2015 Newsmakers and Saidie Recipients

ALISON ANTHONY is the Director of Strategic Outreach at The Williams Companies, Inc., and President of The Williams Foundation.

Actively demonstrating her commitment to helping people reach their full potential, Alison was honored by the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women with the 2007 Pinnacle Award for significant contributions toward improving the status of women in the community and taking risks on behalf of others. The Oklahoma Chapter of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America recognized Alison in 2009 with the Excellence in Community Relations award. Three years in a row, 2010-2013, The Journal Record recognized Alison as one of 50 Women Making a Difference in the state of Oklahoma.

Alison serves on the boards of Community Action Project, Tulsa Ballet, Oklahoma Arts Institute, Oklahoma Heritage Association, and Voices of Oklahoma. She also serves on Oklahoma State University’s Women of OSU Council and is past chair of the Tulsa Area United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council. Recently, Alison and her husband Mark Wilson were Spirit of Philanthropy Honorees at the 2014 Association of Fundraising Professionals-Tulsa Chapter National Philanthropy Day. This past summer Alison was named one of the 100 Women of Moxie by the Tulsa YWCA.

MARY BISHOP-BALDWIN and SHARON BISHOP-BALDWIN, Tulsa World Editors and Marriage Equality Crusaders, made local and national news this year when they won their 10-year fight for marriage equality in Oklahoma. In 2004, against advice from all major gay rights organizations, Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin initiated a federal lawsuit seeking an injunction against the United States for enforcing the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and against Oklahoma for enforcing its laws restricting the freedom to marry to different-sex couples only. “They told us ‘you won’t win, and you’re gonna set a Supreme Court ruling against us that will set us back 20 years.’”

However, in January of 2014, federal judge Terence C. Kern decided in favor of Bishop and Baldwin, finding that the Oklahoma Constitution’s definition of marriage as limited to “the union of one man and one woman” violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The decision was stayed, however, pending Supreme Court review.

On October 6, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for marriage equality in Oklahoma by declining to hear legal appeals against it from five states, including Oklahoma. Mary and Sharon, Tulsa World editors and lifelong Oklahomans who have been together for 17 years, were married eight hours later on the steps of the Tulsa County Courthouse.

MEREDITH SIEGFRIED-MADDEN was appointed CEO of NORDAM in 2011 after being COO and president, responsible for all repair and manufacturing operations. NORDAM is a Tulsa-based aircraft component manufacturer and repair station employing 2,500 people across nine facilities on three continents. It is the largest privately held FAA-approved repair station in the world for composite aircraft structures. Last October, under Meredith’s leadership, NORDAM announced it expects to add more than 300 employees to its Tulsa operation.

Meredith was recently appointed to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum board of directors. She served five years as chair of the board of directors of the Tulsa Airport Authority, and she was the Tulsa Area United Way 2014 Campaign team leader for aerospace, manufacturing, port and transportation divisions. The 2014 United Way campaign set an all-time record and exceeded its goal by over $400,000.

Meredith is an Aspen Institute Henry Crown fellow and a member of the Young Presidents Organization. In 2004 she was part of an Oklahoma delegation to China, along with Governor Brad Henry and Commerce Secretary Kathy Taylor. In 2014, she and three of her siblings launched Flight Night, a benefit for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.

2015 Saidie Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

CONNIE CRONLEY has been a professional communicator for 50+ years. Her first professional writing job as a teenager was a weekly newspaper column. The job also required her to deliver the papers!

Connie has worked in newspaper, television, advertising, public relations and as a university professor and commissioned book writer. She has written two books of essays (Sometimes a Wheel Falls Off and Light and Variable), and she co-authored Mr. Ambassador: Warrior for Peace, Edward J. Perkins’ memoir about being the first black ambassador to South Africa. Connie has also authored hundreds of nonfiction magazine articles.

Connie is a regular commentator on KWGS, a book reviewer on KOTV News, and a columnist for TulsaPeople magazine. Her numerous awards for print and television writing include the 2014 Best Magazine Column at the Great Plains Journalism Awards and 2010 Woman of Distinction Award from Tulsa Business Journal.

Her journalism background was the key to her success as Managing Director of Tulsa Ballet. During her 15 years there, the company toured the West Coast and performed three times in New York to critical acclaim. Connie also wrote a weekly restaurant review for the Tulsa Tribune during that time.

As Executive Director of Iron Gate for the past eight years, Connie and her marketing expertise have taken the soup kitchen from a small church ministry to one of the top three food assistance agencies in Tulsa. Prior to becoming the executive director, she chaired the capital campaign for the renovation of the current Iron Gate space.

Connie has served on the board of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust and volunteered for StreetCats animal rescue.