June 2023

Page 46



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To learn more and buy your tickets, scan this QR code or visit OKCMOA.COM

This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo © Museum Associates / LACMA.



OKC's Prettiest Penthouses
luxurious places for your dream staycation
38 Getaway Vibes
2 JUNE 2023
breezy and sublime — let adventure shape your summer fashion



Oklahomaʼs largest film festival, deadCenter, returns downtown


Softball will stay swinging with the OKC Spark


Bianca Roland assembles fascinating, alienlike settings with mixed materials


How OKC Beautiful put down roots to improve the city


Where to celebrate Juneteenth in the 405



In the May 2023 issue we failed to list the names of people in the photos for Social Hour. We regret the omission. DEPARTMENTS VOLUME NINE ISSUE SIX
16 STYLE Dive into June with refined, sunlit swimwear 18 SOCIAL HOUR People and events in the 405 20 PERSON OF INTEREST Oklahoma tourism director wants to clear the air 22 HEALTH Slather that sunscreen — you need more than you think
88 WHAT’S ONLINE Trending
meats and classic cheesesteaks at this East Coast deli in Yukon 70 THE DISH Bradford House picked the perfect local pasta for its dishes
THE DRINK Palo Santo expertly subdues the smokiness in its mezcal cocktail
LOCAL FLAVOR Worldwide choices for your summer salad
8 JUNE 2023
Model Haswinaa Sutton enjoying a cocktail at Flamingo TIKI bar. Photo by Shevaun Williams.

OWNER | PUBLISHER Jordan Regas jordan.regas@405magazine.com

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EDITOR IN CHIEF  Julie Partin julie.partin@405magazine.com

ART DIRECTOR Cadence Ramos cadence.ramos@405magazine.com

MANAGING EDITOR Evan Musil evan.musil@405magazine.com


Jake Durham, Kristen Grace, Bennett Hill, Evie Klopp Holzer, Greg Horton, Helen Jacob, Linda Miller


Kacey Gilpin, Kimberly Martin, Rachel Maucieri, Charlie Neuenschwander, Shevaun Williams

PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Meagan Matthews meagan@hilltopmediagroup.com

CLIENT COORDINATOR Leesa Neidel production@405magazine.com


DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Drew Smith drew.smith@405magazine.com

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DIGITAL MEDIA SPECIALIST Raylee Lewis raylee.lewis@405magazine.com


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10 JUNE 2023

Giving OKC a Spotlight to Shine

GUESS WHAT OKLAHOMA’S third-largest industry is?

If you guessed tourism, you would be right. It generated a record-breaking $10.1 billion in direct visitor spending in 2021. And I would be confident in saying that the number has only increased since that time.

My family is lucky enough to host a lot of out-of-state guests, and whenever I am meticulously planning our agendas for those visits, I almost always go for one thing: wow factor. Typically, if our friends come to town with preconceived notions of what Oklahoma will be like, they soon realize that the dusty, lifeless plains they may have seen depicted on TV are in reality a bustling and rapidly evolving metro full of endless options.

For our annual June travel issue, we brainstormed destinations near and far away. But in the end we kept coming back to the fact that you can have a darn good time right in our own city. We decided to focus on the gorgeous glamor represented in OKC’s jaw-dropping penthouses. The history behind these spaces is as rich as the décor, and Evie Klopp Holzer and I had an absolute blast creating this list and touring them all. Don’t think for one second that you have to drive or fly out of town to spend an amazing night or weekend in absolute luxury. While there are more options, the six on our list (pg. 26) have me daydreaming about a staycation in style!

Keeping with the theme of fun and travel, we decided a summer fashion spread was in order. Our cover shot is from the local tiki bar that has become the place to be for birthdays and nights

out. I have enjoyed many wonderful evenings there over the last year, and we knew the colorful and lively ambiance would set the scene and accentuate the beautiful fashion (pg. 38).

Also, in this issue you will meet the government o cial who calls herself “the state director of fun” (pg. 20) and an artist who creates truly psychedelic works (pg. 82).

We are also excited to inspire your June activities with a scintillating dining section (pg. 67), an update on one of Oklahoma’s biggest and most treasured fi lm festivals (pg. 78) and a breakdown of Juneteenth celebrations in the 405 (pg. 86).

Something about this issue and this city just feels electric. I hope you experience the jolt and that your summer blows you away!





Ozone elicits restorative responses on a molecular level within the body. This directly leads to regenerating anti-oxidants to balance oxidative metabolism, alters inflammatory mediator cascades, and revitalizes mitochondrial function which in turn improves cellular function that is the basis for better tissue and organ performance.


Human cellular tissue products use their basic restorative and growth components, along with mesenchymal stem cell derivatives, to help you develop, recover and improve function.We have seen positive changes in inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases, Lyme Disease, sexual function, and fatigue.


Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (SWT) is a noninvasive treatment that involves delivery of shock waves to injured soft tissue stimulating the body’s natural healing process. We have seen success for soft tissue injuries and sexual wellness.

Everyone knows the feeling of discomfort and urgency when you really have to go to the bathroom. The need to urinate is all you can think about. Now imagine, when you finally get there, nothing happens. No relief — just the continuing misery of feeling like you have to go.

If this has never happened to you, consider yourself lucky. Men with a condition called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH, suffer this agony daily.

“For two years, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom every 30 to 45 minutes,” says Deril Lees, a former BPH sufferer. “I couldn’t get any decent sleep.”

The problem is caused by an enlarged prostate. A procedure offered by the CardioVascular Health Clinic in Oklahoma City may have the solution.

“The procedure is known as Prostate Artery Embolization,” said Dr. Blake Parsons. “By running a tiny wire through the arter-

ies accessed at the wrist or groin we can essentially cut the blood flow to the prostate, causing it to shrink, thereby eliminating the problem.  It’s like putting a 300 lb. man on a 200-calorie-a-day diet.”

June is Men’s Health Month. Deril Lees, who had the PAE procedure last year, is sharing his story to encourage other men to seek the relief they need.

“I noticed a huge difference in just a week,” Lees said. “At the two-week mark, I was sleeping through the night. I have a medical background, so I thoroughly researched PAE and knew Dr. Parsons was the best in his field. The results speak for themselves. Just the other day, I went on a 15-mile bike ride. That would have been impossible a few years ago.”

“Prostate problems are inevitable as men grow older. There’s no need for these men to suffer any longer,” Dr. Parsons says.

The severity of BPH, if left untreated, tends to worsen as the prostate enlarges with age. Dr. Parsons hopes this new procedure will help the thousands of men in Oklahoma who have avoided treatment.

For more information on the PAE procedure, call 405-701-9880, or visit paeokc.com.

TRENDING STYLE 16 SOCIAL HOUR 18 PERSON OF INTEREST 20 HEALTH 22 KAITLIN ST. CYR PHOTOGRAPHY Hoedown Throwdown The Oklahoma City Ballet's annual gala broke its auction records with a Western theme. p. 18 15 405MAGAZINE.COM

Make a Stylish Splash

Spend your June poolside with sunny, lively looks

OKLAHOMA IS BRINGING THE HEAT THIS month, and so can you. Elevate your poolside staples with fun yet sensible sandals and embrace boho chic with a crochet bag. Cover-ups can be more than just something tossed aside upon your aquatic arrival; experiment with tropical silk kaftans or a transitional cover dress to hide your playfully printed swimsuit. Topped off with statement sunglasses or fl oral earrings to bring it all together, you are ready for the warm weather and summer sun.

1. Kose Resort, Patroness Kaftan in Silk; Gretta Sloane 2. BC Handbags, Crochet Clutch; 3. Beach Riot, Celine (One Piece) in Tropical Wave; Edit & Co. 4. Castlecli , Jasmine Earring; Rosegold 5. Cecelia NY, Lila Flat Flower Sandal; 6. Lapima, Tessa Petit; Black Optical 7. L*Space, Presley Dress; Edit & Co.
7 3 6 5 2 4 16 JUNE 2023
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Ballet Ball

Oklahoma City Ballet presented Ballet Ball: The New West at the Omni Hotel on April 1. Co-chaired by Kylee Claire Rainbolt and Bailey Gordon, the gala welcomed more than 500 attendees in Western-inspired evening wear. The event included cocktails, a seated dinner, dancing and a live auction, and the highlight of the evening was a special performance by the ballet’s professional dancers, featuring music by Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline and choreographed by artistic director Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye. The ball raised more than $425,000, which will fund initiatives including free community programs.

OKC Ballet co-chairs Bailey Gordon and Kylee C. Rainbolt with executive director Jo Lynne Jones and artistic director Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye Becky Johnson, Cindi Shelby, Linda Parduhn, Jennifer Upton and Lea Morgan Gary Brooks and Michelle Brooks Mark McCoy, Lili McCoy, Laurie McCoy Tye Love, Emily Love, Autumn Klein and Michael Klein Mayor David Holt and Rachel Holt
18 JUNE 2023
Barry Switzer and Meg Salyer

The Throwing Athlete

Dr. Nelson is an orthopedic surgeon with subspecialty training in upper extremity conditions. Throughout his extensive education, Dr. Nelson gained specific training and expertise in the treatment of elbow injuries among athletes.

Today, Dr. Nelson continues to focus on elbow injury prevention, education and treatment to help athletes return to the field, and life, as quickly and safely as possible.

In 2021, Dr. Nelson founded the Oklahoma Throwing Athlete Association as a resource for players, coaches, trainers, clinicians and parents for information regarding injuries in the throwing athlete.

This past year, Dr. Nelson helped organize and host the first “Injuries in The Throwing Athlete Conference” that brought together leaders within the Oklahoma community to discuss current trends in prevention and treatment surrounding shoulder and elbow injuries.

“Every year we continue to see a rise in younger athletes presenting with shoulder and elbow problems. I hope that by combining the efforts of therapists, trainers and other clinicians throughout Oklahoma we can provide credible, scientific information and education to aid in the prevention and rehabilitation of these injuries,” Nelson said.

Nelson completed his undergrad-

uate degree at Oklahoma State University and attended medical school at the University of Oklahoma, where he also completed his orthopedic residency. He completed a fellowship at the Philadelphia Hand to Shoulder Center.

Dr. Nelson uses advanced surgical procedures to restore flexibility, movement and comfort to athletes of all ages and skill levels. His expertise includes the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of many elbow conditions common to the throwing athlete including “Tommy John Surgery,” “Little Leaguer’s Elbow,” stress fractures, tendon and nerve problems and many others.

For more information on Dr. Nelson and elbow conditions he treats, visit www.thethrowingathlete.com or visit www. okthrowingathlete.com to learn more about the Oklahoma Throwing Athlete Association and its annual conference.

Clayton E. Nelson, MD Orthopedic Surgeon Specializing in Upper Extremities

Clearing the Road to Fun

New state tourism director Shelley Zumwalt prioritizes transparency and Oklahoma kindness

20 JUNE 2023

SHELLEY ZUMWALT, A NATIVE OKLAHOMAN, has served in many government positions over her career, from a budget analyst for the O ce of State Finance to executive director of the Employment Security Commission. After Jerry Winchester stepped down in the wake of last year’s food and beverage contract scandal, Zumwalt entered the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department as its latest executive director in April 2022. She made it her goal to bring more transparency to the department.

When asked about how she has been trying to meet this goal, Zumwalt cited a recent example.

“When we were announcing the new restaurant vendor that will be open by Memorial Day weekend, we knew that we would get open records requests asking for other bids and the selection process,” she said. “During the press conference, we released online the selection process: all of the bids, the scoring sheets, the evaluation sheets and the fi nal contract with the vendor. We put these things on our website proactively so that anyone could look into the process. We wanted to be 100% transparent… We felt that it was important for the integrity of the process.”

