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Oklahoma State University
riata center for entrepreneurship

Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University

Speakers Biographies

2016-2017 Speaker Series

Carey Baker

Carey Baker and her husband, Brett, launched Part-Time Pros in March of 2008 aimed at giving professionals flexibility in the workplace. Part-Time Pros is headquartered in Tulsa, Ok and employs 9 full-time and 1 part-time staff.  In March of 2014, Part-Time Pros expanded to become a full service staffing company.  The new name is PRO Recruiters and Part-Time Pros and Full-Time Pros are the two divisions.

Pro Recruiters staffing company unites talented professionals with companies that have full- and part-time needs. Their mission is to find the perfect match between clients needs and candidates skills.  They are also the first local company to provide video resumes for all applicants who choose to take advantage of this free and optional service.  The Tulsa-based company, which took second place in the 2009 Mayor’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, works with more than 500 employer contracts and more than 6000 professionals.   In 2011, Part-Time Pros was one of 75 businesses in the US to receive the US Chamber Blue Ribbon Award for growth and sustainability.  The company was also voted the “Best of the Best” in the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 Oklahoma Magazines Best Staffing Company.  In 2011, Part-Time Pros was named #6 fastest growing Tulsa Based Company by Tulsa Business Journal.  In 2012 it was named the #3 fastest growing Tulsa Based Company by Tulsa Business Journal.  In 2012, Carey wrote her first book “Hire a Pro/Be A Pro” to offer advice on how to hire and keep the best employees as well as how to be the employee that companies want to keep.

Prior to starting the company, Baker worked for Chapman Foundations Management, The Advisory Board Co. and The Williams Companies.

The Bakers reside in Tulsa with their daughters, Katie and Gentry. Baker also finds time for her community, volunteering with the United Way, The Parent Child Center, Emergency Infant Services, Junior League of Tulsa (sustaining member), St. Johns Church and Community Food Bank. She has chaired the Tulsa Chamber Task Force for Business Expansion and Development, was Chair for the OKHR Programs Committee for 2013-2014, President for 2014 for the Tulsa Metro Chamber Small Business Council, and has served on the Tulsa Metro Chamber since January 2014.  She serves on the St. Johns church vestry through 2017. In addition, she a member of SHRM, TAHRA, AFP and a graduate of Leadership Tulsa class 28.  She graduated Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University in 1995 with a double major in English and Statistics.  In her free time she loves cooking, reading, date nights with her husband Brett and friends, Cross fit, and playing with her girls.

Tom Evans

Tom Evans is the owner of Encompass Financial Services, Inc., a company he created in 1985 that provides Business Valuation, Business Transaction Services and Brokerage, and is the Registered Investment Advisor to Private Partners Opportunity Fund, LLC, an Angel Fund that makes entrepreneurial equity investments. A native of Cherokee, Oklahoma, he has a B.S. in Business Administration from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and a M.B.A from Marylhurst University.

He is a Director of GuideStone Funds, the nation’s largest screened mutual fund family; Past Chair of the Northwestern Foundation, Past Chairman of the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma; Vice Chair of Pioneer Spirit Foundation; Board member of Leadership Oklahoma.

Tom is married to Dr. Cheryl Evans, the President of Northern Oklahoma College and they have two daughters, Cara Carson and Christa Rogers.

Andrea Graves

Andrea Graves is a Business Planning and Marketing Specialist at the Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center (FAPC) at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma.   Andrea works closely with entrepreneurs in the development of products for the food industry using the Client Success Path model.  Andrea also reviews business plans and food labels for FDA compliance, assists with marketing strategies, packaging design, social media and coordination of specialty services of the FAPC.  She is also the FAPC liaison for the Made in Oklahoma Coalition (MIO).

Andrea is specializes in helping lead beginning gourmet food companies to take the next steps for national sales and recognition through participation at events such as the Dallas Gourmet Market in Dallas, Texas and the annual Fancy Food Show in New York, New York.

