Q&A: David Stratton

BOK Financial executive vice president and commercial banking director; 2019 Tulsa Regional Chamber chairman



David Stratton grew up in Claremore but has called Tulsa home since graduate school at the University of Tulsa. Stratton, who works in commercial banking for BOK Financial, is the 2019 Tulsa Regional Chamber chairman.

David Stratton has called Tulsa home for nearly two decades. Following a childhood in Claremore and after attending the University of Oklahoma and earning his MBA from the University of Tulsa, Stratton worked briefly for Williams before devoting 15 years to JP Morgan. In December 2018 he began work at BOK Financial, where he manages the corporate banking group primarily in the Tulsa region. Since 2013, Stratton has served on the board of directors for the Tulsa Regional Chamber. This month he’ll begin a one-year tenure as the chairman of the board.

TulsaPeople sat down with Stratton for an interview to discuss his roles and what’s in store for the Chamber and Tulsa in 2019.

 



This is a big time for you. You’re making a major career change at the same time you’re becoming the chairman of Tulsa Regional Chamber. How are you balancing all of this at once?

I don’t know if it’s great planning on my part (laughs). None of those was preconceived. In all of these jobs, you have just got to find a good balance. I think a lot of that for me starts at home. I have a great wife (Cassie) who supports me, and lets me do what I need to do. She’s extremely helpful to me. It’ll be a challenge, but I think it’ll be fun.

You’re moving up to the chairman position. What does it mean to you to be in that role to lead to the board?

It’s an honor because Tulsa, as a family, is where we want to be. I care about Tulsa tremendously, and I care about what goes on here. I want it to be a place where my girls want to be, and for me all that starts with what we are doing to promote things via economic development and creating opportunities for them. I’m excited about it.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for you, individually, and for the Chamber in 2019?

For me, it all has to start with education and workforce development. Education is an issue that, while we’ve made some progress in the last 12 months, I still think we have a long way to go. What we’ve done with getting teachers a pay raise is the tip of the iceberg, and I still think there is a lot of work to be done there.

My girls go to public schools. Classroom sizes are still way too large. So advocating on common ed is a big piece. I still think there are issues within higher ed that need to be addressed, as well, and certainly in Tulsa, particularly as it relates to funding, collaboration with the business community and graduating more students who want to stay in Tulsa and with degrees that Tulsa companies need.

On the other issue of workforce development, I still think in Tulsa we can do a lot better job of listening to our employers and helping them find people that will address the skillsets they need, and collaborating better between higher ed and the business community, technical schools, you name it, to really address the workforce we use.

Are there any other big issues on the Chamber’s radar that you feel are important to create a thriving environment in Tulsa?

Continuing to get the word out and really being an advocate for everything from a diversity and inclusion perspective. It’s been a real focus, from the board perspective, getting more diversity on the board.

The other part for me is when you think about the Chamber’s overall mission to create more jobs. I’m convinced that companies and cities that make diversity and inclusion a bigger priority over time will have economic development advantages, as well. The reason for that is because millennials and young people want to go to work in more progressive cities and for companies that create more opportunities for women and minorities. That will always be a focus of mine.

Chamber staff, elected officials, business leaders, educational administrators, regional partners and young professionals recently traveled to Columbus, Ohio. What did you take away from that trip that will help Tulsa?

We took a lot away from the trip. We initially picked Columbus for a few different reasons. One of the things they’ve done is leverage the community college system they have. It’s like Tulsa Community College. The higher ed piece and how they leverage that was a critical part for me and many other attendees. And we got to see what they’ve done with their downtown. They’ve done some great things in terms of making it more walkable and connecting different parts of their downtown. Another thing is the City of Tulsa has been working with (district planning and urban design firm) MKSK on our Arena District. They did Columbus’ work several years ago, so it was great to meet with them and see what they’ve done.

You have a job and a role in the Chamber that take a lot of time. Outside of the Chamber, are you involved with any other programs?

Most of the things I’ve been involved with civically, outside of the Chamber, have to do with education. That’s where my passion is. I’ve been involved with the Tulsa Community College Foundation, the Foundation for Tulsa Schools and Street School.

It goes back to trying to create opportunities for people. For me, that’s where economic development starts. If we can educate our young people and give them the skills that they need, that then transitions into better jobs and makes companies want to come to Tulsa and stay here. That’s how job growth happens. It’s a passion of mine. I’m one of those rare people who loved school as a kid, and now having daughters of my own, I understand how important it is through the lens of a parent.

Enough of the work talk. What do you and your family like to do in Tulsa in your free time?

For me, it’s really spending time with my family, and trying to be intentional with them. I have an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old. Our time together is what I like to do. That’s my hobby, whether it’s being at soccer practice or being in the middle of whatever they’re doing. Spending time at their school. Traveling together. We love to get away with just the four of us. Also I’m a runner. Running is my personal escape. It’s something I’d do more often if my knees would let me.

 

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August 2019

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The Mabee Center will come alive in a colorful expression of dance, drum music, and song as members of tribal nations from around the country gather to honor, strengthen and share traditions with...

Cost: All Weekend Pass = $20 | All Day Pass = $12

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 South Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

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Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

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Join us for Victory Conference, hosted by Pastors Paul and Ashley Daugherty at Victory Church.  This year’s free conference is jam-packed with an amazing line up of speakers including...

Cost: Free

Where:
Victory Christian Church
7700 S. Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74136
View map »

More information

BROKEN ARROW COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE Presents “The Wizard of Oz” (R.S.C.1987) By L. Frank Baum With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg Background Music by...

