OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women will honor the nine newest inductees into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame at ceremonies at the State Capitol on March 29. The program will begin at 4:00 p.m. followed by a celebratory reception in the Capitol Rotunda.
The inductees are Sherri Coale (Norman); Ginny Creveling (Tulsa); Dr. Joe Anna Hibler (Weatherford); Maxine Horner (Tulsa); Dr. Kay Martin (Oklahoma City); Terry Neese (Oklahoma City); Dr. Carolyn Taylor (Claremore); and Della Warrior (Red Rock and Santa Fe, NM). Claudia Tarrington of Tulsa will be inducted posthumously.
Sherri Coale is in her 11th season as women’s basketball Coach at the University of Oklahoma. Highlights of her highly successful coaching career include playing for the national championship in the 2001-02 season, winning three Big 12 Tournament Championships, and being named Big 12 Coach of the Year three times. Coale is also recognized for her excellence off the court with athletes who excel in the classroom and are highly committed to community service. Under her leadership, the Sooner Women have set numerous game attendance records and have received outstanding financial support, raising the bar for what can be acheived in women’s athletics.
"To receive an honor of this magnitude from the great state of Oklahoma is humbling", said Coale. "It is a credit to every athlete that has worn the Crimson and Cream for this program. They put in the hard work on the court and in the classroom. This program would not be where it is today without their efforts over the last 11 years.
"I also have to share this recognition with my assistant coaches and staff members, both past and present. Their work often goes unrecognized and I would be remiss if I did not give them due credit."
Ginny Creveling is an extraordinary community activist and civic leader who has devoted much of her work to helping women, children, and families. Among her accomplishments, she was the founder of Rainbow House, one of the earliest Tulsa organizations to address the issue of child abuse by providing an at-risk nursery. In 2005-06, she led the creation of a new community-owned nonprofit, the Oklahoma Conference for Community and Justice, which fights bias, bigotry, and prejudice through education and advocacy. In 2006, she was recognized as the Tulsan of the Year by TulsaPeople magazine.
Dr. Joe Anna Hibler served as the first appointed woman president of Southwestern Oklahoma State University from 1990-2001 and became only the second woman in state history to lead an institution of higher education. Since 2004, Hibler has served as a regent for the Regional University System of Oklahoma. She chairs the board of the Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma. She is a sought-after speaker on women’s issues and is a well-known advocate for the needs of low income single mothers who are trying to improve their lives and the lives of their children. She was the first women inductee into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame at its inception in 1994.
Maxine Horner was the first African-American and the first woman to serve as chairperson of the Oklahoma Senate Democratic Caucus and, with Vicki Miles-LaGrange, shared the distinction of being the first African-American female state senator when she was elected in 1986 to represent her North Tulsa district. As a senator, she authored Senate Bill 156 Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP), which helps underprivileged students pay for their college education. She is a founder of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and has been a strong advocate of the arts and the preservation of Tulsa’s historic Greenwood District.
Dr. Kay Martin has played a pioneering role in the field of technology education since her appointment as CEO and Superintendent of Frances Tuttle Technology Center in 1997. Under Dr. Martin’s leadership, Francis Tuttle has been a strong supporter of programs and services for Oklahoma women and minorities, encouraging them to enter non-traditional career fields. Of special note is the “Girl Tech” program, in which female students are partnered with female mentors employed in non-traditional roles such as engineering and other technical fields. Martin provides leadership on many boards and organizations including the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth and the board of the Automotive Youth Educational System.
Terry Neese is a public policy strategist and award-winning small business activist and owner. Neese made history in 1990 as the first woman nominated by a major political party for Lieutenant Governor. She declined a nomination by President George W. Bush to be Director of the U.S. Mint in 2005. She is the president and co-founder of the Women Impacting Public Policy Institute, Inc., an international non-profit, education and training research organization. She is also co-founder and past president of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP). WIPP’s mission is to strengthen businesswomen’s sphere of influence in the legislative process, enhance economic opportunities, and foster small business alliances. Terry Neese Personnel Services recently celebrated 30 successful years in business, generating over $2.7 billion in payroll.
Claudia Tarrington was a political consultant, government relations specialist, and a tireless champion for the advancement of women. She helped create the 1994 legislation establishing a permanent Commission on the Status of Women and then chaired the body from 1994-1998. Under her leadership, the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame was re-established, the Oklahoma Women’s Summit was created, and legislation was coordinated that eliminated gender bias in state legislation. At the national level, she served as the outreach director and Senate lobbyist for the ERA Countdown Campaign and a member of the Women’s Leadership Forum of the Democratic National Committee. At her death in 2003, she was working as a lobbyist and fundraiser for Tulsa’s Expo Square.
Dr. Carolyn Taylor is an educator and a former state legislator. She has championed a variety of important issues affecting women and their families. As a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1984 to 1992, she served as principal author of legislation establishing a statewide prenatal care program, family medical leave policy act, and Sooner Start, a collaborative multi-agency early intervention program for children with disabilities. She is currently employed at Rogers State University (RSU) where she is a professor of political science. At RSU she has been recognized for her work in expanding access to affordable public education. Taylor has received numerous awards from local, state, and national organizations including induction into the Oklahoma Child Advocates Hall of Fame.
Della Warrior is a native of Red Rock and serves as the first female president of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe. As tribal chief executive she initiated the development and implementation of numerous programs including adolescent health programs and the White Eagle Divinity Program, an Upward Bound chapter for economically at-risk students. She served as president of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe from 1998-2006. In this role she is credited with re-developing the school, transforming it from a two-year postsecondary school to a four-year baccalaureate college, incorporating cultural language and arts into the curriculum, and securing over $100 million in gifts and grants to build a permanent campus. Among the many organizations she assists and advises, Warrior serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of the Native American Indian.
The mission of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women is to improve the quality of life for women, families, and children in Oklahoma. The Commission established the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame in 1982 to recognize Oklahoma women who are pioneers in their field or in projects that benefit Oklahoma, who have made a significant contribution to the state of Oklahoma, who serve or have served as role models to other Oklahoma women, who are “unsung heroes” who have made a difference in the lives of Oklahomans or Americans because of their actions, who have championed other women, women’s issues, or who have served as public policy advocates for issues important to women. Eighty women have been previously inducted into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame. A complete list of inductees can be found at: http://www.ok.gov/opm/Status_of_Women/Local%20Publish/html/hall_of_fame.html