I am Tulsa: Brian Paschal
TYPros executive director.
“Every day is a different adventure,” says Brian Paschal, executive director of Tulsa’s Young Professionals (TYPros). “You never know what call or e-mail is going to pop up that’s going to determine the rest of the day.”
A Memorial High School alumnus, Paschal left Tulsa in fall 1995 to attend the University of Southern California, where he studied filmmaking and business. After graduating, Paschal worked in the L.A. film industry with companies such as DreamWorks, where he was a story developer; Mostow-Lieberman with Universal Pictures, where he was a creative executive; and Hal-Lieberman with Sony Pictures, where he was the head of development and production and, later, executive producer. Five months ago, his hometown finally drew him back.
“I was never a kid that had to get out of here,” he says.
However, pursuing his dream of moviemaking was more feasible in L.A. than in Tulsa. And after succeeding in that field for 15 years, it was time for a change.
“I was able to accomplish the goal of making movies, but I found that it didn’t excite me as much as it did when I was younger,” he says.
Paschal says his new job of attracting people to the city of Tulsa is actually similar to filmmaking — just without the films part.
“This job is about keeping a lot of balls in the air, which is a lot like making movies,” he says.
is infectious and exciting.”
As executive director, Paschal’s responsibilities include managing TYPros’ nine different work crews, or committees. Made up of 7,000-plus TYPros members, the crews address various issues for a growing city, such as diversity, government relations and sustainability. Paschal’s primary aim is ensuring that all nine of these crews are accomplishing their objectives throughout the year on time.
At any given time, Paschal says he is also planning up to a half-dozen events that will take place in the near and distant future. Some of his recent objectives included putting on TYPros’ fifth anniversary party and establishing The Forge, a small-business incubator — no small feats for someone who recently moved back to Tulsa.
Accompanying Paschal in his return to Tulsa were his wife, Alex, also a Tulsa native, and their 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter. To add to the turmoil of a new job and moving cross-country, the Paschals found out another baby was on the way right as the move began.
Paschal says making Tulsa a competitive city that will attract and retain young professionals will involve preserving what makes Tulsa great while also growing it into a more progressive, inclusive city.
One of Paschal’s primary motivations for moving back to Tulsa is the great quality of life here, he says. He is proud that Tulsa has not lost its small-town feel even as it has grown, and he says the philanthropic spirit of Tulsans makes the city truly unique.
“Seeing how dedicated the people at TYPros are to the city is infectious and exciting,” he says. “And that’s only one of many volunteer organizations in the city.”
However, Paschal says Tulsa needs to develop a stronger sense of diversity. While diverse groups of people live in Tulsa, he says the city needs to do a better job of integrating people of various backgrounds.
“When I lived in L.A., the neighborhoods were a strong mix of races, economic backgrounds and sexualities,” he says.
Creating a similar sense of inclusion in Tulsa, he says, would make the city a more inviting place for young professionals of all walks of life to live and work.
I am dedicated to Tulsa because … it is a great place to call home. With friendly people, a strong sense of voluntarism and philanthropy and a focus on entrepreneurism I believe Tulsa has unlimited potential.
I am a member of Tulsa’s Young Professionals because … of the opportunity to get connected to the community and make an immediate impact in our city.
I am passionate about … making Tulsa’s quality of life no longer the best kept secret in the region.
I am looking forward to … college football season.
I am proudest of … my family. With two kids under the age of four and another one on the way, my wife and I certainly have our hands full, but there is no greater joy in my life.
I am an asset to Tulsa because ... although I was born and raised here, I bring an outside perspective having lived in Los Angeles for the past fourteen years.