Larry Murphy roast to benefit Pioneer Tech Foundation
Ponca City Now - April 10, 2019 11:34 am
The annual Pioneer Technology Center Roast, set for Thursday, April 11, will feature former U.S. Senator Don Nickles as well as Barry Bickle, retired local banker, who will reprise his role as the witty emcee.
This year’s “Roastee,” Larry Murphy, is President of Larry Murphy Insurance Agency Inc. and a past president of the Ponca City Development Authority.
This annual event raises funds for the Pioneer Tech Foundation and will be held at The Summit located in the City Central building in downtown Ponca City. It starts with a social/cash bar at 5:30 p.m., followed at 6:30 p.m. by a delicious dinner prepared by the PTC Culinary Arts program. The roast begins at 7:15 p.m.
Don Nickles, a Po-Hi graduate as well as friend and classmate to Murphy, is the chairman and CEO of The Nickles Group, a firm he founded in 2005 after representing Oklahoma in the U.S. Senate for 24 years. He oversees the firm’s government relations and consulting practices, also providing strategic advice to clients on a wide range of policy issues.
Guided by his small business roots and belief in fiscal responsibility, Nickles spent his time in the U.S. Senate championing economic growth and advancing free enterprise. Perhaps most importantly, he believed in collaborating with colleagues across the aisle on policy to benefit the American people.
Nickles was elected at age 31, the youngest Republican U.S. Senator in history, and was later elected by his peers to leadership positions including Assistant Majority Leader, Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee and Chairman of the Republican Senatorial Committee. Prior to his time in the U.S. Senate, Nickles served in the Oklahoma State Senate and worked for Nickles Machine Corporation, a family business based in Oklahoma. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Oklahoma State University and is married to his high school sweetheart Linda. They have four children and 12 grandchildren.
The roast also will feature Carl Renfro and Stan Wheeler.
Carl Renfro, born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, moved to Ponca City from Kansas City, Mo., in 1968. He was the former Chairman and CEO of Pioneer Bank & Trust from 1979 through 2006. Renfro has a deep sense of affection for Oklahoma and its people, and has become a community and state leader promoting arts, education, economic development and the preservation of Oklahoma history. He has a Business Administration Degree from the University of Missouri in Kansas City.
Renfro is the past chairman of the Oklahoma Bankers Association Senior Banking Management Committee, the Kiwanis Club, Crime Stoppers, Chamber of Commerce President’s Club, St. Joseph Medical Foundation, Ponca City Friends of Education, Ponca City Economic Foundation, and a number of others.
In 1993, Renfro co-founded the Standing Bear Native American Foundation, and Standing Bear Native American Park. This park and Foundation is overseen by a Native American committee consisting of leaders from six neighboring tribes: Kaw, Osage, Otoe-Missouri, Pawnee, Ponca and Tonkawa. Since 1993, he has raised in excess of $7,000,000 to establish a tribute to Chief Standing Bear, the first Native American leader for civil rights. The park now encompasses 160 acres with 2.5 miles of walking trails, a 22-foot bronze statue of Chief Standing Bear, eight tribal Memorial Courts, the Pow Wow arena, an 8,000-square-foot museum and education center, and a recently completed Founders Court and Osage By-way Tribute.
Renfro promotes learning and in 2007 received the Distinguished Service Award by the Great Expectations Foundation, for his past support of education. He resides in Ponca City, and is married to Brenda (Berman) Renfro. He has three children, and five grandchildren.
Stan Wheeler, owner of Lamp Post Liquor, is a Po-Hi graduate of the class of ’72 and a lifelong resident of Ponca City. Wheeler attended UCO on a tennis scholarship and also attended OSU. For many years he coached high school tennis and has served as president of the Ponca City Tennis Association. Currently, Stan is a member of the Board of Directors of Ponca City Country Club, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Wheeler is married to Sharon, also a 1972 Po-Hi graduate. They have three children; Emily, an instructor at Meridian Tech in Stillwater; John and wife KeLee; Julie and husband Matt. They also have two brand new grandchildren, Vivian and Cooper.