Theology student reflects on her multi-faceted career and years of service.
Ginny Creveling in the library at Phillips Theological Seminary. Now retired, she is working on a master’s degree in social justice.
Never content to sit back and do nothing — even in retirement — Ginny Creveling has gone back to school at age 69.
The successful businesswoman and longtime community volunteer is working on a Master of Arts in social justice at Phillips Theological Seminary.
“With the religious and racial conflicts and social injustice that occur daily in every part of our world, I’d just like to know a little more and am really looking forward to learning a little history and context,” she says.
Born in the Philippines, Creveling moved with her family to the United States at age 7. She lived on both coasts as a youngster before finding her true home in middle America.
“I love Oklahoma values,” she says. “There’s a less complicated view of life here.”
One of seven children of a decorated war hero, she studied to be a nurse. However, she quickly took an entirely different path that led her to a high-profile career in the corporate world.
As a recent graduate of the University of Tulsa’s School of Nursing, Creveling volunteered to organize Big Brothers Big Sisters’ 1985 “Taste of Tulsa” fundraiser. Chairing the event allowed her to network with many sponsors, and she soon found herself sorting through job offers that had nothing to do with nursing.
Creveling became the public relations director for the Westin Hotel, a post she held for seven years until she chose not to follow the job to Dallas.
Instead, she stayed in Tulsa and served as staffing director at the National Governors Association meeting in 1993, a short-lived but challenging role in which she oversaw more than 600 volunteers at a highly publicized event that featured appearances by President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.
“It was around that time that I had to look for a job for the first time in my life,” Creveling recalls.
Luckily, she was already well known in the Tulsa business community, largely for her volunteer work and for helping organize fundraisers for various causes.
Among the organizations she has been involved with are the American Heart Association, Junior League, Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Family & Children’s Services, Gilcrease Museum, Habitat for Humanity, Leadership Oklahoma, Leadership Tulsa, the Oklahoma Arts Institute, Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma, Sister Cities International of Tulsa and Tulsa Ballet.
Her involvement with these groups was mostly during her full-time job at ONEOK. From 1993-2009, Creveling worked as the company’s manager of corporate responsibility and then as the ONEOK Foundation’s executive director.
“I worked for the best company, a company that encouraged its employees to be involved in their communities,” Creveling says. “I always felt that whatever I might have accomplished in the community was only possible because of ONEOK’s company culture of empowering and supporting its employees.”
However, Creveling chose to spend the final three years of her professional life as the chief development officer for the Folds of Honor Foundation, a group dedicated to providing scholarships to the children and spouses of those killed or disabled while serving in the U.S. military.
She calls her decision to work for Folds of Honor “a calling” because of the extensive military background of her late father, who served in the U.S. Army in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Creveling has two adult children, Pilar and Chad, and calls her grandchildren, Miles, Zoe, Tyler and Ashton, her “greatest joy.”
She describes her family as kind, open-hearted and fun-loving. She says they are “multi-racial, multi-cultural and all-American. We’re unabashedly patriotic, just as our parents were and raised us to be.”
Creveling’s children live in Texas and California; however, she says she has no plans to move.
“If I did that, I would be chasing a life,” she says. “I don’t want to be chasing a life. I have a life.”