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Outlook January 2014



Outlook January 2014

January 2014

As I write this, I realize I left my coffee somewhere.

I do this fairly often. In my mind’s eye, I can see it, all steamy hot with little vapor swirls wafting upward. But I still can’t find it. So moving forward without the benefit of caffeine, I present to you my year in review. I enjoyed 2013 so much, I’d like to do it again. On the web development side of the business, we brought on over 160 new clients. Oddly enough, eight of them were waterparks, so if you have a waterpark, we’d be happy to assist you with your web marketing. On the publication side of the business, we expanded our direct-mail delivery to include north Oklahoma City. That’s been a good move…or as we like to say, the Outlook is good for business. As a company, we completed our first year in our fabulous office space in the heart of Edmond on equally fabulous 5th Street. Things we gained: 5 Addy awards 1 marketing associate 1 designer 1 account executive 1 Keurig single-cup coffee maker 10 office plants (with an 80% survival rate) 7 servers for web hosting 1 official office dog 2 homemade cheesecakes (from clients) 1 Facebook stalker 1 Back40 baby (our first) Approximately 1.5 million spammy emails from experts wanting to help us with SEO (yes, we get those too) An office mouse (I’m actively working on putting the little guy in the ‘loss’ column)

Things we lost: Those 2 office plants 1 marketing associate (moved to NYC for love) 1 PC 1 iPhone 5c My favorite parking spot (you know who you are)

27 Work of Art

A Creative Career in Art Education at a National Museum

8 Facts & Figures 10 Louise

The Truth About Marriage Proposals

13 Food

Running Wild Catering Food Faves

16 Business

House of Vacuums Fine Hearing Care

34 My Outlook

Dr. Michele Menzel

As you can see, the gains column is much bigger than the loss column. I like it when it works out like that. Here’s wishing you a healthy, happy and profitable 2014. Well, I can’t find my coffee­—adding one more thing to the loss column.

Dave Miller, Publisher Back40 Design President



18 Classic Dancer Taps into Pop Culture A Video Gone Viral

21 Police Wife Life Encouraging All to Value Our Police Officers

22 Edmond Economics A Look Into the City’s Growth

31 On Location The Long Drive Home brings the magic of Hollywood to Oklahoma.

To advertise, contact Laura at 405-301-3926 or

Front cover photo by David Parks

80 East 5th Street, Suite 130, Edmond, OK 73034


Volume 10, Number 1 Edmond & North OKC Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc. © 2014 Back40 Design, Inc.





Account Executive Emily Hummel

DISTRIBUTION The Outlook is delivered FREE by direct-mail to 50,000 Edmond & North OKC homes.

Articles and advertisements in the Outlook do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Back40 Design. Back40 Design does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by the Outlook does not constitute endorsement of the products, services or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service that is fraudulent or misleading in nature. The Outlook assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.





l o



f a c

t s




FIVE 1,775,981

Chris Rice’s CUPS tap dance video has reached over

things to make that resolution stick

views. Read his story on page 18.

• Make it specific. A K9

• Make it realistic.

police dog

• Make it known.


• Make it measurable by time.

mature enough

• Make it fun and rewarding.

on training well

to concentrate between


12–15 months. They normally

“January” is the


most popular girl’s name in the United States.

retire at 10 years of age. The Edmond Police Dept. employs four K9 dogs.

Americans consume close to

360 million glasses of sparkling champagne during the holiday season. Cheers to a New Year!


Outlook January 2014


The coldest temperature ever officially recorded during January in Oklahoma City which occurred in 1982. The highest was 83° in 1911. (source: NOAA)

Learn more about Edmond’s I-35 hub of economic activity and our community’s projected growth for 2014 on page 22.






Around Town

Enjoy all the indulgence of fondue without all the calories and guilt! For a limited time, Jan. 6-12, The Melting Pot of OKC is offering a special Skinny Dipping menu featuring a three-course fondue meal under 700 calories. Call 235-1000 or visit melting for details and reservations. The free Forever. For Real. workshop on Saturday, Feb. 1, can show you the skills needed to navigate the ups and downs on the rollercoaster of love. Engaged? Save $45 on your Oklahoma marriage license when you attend as a couple. Also, attend for a chance to win a vacation getaway. Sign up today at or 877.435.8033. Elephant Trunk is celebrating their new, larger location at 804 W. Edmond Road with a Grand re-opening party. More space means more unique high-end furniture at 75% off retail!  Mark your calendar for February 7th & 8th for refreshments, specials & door prizes. Call 844-4797 for details.



