I am Tulsa: Evan Tipton

Evan Tipton is a Tulsan through and through. He still lives in the neighborhood he grew up in, and he dedicates the vast majority of his waking hours to making Tulsa the best it can be. Sometimes that means volunteering. Sometimes it means doing his part to help Tulsa's small business community thrive (he runs two businesses in addition to his job in insurance sales). Often, it simply means working with Tulsa's Young Professionals.

Tipton has been involved with the organization for about four years, since graduating from Oklahoma State University's Spears School of Business in 2008. He currently heads up TYPros' Business Development Crew, working to facilitate and support the creation and growth of new and existing young professional-friendly businesses.

"I have a need to see [Tulsans] live up to the potential we possess," Tipton says. "I feel that it simply takes a group of people that are dedicated to making us the best."

One way Tipton and his TYPros crew hope to help Tulsa live up to that potential is through an economic impact study dubbed "The Trader Joe's project." The crew analyzes businesses that don't currently operate in Tulsa -- such as Trader Joe's, REI and IKEA -- as well as businesses that recently chose to expand here -- such as Dick's Sporting Goods, Green Acres and Mi Cocina -- and identifies trends and barriers that exist in Tulsa in an attempt to explain why some businesses stay away while others move in. The goal is simply to better Tulsa's business environment, Tipton says, to make it more attractive for potential business expansion.

Tipton also spearheaded an entrepreneurship education program with the Business Development Crew in partnership with Junior Achievement of Oklahoma. The program takes a group of high school juniors and seniors and helps them start a business. The students run the company from start to finish, holding positions from CEO to accounting to marketing and sales, learning what it takes to succeed in a competitive business environment. A team in the program from Union High School won third place in the Junior Achievement North America competition last year.

Whether it's helping grow and revitalize the current business climate in Tulsa, or helping the next generation of Tulsans acquire the skills and resources to do the same when it's their turn, Evan Tipton is committed to the continued prosperity of his hometown, and he's able to put that commitment into practice with Tulsa's Young Professionals.

"There are so many amazing people in TYPros that are focused and driven to our mission," Tipton says. "These people are the inspiration that drive me to dedicate my time."

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