2019 Executive Pilot Award Winner, Thomas Hill

OK Ethics is pleased to present this special honor to Thomas Hill, CEO of Kimray, for his strong commitment to cultivating an ethical workplace culture and for the humility, courage, and transparency he shows by telling his story of Recovering Leadership to inspire and equip others.

Thomas is a regular attendee at OK Ethics events and has continued Kimray’s strong legacy of promoting integrity at work by encouraging his team to participate, too. It is worth mentioning that his father, Tom Hill, was OK Ethics’ first Pilot Award recipient in 2010.

As the grandson of Kimray’s founder, Thomas grew up in a high-performing family, which shaped his belief that people are worth what they can accomplish. This sent Thomas on a long and unfulfilling journey of pursuing success by constantly doing bigger and better things at Kimray and in the community. Life eventually spun out of control, and Thomas hit rock bottom. Unfortunately, this meant Kimray hit rock bottom at the same time. However, the story does not end there.

Through significant pain and loss, Thomas began the long and difficult road of recovery that transformed his life and leadership. Today, Thomas enjoys sharing his story with others who can benefit from the lessons he has learned. In 2018 he published a book titled “Recovering Leadership: Musings of an Addict Leader.” He also writes weekly “Monday Musings” on life and leadership at recoveringleadership.com.

Thomas currently serves as vice chair for Hope Is Alive ministry and personally mentors a group of men recovering from addiction. He also serves on the Oklahoma Partnership Project for Oklahoma executive committee working to develop a thriving, dynamic, and stable Oklahoma economy and quality of life for all of its citizens.

Thomas and his wife, Rebecca, both received their degrees from Oklahoma State University. They have been married more than 30 years and have six children.

2018 Executive Pilot Award Winner

Dr. Nathan Mellor is one of OK Ethics’ top presenters, drawing large audiences that he inspires and equips with powerful messages about the importance of good character in our daily lives. His positivity, humor and wisdom are mighty antidotes to the chaos and distrust found in the world.

Dr. Mellor has not only addressed OK Ethics guests in attendance at OKC and Tulsa chapter events, he has also generously donated his time by assisting the OK Ethics Board with planning sessions. He has been a popular keynote speaker on campuses for over twenty years, and his impact is felt well beyond the borders of our state.

In pursuit of educational, humanitarian and religious interests, Dr. Mellor has studied or taught in Australia, Belize, China, England, Guyana, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Russia and Rwanda. He is passionate about developing future leaders and is the co-founder of the Presidential Leadership Institute, hosted on the campus of York College, in collaboration with the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. Since founding Strata Leadership with his business partner, Frank Smith, in late 2009, the company has grown from a single employee in a windowless office to a multi-million dollar family of companies, which include Mosaic Personnel, Qubit Creative and Strata Leadership.

Strata Leadership provides character and competence-based solutions to companies, governmental agencies, non-profits and educational institutions throughout the United States and abroad. Brands operating under the Strata Leadership umbrella include: The Academy of Sports and Character, Character Core, Character First Education, The Institute for Emerging Leaders, Monocle Press, Strata Leadership Center for Public Safety, and the Strata Leadership Executive Forum.

Dr. Mellor earned a doctorate of education in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University and a master’s in dispute resolution from the Pepperdine University School of Law, where he was named a Straus Fellow. He also holds a Master of Science degree in education from Harding University, where he served as the Graduate Assistant to the University President. His bachelor’s degree is also from Harding, where he served as Student Association President, earned his letter playing intercollegiate football, played trumpet in the Pep Band and sang in the choir. He lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with his wife — a talented photographer — and two daughters.

2017 Executive Pilot Award Winner

Pierce Norton not only encourages the ONE Gas team to participate in OK Ethics events, but he’s right there with them.  That’s one reason that we are inspired by him – he epitomizes leadership in his words and deeds;” said nominator Lynn Flinn, OK Ethics Co-Founder (Tulsa Chapter).

ONE Gas is an OK Ethics’ top level Pinnacle member that is represented each month by sixteen or more team members in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.  Not only that, but ONE Gas employees are among the first to volunteer to help when needed. The OK Ethics Board of Directors believes that is a reflection, not only on the character of the company, but the leadership’s support of promoting the best standards of ethical conduct. 

Mr. Norton became president and chief executive officer of ONE Gas and a member of the ONE Gas Board of Directors when ONEOK separated its natural gas distribution business in January 2014.