Despite an arrival spurred by troubled circumstances, Zumwalt is enthusiastic about promoting the state of Oklahoma as a destination. “I call my job the state director of fun, which is the best job ever,” she said. “I’m interacting with people on a day that they have been looking forward to. They interact with the government by choice, and it changes the way I approach my job.

“I love promoting Oklahoma — we’re friendly. That’s known. We have 11 different ecosystems, which is less known. It’s one of the only states in the nation to have that. You can live in our biggest city, go 15 minutes outside the city and see the stars. When you are visiting Oklahoma, you can still go off the grid if you want to, and you don’t have to be a hundred miles away from a grocery store. We are a rural state, but what ties us together is the people. We have marshes, plains, deserts and mountains, but what makes a trip to Oklahoma really memorable is our people. I hear that over and over.”

Zumwalt loves reading about Oklahoma in her free time: she mentioned Path Lit by Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe by David Maraniss and The Great Oklahoma Swindle: Race, Religion and Lies in America’s Weirdest State by Russell Cobb as favorites. Her fascination with the state serves her as Oklahoma’s biggest booster.

Preparations have already begun for the 2026 Route 66 Centennial, with grants for nearby businesses to improve neon signs and get ready for the celebrations. Zumwalt mentioned that the state anticipates more national and international tra c than ever before, and emphasized the chance for the event to highlight the best of Oklahoma.

“How do we draw them off Route 66 so that they can see more of our people?” she said. “The big question I have, that we are all turning over, is how to show them that Oklahoma is not just a flyover state. It’s a beautiful land with beautiful people.” Zumwalt hopes friendly faces, honest answers and a passion for Oklahoma make that much clear.

PERSON OF INTEREST CALL US TO SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT! 405-348-5757 marthagarzondmd.com 870 South Kelly Avenue | Edmond, OK 73003 PEDIATRIC DENTIST THANK YOU FOR 21 YEARS OF SMILES! SAMIA MOSES CREATIVE social media • branding • art direction marketing • special events • photo production logo • web • styling 405.760.9376 SAMIAMOSESCREATIVE.CO
Photo: Greer Inez

Sun Safety for the Summer

How to dodge the effects of UV damage

THE WEATHER IS HEATING UP, and many of us are running out to spend time in the sun, much to the detriment of our skin. Not only can exposure to UV rays lead to wrinkles and premature aging, it’s the leading cause of skin cancer — the most common types being basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Skin cancers are caused not only by time spent in the sun on a given day, but by an accumulation of sun exposure throughout one’s life.

If you’ve brushed it off in the past, now is the time to start protecting yourself. Sun damage is serious, but there are simple ways to minimize it.

Wearing sunscreen is the obvious one, but it’s also easy to forget. You can’t just put it on once a day; the current recommendation is using sunscreen and lip balm with SPF 30 or above, and reapplying all over your body and face once every hour. However, unless you’re going to the beach or laying out by the pool, most people only apply it once in the morning before they head out the door. Seldom do they remember to reapply it at all, let alone every hour.

Oklahoma-based dermatologist Dr. Stacie Rougas understands that “logistically speaking, no one ever does that … so most physicians will say get it on at least once every two hours.”

It’s also important to note that no sunscreen is “waterproof.” Sunscreen packaging now says “water-resistant,” but the testing process only requires that the product is submerged in water

for a set time and then lifted out, which is obviously not how most people swim. “We know that just by moving around, we're sweating it off, we're rubbing it off, the pool's washing it off … so you have to reapply more often,” Rougas said.

There’s also a debate regarding mineral versus chemical sunscreens, which work to shield your skin from the sun in diff erent ways. Mineral sunscreens have ingredients that sit directly on top of the skin’s surface like a barrier and physically prevent UV rays from penetrating the skin. Chemical sunscreens allow UV light into the skin, but the ingredients create a reaction in which the UV light is converted into heat, which then dispels it from the skin.

So, which one is better? Although some believe chemical sunscreens increase cancer risk, there are no clear-cut studies that prove this theory. Mineral-based sunscreens are safe, but they may not rub in as well and can sometimes leave a chalky white cast. Broad-spectrum sunscreens may be most effective overall.

It’s also recommended that you wear sun protective clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 40 or 50, especially if you constantly forget to put on sunscreen. Wearing UPF clothing means you don’t have to worry about wearing sunscreen under your clothing because, yes, UV rays penetrate through your clothes.

“Most clothing without UV protectant factor only has a UPF or an SPF of 10 to 20 … it's not good

Here are a few sun safety tips for the summer:

• SkinBetter and EltaMD make cosmetically sensitive sunscreens that don’t leave a white cast.

• Academy Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Columbia, Amazon and Target all carry UPF clothing — look for a UPF of 40 or higher.

• The sun re ects UV rays o snow, water and ice. Wear sunscreen year-round.

• Stay away from tanning beds and use sunless tanning products like bronzers and self-tanner instead.

• Check the UV Index forecast online or via TV or radio — if it’s over 3, wear sun protection.

• Wear UV-protection sunglasses and eyewear to protect your eyes from sun damage.

• If the top of your head is exposed, rub in some sunscreen or wear a hat.

• Certain medications can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays. Ask your doctor if this is the case for you. If it is, take extra precautions.

• If you end up with a sunburn, apply moisturizer and aloe vera — avoid scratching it.

enough,” Rougas said. It’s also important to wear hats to protect your nose and ears — these are areas that stick out the most.

UV light is strongest during regular business hours. Since we get so much sun in Oklahoma, Rougas recommends staying indoors when you can from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Making sure your kids are taught the importance of sunscreen and sun safety is important, and covered playgrounds can limit their sun exposure during those hours.

Using a tanning bed before going to the beach so you don’t get burned, though, increases your risk for skin cancer. “Nothing is more heartbreaking than a 20-year-old with melanoma because (they were) tanning to look pretty as a teenager,” Rougas said.

The sun is scorching in the summer, but it has the same UV rays all year-round, so it’s best to use sunscreen whether it’s spring, fall, winter or summer.

22 JUNE 2023

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Better sleep is never far away! Contact us today! 13901 Technology Dr., OKC 73134 • 405.606.2727 OklahomaSleepInstitute.com • Loud or Excessive Snoring • Depression • Frequent Nocturnal Urination • High Blood Pressure • Morning Headaches • Nighttime Gasping, Choking or Coughing • Chronic Leg Pain • Feeling Tired or Fatigued • Irregular Breathing During Sleep • Trouble Falling or Staying Asleep • A Low Sex Drive • Gastroesophageal Reflux (GE Reflux) If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, you may have a sleep disorder. Oklahoma Sleep Institute is an entire network of sleep experts focused on helping you and your physician or healthcare provider manage your sleep disorder. Our board-certified sleep medicine physicians at the Oklahoma Sleep Institute clinics work together with our credentialed practitioners and technicians to provide you with the highest level of sleep care. An entire clinical team focused on improving your sleep and overall health. DO YOU EXPERIENCE… Contact us today by scanning this QR code or call to schedule an appointment. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @405MAG 24 JUNE 2023

405 HOME

Modern Love

In the newly released summer issue of 405HOME, you will find modern is the order of the day. Two starring homes embrace modernism one contemporary and the other in the mid-century style, both stunning in their own ways. Additionally, this modernfocused issue has features on an artist with a passion for painting, a craftsman whose attention to detail creates beautiful furniture and a couple's farm where you can leave all the chaos of everyday life to bask in the beauty and calm of picking fresh berries. There is plenty to see in this summer's 405HOME, and we invite you to dive in!

26 JUNE 2023

If you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime night to remember right here in your hometown, look no further than Oklahoma City’s gorgeous penthouses. We scouted the city for the most beautiful and impressive places to stay, and whether you are celebrating a milestone anniversary, hosting a bachelor or bachelorette party or simply looking to live the high life, these six suites are ready to wow and won’t disappoint.


21c Museum Hotel


Live like a rockstar, if only for a night.

HAVE YOU EVER wanted to roam an art museum in your pajamas at 3 a.m.? Stay at 21c Museum Hotel, and you totally can. Housed in the former Fred Jones Model T manufacturing plant, the property showcases thought-provoking contemporary art in 14,000 square feet of exhibition space among the building’s original imposing concrete columns. Artwork rotates annually in the gallery, spa and 21c Suite, so returning guests can have a different experience every year.

The entire fifth floor is yours when you book the 21c Suite. Sweeping skyline views make the space feel uniquely local, and the iconic Fred Jones water tower is yours for the night, as it sits just off the expansive rooftop balcony. A folding glass wall between the balcony and living room can be opened to connect the indoor and outdoor spaces. The layout includes two bedrooms, two en suite baths, a walk-in pantry and a tucked-away kitchen with a full-size fridge — ideal for caterers if you’re entertaining a crowd. Purple penguins welcome.


The 21c Suite blends modern, industrial and colorful design elements.

The 5,400-square-foot space includes two bedrooms with en suite baths.

The Fred Jones water tower reminds visitors of the building's significant history.

The living room opens up fully to the rooftop balcony.

28 JUNE 2023

Ambassador Hotel


Explore Midtown, then rest and recharge in style.

WITH ONLY 54 rooms, the Ambassador is half the size of a typical downtown hotel, which allows it a more intimate sense of place. The historic Osler building, built in 1929, provides a traditional backdrop to more modern-day experiences at the Ambassador. French restaurant Café Cuvée invites you to dine on the grand courtyard patio or, when weather beckons us back inside, its delightfully cozy interior.

Overlooking the courtyard on the top floor, the Ambassador Suite incorporates modern design touches along with a wet bar, work desk and spacious living area. After traversing Midtown’s abundant shops and restaurants in the surrounding area, guests can come back to the suite to relax in a stone soaking tub. Another snug spot: lounging fireside in the Ambassador’s warm lobby. If you’re craving a social scene, O Bar on the rooftop pairs top-tier cocktails with incredible sunsets every night.

FROM TOP: Streamlined designs complement the historic Osler building, an Art Deco gem in Midtown. The living room offers cozy seating plus a wet bar and workstation. The Ambassador Suite includes a spacious walk-in shower, soaking tub and two-sink vanity.
30 JUNE 2023

Colcord Hotel


Feel at home, even when you’re away.

THE COLCORD HOTEL building, recognizable by its red script sign, has had many lives since it opened in 1910. Hotel staff say many locals will comment that they knew someone who used to work in the building, or perhaps they officed there themselves once upon a time. That sense of familiarity is matched by the warm welcome guests receive at Colcord Hotel, intentionally designed to feel more like an upscale residence than a hotel. A pleasing signature scent — Colcord Blue — greets visitors in the marble-clad lobby.

The Presidential King Suite is furnished in golden tones and soft textures throughout. Plush carpet, sofas and pillows invite you to nestle in. An adjoining room can be added for extra overnight accommodations to make it a two-bedroom suite. A spacious kitchen and bar take up the corner of the room, next to a round dining table offset by glamorous pendant lighting. The hotel’s location beside the Myriad Botanical Gardens provides excellent views that change every season. Guests can admire the gardens from both the 12th-floor suite and Flint’s patio downstairs. Simply cross the street for a scenic stroll through the park.

FROM TOP: Golden hues make the majestic Presidential King Suite feel fit for royalty.
Skyline views surround the 1,250-square-foot space, including the dining area, lounge and bedroom.
32 JUNE 2023

The National


Get the VIP presidential treatment in the heart of an iconic building.

THE RESTORED WORK of art that is The First National Center has been the talk of the town since reopening last year. The mixed-use skyscraper is many attractions in one — jaw-dropping architectural showcase with an inspiring story, hotel, residential community, champagne breakfast/brunch (The Gilded Acorn), fine dining (Tellers) and underground bar (The Library of Distilled Spirits). In the dead center of the action is the Presidential Suite.

It’s named quite literally, because in the 1930s the space was used as the bank president’s office. At slightly over 900 square feet, this is not the largest penthouse on our list, but just walking into the room gives a distinct feeling of the rich history its walls have seen. Parts of the suite, such as the doors and windows, are original for historic preservation purposes. The Art Deco vibe has inspired touches that nod to Gatsby glam with a palette of deep blues and golds. It features a large dining table, the only vaulted ceilings in the building, custom chandeliers and multiple connecting rooms. It is a favorite for business travelers and honeymooning couples.


The Art Deco style incorporates the industrial lines, rich upholsteries and gold accents.

Artwork in the suite features details from the historical building.

This penthouse is the only hotel room in the building with vaulted ceilings and a full dining area.

Including the original windows, The National Center has the most aluminum of any building in the world.


The Clark Building


For when the whole crew wants a unique and unforgettable experience.

THE CLARK BUILDING is one of one. It is so distinctive that it is hard to describe, and of all the suites on our list, this one is the only stand-alone property. While it has been admired and visited by the who’s who of OKC for several decades, it is just now opening to the public for event and overnight rental. Remarkable amenities in the two-story penthouse include 6,700 square feet of indoor space, three bedrooms and four full baths (the master has a hot-tub-sized travertine tub) and multiple dining areas. An indoor/outdoor space on the rooftop level features two outdoor firepits, a built-in grill and refrigerators and a lovely view of downtown OKC. To accentuate the wow-factor decor are a two-story glass chandelier and commissioned art by Brent Learned and Joy Richardson.

The property’s journey started in 1922 when F.M. Clark and his son constructed the building, taking the basement and first floor as offices and renting furnished rooms on the second floor to boarders. It became the Hinze Otto Garage in the 1930s and a warehouse in the 1940s and 1950s, then stood vacant until being purchased in 2004 and renovated into the colorful and exceptional urban oasis that it is today.


With 6,700 square feet of indoor space, three bedrooms and four full bathrooms, the whole crew can join.

Enormous travertine tub in the master bathroom.

With a capacity of 150, this space is much more than a place to sleep; it is an event venue as well.

This two-story penthouse features kitchens on each floor.

Much of the eclectic artwork is inspired by the OKC Thunder and Oklahoma culture.

The indoor/outdoor space on the rooftop level is versatile, with views of downtown.

34 JUNE 2023
36 JUNE 2023



Breathtaking views and finishes in the primo downtown location.

THE OMNI TRULY could not have more fantastic coordinates. Centrally located right in the midst of the Paycom Center, Oklahoma City Convention Center, Scissortail Park, Bricktown and Myriad Botanical Gardens, it is definitely the place you want to stay if you don’t intend to drive all weekend. For the absolute pinnacle of posh, the Scissortail Suite is ready and waiting, and it does not hold back.

The 2,178 square feet include a living area, separate dining room and wet bar, as well as a walk-in shower and soaking tub. Nearly every single room (including the powder room) features floor-to-ceiling windows bursting with sunshine in the day and bright lights of the cityscape at night. Just about every place included in the vast view has been built within the last five or so years, making this a showcase portfolio of modern OKC progress. Design details include a calming color palette, modern art, wood paneling and brass fixtures. A night here would be an ideal stay for a special anniversary or to complement a oncein-a-lifetime event happening at one of the many venues just a few steps away.


Floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of downtown are in every room.

The Luxury Presidential Suite includes 2,178 square feet of space perfect for entertaining.

For morning coffee and evening drinks, the bar and kitchen area is designed with wood paneling. The semi-secluded conference table-style dining room for large gathering or meetings.

Plenty of closet space and a vanity for a longer stay.


SUMMER OFTEN BRINGS AN URGE TO get away and breathe in new surroundings, whether it’s a flight to an upscale Airbnb on the beach or a leisurely road trip crisscrossing several states.

Any great getaway, planned or spur-of-the-moment, is always more fun with a couple of fresh fashion options. Summer clothing tends to exude a lighter, more carefree feel, and this year is no different. Don’t mistake carefree for sloppy or boring — these clothes offer a relaxed and comfortable feel with elevated style.

Now is the time to reawaken senses with color and playful vacation vibes. White is always a hot-weather favorite, but vibrant color in varying shades of pink, orange, green, purple and blue is the real standout. Prints are bold and interesting, too, with oversize florals and lighthearted and abstract designs. How about a picture-perfect watercolor dress, or maybe one with a fish print? Fun definitely comes into play as the weather heats up, but think chic, not kitschy.

When packing, include pieces that can do double duty, such as a flirty blouse or tunic that can be worn in the morning as a swimsuit cover-up and later at dinner as a topper for a sleeveless dress or pair of shorts.

Accessories, those little things that add a big punch, include the usual summer musts such as hats and sunglasses. Big, chunky jewelry often looks and feels heavy, so smaller, more delicate necklaces, rings, earrings and stacked thin bracelets in punchy colors have more appeal. So do sandals. Free those toes. It’s summer. Embrace new clothing styles and see where they take you.








38 JUNE 2023
The Salting hat and Alemais handkerchief print dress from Gretta Sloane; Sabine Be sunglasses from Physicians Optical; Sunshine Tenda bracelets from Refinery; and vintage purse from Rosegold. Necklace and bracelet from Rosegold; orange sunglasses from Physicians Optical; Karlie pinstripe shirt from Refinery; ring from Samia Moses Creative; and Alemais fruit print bikini from Gretta Sloane.
40 JUNE 2023
Stellah matching print top and skirt from Refinery; Cecelia sandals from Betsy King Shoes; and ring from Smart Glass Jewelry.
The Salting hat and Koi fish print dress from Gretta Sloane and ring from Smart Glass Jewelry.





Rosegold, 6423 Avondale Dr., shoprosegold.com

Sunglasses from Physicians Optical; bracelets from Refinery and Samia Moses Creative; and yellow shirt and shorts by The Salting from Gretta Sloane. King Shoes, 3001 Paseo, betsykingshoes.com Sloane, 6476 Avondale Dr., grettasloane.com Optical, 4200 W. Memorial Rd., physicians-optical.com 6900 N. Western Ave., refinerystyle.com
42 JUNE 2023
Sabine Be sunglasses from Physicians Optical; Marine Layer stripe top; bracelets from Samia Moses Creative and Alex Ford; and Good American jeans from Rosegold.



Your Guide to Local Attorneys and Practices

WHEN YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY, YOU WANT SOMEONE WITH a strong reputation and a proven track record. The annual Top Attorneys list provides the names of the 405 area’s attorneys recommended by their colleagues. DataJoe Research conducted an extensive peer-review survey asking established local attorneys to name top practitioners in their particular fields. The 2023 list contains over 250 top attorneys listed alphabetically and sectioned by specialty area.

2023 44 JUNE 2023


Summary. To create the list, the magazine contracted DataJoe Research to facilitate an online peer-voting process and Internet research process. DataJoe Research is a software and research company specializing in data collection and verification, and conducts various nominations across the United States on behalf of publishers. To create the list, DataJoe Research facilitated an online peer-voting process. We paired this with an Internet research process to identify success characteristics. DataJoe checked and confi rmed that each published winner had, at time of review, a current, active license status with the appropriate state regulatory board. If we were not able to fi nd evidence of a lawyer's current, active registration with the state regulatory board, that lawyer was excluded from the list. In addition, we checked available public sources to identify lawyers disciplined for an infraction by the state regulatory board. These entities were excluded from the list. Finally, DataJoe presented the tallied result to the magazine for its fi nal review and adjustments.

Final note. We recognize that there are many good lawyers who are not shown in this representative list. This is only a sampling of the huge array of talented professionals within the region. Inclusion in the list is based on the opinions of responding lawyers in the region. We take time and energy to ensure fair voting, although we understand that the results of this survey nomination and Internet research campaign are not an objective metric. We certainly do not discount the fact that many, many good and effective lawyers may not appear on the list.

Disclaimers. DataJoe uses best practices and exercises great care in assembling content for this list. DataJoe does not warrant that the data contained within the list are complete or accurate. DataJoe does not assume, and hereby disclaims, any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions herein whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause. All rights reserved. No commercial use of the information in this list may be made without written permission from DataJoe.


Denielle Williams


Chaney Law Firm PLLC



Robyn B. Hopkins Hopkins Law & Associates PC

Piedmont 405-373-4792

Rita Jencks

Jencks Law Firm PLLC Oklahoma City 405-285-2882

Amy Pepper OU College of Law

Norman 405-325-4699

Courtney L. Schamel

The Law Office of Courtney Lee PLLC Oklahoma City 405-400-9066

Rachel Stoddard Morris

Stoddard Morris PLLC

Edmond 405-509-6455

Shannon Taylor Shannon D Taylor Law

Oklahoma City 405-602-8446

Meredith A. Tipton Blaney Tipton Hiersche & Odom

Oklahoma City


Melisa L. Van Meter Van Meter Law Office PC Norman 405-329-2233

Jennifer Yowell Adoption Attorney Jennifer Yowell Oklahoma City 405-615-5150


D. Kent Meyers Crowe & Dunlevy

Oklahoma City 405-235-7729

Mary H. Tolbert Crowe & Dunlevy Oklahoma City 405-239-6672


Catherine L. Campbell Phillips Murrah PC Oklahoma City 405-606-4788

Hilary Hudson Clifton Phillips Murrah PC Oklahoma City 405-235-4100

Melissa Hedrick

Hedrick Law Firm

Oklahoma City 405-361-7844

Andrew E. Henry Crowe & Dunlevy

Oklahoma City


Heather L. Hintz

Phillips Murrah PC

Oklahoma City


Bryan N.B. King

Fellers Snider Law Firm

Oklahoma City


Jana L. Knott

Bass Law

El Reno


Kristin McAdams

Hester Schem Dionisio & Didier Edmond


Clyde A. Muchmore

Crowe & Dunlevy

Oklahoma City 405-235-7734

Melanie Wilson

Rughani Crowe & Dunlevy

Oklahoma City 405-235-7714


Chris Deason Deason Law

Oklahoma City 405-496-9268

Charles E. Geister, III

Hartzog Conger Cason LLP Oklahoma City 405-996-3356

Joe M. Hampton

Tomlinson McKinstry PC

Oklahoma City 405-702-4346

Jennifer Irish Mediation Works

Edmond 405-285-2776

Kevyn Gray Mattax

Kevyn Gray Mattax


Oklahoma City 405-943-1965

Linda Morrissey

Dispute Resolution Consultants Inc

Oklahoma City 405-228-0300



J.D. Brown McAfee & Taft Oklahoma City 405-270-6028

Bradley K Donnell McAfee & Taft Oklahoma City 405-552-2308

Maria E. Gonzalez McAfee & Taft Oklahoma City 405-552-2358

Jason C. Hasty Lytle Soulé & Felty PC Oklahoma City 405-235-7471

J. Robert Kalsu Crowe & Dunlevy Oklahoma City 405-239-6622

Will E. van Egmond Crowe & Dunlevy Oklahoma City 405-239-5415


Zane T. Anderson Crowe & Dunlevy Oklahoma City 405-234-3244

Matthew K. Brown McAfee & Taft Oklahoma City 405-552-2304

J. Dillon Curran Conner & Winters LLP Oklahoma City 405-272-5711

Joel W. Harmon Crowe & Dunlevy Oklahoma City 405-239-6637

Jeffrey D. Hassell GableGotwals Oklahoma City 918-595-4823

J. Mark Lovelace Phillips Murrah PC Oklahoma City 405-235-4100 LEGACY

Melvin R. McVay, Jr. Phillips Murrah PC Oklahoma City 405-235-4100 LEGACY

John W. Mee, III Mee Mee Hoge & Epperson Oklahoma City 405-848-9100

Brock Z. Pittman Christensen Law Group PLLC Oklahoma City 405-232-2020

Kate N. Dodoo

McAfee & Taft Oklahoma City 405-270-6057

Questions? For research/methodology questions, contact the research team at surveys@datajoe.com.