T he Truth A bout

Marriage Proposals by Louise Tucker Jones Recently a young man asked me how my husband proposed to me, assuming it would be an “over-the-top” event with marriage proposals so elaborate today. My response: “Carl? Propose? Carl never proposed! At least not that I remember.” And it wasn’t because this handsome guy was a bit egotistical in his younger years, though in fact, he was. No, when Carl told me he loved me, he wasn’t referring to a single day or night. He wasn’t telling me something superficial to see how far that would get him. He was saying, “I love you now; I will love you forever. You have my heart for eternity.” So who needed a proposal when the facts were clear? We were in love and committed to each other. Of course, marriage would follow! When we were dating, we often talked about what life would be like after we were married, we just never covered the question, “Will you marry me?” That actually pleases me. I liked the way Carl could almost read my mind and how safe and secure his love always made me feel. I loved reading letters from him while in the U. S. Army that told me I was his “life and his future,” even before we were married. We didn’t know what kind of future that would be with the Vietnam War stretching out before us. Would Carl be sent to Southeast Asia? If so, would he come home to me, or would he surrender his life for our country? These were much more important questions than, “Will you marry me?” Especially since he already knew the answer. Of course, I would marry him. I would be beside him for the rest of our lives, though neither of us had a clue what that life would be like. We had no idea what sacrifices and compromises we would need to make for each other in coming years. We couldn’t possibly see the future,


Outlook January 2014

joyfully holding sweet babies in our arms or weeping beside the grave of one of our little ones. We didn’t see the disagreements that would stretch our commitment to each other when wedded bliss waned. Nor did we think on those beautiful summer and winter dating nights that one day one of us would die and leave the other to mourn that missing part of our heart forever. I recently read an excerpt from Ann Voskamp called, “The Truth About Boring Men and the Women Who Live With Them.” Well, I would never call Carl or our life together boring, but Ann’s thoughts are much like mine. “How a man proposes isn’t what makes him romantic. It’s how a man purposes to lay down his life that makes him romantic.” I agree. I even smiled as she described her husband cleaning up puked-on sheets at 2am or standing in line to purchase depend-size pads after she gave birth. Yep, we’ve been there. Those are the real memories of marriage. So here we are in January, a new year, and I challenge you to look at life differently than the rest of the world. Never accept the norm when you have your own extraordinary way of doing things. Don’t live to be popular, live to be purposeful. And though I am not one to make resolutions, I would ask that you resolve to love deeper, longer, even sacrificially. As I look back on my life, I find it interesting that I didn’t marry the young men who actually did offer marriage proposals to me. I married the one who didn’t. I married the one who offered his life, not just his love. That made all the difference. May you find such a rich love in your own life!

About the Author Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author and inspirational speaker. Author and co-author of four books, her work has been featured in numerous publications. Email or visit

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Outlook January 2014





FOOD FOOD Running Wild Catering by Laura Beam

co-Owners Teresa walters, debbie lowery and Tom DEUTSCH

With the feasts and festivities of the holidays under our belts (literally!), it’s hard to imagine having to plan one more party

or even look at decadent foods again for a while. Yet for many event planners and newly engaged brides-to-be, January kicks off an exciting time

of menu and venue planning. So while most of us are starting new exercise programs and choking down salads this month, the experts will be busy making preparations for all the business and social functions we’ll attend in the coming year. Whether it’s a corporate luncheon, wedding reception, casual party or black tie event of the season, the food ultimately sets the mood, making it one of the most important aspects of event planning. If you’ve noticed a more engaging, interactive atmosphere at some of the functions you’ve attended lately, it’s likely thanks to the well-executed menu and clever serving methods that are setting hot new trends in catering. Creativity reigns supreme in the world of catering today as party hosts seek decorative displays, interactive food stations and smallplate menus which motivate guests to mingle as they munch. Running Wild Catering, a legendary Oklahoma City company with 16 years of expertise, specializes in creating custom menus with tremendous diversity and flair. Formerly Johnnie’s Catering, the company changed its name in 2010, embracing an exciting new culture in food service that encourages clients to let their imaginations run wild in planning the perfect fare to complement the theme of an event. Debbie Lowery, one of three owners at Running Wild Catering, began her career in the

restaurant business, became a certified chef and quickly discovered her passion for catering. “In a restaurant, I didn’t always see my customer,” Lowery recalls. “In catering you are with the customer all the way. And the reward at the end of a successful event, when the client tells you, ‘Good job; we loved the food!’ makes your feet and back not hurt so bad.” Catering more than 60 weddings a year, Running Wild also provides food for monthly corporate events, the medical community, private home catering and offers holiday boxed dinners as well. In addition, they assist customers with venue, entertainment, décor and professional bar service options. Lowery believes the company’s focus on good, everyday foods in abundant proportions, at fair prices, has contributed to its success. Also behind the success is Executive Chef Teresa Walters who excels at creating virtually any food a client desires. As Lowery notes, “We love a challenge when it comes to themes and food, and we love to decorate our tables to match the event.” Comfort foods and themed fare like Mexican and Italian are always a hit. Clients can view a remarkable menu of

