Press Release

February 21, 2020

GOVERNOR STITT ANNOUNCES NEW APPOINTMENTS TO OU AND OSU/A&M BOARD OF REGENTS

Oklahoma City, Okla. (February 21, 2020)— Governor Kevin Stitt announced today the appointment of Anita L. Holloway to the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents and Jimmy D. Harrel to the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agriculture and Mechanical Colleges. Both positions require Senate confirmation.

“I am thrilled to appoint two strong leaders and proud Oklahomans to the OU and OSU A&M Board of Regents,” said Gov. Stitt. “Anita is an accomplished accountant and business leader who will bring her professional expertise and passion for OU to the table to support the university’s vision. Jimmy is a successful businessman, agriculture leader and OSU alum who will bring his wealth of experience and commitment to Oklahoma’s students to support the OSU A&M Board of Regents. I have full faith they will serve our universities and state well as we continue to move the needle toward becoming a Top Ten state.  

Anita L. Holloway is filling the seat of Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes, whose term ends March 21, 2020. Holloway will serve a seven year term beginning March 22, 2020 and expiring March 21, 2027. 

“Nothing can change a person’s life more than the opportunities and life experiences gained through education,” said Holloway. “I am very much looking forward to working with the Board of Regents and the entire University of Oklahoma family to achieve excellence within the University of Oklahoma educational system, and I want to thank Governor Stitt for the opportunity to serve the University.”

Anita Holloway is the Office Managing Partner of Ernst & Young LLP’s Tulsa office. A native of Stuart, Oklahoma, Holloway has spent the majority of her twenty-seven year career in public accounting in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, working with many of Oklahoma’s largest companies.

Holloway graduated from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma in December 1992, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting with highest academic achievement and honors and a math minor. She has been a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of Oklahoma since May 1993 and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants. 

Holloway is a strong supporter of the University of Oklahoma. She has served as a member of both the University of Oklahoma Price College of Business Board of Advisors and the OU Energy Institute Board of Advisors. A 2015 inductee into the University of Oklahoma Arthur B. Adams Society, Holloway frequently serves as a guest lecturer for the business school. She has also established accounting and law scholarships through the University of Oklahoma Foundation and is a football and men’s basketball season ticket holder. 

“Governor Stitt’s appointment of Anita Holloway to the OU Board of Regents serves the University well into the future. She is a valued and generous supporter of OU and our mission, having served in a variety of advisory roles. She is also an esteemed Oklahoman who prioritizes our state’s interests, and her service to our flagship university will be critical during this pivotal time. We will benefit greatly from her leadership and counsel. I look forward to working with her to advance our important work.” – OU Interim President Joseph Harroz Jr.

“Governor Stitt has made another great decision by appointing Anita Holloway to the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents.  Anita’s financial acumen and calm board room presence assisted Williams through some of its most complex and challenging transactions, and those skills, combined with her love of the University, will be a great asset to the University, the Board of Regents, and our State.” –Alan Armstrong, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Williams Companies, Inc.

“I was thrilled to learn of Governor Stitt’s appointment of Anita Holloway to the OU Board of Regents.  Anita is an accomplished financial professional, having advised many of the largest companies in our state.  She is passionate about the University of Oklahoma and helping new college graduates successfully begin their professional careers.  Serving with her on the OU Energy Institute Board and the Price College of Business Board of Advisors has been a pleasure, and I am excited to see Anita lend her skills in service to the University as a Regent.” Brian L. Cantrell, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Alliance Resource Partners, LP

Jimmy D. Harrel is filling the seat of Lou Watkins, whose term ends April 4, 2020. Harrel will serve an eight year term beginning April 5, 2020 and expiring April 4, 2028.  

“I am very excited and humbled that Governor Stitt would ask me to serve on the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents,” said Jimmy Harrel. “I look forward to working with the Governor and the A&M Regents to improve higher education and make sure students are ready for their careers. I, along with many of my immediate family members, now my grandson, attended Oklahoma State and it holds a dear place in my heart.”

Jimmy D. Harrel is a rancher, farmer and banker. In 1985, he became an owner of the Bank of Western Oklahoma in Elk City, Oklahoma, and developed it into one of the premium agriculture lending banks in the state. The Bank of Western Oklahoma is now located in Weatherford, Woodward, Vici, Cordell, Elk City, and Geary, Oklahoma. Prior to this, Harrel served as high school principal, vocational agriculture instructor and basketball coach at Taloga Public Schools.

A native of Leedey, Oklahoma, Harrel earned a bachelor's degree in animal science and vocational agriculture education from Oklahoma State University. He has served on a number of boards and committees, including serving as a former member of the State Board of Agriculture, Board of Regents for A&M Colleges, Board of Regents of Higher Education, and the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission. Harrel is an active member of the OSU Alumni association and was inducted into the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2019. 

Harrel has been instrumental in promoting youth and agriculture across Oklahoma and has worked with Governors of Oklahoma and Secretary of Education to keep vocational agriculture a vital part of the public school curriculum. 

 “Jimmy Harrel is a fixture of banking, farming and ranching in Oklahoma, and a loyal and true supporter of Oklahoma State University. He’s an ardent supporter of both higher education and common education. I know he will do a great job as a regent for OSU, and I congratulate him on this appointment.” – Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City

“Jimmy Harrel has been a driving force in Oklahoma agriculture, finance and beyond for his whole life. Bringing his experience, skill, and charisma back to his alma mater is a major victory for Oklahoma State University and the entire state. I know Jimmy will thrive in this role and commend Governor Stitt for an excellent selection in this very important position for our state.” – House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka

“A rancher and Ag lender from Western Oklahoma, Mr. Jimmy Harrel, will bring a wealth of agriculture knowledge to the OSU A&M Board of Regents.  An OSU Regent with a strong agricultural background and rural perspective is incredibly beneficial to agriculture producers across the state. I look forward to working with Governor Stitt, Mr. Harrel and the OSU Regents as we advance agriculture and higher education in Oklahoma.” –Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur