Governor Kevin Stitt today appointed Billy Taylor and Rick Walker to the Oklahoma State Board of Regents for the Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges.
"I am thrilled to have both Billy Taylor and Rick Walker serving on the Oklahoma State Regents,” said Governor Stitt. “Billy’s leadership experience will be an asset in this position and his passion for agriculture as an Oklahoman will be invaluable. Likewise, I am confident Rick’s strong background in farming and ranching and his drive to succeed will serve him well. I look forward to Billy and Rick’s success in their new roles.”
“It is a sincere privilege to have the opportunity to serve the OSU/A&M Board of Regents, its faculty, and students. I am thankful to Governor Kevin Stitt for the appointment and will work hard to be a valuable asset to the Board of Regents and its constituents,” said Billy Taylor. “As a product of the OSU system myself, it is an honor to be able to give back to an institution that has meant so much in my life.”
“When I was a student at Oklahoma State, the instruction and experience I received combined with the relationships developed while seeking higher education were crucial in opening doors for opportunities,” said Rick Walker. “I am excited to give back and serve at such a critical time where we need well-founded, job-ready graduates to meet the demands of business and propel innovation and technology. I thank Governor Stitt for this opportunity to serve.”
Billy Taylor grew up south of Muskogee and attended Oktaha Public Schools, where he graduated in 1976. He furthered his education at Connors State College, earning an Associate Degree in 1978. His Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Degree was completed in 1980 at Oklahoma State University. He is also a 1991 graduate of the Graduate School of Banking of the South and a 1992 graduate of the National Commercial Lending School.
Taylor began his career in finance in 1981 as an agricultural lender with the Farm Credit System. He joined Armstrong Bank in 1988 as Vice President/Branch Manager of the Warner, Oklahoma location. Shortly thereafter, he took on the responsibility of Executive Vice President/Head of Lending. After serving several years as Executive Vice President/Head of Lending, Billy was named Corporate President in 2004. In 2006, he was named President/CEO, and currently serves as the CEO of Armstrong Bank, and CEO/Vice-Chairman of Ironhorse Financial Group, Inc. In 1992, he was selected to join the Armstrong Bank Board of Directors and now also serves on the Board of Directors for Ironhorse Financial Group, Inc.
He was inducted into the Connors State College Alumni and Friends Hall of Fame in 2019, and named to The Journal Record’s 2021 Power List for Banking and Finance.
“Billy Taylor is an excellent choice to represent the Second Congressional District on the OSU Board of Regents. He cares deeply about his community and I know he will bring the same enthusiasm to this new role. I applaud Governor Stitt for putting people who are invested in bettering our education system on the board and I look forward to seeing the good things they accomplish in the years to come.” – Representative Markwayne Mullin (OK-02)
“I was very pleased to learn that Governor Stitt had nominated Billy Taylor to serve on the Board of Regents for the A&M System. Mr. Taylor’s background, experience and character make him an excellent selection for this post.” – Dr. Ron Ramming, President, Connors State College
Rick Walker graduated from Empire High School, going on to earn a Finance Degree from Oklahoma State University and an MBA from Oklahoma City University.
He is CEO of Liberty National Bank, where he has worked for 15 years and has 34 years cumulative experience in the banking industry. Liberty National Bank is headquartered in Lawton, has 8 locations in Oklahoma, and $770 million in assets.
His civic involvement includes being Chairman at the Oklahoma Bankers Association; incoming Chairman at the Lawton Fort-Sill Chamber of Commerce, and Board Member and Finance Committee Member of the Comanche County Hospital Foundation.
Walker has been a resident of Southwest Oklahoma for most of his life, living in Lawton the past 20 years. He and his wife Staci have four children. Their oldest son is a graduate student at Oklahoma State, working on his Doctorate in Civil Engineering.
“Rick Walker is a man of irrefutable character, with a devotion to his family and community. He exemplifies an Oklahoman with a servant’s heart. I am honored to carry the nomination for the appointment of this respected statesmen as a member to the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges.” – Senator Chris Kidd, District 31
“Rick is well respected in his industry, as evident by him being elected chairman of the Oklahoma bankers association by his peers. Governor Stitt made a great pick choosing Rick for the OSU Regents.” – Mick Thompson, Oklahoma State Bank Commissioner