delicious sauces, inventive appetizers presented in the most artistic ways, breakfast items and amazing desserts to get their creative juices flowing. Italian foods are always a hit, including a pasta bar that allows customers to choose their own meats, sauces and pasta. One of the most popular appetizers is the Caesar Grilled Chicken or Pork Carnitas on Sweet Potatoes. Whether creating a Wild West, garden party or cookie bar theme, this reputable company has earned its place as a preferred caterer. One of the most interesting requests they once handled was an outer space theme. The staff had fun with the presentation and décor. And the food, of course, was out of this world. Running Wild Catering is located at 8330 Glade, Ste. D in Oklahoma City. Contact them at 751-7721 or Laura Beam is a business and food writer and 20-year advertising and marketing executive in radio, newspaper and magazines. Share new business tips and trends with her on LinkedIn or email



by Laura Beam

Southern Okie


Gourmet spreads

a fondue restaurant

The Melting Pot

Let’s Do Greek

Plan some hearty Super Bowl snacks and sweet treats for Valentine’s Day with Southern Okie Gourmet Apple and Pumpkin Spreads! With all the flavor of apple or pumpkin pie in a jar, these mouthwatering spreads are made with all-natural ingredients, no preservatives or anything else you can’t pronounce, and are locally made. And you won’t believe how the subtle, saucy kick will jazz up your favorite foods! Check out the website for a fantastic variety of easy recipes with gourmet flair. The apple spread glazed sausage balls, baked beans, baby back ribs and Lil’ Smokies are a sure hit for Super Bowl parties. For Valentine’s, too, try the apple spread cupcakes or pumpkin spread mini cheesecake bites. Packaged in pretty jars, the spreads make great gifts, too!

Now you can enjoy all the indulgence of fondue without guilt! For a limited time, The Melting Pot of OKC is offering all the flavor of its signature fondue dishes without all the calories. From Jan. 6th–12th, enjoy the special Skinny Dipping menu featuring a three-course fondue meal under 700 calories! First, choose your favorite of three salads, each under 150 calories. Next, select one of three fantastic fonduestyle entrées under 220 calories, including delicious combos of seafood, steak and chicken. The Skinny Dipping experience comes to a sweet ending with a warm pot of dark chocolate fondue (322 calories) served with bananas, pineapple and strawberries for dipping. Complement your light fondue extravaganza with hand-crafted skinny cocktails featuring Voli Light Vodka under 160 calories each.

Great food is the name of the game for Super Bowl parties! No one does it with variety and spice like the renowned family at Let’s Do Greek, now celebrating their third year in Edmond! Treat your hungry fans to a lavish spread of gyros meat, pita, tabouleh, hummus and superb finger foods like Spanakopita or Tyropita. These petite treats are perfect for party noshing, with flaky phyllo stuffed with Feta and spinach or Feta and cream cheese. For heartier helpings, warm up the crowd with Curry Chicken Stew or Chicken Kabobs atop Basmati rice. Take home family-style servings of your favorite entrées or Gyros meat by the pound and a bag of pita bread for quick party fare. Plan now to dine for Valentine’s. Catering and private party room available, too.

Southern Okie Gourmet Spreads are available at various locations in the metro. Go to to find a location near you.

Call 235-1000 for reservations or visit Located in Bricktown at 4 E. Sheridan Ave.

Stop by 180 W. 15th in Edmond or the First National Building, downtown OKC. Visit

Outlook January 2014



Thunder Gyros Thunder Hummus Thunder Fries

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House of Vacuums by Lance Evans Bob March, owner, with tyler march

Bob March is fully aware of the secret to his success. For over 15 years, he’s run a successful business in Edmond. Over the last decade, he’s proven just how fruitful a company can be when it truly caters to the customers it supports. In business since 1978, House of Vacuums was purchased by March in 1998. “We service vacuums and sewing machines and we sell different cleaning supplies and products,” says March, though the cleaning products aren’t what truly keep returning clients stopping by House of Vacuums. After speaking with Mr. March for a few seconds, his friendly persona and welcoming tone feel like an introduction to a new life-long friend. It’s that warm spirit that has truly kept March busy at the store. When asked about the key to the store’s success, March doesn’t use

the time to promote his products or services. Instead, he praises the small community that has become the heart of his store. “Edmond is a unique community because of the way they support their local businesses,” says March. “We have loyal customers who have really treated us good through the years.” Customer service has become the focal point of his business plan. While there may be a number of different options for the type of service that he offers in Oklahoma, March says that his company’s willingness to always put their clients first is what truly makes House of Vacuums stand above and beyond, representing the standard of care that customers deserve. March doesn’t strike you as a man who is using social media or the internet as a means to attract new customers. Word of mouth has been the main campaign that has kept his

business thriving. March has also developed a strong knowledge base about the products that he offers. As he intently talks about the best vacuums for people with allergies and how to protect and keep your carpet looking new, it’s clear that he is not in the business of selling products, but to build relationships. He’s found a clever way to explain topics that he’s actually passionate about. That’s a business plan that can never fail. With excellent service, quality products, and an attentive staff, customers can count on House of Vacuums for all of their maintenance and cleaning needs.

