POSTED ON JANUARY 3, 2007:
The Hot 100
Urban Tulsa Weekly's annual list of the hottest movers and shakers aroundSome names are old, some new. Some aren't even people. But they're all about Tulsa
They're your neighbors, your bosses, your peers, your co-workers, your employees. By now, UTW's Hot 100, the absolute best, authentic list of the city's movers and shakers, has become what it should be: your guide to the city's leadership.
They are progressive. They are visionary. They lead by listening and by example. And, we are glad to once again celebrate them by bringing them to your attention.
In the spirit of the New Year, we've retired some of the old guard to the UTW Hall of Fame to make room for more up-and-comers who are making a notable difference in various areas of the city.
We're also giving you a heads up as to who to watch for in the coming months -- we expect more great things out of these people.
In the end, the list should inspire us to be more active, more influential in our communities. To care. To make a difference in Tulsa. Until then, go ahead and relax on your couch with a nice big bag of greasy potato chips and read about the people who already are making a difference.
1. Ken Levit, fair-minded leadership of the Citizens' Commission on City Government. He took what could have been a sock puppet for anti-City Council forces and turned it into a serious look at the strengths and flaws of our city charter.
2. Michael Zolkoski, Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools. With only a few months under his belt, Zolkoski hasn't wasted any time getting to work on repairing and strengthening the system.
3. Fred Perry and John Smaligo, newest additions to the Tulsa County Commission. What will Tulsa County government be like, now that it's no longer the Kingdom of Dick? (Bob Dick, that is.) Kiss your insider deals goodbye.
4. Pat Treadway, leader of Tulsa's new Comprehensive Plan and the Urban Development Department. Treadway's team has already developed solid infill development plans for neighborhoods like Brookside and the Pearl District. They know how to bring homeowners, business owners, and developers together to create a win-win situation.
5. Micha Alexander, lofty ambitions. isn't waiting for islands in the stream. He's "making his own cool" in the form of lofts, clubs, and other businesses at 3rd and Kenosha.
6. Elliott Nelson, starting a monopoly on downtown cool. Multiplying the success of McNellie's with the Continental and the Colony. El Guapo's is soon to open at 1st and Elgin, and he's planning an expansion into other cities.
7. Cliff Taulbert, ORU graduate, educator, nationally known speaker, president of The Freemount Corporation and author of the best selling and highly influent autobiographical Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored and Eight Habits of the Heart.
8. The Snyder Family, Mayo Hotel redevelopment. A smart, incremental approach to restoring Tulsa's favorite downtown landmark is paying off.
9. Brian Franklin, DoubleShot Coffee Company. Starbucks sent Brian Franklin a "scary lawyer letter," claiming that "DoubleShot" was their trademark. Brian stood his ground, kept his name, and Starbucks backed down. Brian is still serving up great coffee under the DoubleShot name at 18th & Boston.
10. Randi Miller, County Commissioner quickly making a name for herself as a proponent of river development and real change in the favor of all Tulsa.
11. Tom Green & Angie Devore, D-Fest. Instead of longing for Tulsa's past glories or complaining about the state of our city's music "scene," these two are on the ground floor creating an event in DFest that is feeding our economy as well drawing national attention and artists to Tulsa.
12. Hans Helmerich, CEO, President and Director at Helmerich & Payne, Incorporated. We may have retired his philanthropic parents, Peggy and Walt Helmerich, but Hans is proving to be the next big thing with the Helmerich family name.
13. Randy Brogdon, champion of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Providing the same kind of leadership on fiscal restraint at the state level that Tom Coburn is supplying in Washington. Straightforward, unpretentious, and affable, Brogdon is sure to be urged by grass-roots conservatives to seek higher office.
14. The Tulsa Historical Society. At least someone cares about preserving Tulsa's history.
15. Phil Lakin, Jr. Tulsa Community Foundation Executive Director. The foundation is one of the amazing things that can be done when people of money combine with people of vision.
16. Michael Johnson, VP of Human Resources at Williams Co. and one of Tulsa's staunchest education advocates.
17. Midwestern Theatre Troupe and the Nightingale Theater. Preferring art over money, these groups are consistently producing edgy, ground-breaking material -- when they can afford to keep the electricity on.
18. Josh Martin, owner Mercury Lounge. Not afraid to go against trends, Martin has established Mercury Lounge as one of our coolest local watering holes.
19. Anna Francois, Principal, Holy Family Cathedral School. Shaping future generations with a strong curriculum combined with faith-based initiatives at the city's oldest and only downtown elementary and middle school. Serves city's most culturally and ethnically diverse population.
20. Bart Boatright, Tulsa Vision Builders. Though downtown's future BOK Arena hasn't been popular with the locals, this group has worked tirelessly on the project.
21. Chet Cadieux, Quik Trip. Locally owned and operated, Quick Trip is growing nationally but dedicated to keeping its roots firmly planted in Tulsa. With three years running in Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For," QT is also a national example of a Tulsa based company doing things right.
22. Carlos Moreno, man about town. Moreno has had his finger is just about every civic pie in Tulsa. He serves on the board of Tulsa Now, the Hispanic Affairs Commission, the Advisory Council of YP Tulsa, he's one of the 150 Step Up Tulsa stakeholders, a part of the Coalition of Hispanic Organizations, and his company Toy Drum Inc. does design for many innovative groups in Tulsa, such as Exposure Business Magazine.
23. Tony Carrera, alternative artist. This guy is well on his way to becoming iconic. All the coolest places in town have his murals on them, and the coolest people get inked by him at High Octane Tattoo
24. Randy Patton. Patton almost single handedly created one of last year's best local albums, RedEcco's gorgeous and layered pop masterpiece, Falling at Various Speeds.
25. The members of Tulsa Stakeholders, Inc. The guys who proposed the Channels project. It may be an unpopular idea, but it's the most innovative plan for river development we've heard in a while. Margie and John-Kelly Warren, Tom Cooper, Chris and Scott Lambert, and Rusty Patton.
26. Rebecca Bryant, President, Tulsa Now. She's got to be in the hardest working lady in this show business we call local development.
27. Marnie Ducato, Chairwoman, Tulsa Young Professionals. Helping propel Tulsa's next generation forward.
28. Laura Chalus. Executive Director, YP Tulsa. A vested and enthusiastic interest in Tulsa's growth and development, economically and culturally.
29. All of the Young Professionals in YP Tulsa and TYPros, for that matter.
30. Aida Adyinyan, Barthelmes Conservatory. Producing the future's classical musicians and composers right here in Tulsa.
31. Reuben Gant, president of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce. Providing balance and a connection between the city's various economic communities.
32. All of the city's Native American tribes. Active players and partners with the city and county governments.
33. Pat Connelly, former City Budget Manager. Still manages the city's budget and capital improvements programs.
34. Barbara Wilson, President, League of Women Voters. Keeping local, state and national government accountable at all times.
35. Brad Mitcho, musician and producer extraordinaire. Former Glass House voice and current front man for the Plumbers, What doesn't Mitcho do, and do well, within Tulsa's local pop music circles?
36. All local art galleries. Supporters of local art: the TAC Gallery, M.A. Doran, the Pearl Gallery, Thyme Restaurant, Joesph Gierek Gallery, the Pierson Gallery, Self Gallery, Alexandre Hogue Gallery, Tulsa PAC Gallery.
37. Steve Liggett, Living Arts Gallery and Liggett Studios. Two galleries that notoriously host the most innovative, interesting and off-the-wall exhibits when it comes to art in Tulsa.
38. Valerie Ackerman and Janet Hutto, founders, Peace House Tulsa. Rather than taking a stand against the war, decided to stand for peace and founded the Peace House at 306 S. Phoenix Ave. The House offers itself as an incubator for peace in Tulsa and a home base to any organization needing space for its peaceful endeavors.
39. Marcello Angelini, Artistic Director of the Tulsa Ballet. The chief reason TB is one of the top 10 companies in the nation. (See Cover Story, Page 14.)
40. Carol Crawford, Director, Tulsa Opera. With its 2006-2007 season, the Tulsa Opera has planned something for everyone.
41. Frank Letcher, President and CEO, Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. A long-anticipated and much-needed revival of the Tulsa Philharmonic.
42. Lawrence "Bubba" Cunningham, University of Tulsa's Director of Athletics. His name is "Bubba." 'Nuff said.
43. Paul Smith, sneaky quarterback leading the Hurricane ship.. One more year to boot.
44. Steve Kragthorpe, head coach, TU Golden Hurricane football. Take that North Carolina! Who's Next?
45. Alan Green, boxer with a devastating left hook. 22-0 record should bring title fight in '07.
46. Caleb Green, ORU Golden Eagles. Best baller in Oklahoma. Period.
47. Steve Enlow, Tulsa Oilers equipment manager since 1972. That's a ton of smelly locker rooms and broken shafts.
48. Mikey Burnett, mixed martial arts fighter. No pain, well, no pain. Only a neck injury stopped this hard-hitting MMA star.
