The newest installment of Leadership Greater Ardmore was introduced Thursday as 26 new class members embarked on their journey to become leaders in the Ardmore community.
Leadership Greater Ardmore is a program, created by the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, that gives prospective leaders insights into nine community areas which include: leadership styles, county government, city government, education,
community health/ senior living, economic development/
workforce, crime and criminal justice, state government, and arts/ volunteer opportunities. After class members complete the nine-month course, the goal is for them to find one of these areas of the community that speaks to them, and find a way to help.
“I think it’s important, as we start this new leadership class, that we look around our community, state and nation,” said Mita Bates, president and CEO of the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce. “Throughout this program you’re going to learn about opportunities you have to contribute to the community… (and) find that special area in the community that you can lead.”
This year marks the 26th year of the leadership class program. Only a select number of applicants are chosen from the large pool that are submitted every year. However, board members try to get a diverse group of people so that in the end they will have a diverse group of leaders.
The program has had success in diversity from City Commissioner and former Mayor Doug Pfau, to former Ardmore Main Street Director James Lamey. It’s no wonder the program has been successful with creators like Rep. Pat Ownbey (R-Ardmore); Wes Stucky, former Ardmore Development Authority president and CEO; and Raymond Colvert Jr. of Colvert’s Dairy plant.
Andrea Anderson, who graduated with the class of 2014-15, said the leadership program taught her a lot, and helped her find her dream job. At the time of her graduation, Anderson worked for Cross Timbers Hospice, Inc, but through Leadership Ardmore she learned about the Ardmore Development Authority and was ultimately able to realize her passion. She now works at the Chamber as the director of marketing and industry relations.
“It introduced me to a lot of things in Ardmore that I didn’t know we had,” Anderson said. “I didn’t realize everything Ardmore had behind the scenes and it was though Leadership Greater Ardmore that I found the Chamber.”
Members of the class won’t graduate until May, and only time will tell if they too will find their passion through the program
“We feel we like we have the cream of the crop in this class,” Board Chairman Jim Cumpton said. “Leadership is not about an individual, it’s about a team committed to bettering Ardmore.”

The 2017-18 Leadership Greater Ardmore Class
• Winter Bass — The Chickasaw Nation
• Stephanie Coleman — OG&E
• Marcus Cunningham — Claudia and Carolyn Realty Group
• Samantha Ephgrave — Noble Research Institute, LLC
• Ashley Godwin — Ardmore Behavioral Health
• Brent Harness — Landmark Bank
• Dennis Helmers — Dollar General Distribution Center
• Matt Holland — Smith, Carney & Co.
• Dawnah Iliff — Southern Okla. Library System
• Laura Kidd — First National Bank & Trust Co. of Ardmore
• Dillon Lambert — Ryan Hobbs Investment Services
• Luciana McCallister — Noble Research Institute, LLC
• Elizabeth Negret Gaylor — Ardmore Public Library
• Erin Nichols — BancFirst
• Jase Riggs — Watkins insurance Agency, LLC
• Odeht Ronaina — Dollar General Distribution Center
• Jenny Rosenfelt — BancFirst
• Bryan Scott — Arbuckle Medical
• Michael Shepherd — Carter County Health Dept./ TSET
• Samantha Spain — Courtyard by Marriott
• Shannon Steele — Mercy Hospital Ardmore
• Alexa Stumpff — Hisey & Landgraf
• Lindsey Treadwell — Mercy Hospital Ardmore
• Kayla Tweedy — Financial Management, Inc.
• Steven Wilson — Michelin North America- Ardmore Plant
• Tyler Young — Ardmore Chamber of Commerce