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Oklahoma Water Pioneers

The Oklahoma Water Pioneer Awards were initiated in 1985 to honor individuals who have made exceptional contributions in the planning, development, management, protection, and/or conservation of Oklahoma's water resources. Eligible nominees include anyone whose life-long career has primarily been focused on one or more of the following areas:

  • Water policy/legislation
  • Water planning/rural water development/regionalization
  • Water/wastewater system funding and improvement
  • Water conservation/drought planning and mitigation
  • Navigation system development and management
  • Flood control project development/floodplain management
  • Water science and research
  • Water quality protection and improvement

Nominations
To nominate an individual for consideration, please send a nomination letter and supporting documentation to the following address:

Julie Cunningham, Executive Director
Oklahoma Water Resources Board
Attn: Oklahoma Water Pioneer Award Committee
3800 North Classen Boulevard
Oklahoma City, OK 73118

For full consideration, the letter should include a summary of the nominee's career, including at least three specific examples of how this individual has made exceptional contributions in the planning, development, management, protection, and/or conservation of Oklahoma's water resources. Supporting documents, including photos, resumes, and/or additional letters of support, are encouraged. The letter must include a name and phone number or email address for the committee to contact for additional information, as well as contact information for the nominee.

Winners are announced each year at the Oklahoma Governor's Water Conference. Letters must be received by the OWRB no less than 45 days prior to the start date of that year's Conference. Dates for the Conference are posted on the OWRB's website by June of each year.

Past winners have included individuals from the following vocations:

  • Public servants
  • Elected/appointed officials (local, state, or national level)
  • Business leaders/bankers/attorneys
  • Farmers
  • Educators
  • Scientists and researchers
  • Citizen activists

For questions or comments, please contact Darla Whitley, Oklahoma Water Pioneer Award coordinator, at darla.whitley@owrb.ok.gov or (405) 530-8943.


Past Pioneer Award Recipients

2019: Tom Buchanan, Ann Keeley, Arnold Miller
2018: Rudy Herrmann, Arthur Wayne "Dub" Sloan
2017: Glen Cheatham, Jim Townsend, Pete White
2016: Robert Henry, Frank Keating
2015: Bob Chipman, Trudy Rigney, Richard Seybolt, Bill Sims
2014: Jack Keeley, Mike Thralls
2013: Bob Blazs, Patty Eaton
2012: Ed Brocksmith, Ronn Cupp, Phil Richardson
2011: Thomas Lay, Rick Smith
2010: Drew Edmondson, Mike Melton, Diane Pedicord
2009: James Barnett, Steven Moore, Gene Whatley, Jon Craig
2008: Robbie Robbins, Mason Mungle, Garner Garrison
2007: Don Kiser, Jerry Johnston, Ken Crawford
2006: Ervin Mitchell, W.C. Austin
2005: Jay Galt, Julian Fite
2004: Joe Taron, Glenn Sullivan
2003: Clifford Younger, Wes Watkins, Mark Coleman
2002: Murray Williams, Mae Cooper, Frank Condon
2001: James Norick, Ken McFall, Phillip Lorenz, Robert Johnson
2000: Jim Murphy, James Leake, Michaele (Mike) Henson
1999: Sidney Williams, Jimmie Pigg, James Eddie Phillips
1998: Bill Secrest, Bob Portiss
1997: John "Jack" Story, Dr. Wayne Pettyjohn, Lonnie Farmer
1996: Sen. Henry Bellmon, Donald Vandersypen, Phillip Klutts, Ladd Hitch, James Hewgley
1995: Billy Ray Wilson, Paul Thombrugh, Oscar Hughes, Norman Durham
1994: J.K. Lindsey, Bonita Hoeme, Gerald Borelli
1993: Larry Wornom, Paul Miller, J.D. Fleming
1992: Paul Horton, Sen. Ray Giles
1991: Jack Grimmett, Gov. Raymond Gary, Herber Finch, Ed Edmondson
1990: Hoyt Shadid, Lt. Col. Eddie Morris, George Hill
1989: Gov. George Nigh, E.F. "Doc" Coker, M.G. Barclay, Robert Anderson
1988: Loyd Pummill, Ira Husky, Robert Harbison, George Failing, Morrison Cunningham, Julius Cox, Clarence Burch
1987: H. Duane Stratton, Joseph Rarick, Guy Keith, R.K. Johnson, Charles Huddleston, Houston Adams
1986: Col. Francis Wilson, A.A. Sewell, Orville Saunders, George Reid, James Irwin, W.R. Holway, James "Buster" Hight, Marvin Edmison, Early Cass, Lt. Gov. Spencer Bernard, Clarence Base
1985: V. Ray Trent, David Strickland, Leonard Solomon, Harold Scoggins, Marvin Scherler, Frank Raab, P. Ward Perryman, Harold Norris, Forrest Nelson, Donald McBride, L.L. (Red) Males, Richard Longmire, Glade Kirkpatrick, Robert S. Kerr Jr., Sen. Robert S. Kerr, Newton Graham, Nolen Fuqua, L.B. (Ed) Edinger, Ferdie J. Deering, Jacques Cunningham, Bernice Crockett, Dr. Lloyd Church, Francis J. Borelli



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