Harvey D. Ellis, Jr Crowe & Dunlevy Oklahoma City 405-235-7743


Larry G. Ball Hall Estill Oklahoma City 405-553-2826

Joshua D. Burns Crowe & Dunlevy Oklahoma City 405-239-6681

Daniel V. Carsey Hall Estill Oklahoma City 405-553-2313

Elaine M. Dowling Dowling Law Office Oklahoma City 405-842-8005

George M. Emerson Riggs Abney Neal Turpen Orbison & Lewis Oklahoma City 405-843-9909

William H. Hoch Crowe & Dunlevy Oklahoma City 405-239-6692

Luke Homen Luke Homen Law PLLC Oklahoma City 405-639-2099

Clayton D. Ketter Phillips Murrah PC Oklahoma City 405-606-4792

Stephen J. Moriarty Fellers Snider Law Firm Oklahoma City 405-232-0621

Craig M. Regens GableGotwals Counsel Oklahoma City 405-568-3313

G. Blaine Schwabe, III GableGotwals Counsel Oklahoma City 405-235-5589

Bryson J Williams Munson & McMillin Edmond 405-513-7707


Grady R. Conrad Grady R. Conrad Klingenberg & Associates PC Oklahoma City 405-236-1985

Gary W. Derrick Derrick & Briggs LLP Oklahoma City 405-235-1900

Ryan J. Duffy Fellers Snider Law Firm Oklahoma City 405-232-0621

Jeri D. Holmes

Nonprofit Solutions PC

Oklahoma City 405-844-2286

Joy Turner Oklahoma Disability Law Center Inc

Oklahoma City 405-525-7755

Justin L. Pybas Conner & Winters LLP Oklahoma City 405-272-5711

William H. Whitehill, Jr Fellers Snider Law Firm Oklahoma City 405-232-0621

Erick W. Harris UPT Oklahoma City 405-677-6633

Arthur F. Hoge, III

Mee Mee Hoge & Epperson Oklahoma City 405-848-9100



Attorney Profiles


Life’s most difficult situations often require the expertise of an experienced lawyer. From real estate to family turmoil, the legal professionals on the following pages can give you the guidance you need, when you need it most.


Harmonniey Kinchion


armonniey Kinchion unexpectedly started her practice in January 2019 with one client and $250 on a credit card. She didn’t intend to start her own firm, but it’s been the best decision she’s made.

“Since that time, I have focused on serving my community primarily in the family and personal injury law practice areas,” she said. “The firm would not be as successful as it is today without my faith in God, the support of my family, and my clients.”

The firm’s foundation is built on three core principles: customer service, transparency and efficiency. Kinchion was a legal assistant for more than five years, which meant she was often the first point of contact for a client. She learned that having access to the attorney you meet and hire is the most important factor in ensuring client satisfaction. The second is delivering a great result.

“I participate in the most, if not the only, difficult time in a person’s life,” Kinchion said. “The very least I can do is to make sure my client is informed, has access to me, and that I obtain results in their best interests.”

Clients describe her as “intelligent” and as “someone who gets the job done right the first time.”

“She knows what she’s doing, and I trust her every decision,” said one client. “She was right there for me and my son in our time of need. I have and will always continue to recommend her services to others.”

50 JUNE 2023

Phillips Murrah P.C.

hillips Murrah P.C. is a commercial law firm providing integrated business and litigation strategies to a diverse base of industry-leading clients. The firm was founded in 1986 with one guiding vision: empower clients with the fresh insight, unique perspective, and strategic legal counsel necessary to achieve and maintain a competitive edge. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Phillips Murrah opened their Dallas office in 2018 to serve the needs of Texas clients.

Phillips Murrah provides unrivaled representation at competitive rates while maintaining the personalized relationships that clients should expect. They have a proven track record of representing clients in virtually every legal area, including general corporate matters, strategy and negotiations, governance and compliance, employment, mergers and acquisitions, taxation, and cybersecurity, among others. If clients face legal disputes, Phillips Murrah has the ability to rapidly assemble a focused, integrated, and efficient litigation team to address all important aspects of a problem, in multiple jurisdictions, from trial through the appeals process.

Attorneys at Phillips Murrah utilize sophisticated, creative planning and collaborate across multiple practices to ensure the advice and representation provided meets our clients’ particular needs and objectives. The firm’s wide variety of legal practice areas allows Phillips Murrah to be a strategic partner and a onestop shop for clients’ legal needs.

“In addition to outstanding legal representation, our firm is dedicated to making a positive difference in our community, as well as in the area of diversity and inclusion,” said Marketing Director Dave Rhea. “From partnering with the Thunder Cares Foundation to participating in the Mansfield Rule Diversity certification program, to being recognized every year since 2020 as ‘Ceiling Smashers’ by Law360’s Glass Ceiling Report, we demonstrate our commitment every day.”


Jaye Mendros


aye Mendros has devoted her career to citizens’ rights. She brings three decades of legal experience to her clients’ cases, beginning with her early work at the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, the Oklahoma Public Defender’s Office and the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System; she entered private practice in 2002 and never looked back.

This level of experience speaks of dedication to her clients that is unparalleled. Clients receive excellent, personalized representation when Mendros takes on their cases. Her teamwork-based approach to working with clients serves them well not only in court, but also in the long term.

During the course of her career, Mendros has taken on injustices ranging from botched death certificates, to fighting for the art of tattooing to become legalized in Oklahoma, to fighting death penalty cases, and challenging unconstitutional searches and seizures. She will fight governmental overreach relentlessly, and has handled “stand your ground” cases with success. She also supports groups that fight for gender, racial, indigenous and LGBTQ+ equality. Her ultimate dream is to see “equality under the law” become a reality.

When she isn’t in the courtroom, you can find Mendros weightlifting or cycling, or collaborating with local artists on projects that often end up as another new tattoo. It’s only appropriate that Oklahoma’s “tattoo lawyer” has two full sleeves, one of which is a tribute to four fierce, all-female goddesses in Greek mythology: Athena, Artemis, Nike, and Persephone.

“Since antiquity women have been a force of power and protection,” Mendros says. “My goddess sleeve reminds me daily what I’m here to do.”

Mendros has been published in Oklahoma Law Review and has been voted an Oklahoma Superlawyer (Top 5%) eight times, most recently in 2022. Her clients describe her as “a talented, knowledgeable, down-to-earth fighter who works extremely hard for her clients.”

52 JUNE 2023

hen you or a loved one are injured in an accident, the physical, emotional and financial aftermath can be overwhelming. Not only are you trying to recover from the traumatic experience, but attempting to navigate the legal repercussions can be unbearable.

This is where Joe Carson at Warhawk Legal can help you. He and his team are dedicated, experienced and above all, honest about how they can help with your case. The firm has established a solid reputation for building creative, effective and valuable solutions for clients’ legal issues, and their attorneys have more than 45 years of experience successfully representing clients. Warhawk Legal will fight to get you the justice you are owed, while you focus on what matters.

“Joe Carson and his staff are unbelievable,” said one client. “I had no idea what to do or where to turn, and they calmed me down and helped me the entire time.”

Warhawk Legal has successfully represented clients in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, medical malpractice, criminal defense and nursing home negligence, as well as oil and gas and environmental litigation. Clients receive free case evaluations/consultations, and most clients only pay if Warhawk wins the case. If Warhawk takes your case, they will prepare for trial from day one. Joe Carson and his firm have reached verdicts and settlements of more than 200 million dollars for clients.

Joe Carson has received numerous prestigious awards from the legal community, including an AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell® and inclusion in the exclusive list of SuperLawyers® . Having reached million-dollar and multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements, Carson has membership in the Million Dollar and Multiple Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Joe Carson is also a frequent speaker in the areas of litigation, personal injury and wrongful death matters. Hard-working, honest and accessible; that’s Warhawk Legal. Put your trust in them, and move forward with your life.


Holly Hefton

ourtroom theatrics, shady backroom deals, and questionable ethical standards are all things you won’t find at Holly Hefton, P.C. What you will find is unmatched tenacity, exceptional loyalty, and straightforward answers.

Hefton has practiced law for almost 30 years and focuses her current practice primarily on family law and mediation of family law cases, including paternity, custody and divorce.

“We care about our clients and try to do what is best for families in order to preserve the family bonds the best possible way,” she said.

A 6th generation business owner and lawyer, Hefton’s family dates back to the Twin Territories, the predecessor to the State of Oklahoma. Born in McAlester, Oklahoma, but raised all over the world, she has always held tight to her Oklahoma core values.

She is licensed to practice law in all Oklahoma courts, the Federal District Courts of the Western, Eastern and Northern Districts of Oklahoma, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Chickasaw Tribal Court. Hefton is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association Family Law Section. She has attained the highest rated level of peer review from Martindale-Hubble™.

Hefton has served as a board member of Norman’s Second Chance Animal Sanctuary and is a child’s advocate lawyer with Oklahoma Lawyers for Children, where she was recently honored as Attorney Volunteer of the Year. She is also a recipient of the Mona Salyer Lambird Service to Children Award. Hefton is currently on the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma County Bar Association.


Jacqui Ford

acqui Ford believes the best defense is a strong offense. With nearly 20 years of defending the constitutional rights of her clients at Jacqui Ford Law, she knows how to make and win her cases.

“Our clients say coming to our office is like coming home. We enjoy helping folks who are ready to step into being the best version of themselves. We help support our clients not just by navigating the criminal justice system, but we shepherd them through many of life’s challenges like recovery, divorce, and we always encourage further education and job training.”

Just this week the team at Ford Law celebrated a client who once faced manslaughter charges and life in prison. Today, she is graduating from The University of Oklahoma and beginning a whole new life for her and her family. These are the moments that keep Ford committed to her role in advocating for people.

“We build relationships here founded on trust, respect and compassion,” she said.

“Our clients brag about our team and how we fight for their families like we fight for our own. We strive to empower our clients and to show them the path to follow to chase their dreams and keep hope and love in the forefront of all that we do.”

Ford is committed to protecting her clients from government overreach and demands due process and fairness for all those accused. She believes when law enforcement, prosecutors and defense attorneys do their jobs well, then justice is more likely to prevail. Justice is the goal every day at Jacqui Ford Law.

Whether she is teaching, advocating, practicing law or just listening, Ford loves to serve the community she calls home.


Melissa Gardner

LG congratulates Senior Attorney, Melissa Gardner, on her inclusion in 405 Magazine’s list of Top Attorneys. Melissa’s 16 years of practice have focused on serving oil and gas clients from small independent operators to large multinational corporations as to their operations in Oklahoma, Texas and North Dakota. Melissa is from Empire, Oklahoma and has made OKC her home after graduating from Oklahoma State University and Georgetown University Law Center. Melissa joined TLG in April of 2022 after serving as a Shareholder at Phillips Murrah, P.C. and as an in-house attorney at Chesapeake Energy since her admission to the Bar. Congratulations to Melissa on this wonderful honor!