He began his natural gas career with Delhi Gas Pipeline, a subsidiary of Texas Oil and Gas Corporation. He later worked for American Oil and Gas, KN Energy and Bear Paw Energy. Prior to ONE Gas becoming a stand-alone publicly traded company from ONEOK Inc., he served as Executive Vice President - Commercial of ONEOK and ONEOK Partners.

Mr. Norton is chair of the American Gas Association’s board of directors. He also serves on the boards of Tulsa Community College Foundation, Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice, and Tulsa Community Foundation.

An Alabama native, Mr. Norton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1982 from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. In 2016 he was named a Distinguished Engineering Fellow by The University of Alabama College of Engineering. He is also a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

2016 Executive Pilot Award Winner

OK Ethics is pleased to honor Peter Dobelbower as 2016’s Executive Pilot Award recipient. He was our first presenter—before OK Ethics was even formally organized. Since that day in 2003 when we first met him, Peter has served as an advisor, speaker and source of encouragement. He has demonstrated many virtues, including tenacity in remaining true to his convictions, a delightful sense of humor, humility and grace.

Peter serves as Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer for Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., where he has had the privilege of gaining the unique perspective of working within a faith-based organization and helping to fulfill its mission. In addition to those responsibilities, Peter is responsible for all human resource and benefits functions for the Hobby Lobby family of companies. He speaks often on employer/employee relations, ethics, arbitration, health and welfare benefits, substance abuse, and corporate restructuring to benefit philanthropic giving.
Peter is a lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City area, residing currently in Edmond, with his wife, Debbie. In addition to his service to OK Ethics, Peter has worked tirelessly to benefit countless non-profits.

In 2009, Peter was asked to serve on the Advisory Board for Integris Health Edmond hospital. He was later appointed to its Board of Directors and is currently serving as Board Chair. Peter is excited to be working on a major project of significance to the community by helping with the establishment of Arcadia Trails Center for Addiction Recovery.

In 1998, Peter assisted in the restructuring and reorganization of City Rescue Mission in Oklahoma City and subsequently was elected as Chair and President, serving on the Board until 2003. In 1996, Peter was called upon to become a Board Member and General Counsel for the Oklahoma City Chapter of the National Kidney Foundation. Peter also has been involved with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Organization of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Chapter of the American Diabetes Foundation.

Peter received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri in 1981 and graduated with a Juris Doctor from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1984. Peter began his legal career at the firm of Wright & Johnson, and in 1987, joined the law firm of Behrens, Taylor, Dobelbower & Gee, where he continued in private practice until joining the Hobby Lobby companies in 1996.
In 2006, Peter was selected as an Oklahoma Super Lawyer, representing only 5% of the top lawyers in the State of Oklahoma. In 2015, Peter’s Alma Mater, Westminster College, honored him with the Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award.


Robyn Ewing serves as senior vice president of strategic services and administration and chief administrative officer. She served previously as vice president of human resources from 2004-08. Prior to joining Williams, Ewing worked at MAPCO, which merged with Williams in April 1998. She began her career with Cities Service Company in 1976.

Ewing graduated from the University of Tulsa with a bachelor of science degree in accounting in 1976. She has completed the executive programs at the Center for Creative Leadership and Wharton Business School. She also completed the Women’s Director Development Program at Northwestern University.

Ewing is a member of the Executive Compensation Roundtable Group and the HR Policy Association. She also is a member of the Society for Human Management, the National Association of Corporate Directors and EWF International. Ewing is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma and Leadership Tulsa. Currently, Ewing serves on the boards of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust, Tulsa Area United Way, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Southwestern Regional Medical Center, Tulsa Community Foundation, OSU-Tulsa Board of Trustees and the River Parks Foundation. She also chaired the Tulsa Area United Way’s Long-term Strategic Planning Committee for 2009. The National Diversity Council honored Ewing among the 2014 Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Oil and Gas. She’s also a three-time honoree of The Journal Record Fifty Women Making a Difference program and is a 2011 inductee into that program’s Circle of Excellence. In 2009, she was honored by the University of Tulsa College of Business Administration as an Outstanding Alumna, and by the Diversity Journal as a Woman Worth Watching.