Stop by their convenient location in Bryant Square at 504 South Bryant Avenue or call them at 341.4750.

I O E S T A I N H P R L We’ll show you how to smooth out the ups and downs in yours. With its ups and downs, love has been described as a roller coaster. At the free Forever. For Real. workshop we can show you the skills you need to not only navigate the highs and the lows, but how to smooth them out as well.

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Now relationships come with instructions

Engaged? You can save $45 on an Oklahoma marriage license when you attend as a couple. 1 16FFR_Outlook_1/2page.indd Outlook January 2014

12/18/13 1:37 PM

Fine Hearing Care by Lance Evans Lisa Irby Au. D., CCC-A, owner of Fine Hearing care

This is much more than a business. That’s the main sentiment you’ll leave with after spending a few minutes with the warm staff at Fine Hearing Care. Sure, they’ve got a long list of accolades and accomplishments and have a string of letters behind their names that could fill up the entire alphabet, but that’s not what makes them special. Care is behind their company name for a reason. “Our priority is to ensure our patients don’t miss out on life’s precious moments,” said Marketing Manager Jill Laxton. That’s exactly something that hearing loss can do—force you to miss out. The doctors at Fine Hearing Care have been connecting patients with life’s most important moments for over 21 years and they show no signs of slowing down. The staff looks at their clients as extended family members. There is a reason the cozy

clinic feels comfortable and inviting. “Our current building was a home for many years before it was turned into a business,” says Laxton. “So many of our patients have quite a few stories they share about the people who lived here over the years.” While patients are busy sharing two decades worth of funny stories, the staff members at Fine Hearing Care are providing some of the best audiological services that the state has to offer. “Fine Hearing Care has a staff of licensed audiologists, all holding doctorates,” says Laxton. “We work as a team and as a family to partner with our patients and build long-term relationships for their hearing healthcare.” The audiologists at Fine Hearing Care are also taking time to empower people with the knowledge base to protect their own hearing.

“It’s always a good idea to have regular hearing evaluations, to monitor your baseline levels,” says Laxton. “Hearing protection—such as custom plugs or muffs—is also a good idea for people who are in loud environments.” Laxton gives a confident response when quizzed about the future of Fine Hearing Care. “We strive to be the premier hearing healthcare team in Oklahoma,” she says. It’s this type of drive that has kept the team thriving for so long. Laxton’s team is inching closer to their goal by continuing to provide quality service— one ear at a time. For more information about Fine Hearing Care, call them at 340-9191, visit their offices at 2801 S. Bryant Ave. or go to

Call for Free Estimates!


Christopher Rice: Classic Tap Dancer Earns Pop Culture Fame by Amy Dee Stephens

“The best viral video we’ve ever seen!” –In Touch Magazine “Visually captivating dance choreography” –Ryan SeAcrest “The ‘Cup Song’ Cover to End All Covers” –

Even Christopher Rice was shocked when his YouTube tap dance video went viral. He never expected his Fred Astaire-type choreography to reach a million views in its first week, or receive rave reviews from In Touch Magazine or ABC’s Diane Sawyer. “Sure, I would watch something like that because I like classic dance, but I’ve never seen a viral tap video before,” Rice said. In the cover video, Rice performs a traditional tap routine to the song “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone.” The video is known as “Cups” because when Anna Kendrick performed it in the a cappella movie Pitch Perfect, she tapped a cup up and down to create the song’s beat. Rice liked her popular version and thought that the sound of tap shoes nicely mimicked the same rhythm. “Cups” was Rice’s first choreographed video. He’s shocked and honored that it did so well, or, as he put it, “My first one worked out okay, so I’ll be doing more in the future.” Don’t let his unpretentious nature fool you—this young Edmond native has an impressive dance résumé. Since making his musical dance début in New York less than two years ago, he’s had a solid-booked schedule since. Rice graduated with a musical theater degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2011. His very first New York audition landed him a role on the national tour of West Side Story, which traveled the United States, Canada and Japan. This was immediately followed by

“We all remember the ‘Cups’ craze. Well, tonight a dancer on Broadway took it to the next level! ...We can’t get it out of our heads.” –Diane Sawyer, ABC’s World News With Diane Sawyer

“The internet can stop producing ‘Cups’ videos now. This one wins.” –

“Tap-dancing is one of those old-fashion throwbacks that theoretically shouldn’t be cool anymore. …Which is why this viral video of “Book of Mormon” star Christopher Rice is so amazing.” –Huffington Post (Canada)


Outlook January 2014

Tap dancers include (left to right) Natasha Scearse, Kelly Sheehan, Andrew Hodge, Christopher Rice, Clay Thompson, Darion Crago and Kirstin Tucker.

