StateImpact Oklahoma Presents:

Antony Nagelmann 2001

Investing in a Sense of Place with Neal Conan, host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation


7:30 p.m. Oct. 5

Devon Energy Boathouse

725 S. Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK (Map!)



RSVPs are required. RSVP emailing Joe Wertz at Tell him how many tickets you need and how you heard of the event!

Arts, cultural attractions, parks, transportation, education, social services and other “quality of life” features can make a state more attractive to businesses and young professionals, and yet during hard economic times those extras get short shrift when it comes to funding.

StateImpact Oklahoma has assembled a panel from the public and private sectors to discuss the economic impact of investing in community, culture, art — and people.

Neal Conan, host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation will moderate the discussion, and StateImpact reporters Joe Wertz and Logan Layden will be on hand to make sure your questions are answered.

Neal Conan, Moderator

Conan, host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation, is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter based in New York, Washington and London. He has anchored live coverage of many live events, including national political conventions, confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees and a presidential impeachment.

Conan’s awards include a Major Armstrong award for his coverage of the Iran-Iraq War, a prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award as part of NPR’s coverage of the Gulf War, another duPont and a George Foster Peabody Award for his part in NPR’s Coverage of Sept. 11 and yet another duPont for NPR’s coverage of the war in Iraq.

Talk of the Nation is the national news-talk call-in show from NPR News, which reaches 3.4 million listeners per week on more than 330 NPR member stations.

Bruce Fisher, Panelist

Fisher is the Administrative Program Officer at the Oklahoma Historical Society and Curator for development of the new African American exhibit in the Oklahoma History Center. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and is a founding member of the Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Historical Society Black Heritage Committee.

Gary Peluso-Verdend, Panelist

Peluso-Verdend is the president and associate professor of practical theology at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, an ecumenical seminary affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Dr. Peluso-Verdend previously served at Phillips as the director of the doctor of ministry program, as the dean, and as the vice president of stewardship. For five years, he was the director of church relations at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill. He is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church. Prior to earning his PhD at the University of Chicago Divinity School, he served First United Methodist Church in Arlington Heights, IL.

Dr. Peluso-Verdend is a scholar in the field of practical theology. His 2005 book, Paying Attention: Focusing Your Congregation on What Matters (Alban), represents his interests in leadership education, congregational dynamics, social change, and Christian practices.

Margo Gray Proctor, Panelist

Proctor is President, Horizon Engineering Services, Co., Chairwoman of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED), and works in public service for many Native American, business, and arts organizations, including, National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), American Indian Business Network, Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations, Executive Women’s Forum International, Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women, Tulsa Indian Arts Festival and Cultural Center, and the Oklahoma Aquarium, National Native American Advisory Board member, for Big Brothers Big Sisters of American. Past Commissioner for the Oklahoma Film and Music Commission.

Kris Steele, Panelist

Steele is the outgoing Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and a former Senior Pastor at Wesley United Methodist Church, Shawnee.

Speaker Steele was first elected in 2000 and is term-limited at the end of 2012.

He also has served as an educator at Tecumseh Alternative High School, a life-skills educator at Gateway to Prevention, and a counselor for students in the Job Training Partnership Act at Gordon Cooper Technology Center.

Jim Tolbert, Panelist

Tolbert is President and Chairman of First Oklahoma Corporation, owner of Full Circle Books, President of Oklahomans for the Arts, and works with many arts and cultural organizations, including the State Arts Council, the regional Mid America Arts Alliance, the Oklahoman Foundation for the Humanities, the Myriad Gardens Foundation, World Literature Today, and the Dean A McGee Eye Institute.

  • urdge

    This sounds like a great idea, I hope to attend.

  • joewertz

    Thank, Urdge! If you have any questions you think we should ask, let us know!

  • Stan Engle

    you’re doing fine Oklahoma! I look
    forward to hearing the panel discussion.

  • Nancy Kitchen

    send me my tickets Joe, Neal Conan is my hero, a master narrator, can make genome sequencing or the civil war a fascinating story.