OK Ethics is pleased to honor Jim Priest, an attorney with Rubenstein & Pitts, as our Executive Pilot Award recipient. As a founding member of OK Ethics when it formed in 2003, Jim became one of OK Ethics’ most popular presenters. A talented speaker, he has been invited to serve as Master of Ceremonies for OK Ethics’ fifth and tenth anniversaries. Not only that, but he has presided over The OK Ethics Awards and provided insightful programs to all of our chapters on a variety of topics. Jim exhibits the virtues that OK Ethics holds dear: compassion, forthrightness, wisdom and integrity. All of these are tempered with a sense of humor and creativity that is beyond measure. Throughout the history of this organization, he has been a consummate guide and can always be counted on to do the right thing. We honor him, not only for his service to OK Ethics, but also to the community. Jim is a husband, dad, attorney and ordained deacon in the Church of the Nazarene. He has practiced law in Oklahoma for thirty four years and has been consistently recognized as one of the best lawyers in the nation in the field of Employment and Labor law. He and his wife, Diane, have been married for 36 years and have two adult children, Amanda, and her husband Martin Howell, who live in Oklahoma City and Spencer who lives in San Diego, California. In the three decades Jim has practiced law, he has tried nearly a hundred cases in the state and federal courts and has argued many cases before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition to practicing law, he serves as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University School of Law teaching Complex Litigation and Employment Law. Jim also serves as the volunteer Executive Director of the nonprofit substance abuse education organization Fighting Addiction Through Education (F.A.T.E.). The mission is to “educate and motivate Oklahomans to do something about substance abuse.“ To learn more, visit www.fate.org. For ten years Jim was a volunteer weekly columnist for The Oklahoman, writing a column called “Family Talk” that addressed issues relating to marriage, parenting and families. He also wrote a weekly business ethics column for The Journal Record for many years. Jim has taught countless seminars on ethics for a variety of groups such as Leadership Oklahoma, The Metro Employer’s Council, the Oklahoma Bar Association, and the Oklahoma Society of CPAs. Jim has also served as an adjunct professor teaching Business Ethics in Southern Nazarene University’s MBA program.


What a team! It would be impossible to recognize one of these outstanding leaders without acknowledging the other. Hence, the OK Ethics Board of Directors decided to honor both individuals who, together, are promoting Oklahoma values of integrity at work. Great leaders make a great state!

Thomas Legan

As leader of the only two-time recipient of the prestigious Compass Award, we are delighted to bestow yet another honor on Thomas Legan, Chairman of the Central Oklahoma Region for Prosperity Bank. Under guidance from both Jacque and Tom, Coppermark Bank won the Compass Award in both 2007 and again in 2011. At the time, Tom was President and Chief Executive Officer of Coppermark Bank and Coppermark Bancshares, Inc. where he served for over 34 years. Impressed with his ability to maintain high standards of integrity, he was invited to join the Compass Award Selection Team in 2012 and again this year.

An active member of the community, Tom graciously helps countless non-profits. This includes his involvement as past president of the Oklahoma City Community College Foundation. He has also served as Chairman of the Board for Integris Baptist Foundation and was a member of the Board of Integris Baptist Hospital. Currently, Tom is a member of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable and a former Board member of the Oklahoma Banker’s Association.

Throughout his 55-year career in banking, Tom has received many accolades, including being named as Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEO by The Journal Record in 2011. Besides being a two-time Compass Award recipient, under his leadership, Coppermark Bank was named one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma for each of the past six years. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka recognized Coppermark Bank with the Community Leader Award in 2011 for innovation in community lending.

Jacque Fiegel

OK Ethics’ affiliation with Jacque Fiegel started in the organization’s infancy when she attended one of our first events - before we even had a name. It was ten years ago when she paved the way for Coppermark’s involvement in OK Ethics. Today, we are pleased to recognize Jacque for her undying support of our mission to promote high ethical standards.

Everyone knows Jacque because she has devoted a great deal of her time to make life better for so many Oklahomans. A graduate of Leadership OKC, she has served on several non-profit boards including the YWCA, the Economic Club of Oklahoma, the Alpha Phi National Foundation Investment Advisory Committee, the Oklahoma City University Alumni Association, Epworth Villa and as past Co-Chair for the American Heart Associations’ Go Red for Women Signature Event. Her many prestigious honors include The Journal Record’s Circle of Excellence and 50 Making a Difference as well as the Servant Leader Award presented by Oklahoma City University.

This busy President of the Central Oklahoma Region for Prosperity Bank previously held the position of Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Coppermark Bank. Her 36 years in the banking industry included serving on the Board of Directors for Coppermark Bancshares, the banks’ parent company. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Jack Henry & Associates Board and the Oklahoma Banker’s Association. Previously, she was a member of the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma City Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.


