OKLAHOMA CITY — Ronald J. Norick, Chairman of the Board, recently announced the Oklahoma State Fair Board of Directors has added, by unanimous approval: Robert D. Lawler, local energy sector executive; Gary Marrs, a statewide leader in emergency rescue services; and Mike Farney, local hotel General Manager, in to its ranks.
“It is with great pleasure that Doug, Gary and Mike are welcomed as valuable new members to our Board,” stated Norick. “Their input and enthusiasm will, no doubt, be instrumental in the continued progress and success of State Fair Park and the Oklahoma State Fair, being presented this year September 14 – 24.”
Robert D. Lawler Biographical Information
Robert D. “Doug” Lawler has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Chesapeake Energy since June 2013. Before joining Chesapeake, Lawler served as Senior Vice President of International and Deepwater Operations at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and as a member of Anadarko’s Executive Committee from July 2012 to June 2013. Prior to that time, he served as Anadarko’s Vice President of International Operations from December 2011 to July 2012, Vice President of Operations for the Southern and Appalachia Region from March 2009 to July 2012 and Vice President of Corporate Planning from August 2008 to March 2009. Lawler began his career with Kerr-McGee Corporation in 1988 and joined Anadarko following its acquisition of Kerr-McGee in August 2006.
Lawler currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Petroleum Institute, State Chamber of Oklahoma, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, United Way of Central Oklahoma and Harold Hamm Diabetes Center. He is a Senior Advisor to the University of Oklahoma’s Price College Board of Advisors and a member of Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business Council of Overseers. Lawler graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in 1988 and from Rice University in 2002.
Gary Marrs Biographical Information
Gary Marrs was born and raised in Oklahoma City – attending Oklahoma City Public Schools, graduating from Northwest Classen High School. He joined the Oklahoma City Fire Department in 1972 and is the third generation in his family to serve the Oklahoma City Fire Department. He served for 30 years and was named Fire Chief in 1992. During his tenure as Chief he was instrumental in forming of the Special Operations work section which encompasses the technical rescue, water rescue, and hazardous materials teams. He also increased the activity in Paramedic level of training and staffing in the departmental response to Emergency Medical calls. He also initiated programs to get the firefighters more involved in their neighborhoods to help the department identify the needs of the community. He served as Incident Commander during the aftermath of the 1995 Murrah bombing and the 1999 F5 tornado.
He retired in 2002 and served as Assistant to the Mayor before running for City Council. He was first elected to Ward 1 in a Special Primary Election in 2004, and was re-elected to full terms in 2005 and 2009.
He holds degrees in Fire Protection Technology and Municipal Fire Protection from Oklahoma State University. He is also a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He has been an adjunct instructor for the National Fire Academy, Oklahoma Fire Service Training, and Oklahoma State University.
He is very active in the community serving on numerous boards and commissions including Leadership OKC, Youth Leadership Exchange, YMCA, and the American Red Cross. He served on the Red Cross board for many years, and served as the Chairman of the Board for two years. He also served as the President of the Board for the Arts Council of Oklahoma City and the Committee of 100.
He is an Air Force Vietnam veteran. He and his wife Judy have a daughter and two granddaughters.
Mike Farney Biographical Information
Mike Farney began his career in the hospitality industry in 1984, working as a Bellman and Guest Service Associate, while completing his college education. Since 2009, as General Manager, he has lead operations at the Wyndham Garden Hotel Oklahoma City Airport. Prior industry experience includes Holiday Inn Oklahoma City Airport, serving as General Manager from 1995-2009, and Director of Sales at the former Hilton Inn West Oklahoma City from 1984-1995.
Farney has also served the industry on many levels by providing leadership experience to organizations and serving as Chairman of the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau Commission – 2002 to 2008; Member and Committee Chair, Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau Commission – 2002 to Present; Chairman of the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association – 2009 and 2011; Member of the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association – 2008 to Present; and President of the Oklahoma City Metro Hotel & Lodging Association – 2012 and 2017.
Mike was the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding General Manager of the Year Award, Large Property, presented by the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association and he was also awarded the State Leadership Award from the American Hotel and Lodging Association for his service to the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association.
Farney obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, and has earned the designation of Certified Hotel Administrator from the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Washington DC.
Mike and his wife Cindy have been married for 22 years and are proud parents of 4 beautiful girls.
In addition to re-electing Ron Norick as chairman, the Board also re-elected the following slate of officers: David Thompson, vice chairman; E. Carey Joullian IV, vice chairman; G. Rainey Williams, Jr., treasurer; Timothy J. O’Toole, President & CEO. Shannon Crossley, corporate secretary, was also re-elected. At the recommendation of the Nominating Committee, the Board also appointed David Griffin to the Honorary Board in recognition of his outstanding service to the Oklahoma State Fair over the past few years.
The Oklahoma State Fair Board of Directors oversees Oklahoma State Fair, Inc., which is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation that serves the people of Oklahoma and is dedicated to continuing the organization’s heritage of education, entertainment and economic development through the operation of State Fair Park and the annual Oklahoma State Fair.
Oklahoma State Fair, Inc., is an official Adventure Road Travel Partner, which means we’re part of the best destinations you can find on I-35 between Oklahoma City and the Texas border. Use the hashtag #MyAdventureRoad on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share your experiences when you are at State Fair Park. For more, visit AdventureRoad.com.
Special event announcements and general news for the 2017 Oklahoma State Fair will be released as information becomes available. Share your Fair memories and stories with us by using #okstatefair and #BiggerBetterBestOK. To stay up-to-date on all the Fair Fun, visit www.okstatefair.com, find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and download the official Oklahoma State Fair Mobile App available in the App Store and Google Play Store.
—Oklahoma State Fair, Inc.
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