That's it. We've washed our hands of the first decade of the new millennium, and we're rolling full steam ahead into the new one.
2009 flew by, but not before it dropped off several packages to us. There was a great deal of change happening last year, and a lot of people that were involved in making that happen. From moving forward from the "food dessert" problem of North Tulsa to gaining a new ball club with a familiar face, we definitely saw some highs and lows that we went over last week. (Check out "Best and Worst of 2009" at urbantulsa.com). So this week, we're looking ahead to the new and with that we have our Hot 100 list for 2010.
These people, groups and organizations have been doing some moving and shaking in the past decade, but we're sure to see them really stand out in 2010 and future years.
This year's Hot 100 features a ton of familiar and some probably less familiar faces for us to get to know. With the limit being at 100, there's also some that didn't make it onto the printed list but are far from forgotten for their contributions. We all know who they are.
These are the faces that we need to keep an eye on this year forward. Our city has come a long way, and there's no going down from this point, only up. Whether you realize it or not, these people and others shape how the next decade and so on will be in Tulsa. So, no matter whether you don't think they contribute or not, here's UTW's Hot 100 for 2010.
Kevin Stephens, owner of the building that once housed Temple Israel. Stephens is dedicating himself and his building to a more sustainable way of life. Recently, the landscape, interior and urban design firm president teamed up with Land Legacy and Sustainable Tulsa in order to form a project that would build a regional center for conservation and sustainability. Can't wait to see this unveil this year. Any time we can save another historic old building all the better.
Clark Wiens, President and Co-Founder of Circle Cinema. Although the popular film institution is still collecting funds for its rehabilitation efforts, we commend Wiens foresight and determination to keep it open and moving forward.
Maria Barnes, District 4 City Councilor. Constituents granted a second chance to Barnes who held the District 4 seat from 2006 to 2008 before being defeated by former City Councilor Eric Gomez. Good luck but be a little more sophisticated when you go against the grain this time.
Herb Beattie, chairman of the Bark Park Task Force. Herb Beattie and his crew for Bark Parks have been making strides with opening more parks for our four-legged friends. Last year goes to the dogs.
The People Who Run the Local Farmers Markets. We love farmers and we love markets, so naturally, we love farmers markets. Here's to the freshest fruits and vegetables in town.
Jamie Jameson, partner with The Village Builders. The brownstone that has been coming up at 8th and Peoria near downtown? It's the handiwork of many projects that Jameson is involved in. Moreover, he's involved throughout the community such as being on the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra board of directors. Cosmopolitan, progressive, imaginative and just a darn good guy.
Chris Medlock, politician, media celeb. This guy had a very active last year as going from afternoon radio host to podcast host to mayoral candidate. He's worn more hats than the Mad Hatter. We are looking forward his return to the body politick.
Elliot Nelson, entrepreneur. "Mr. Pub" has played his role in helping to revitalize downtown, especially the Blue Dome District. With new pubs and bars opening left and right, Nelson keeps striking the right chords, now, with a bowling alley being his next venture downtown.
Starr HardGrove, founder of Enchanted Grove Films and Tulsa Creative Network. Hardgrove has been a long-time staple of the film community--whether it be in acting, directing or producing. His latest product, Why I Love Tulsa, has taken him on a journey to show Tulsa and the affections for it in a different light. Keep pushing the local angle, Hardgrove.
Bruce Ramsay, Oilers Coach. In his first season with the Oilers, Ramsay has the team sitting above .500 on the season. Let's see if he can help the team secure its first playoff berth since 2005.
Brian Grimm, 2009 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. We're still not sure of why the state's (heck, the city's) best teacher is prancing around on a statewide tour--leaving several TPS students with a substitute teacher--but he deserves a thumbs-up as the first TPS teacher to have won since 1963.
The Ladies of Eye Candy Burlesque. The teasing temptresses celebrated three years together in 2009 and walked away with two awards at last year's Absolute Best of Tulsa. Looking ahead, the group's local performance schedule might go down, but the girls are never too far from our hearts.
Snyder Family, Mayo Hotel owners. Thanks to this local family, the historic downtown hotel made its grand reopening in September with boutique hotel and lofts, bar, restaurant and special events room.
