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July 8, 2004 :: Harrel Tapped to Lead State Higher Education Board for FY05

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A Leedey rancher and banker will be leading the state’s coordinating board for Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities during the next year.

During their regularly scheduled meeting recently, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education named James D. “Jimmy” Harrel as board chairman. He will lead the nine-member State Regents throughout the 2004-05 fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2005.

Other officers include Joseph E. “Joe” Cappy of Tulsa, vice chairman; Cheryl P. Hunter of Oklahoma City, secretary; and John Massey of Durant, assistant secretary.

Harrel was appointed to the State Regents in 1999. He is chief executive officer and chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Western Oklahoma in Elk City and Vici. Previously, he served as high school principal, vocational agriculture instructor and basketball coach at Taloga Public Schools. He serves as a member of the Lieutenant Governor's Business Advisory Council and has served on the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma A&M Colleges. Additionally, he is active in many civic and community organizations, including the Masonic lodges and chambers of commerce of both Leedey and Elk City, the American Quarter Horse Association and the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association.

A farmer and rancher, Harrel earned a bachelor's degree in animal science and vocational agriculture education from OSU.

Appointed to the State Regents in 2000, Cappy was chairman and chief executive officer of Tulsa-based Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. He has been in the automobile industry for more than 37 years, previously working for Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Corporation and American Motors Corporation, where he was president and CEO.

He is past chairman and serves on the Executive Committee of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable. He serves on the boards of the Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition, Friends of the Fairgrounds Foundation and BOK Financial Corporation. He is board president for the Tulsa Community Foundation and is a trustee for Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum. He is also past president of the Boy Scouts of America-Indian Nations Council and past chair of the Tulsa-Area United Way.
Cappy earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Hunter, who was appointed to the State Regents in 2000, is a partner in the law firm of Kirk & Chaney in Oklahoma City. She has served as chairman of the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System Board and as a member of the Governor’s Commission on Government Performance. She also served as vice president of the Oklahoma County Bar Association from 1993 to 1994.

Hunter earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from OSU and a juris doctorate degree from the University of Oklahoma.

Massey serves as chairman of the board for the First United Bank and Trust, headquartered in Durant. He is also chairman of the Advisory Board of the Oklahoma Small Business Administration and serves on the advisory board of the U.S. Small Business Administration. He is also a member of the board of directors for the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce.

Appointed to the State Regents in 1992 and reappointed in 2001, Massey earned a bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from SEOSU in 1984. He was elected as a state representative in 1960 while a senior in college and served two terms. In 1964, he was elected to the State Senate where he served two terms.

Active in several civic and professional organizations, Massey has served on the Ethics Commission, the Oklahoma Historical Society Board and the Securities Commission. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2002.

The State Regents is the coordinating board of control for Oklahoma’s 25 public colleges and universities and two higher education centers. The nine citizens who comprise the board are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the State Senate.

Other members of the State Regents include Bill W. Burgess Jr. of Lawton; Marlin “Ike” Glass Jr. of Newkirk; William Stuart Price of Tulsa; Carl R. Renfro of Ponca City; and Dr. Ronald H. White of Oklahoma City.