Benson Named President of Universal Field Service

Steve T. Benson, SR/WA, has been promoted to president of Universal Field Services Inc. of Tulsa. Previously, Benson was executive vice president.
He has been with the company for 20 years, serving as a project manager on substantial right of way programs across the U.S. and in other major roles. Benson has also served in leadership positions at the local and international levels for the International Right of Way Association.
Clark E. Andrew III, SR/WA, was promoted to the position of executive vice president. Andrew has worked at Universal for 17 years in various leadership roles, most recently as senior vice president. Andrew has also been active in the IRWA, most recently as a member of the International Utilities Committee.
Edward D. Opstein, SR/WA, was promoted to senior vice president. Previously serving as director of Business Development, Opstein has been with Universal for more than six years. Opstein has also held leadership positions in the IRWA at the local and international levels, is an instructor of many IRWA courses and serves as vice-chair of the International Professional Development Committee.
Hillcrest HealthCare System Appoints Division CFO
Hillcrest HealthCare System has named Donald Baker chief financial officer.
Baker, CFO of Hillcrest Medical Center – one of the hospitals within HHS – began leading the strategic financial initiatives for the system May 26. Baker will continue to be the CFO of Hillcrest Medical Center until a new CFO is appointed.
Baker brings more than 10 years of executive level healthcare experience to his new position. After graduating from Langston University, University Center at Tulsa, he began working in the Hillcrest accounting department in 1992, and has served in various roles including VP of Decision Support and VP of Managed Care Financial Services. In addition, Baker was named CFO of the Year for Ardent Health Services in 2005, 2006 and 2008.
Steidley and Neal Names New Associate
Steidley and Neal, PLLC, has named Tracy L. Priddy as an associate at the law firm’s Tulsa office.
Prior to joining Steidley and Neal, Priddy was a senior trial attorney for Allstate Insurance Co. and assistant district attorney for the Tulsa County District Attorney’s office. Priddy specializes in the practice of civil rights, employment, insurance defense, legal malpractice, medical malpractice and personal injury law.
A graduate of the University of Tulsa College of Law, she is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, Arkansas Bar Association and the Tulsa County Bar Association. Priddy also is admitted to the U.S. District Courts for Eastern and Northern Districts of Oklahoma. %9
OU-Tulsa Professor Named ITERA Fellow
Pramode Verma, Ph.D., Williams Chair in Telecommunications Networking and director of the Telecommunications Engineering Program, University of Oklahoma–Tulsa, has been selected as a senior fellow of the International Telecommunications Education and Research Association.
Verma joined the University of Oklahoma in 1999 as founder-director of the Telecommunications Engineering Program. Prior to joining OU-Tulsa, he spent more than 20 years with Bell Labs and Lucent Technologies in a number of professional and leadership positions.
Dr. Verma holds an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Concordia University in Montreal.
He is past president of the International Council for Computer Communication; a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and is registered as a Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario.
Rex Promotes Three, Ramps Up Capabilities
Rex has promoted three employees to reflect its additional responsibilities as a result of the firm’s expanded capabilities and growing client base. Nicole Morgan assumes the position of director of accounts and operations, Jen Clark becomes senior account manager and Jami Fichte has been promoted to account manager.
Rex recently established an interactive division to fully-integrate under one roof all aspects of interactive communication services with public relations, marketing, special events, graphic design and copywriting.
Morgan has won numerous awards for her outstanding public relations efforts, including the 2007 Silver Link Best of Show. She is a graduate of Leadership Tulsa Class 39 and serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Public Relations Society of America, Tulsa Ballet and Heritage United Methodist Church.
Clark has organized events from New York City to Tulsa, and worked for NBC in the entertainment publicity department. While a freelance publicist for The Dowd Agency, her clients included Yahoo! and A&E Networks.
Prior to joining Rex, Fichte interned at Saxum Strategic Communications. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and broadcasting from Oklahoma State University and belongs to Tulsa’s Young Professionals and is a committee member of the Public Relations Society of America, Tulsa Chapter.