George Kaiser, businessman, The Kaiser Family Foundation. Thanks for all of your genuine concern and contributions to the city.
Ann Tomlins, art teacher, arts coordinator and arts volunteer. Tomlins has been one of the leading advocates around Tulsa for keeping fine arts in Tulsa Public Schools. Last year, she organized the Fine Arts Advisory Board to find out the district's needs and enlist support from the community. We don't expect anything to slow down in the upcoming year.
918moms.com. A one-stop spot for moms in T-Town, this Web site has coupons (including the "Coupon Queen"), contests, event listings and other things to help make moms' lives easier.
Todd Cunningham, founder of GarageMedia. Marketing guru who took Tulsa Ballet to new heights of community involvement and exposure, Cunningham really made some high strides this past year. Not only did he help UTW put on the Absolute Best of Tulsa awards, but he also did A Rocky (Horror) Halloween, which brought a long-awaited Halloween Street party to the Brady District. Plus, he started his own company GarageMedia. What's he gonna do next?
Blake Ewing, owner of Joe Momma's. His new, downtown lunch and late night location has flourished. And although it all began next to a mini-golf course, Ewing's success is far from miniature.
Shelby Navarro, architect and developer. Everything is popping up green around Tulsa when it comes to designs by architect and developer Shelby Navarro. She's been designing environmentally friendly buildings and working on a development in the Pearl District, too.
Howard Barnett, OSU-Tulsa President. Since moving into his new role as president a few months ago, the former businessman and gubernatorial chief of staff has been preparing to set goals and shift gears for the satellite campus to make it The City's Public University. We can't wait to see his ideas in action.
Elizabeth Wright, Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission Commissioner. After battling Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith's petition to be taken off of the commission last year, Wright impressed us with her spunk in the face of Tulsa's status quo. Now, let's see what she does with it as one of our favorite populists.
Mary Fallin, U.S. Representative. Currently, she's serving the citizens of Oklahoma in Washington D.C., but we're betting to see her on the campaign trail for governor throughout 2010.
Matt Moffett, Tulsa Girls Art School. With all of the issues surrounding fine arts in the schools, it's nice to recount the art efforts made outside of the public school system.
Larry Mocha, President/CEO of Air Power Systems Company. Mocha had a big year in being a local entrepreneur. Not only did he capture the state title of small business champion, but he was also named one of four U.S. regional Solveras/NFIB Small Business Champions for 2009. Congratulations and keep pushing forward in the company. Hey, how about helping us create more jobs?
Matt and Diama Norris. This husband and wife duo has teamed up to try to bring a MIT Fab Lab to Tulsa, which would allow for the study of how content of information relates to physical representation.
Susan Neal, Director of Community Development and Education for City of Tulsa. Starting with a go-fer job making the best of a now defunct Downtown Tulsa Unlimited, she has found her way through several mayoral terms, staying on as an insider currently in the administration of new Mayor Dewey Bartlett.
Shannon Wilburn and Daven Tackett, Just Between Friends. Even through a tough recession, moms are proving resilient. Wilburn and Tackett started their local business as a way to earn a little extra money by having consignors. Now, the business has grown and expanded to other states across the country and hasn't slowed down.
Corey McIntyre, General Manger of Talons. The former general manager for the Tulsa Oilers seems to have changed hats to the right sport: arena football. The Talons almost went all the way, finally losing in the championship game, but chances sound good for this season with McIntyre behind the hash marks.
SMG Management Team-Tulsa. The BOK Center has certainly raked in a great deal of ticket sales, great entertainment and wonderful honors in its first year as a major entertainment venue in Tulsa. The reason behind it? Tulsa has been starving for top flight entertainment for decades and these guys know it.
Natasha Ball, blogger. Don't know what to do this week or what are some good places in Tulsa? Tashadoestulsa.com has the info, 411 and 911(?) to help get you through. Natasha Ball also won a 2008 Okie Blog Award for Best Culture Blog last year.
Randy Miller, owner of Church Studio. Kudos to Miller for reopening Church Studio, once the heart of the Tulsa Sound and providing an intimate venue for recording live performances.
