2019 Visions: A Celebration of Nonprofit Leadership

The 9th annual Visions: A Celebration of Nonprofit Leadership event will take place December 3, 2019, in Oklahoma City.

At the awards, selected winners will receive awards for their service to the nonprofit sector. The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits will announce the 2019 honorees later this month for the annual event that recognizes tenacious and visionary leadership in nonprofit service, volunteerism and philanthropy.

2018 Visions Photo Album

2018 Visions Honoree Videos

Thank you to the generous sponsors of the 2018 Visions Event!

Visionary Sponsor 

Potts Family Foundation

Patron Sponsor 

Express Employment Professionals
The Journal Record
David and Jean McLaughlin

Table Sponsor 

American Fidelity Foundation
Arnall Family Foundation
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Chesapeake Energy
The Chickasaw Nation
Cox Communications
E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation
The Kerr Foundation
Oklahoma City University Nonprofit Leadership Graduate Program
OKC Good
Woodward Community and Friends of Kevin Evans

Host Sponsor 

Arvest Bank
Commerce Bank/Kelly and Andy Sachs
Nancy P. Ellis
Kirsten and David Griffin
HoganTaylor, LLP
LOKC- Leadership Oklahoma City
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
Oklahoma Watch
The Skirvin Hilton
SONIC, America’s Drive-In
Marnie and Clayton Taylor
Beth and Jim Tolbert

Friend Sponsor

Acorn Growth Companies
Daniel Billingsley
Lori and Jeff Blumenthal
Coca Cola Southwest Beverages
Dean McGee Eye Institute
Carl and Susan Edwards
Tracy Evans/Woodward Wellness Center
Ken and Mary Ann Fergeson
First National Bank of Oklahoma
Deena Fisher and Tom Lucas
Foundation Management/Communities Foundation of Oklahoma
Dave and Alice Hager
David and Lezlie Hudiburg
Leslie and Clifford Hudson
Inasmuch Foundation
Given anonymously in honor of James R. Tolbert
Cathy and Frank Keating
Keep Oklahoma Beautiful
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores
Mark and Patti Mellow
Polly and Larry Nichols
Oklahoma City Thunder
Bill and Lynne Schonacher
Smith and Pickel
TAPStone Energy
Jon Trudgeon, Sr.
Williams, Box, Forshee & Bullard, P.C.

Visions Award Categories

The Pat Potts Visionary Award

Named in honor of the founder of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, this award will go to an individual executive leader who through focus, tenacity and leadership has inspired the success of a singular organization in carrying out its charitable mission.
Past honorees include Pam Newby (Special Care), Miki Farris (Infant Crisis Services), Albert Gray (The Children’s Center), Rodney Bivens (Regional Food Bank), Lauren Branch (NewView Oklahoma), Danny Cavett (Cavett Kids Foundation) and Kevin Evans (Western Plains Youth and Family Services).

The Rodney Bivens Innovation Award

This award will go to a visionary leader(s) or volunteer(s) in the charitable sector who has burst on the scene with a new, dynamic and innovative idea that inspired groundbreaking changes bringing newfound success to the mission of an organization or pioneering, exciting program that changes lives.

The honoree will receive a $10,000 award thanks to a generous contribution from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation in honor of Rodney Bivens’ lifetime achievements with the Regional Food Bank.

Past honorees include Christy Counts (Central OK Humane Society), Bob Ross (Educare), Tim McLaughlin (Fields and Futures), Jennifer Abney (Angel Foster Family Network) and Desiree Doherty (The Parent Child Center in Tulsa). Finalists for the award include Mary Frates (Oklahoma Arts Institute), Dan Straughan (Homeless Alliance), Toby Jenkins (Oklahomans for Equality) and Stacy McDaniel (Cleats 4 Kids).

Special Recognition Award

This award will go to a nonprofit employee that has exhibited excellence throughout the past year. It could be any nonprofit practitioner (e.g., executive director, program director, support staff, etc.) who has worked tirelessly to make a difference in the everyday work of a charitable organization. This employee has demonstrated a dedication to mission above and beyond his or her call to duty, changed lives of those they serve and shown leadership to peers. Sometimes working with limited resources in difficult circumstances, the recipient of the Special Recognition Award is a selfless and tireless employee that exemplifies service to community and constituents. Wherever possible, this is a person that isn’t regularly recognized for their service, so that we may honor those everyday heroes that make Oklahoma and our citizens thrive.

Past honorees include Pat McKinstry (Sunbeam Family Services), A. Jaye Johnson (Boys and Girls Club), Nina Daylor (United Way of Central Oklahoma), Sharon Gallagher (Tulsa Area United Way), Shannon Luper (Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma) and Anne Roberts (INTEGRIS).

The Lifetime Achievement Award

This award will go to an individual (s) who dedicated a lifetime of philanthropy and volunteer leadership to charitable causes and has been instrumental in the success of one or more charitable organizations.

Past honorees include Ron Norick (former mayor, Oklahoma City), Lew Ward (Ward Petroleum, Enid), Ken Fergeson (NBC Bank, Altus), Wanda Swisher/Rita Moore (Community Volunteers, Oklahoma City), Larry Pulliam (Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation), H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt (BancFirst), Dr. Kay Goebel and Jim Tolbert.

The President’s Award

This award will go to an individual (s) as a special recognition of the President and CEO.

Past honorees include Dr. Robert L. Spinks (Oklahoma City University) and Beth Shortt (Leadership Oklahoma City).



Danny Cavett
Pat Potts Visionary Award

Toby Jenkins
The Rodney Bivens Innovation Award

Shannon Luper
Special Recognition Award

H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt
Lifetime Achievement Award

Bob Spinks
President’s Award

Watch 2017 honorees videos here.


Lauren Branch
Pat Potts Visionary Award

Desiree Doherty
The Rodney Bivens Innovation Award winner

Mary Frates and Dan Straughan
The Rodney Bivens Innovation Award finalists

Sharon Gallagher
Special Recognition Award

Larry Pulliam
Lifetime Achievement Award

Watch 2016 honoree videos here!


Rodney Bivens
Pat Potts Visionary Award

Jennifer Abney
The Rodney Bivens Innovation Award

Nina Daylor
Special Recognition Award

Wanda Swisher/Rita Moore
Lifetime Achievement Award

Watch 2015 honoree videos here!


Albert Gray
Pat Potts Visionary Award

Tim McLaughlin
Visionary Impact Award

A. Jaye Johnson
Special Recognition Award

Ken Fergeson
Lifetime Achievement Award

Watch 2014 honoree videos here!


Miki Farris
Pat Potts Visionary Award

Bob Ross
Visionary Impact Award

Pat McKinstry
Special Recognition Award

Lew Ward
Lifetime Achievement Award


Pam Newby
Pat Potts Visionary Award

Christy Counts
Visionary Impact Award

Ron Norick
Lifetime Achievement Award


The inaugural event honored our founders, Pat and Ray Potts, and celebrated OKCNP’s 30-year history.

Thank you…

Congratulations to all of the Visions honorees throughout the years. Thank you to the generous supporters of OKCNP and of the Visions Celebration. For more questions regarding the Visions Celebration, contact us at info@okcnp.org.

Contact Us

Urgent questions, please let us know! You can also call our Helpline at 1-800-338-1798.

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