Cost: $22-$25

Where:
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
1800 S Main St
Broken Arrow, OK  Broken Arrow
View map »


Sponsor: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Telephone: 918-258-0077
Contact Name: 74012
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

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Tee off at Cedar Ridge Golf Club to support Operation Aware’s 13th Annual Golf Tournament. Proceeds fund prevention education courses for schools in Tulsa Metro and beyond. Clean your clubs,...

Cost: 350

Where:
Cedar Ridge Country Club
10302 S. Garnett Rd.
Broken Arrow, OK  74011
View map »


Sponsor: Operation Aware of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-582-7884
Contact Name: Jennifer Barnett
Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Join us on Wednesday, August 14 from 6:30pm - 8:30pm for our weekly Dog Days of Summer! This special event will feature Tyler Jones with Tulsa Caricatures - come get a caricature done with your...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Sweets & Cream
1114 S Yale Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74112
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Sponsor: Sweets & Cream
Telephone: 918-633-3182
Contact Name: Lori Moore
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Third Thursdays in the Rainbow Room returns for second season  Third Thursdays in the Rainbow Room returns for its 2nd season in the Lynn Riggs Black Box Theatre at OKEQ with the hilarious...

Cost: $10 General Admission / $15 Bistro seating

Where:
Lynn Riggs Theatre at OKEQ
621 East 4th St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahomans for Equality
Telephone: 918-637-2866
Contact Name: Pat Hobbs
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Once again the skies over Muskogee will be glowing with an array of vibrant color as the Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning descends upon historic Hatbox Field August 16 and 17.  The...

Cost: $10 per car

Where:
Hatbox Field
4000 Border Street
Muskogee, OK  74403
View map »


Sponsor: Muskogee Parks & Recreation
Telephone: 918-504-3255
Contact Name: Carol Matza
Website »

More information

Happy Summer! $30 for members $35 for non-members you must RSVP online or on the phone before the event. Must RSVP before event, These have been very popular this Summer and space is limited....

Cost: 30

Where:
The Little Gym of SE Tulsa
6556 E 91st St
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: The Little Gym
Telephone: 918-492-2626
Contact Name: Scott Kindred
Website »

More information

BROKEN ARROW COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE Presents “The Wizard of Oz” (R.S.C.1987) By L. Frank Baum With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg Background Music by...

Cost: $22-$25

Where:
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
1800 S Main St
Broken Arrow, OK  Broken Arrow
View map »


Sponsor: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Telephone: 918-258-0077
Contact Name: 74012
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Gathering Place is grilling-up a new barbeque tradition in Tulsa! Riverside Ribfest is a day of grilling, chilling and challenging some of the top BBQ masters in the region! Think your secret rib...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gathering Place Great Lawn
2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The Kiwanis Club of Tulsa is pleased to present Chili on the Green, the State of Oklahoma Chili Championship. All proceeds from this event go to Kiwanis Key Club Scholarships and Special Olympics...

Cost: Free Entry. Tasting kits are $10 for 1, $15 for 2 and $20 for 4.

Where:
Guthrie Green
111 W Brady
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Kiwanis Club of Tulsa Foundation
Telephone: 918-849-0464
Contact Name: Brian Walker
Website »

More information

Chili On The Green is the State of Oklahoma Chili Championship sponsored by The Kiwanis Club of Tulsa and sanctioned by the International Chili Society. Chili cooks from across the country will be...

Cost: Admission is Free and Tasting Kits can be purchased: 1 for $10, 2 for $15 and 4

Where:
Guthrie Green
111 E MB Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Kiwanis Club of Oklahoma
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Join the Oklahoma Aquarium for its first annual Salsa Festival! Take part in the hottest event of the summer by tasting a diverse selection of salsas from vendors and enjoying the diverse marine...

Cost: General Admission

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Dr
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Telephone: 918-528-1507
Contact Name: Liz
Website »

More information

Come join us for delicious vegan pastries and beverages at Chimera Cafe, all while taking action #ForTheAnimals! RSVP here as well: https://tinyurl.com/thlchangemakers The Humane League exists...

Cost: Free

Where:
Chimera Cafe
212 North Main (Tulsa Arts District)
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: The Humane League
Contact Name: Dara Homer

More information

America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
Website »

More information

Once again the skies over Muskogee will be glowing with an array of vibrant color as the Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning descends upon historic Hatbox Field August 16 and 17.  The...

Cost: $10 per car

Where:
Hatbox Field
4000 Border Street
Muskogee, OK  74403
View map »


Sponsor: Muskogee Parks & Recreation
Telephone: 918-504-3255
Contact Name: Carol Matza
Website »

More information

BROKEN ARROW COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE Presents “The Wizard of Oz” (R.S.C.1987) By L. Frank Baum With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg Background Music by...

Cost: $22-$25

Where:
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
1800 S Main St
Broken Arrow, OK  Broken Arrow
View map »


Sponsor: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Telephone: 918-258-0077
Contact Name: 74012
Website »

More information

Offbeat: Crazy and Hilarious Stories from the People that Lived Them Presented by Story Club of Tulsa and Blue Whale Comedy Festival Ready for some wild and crazy stories told by the funniest...

Cost: https://www.storyclubtulsa.com/

Where:
Duet Jazz Club
108 N. DETROIT AVENUE
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Story Club of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-596-2008
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Where:
Ninowski Rec Center
1367 E 71st St
Broken Arrow, OK
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Website »

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