Stars Go Dim. After releasing its debut album, Love Gone Mad, this past year and serving as a supporting act for John Mayer, O.A.R. and Guster, Stars Go Dim promises to be the next big pop act to break out of Tulsa. A sold-out CD release isn't the real story, though. Great songs, national recognition, an opening spot on Mayer's Mayercruise and song placement in Hollister stores and on Delta in-flight nationwide tell you all you need to know: It's only a matter of time.
Dan Winders, entrepreneur and musician. Winders has his hand in several pots, and they all smell pretty rosy. As a businessman, Winders owns Blueview Inc. and has been CEO of Fireant/Halo. In music, his band, Okie Down still has it in them to turn out a good crowd.
Doug Dodd, lawyer. When the Tulsa World head honchos got a brickle in their britches last year over the opinions of a columnist in UTW regarding their daily's circulation, they sued us and made themselves a laughing stock in the community and nationwide, especially among media analysts. But it took the leadership of UTW's publisher Keith Skrzypczak and Mr. Dodd's expertise in First Amendment law to convince the "evil former empire" of their folly and to retreat.
GJ Kinne, TU quarterback. This Texas transfer impressed coaches and fans after winning the starting job in the preseason and throwing for 22 touchdowns this year as a sophomore. Hopefully, Kinne can continue to improve and help TU rebound after a down year.
Keith Ballard, superintendant of Tulsa Public Schools. So far, so good. Before, we looked forward to how you would spruce up the school system. Now, we see that you've been bringing in Teach for America teachers, and we're happy that you've been holding the district together with all of the budget cuts and layoffs.
Jim Mautino, District 6 city councilor. Welcome back! Like his colleague Maria Barnes, after losing a term last election cycle, Mautino has recaptured his seat for another term on the City Council. He's got his sights set on fixing roads and the Public Works department, too.
Marc Matheos, owner of Crystal Pistol and The Marquee. As the main-man behind both The Marquee and Crystal Pistol, Matheos has become a key player in the revival of the Brady District club scene by bringing us a couple of great clubs on Main Street throughout the past two years.
Tom Dittus, Swamphouse Partners LLC. If you've been keeping up with recent developments, the rumors are true. Tom Dittus is reopening the Blue Rose Café this year on the east bank of the Arkansas River. By the end of last year, he opened a satellite location called Elwood's, which would serve cold beer and other drinks, along with a light menu that includes soups, chili, bagels and deli sandwiches.
Chris Girouard, founder of Girouard Winery. This local boutique winery owner seems to be offering a great deal more than grapes off of the vine. Last year, he kicked off his Tulsa Deco Label Series, and the second wine of the series, Westhope, won him the Oklahoma State Wine Championship.
Route 66 Alliance. This is a locally grown organization that is serving as the anchor for a national headquarters and body for all things dealing with Route 66. Last year they were just getting started, let's see how they warm up in the New Year.
Casey Stowe, banker, chairman of the Tulsa Economic Development Corporation. Stowe's nonprofit organization promotes and sustains small business growth in Tulsa and has played a great role in supporting the North Tulsa grocery store incoming as well as the retail development in North Tulsa.
O.C. Walker II, TDA executive director. In his first full year at his new job, Walker has his hands full with tons of land and a long laundry list of inherited problems.
Dr. Mark Rutland, Oral Roberts University president. Less than a year into his presidency, the school is debt-free, and they're looking ahead to sustain their budget and reaffirm the original mission of the late founder, Oral Roberts.
Micha Alexander, founder of Maverick Machine. Who says Oklahoma graduates aren't giving back to their communities? TU alum Micha Alexander has used all of his own money -- not a single grant or government loan -- to develop a series of street-level businesses and loft apartments, which are affordable and downtown. That's innovation.
Sean Griffin, chairman of the Mayor's Entrepreneurial Spirit Award and the Collaboratorium. This California transplant has made a splash in Tulsa by recognizing area entrepreneurs and their solid business models. By helping develop the Collaboratorium, Griffin has provided fledgling businesses a chance to succeed.
Tulsa City-County Library. Amidst the economic downturn, one place (or places, really) has continued to provide a free source of entertainment for Tulsans. For this, we salute you, in spite of leadership issues which we think you have corrected.
