The OCCC Board of Regents has added two members — Devery R. Youngblood and Tony J. Tyler.
With the U.S. and Oklahoma state flags as a backdrop, Youngblood was sworn in Monday, April 18, in the Al Snipes board room.
Youngblood has been appointed for four years to fill the unexpired term of current Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce Dave Lopez.
Tyler has been appointed to serve a seven-year term to replace regent Robert Jenkins, whose term ended April 22.
OCCC Regents Chairman Ben Brown said OCCC is pleased with Gov. Mary Fallin’s appointments.
“Gov. Mary Fallin has given us an excellent members for the Board of Regents,” Brown said.
Youngblood has served in the role of Community Affairs Manager for the Chickasaw Nation since 2007 and was senior adviser and district director for U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook, where he led efforts to secure funding for the realignment of Interstate-40, build the new Federal Building downtown, and helped restructure the tax code to help bring about the Skirvin Hotel renovations.
Youngblood also has spent eight years leading private sector development efforts surrounding Oklahoma City’s original MAPS Program, with more than $1 billion of private sector investment created during Youngblood’s tenure.
Youngblood led redevelopment after the Murrah Bombing as founding president of Automobile Alley, led massive Bricktown development that included Bass Pro and Harkins Theaters, and developed the Downtown in December promotion and holiday season ice rink.
Brown said the selection of Youngblood helps bring diversity to the board.
“We wanted the regents and student body to be representative of the total population,” Brown said.
“He brings an element of knowledge and experience from the Native American community that we’ve lacked. I think that is an additional benefit to the college and students.”
OCCC President Paul Sechrist said he views Youngblood as a tremendous asset to the regents.
“It’s always wonderful to have a highly respected member of the community join the board,” Sechrist said.
“Mr. Youngblood is well respected through his political affiliations as a community leader and now, bringing the Chickasha Nation into what he represents.
“He is a person who understands the value of education in terms of the economic development of the state.”
Youngblood said he never imagined he’d have such an opportunity.
“When I was approached, I was completely blown away,” he said.
“I believe so strongly in the mission of OCCC.”
Youngblood said being appointed to the OCCC regents is personal as well.
“My daughter went to OCCC at a time when she was not ready to go to college,” he said.
“She needed this interim step and it was truly life changing for her.”
Youngblood and his wife Karen live in Yukon where, he said, their lives include a lot of time on the go with family and friends. They have four children and four grandchildren.
“The opportunity to come and be a part of this and give back in some way means a great deal to me.”
Tyler has a background in media.
He is the vice president of Tyler Media and also serves on the South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.
Sechrist said this also is an appointment that will benefit OCCC.
“Regent Tyler is highly respected in the business community,” Sechrist said.
“Coupled with his strong ties to southwest Oklahoma City, he will bring a business and community perspective to the governance of OCCC.”
Attempts to reach Tyler for comment about his appointment were unsuccessful as of press time.