The University of Tulsa’s Collins College of Business inducted three business leaders into its Hall of Fame during a special ceremony on Sept. 22 at Gilcrease Museum. William F. “Bill” Fisher, Jr. was named outstanding entrepreneur and Becky J. Frank and Steve W. Turnbo were named outstanding business leaders for 2015.
The Business Hall of Fame annually honors the widespread contributions of outstanding Tulsa business leaders who shape and strengthen the university, community and economy.
The Collins College of Business Hall of Fame has inducted 44 individuals since its establishment in 2000.
About the 2015 Inductees
William F. “Bill” Fisher, Jr.
Bill Fisher (BS ’63) retired from Miss Jackson’s, a multi-department specialty store, in October 2002. During his 35-year tenure as president and CEO, the business saw consistent growth in both sales and profit. Under his guidance and vision, the store went from a locally respected upscale specialty store to one of national recognition for innovative merchandising and unparalleled patron service.
Fisher began his retail career at age 15 in the toy department of the Tulsa Sears Roebuck store. He continued working at Sears through his junior and senior high school years in many different areas. After he enrolled at The University of Tulsa in his sophomore year, TU was one of five U.S. academic institutions selected by Sears Roebuck to participate in a new work-study program that would produce university graduates ready to move into division management for Sears immediately after graduation. He was selected to join this program along with several other TU marketing majors. In 1963, two months after graduation from TU, he was promoted to his first division management responsibility.
In 1965, after 10 years with Sears, Miss Jackson’s approached Fisher to become manager of their new Utica Square store. After a year managing the store, he also assumed all merchandising responsibilities. In late 1967, Fisher became president, CEO, a member of the board and a minority stockholder. Many years later, he became the sole stockholder.
In the community, Fisher held board seats at First National Bank & Trust Co. and Liberty Bancorp, Inc. for a total of 14 years. He also served as president and/or chairman of Tulsa Philharmonic Society, Philbrook Museum, Thomas Gilcrease Museum Association and Thomas Gilcrease Institute Trust. Additionally, he served on the boards of Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Park and Recreation and Tulsa Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
A longtime supporter of TU, Fisher has been a member of the TU Board of Trustees for 24 years, serving as chairman of the Building & Grounds Committee for 20 years and is currently vice chairman of the committee. He was the 2002 J. Paschal Twyman Award recipient.
Fisher and his wife, Judy (EE ʼ98), have two children and six grandchildren. They reside in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Becky J. Frank
Becky Frank is chairman, CEO and managing partner of Schnake Turnbo Frank. As one of Oklahoma’s leaders — both in business circles and in civic affairs — she combines a strong business network with public relations savvy. In her time with STF, the firm has grown significantly. She joined the firm as partner and chief operating officer, was named president in 2000 and now serves as chairman and chief executive officer.
Before joining STF, Frank was vice president of community relations and corporate communications at Bank of Oklahoma, a position she began in 1994. Prior to her work with the state’s largest bank, she served as vice president of communications for the Tulsa Area United Way. Frank began her career at John Brown University, her alma mater, where she served as the assistant to the director of university relations.
Frank has played a significant leadership role in the state, serving on numerous nonprofit boards and in the planning and execution of many local events. Her current and recent civic involvements include: 2013 campaign chair and 2014 board chair, Tulsa Area United Way; past chair, Tulsa Regional Chamber Board of Directors; emeritus member, The Salvation Army Advisory Board; past president and board of directors member, Leadership Oklahoma; past chair and board of directors member, Tulsa River Parks Authority; past executive committee member, The Foundation for Tulsa Schools; past board of directors and executive committee member, Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits; and past trustee member, Tulsa Community Foundation.
She has received numerous honors, including 2014 Tulsa People Tulsan of the Year, 2014 Williams Women of Inspiration Top 5 honoree and a 2014 Tulsa Press Club Headliner. Frank also was named Executive Women International 2014 Executive of the Year, 2012 Association for Women in Communications Newsmaker, a Tulsa World 12 to Watch in 2012 and Greater Tulsa Reporter’s Ten to Watch in 2012. She was named a Tulsa Business Journal Women of Distinction honoree in 2011 and to the Journal Record’s 50 Women of the Year in 2000, 2003 and 2004. The Tulsa Advertising Federation awarded Frank the Silver Addy in 2001.
Steve W. Turnbo
Steve Turnbo (BS ’67) is chairman emeritus of Schnake Turnbo Frank. Throughout Oklahoma, he is recognized as a leader in public relations, business and civic affairs. With more than 40 years experience, he has worked with a long list of corporations, government agencies, nonprofit groups and executives.
As the firm’s chairman emeritus, Turnbo is closely tied with all client planning and management, primarily in the areas of strategic planning, consulting, executive coaching, community outreach and media relations.
Turnbo began his career as the sports information director at The University of Tulsa in 1967. Three years later he joined one of Oklahoma’s largest advertising agencies as a public relations account executive. He later served as vice president of the public relations division of that agency.
He formed his own PR firm in 1981 and later merged with Schnake and Associates, Inc., forming the firm where he now serves as chairman emeritus.
Turnbo has led many associations and is currently involved with several organizations geared to helping Oklahoma grow. His recent and previous civic involvement includes serving as a member of the TU Board of Trustees, chairman of the Oklahoma Academy, chairman of the State Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce. Turnbo also has served as vice chairman of the Will Rogers Memorial Commission, board member for the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice and advisory board member of LIFE Senior Services.
In 2014, he received the Public Relations Society of America Paul M. Lund Public Service Award. He was named to the prestigious College of Fellows of the Public Relations Society of America in 2002.