MMA Fighting. Mixed martial arts have become what boxing hasn't in the past few years: successful. As its following grows larger and larger and its events become bigger and bigger, MMA is beginning to entrench itself in the world of combat sports.
Damen Banks, Swahill Studios. This music producer has dedicated his time and studio to provide the technical expertise to enable up-and-coming local artists make it to the next level. His studio is doing big things, and they need to be checked up on in 2010.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett. As the new top gun of town, he's already got a lot on his plate with PLANiTULSA, budget configuring and a new feisty City Council. Good luck and we'll be watching very closely.
Pearl District Association. This near-downtown neighborhood has been keeping quite busy to improve its neighborhood. It's working on a $60 million flood-control project that would transform the area with two large lakes and a canal running down 6th Street. It also sponsors the Pearl District Association Farmers Market each summer. Maybe busy is a little light for this organization.
Catholic Charities. The local help organization made a $22 million leap last year to continue its goodwill quest to help others by moving from its former long-time location on Denver Ave. to its new home at 2450 N. Harvard Ave. Hopefully, the new campus will serve more people more efficiently in this economy, the brunt of which is felt most by the poor.
Keith Skrzypczak, Founder, Editor and Publisher of Urban Tulsa Weekly. Where would anyone in the city be without the cutting edge, groundbreaking coverage of this alternative newsweekly? For that, we salute you Mr. Skrzypczak.
PDA, hip-hop artist. Local hip-hop phenom PDA definitely got his fill around town last year as he was a multiple nominee for the ABoT awards, released his third album and hosted an annual holiday party. We might not see him around T-Town for awhile as he moves to Los Angeles, but the music will be in our hearts and ringing in our ears for some time.
Downtown Condos. With several downtown condos and loft projects in the works, this is a shout-out to all of those developers for moving the initiative forward to get more living downtown.
Chuck Lamson, Drillers owner. Kudos to Lamson for having the savvy to play the politics and move the Drillers downtown. If it pays off, he might find himself on this list again next year.
Jeremy Green, founder of Real Time Rehab. Improving the exercises and education of physical therapy patients at home got a big boost this past year. Green was awarded the 2009 Mayor's Entrepreneurial Spirit Award to the tune of $30,000 for his company's purpose of providing personalized physical therapy programs for patients to follow at home on DVD.
Ben Sumner, Up Late with Ben Sumner. As host of the city's only late-night talk show, Sumner provides Tulsans with 30 minutes of variety every Saturday night and proves to be a positive promoter for T-Town. He's passionate about his city, and it shows.
Doug Bauer, associate of Bauer & Associates Realtors. It's got to be one hard sell, the commercial real estate business these days, but the Bauer name is on a great many properties around town and we expect that once the economy turns around, this name will be gold in the Central City.
Jake Thompson, Idol Time Tattoo and Downtown Lounge owner. As the owner of Idol Time Tattoo, Thompson saved his earnings and reinvested them into buying the old Deadtown Tavern and re-opening it as Downtown Lounge. The lounge has a lighter, more laid-back atmosphere and live music on alternating weekends. A true example of small businessmen reinvesting in Tulsa and urban renewal.
Mark Perkins, former mayoral candidate. The young independent representative ran an impressive campaign in 2009 and mounted quite the number of supporters. He didn't win a battle, but he's planning on taking on a much larger war for 2010.
Judy Ward, Marketing Manager, Philbrook Museum. Ward has really been instrumental to building a repertoire between the community and Philbrook Museum. From this year's vegetable garden to other projects, Ward and Philbrook are definitely stepping it up.
Jeremy Lamberton, director, executive producer of Biker Fox documentary. It takes real ingenuity and perseverance to make a flick about the wildly animated and hardcore advocate Biker Fox. Enough said.
Tony Henry/Greg Hughes, owners of Full Moon, In the Raw and new Wolfgang Puck Restaurant. This dynamic duo has brought great eateries to the town and now, in 2010, they're opening a Wolfgang Puck restaurant on Brookside to add to their growing restaurant franchise.
