Our Leadership


The Honorable Ronald J. Norick, Campaign Chair

Chairman, Oklahoma City University Board of Trustees

Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Ron Norick was the city’s mayor from 1987 to 1998. Norick followed in his father James’s footsteps: the elder Norick was Oklahoma City’s mayor from 1959 to 1963 and again from 1967 to 1971. During Ron Norick’s 11 years in office, he and the Oklahoma City Chamber of
Commerce conceived Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS), nine major Oklahoma City projects funded by a dedicated five-year, one-cent sales tax. The projects included the Chesapeake Energy Arena, AT&T Bricktown Ballpark, Bricktown Canal, Civic Center Music Hall, Cox Convention Center, State Fair
Park, Oklahoma River, Spirit of Oklahoma Trolley Transportation Link, and a new library/learning centre later named the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library.

MAPS is credited with leading Oklahoma City through a “renaissance” that made the city one of the most livable in the country. While in office, Norick also guided the city through the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

Prior to taking public office, Norick worked for 30 years with his family’s successful printing company, Norick Brothers Inc, where he served as the company’s president from 1981 to 1992. Currently, he is the controlling manager of Norick Investment Company, LLC, which manages the financial holdings of 20 family members representing three generations of the Norick family.

Since leaving public office, Norick has remained an ardent supporter of MAPS and many other community initiatives and organizations. He is currently chairman of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee at Oklahoma City University, a director of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and chairman of Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority, the Oklahoma City Downtown TIF Review Committee and the Oklahoma State Fair, Inc. As well, Norick is vice-chairman of the Oklahoma Industries Authority and a member of the Committee of One Hundred.


John Richels, Campaign Vice-Chair

Devon Energy – President and Chief Executive Officer

John Richels, was elected president and chief executive officer of Devon in June 2010 and joined the board of directors in 2007. He previously served as president, a senior vice president of Devon and president and chief executive officer of Devon’s Canadian subsidiary. Richels joined Devon through its 1998 acquisition of Canadian-based Northstar Energy Corp. Prior to joining Northstar, Richels was managing and chief operating partner of the Canadian-based national law firm, Bennett Jones. Richels previously served as a director of a number of publicly traded companies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from York University and a law degree from the University of Windsor.


Tricia L. Everest, Campaign Vice-Chair

GableGotwals – Attorney

Tricia has served as an Assistant Attorney General representing the State of Oklahoma as general counsel and to state agencies and commissions and as a litigator in tort, procedural and employment law cases. In 2010, she served as general counsel for Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson’s gubernatorial campaign. Tricia enjoys serving a variety of community projects and causes.
Tricia serves on the vestry for All Souls Church and is a director for Allied Arts. She is currently advisory board chairman of the Inasmuch Foundation; a trustee of Oklahoma City University; a director of YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City; a member of the Board of Visitors for Casady High School; a director for the Committee of 100; a member of the Board of Visitors for OU International Studies, and of the Board of Visitors for the OU College of Law and an honorary member of the Oklahoma Outreach Foundation. Tricia was recognized as part of the Journal Record’s “Fifty Making a Difference” in 2011. Oklahoma City University honored GableGotwals attorney Tricia Everest with the 2012 Distinguished Philanthropist Award.


Robert H. Henry, President and CEO

Oklahoma City University

Robert is a former state legislator and attorney general for the
State of Oklahoma, left the federal judiciary as Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to become Oklahoma City University’s 17th president in July 2010. As a lifelong advocate of education, President Henry co-authored the legislation that established the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, established the Senator Penny Williams Lecture in Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma City University, and was the co-founder of the Oklahoma Symposium. He served as the Dean of the Oklahoma City University School of Law from 1991 to 1994.


Valerie K. Couch, Dean

Oklahoma City University School of Law

Valerie ushered in a new era in the law school’s history when she became the first woman and the first federal judge to move into the leadership role at the school. Before coming to Oklahoma City University School of Law, Dean Couch served as a Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. She was appointed to the federal bench in 1999, where she served for more than 13 years and presided over a wide range of criminal and civil matters. Prior to her service on the federal bench, she was an attorney in private practice for 16 years with the Oklahoma City firm of Hartzog Conger & Cason, P.C. She brings to the School of Law a wealth of experience as a lawyer, as a business partner in a thriving law firm, and as a judge.

Campaign Cabinet Members:

Meg Salyer

Emmanuel Edem

Gary Homsey

J.R. Homsey

Joe Crosthwait

Joe Edwards

Lou Kerr

Bob Ross

Drew Neville

Linda Lambert

Bob Burke

Bill Shdeed