This month celebrates women in history and I am mindful of the many ways women have influenced and enriched my life, my enterprises and the communities I cherish. My Grandmother, Eleanor Kirkpatrick introduced me to the diverse world of the arts, as well as supporting the development of many arts organization. She encouraged and supported my work in developing Oklahoma Contemporary. And, I think she would have been pleased with the accomplishments of Green Box Arts too. At Kirkpatrick Bank, several strong women were part of the executive team that built the bank we know today, leading us in technology innovation and operational excellence. All our branches present significant art for the enjoyment of customers and employees alike, but Colorado Springs boasts a collection of work by women artists. The leadership team at Kirkpatrick Oil Company is entirely composed of bright, innovative women, as are the leadership teams of my philanthropies. In short, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the finest minds and individuals of extraordinary talent in all my endeavors and have been fortunate to recognize that both came in feminine form.
I believe that I came to this recognition by virtue of the brilliant and talented women who shaped my youth. It simply never occurred to me that women had any less skills or contributions than their male counterparts. And, isn’t this the essence of equality and acceptance, the recognition that skills, intelligence and strength of purpose are found in all humanity? For my part, my personal and my business history demonstrates that women have contributed and will continue to contribute in many diverse and bountiful ways. To all the women in my world, thank you for all you do.