Title Law Group is composed of attorneys with multiple decades of experience and the integrity to deliver superior results. First and foremost, the firm is client-centric. They work tirelessly to meet tight deadlines for all clients, large and small.

All 23 attorneys possess strong skills in oil and gas title examination, allowing the firm to handle large projects in a short timeframe. They further work with individuals and energy companies to resolve obstacles that may prevent or delay payment of royalties.

In planning estates or handling probates, the firm’s attorneys work to understand the unique needs and concerns of each client and find the best solution for the client’s particular needs.

In times of uncertainty, clients can be sure that TLG prioritizes personal communication with clients and works to deliver prompt, professional results at a reasonable cost. The team of highly skilled attorneys is poised to meet every client’s legal needs.

The firm’s areas of practice include energy law (oil and gas, solar and wind), estate planning, probate law, real estate law, and business and commercial law. They also handle litigation in the areas of oil and gas, real property transactions, and contracts.

56 JUNE 2023

Luke Homen Law PLLC


ttorney Luke Homen began his legal career in 2008, and opened his own law firm in 2018. In the last five years, he has grown to a 10-person law firm by placing an emphasis on high quality legal work provided to clients in a convenient fashion. Along with associate attorneys Alex Sullivan and Colin Barrett, they represent debtors in Ch. 7 and Ch. 13 bankruptcies across the state of Oklahoma.

“We represent regular people who have found themselves with too much bad debt, and who are often scared and stressed to the breaking point. We try to make bankruptcy less scary and more transparent,” Homen said. “We focus on the hope and the light at the end of the tunnel.”

With almost 100 5-star reviews on Google, it’s clear their focus on convenience, compassion and quality has served their clients well.

“Luke and his staff are the best in the business,” said one reviewer. “Hands down the most knowledgeable, professional and courteous firm I’ve had the pleasure of working with.”

Homen was appointed to the Rules Committee of the Western District of Oklahoma Bankruptcy Court in 2023, and testified as an expert witness on Chapter 13 bankruptcy in a civil jury trial in Oklahoma County, also in 2023. He graduated in the top 10 percent of his law school class at The University of the Pacific and was elected chair of the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Section in 2022. He is a dedicated member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.

L to R: Luke Homen, Alex Sullivan & Colin Barrett

Hartzog Conger Cason

Hartzog Conger Cason began in 1978 as a three-person firm, and in the over four decades since has built a reputation as one of the most successful and prestigious law firms in Oklahoma.

“Over the past four decades, our firm has grown to be home to more than 40 lawyers, all embodying the core principles of the firm – unwavering commitment to service, unmatched strategies established through focused teams of top experts and unambiguous personal communication with our clients,” said Len Cason.

With the firm’s wide variety of experience in complex transactional, wealth planning, and commercial litigation matters, its clientele has come to rely upon the firm’s expertise, knowledge and resources to consistently produce successful results.

The firm consistently ranks among the leaders in the state in the number and percentage of attorneys recognized by the Best Lawyers, Chambers USA and Super Lawyers.


After practicing law for 5 years as an associate attorney, Kelli Kelso stepped out on her own and created Kelso Law Firm PLLC in 2012. With one assistant and a small office, she continued her career focusing on family law and misdemeanor criminal law. In 2017 she moved into her own office space and then in 2022 she acquired her own office space downtown. Since her start she has grown her company to five attorneys, two paralegals and an intern.

The office is composed entirely of women, which sets them apart from other firms. “We have total girl power in the firm,” Kelso said. “We love working together and have fun helping while representing our clients. Working on a strictly referral-based business, we’ve been blessed to be able to help hundreds of families,” says Kelso. With the growth of the firm and client base, Kelli is very appreciative of being able to help those in time of need. “We pride ourselves on representing our clients to the fullest, year in and year out.”

Clients say Kelli and her team listen to concerns and provide legal advice through experience and knowledge of the law. Her ability to show empathy, a direct approach, as well as her experience are assets clients appreciate.

She’s been recognized by Lawyers of Distinction for the past three years, Best of the 405 Law Firm in 2020 and 2023, as well as 405 Top Lawyer in 2022.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73102 | 405.235.7000 | HARTZOGLAW.COM
Matthew W. Brockman Partner John H. Edwards Partner J. Leslie LaReau Partner Tom R. Russell Partner Jesse C. Chapel Partner Charles E. Geister III Partner Mark R. McPhail Partner Stacey D. Spivey Partner Len Cason Partner David A. Elder Partner Laura McConnell-Corbyn Partner Amy J. Sine Partner Steven C. Davis Partner John J. “Jay”
Griffin III Partner Ashley Powell Partner T. Scott Spradling Of Counsel Benjamin K. Davis Of Counsel James D. Kallstrom Of Counsel
John D. Robertson Partner
58 JUNE 2023

Riggs Abney

Founded in 1972 by four graduates from The University of Tulsa College of Law, Riggs Abney is one of Oklahoma’s oldest and largest law firms with offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Colorado. They have a team of approximately 85 attorneys who provide broad-based legal counsel and representation in all aspects of law.

“We’ve followed a clear principle that has served us well for 50 years,” said Riggs Abney president Kristopher Koepsel. “We are passionate advocates for our clients and our communities. Whether

through legal representation, serving in public office or improving our community, we thrive in the service of others.”

The firm’s range of clients include Fortune 100 companies, national associations, state agency boards, privately owned companies and individuals. Its areas of expertise include appellate law, banking & finance, civil litigation, estate planning, government law, healthcare, medical malpractice, energy law, tax law and workers’ compensation.

Riggs Abney has been highly ranked by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in areas including Employment Law – Individuals, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs and Government Relations Practice.

Abel Law Firm

Abel Law Firm was founded in 1976 in Oklahoma City and has more than 150 years of combined legal experience handling personal injury claims.

The six-attorney firm has extensive trial experience and exclusively handles personal injury claims, such as wrongful death, trucking, motorcycle, and car accidents, oilfield and construction site injuries, premises liability claims, and product defect claims.

Clients describe the attorneys as knowledgeable, transparent,

experienced, compassionate, responsive, and hardworking.

The firm’s attorneys have been honored as “Super Lawyers” based on peer nominations, professional achievements, and legal acumen and recognized by Best Lawyers of America. They also maintain a “Preeminent AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell for the highest level of professional excellence and ethics.

In addition to being members of several legal organizations, the attorneys regularly volunteer their time with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Boys and Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma Legal Aid, Oklahoma Lawyers for Children, and other worthwhile organizations.

Bridget Pipkin with Foto Arts Photography
L to R: Kelly Bishop, Dacia Abel, T. Luke Abel, Lynn Mares, John Ditmars, Matthew Wade
L to R: Chad Taylor, Sharon Gentry, Jan Dumont, Robert Nance, George Emerson, Kristopher Koepsel and Gary Wood

Grady R. Conrad


The law firm of Klingenberg, Conrad & Associates and the accounting firm of Kenneth W. Klingenberg, C.P.A., P.C. have worked together to serve the diverse needs of their clients in the 405 metro since 1979. The combination of attorneys and CPAs allows the firm to bring substantial legal, accounting and business knowledge to bear for clients.

Attorney Grady R. Conrad has consistently been named one of the top in his field by professional organizations, including being listed as a Super Lawyers rising Star in 2020, 2021 and 2022, 40 Under 40 by Oklahoma Magazine in 2021, Top 10 Under 40 in 2021, 2022 and 2023 by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys, and Top Attorney by 405 Magazine in 2022 and 2023. He is past president of the Downtown Exchange Club of Oklahoma City and is the District President for 2023-24. Additionally, Conrad serves as the Treasurer of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court. This powerful combination of legal and financial expertise helps clients with issues ranging from civil litigation and estate planning to tax matters, as well as providing litigation support to other attorneys and law firms as financial experts, receivers, special masters and discovery masters.

Jennifer L. Wright


After years of serving clients while working for OKC area law firms, Jennifer Wright established Wright Law Firm in 2022 with a focus on providing compassionate, approachable legal services in the areas of estate planning, probate, guardianship and elder law.

“We are committed to excellence and strive to be responsive and compassionate with every client,” Wright said. “We provide individualized service and take the time to help clients understand the process.”

Clients agree that Wright explains estate planning in a way that’s easy to understand.

“Jennifer was very organized, professional and knowledgeable about all my questions,” said one client. “I feel so much better knowing all my wishes are in black and white, everything has been covered and easy for my family to follow.”

Wright serves on the board for the Oklahoma City Estate Planning Council, is a member of the Edmond Women’s Club and volunteers with various community nonprofits.


Christensen Law Group

Based in Oklahoma City, Christensen Law Group was founded on the principle of providing clients and the community with diverse, efficient and effective legal services. They’ve never strayed from their core principle of providing professional and quality services. The firm’s practice areas are broad and include agriculture, banking, litigation, healthcare, oil and gas, estate planning and employment law, among others.

“Although we are a small firm, we have attorneys practicing in a variety of legal areas, and we work together as a team to provide comprehensive legal services to clients to help them achieve their goals,” said Managing Director Clay Christensen.

The firm is dedicated to serving clients from across the state and has offices in Elk City, Clinton and Thomas, Oklahoma. In addition to representing businesses and individuals located and operating in Oklahoma, the firm has attorneys that are licensed to practice in Texas and Kansas and often works with national law firms that frequently retain Christensen Law Group to act as lead, special or local counsel in connection with major transactions or complex litigation in Oklahoma.

We are proud to announce that Cori Loomis and Brock Pittman received the distinction as Top Atttorney!

Laura Sams Neal


Attorney Laura Sams Neal is as hands-on at her son’s school as she is at her law firm, Laura Neal Law. She balances her work and home life, providing an empathetic perspective for clients in need of criminal defense.

After qualifying as a barrister in the UK, Neal moved to the U.S. and worked for the Oklahoma County Public Defender’s Office. She set up her own firm in 2016 and serves clients across Oklahoma.

“I believe there’s not one way to work on a case,” she said. “Every person is different with a different story and so therefore every client receives individualized representation. I see each person and make them feel heard.”

Neal has been named a Rising Star, a 405 Magazine Top Attorney and received the Liberty Bell Award from the Oklahoma Bar Association. She is also a member of the Junior League of Oklahoma City.

L to R: Brock Z. Pittman, Cori H. Loomis


Beginning as a two-person law partnership in 1944, GableGotwals has grown into a full-service law firm with approximately 100 attorneys and 70 other professionals in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Houston.

The firm represents a diversified, nationwide client base consisting of Fortune 500 companies, privately owned businesses, government agencies and officials, entrepreneurs, non-profits, and individuals.

GableGotwals is consistently recognized for its high-quality legal

Joy Turner


Since 1977, The Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc. has served as Oklahoma’s Protection and Advocacy System for individuals with disabilities. The Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System comprises a nationwide network of congressionally mandated, legally based disability rights agencies.

The office has a unique mission to only provide representation to individuals with disabilities. The team provides representation in areas of law that most private attorneys do not handle, such investigating allegations of abuse and neglect and representation in special education cases. Services are at no cost, regardless of income. Joy Turner is the director of investigation and monitoring.

“Joy is a zealous advocate who works tirelessly for the disadvantaged and the underserved,” said one client. “She is never ‘okay’ with the status quo or mediocracy. Rather, Joy leverages her training and experience to bring to the underrepresented communities a quality of legal representation that is unmatched and often never-before-seen.”

services across numerous specialties, including corporate, litigation, employment, regulatory, tax, and white-collar crime/government enforcement. They advise clients across multiple industries, including energy, healthcare, insurance, banking and finance, education, technology, construction, and manufacturing.