49. Mike Wolf, Robin to John Holcomb's Batman at Channel 6.
50. Michael Harris, Booker T. Washington High School's super back. Possibly best to wear the Hornets uniform, and that's saying a lot.
51. Zuri Louis and Steve Cluck, Louis & Cluck. Local design duo's "I Heart Tulsa" and "I'm Down With T-Town" T-shirt designs really struck a chord with shoppers.
52. Pillar, one of the hardest hitting (and hardest working) bands in the national Christian rock scene. Pillar is almost constantly on tour...but they still call Tulsa their home base.
53. Jim Wilburn, President and CEO, Winnercomm. A major player in field of sports broadcasting. They are the largest independent production, program development, marketing and sales representation company in America, supplying more than 1,500 hours of programming annually to ESPN and 13 other national television networks. They've also won 13 Emmy Awards. That's hot.
54. Z104.5 Radio, Tulsa's modern rock powerhouse, is showing up all the corporate radio competition in T-Town by giving us what we want...variety. Incorporating music from various decades and genres into their playlist, as well as (gasp!) local artists, The Edge actually manages to make listening to the radio fun again.
55. David, Otto and Camille Rutkauskas, Camille's Sidewalk Café. From their humble beginnings (not too many years ago) as a little kiosk eatery in the west end of Woodland Hills Mall, few probably ever suspected Camille's Sidewalk Café to skyrocket into an international restaurant franchise. But that's exactly what they've done...and we're proud.
56. Todd and Cory Edwards. Multi-talented sibling team from Tulsa who wrote and directed last year's surprise big screen animated hit, Hoodwinked, are definitely on the fast track these days.
57. Doug Wojcik, TU basketball coach. By all accounts appears to be a top-notch recruiter and a first rate motivator.
58. Kanbar 'n' Kaufman. Californian Maurice Kanbar is an entrepreneur, real estate investor, movie producer (he funded the Todd and Cory Edwards penned Hoodwinked), and inventor (the D-Fuzz-It comb for sweaters, Tangoes Puzzle Game, the Safetyglide hypodermic protector, SKYY Vodka, an LED stoplight, and a cryogenic cataract remover, among many other things). So why is he on the UTW Hot 100 list you ask? Well, the fact that he and his investment partner Henry Kaufman recently acquired 28 percent of all the properties in downtown Tulsa might have something to do with it. Rumor has it their intentions are noble. We'll keep our fingers crossed.
59. Greg Hughes, In the Raw. Like the Phoenix, Greg Hughes rises from the ashes in his personal quest to find success in the Tulsa restaurant and bar business. His latest venture, Kampai Lounge, a spin off his In the Raw Sushi Bar, on Brookside bring something new to Tulsa as a new way to lounge.
60. John 3:16 Mission. Giving hope to many of the hopeless in Tulsa since 1952.
61. Victor Young, founder, Frontier Hospice. Tulsa Economic Development Corp.'s Small Business of the Year for encouraging economic development and creating local jobs.
62. Tulsa Elementary School Educators. Thank you.
63. Bill Cartwright, General Manager, Tulsa Transit. Consistently working to gain funding and further development for Tulsa's public transportation system.
64. Thomas L. Kivisto, President and CEO, SemGroup. Good for Tulsa, in more ways than one. A young and quickly-growing energy service company, Kivisto and SemGroup are also major supporters of the arts in Tulsa.
65. Clark Wiens, co-founder of the Circle Cinema. And the guy largely responsible for its success.
66. Kathy Taylor, Mayor of the City of Tulsa. Okay, it may seem obvious, but we couldn't leave her off the list. She's had an impressive first year.
67. Bart Ford, owner, Under the Mooch. Supplying Tulsans with all of the records, tapes, CDs and vinyl you won't hear on the radio.
68. The Arkansas River. You never cease to be a cause for controversy, and we have to admit we're not disappointed. We just hope someone picks a plan and sticks with it, quick, before you dry up for good.
69. Francine Ringold, Oklahoma's outgoing Poet Laureate. She used her years as Poet Laureate to inspire students, teachers and folks of all sorts to explore creative writing.
70. Linda Saferite, Tulsa City-County Library CEO. We give you a hard time about the Central Library downtown, but overall, we think you're doing a pretty good job.
