC oil embargo crisis, Simons served as an industry advisor to the U.S. government and focused on the nation’s pipeline and distribution systems.
In 1994, Simons formed Pathway Network, a bridge between a trucking company’s requirement for over-the-road fuel and direct fuel supply from the petroleum industry. Pathway linked Simons’ supply capability with 181 full-service truck stops throughout the U.S. Simons was named vice president of Simons Petroleum in 1974, became president in 1978 and was elected chairman of the board and CEO in 1984. In 2004, he merged Simons Petroleum into what is now Maxum Petroleum and has played a key role in that company’s continued growth and diversification. He began serving as member of the products committee on the New York Mercantile Exchange in 1990.
Dobson is the founder and former chairman of Dobson Communications Corporation, a company that was recently acquired by AT&T. Dobson grew to become the ninth largest provider of wireless service in the U.S. and was the largest independent rural wireless provider in the country. He is currently managing partner of Dobson Partnership and is a member of the investment group that purchased the Seattle
Luong epitomizes the great American success story. His work with Cao Nguyen has helped the 29-year-old family business, founded by his parents, grow from a 1,500 square foot mom-and-pop grocery store into a 50,000 square foot destination retail store for Oklahoma. The store’s popularity was instrumental in the creation of Oklahoma City’s Asian District.
Now executive vice president of Cao Nguyen Inc., Luong previously worked as a litigation consultant for two Big Five accounting firms where he provided extensive consulting work for large multi-million dollar corporations.
For 40 years, Felton has focused her time and energy on health care, the arts, education, affordable housing and other social concerns. She serves as chairman and CEO of Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity. She also chairs the Task Force on Low-Income Housing for the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma and serves on the Affordable Housing Advisory Council of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka. She is a member of the board of directors of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and serves on a variety of other local boards.
A past president and sustaining member of the Junior League of Oklahoma City and an alumna of Leadership Oklahoma City, Felton is a two-time recipient of Leadership Oklahoma City’s Paragon Award for Community Leadership.
Ackerman moved to Oklahoma City in 1947, following a five-year career in the U.S. Navy with last duty as a carrier fighter pilot. He worked as an advertising salesman for The Oklahoman while earning a degree at night at Oklahoma City University and then joined the staff of four at the George W. Knox Advertising Agency, now Ackerman McQueen. He purchased the agency in 1954 and built it from $250,000 to $6 million in billings during the next 16 years. In the early 1970s, Ackerman was joined by the father-and-son team of Marvin and Angus McQueen and under their combined leadership, the agency grew from handling only local accounts to a national advertising agency with offices in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Dallas, Washington D.C., Colorado Springs and San Francisco. Ackerman is now chairman emeritus of the agency, which billed $92 million when he retired in 1992 and has grown dramatically since to more than $200 million. Ackerman McQueen is the largest agency headquartered in Oklahoma and is ranked in the top 2 percent in size of all agencies in the U.S.
Ackerman has a long history of public service in Oklahoma City, leading more than 10 local organizations, serving on the board of dozens more and holding a variety of positions with national and international professional organizations. Ackerman spent a total of 35 years in the U.S. Naval Reserve, rising to the rank of rear admiral. He has received numerous honors including the American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal and induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. The Oklahoma Heritage Association published his biography “Old Man River,” by Bob Burke with Joan Gilmore, which details his contributions to Oklahoma City’s exciting progress in the last half of the 20th century.
In addition to recognizing members of the business community, the Oklahoma Commerce & Industry Hall of Honor luncheon benefits the Meinders School of Business scholarship program. Corporate sponsorships and individual tickets are available. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Melissa Cory at 208-5540.