Rice got his solid start growing up in edmond. “I was thankful to be surrounded by the arts wherever we turned.” His dream is to originate a role in a new show or to create a new production of a classic show like “Singin’ in the Rain.” “I think growing up in oklahoma instilled a kindness in my heart.”

photography by david parks

a national tour of White Christmas. He described his touring life as a grown-up version of summer camp—seeing the same people every day in close quarters, then moving on to the next city. Currently, Rice has a stationary role on Broadway in The Book of Mormon. Rice expressed amazement at how many people it takes to pull off a show and loves seeing the smiling faces each night. Although he enjoys classic tap dance the most, he is also fond of hip-hop and other mixed styles. “My skill set isn’t needed in every show, but I’ve been blessed to not have a lot of time in-between jobs,” Rice said. “I’m not sure what is next, but I’m auditioning as projects come about.” Rice got his solid start growing up in Edmond, taking dance classes at Dance Unlimited, On Broadway (which is no longer in business) and Lyric Academy in Oklahoma City. While he was homeschooled, he gained acting experience participating in children’s theaters and after-school music programs held at Metro Church, which eventually merged with “I grew up in north Edmond, and was thankful to be surrounded by the arts wherever we turned. There is so much culture in Edmond. It inspired me to want to create new art,” Rice said. His dream is to originate a role in a new show or to create a new production of a classic show like Singin’ in the Rain. “I’m influenced most by dancers Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. They were pros—unmatchable but inspiring. I think they captured the fluidity and masculinity of dancing.” While he doesn’t know what his next role might be, he has been working to choreograph two more dance videos, expected to be out next spring or summer. His goal is to mix and match popular music with dance styles that are unexpected for the song. “It’s funny, I’ll be at the gym and some big jock will say, ‘I liked your tap video.’” Rice laughed. “More people saw it than I ever expected. It was a cool and unexpected experience.” Even online reviewers at the Huffington Post expressed surprise that such “old fashioned” tap dancing was cool again. Rice admitted that he’s faced a number of skeptics, but he’s worked hard, believed in himself, and made his dreams a reality. “I was kind of impressed by America and impressed by the world that they would find something so classic as fresh and exciting.” Now that Rice has made it in the big leagues, he doesn’t get a chance to travel home often, although his family still lives in Edmond and the surrounding areas. He credits his Oklahoma upraising for keeping him grounded.

“New York isn’t known for its family environment,” Rice said, “but I think growing up in Oklahoma instilled a kindness in my heart. It helps me be an understanding person and gets me through the ups and downs. Having a good attitude is not a requirement in this business, but it makes it so much better for those around you.”

Search for Chris Rice’s “Cups” video on YouTube or visit


in the 471-7741 New Year

New Family Member



3601 S. Broadway, Ste. 1500 in Edmond 20

Outlook January 2014

The Police Wife Life

by Heide Brandes

Every 53 hours, a law enforcement officer loses his life in the line of duty. Every 53 hours, twice as many officers take their own lives. More often than not, police officers throughout America are targets. They are targets for violence, for hatred, for ambush. Despite the fact they keep the public safe from criminals, police officers are despised by many for very little reason. Melissa Littles of Edmond wants that to change. A wife of an Edmond Police officer, she’s seen the horrors of what her husband goes through reflected in his eyes. She has to deal with the knowledge that people are actively trying to harm the man she loves. “It’s my mission in life to make people aware of what the police do and what they go through daily,” said Littles. “We need people to support our officers again. In 2011, more officers were killed by gunfire than any other year.” After years of research and learning about violence toward police, Littles started The Police Wife Life, an organization designed to help police officers, their spouses and the public become aware of issues surrounding officers today—and to make a change to protect those willing to die to protect others.


Littles spent 23 years as a paralegal in high conflict family law, so in 2009, when she was offered a change in her field, she jumped. She began working in wrongful death prison cases where she researched, investigated and read about deaths in the prison system. “I started noticing that the prisoners who were killed or did the killing were repeat criminal felons. They all revolved through the criminal system,” she said. “Nearly every single one of them had a prior offense of assault on a police officer. I couldn’t find a single one that did not assault a police officer.” The fact that many of the criminals on the street had 50 to 70 prior offenses—including violence toward the police—stunned her. It also opened her eyes to what her husband dealt with daily. She began publishing articles about her thoughts and about the issues police face, and soon, other officers and officer spouses began reaching out to her. “I started The Police Wife Life Facebook page and website in March 2011,” she said. “We establish contacts and resources internationally for police officers and their families.” The wife of a police officer in Detroit reached out to The Police Wife Life after the City of Detroit filed for bankruptcy, leaving many officers unsure if they would receive their pensions they had worked their entire careers for. She feared her husband was suicidal. “He was involved in a shooting, was suffering from PTSD, and he now feared he may lose his job and his pension. They had a very sick child