GableGotwals has a deep bench of long-time private practitioners, former in-house attorneys, SHRM-certified attorneys, fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers, former federal judicial clerks, former U.S. Attorneys, and other governmental officials. This mix of experience gives them a unique ability to spot costly risks and capitalize on valuable opportunities for their clients.

62 JUNE 2023
Back L-R: Blake Patton, Craig Regens, Lewis LeNaire, Lance Leffel, Jeff Curran, Robert McCampbell, Amy Stipe, Jake Krattiger, Dale Cottingham, Rob Robertson Front L-R: Blaine Schwabe, Leo Portman, Leasa Stewart, Nick Merkley, Brooks Richardson, Paula Williams

Johnson & Biscone

James and Emily Biscone are key players at the law firm Johnson & Biscone, founded by their father, Joseph C. Biscone, II, more than 40 years ago.

They, along with attorney Bryce Johnson, share an important goal: helping injured people – especially working people –recover the damages they are entitled to. They help Oklahomans understand what they are facing after an accident or injury and serve as trusted counsel.

“Our firm provides hands-on guidance, putting more than 90 combined years of knowledge, experience and integrity to work for clients. Whether it’s a personal injury, workers’ compensation or Social Security disability case, we go above and beyond to take care of people,” said James J. Biscone.

The entire firm believes everyone deserves the very best representation possible, not just the government and big corporations.

“It’s not just about winning cases,” said Emily Biscone. “We ensure people have the support and care they need to live the best life possible after an injury.”

April Quiroz


Dallas native April Quiroz founded Arnesen Law PLLC in Oklahoma City in 2016. Since inception, the firm zealously represents clients globally and has the privilege of enriching diversity locally here in Oklahoma City.

The firm focuses primarily on immigration law, with clients from a variety of countries, including The Bahamas, Brazil, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, India, Iraq, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, and South Africa, among others. The firm has also had the distinct opportunity to represent foreign nationals who are members of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma.

Arnesen Law provides personalized, honest, and quality legal representation to each and every one of its clients. Quiroz has worked on both sides of the immigration legal system, which gives her a valuable perspective in determining legal strategy.

“The biggest compliment we receive is that we make the immigration process a whole lot less stressful,” Quiroz said. “We sincerely enjoy providing immigration legal services to our clients and their families.”

CITY, OK 73102 | 405.232.6490 | OKLALEGAL.COM
L to R: James J. and Emily Biscone

Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst

In 2015, two powerhouse law firms merged to form Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst. Both firms had the same goal in mind: to help people across Oklahoma when they or a loved one sustained permanent catastrophic personal injuries or death due to the negligence of another. The firm is focused on making themselves available to clients and standing with them, even after the case is resolved.

Partner Glendell Nix leads the MND medical malpractice team.

Kate N. Dodoo

Kate N. Dodoo is an experienced appellate, and labor and employment lawyer who leads McAfee & Taft’s Immigration and Compliance Group. With over 17 years’ experience, Kate represents businesses in appellate litigation, and she serves as business immigration counsel for major U.S.-based corporations with global operations, and foreign-owned companies with business interests in the U.S.

Clients say Kate takes the time to listen and learn the business’ operations and needs to achieve the desired results, and resolves matters in the client’s best interests while identifying and mitigating potential risks. Kate is also a committed community volunteer, currently serving on the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Bench and Bar and Diversity Committees.

Kate is one of the many talented attorneys at McAfee & Taft, which has distinguished itself as an industry leader in providing clients with creative and innovative strategies for meeting their business and legal needs. The firm is one of the largest and most respected full-service business practice law firms in the region.

Partner Jacob Diesselhorst leads the MND birth injury team. Associate Attorney Cody Roberson works nursing home neglect, birth injury and medical malpractice cases; and Associate Attorney Shea Bracken works birth injury and medical malpractice cases. Collectively, these four attorneys have more than 85 years of experience, and have been extremely successful in their representation of their fellow Oklahomans who have sustained permanent, catastrophic injuries due to the negligence of another.

L to R: Glendell Nix, Jacob Diesselhorst, Cody Roberson and Shea Bracken
& TAFT 64 JUNE 2023
Interested in participating in one of 405 Magazine’s special sections? Now is your chance! Contact us to recieve a calendar rundown of all the special sections planned for the 2023 year and secure your spot today. For more information about these issues and to discuss a comprehensive advertising plan that includes our other platforms, contact your 4O5 account executive or call 405.842.2266 FACES OF THE 405 AUGUST 2023 Position your brand as the local “face” of your industry in this title-exclusive* section that gives you the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the person or people who’ve made your business what it is. WOMEN WHO MOVE THE CITY OCTOBER 2023 This female-centric issue celebrates women from across the OKC metro. Share your own story and tell readers what’s next for your business or organization.
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Smoke Signals

Santo is the OKC destination for mezcal cocktails done well. p. 72 67 405MAGAZINE.COM

A Dream of a Deli

Chef Jonathan Krell brings Yukon a taste of the East Coast


in Oklahoma City in 2007. He was working two restaurants in Philly’s Old City neighborhood when his brother, Gerry Reardon, called to tell him that OKC was full of opportunities for a young chef.

“He’d just moved here from Orange County with his wife, who was pregnant at the time, and he told me that there were only a handful of chef-driven restaurants in the city,” Krell said. “I flew out here, fell in love with it and moved here the same year.”

Excluding good steakhouses, the small list of chef-driven restaurants at that time included Coach House, La Baguette, The Metro and Rococo. Yes, there were

a few others, but it’s a surprising reminder of what’s happened in the 405 in 16 years, given that it’s now easy to rattle off 20 chefdriven concepts.

Over the next several years in OKC, Krell worked for himself and for the late, great Pete Holloway; he was also the executive chef at Stella at a critical moment in the development of Lori Burson’s Midtown restaurant. During that entire period, Krell regularly mentioned one thing he very much missed about living back east.

“I grew up in a Jewish household,” he said. “My mother converted when she married my stepdad, so Jewish delis were an integral part of our lives. In 2007, the closest thing [in OKC] was Ingrid’s, and I loved Ingrid’s, but it wasn’t an East Coast deli.”

After leaving the Holloway Group, Krell took over the kitchen of Patrono in what is now City Center, and that’s where he met the couple that would finally help bring his deli to life: Gary and Melinda Billings, owners of Patrono and now partners in Krell’s East Coast Delicatessen in Yukon at 2121 S. Yukon Parkway.

“Yukon feels a bit like OKC when I first got here,” Krell said. “OKC is on the verge of being oversaturated with chef-driven options, but Yukon is in need of chef-driven concepts, so I think we’re opening the deli at the perfect time, and the city has responded.”

And not just Yukon. People are driving from all over central Oklahoma already, many of whom are transplants who miss the Jewish delis of Los Angeles, Miami and New York City. Several times a day, a guest will talk to the chef about their favorite things back home and how much they, too, have wanted an East Coast -style deli.

“We’re getting three kinds of guests right now,” Krell said. “Friends and followers I’ve known for years, Yukon residents who are excited about a very different option and the transplants who love Jewish delis.”

The food can be challenging for beginners, but it’s a worthy adventure. The kasha and bowties, for example, is likely the first version in a restaurant in the state: bow tie pasta, buckwheat and gribenes (crispy bits of fried chicken skin and fried onions). It’s not that exotic, though, if you had an Okie grandma who threw chicken skin in the cast-iron skillet to make cracklins. Many of the items have analogs in Oklahoma dining: hamantashen vs. fruit Danishes, noodles and kugel vs. bread pudding, and the kids’ fluffernutter vs. PB&J where the jelly is subbed with marshmallow cream.

As an entry point, it’s hard to beat the pastrami or egg salad sandwich. The flavors are warm and familiar — a hug from a deli, so to speak. The Philly is the standout on the menu, which is fitting for a Philadelphia native. Krell is quick to point out that his version is very, very traditional.

“You won’t find any green bell peppers on my Philly,” he said. “That’s not a Philly; it’s a red flag. It’s beef, grilled onions and one of three cheeses: Cooper Sharp, Whiz or provolone. That’s it. It’s a traditional build.”

And it’s delicious and worth the drive. Krell’s has breakfast items, too, and deli meats are available by the pound — it’s a deli, after all. For the uninitiated, the chef has some advice: “Ask questions when you come in. We want you to ‘get’ the food, and for sure try the samples we offer every day.”

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A beautiful spread at Krell’s Deli with his stellar chicken salad as centerpiece

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Pasta Perfection

A novel twist on tradition at Bradford House


is a model of simplicity: pasta, black pepper and cheese — that’s it. It is perfect in its simplicity, so if a chef is going to riff on it, the finished product better be worthy of the cacio e pepe designation. When Chef Caleb Stangroom added a goat cheese cacio e pepe to the new menu at Bradford House, 1235 NW 38th St. in OKC, he stayed faithful to the original build, but he did add one ingredient you wouldn’t normally find in the dish: egg yolk sauce.

It’s true that the goat cheese is a departure from the more traditional pecorino and Parmesan, but the combination of tangy, nutty, slightly sweet Honey Bee goat cheese, rich egg yolk sauce and Della Terra bucatini makes this one of the best pasta dishes you’ll find anywhere. It respects tradition while allowing room for interpretation, and that seems to be a specialty of Stangroom, a chef who Springfield, Missouri, inexplicably allowed to leave. (Thanks, neighbor!)

Stangroom brings a refreshing twist to all his dishes — like replicating a Big Mac (but doing it better) for his burger, or the short rib and taleggio cheese sauce in his Potato Latke appetizer. He explains the name by saying, “I thought people would respond better to ‘latkes’ than ‘potato pancakes’ on a menu.” Truly, no one is likely to care, as the dish is creamy, cheesy, savory and satisfying.

Using Della Terra pasta has become a habit for Stangroom, almost as if one excellent chef recognizes another. Chef Chris Becker’s OKC-based boutique pasta company was one of only two pasta producers in the United States to make The Wall Street Journal ’s list of best pastas in the world. Once you learn Becker’s background, the honor makes sense.

Becker got his start as a line cook in New York City, where he worked his way into some of the most prestigious kitchens in the boroughs. His resume includes gigs as the pasta chef for Lidia Bastianich’s Del Posto, a restaurant that earned two Michelin stars and three James Beard Awards. He also made pasta for Chef Eric Ripert, owner of the three-Michelin-starred Le Bernardin, a restaurant distinguished by earning eight James Beard Awards — more than any other NYC restaurant.

When people talk about the timeline of Oklahoma’s culinary evolution, 2011 should be noted as the year Becker started Della Terra Pasta. It was a turning point for pasta in central Oklahoma, and his pastas — fresh and dried — can be found in restaurants and stores all over the state now. Stangroom is not the only uber-talented chef who relies on Becker’s talent, knowledge and precision, but Bradford House is better for it, just as the 405 is better for Becker’s contributions.

Bucatini by Della Terra Pasta at Bradford House
70 JUNE 2023

Smoke on the Rocks

Mezcal drives the mellow Melon Ball Z at OKC’s Palo Santo

AT THE RISK OF OVERSIMPLIFYING, THERE ARE TWO KINDS of people in the world: those who like mezcal, and those who, after tasting it, think someone accidentally emptied an ashtray into the cocktail. Tequila’s agave-based cousin has been having a big moment worldwide for the past couple of years, and ground zero for mezcal in OKC is cocktail bar Palo Santo at 1203 SW Second St. in the Farmers Market District.

