Business 2013 Look Ahead: People to watch in the new year
BY Staff Reports
Sunday, January 06, 2013
1/06/13 at 7:23 AM
Original Print Headline: 10 people to watch in 2013
The new year began with several area businesses in the middle of aggressive projects to enhance their operations. The Tulsa World's business staff identified 10 people to watch in 2013.
Rob Johnston is regional vice president of Apache Corp., heading up the independent oil and gas producer's Tulsa office. He is overseeing an aggressive growth strategy within that office, adding 50 employees in the past year and another 50 planned in 2013.
Apache's Tulsa office develops geological and drilling plans for the region including the Anadarko Shale in western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. But the Houston-based firm's Tulsa ties go back 50 years.
In fact, Apache is just one of numerous outside oil and gas firms using Tulsa as operations center for big plans throughout Oklahoma. PetroQuest, QEP Resources and Midstates Petroleum also have invested big on the local prospects lately.
Williams Cos. Inc.
Alan Armstrong ascended to head up historic Tulsa natural gas infrastructure giant Williams Cos. Inc. in 2011 and has spearheaded a major reorganization of Williams' overall structure. Williams Cos. and its spinoff master limited partnership, Williams Partners LP, revealed major joint ventures totaling close to $5 billion in 2012. Williams Partners spent more than $2.4 billion on its acquisition of assets in the Marcellus and Utica shales, while the parent Williams firm recently announced a $2.24 billion stake in Oklahoma City-based Access Midstream Partners, Chesapeake Energy's former pipeline and processing segment.
David Sharp was into the Brady District long before being into the district was cool - his first land purchase there was 30 years ago. Today, he not only owns more than 30 properties in the area, but he's also the landlord and developer of many of the new and booming enterprises in the district. His most recent project is a partnership with SJS hospitality on the retail portion of the new Fairfield Inn & Suites.
John Price and Stuart Price
The latest hopes for redevelopment of the 14-building portfolio of downtown buildings owned by Maurice Kanbar now are with long-term real estate investors and brothers Stuart and John Price. They acquired a stake in Kanbar's holdings in November, which includes Kanbar Properties, the managing corporation created for the portfolio. During the announcement of their stake, the two promised to work with community leaders to attract businesses to Tulsa, create jobs and add downtown housing within the properties.
Robin Flint Ballenger
The next year will likely be a notable one for Robin Flint Ballenger. As chairman of Flintco Cos. Inc., one of the region's largest construction companies, she's overseeing the acquisition of the company by St. Louis-based Alberichi Corp. Assuming the transaction is completed over the next few months, the 104-year-old Flintco would keep its name, and all employees and divisions would be retained. What remains to be seen is what role Ballenger will take in the company going ahead.
As the new president and CEO of Stillwater-based Southwest Bancorp Inc., Mark Funke is in a prime position to help steer the bank company toward growth. Last year, Southwest, which is the parent of Stillwater National Bank and Trust Co. and Bank of Kansas, made huge strides in meeting regulatory requirements and being freed of federal supervision. In August, Southwest announced it had repaid the government for capital obtained under the Troubled Assets Relief Program.
Tom Bennett III
First Oklahoma Bank
Tom Bennett III is the president and co-CEO of First Oklahoma Bank, which has begun construction on a six-story headquarters at the Village on Main in Jenks to accommodate long-term growth plans. In three years, the bank, which has three sites, has grown from less than $10 million to more than $200 million in assets. Bennett and other bank officers aim to grow the bank to $500 million in assets with 120 employees by the end of 2019.
Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of US Airways, is leading the Tempe, Ariz.-based carrier's effort to acquire AMR Corp.'s American Airlines. In a couple of weeks last spring, Parker negotiated preliminary contracts with American's unionized pilots, mechanics and flight attendants - something AMR executives had been unable to do in the previous six years. Parker orchestrated the merger of America West with US Airways in 2005, which creditors view as an advantage in combining two different corporate cultures at third-ranked American and US Airways, the nation's fifth-largest airline.
Thomas Horton, chairman and CEO of American Airlines, has managed the company through its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization during the past year. Horton has won $1 billion in concessions from unionized and non-union employees, slashed aircraft and real estate lease costs, negotiated more favorable terms with suppliers and creditors and is preparing to lead a leaner company out of bankruptcy. Having cleared nearly all the financial hurdles, Horton now is faced with the formidable task of repairing the company's "appalling" labor relations record.
Rob Johnston, regional vice president of Apache Corp., oversees an aggressive growth strategy within the Tulsa office. JOHN CLANTON / Tulsa World file