Since the beginning in 2003, Devon Energy has supported the OK Ethics initiatives in a number of ways, especially through his company’s membership and consistently high participation in monthly meetings. Mr. Larry Nichols has generously donated his time by speaking to the group on several occasions and reinforcing Oklahoma values of integrity at work. Last year, it was no surprise that Devon Energy was honored with the annual Compass Award for the large company category. Selected by the OK Ethics Board of Directors, Mr. Nichols is being recognized for going above and beyond to promote ethical standards in the various professions, our community and the nation. As an honoree, Mr. Nichols is humble in the knowledge that no one is perfect, but everyone can serve as an inspiration to those aspiring to do the right thing. It is with great respect that OK Ethics is privileged to honor a long-time supporter of our ideals and values.

Larry Nichols is co-founder and Executive Chairman of Devon Energy Corporation, one of the nation’s largest independent natural gas and oil producers. The company's proved reserves total 2.9 billion equivalent barrels, which are focused entirely onshore in North America. Devon is also one of the largest independent processors of natural gas and natural gas liquids in North America. The company has an enterprise value of approximately $30 billion. Devon is included in the S&P 500 Index and its common shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DVN. Devon has been ranked on Fortune magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America for four consecutive years. In addition, the company is consistently included on Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list. In 2010, Devon ranked first in its sector in areas of innovation, social responsibility and long-term investment. Mr. Nichols was named one of Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEO’s in 2010.

Nichols graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in geology. He completed his juris doctorate at the University of Michigan in 1967, where he was a member of the Order of Coif and a comment editor of Law Review. Nichols served as law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren and Justice Tom Clark of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1967 to 1968. He then served as special assistant to Assistant Attorney General William Rehnquist in the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

A leader in the industry, Nichols is former chairman and a current director of the American Petroleum Institute and American Exploration & Production Council. He is on the board of the Business Industry Political Action Committee and National Association of Manufacturers in Washington, D.C. He is a director of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and is a member of the All American Wildcatters. Nichols serves on the board of Baker Hughes Incorporated, a New York Stock Exchange company, and Sonic Corp. He is a member of the Board and past chairman of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and was co-chairman for United Way’s 2007 campaign. He is on the board and past chairman of the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy.


Since December 21, 2004, The Journal Record has been running a monthly guest column that promotes business ethics. The staff, lead by Editor Ted Streuli, has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the standards of integrity that Oklahoma holds dear.

OK Ethics is pleased to present the second annual Executive Pilot Award to Mr. Streuli. Selected by the OK Ethics Board of Directors, the honor is given to individuals who go above and beyond to promote ethical standards in their professions and our community. As an honoree, Mr. Streuli is humble in the knowledge that no one is perfect, but everyone can serve as an inspiration to all of us who strive to do the right thing.

Mr. Streuli’s life and career has been characterized by a strong sense of fairness. In the workplace, that means reasonable compensation, opportunities to advance and fulfilling work assignments for each individual. As a member of the press, Mr. Streuli believes in presenting a balanced, unbiased perspective. He is intentional in his efforts to provide opinion columns that represent all facets of an issue. More importantly, he ensures that facts reported in The Journal Record are accurate and truthful.

He is a courageous leader, not afraid to delve into cutting edge topics like faith’s impact on workplace values. Nor does he hesitate to challenge the status quo of business as usual. At the same time, his actions are tempered with a compassionate heart. Mr. Streuli has made countless sacrifices to help community organizations and encourages others to do the same.

It is with great respect that we are privileged to honor a long-time supporter of OK Ethics’ ideals and efforts.



In 1992, Tom Hill, now Board Chairman of Kimray, Inc., developed and piloted the Character First program to help employees reach their full potential as individuals. Kimray restructured its hiring practices, recognition, and monthly company meetings to promote good character. Kimray's character emphasis became more than a program—it became a way of life.

Every month Kimray emphasized a specific character quality using Character First leadership resources. During monthly employee meetings, supervisors and managers would publicly recognize employees by pointing out specific character qualities they demonstrated and how it benefited the company. Kimray also provided ongoing leadership development training for supervisors and managers so they could emphasize and reward good character on a daily basis.

In less than two years, Kimray's Worker's Compensation costs decreased 80%, and they experience a 25% increase in profits, even though the market was depressed. Today, Kimray's character-emphasis remains strong, and they continue to thrive with a dedicated work force, quality products, and satisfied customers.

Other companies heard about what Kimray was doing, and Tom Hill established the Character Training Institute in Oklahoma City to continue developing Character First resources and training seminars. Now Character First reaches individuals, corporations, schools, government agencies, and families in more than 27 countries and 11 languages. Learn more at www.characterfirst.com.


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