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Oklahoma Lawyers Making Equal Justice for all a Reality


Jim Bender, The Williams Companies, 2011 Tulsa Area United Way Campaign Chair

Monday, October 17, 2011

  • Dianna Emerson
  • Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.

Jim Bender, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for The Williams Companies, and Assistant General Counsel Craig Rainey developed a pro bono partnership with the Tulsa based law firm Hall Estill and Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma in 2007.   This partnership was recognized in 2008 with an award in recognition of outstanding pro bono effort by Corporate Pro Bono, a national pro bono partnership of the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Pro Bono Institute.

 Thanks to Jim, and the many volunteer lawyers from The Williams Companies and Hall Estill, Legal Aid is able to greatly expand our mission of "Making Equal Justice for All a Reality."

Mr. Bender is this year’s campaign chairman for the Tulsa Area United Way. The campaign cabinet has set a goal of $24,556,573 for the 2011 fundraiser. That’s just under $500,000 more than last year.

Read more from this Tulsa World article "Volunteers plan fundraising"
By DANNA SUE WALKER, World Staff Writer
Originally published on May 8, 2011

The cabinet members for the 2011 Tulsa Area United Way campaign are on their way to success.

"We are off to a great start planning for our fundraising efforts with a truly gifted group of volunteers," said Jim Bender, senior vice president and general counsel for Williams and 2011 campaign chair. "We realize our 61 partner agencies and their clients are counting on us to successfully unite people and resources to build a stronger community.

"Each of us on the cabinet is committed to providing every organization and individual in the Tulsa area the opportunity to support the mission-critical services offered by our partner agencies in our six-county area."

As the campaign chair, Bender is responsible for leading the volunteers of the campaign cabinet as well as hundreds of other volunteers in funding the health and human service needs of our community. Over the past three months, TAUW's community investment volunteers have spent hundreds of hours analyzing information provided by agencies, as well as visiting each agency. They carefully evaluate the changing needs of the community and the agencies' funding requests. They will present their final recommendations to Bender's campaign cabinet in June. Based on this recommendation and an analysis of the need in the community, as well as the willingness and capacity to meet those needs, the cabinet then will set a tentative goal which in turn will be presented to the TAUW board of directors for approval on June 21.

"I know that the 2011 campaign is in fantastic hands with Jim at the helm of this remarkable group of community leaders on the cabinet," said Mark R. Graham, president and CEO of the Tulsa Area United Way. "With Jim's incredible drive plus the top notch leadership team he's recruited, I am confident we will maximize our ability to fund the three building blocks for improving lives - education, financial stability and health/safety."

Bender announced the team chairs and division heads recruited to date. They include:

Energy and general business team chair Rob Martinovich, ONEOK Inc.; division chairs Bryan Guderian, Williams, energy; John W. Lindsay, Helmerich and Payne, energy services; John Rupe, Rupe Building Co., construction; Ben Cowan, Bank of Oklahoma, NA, real estate; Kevin Burdick, ONEOK Inc., CommTech; and David Vinall, Bank of Oklahoma, N.A., business/ retail.

Public service and government team chair, Charlie Jackson, community volunteer; division chairs Paul Zachary, city of Tulsa, city; Fred Perry, commissioner, county; Vanessa Ashley, Department of Human Services, State; Brett Campbell, Tulsa Community College and Lloyd Snow, Sand Springs Public Schools, Education; Lt. Col. Gene Snyman, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Federal; and Desiree Doherty, the Parent Child Center of Tulsa, nonprofits.

Professional business team chair, Mike Cooke, Hall Estill, attorneys; division chairs Jim Taylor, HoganTaylor LLP, Accountants; Sam Joyner, community volunteer and Betsy Jackson, Hall Estill, attorneys; Rick Huck, Arvest Bank, finance; Kevin Gross, Hillcrest HealthCare Systems, healthcare; and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, insurance.

Green Country and Commerce Team - Scott Anderson, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc.; Division Chairs Mike Souza, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc., transportation; Basil Barimo, the NORDAM Group, aerospace; Lyndon Spinner, T.D. Willliamson, Inc., Port of Catoosa and Manufacturing; Kelli Ostmeyer, QuikTrip Corp., hospitality; Valerie Round, St. John Health System, Sapulpa; Blake Barnett, Spirit Bank, Bristow; and Mark Mabrey, Citizens Security Bank, Okmulgee.

Development team chair, Paul Cornell, Spirit Bank; division chairs Paul Cornell, Spirit Bank, small business council; Becky J. Frank, Schnake Turnbo Frank PR, women's leadership council; Mark Jennemann, Bulls Eye, direct mail/individuals.

Leadership team chair and 2012 campaign chair, Chet Cadieux, Quiktrip Corp.; Division chairs Suzanne and Jim Kneale, community volunteers, Tocqueville Society; Alison Anthony, Williams, foundations; Chet Cadieux, Quiktrip Corp., loaned executives; Rod Sands, Explorer Pipeline, Trailblazers; David Wagner, Schnake Turnbo Frank PR, marketing; and John Gaines, Northeastern Oklahoma Central Labor Council, labor.

In the past 86 years, the Tulsa Area United Way has invested more than $590 million in the Tulsa area by enhancing the community's three building blocks to a better life: education, financial stability and health/safety. The Tulsa Area United Way provides services to more than 726,000 individuals annually through its 61 partner agencies in Creek, Okmulgee, Osage, Rogers, Wagoner and Tulsa counties.

For more information, call TAUW at 918-583-7171 or visit 



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