Prior to the FAPC, Andrea was an account executive for Shamrock Foods Company in the southern Arizona region for more than six years and assisted food service clients in opening new restaurants, managing food costs, introducing new products, and designing menus.   At the same time Andrea was the assistant manager for a catering business in Sierra Vista, Arizona.  Andrea has also served as the General Manager for several full service restaurants in Arizona, Oklahoma and Colorado.

Andrea received her Bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University.  She is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists, the Research Chef’s Association and the Oklahoma Restaurant Association.  In her spare time Andrea enjoys trying out new food products and cooking methods on her husband, Rob, and two dogs.

David Lewis

Named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the North American Staffing Industry” by Staffing Industry Analysts, David Lewis broke into the staffing and recruiting business in college, followed by a season on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

In his role as Vice President of Franchising for Express Employment Professionals, Lewis is responsible for domestic and international expansion, and has helped grow Express to more than 760 locations across three countries. In 2010, Lewis received an Express Meritorious Award, recognizing his contributions to further the growth of Express Employment Professionals.

Lewis’ speaking engagements include events and sessions for the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association, Kansas State Society for Human Resource Management, Council of Petroleum Accounts Societies,

Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Minnesota Society for Human Resource Management, State Workforce Partners Conference, and Columbia Business School.

Lewis has a passion for service. He has been appointed by both Democrat and Republican governors to serve as an advisor on workforce and economic development. A past candidate for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Lewis is a multi-year “40 Under 40” winner and an Amazon best-selling author of “The Emerging Leader: Eight Lessons for Life in Leadership.” Additionally, he serves as a board member for the Oklahoma City Redbud Marathon, Junior League of Oklahoma City, and the Francis Tuttle Foundation Board of Trustees.

Not only does Lewis have a best-selling book on leadership, but he also speaks on “The Emerging Leader.” He shares how careers and companies succeed with principle centered leadership. Another topic Lewis is passionate about, “Where Have All the Workers Gone,” provides an insider look at the labor market, unemployment rates, workforce participation, Federal Reserve rates, and what it all means for Main Street America.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree from Southern Nazarene University, Lewis also holds MBA’s from Columbia Business School and an MBA from London Business School. He’s been called a “high achiever” by Money Magazine and has been cited as an expert on franchising, the labor market, and public policy by several high-profile publications. Lewis is also a member of MENSA, the high I.Q. society, and has been profiled in two documentary films.

For more than 30 years, the vision of Express has been to help as many people as possible find good jobs by helping as many clients as possible find good people. In 2015, Express helped more than 500,000 workers find jobs.

Dick Rubin

Dick has over 40 years of experience developing new businesses. He is the managing principal of Entrepôt, a business development consultancy formed in 1983. Through Entrepôt he provides business-planning services including Strategic Planning, Tactical Planning and Logistics Planning.  This includes development of financing, designing marketing and sales programs and coaching and training his clients and there staff to effectively implement their plans. During one ten year period Mr. Rubin and his wife coordinated the activities of as many as 100 different businesses in various stages of development from pre-launch and start-up stages through development, initial funding, venture capital financing, growth stage and sale to strategic investors.

On various occasions Dick serves as a judge, coach or speaker at a variety of business plan competitions and marketing/sales presentation competition at The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Oral Roberts University and for a number of local, regional and statewide economic development organizations.  An overview of Entrepôt can be seen at

During his career he served as President and CEO of Tech Centers, Incorporated, a small holding company that owned and managed entities that repaired and sold electronic circuit boards, designed and developed computer based accounting and data processing systems for small private entities and for Fortune 500 firms, sold and installed mini-computers, managed IT operations for local and regional CPA firms, designed, built and installed industrial control systems, repaired automobiles, built high performance racing engines and transmissions and manufactured low tech defense products. Tech Centers also provided corporate planning and development services to Litton Industries and many of its operating divisions, Whirlpool Corporation, Westinghouse Electric Company, Oklahoma State University and many smaller fast growth companies.