on top of everything else,” said Littles. “They were at their breaking point. She messaged me, panicked because he had taken his personal weapon and their family car and left the house and would not answer his phone.” Littles immediately contacted Sean Riley, who runs Safe Call Now, an organization which offers emergency help for first responders in need, confidentially. For several hours, Littles stayed in contact with the distraught wife as she begged her husband to come home. “He finally did and we got him connected to Safe Call Now. He has since received the help he needed and is doing much better as a result,” Littles said. The Police Wife Life helped change laws, including one that allowed benefits for police K9 officers. Georgia Police Officer Travis Fox and his partner, K9 Lakota, were critically injured in a pursuit, and as a result, K9 Lakota had to be medically retired. Officer Fox and his wife, Corey, were shocked when they discovered police K9s were not treated as officers, but equipment, and therefore did not have the same benefits available after catastrophic injury. “Corey came to The Police Wife Life seeking help in finding a way to change the law. We have since formed a close friendship with the Fox family and have helped them with legislative work and research for Lakota’s Law, as well as helping them find the legal assistance needed in their state of Georgia,” said Littles. “The Police Wife Life has also remained actively involved in promoting and spreading K9 Lakota’s story.” The Facebook page currently has more than 30,000 members. Littles is the author of two books, including Bullets in the Washing Machine. She travels regularly for speaking engagements and to host workshops. She says everyone—not just spouses of police officers— can make a change. “Get involved in your community. If you live in a community that hates cops, change the way your community looks at officers.” For more information, visit


Edmond Economics

by Paul Fairchild

There wasn’t a whole lot going on around the small section of I-35 between Memorial and Danforth in 1998, the year it was named the Shannon Miller Parkway. Today, it’s an economic powerhouse stacked with buildings dedicated to healthcare and retail—the two biggest drivers of Edmond’s economy. It’s a sign that Edmond is growing—that the city is looking at more record growth as it moves into 2014. “In that area, we’ve got economic activity moving to join other economic activity. It generates productivity gains for both parties. It doesn’t matter if they’re in the same industry. You still get productivity gains,” says Russell Evans, an economist at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Meinders School of Business. Businesses along the corridor are diverse. The Sam’s Club located on I-35 is certainly contributing its fair share


Outlook January 2014

to the sales tax. Francis Tuttle recently opened its Business Innovation Center there. The Summit Indoor Sports Complex is also slated for development along the same route in 2014. “We’re in the middle of a strong trend in sales tax collections. We’re 18.9 percent above this same point in time two years ago,” says Edmond Mayor Charles Lamb. To put this into perspective, Lamb quotes that the City of Edmond only projected six percent growth for the annual budget. And there’s more on the way. With recent sewer and water utility improvements in the area, commercial site plans are flooding City Hall. The city council is harnessing the momentum and planning more utility improvements on Covell extending through Sooner Road. The area is also home to roughly $200 million in investments in healthcare facilities. Mercy Edmond I-35, despite sustaining severe damage during one of last year’s tornadoes, will open in 2014. Integris Health Edmond has been operating in the same area for over a year. Hospitals make for good contributors to a city’s economy by providing quality jobs and attracting clients from outlying areas.

“We’re 18.9% above this same point in time two years ago.” Mayor Charles Lamb

continued on next page

Russell Evans, an economist at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Meinders School of Business.

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edmond economics, cont.

“When I drive around Edmond, I don’t see a clearly defined center of economic activity. I wonder if the I-35 stretch will ultimately become a new density center, with retail and healthcare complexes. I can say that I appreciate the fact that the city leadership is aggressively thinking about we need a core of economic activity,� says Evans. Edmond is also continuing its aggressive development of what economists call “amenities.� The layman thinks of amenities as swimming pools or fireplaces. We look for them when we book hotels. But economists are talking about the kinds of comforts that attract people and businesses to settle in a particular area. And Edmond definitely has amenities. “Edmond can build on the amenities it already has,� says Evans. “The city is fortunate to have a strong school

The city is fortunate to have a strong school district, great parks and public spaces, and a major university.

district, great parks and public spaces, and a major university. These are all component pieces of an amenity complex.� That idea of an amenity complex is working. There are over 30 parks in Edmond and the city’s distinctive promotion of public art makes it one of the most fun and interesting venues in the state. The attraction is strong. Edmond’s phenomenal population growth over the last ten years is evidence. And that population enjoys an average household income of $100,000— well over the state’s average. For the next year, economic predictions for Oklahoma range for each community. The Tulsa area will remain relatively stable. The Oklahoma City metro area will grow. There will be more jobs, there will be better jobs, and there will be many people relocating to take them. And when it comes to relocating in the metro area, Edmond, of course, is always the number one choice.



