Celebrating H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt, 2017 Visions Honoree
The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits is honoring five nonprofit leaders at Visions: A Celebration of Nonprofit Leaders on November 28, 2017. We are spotlighting each of the five honorees.
Visions honoree, H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt is a local business leader and philanthropist who works to change Oklahomans lives and communities through civic engagement as a leader and volunteer.
After receiving degrees in Economics and Finance from the University of Oklahoma and graduating from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin, Rainbolt served in the U.S. Army for four years. He was honored with a Bronze Star Medal and Army Commendation Medal for his valor while serving in the Korean War.
Following his military service, Rainbolt returned to Oklahoma to serve as the president and CEO of Federal National Bank in Shawnee. In the years following 1967, Rainbolt and a group of investors started acquiring banks statewide leading to the formation of United Community Corporation, Oklahoma’s first multi-bank holding company, in 1985.
Rainbolt founded BancFirst in 1989, which stands as the largest state-chartered bank with assets of $7.2 billion and more than 100 branches spread across the state.
As a business leader, Rainbolt has served in numerous civic, economic development, chamber of commerce, youth, medical, zoological, arts and banking organizations.
Rainbolt said his interest in nonprofits comes from the opportunity to satisfy a concern about Oklahoma’s low socioeconomic status, opportunity gap, people and the impact of education on our future.
Rainbolt serves corporate and nonprofit entities in a variety of capacities such as a board member at Sonic Corporation for 18 years, a founding chairman for Calm Waters, a life director for Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and a director for both the Moran Museum and Oklahoma Tomorrow.
As a chair member of the “For The Future of Medical Research” fundraising campaign from 1999-2004, Rainbolt helped the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation raise $101 million.
Gene Rainbolt holds a number of honors including induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1999, a Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in 2003, being selected as one of the “50 Most Powerful Oklahomans” by OKC Friday in 2006 and receiving the E.C. Joullian Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boy Scouts of America in 2017.
The Rainbolt family are committed supporters of the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Health Sciences Centers and Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
In memory of his late wife, Rainbolt established a scholarship with the University of Oklahoma called the Jeannine Rainbolt Scholarship for Elementary School Teacher. The scholarship is set to assist generations of OU students following Jeannine’s footsteps to become elementary school teachers based on the Rainbolt family’s desire for students aspiring to teach elementary education not be deterred due to financial resources.
Rainbolt is being honored with the Lifetime Achievement award. This award goes to an individual who dedicated a lifetime of philanthropy and volunteer leadership to charitable causes and is instrumental in the success of one or more charitable organizations
Visions is a celebration of nonprofit leadership and will recognize Rainbolt, along with four other Oklahoma-based leaders and visionaries, on November 28th at the Skirvin Hilton in downtown Oklahoma City. For more information, visit the Visions page.