Fallin names key economic advisors at Tulsa event
CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
Oklahoma Governor-elect Mary Fallin introduced key members of her economic team to the public on Tuesday (November 9) during an event at Tulsa aerospace and aviation firm NORDAM.
Speaking to reporters from the NORDAM factory floor, where she had previously joined workers on an assembly line during her “Working Across Oklahoma” campaign tour, Fallin named Tulsa businessman Robert Sullivan, Jr. to serve as Special Advisor to the Governor on Economic Development.
Sullivan will be charged with establishing a taskforce for the purpose of examining Oklahoma’s tax code as well as its rules and regulations affecting business development. The task force will provide the governor with a series of recommendations designed to improve the state’s business climate and create jobs.
Fallin also named the first two members of the taskforce: Chairman of the Oklahoma State Chamber and BancFirst CEO David Rainbolt and former state Representative Gary Sherrer, who currently serves on the Board of Directors for Rural Enterprises, Incorporated.
“As I said during the campaign, my first priority as governor will be to bring more jobs and opportunities to working Oklahomans,” Fallin said.
“I’ve asked Bob Sullivan, who has been a pillar of Tulsa’s business community for decades, to work with me on putting together an economic team that will lay the foundation for a more prosperous Oklahoma. With the addition of David Rainbolt, one of Oklahoma’s great business minds, and Gary Sherrer, a tireless advocate for rural Oklahoma, we are off to a great start.”
Fallin also announced that Lieutenant Governor-elect Todd Lamb will serve as Small Business Advocate, a cabinet-level position in the Fallin administration. Fallin said she was excited to work with Lamb, who currently serves as the first Republican Majority Floor Leader in state history.
“Todd Lamb has been an effective leader in the Oklahoma State Senate and a strong advocate for the kind of policies that create jobs and economic growth,” Fallin said. “He’ll be a welcome addition to my cabinet and a strong voice for small business within my administration.”
The Tulsa announcements came in the midst of several busy days for Fallin. This week she has also unveiled the leaders of her transition team, exiting Senate President Pro Temp Glenn Coffee and Devon executive Larry Nichols, and named trusted aide Denise Northrup as her chief of staff.
Sen. Lamb garnered wide praise for his even-handed administration of the state Senate floor leader. From the beginning of his campaign for the state’s number two job, and in Senate deliberations, Lamb consistently focused on economic development and jobs growth.
The following biographical information about the appointees announced at the Tulsa event was provided in a press release sent to CapitolBeatOK:
Robert Sullivan, Jr. is the owner of Sullivan and Company LLC, a 52-year old family owned independent oil and gas exploration and production company. He served as secretary of energy under both Governor Frank Keating and Governor Brad Henry and was a Republican candidate for governor in 2006. He served as chairman of the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board from 2003 to 2005 and is currently a board member with the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association.
David E. Rainbolt has been president and chief executive officer of BancFirst Corp since 1992. He is the chairman of the State Chamber of Oklahoma and the vice chairman of the EDGE Policy Board. He has previously served as the chairman of Downtown OKC, Inc., the Oklahoma Health Center Foundation and the Oklahoma Bankers Association. He is the current director of the State Fair of Oklahoma.
Gary Sherrer is a former Oklahoma state representative who served as secretary of agriculture under Governor David Walters and served as both the secretary of environment and the executive director of the Water Resources Board under Governor Frank Keating. He currently serves as the assistant vice president for external relations in OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. He also serves on the board of directors at Rural Enterprises, Incorporated.
Todd Lamb was elected lieutenant governor in November of 2010. Prior to that, Lamb served in the Oklahoma State Senate as the first ever Republican Majority Floor Leader. Lamb has worked as a landman in Oklahoma’s energy industry, an aide for Governor Frank Keating, a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service, and as the general counsel for an energy and wireless company in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Note: Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.