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Work of Art by Lance Evans

There are three things near to Aaron Jones’ heart: family, art and “I never could gravitate towards music,” he says. “I don’t sing very Oklahoma. No matter how far his hobby-turned-career has taken him, well. I don’t play very well. But with drawing, it seemed to come very a small part of Aaron will always belong to his home state. easily to me.” Jones is one of the best at what he does. And he has celebrity Jones has always been drawn to works that help evoke emotional clients who will back that claim. He’s the go-to person for tours responses. As he vividly describes his favorite comic books that he and art education at Crystal Bridges Museum of Jones has simply done what so many people American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. The worldclass facility’s stunning architecture and prized art hope to do in life—find a dream and live it. collection attract enthusiasts from across the nation, loved reading as a child, his love of classic horror films and Godzilla, including notable celebrities. you truly get the sense that this is a man who is not only driven by Sure, Jones would not his passions, but one who is also continuing to thrive from them. likely give a detailed list of the many Jones has simply done what so many people hope to do in life—find a celebrities who have walked through dream and live it. the gallery, but it was a question that After graduating from Edmond Memorial in 1986, Jones decided begged to be asked. Before easing to take the chance and really chase his growing desires. Jones attributes into his answer with a soft laugh, a vast amount of his interest in art to the consistent encouragement Jones made it clear that he doesn’t of his teachers at Edmond Memorial. One teacher in particular had a like to tour and tell—not even for major impact on Jones. Oklahoma artist George Oswald went outside his mother. While Jones may not be spilling any secrets, any of the the normal school curriculum to truly engage with his students. It was celebrities who have attended tours curated by him give rave reviews a teaching style that stuck with Jones. “Oswald wasn’t a teacher—he of Crystal Bridges Art Museum. was an artist,” says Jones. “I think that’s what really connected me. Jones’ position at Crystal Bridges is a job he’s been preparing for His style was very different from what was in our textbooks.” After his entire life. “I’ve always loved drawing,” says Jones. “I’ve been graduating from Edmond Memorial, Jones attended Oklahoma Baptist enamored with creating art from a young age.” Jones grew up in what University and pursued a degree in art, continuing his studies until he he calls a “musical family.” Naturally, he believed that the talents of ultimately obtained his master’s degree. his family would ultimately lead him to pursue a career in music, continued on next page but he eventually found other artistic outlets to convey his passions.

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Jones imitates the subject of the painting

work of art, cont.


Today Jones is educating people about his first love at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. “You don’t often hear the title of interpretation manager at a fine art museum,” says Jones. “It’s an individual who manages content.” Jones is a hybrid—a cross between an art curator and educator. Jones’ goal is to also make sure that the information offered by the museum is not only contextual, but interesting to attendees as well. He uses the feedback provided by gallery attendees to heighten the

Outlook January 2014

experience for future guests. He researches stories pertaining to the art featured in his gallery and shares them with guests to truly find the common denominator that tends to connect individuals with works of art. While a painting might evoke a sense of appreciation from gallery visitors, it’s the story behind the art that will truly spark an “aha moment.” That’s what Jones does best—he’s an art aha-er. “I love nothing more than being in the galleries, giving tours and learning something,” says Jones. “That’s a priceless opportunity.”

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Outlook January 2014

by Mari Farthing

The Long Drive Home tells the story of a modern Southern family struggling to maintain connections while not letting go of their opinions and secrets. When Susan calls her children to Aunt Fran’s house for the funeral of their grandmother, bringing their dementia-afflicted uncle along for the ride is just the beginning. This simple road trip turns into a life-changing journey for their entire family. The film premiered at the 10th Annual Bahamas International Film Festival > The long drive home, trailer 1

It’s called the magic of Hollywood—that special ability to recreate anything on a sound stage. Places and times created from nothing on a movie lot, transporting the audience to that moment created in the imagination of the cast and crew. But filmmaker William Tyler didn’t want any part of it. He knew that for his film, The Long Drive Home, only one location would do. As the writer, director and co-producer of the film set in Oklahoma, the production was also filmed completely in the state, using a local cast and crew. “Using an all-Oklahoma cast and crew was most certainly important to me because it shows that the talent is here,” says Tyler. “It shows that Oklahoma can make movies, and good ones.”

oklahoma filmmaking “Filming in Oklahoma was easy,” says Tyler, which made it even more enjoyable to create his film in his home state. From securing locations to having highway patrol shut down a road, the genuine friendliness of the community created a very positive atmosphere. The local filmmaking community is booming. Tyler estimates that there are likely half a dozen films being shot at any given time. “Those could be shorts, features or even music videos,” he explains. “I’m not talking big-budget Hollywood films, I’m talking local indies by filmmakers who have a passion to bring their visions to the screen and tell a story you normally wouldn’t see in ‘Hollywood’ continued on next page films.”

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on location, cont.

spread that there was a film crew and it just got swamped.” There were so many people who came to see what was going on that the crew had to wait for the location to clear out before they could continue filming again.

