Class of 2018
The 2018 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Honorees were formally inducted at the 91st Annual Oklahoma Hall of Fame Banquet & Induction Ceremony on Thursday, November, 15 in Tulsa.
The 2018 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Honorees are: Paul Allen, Enid; Mo Anderson, Waukomis; Ree Drummond, Pawhuska; David Rainbolt, Oklahoma City; Jon R. Stuart, Tulsa; Carrie Underwood, Checotah; and Charlie Christian, Oklahoma City, will be inducted posthumously.
Being inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame is Oklahoma's highest honor. Since the Oklahoma Hall of Fame’s inception in 1927, 698 accomplished individuals have received this commendation. The names of the Hall of Fame Members, as well as interactive exhibits and portraits of these individuals can be seen at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum. In addition, the Inductees are recognized on granite monuments in the Heritage Plaza at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds.
Visit our archives to view all Oklahoma Hall of Fame Members.
Paul Allen | Enid
Born and raised on the family farm in northeast Nebraska, from his parents, Claude and Laura Allen, Paul Allen learned early the values of honesty, hard work, and the respect of others. Allen worked on the farm until leaving for the University of Nebraska. After earning his business degree he was hired by the George A. Hormel Company, working in Fremont, Nebraska and Austin, Minnesota, before relocating to Oklahoma City in 1967 to manage the Hormel production plant.
Several years later he and Dave McLauglin aquired the original Advance Meat Company in Enid, quickly making the community home. Revenue increased from $300,000 to $3-million and a second facility opened over the next ten years. In 1990, the purchase of an existing facility provided Advance with a new state-of-the-art facility. In 2009 when a majority stake in the company was sold, Advance’s revenue exceeded $850-million and they employed more than 2,400 nationwide. In addition, Advance was the first in Oklahoma to make corporate childcare available for non-healthcare employees.
Allen’s contributions to Enid include $1-million to launch Enid Public Schools’ $90-million bond issue; supporting Forgotten Ministries, a home for newly-released, non-violent offenders; the relocation and renovation of Enid Symphony Hall, our state’s longest-performing symphony; leading a $4-million capital campaign for the YMCA; the creation of a $2-million scholarship fund for Enid-area graduating seniors; and the construction of The David Allen Memorial Ballpark, dedicated to their late son. The $3-million ballpark annually hosts the National Junior College Division II World Series.
Allen has been inducted to the Enid Hall of Fame and was named Pillar of the Plains Citizen of the Year, among countless other honors. For more than 50 years Allen has made Oklahoma his and his family’s home. He is a proud husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Mo Anderson | Edmond
The youngest of five born to tenant farmers in rural Oklahoma, it was the hard work on the farm that shaped the work ethic of Mo Anderson. The first in her family to earn a college degree, she taught music in the public schools before entering the world of real estate. Her first Century 21 franchise quickly rose to the third-highest producing out of 7,500 locations in North America. She served on the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission, including two terms as chairman.
She convinced Keller Williams Realty Co-founder Gary Keller to expand his franchise company outside of Texas. Anderson became the regional owner for Keller Williams Realty Oklahoma. In 1995, Anderson became the first CEO and co-owner of Keller Williams Realty International. The company is now the number one real estate franchise company in the world in size, units, and volume, growing from 45 offices and 1,800 agents to boasting 1,000 offices and nearly 200,000 agents in 35 countries today.
Currently vice chairman of the board, Anderson has been deemed one of “America’s top 25 Influential Thought Leaders” by REALTOR Magazine and “One of Real Estate’s Most Influential People.” Anderson continues to cultivate the firm’s culture to maintain high standards of character. Known as “The Velvet Hammer” for her uncompromising values and standards, her business acumen is fueled with faith and compassion.
Anderson is the author of A Joy-filled Life: Lessons from a Tenant Farmer’s Daughter Who Became a CEO and launched MoAnderson.com, an online mentoring community for the next generation of leaders.
Anderson’s greatest legacy will be her philanthropic giving. Her local community, charitable organizations, and ministries around the world have been richly blessed by her belief that the higher purpose of business is to give, care, and share.
Charlie Christian - Posthumous Induction
Born in Bonham, Texas, Oklahoma City became Charlie Christian’s home at the age of two. From a musical family, Christian first began playing the trumpet and at age 12 was playing a cigar box guitar he made himself. When his father and brothers formed a quartet, Christian received his first real guitar as a member of the group. They played Oklahoma City clubs, including those in historic Deep Deuce, before Christian’s reputation spread and he began touring across the United States before moving to California at the age of 23.
Christian had changed the way the guitar was played, he brought it to the forefront as a solo instrument, amplified its sound, and changed what it could do with his single-string solo technique. Christian played with the greats—including Jimmy Rushing, Count Basie, and Benny Goodman. Even today, courses on and the techniques of Christian are taught in universities and studios worldwide.
Carlos Santana has talked about the influence Christian had on him; B. B. King said he just wanted to be able to play like him, but never could; and the Jazz at Lincoln Center curator said he changed the sound of music forever. Who would have ever imagined that at the time of his death, at only 25, young Charlie Christian would be respected worldwide as the “Father of Bebop” and an inspiration to the greats that followed?