Ordinarily, this would be the spot where we talk about how Bailey Butler, co-owner and cocktail wizard, is the best in the 405 at balancing the complex flavors of historically difficult ingredients like mezcal, sherry and pisco. But in this case, it’s her husband Brian Butler, chef and co-owner, who gets the credit for the Melon Ball Z — a fact Bailey readily acknowledged.

While it would seem obvious that a chef, a person whose job it is to build layers of flavor and texture, could easily transition into crafting cocktails, too, that’s rarely the case. Butler, who cut his teeth working with food truck pioneer Chef Roy Choi for six years in Los Angeles, is an exception to the rule. He brings the same level of creativity and experience to the bar as the kitchen.

The Melon Ball Z — which does in fact have a melon ball for a garnish — is exactly what newbies to mezcal need to assess which of the two camps (love or ashtray) they belong in. The smokiness, or Band-Aid flavor as some would have it, of mezcal comes from roasting the hearts (piñas) of the agave plants in rock-lined, conical, underground pits. The smoky flavor is married to the mash at that point, and the test for bartenders is to manage that sometimes aggressive smokiness by combining it with ingredients that either complement or mask (to some degree) the smoky, rubbery notes.

Butler used Ilegal Mezcal — a brand name and not a statement of criminal status — for the Melon Ball Z. The spirit is made from the Espadín varietal of agave, the most commonly used varietal in mezcal production. Each type of agave has its own flavor profile; the smoke is not part of the flavor profile, which is obvious when consuming tequila.

What makes Melon Ball Z the perfect introduction is Butler’s use of pisco, cantaloupe and Chareau (an aloe-based liqueur), lemon and Peychaud’s Bitters to make the mezcal one note among many. You can still taste it, but it’s sharing space with other strong flavors, and it’s mellowed a bit by the aloe and melon. Basically, if you don’t like the Melon Ball Z, mezcal is probably not for you. Fortunately, Palo Santo’s bar has you covered either way.

Melon Ball Z at Palo Santo
72 JUNE 2023
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Globe-Trotting Greens

Light summer dishes from around the world

SUMMER IS AN INVITATION TO lighter eating, and very few things are as inviting as a cold, crisp salad in the furnace that is Oklahoma’s summer. Often overlooked in the 405 culinary scene is the wonderful variety of salads available in area restaurants, so for this roundup, we looked at salad through an international lens to help you experience a more diverse selection for summer dining.

Azteca Mexican Grill, 4024 N. May Ave., OKC

One of the unsung heroes of the lunch menu is the hearty taco salad, with its mix of textures, flavors and temperatures. At Azteca, diners have a choice of ground beef and beans or chicken and rice accompanied by the usual veggies, sour cream and freshly made guacamole.

Basil Mediterranean Cafe, 211 NW 23rd St., OKC

There is no bad way to serve a garbanzo bean, except maybe coated in chocolate, so the garbanzo bean salad at Basil is another adventurous way to enjoy this versatile legume. It’s a simple, delicious salad that includes feta, lemon and lime juice, and black olives.

Cafe 7, 14101 N. May Ave., OKC

The Cobb salad was born in California and has become a classic American staple largely on the strength of its delicious blend of flavors and textures. Cafe 7 offers an excellent introduction to this salad-as-a-meal: romaine and field greens, roasted chicken breast, boiled eggs and honey mustard dressing.

La Baguette, 7408 N. May Ave., OKC

The salade niçoise is one of France’s great contributions to the definition of salad. La Baguette goes traditional with mixed greens, potatoes, red onion, tomato, kalamata olives, asparagus, green beans, boiled egg and a choice of salmon or tuna. No, salmon isn’t exactly traditional, but like Chef Tom Colicchio on the current season of “Top Chef,” you’ll find it’s an excellent twist.

Ma Der, 1634 N. Blackwelder Ave., OKC

Chef Jeff Chanchaleune brings the heat — bird’s eye pepper style — in his traditional papaya salad. The mix of green papaya, Thai eggplant, chilis and tomatoes is fruit-forward and refreshing, with just a touch of umami. The “mom’s spice” heat level is rated a 10 out of 10, or as the menu notes, “maybe an 11.” They should drop the “maybe.” Fortunately, heat levels for the rest of us are also available.

Mediterranean Imports, Deli and Gastro Goods, 5620 N. May Ave., OKC

In addition to the dizzying array of salads available at its deli counter, the menu includes a delicious fattoush salad. The Levantine specialty has excellent texture thanks to the seasoned pita chips (khubz) that accompany the cucumbers, feta, onions and olives.

Oozie Mediterranean Restaurant, 1211 N. Shartel Ave., OKC Tabouli (tabbouleh) has been a staple in Oklahoma for more than a century, thanks mostly to Lebanese immigrants who have helped shape the Oklahoma table. Oozie does traditional Lebanese extraordinarily well, and its tabbouleh is no exception. It’s a traditional build with parsley, onions, cracked wheat, tomatoes, lemon juice and olive oil.

Tienda Guatemala, 1001 N. Virginia Ave., OKC Order the stunning pepián de pollo at this Guatemalan mercado and kitchen, and they’ll ask if you want the ensalada de coditos — a

traditional macaroni salad from Mexico and Central America. You’ll want to say yes, especially if your family ate at picnics or church potlucks, because the combination of elbow macaroni and finely diced vegetables is nostalgic bliss.

Travel by Taste, 4818 N. MacArthur Blvd., Warr Acres

This west-side institution has been serving Persian specialties for more than 30 years. The Persian salad has enough familiarity for fans of Mediterranean food that it will seem like comfort food: tomatoes, cucumber, onion and parsley, dressed simply with olive oil and lemon juice.

Zorba’s, 6014 N. May Ave., OKC

The Greek salad is similar to other Levantine and Mediterranean salads, but what makes it stand out here is the addition of zippy, tangy pepperoncini peppers. Zorba’s combines fresh greens, tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta, cucumbers and a delicious feta vinaigrette to make this cooling summer salad.

74 JUNE 2023
Papaya Salad at Ma Der Lao Kitchen
Matthew D. McReynolds D.D.S


Tactile Terrains

Bianca Roland’s multisensory landscapes evoke psychedelic wonder. p. 82


Keeping It Reel

The 2023 deadCenter Film Festival points its cameras toward outreach, inclusion and new experiences at theatres

FROM ITS HUMBLE BEGINNINGS IN 2001 TO ITS RISE AS AN Academy Award-qualifying summer staple, deadCenter Film Festival has tried to capture Oklahoma’s film boom with a figurative wide-angle lens — one that included all of Oklahoma City.

Last year’s festival brought screenings closer to people’s homes at Capitol Hill’s Yale Theater, but executive director Cacky Poarch said the distance from other venues ended up confusing audience members, who “didn’t quite know where to go” for their next movie. The organization needed another approach to continue its outreach.

Since then, deadCenter expanded its offseason programming by partnering with OKC Latino Young Professionals and the Asian District Cultural Association to show films with Latin and Asian voices and offer networking opportunities for those wanting to pursue a career in film.

And by keeping the 2023 festival centralized downtown and trimming travel time between showings, program director Sara Thompson hopes that everyone will have the chance to both “see themselves on screen” and also experience something new to them.

This year’s deadCenter Film Festival runs June 8–11 with screenings of 165 narrative and documentary feature films and shorts concentrated at Harkins Theatres Bricktown, OKCMOA, the First Americans Museum, 21c Museum Hotel, JDM Place and Scissortail Park. It’ll feature an eclectic film slate ranging from a rotoscoped sci-fi-Western (Quantum Cowboys) to a 1970s women’s football team’s underdog story (Herricanes) to the representative legacy of the Black Barbie doll (Black Barbie), which will serve as the festival’s opener.

“The (Black Barbie) director is Lagenaria Davis, and she went to the University of Oklahoma,” Thompson said. “Her style of filmmaking is really fun. She had a lot of great humor in the film and great documentary subjects.”

Davis isn’t the only skillful Oklahoman highlighted at deadCenter —the festival’s closing film Fancy Dance, which follows a Seneca–Cayuga woman on a search for her missing sister, was filmed in the state by Oklahoma native director Erica Tremblay. The lineup includes four Sooner State-made features and two Okie Shorts selections, the latter of which Thompson said is the festival’s biggest attended screening.

Providing a platform for Oklahoma filmmakers to share their art with industry professionals and community members has been a longstanding principle of the festival. “If we’re going to really have a thriving film community and sustainable film industry, I think we need to tell Oklahoma stories and build Oklahoma filmmakers that way,” Poarch said.

The nonprofit will continue its education efforts for young local filmmakers through events at the festival. The Film Future event will showcase motion capture, drone, virtual reality technology and more to teach their applications in storytelling, and the returning deadCenter University workshop will connect high school students with industry professionals for hands-on, on-set guidance with equipment and creative development. The festival’s parties also give the chance for esteemed and emerging filmmakers to network and learn from each other.

But film directors and producers aren’t the only ones that benefit from wide exposure. deadCenter Film Festi-

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Black Barbie examines the doll’s impact on Black female representation through speaking with its creator.

val prioritizes diversity and inclusion in its slate of fi lms to both boost creative voices and share intentional, potent stories with audiences. “What (shorts programmers Camila Chaves Rojas and Paris Burris) are thinking when they program is, ‘Who are we representing, and who are we supporting?’” Thompson said.

As a programmer, Thompson loves pushing people’s beliefs and expectations through fi lm’s mesmerizing power, but most importantly, she enjoys the passionate collective experience of watching movies in a theater of movie lovers.

“When you get that crowded audience in the theater, and the fi lmmakers, too, the audience is so hardcore celebrating the fi lm and rooting for the fi lm,” Thompson said. “People are laughing harder than they might normally laugh, or they’re crying. For people who like movies, I want them to come in and experience really being a part of something bigger than just being at home.” An open invitation for all Oklahomans to search for the silver screen.

JOIN LYRIC THIS SUMMER AT THE CIVIC CENTER! THE SOUND OF MUSIC - (June 27-July 2) THE PROM - (July 11-16) AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ - (July 25-30) SUBSCRIBE TODAY! LyricTheatreOKC.org • (405) 524-9312
The 2023 deadCenter Film Festival opens with Black Barbie at the OKCMOA June 8. Festival passes are $200. Paris Bennett in AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’, TUTS Houston.
Photo by Melissa Taylor.
Herricanes follows the underdog Houston team in the first women’s football league.

Sparking Interest

OKC’s new pro softball team comes out swinging

THIS MONTH, AFTER THE WOMENʼS COLLEGE WORLD Series champions are crowned, the sport of softball will continue in the 405. The Oklahoma City Spark will start its inaugural season and bring professional women’s fastpitch softball to OKC and the metro, cementing the city’s status as Softball Capital of the World.

Women’s Professional Fastpitch Commissioner Lauren Chamberlain unveiled the Spark in 2022 as the league’s third out of four teams. WPF played its fi rst season last year as the successor to National Pro Fastpitch, which ceased operations in 2021. According to the league, “WPF showcases the best athletes in softball, provides a world-class experience for fans and connects young fans to their idols.”

Tina and Robert Floyd — owners of Floyd’s RV in Norman, which is known for supporting Oklahoma students and schools — are the owners of OKC Spark. Tina is also a friend of OU softball coach Patty Gasso and hopes to keep the Spark community-based, according to The Tuttle Times OKC Spark will come out swinging during its season opener June 15 against the Smash It Sports Vipers at Gerry Pinkston Stadium on the University of Central Oklahoma campus. It is entering the league with a star-studded lineup of the most talented athletes in the sport, including OU legend Jocelyn Alo.

The outfielder was traded from the Smash It Sports Vipers to OKC Spark for the 2023 season. Alo currently holds the OU career record for hitting, on-base percentage, slugging, hits, runs, home runs, RBI, total bases and extra-base hits. And during her fi rst year in WPF, she already hit the most career home runs in the league and was second for walks and games played in the season.