Nolan Richardson, WNBA head coach. Big whoop that the WNBA makes its debut at BOK Center this year. The team's got Nolan Richardson back in T-Town, and he'll only elevate the town's only major league ball club.
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Roscoe Turner, District 3 City Councilor. Surprise, surprise. Like his political counterparts, Roscoe Turner returns to the city council for his second term, too. Does anyone recognize a growing trend here?
Kyla Holderness, Candy Bar and Empire Bar owner. When this girl with the golden touch isn't busy with her small bar domain, she is a very visible leader of the Pet Adoption League. She's been a huge philanthropist in helping our furry, cuddly friends find a place to call home.
Eric and the Adams. After the release of the band's self-titled debut EP late in 2009, we imagine things will only get bigger and better for Eric Himan, Angel Adams and Jimmy Adams.
Executive Chef Neill Bailey, Mayo Hotel. Along with the renovation of the Mayo come the culinary makings from the renowned Chef Bailey. He's mixing it up in the Trula restaurant with a signature seared sea bass and lobster macaroni and cheese. Don't be surprised to hear more about him in this new year.
Preston Doerflinger, city auditor. Taking the place of 21-year incumbent Phil Wood doesn't promise to be an easy feat. Yet, fresh ideas and concepts could get the city on track to run more efficiently. Your move, Doerflinger. Just make sure you count all the beans.
Dawn Welch, owner of Rock Café. Welch took the historic Rock Café and revamped and restored to its old stylings in Stroud, Okla. Let's keep building Tulsa as the belly button behind the belt girding our nation's romantic memory.
Michael Bates, blogger. Love him, hate him, wonder why he does it, you can't help but be fascinated by this singular dynamo. He's got history, insight and an almost perfect research machine in his mind at HYPERLINK "http://batesline.com"; \t "_blank" batesline.com.
The Round Up Boys. This band of old locals have returned to old stomping grounds with Nelson's Buffeteria reopened. The boys are turning up the volume on the live music scene at Nelson's for a great meal and musical dessert.
William Franklin, founder of Decopolis. Tulsa has never had a place to celebrate its signature Art Deco architecture. Thanks to Franklin, that's about to change. It's about time.
Mothers Group, Inc. Celebrating 20 years in 2009, the group every year has hosted the Santa Project at the Greenwood Cultural Center where children are able to meet and take photos with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. Here's to 20 more and more.
J.K. Warren, CEO of the William K. Warren Foundation. J.K. has a lot of his grandfather in him what with all of the charitable endeavors in which he participates. He appears to channel the altruism and generosity of late, great oilman in more ways than one. Chairman of the board for St. Francis Hospital, his family started the William K. Warren Research Foundation and the Warren Clinic.
Miranda Kaiser, owner of Cosmo Café. The well-known local joint made big moves in 2009 by uprooting from its former location on Memorial Drive to a new Brookside location. The move paid off, as more and more have been frequenting the out-of-this-worldly joint.
Ben Uzoh and Jerome Jordan, TU basketball duo. This dynamic duo is trying to help TU accomplish something it hasn't done since 2003--win a conference championship. With these two leading the way, the Golden Hurricane might once again be dancing come March.
Scott Smith, founder of Blue Jackalope. Not only has Smith kept busy as the owner of a small neighborhood grocery near downtown, he's also been a very outspoken advocate in the fight against the city's "food deserts." Keep feeding us information, Scott!
Marriott Courtyard. With the opening of the Mayo Hotel last year, this new hotel should make a splash for 2010. It's in a good location (Atlas Life Building) and will be able to help with visitors to the downtown area.
Jim McDermott, owner of Magoo's. McDermott has reinvented Magoo's from its concept as a classy billiard hall to an uber-classy live music venue. Now, he's in the process of opening McDermott's as a phase of the River Walk opening this spring.
Dr. Bob Blackburn, Oklahoma Historical Society executive director. Here's hoping Blackburn can get the Oklahoma Pop Museum off the ground and raise it up in downtown Tulsa.
Jack Frank, documentarian. This off-beat filmmaker has made a business of himself by supplying us with films about the city. His latest documentary, Tulsa A to Z, runs down the history of Tulsa through the alphabet, and he's also well-known for collecting olds films of Tulsa and using them in his films.
