In 1990, I found myself fresh out of college with a degree in search of a job. Fortunately, I quickly found a job as a marketing officer for a local bank here in Lawton. Right from the beginning, it was evident to me that Lawton-Fort Sill was the place to build life-long friendships, due to the positive and energetic business climate.
All of that led to me settling down here and starting a family. When making that decision, another factor entered the picture: education, something I care deeply about, perhaps more than anything. Again, I found myself in the right spot because Lawton’s comprehensive education system is something we should all take great pride in. It’s truly amazing. Having raised three children in this community, I am so impressed with the quality of education they received from elementary to middle school to high school and now at the higher education level. The number of communities that can boast of the quality educational opportunities like we have in Lawton-Fort Sill is small. Just think about all the resources our children and young adults have at their door step: Lawton Public Schools, Cameron University, Great Plains Technology Center, the learning centers and institutions available on Fort Sill. All of those are available at no cost or little expense.
Another aspect propelling our community forward is the tremendous diversity and talent of our work force. Thanks in large part to Fort Sill, at any given moment in our city we have the finest work-force talent in this region of the United States. I believe it’s our biggest opportunity as well. Whether it is full engagement with our recent military retirees or spouses of military personnel, we must capitalize on the resources and talent available in a more efficient manner. With a strategic plan, and proper implementation, we should be able to leverage this resource to attract quality jobs.
This great city has so many amazing volunteers who are consistently working to implement positive changes. Every day, citizens are working to enhance the many beautification projects, helping to create a robust downtown, improving our infrastructure throughout the city – including our most-valuable west-side industrial park – to attract more quality. The list goes on and on, but the larger point is we have so many leaders not looking to be in the spotlight but simply working on improving the quality of life in our community.
Our future is bright, but we need more pulling on the same rope. It is important for us to be positive about the community in which we live, work and play. We have the best armed services installation of all the branches of the military in Fort Sill, not to mention the massive economic contribution it makes to the State of Oklahoma. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Plant is the premier tire plant in the world. Our medical care in Lawton as well as on Fort Sill is accessible, affordable and skilled. We have wonderful recreational opportunities within a few miles with the refuge, lakes, LETRA, etc. Lawton-Fort Sill is on the move. These are just a few of the reasons I’m honored to be a part of this community. I’ve always done my best to impart a culture of servant leadership at Arvest Bank and in Lawton-Fort Sill as a whole. The more people who believe and preach that culture, the quicker we can achieve our goals and begin to work on new ones. We’re a team, and no outside forces can slow our progression when we work together.
I’ve called this wonderful community home for 28 years, and I couldn’t be prouder to say that.