Early this month, the OBA hosted the third Oklahoma Bankers Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
This year’s class included four bankers who have been – and still are – pillars in the bankin
g industry, their communities and the state of Oklahoma.
This class falls right in line with previous inductees with their storied history and contributions still being made today to our industry.
I wanted to share with you a little about each of the inductees into the 2021 Oklahoma Bankers Hall of Fame.
Bruce Benbrook is currently chairman of the board of Stock Exchange Bank in Woodward, a position he has held since 1981. He currently serves as chairman of the board of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and as a board member of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
Benbrook is a native of Woodward, graduating from high school in 1972. He received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Oklahoma State University in 1976, where he was heavily active in campus life and activities.
In 1990, Benbrook served as president of the Oklahoma Bankers Association and represented Oklahoma in numerous capacities at the federal level with the American Bankers Association. He has held a number of positions at OSU, including chairman of the Board of Regents in 1994 and as national president of the OSU Alumni Association in 1990. In addition, he has served two terms on the Board of Governors of the OSU Foundation.
Since 2006, Benbrook has served as chairman of First Oklahoma Life and Casualty Reinsurance Company. He is an active member in the Woodward community, serving as president of the Woodward Chamber of Commerce, Industrial Foundation, United Fund, Woodward Education Foundation and the Lions Club. In 1991, Benbrook was named Woodward’s “Citizen of the Year.” He was named one of Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEOs by the Journal Record in 2015, among many other awards and honors, including being inducted into both the Oklahoma State University Hall of Fame and Woodward High School Hall of Fame.
Benbrook and his wife, Sheryl, have two daughters: Rachel, a graduate of OSU and Leeds University in England, and Julia, a graduate of OSU and Northwestern University, Chicago.
Steve Burrage began his professional career as a CPA in the firm of Burgess and Burrage from 1976 to 1981 after graduating from the University of Oklahoma. In 1982, he joined FirstBank (previously First National Bank) of Antlers and has served as either chairman, president or CEO during his tenure. He is currently chairman for FirstBank.
Burrage has been a member and served on many boards in the banking community during his banking career. He has been chairman of the OBA, chairman of the OBA Government Relations Council and a board member for the OBA Senior Management Committee. Burrage has also served on the ABA National Accounting Committee and Government Relations Council, and has been chairman of the ABA State Membership Council. Burrage has also served on the board of BancInsure and the Oklahoma City Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
Throughout his career, Burrage has held many public roles. He was the chairman of the Oklahoma Tax Commission, the Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector, and chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
He has also served as president of the University of Oklahoma Bizzell Memorial Library Society. He currently serves as treasurer for Oklahoma Hall of Fame and is on the Executive Committee for the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.
Steve Burrage and his wife, Roberta, have three sons – all of whom work with Burrage at FirstBank – and six grandchildren.
Oliver “Tracy” Kelly served SpiritBank as chairman and CEO from 1964-1992 and as chairman from 1992 until his passing in 2012.
Kelly was a graduate of New Mexico Military Institute where he was a two-time regimental commander of cadets. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance at the University of Oklahoma and did post-graduate work at Harvard. After serving four years as a first lieutenant U.S. Army Reserve Artillery in Korea, he spent time traveling abroad and taught English in Peru.
While Kelly was a lifelong banker, he also had a long and distinguished record of public service and leadership in Oklahoma and beyond. He was a past director and member of the Defense Orientation Conference Association in Washington D.C. He was past president of the Bristow Rotary Club, Bristow Chamber of Commerce, Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma Council on Economic Education and Oklahoma Bankers Association.
While serving higher education during his lifetime, Kelly was also inducted into the Bristow Education Foundation Hall of Fame. He was an active member of the Bristow community and was married to his wife, Polly, the love of his life for 48 years. They had three children, Faith, Hope and Joy.
Carlisle Mabrey III
W. Carlisle Mabrey III is the executive chairman of Mabrey Bank and chairman of the board of Mabrey Bancorporation, a family-owned bank holding company.
Mabrey graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in 1966 and a Juris Doctorate degree in 1969, where he was on the Board of Editors of the Oklahoma Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. He served in the Air Force JAG Corps as an attorney from 1969 to January 1972, obtaining the rank of captain and being certified as a trial counsel, defense counsel and military judge. He also attended the Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking from 1974-1976.
Mabrey was a member of the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Bankers Association, serving as chairman in 1998; he was a three-term mayor of Okmulgee from 1986-1995; served as a member of the Bond Oversight Commission and the State Insurance Fund in the 1990s as well as on the Board of Trustees of the University of Oklahoma Foundation, among other various esteems. In Okmulgee, Mabrey served as president of the Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Okmulgee Memorial Hospital, chairman of the United Way and president of the Okmulgee Country Club.
Mabrey presently serves on the Board of Directors of Trust Company of Oklahoma, Board of Advisors of the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trustees of Philbrook Museum of Art.
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I hoped you enjoyed learning about these four gentlemen and why they were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
We are blessed in Oklahoma to have so many bankers across the state who are making a difference every day in both their communities and the state.
Thank you to everyone who sponsored this event; it wouldn’t be possible without your support.
On behalf of the OBA and all of our staff, I wish you happiest of holidays. We are excited to see what 2022 brings us and look forward to working alongside you.