OCU Hall of Honorees

This year’s Oklahoma Commerce and Industry Hall of Honor inductees are (L-R) Mark Beffort, CEO of Newmark Robinson Park; Cathy Keating, former first lady of Oklahoma; and Barry Switzer, member of the College Football Hall of Fame and legendary coach of the Oklahoma Sooners and Dallas Cowboys. Photos provided.

OKLAHOMA CITY – The 36th annual induction ceremony of the Oklahoma Commerce & Industry Hall of Honor will welcome three new inductees at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at the Oklahoma City Convention Center. The honorees are Mark Beffort, CEO of Newmark Robinson Park; Cathy Keating, former first lady of Oklahoma; and Barry Switzer, member of the College Football Hall of Fame and legendary coach of the Oklahoma Sooners and Dallas Cowboys.

Oklahoma City University established the Oklahoma Commerce & Industry Hall of Honor to recognize business and community leaders who have made significant contributions to the growth and development of Oklahoma.

The Hall of Honor is located in the Meinders School of Business at OCU. 

Hall of Honor inductees serve as role models for business students, providing them with inspiration and encouragement as they pursue their roles as the next generation of business and community leaders.

Honoree Mark Beffort serves as chief executive officer of Robinson Park and Newmark Robinson Park, and as chief operating officer and portfolio manager of Square Deal Investments. His commercial real estate career began in Oklahoma City in 1985, after graduating from Washburn University. Beffort was a successful commercial real estate broker who began building a personal investment portfolio in addition to assisting several private and public entities build strategic partnerships.

Valued at over $2 billion, his portfolio spans across nine markets, including Oklahoma City and Tulsa; Rogers, Arkansas; Indianapolis; Winston-Salem and Charlotte, North Carolina; Kansas City, Missouri; Columbus, Ohio; and New York City. The portfolio is comprised of hospitality, multi-family, industrial and storage investments.

Between Newmark Robinson Park and Square Deal Investments, Beffort employs more than 200 individuals. Beffort served as a trustee for Washburn University Foundation, Casady School, Myriad Gardens Foundation and the Oklahoma City Chamber Board of Directors. He is chair of the Council of Bond Oversight for the State of Oklahoma.

A fourth-generation Oklahoman, Cathy Keating has focused much of her life on community service. Prior to becoming first lady of Oklahoma, she was active in the nonprofit community of Tulsa, where she was born and lived.

She founded Friends of the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion, Septemberfest and the Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, along with starting the tradition of an Oklahoma Christmas tree ornament. She raised private funds to renovate and permanently furnish the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion and to build the Phillip’s Pavilion on the mansion grounds.

She currently serves on the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum board, where she co-founded and chairs the Annie Oakley Society. She serves on the boards of Palomar Family Justice Center, Cristo Rey OKC Catholic High School, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, and is on the National Advisory Boards of the OKC National Memorial and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

Cathy and her husband, former Gov. Frank Keating, co-authored “Love Won–The Oklahoma Standard” with all proceeds directed to the Oklahoma City National Memorial. She has been inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and the Tulsa Hall of Fame and is a member of the OCU Society. She currently chairs philanthropy for Funk Companies.

A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Barry Switzer joined the coaching staff of the University of Oklahoma in 1966, was named offensive coordinator in 1967, then assistant head coach in 1970 and finally head coach in 1973.

Switzer is among the winningest coaches in all of college football and led the Sooners to three national championship wins, 12 Big Eight Conference crowns and never had a losing season during his tenure as head coach. Switzer concluded his time at OU at the end of the 1988 season with a 157-29-4 record, a percentage that ranked him fourth among history’s legendary football coaches.

As head coach of the Dallas Cowboys for four seasons, Switzer won the Super Bowl in 1996. Switzer has the highest winning percentage of any Dallas Cowboys football coach and is one of only three coaches to ever win a national championship in college and in the NFL.

The University of Oklahoma’s athletic complex, the Barry Switzer Center, was named in his honor. He is a member of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and served as honorary head coach of Oklahoma’s Special Olympics for more than 40 years.

Melissa Cory, the school’s director of executive and professional development, said the event is a celebration of major achievements in business.

“We are thrilled to honor this year’s class of leaders who have made significant contributions to our state and region through their dedication and support of our community,” Cory said.

Financial support for the Oklahoma Commerce and Industry Hall of Honor provides scholarships for students of the Meinders School of Business. 

For more information about the event, contact Melissa Cory at 405-208-5540.

Corporate tables and individual tickets for the 36th annual induction ceremony of the Oklahoma Commerce & Industry Hall of Honor are available at okcu.edu/hallofhonor.

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