71. Lisa Regan, owner, Garden Deva. Regan's been on the radar for a while, with her interesting metal sculptures, and now she's bring even more national attention to her local art business.
72. James Boswell, architect. Responsible for some of Tulsa's coolest commercial renovations.
73. PDA, hip-hop artist. Smooth beyond smooth, cool beyond cool, and supportive of all of the other local acts around him, he's the real deal -- a player among players.
74. Andy Shapleigh, Regent Preparatory School. At only six years old, but under Headmaster Andy Shapleigh's leadership, it has quickly become established as one of Tulsa's leading Christian schools.
75. Vern Stefanic, Theatre Tulsa. Actually, he has his hands in almost all of the community theatre companies, which is probably what makes them all so great.
76. Katheryn Pennington, Executive Director, Tulsa Air and Space Museum. Exciting future generations about the possibility of air and space exploration right here in middle-America.
77. Josh Gifford and Mike Woziniak, co-owners of The Sound Pony. They're changing the way Tulsans think about music by hosting the best live, local indie acts.
78. Public Radio 89.5 Tulsa, the TU-based local chapter of NPR. Providing a rational voice in news radio.
79. Jeannie McDaniel, Oklahoma State House 78 Representative. Glad you're still in office. (No offense, Guardiola.)
80. Elaine Dodd. No longer the Democratic Chairperson, but still a force to be reckoned with from the left side of the tracks.
81. Indian Nations Council of Governments, "a voluntary association of local governments serving Creek, Osage, Tulsa, Rogers, and Wagoner counties." These guys have their hands full making sure all the river plans carry water.
82. 100 Black Men of Tulsa. They could probably make their own list of Hot 100; these guys are constantly out in the community serving as mentors and ambassadors to children and their peers.
83. Frances Jordan, Executive Administrator, Greenwood Cultural Center. We'd love to see a revival of North Tulsa and Black Wall Street.
84. Ken Busby, Executive Director and CEO of the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa. Bringing art and culture to Tulsa, whether we like it or not. Thanks.
85. Stephen Egerton and Ryan Wallace. Egerton was a member of seminal punk rock acts The Decendents and All and has engineered or produced bands like MxPx, Hagfish, The Ataris, and OC Supertones, as well as his own bands. Wallace trained at Full Sail and has recorded countless local and regional bands. Together, they run Armstrong Recording, giving local bands high-quality, yet affordable, recording opportunities. They're responsible for CDs by Wreckless Process, The Effects, River City Ransom, One Night Scam, and more.
86. Food for Thought, a group of young people, ages 16-25, working to fight hunger and homelessness in Tulsa.
87. James the Pizza Guy. Providing nourishment to bartenders and cocktail servers in Tulsa at nearly all hours of the night.
88. Tulsa Press Club, promoting the highest standards in journalism. And, strong drinks at the bar.
89. Tom Wallace, Wallace Engineering. Not only is his company nationally recognized and applauded as one of the top structural and engineering firms in the nation, he got the ball rolling on development in the Brady District with his company's new headquarters.
90. Bob and Donna, the dancing couple you see at all the clubs every weekend, no matter where you are. C'mon, you know you love 'em.
91. Biker Fox and Paul Tay. You're weird enough to make the list, but not to earn your own slots.
92. Donna Hendrix, Volunteer and ARC Coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. She's gotta be tired.
93. Matt "Lip" Stevens, club owner. Now with three clubs open (The Pinkeye, The Hive, and The Otherside), Stevens is proving that original, live music can work if venues and bands work together.
94. Biopsy Playhouse, local late-nite sketch comedy show that recently went national. Good luck; we hope it lasts.
95. Catholic Charities of Tulsa, serving the community in a number of capacities.
96. Michael Wallis, our favorite Oklahoma author who has made a nice living off Route 66. You make think you know Oklahoma, but Wallis (literally) wrote the books.
97. Keith Skrzypczak, Publisher, Urban Tulsa Weekly. Helping keeping all of the above personages from taking themselves too seriously.
98. Jeff Mulder, new Airport Director for the Tulsa Airport Authority and the City of Tulsa. He probably couldn't have picked a worse time to take on the position last year, but he seems to be doing the best he can with what he has.
99. Davit Souders, still one of local music's most avid supporters. After 16 years, the mastermind of Diabolical Productions is still in the game, even when the game changes.
100. Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce Small Business Resources. Promoting local business in Tulsa.
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