Steve Paris Presented OPEA Lifetime Achievement Award
Long-time OPEA member Steve Paris was presented the OPEA Lifetime Achievement Award at the association's 40th annual convention last Saturday. Paris, who recently retired after a long career in state service, is a former OPEA president and currently serves as chairman of the OPEA Political Action Committee. Paris also sits on the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System advisory board.
Steve was nominated for the award by former OPEA director Pat Hall and was joined at the banquet by many friends as well as his wife and daughter.
Steve Paris Accepts His Award as Pat Hall Look On
Lynn Hodges Selected Past Presidents Award as 2015 Retiree of the Year
The 2015 "Past Presidents Retiree of the Year" is Lynn Hodges. Lynn is retired from the Oklahoma State Department of Health and has been extremely active in and supportive of OPEA’s retiree committee. As a member of the committee, Lynn has followed retiree issues in Oklahoma and all surrounding states. He has also researched and followed legislation and litigation nationwide allowing the committee to be well-informed regarding any issues pertaining to state retirees. Lynn has attended all retiree committee meetings, several OPEA board meetings, legislative days and met with Rep. Jon Echols, OPEA staff, and board members and was instrumental in obtaining Rep. Echols’ support to author OPEA retiree legislation last session.
Lynn Hodges accepts the award from OPEA President Jess Callahan. Also pictured are Don Keenan, Dixie Jackson, Cheryl Horsley, Connie Stockton and Steve Paris.
Brandi Poage Chosen 2015 Gaines Stout Member of the Year
The 2015 Gaines Stout Member of the Year award was given to Brandi Poage at this year's annual convention. Brandi is president of the Tulsa Oklahoma Employment Security Commission OPEA chapter and has worked hard during the past year to revive the OESC Chapter after it had gone dormant in the last few years. Previous to serving as president, she was vice president and assumed the responsibilities of president when the chapter president left the agency. Brandi planned several activities for the chapter such as donation drive for the John 3:16 Mission. She has also been active statewide and participated in the convention each year. At her workplace, she has organized several membership recruitment events over the past, and a grievance training workshop.
This annual award is given in honor of one of OPEA's founding members, Gaines Stout, who was instrumental in the founding of OPEA in 1975.
Region Eight Director Tracey Ritz, Brandi Poage and OPEA President Jess Callahan
Frances Mayanja Selected as 2015 Pat Hall Volunteer Of the Year
OPEA member Frances Mayanja an employee of the Office of Juvenile Affairs' Central Oklahoma Juvenile Treatment Center in Tecumseh was selected as the 2015 Pat Hall Volunteer of the Year. Francis works as the Client Advocate of the facility and his dedication to Oklahoma’s troubled youth led him to continue this work at COJC when the Rader Center closed.
Pat Hall (left) and OPEA President Jess Callahan (right) Present Francis Mayanja with the 2015 Volunteer Of The Year Award
As a long-time OPEA member while employed at both facilities Francis has been involved in working with OPEA to resolve issues for employees and the youth they serve. He is willing to work after hours to ensure the success of the chapter and OPEA. He has attended board meetings, OPEA Day at the Capitol and assisted with chapter activities including a cookout for legislators and employees.
In Memory of Commissioner Mark Costello
Members and staff of the Oklahoma Public Employees Association join our fellow Oklahomans in mourning the tragic death of Labor Commissioner Mark Costello.
Commissioner Costello was a tireless worker and was firm in his beliefs. He frequently traveled across the state to meet with business owners and employee and was always willing to sit with OPEA to discuss issues important our state’s working men and women.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, his colleagues in state government and the employees of the Oklahoma Department of Labor. He will be missed.
OPEA TO Hold Special Election
A special election is being held for Regional Director Seats for Region 11 and Retiree West on the OPEA Board of Directors. The candidate filing deadline is August 31 at 5:00 p.m. with the election to be held in September.
The term of office is January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2017. Candidates must have been an OPEA member for at least one year and live in the designated region. Region 11 in the southeast part of the state and is comprised of Choctaw, Latimer, LeFlore, McCurtain, Pittsburg, and Pushmataha counties. The Retiree West Region comprises of counties west of I35, with the exceptions of Logan, Cleveland, and Garvin.
The board meets in Oklahoma City approximately eight times during the year on Saturdays. In addition, Board members must attend OPEA statewide events, such as convention and OPEA Day at the Capitol. Expenses are reimbursed by the association. Regional directors also work with staff to oversee and develop activities in the region. If you have any questions, email Trish Frazier or call her at 405-524-6764 or 800-880-6732.