Dick also spent six years with Litton Industries, Inc.  During that period he was trained as and worked as an accounting systems sales representative, system analyst, programmer, policy and procedures developer and corporate strategic planner. His work at Litton included designing basic bookkeeping and accounting systems for small business and developing complex corporate strategic plans for large public corporations.

Mr. Rubin is Executive Vice President of the Rural Oklahoma Capital Alliance, Vice President of The Oklahoma Israel Exchange (OKIE), past co-chair of the Oklahoma Rural Development Council and a member of the Spirit Bank Strategic Resource Team.

Andy Urich

Andrew L. Urich is an Associate Professor of Management and the Eastin Chair in Talent Development at the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University.  He also serves as the Director of Student Development in the Eastin Center for Talent Development.

Professor Urich has been on the faculty of OSU since 1986. He also served as a member of the Executive MBA faculty at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi & Dubai from 2004 to 2012 and had an appointment at OSU-Kyoto (Japan) from 1992-93.  Prior to joining the faculty at OSU, he practiced law with a major corporate law firm in Ohio.

Since 1993 he has presented at well over 1,000 corporate training programs and conventions in the areas of Influence, Negotiation, Ethics, Critical Thinking and Professional Image.

Jim Troxel

Jim was born and raised in Oklahoma City, and earned his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Oklahoma State University in 1968.   Afterwards he moved to Chicago, married, began a family and has maintained residency there ever since.

Jim is an author and consultant to public service organizations and private companies worldwide. He is a founding partner of Development Capital Networks, LLC (DCN), and its affiliate, WBTangels, LLC. As co-managing director he supervises 24 full-time and 6 part-time staff operating virtually in 8 cities in the US.

His current DCN focus is managing and facilitating WBTangels network of angel funds which includes groups in Oklahoma, North Dakota and Wyoming. DCN’s current focus is accelerating the unmanned aerial system industry in Oklahoma and Southern Kansas. Jim’s role is to attract investors to the industry and work with manufacturers to take advantage of the business opportunities within the sector.

He previously served as Training Director for the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds (NASVF) and has led close to 100 seminars for 3500 people on seed investing for entrepreneurs and angel investors.  During his career Jim has launched five businesses and served as an advisor to countless others.

Jim is also a facilitation and training expert specializing in the fields of citizen and employee participation, strategic planning, change management, organizational learning and long-term systemic change. His career in community and organizational development and leadership training spans 40 years and a dozen countries. He has inspired more than 70,000 people in over 1000 seminars and workshops.

His publishing credits include Participation Works: Business Cases from Around the World, Government Works: Profiles of People Making a Difference, several journal articles and book chapters. He has lectured on numerous topics, including personal and organizational change, self-managed teams, the culture of participation, and the recovery of civil society.

In 1993 Jim earned a graduate degree from DePaul University in Chicago whereupon he served on their adjunct faculty for 20 years. He serves as Board Vice Chair of the Institute of Cultural Affairs whose mission is to build a just and equitable society in harmony with Planet Earth. He serves on the board of two other nonprofits, including his condo association.

He is also President of Cowboy Technology Angels comprised of OSU alumni who invest in business spin-outs from the university’s research. Jim is a Lifetime Member of the OSU Alumni Association.

Lisa Deason Crowe

Lisa is a proud graduate of OSU, though she will not disclose the year and once you’ve met her, you’ll never forget her. Lesa is the creative force behind, and quite a force she is. 45 awards for advertising and public relations (from Addy’s to Weebly’s), a charter member of the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, social marketing certified by the Shaw Academy of London and a designer by trade, Lesa brings a cutting edge perspective to everything she designs. Favorite phrase: You don’t pay me enough to lie to you. Best work: I haven’t made it yet. Biggest industry beef: No one understands that marketing is a mix — just like a cake, you’ve got to have all the ingredients. What she does for fun: She’s a video blogger (WTH Moments with Lesa Crowe, and about to launch, On the Sofa With Lesa) and a writer for theOklahoman’s Vantage Magazine. Find her personal page on facebook at