Keeping it Local Filming on The Long Drive Home was done all around the state—indoor and outdoor locations around the metro, Tyler’s childhood town of Lindsay and the roadways in between. Oklahoma provided the scenery and setting, often standing in for events occurring in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi. While filming locally was an easy choice, it wasn’t without challenges. “Aunt Fran’s house in Mississippi was actually an old house in Sulphur.” The crew spent four weeks on location, often filming in 113-degree heat. They even filmed in a house without lights or air-conditioning—something Tyler can laugh about now. The car scenes were another source of amusement. Because of the film’s limited budget, road scenes could not be filmed using a green screen and filled in during post-production, which provided a logistical challenge. “There were three actors, a sound guy and me in a car—all at the same time. We started off having the car pulled on a truck, but we couldn’t get the shots.” Several times, Tyler found himself sitting on the floorboard on the passenger side of the car, holding the camera and filming while the actors drove. During one scene filmed at a gas station just outside Paul’s Valley, word got out and brought their production to a halt. The film crew arrived and set up to get shots for an important conflict scene between several characters. “Every now and then, customers would stop to get gas or buy a drink,” says Tyler. “Then I guess the word

ready for action As a teen, Tyler made movies with his friends in Lindsay, but never dreamed that he would be able to continue as an adult. “People didn’t make movies in Oklahoma—boy, things have changed!” He became interested in making films at just eight years old, after seeing Titanic in a theater for the first time. As the first epic film he had seen, it left a strong impression on him. “It blew my mind,” he recalls. “I saw it with a large audience, and to hear how they reacted at certain scenes during the film lit a fire in me from that day to now. I want to move people who watch my films; I want to make them think.” Tyler isn’t a filmmaker who likes to do things by someone else’s guidelines. “I’m a film school dropout,” he says, “I hated being told, ‘This is how you make films and tell stories’ because it’s how they do it in Hollywood.” It makes sense that this Oklahoman wants to be a pioneer in filmmaking, striking his own claim on a well-established industry. “I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to tell a story in film,” continues Tyler. “Seeing a film done in a completely different way than the norm grabs my attention because it’s fresh.”

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MY outlook

by Bethany Marshall

Michele Menzel, Naturopathic Doctor How did you get started in teaching health and wellness? While going through my own healing crisis twenty years ago, I found the need to explore natural ways to heal my body. What are some common misnomers about nutrition? Most people believe they eat pretty healthy, but the standard american diet (SAD) is void of key nutrients through modern processing techniques and leaves the body very deficient in key vitamins, minerals, enzymes and microorganisms that support our natural design. You recently published The Transformation, 48 Days to Eating & Living Naturally for Life. Tell us about it. The book focuses on a complete transformation of body, mind and spirit. Creating a healthy body encompasses nutrition, detoxification, hydration, rest, faith, exercise, and sunshine/the outdoors—my 7 Laws of Wellness. Tell us three things we could do today for better wellness. 1. Eat pure whole food, the way nature intended. Food is our medicine! 2. Exercise at least 30 minutes every day for the rest of your life. 3. Go to bed by 10pm every night for proper healing and rejuvenation. What do you recommend for people who don’t know what to do about their health? Take one step at a time. First, start by cutting down and eventually eliminating processed sugar. Sugar is probably the number one cause of most chronic health conditions today. What are some of the biggest challenges our society faces in terms of health and wellness? Returning to natural living. We have been taught that certain highly nutritious foods are bad for us and taking a pill is the answer to rid ourselves of symptoms. Returning to nutrient-dense foods, like eggs and butter, evaluating the way we think and live (as a contributing factor to the way we feel) and supporting the body through the natural healing process is new to us and can be the biggest challenge we face today. What are some emotional effects that an unhealthy lifestyle can have on your body? Mood swings, depression, attention disorders and emotional upset can be directly related to endocrine and hormonal imbalances caused by sugar and processed foods, and lack of exercise, sleep, sunshine and outdoor activities. Is there a balance between modern medicine and a holistic approach to well-being? We need modern medicine for emergency situations, but living a natural lifestyle (7 Laws of Wellness) will help us on a daily basis to have energy and vitality well into old age. The body was designed to self-heal and thrive! When you go out to eat, how do you know what’s healthy and what isn’t? Are the “healthy” items on menus really that good for you? Learn how to ask the right questions. What type of oil, salt, and sugar are used in cooking. Most restaurants are using genetically engineered oils, refined salt, and refined sugar. My book gives you great tips on eating out. The healthy items on menus might be good choices, but low-fat and steamed doesn’t always mean healthier. A good choice would be wild-caught fish vs. farm-raised fish. For more information, visit

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Profile for Outlook Magazine

Outlook January 2014  

The Outlook is a monthly, full color, glossy magazine mailed free of charge to 50,000 homes in all eleven Edmond and north Oklahoma City zip...

Outlook January 2014  

The Outlook is a monthly, full color, glossy magazine mailed free of charge to 50,000 homes in all eleven Edmond and north Oklahoma City zip...

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