Antonio Perez, North Tulsa Grocery Store owner. When Albertson's left town, a grocery void was left in North Tulsa. Perez, who already owns four groceries, is helping to fix that by opening Gateway Market this month.
Eric Marshall, local business owner. Getting a local brewery up and running might be a piece of cake, but landing on a list where your beer is one of the top 50 brews in the nation--not so much. Cheers to Marshall's Brewery beers! Keep it up.
Kathy Taylor, former Tulsa Mayor. She might be out of office and sight, but she's definitely not out of mind. We were skeptical at first, but you proved yourself to the city and to us as a public servant in the truest sense. You had quite a few accomplishments and proved yourself to be a great leader, so we're sure you'll do well in your new position as Gov. Henry's Chief of Education strategy.
Bill Watts, WWE Hall of Fame inductee. The "Cowboy" was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009. Not too shabby for a man who made a living doing something called the Oklahoma Stampede to other large men.
Downtown Rotary Club. This "service above self" organization has flown under the radar around the community, but they keep shaking things up down along S. Boulder. Their weekly program lineup features some of the city's most appositional movers and shakers, from Bok's George Kaiser to UTW's Keith Skrzypczak. We appreciate its open-mindedness and genuine love for Tulsa.
Dr. Teresa Reed, Barthelmes Conservatory and University of Tulsa music professor. Dr. Reed has been listed as an expert for reading the Music Theory Subject Test of the Graduate Record Exam as well as for advanced placement. She's also specializes in speaking on a local, national or international level regarding African American music. We can dig that.
Lisa Regan, Garden Deva Sculpture Company. The popular sculpture company made a huge mark this past year by designing the menorah for the 2009 Hannukah stamp, which was commissioned by the United States Postal Service and sold around the country.
Terry Simonson, Mayor Dewey Bartlett Chief of Staff. This isn't the first time around the political block for Simonson. He's served in Tulsa County government for the past few years as well as served in two past mayoral administrations, under Jim Inhofe and Dick Crawford.
Dave Bryant, local insurance agent. For more than 40 years now, the Dave Bryant Insurance Agency has been one of the oldest and one of the largest insurance companies in Tulsa. Founded by his father, local insurance guru Dave Bryant continues to provide the same service with other tidbits to the community.
Chad Oliverson, Dr. Frank N. Furter from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Oliverson delighted Tulsa crowds with his performance in Rocky Horror bringing out the best of both worlds--literally--in his portrayal.
Tulsa Rock Ensemble. They made their mark at the Absolute Best of Tulsa Awards last summer with a jaw-dropping performance. Looking to the future, we hope to see a debut album and more performances spring up for them.
Ken Clifford, President of Clifford Power Systems. To say that the weather in Oklahoma can be rough is definitely an understatement. Predicting the weather is impossible, but preparing for it is another thing. Ken and crew are ready to generate some electricity when the going gets tough.
Jerry Slack, president of Jack Slack Company LLC. For more than 15 years, Slack has been designing golf courses nationwide from offices in Tulsa. He's into more than building sand traps, though. Indeed, his love for his home city inspired him to call UTW's Publisher 10 years ago to float the idea of a new Drillers Stadium downtown--at the very location it is being built at this time. To him and others with foresight like him, UTW readers all, we tip our hats.
Jeremy Charles, photographer. This man continues to inspire oohhs and aahhs among our readers. Indeed, his work has been featured in this publication as well as many others throughout the state--and for good reason. He's good. Really good.
David Rutkauskas, Founder, President and CEO of Beautiful Brands. This locally based company made some great strides last year in helping to being the franchising process for more local companies, such as Crusty Croissant and Caz's Chowhouse, with -- what looks like -- even more to come this year. Local companies growing outside of state borders? Awesome.
Matt Donovan, University of Denver hockey player. Although he's from Edmond and really hasn't been living in Oklahoma since he was 14, still, we are adopting him as an honorary citizen and example to all over-achievers who dream big dreams following their muse to overcome huge odds to succeed. Come on, an Okie in the NHL? It might happen. He's a top prospect for the NHL draft, and he's made headlines on the U.S. National Junior Team.
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