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‘Ladies in the News’ scheduled for April 6 honors

Suzanne Broadbent (eft) and Terri Cornett.  Photos provided.
Suzanne Broadbent (left) and Terri Cornett. Photos provided.

Staff Report


Several Oklahoma women are scheduled for recognition as “Ladies in the News” at the Oklahoma Hospitality Club (OHC) event scheduled for Friday, April 6 at the Oklahoma City Country Club. Funds raised at the luncheon and style show held in conjunction with the awards will benefit the Oklahoma Foundation for the Disabled and the Oklahoma City Metro Alliance Women’s Firstep.

The 2018 award winners include Suzanne Broadbent, Gail Box, Cheryl Borelli, Terri Cornett, Maxine Decocq, Jennifer Grigsby, Cynthia Henderson, Willa Johnson, Lisa Kalman, Robin Stephenson-Bratcher, Donita Thomas, and Kelly Fry.

In her legal career, Broadbent has worked in all three branches of state government. She is past president of the American Association of University Women (Oklahoma), was active in the League of Women Voters, and served on the board of Neighborhood Alliance. In 2016, she was appointed to the local Historic Preservation Commission.

Box is co-founder of the Austin Box “12” Foundation – in remembrance of her son, Austin, who died from an accidental prescription drug overdose. Gail works to prevent other families from experience the pain of losing a loved one

Known as “Noni” to her grandchildren, Borelli has been in the banking industry for 35 years,  rising to the position of Senior Vice-President at BancFirst in Oklahoma City. Cheryl has also served on several non-profit boards, including Oklahoma City Metro Alliance, YWCA of Oklahoma City, Harding Fine Arts Academy, and Villa Isenbart/Trinity Place (Catholic Charities’ low income housing for the elderly).

Cornett worked on the sales team at KTUL-TV, Tulsa for 21 years – the last seven as a Sales Manager. She has served on the national board for American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT), and serving as the Southwest Area Director, board chair for Prevent Blindness Oklahoma and in several board positions with Christian Women’s Club.

The first woman in Oklahoma to receive a mechanical contractor’s license, Decocq’s roots go back to the 1889 Run. Maxine has served on the boards of: Edmond Chamber of Commerce, Edmond Fine Arts, and Edmond Historical Society. She chairs Christian Women of Oklahoma City and was named Edmond Federation of Republican Women’s  Woman of the Year in 2017.

Grigsby is Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Ascent Resources, LLC, an independent natural gas and oil company.

State Regent for the Daughters of the American Revolution, Henderson has also served as the Chapter Regent for Oklahoma City. She was awarded the National DAR Outstanding State Chairman for Women’s Issues in 2009 and Oklahoma DAR Outstanding Chapter Regent in 2012.

A Former member of the Oklahoma City Council, Johnson is preparing to retire after honorable service as a County Commissioner. Johnson was the first African American woman elected to the Council.  An inductee into the state African-American Hall of Fame, she garnered an Honorary Doctorate from Oklahoma City University.

Kalman is a ‘closing specialist’ in the world of real estate. With over twenty-nine years of experience, fifteen of those years with Chicago Title, Lisa has risen to the top two percent nationally in her field.

Stephenson-Bratcher, holds a master of divinity, master of science in psychology, and a doctor of divinity. Robin was an Air Force aircraft mechanic and Army reserve transportation specialist until 1991, then returned to serve in the Air Force as a Chaplain from 1998-2014. She led debriefings  for first responders/victims of the Murrow Building bombing and has worked in support of the children of incarcerated parents.

The Senior Vice President and Director of the Business Banking Group for MidFirst, Thomas works in commercial banking, client relationship management, business development, and community relations. She is on the board of the Central OK Humane Society/Treasurer and Oklahoma Philharmonic Society and active in the Downtown Rotary Club of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma Venture Forum.

Kelly Fry, editor of The Oklahoman newspaper, is also an honoree.

Awardees will model fashions from Dillard’s Penn Square. Raffle Baskets, for $5 a chance, will be part of the program. Last year’s raffle alone garnered $5,000 for OHC’s charities.

Tickets are $75 per person. Corporate table sponsorships were set at $1,100. Information is available from Ann Simank at 405-833-7626. Co-chairs for this year’s event are Simank and Becky Ivins. OHC consists of local women using their time and talents to benefit worthy causes in Central Oklahoma.

NOTE: Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.


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