I recently had the privilege of seeing three Oklahoma City visionaries honored at Downtown Oklahoma City Inc.’s Dean A. McGee awards banquet. This year’s event recognized Mark Beffort of Newmark Grubb Levy Strange Beffort; Leslie Batchelor, president of the Center for Economic Development Law; and City Manager Jim Couch. I have worked with each of the honorees for decades on multiple projects and have seen firsthand how their efforts benefit Oklahoma City.
The Stanley Draper Award recognizes an outstanding nonprofit staff member, volunteer or non-elected government employee who has had an enduring effect on downtown. Leslie has been legal counsel to the Urban Renewal Authority for years. She has structured deals on countless projects, including the Skirvin Hilton Hotel and GE Global Research Oil & Gas Technology Center. She has also been instrumental in making the Myriad Gardens what it is today.
The Neal Horton Award recognizes a visionary who sparks a renaissance in the downtown area. Mark received this award for his key role for the past two decades in sparking a turnaround in the Central Business District as a property manager, owner and investor.
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