May 5, 2017
David Rainbolt received the OU Price College Distinguished Alumni Award. Rainbolt received his OU BBA in finance in 1978 and earned his MBA from Tulane University the following year. He is the chief executive officer of BancFirst Corporation in Oklahoma City. He is a senior advisor for the Price College dean’s advisory board, trustee of the OU Foundation board and is a member of the Arthur B. Adams Society.
Rainbolt serves in a leadership position for numerous other boards, including board chairman of the Dean A. McGee Eye Institute, Children’s Center Foundation and United Way Campaign; board trustee of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation; executive committee member of the Presbyterian Health Foundation; and past board chairman of the Oklahoma Bankers Association, Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce and Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.
He is the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Business in the Arts, Distinguished Citizen Award and Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America, Downtown Oklahoma City’s Dean A. McGee Award and the Oklahoma Commerce and Industry Hall of Honor induction, among others.
Rainbolt has three grown children – Adam, Sam and Jake – with his wife Kim.
Ronnie K. Irani received the OU Price College Distinguished Partner Award. He received a degree in chemistry from Bombay University, India and moved to Oklahoma in 1977 to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in petroleum engineering from OU. After nearly three decades in the energy industry, he launched RKI Exploration and Production in 2005, where it grew into a multi-billion enterprise that he eventually sold to WPX Energy in 2015. He currently serves as president and CEO of his new venture, RKI Energy Resources, in Oklahoma City.
Irani has served in leadership roles on boards in OU’s Mewbourne College of Earth & Energy, Price College, the College of International Studies and is a regular lecturer and speaker on campus. He also established a fellowship in petroleum engineering, helped create the OERB Scholarship Program, created an endowment that supports international students, launched the Dominion Multicultural Scholars Program and supported the Debt-Free Teachers Program in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education. Most recently, Ronnie made a transformation gift to support the Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth, which President Boren and the OU Board of Regents named in his honor.
Irani is a founding board member and past chairman of the Oklahoma Energy Explorers as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce of Greater OKC, and has served and continues to serve in numerous other boards, including the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, Sustaining Oklahoma’s Energy Resources (SOER), Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (OERB) and lifetime director of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association (OIPA).
He has received the OU Regent’s Alumni award, the Oklahoma City University Alumni award, OIPA’S Member of the Year award and the OERB Member of the Year award. Ronnie and his wife Shannaz have two grown daughters, Roxanne and Natasha.
Dr. Chad Autry received the Price College Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award. He earned his BBA in marketing from Price College in 1994 before returning to receive his PhD in supply chain management in 2001. He currently serves as the W.J. Taylor Professor of Supply Chain Management and department chair of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Autry has served on three national committees for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and on the national Board of Directors of the Warehouse Education and Research Council (WERC). Additionally, he has taken active roles at local and national levels for the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS), Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and Decision Sciences Institute.
He is the outgoing editor in chief of the Journal of Supply Chain Management, which ranked as the seventh most impactful academic journal out of 174 in the management and marketing fields in 2016. He currently serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Business Logistics, Decision Sciences Journal, and Logistique’ Management. Autry has authored over 60 peer-reviewed studies and two books published by Financial Times Press.
Autry and his wife Kari, who is also a Price College marketing graduate, have a daughter and two sons.
Keith Melker received the Price College Recent Alumni Award of Distinction. He graduated from OU in 2002 with a BBA in finance and management information systems. He serves as the partner and managing director of Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Dallas. As a Price College student, Melker was recognized as an outstanding senior and received the Letzeiser Silver Medal. He went on to earn his MBA from Harvard Business School in 2007, where he was elected Student Association President and earned Second Year Academic Honors.
At Boston Consulting Group, Melker has received the BCG Northeast Award for top performance among partners in both areas involving commercial performance and apprenticeship, as well as people development. He has also co-authored a number of papers through BCG on topics covering growth strategy, digital, brand strategy and loyalty programs.
Melker’s wife Jessica earner her OU degree in journalism and mass communication, and the couple have three children – Hayden, Payson and Madison.
Stephanie Stewart received the second Distinguished Alumni Award. She graduated in 1991 from OU with her degree in management information systems, and later returned to Price College to earn an Executive MBA in Energy in 2015. She currently serves as chief information officer of Pioneer Natural Resources. Prior to joining Pioneer, she served as vice president of strategic integration at Devon Energy. She also held leadership roles at Williams Energy and OakTree Software after serving as a developer for SolArc after earning her bachelor’s.
She is a member of the Arthur B. Adams Society, the EMBA alumni board and advisory board emeritus of the Center for Management Information System Studies (CMISS), where she has served as an advocate for Pioneer’s relationship with the CMISS program.
She and her husband Justin live in Dallas, Texas.
Winnifred Freshour received the second Distinguished Partner Award. She studied education at the University of Oklahoma and has held a passion for education ever since. She supports numerous programs across the campus, including Sooner Yearbook. She endowed the Freshour Entrepreneurship Study Abroad Scholarship at Price College in 2010 and is a founding member of the Arthur B. Adams Society.
Freshour spends her time between her longtime home in Edmond, Oklahoma and her residence in Scottsdale, Arizona. She survives her husband Al Freshour, who was instrumental in the formation of Woods Petroleum Corporation, where he retired as chairman and CEO after 35 years.
In addition to higher education, Freshour devotes her generosity to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, where she supports their work with Gift of Life Transplant Houses and gastroenterology research. She also serves on the Saint Anthony Hospital’s nursing scholarship selection committee in Oklahoma City.
First Fidelity Bank received the Price College Excellence in Partnership Award. Since the early 1920s, First Fidelity Bank has taken pride in its legacy as a family-owned bank capable of the same sophisticated technology as “big banks.” Headquarter in Oklahoma City, First Fidelity has 29 locations across Oklahoma and Arizona with a loyal staff of over 400 people.
First Fidelity has served as the official corporate sponsor of the Integrated Business Core (IBC) program since its inception in 1995. The longstanding generosity of the bank has enabled student companies to donate more than $1.3 million and 72,000 of sweat equity to local and national charities. The students gain real-world experience through every step of creating, marketing and selling a product – including the integral process of successfully applying for a loan to launch a company. In addition to the bank’s financial generosity to the program, First Fidelity Bank leaders meet with students to listen to their loan pitch, provide invaluable feedback and award loans to companies who have successfully prepared a plan, with the guarantee of paying back First Fidelity by the end of the semester.