Fallin’s new wave of 18 officials: Some old, some new, some blue

Governor Mary Fallin has named an Unmanned Aerial Systems Council (UASC) with 13 members. She also has placed a bi-partisan slate of appointments on the state Election Board. Included in that group is a former statewide Democratic officeholder, Jim Roth of Oklahoma City. 

According to a release from Fallin’s office, “The UASC will review all development of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and related technologies in the state. The council will act as an advisor to the governor on all issues related to UAS, including education, economic development, job creation and investments. Secretary of Science and Technology Dr. Stephen McKeever will serve as chairman of the council.”

In speeches and her frequent encounters with the Capitol press corps, Gov. Fallin has touted the unmanned aircraft industry as a potential growth industry for Oklahoma. She attended an industry conference in New York City last month.
She said today (Thursday, September 15) the group she has assembled “will help to solidify Oklahoma’s potential as a national leader in this field.”

Fallin’s choices for the UASC include these individuals:

Dennis Altendorf of Edmond, director if aerospace development and strategy for the Tulsa Chamber. He worked previously on aerospace development at the state Commerce Department.

Andy Arena of Stillwater, an OSU engineering professor.

Dan Bierly of Guthrie, program manager for Zivko Aeronautics.

Phil Chilson of Norman, a professor in the college of meteorology at OU. 

Col. Emery Fountain of Norman, director of operations for the Oklahoma National Guard. 

Rick Gaeta of Stillwater, OSU’s unmanned systems technical director at University Multispectral Labs.

James Grimsley of Noble owns Design Intelligence, a Norman company. 

Jamey Jacob of Stillwater an engineering professor at OSU. 

Bill Khourie of Elk City, executive director of the Oklahoma Space Authority.

Eric Meyn of Oklahoma City, OSU’s unmanned aerial systems program manager at University Multispectral Labs. 

Dan Seesholtz of Edmond, director of special projects and corporate engagements, OU college of engineering. 

Toney Stricklin of Lawton, retired U.S. Army officer and owner of TDRS, a consulting firm.

Dave Wagie of Shawnee, director of aerospace economic development at the state Commerce Department. 

In other appointment news, the chief executive yesterday (Wednesday, September 15) named three members and two alternates to the state Election Board, to serve four-year terms in posts requiring state Senate confirmation. 

Fallin re-appointed Thomas Price of Edmond, a lawyer, to the board, along with Steve Curry of Oklahoma City, a broker. Both men are Republicans. Also named to the board was former state Corporation Commissioner Jim Roth, a Democrat.
Under a law passed this year, Gov. Fallin gained new powers to name two alternates to the Election Board. In those new positions, Fallin chose Republican Jerry Buchanan of Tulsa, who owns an investment firm, and Democrat Tim Mauldin of Norman, a professor at Oklahoma City University. Alternates on the election board may fill in at meetings members when a member of their own political party is unable to attend a meeting.