J. Blake Wade
Presently J. Blake Wade serves as the President of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, a position he has held since 2009. The Business Roundtable serves as Oklahoma’s primary economic development support organization.
Wade served as the first director of the Oklahoma Capitol Complex and Centennial Commemoration Commission beginning August 1, 1999. He was responsible for overseeing preparations for Oklahoma’s centennial commemoration of statehood in 2007. Following nine years as executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, he saw his challenge was one of coordination and timing.
The first three years as Director of the Centennial, the focus was the State Capitol Dome and the Centennial Plaza of the Oklahomans. These projects were completed in 2002. Then the planning began to implement a Centennial Commemoration that recognized the spirit of our people, encouraged pride in our state, and instilled confidence in Oklahoma’s future. The vision was to offer a commemoration that encouraged Oklahomans to examine our unique history, experience our rich heritage, explore our promising future and ensure a lasting legacy for future generations.
A master plan was developed to represent the contributions of all peoples and cultures to Oklahoma state history. Projects included, but was not limited to, restoration of historic properties, preservation programs and activities, conferences, lectures, public art that captures the diversity of the Oklahoma experience and spirit, tourism attractions; parades, events, ceremonies and commemorations. While in the military he received two Bronze Stars, three Vietnam Service Medals and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
A Lawton native, Wade graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in journalism. He served 20 years in the U.S. Army, starting as a second lieutenant and retiring as a major.
Wade participates actively in community organizations serving on the board of directors of the Jim Thorpe Association and Hall of Fame, Harn Homestead, Red Earth, Metro Alliance, Oklahoma Cultural Coalition, Petroleum Club, Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum, Oklahoma Heritage Association and the State Fair Board. He is the recipient of the 2008 Administrator of the year Award (Oklahoma Chapter American Society for Public Administration) and an “Emmy” Award for the production of the Oklahoma Centennial’s “Spectacular.” (Ford Center, November 16, 2007)
Ann McVey, Executive Assistant
Ann McVey joined the staff of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable in 1992 as assistant to the president. Since that time she has helped the economic development support organization grow from eight charter members to more than 150 today.
The Oklahoma Business Roundtable, comprised of executives from Oklahoma's top corporations, supports efforts to create jobs and investment statewide by assisting with business recruitment, business expansion, new business startups and entrepreneurship
John Reid, Administrative Assistant
John Reid is an economic development professional who has provided assistance to the Business Roundtable since 2008. He is formerly deputy director of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. He is also President of The Reid Group, a national economic development marketing firm.