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Hall of Honor to induct three new members

The 35th annual induction ceremony of the Oklahoma Commerce & Industry Hall of Honor will welcome three new inductees at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 28 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. The honorees are Debby Hampton, Christian Keesee and Sam Presti. Corporate tables and individual tickets are available at okcu.edu/hallofhonor.

Oklahoma City University established the Oklahoma Commerce & Industry Hall of Honor to recognize business and community leaders who have made significant contributions to the growth and development of Oklahoma. The Hall of Honor is housed in the Meinders School of Business at OCU.

Hall of Honor inductees serve as role models for business students, providing them with inspiration and encouragement as they pursue their roles as the next generation of business and community leaders. Melissa Cory, the school’s director of executive and professional development, said the event is a celebration of major achievements in business.

“We are thrilled to honor leaders who have made significant contributions to our state and region through their dedication and support of our community,” Cory said.

Financial support for the Oklahoma Commerce and Industry Hall of Honor provides scholarships for students of the Meinders School of Business.

For questions or to discuss corporate sponsorships, contact Cory at 405-208-5540 or mcory@okcu.edu.

About the honorees:

Debby Hampton

Hampton, who will receive the President’s Award, joined the United Way of Central Oklahoma as president and chief executive officer in 2010. During her tenure at United Way, more than $221 million has been raised to support disaster relief and programs of nonprofit partner agencies providing health and human services. Hampton previously served as president and chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits for four years. She spent 16 years with the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma, serving the latter four years as chief executive officer. The Oklahoma Hall of Fame honored Hampton as the 2015 recipient of the Lee Allan Smith Oklahoma Legacy Award. She received the 2016 Distinguished Leadership Award from Leadership Oklahoma City and the 2016 Compassionate Citizen of the Year Award from Oklahoma Foundation for the Disabled, Inc. In December of 2019, Hampton was named Oklahoma Cityan of the Year by the OKC Friday newspaper.

Christian Keesee

Chairman’s Award recipient Christian Keesee is chairman of Kirkpatrick Bank and Kirkpatrick Oil & Gas Co. Keesee began working in banks at the age of 13. While many of his first tasks were basic functions like answering phones and running errands, the friendships and experiences prepared him for a lifetime of enjoyment in banking and philanthropy. After finishing college, he worked in Washington, D.C., as an intern for Sen. David Boren, then returned to Oklahoma City and began his work with the Kirkpatrick Foundation as an associate. As the banking crisis of the 1980s began to unfold, Keesee started looking for banking opportunities. Eventually, he and his team identified a small bank in Edmond named American Bank that had been taken over by the F.D.I.C. They re-branded it Kirkpatrick Bank in honor of Keesee’s grandparents. In 1989, Keesee founded Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center with his work at the Kirkpatrick Foundation and the Kirkpatrick Family Fund.

Sam Presti

Presti will receive the Outstanding Achievement Award. This season will mark his 15th year with the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder franchise. When he was hired in 2007 at 29 years old, Presti became the second-youngest general manager in NBA history and is currently the third-most tenured head of basketball operations. Since the start of the 2009-10 season, Presti and his staff have amassed the second-best record in the NBA. Under his guidance, the Thunder has captured five Northwest Division Championships and reached the Conference Finals four times, including the team’s trip to the Finals in 2012. Presti has stressed the importance of community involvement for his team, and under his leadership, players have made more than 2,500 community appearances. Presti has also made it policy for every new player and staff member to tour the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum after joining the organization. Presti currently resides on the executive board of the Memorial and served as chairman of its Oklahoma Standard campaign. Recently, Presti and his family helped fund the renovation of two procedure rooms and an outdoor nurturing space at the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital. Prior to joining the Thunder, Presti held a variety of roles with the San Antonio Spurs.