Ree Drummond | Pawhuska
An award-winning blogger, photographer, and celebrity chef from Bartlesville who first grew a fan base around her award-winning blog, "The Pioneer Woman," Ree Drummond launched her career when she began writing about life as a cattle rancher's wife on their Osage County cattle ranch. As her content grew, including a food section filled with recipes, so did her fan base—eventually attracting over 20 million page views per month. This led to cookbook deals and her first televised appearance on the Food Network's Throwdown! With Bobby Flay in 2010, where she beat the celebrity chef in a Thanksgiving-themed cooking contest. The following year, her successful television series, The Pioneer Woman was launched.
In 2016, Ree opened the The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, home of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. Known as "The Merc," the 25,000-square-foot historical building, purchased and renovated by the Drummonds, includes a two-level restaurant, retail store, and bakery. The Merc attracts visitors from all fifty states, and many countries, to Pawhuska and the surrounding area. Earlier this year, she opened The Boarding House—a three-story, eight-room hotel right down the street from the Mercantile, and will open a pizza restaurant, event space, and steakhouse in Pawhuska later this year. Ree lives on the family ranch with her husband Ladd and their four children.
David Rainbolt | Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City’s David Rainbolt graduated from the University of Oklahoma and the Tulane University Graduate School of Business. After starting his banking career in Texas, he moved back home to Oklahoma in 1982 and began working to modernize the state’s banking laws. He was CFO of the founding management team of United Community Corporation and, in 1992, became chief executive officer of BancFirst, its successor company. During his 25 years as CEO, the company went public, expanded into metropolitan areas, and closed 34 acquisitions, growing from less than $700 million to over $7 billion at the time he became executive chairman in 2017. His banking career also includes serving as chairman of the Oklahoma Bankers Association during the passage of interstate banking.
Outside of banking, Rainbolt has been active in nonpartisan reform efforts, including civil justice, criminal justice, and common and higher education issues, most recently including Step Up Oklahoma to solve the state’s budget impasse, provide higher compensation for teachers, and restructure state and county government to improve accountability.
His civic involvement includes chairing the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, Last Frontier Council of Boy Scouts, United Way of Central Oklahoma, the Children’s Center Foundation, Downtown Oklahoma City Incorporated, and Oklahoma Bankers Association. He is currently chairman of the Dean McGee Eye Institute and is a 30-year member of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
He recently chaired the Presidential Search Committee for the fourteenth president at the University of Oklahoma, along with multi-million dollar campaigns benefitting longtime Oklahoma institutions.
With his wife Kim, Rainbolt has three sons, making him a little league baseball coach for 24 years, and two grandsons.
Jon R. Stuart | Tulsa
Adopted as an infant in Norway and brought home to Tulsa, Jon R. Stuart was educated in Tulsa, and at the Culver Military Academy, the University of Oklahoma, and The University of Tulsa. As chairman of the board and chief executive officer of First Stuart Corporation, Stuart is continuing in the family business. He also is the managing partner of Jon R. Stuart Interests, L.L.C., its primary focus on energy, and is a trustee for the Stuart Family Foundation. Appointed by His Royal Highness King Harald VI of Norway, Stuart serves as the Royal Norwegian Consul for Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas.
Stuart served on the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority Board for more than 25 years, including five years as chairman. The Port of Catoosa’s Maritime Park is named in his honor. He has served on the Gilcrease Museum National Advisory Board and the Committee of 100—Tulsa, as a trustee for Boston Avenue United Methodist Church and Philbrook Museum of Art, as well as the Falcon Foundation in Colorado Springs, and served on the University of Oklahoma’s Board of Regents for 14 years, opening the Transportation Operations Center while serving as chairman. Dedicated in 2011, the Stuart Foundation’s lead gift served as the catalyst for the Stuart Wing at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art on the University of Oklahoma campus. The Wing provided for an 18,000-square-foot expansion and new gallery space and administration offices.
He and his wife, DeeDee, continue to make their home in Tulsa. Stuart is a fourth-generation inductee, following his great-grandfather Charles B. Stuart, inducted in 1933, grandfather W. G. Skelly, inducted in 1939, and father, Harold C. Stuart, in 1983.
Carrie Underwood | Checotah
Carrie Underwood emerged from the promise of her 2005 American Idol win to become a true multi-format, multi-media global superstar, spanning achievements in music, television, and film. A seven-time GRAMMY® Award winner, she has sold 64 million records worldwide and recorded 26 #1 singles, 13 of which she co-wrote. In 2013, the Grand Ole Opry member starred as Maria von Trapp in NBC’s three-hour holiday blockbuster, the Emmy®-winning The Sound of Music Live!, whose airings attracted 44 million viewers.
2018 marked her sixth season as the voice of primetime television’s #1 program, Sunday Night Football, and this November, she will co-host the CMA Awards for the eleventh consecutive year. Earlier this year, she released the hit event anthem “The Champion” featuring Ludacris, which she co-wrote to open Super Bowl LII and was incorporated into NBC’s coverage of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. With the release of her sixth studio album this past September, “Cry Pretty,” which she co-produced, Carrie made history by becoming the only woman to land four country albums at the top of the all-genre Billboard 200 chart.