Pair Forms Agency Targeting Healthcare
Sensus Medical Marketing Group, a regional brand communications agency specializing in helping hospitals, medical practices, and other healthcare-related groups, has been formed by owners Brent Burk, graphic designer, and Chris Claussen, photographer/videographer.
Sensus Medical Marketing Group is at 2251 E. Skelly Dr.
Burk is also the owner of Brent Burk Design, a graphic design agency, and Claussen is also the owner of Claussen Studios, a professional photography studio. Both firms have operated in Tulsa since 2001.
Long Joins PEI As General Manager
Rick Long has joined the Petroleum Equipment Institute, Tulsa-based international trade association, as general manager.
Long earned a bachelors degree from Southern Methodist University and a juris doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law, both with honors.
Prior to founding the marketing and branding firm SOURCEmpi (formerly Source Publications) in 1989, Long practiced law with Tulsa-based GableGotwals and served as executive vice president of Floral Finance Inc.
Long replaces Connie Dooley, who will scale back her responsibilities and remain at PEI on a part-time basis. Dooley will become director of convention planning.
Evergreen Solutions Hires Business Development Head
EverGreen Solutions, a technology consulting firm for real estate management, has hired Scott Holcomb as director of New Business Development.
Holcomb, with more than 15 years of sales and technical experience, comes to EverGreen Solutions from The Rowland Group, an executive search firm, where he
was executive recruiter. He has a degree in management information systems from the University of Arkansas.
SouthWest Benefits Elects New Officers
The SouthWest Benefits Association, a regional, non-profit established to foster relationships and support the educational growth of professionals in employee benefits, has elected new officers and several new directors for its 21-member governing board.
Officers are: President – Margaret Walsh, director of benefits, OGE Energy Corp. in Oklahoma City; Past President – Jorge Font, principal, Buck Consultants in Houston; President Elect – Randy Fickel, senior managing counsel, J.C. Penney Co., Inc. in Plano, Texas; Secretary – Tim Brechtel, partner, Jones Walker LLP in New Orleans; and Treasurer – Ray Fischer, director of benefits at Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority.
Six new directors were elected: Martin Bolt, benefits attorney, Law Office of Martin Bolt in Austin; James Bulls, director, National Accounts for Humana in Dallas; Shannon Burke, strategic sales executive for CVS Caremark in San Antonio; Paul Mackey, general manager, HR Administration for Alliance Coal in Tulsa; Carolyn Penna, director, Compensation & HR Technology for Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston, and Diana Wakefield, manager, Employee Benefits for ONEOK, Inc. in Tulsa.
Holmes Organisation Hires Subrogation Manager
The Holmes Organisation, a Tulsa-based independent insurance agency, has named Scott Davenport as the firm’s subrogation manager. He brings more than a decade of claims and management experience to his role leading Holmes’ new subrogation division. Davenport previously was a claims manager at Utility Claims Services in Jenks as well as an insurance and claims analyst at WilTel Communications and The Williams Cos. in Tulsa.
He is a member of the Tulsa Claims Association and the Risk & Insurance Management Society. Davenport also was a member of the National Telecommunications Claims Managers Association and served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Avansic Chief Named Entrepreneur Honor Finalist
Dr. Gavin W. Manes was selected as a finalist from nearly 72 nominations by a panel of independent judges for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009 Award.
Avansic has several patents pending and Manes sees innovation as a cornerstone of his entrepreneurial venture. He is a nationally recognized expert in the digital forensics field, built on models and methods he developed while working at the University of Tulsa’s digital forensics center.
Manes, received the 2007 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce.
Jacobi Kelley Adds, Promotes Staff
Todd Jones has been hired by Jacobi Kelley Personnel in a newly created recruiter position. Jones will staff temporary and direct placement positions in administrative and legal capacities since Jacobi Kelley was recently selected as the Tulsa County Bar Association’s legal staffing partner. Jones previously was a recruiter for HSBC for five years.
Other staff promotions include Liz Evans to staffing manager and Amy Beard to lead recruiter.

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