Alo was the only player in NCAA Division I history to fi nish a season (2022) with a batting average over .500 and more than 30 home runs. She was also the fi rst player in NCAA Division I history to hit 30 or more home runs in three different seasons — 2018, 2021 and 2022.

Joining Alo is former OU teammate and OU captain Lynnsie Elam, a catcher from Chickasha who hit .300 through 215 games with the Sooners from 2018 through 2022 and was a crucial member of OU’s national title teams in 2021 and 2022.

Keilani Ricketts will also join the Spark as a starting pitcher for the 2023 season. Ricketts played as a member of Team USA in summer 2012 and on the 2011 United States women’s national team. She also helped Team USA win silver at the 2012 ISF XIII Women’s World Fastpitch Championship, going 4-0 with a 1.04 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 27 innings while hitting .429 with one home run and 4 RBI.

On April 17, the Yale Theater in Oklahoma City’s Historic Capitol Hill hosted WPF’s fi rst college draft. Chamberlain and Tina Floyd announced the OKC Spark’s No. 1 overall pick: OU pitcher Alex Storako, who will join Alo, Elam and Ricketts as another Oklahoma softball star keeping her talents in the state. It wouldn’t be a tough pitch to declare the state of Oklahoma as softball’s home.

For more information about the team, schedules and pricing, visit okcspark.com

OKC Spark catcher Lynnsie Elam was the team captain of the 2021 and 2022 OU championship teams.
80 JUNE 2023


ART SALE WEEKEND | JUNE 9 – 10, 2023

Event details, reservations, online catalog and proxy information available at pdw.nationalcowboymuseum.org.

On exhibit June 2 – August 6, 2023.

1700 Northeast 63rd Street • Oklahoma City, OK 73111 (405) 478-2250 • nationalcowboymuseum.org

Museum Partners Devon Energy Corporation

E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation

Major Support The True Foundation

Presented by

D. LaRue Mahlke, Evening Glory, Soft pastel on prepared board, 30" x 30"

Color Me Curious

Bianca Roland’s otherworldly works pull us in


Bianca Roland hopes to inspire in others through her mixed-media art. A self-described “psychedelic maximalist,” Roland pieces together supernatural scenes of vivid colors and varied textures, mostly drawing from her ever-growing collection of upcycled materials. Her three-dimensional art makes viewers look twice, with their eyes darting from one curious element to the next. Her art can be seen at Factory Obscura, but we took a closer look at Roland’s fantastical works to learn the how and why behind her lively landscapes.

What inspires your creativity?

I love color. A lot of my inspiration comes from visions of places like Wonderland, Oz. If you’ve ever seen the original 1970s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, that scene where they walk into the room where everything is edible — those kinds of environments. I also like densely packed organic environments like coral reefs and rainforests, where there’s a lot of diversity and shapes and colors.

Describe your art.

My work is mixed media, which is kind of a vague description, but I am not the kind of artist that does just one thing. I’m doing three things. Primarily, right now, one are pieces that are a combination of foam clay, beads and found objects, mostly plastic. The second one is the wall hangings, which are recycled canvas, ribbon, yarn and dangly bits, for lack of a better word. And then a medium that I have just started working in is abstract embroidery: needle-felted, beads. So many components go into my pieces, it’s kind of hard to describe them simply.

Where do you source upcycled materials?

You know the Goodwill Outlet that’s on Reno Avenue? I love to go down there and just grab handfuls of little bitty plastic bits. At regular thrift stores, I will go and I’ll fi nd jewelry, I’ll deconstruct it and I’ll use the beads.

You were previously a painter, only entering mixed-media art a year and a half ago. How did that happen?

As a painter, I was having trouble executing the visions that I had. So, I have a friend named Marisa Saylor; she’s an artist working out of Los Angeles. She’s absolutely an influence on my own work. I started corresponding with her and asked her about her materials. I picked up some of this foam clay, started playing with it — and it just immediately took off. I was like, “Yes, I can absolutely execute my vision with this,” and it’s just been a speeding train ever since.

Where would you like to go with your work?

I would really like the opportunity to do much, much larger things. I would like to do installation work. I’m really itching to do large pieces … like in corporate settings or store windows or — I don’t know, like I’m completely open — but I want to work big.

Why is that?

I want to see if I can do it, and I know I can. Every time I tackle a new medium, there’s always a period of time when what I’m making looks terrible, but it doesn’t take long for me to figure out how to use stuff and make it look awesome. And, honestly, I just want to see what my limits are.

Bianca Roland draws inspiration from the zany worlds of Oz, Wonderland and Willy Wonka. Roland’s environments consist of found plastics, foam clay, beads and many other materials.

Preserving the City’s Beauty

OKC Beautiful’s legacy of service

OKLAHOMA CITY WAS STILL IN ITS INFANCY when community leaders decided the state’s capital already needed more visual appeal and updated amenities.

A nationwide trend to beautify cities, called the City Beautiful Movement, swept the early 1900s. Supporters of the movement believed that wide streets, well-planned landscapes and beautiful buildings would help build or restore pride in urban areas.

In 1903, several local ladies’ clubs organized a Civic Improvement League, one of the earliest City Beautiful organizations in Oklahoma City, to guide beautification efforts that often included hiring gardeners, gathering groups to plant flowers and improving sanitary conditions.

The city’s bigger focus was on park development, city planning and zoning, landscape design, new infrastructure for paved streets, classically inspired buildings, sweeping boulevards, trash removal, sewer systems and street lighting.

Professional planners were hired for those early large projects but not always with successful outcomes. The local City Beautiful campaign, which ended in 1944, was a strong start to what has become a century-long endeavor to make Oklahoma City more attractive and its residents more involved, knowledgeable and supportive.

One of the biggest steps in that direction came March 26, 1971, when Oklahoma City Beautiful was incorporated as the only nonprofit organization dedicated to the beautification of the city.

Throughout Oklahoma City, the efforts of the organization, its partners and thousands of volunteers to enhance public spaces, parks and medians can be seen and appreciated, thanks to their tireless energy and dedication.

The nonprofit has grown in its 50 years, as have its programs. The organization now offers 10, including Tree OKC with plantings, giveaways and education; LitterBlitz, an annual event with volunteer groups picking up litter; OKC Harvest school gardens; Mother Earth, which teaches students about litter reduction, recycling and water conservation; and Adopt-A-Park, which encourages groups to maintain a park, median or green belt.

Oklahoma City Beautiful’s annual achievements include maintenance of 39 sponsored medians and rights-of-way through the LandScapes program; teaching 15,000 students through Mother Earth elementary education; engaging 5,000-plus volunteers each year in its programs; planting 800 trees in 2022, with the number expected to exceed 1,200 this year; more than 125,000 pounds of litter collected last year by volunteers; 1,400 students receiving continuous education in the OKC Harvest school garden program; and 2,000-plus residents who receive free and low-cost environmental education each year.

It’s what Oklahoma City Beautiful Inc. envisioned more than 50 years ago when the nonprofit formally began with its mission to lead beautification and environmental efforts through collaboration, education and advocacy. Going forward, Oklahoma City’s urban landscape appears, quite literally, to be in good hands.

About 1,400 students annually participate in the OKC Harvest program. OKC Beautiful believes a child who has experienced nature can learn to care about it. OKC Beautiful volunteers collected more than 125,000 pounds of litter in 2022.
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Thenceforward and Forever Free

Juneteenth celebrations in the 405


Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed enslaved African Americans in Confederate states and marked the beginning of the end of legal slavery in the United States. However, freedom was not instantaneous for many African Americans living in Confederate-controlled states. On June 19, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, and freed over 250,000 enslaved people. Those emancipated in Texas referred to the day as Juneteenth.

Known as the second Independence Day, Jubilee and Emancipation Day, June 19 is a time to reflect and celebrate Black American history and culture. Juneteenth has been widely recognized by African American communities for decades, but only over the past few years have more Americans grown familiar with the day, which became a federal holiday in 2021.

Juneteenth celebrations often include parades, art displays, food and an array of cultural performances, including traditional African American music such as gospel, blues and jazz, as well as dance and theater. In some community celebrations, there are reenactments of historical events, such as the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation or the arrival of Union soldiers in Texas.

Oklahoma visitors and residents can take part in several Juneteenth celebrations around OKC and throughout the state this June. Each celebration is a unique community-based experience, with Juneteenth on the East and Norman’s Juneteenth Festival being among the area’s most notable.

“It’s a celebration for the community, put on by the community,” said Juneteenth on the East organizer Jabee Williams. “We honor community leaders and give local artists and businesses an opportunity to be part of the celebration.”

Juneteenth festivities are synonymous with freedom, resiliency, community and the potential for good things to come. It is not merely a singular historical event, but an opportunity to share stories, learn and grow. It is a celebration of heritage and equality.

“I’ve celebrated Juneteenth my entire life,” Jabee said. “My family would celebrate, or we would go to community events. However, Juneteenth represents liberation, and Juneteenth on the East is a celebration for all people to come together and

peacefully rejoice in freedom, exchange in culture and uplift the community.”

Juneteenth on the East will feature local small businesses that make up the backbone of the Eastside community, as well as live music, a 5K race, interactive murals, dance performances, food trucks, educational tents and vendors.

Norman also hosts an annual Juneteenth celebration. “Our festival is unique because it is planned and operated by a resident committee of stakeholders who do their best to ensure that the festival is a welcoming educational event highlighting Norman’s African American history, as well as the history of Juneteenth,” said Veronica Tracy, recreation manager for the City of Norman. “The celebration is full of entertainment, good food and family activities culminating in a huge fi reworks show over Reaves Park.”

This year, Norman’s Juneteenth festival opens with a welcome message from Dr. George Henderson, the fi rst African American in Oklahoma to hold an endowed professorship.

“Dr. Henderson is an author and activist and set in motion many cultural and institutional changes that continue to this day,” Tracy said. “His story reminds

A parade kicks off Juneteenth on the East’s Saturday celebration.
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Juneteenth on the East features live performances from artists such as singer Mya in 2022.

the community of the sacrifices made by some of their ancestors to be able to celebrate such a day, and the progress still needed and being made to combat racial inequity in Norman and Oklahoma at large. This year is Norman’s fourth Juneteenth celebration, and our Juneteenth celebration aims to celebrate and honor Norman’s Black history in the community with one another.”

Experience Juneteenth on the East from June 16-17 and Norman’s Juneteenth Festival on June 17. Visit withloveokc.org to learn more about Juneteenth on the East and being a volunteer, vendor or performing artist. You can also learn more about African American history in Norman at normanok.gov/about-norman/inclusive-community/african-americans.

The 9th and 10th Calvary of the Buff alo Soldiers participated in last year’s Norman Juneteenth Festival.
50 Penn Place Art Gallery 1900 NW Expressway | Suite 113 Oklahoma City, OK 73118 (405) 848-5567 Open Tuesday- Saturday 11:00 am-5:30 pm Find us on FaceBook and Instagram 87 405MAGAZINE.COM
Norman’s celebration in Reaves Park aims to educate residents about the city’s African American history.

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One hundred years ago… Clara Luper was born. OKC’s civil rights icon changed our city and helped change our country. We honor her legacy today and draw inspiration from it.”


... Last year, Al Maeder and Kristi Coleman were our HALF Marathon winners. This year, they both won the FULL! Next year — course records? Congratulations, Al and Kristi!”

@OKCMARATHON OKC is the fashion capital of the NBA”


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88 JUNE 2023
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