13 Jan Oklahomans of the Year 2019
Whether born and raised here or transplants who made the state home, these seven change-makers have created a lasting impact on Oklahoma. Two are Hollywood heavyweights; one is a conservationist; others include a doctor, social advocate, developer and CEO. All make the state shine a bit brighter with their works and acts of service.
This developer and his family focus their business on reinventing Tulsa and creating stunning places for Oklahomans to live and work.
In 1979, Stuart Price and his wife, Linda, arrived in Tulsa. The Denver native says they stayed because the couple “found an incredible community in Tulsa and Oklahoma, which was kind and inviting.”
A graduate of the University of Tulsa College of Law and a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, Price has a résumé that includes a long tenure in the oil and gas industry and nine years with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
In 2011, Price embarked on a mission to revitalize downtown Tulsa. With his wife and their four children at the helm, Price Family Properties now claims half of the central business district and manages more than 2 million square feet of commercial office space. Many of the acquisitions occurred in 2017, when Price bought Maurice Kanbar’s portfolio of historic downtown buildings.
“It’s turned into a passion,” he says. “We believe we are stewards of these historic structures to prepare them for the next generation of use.”
A hotbed of Art Deco architecture, Tulsa became the Terra Cotta City in the early 20th century, partly because of Waite Phillips. One of Price’s favorite buildings is the Philcade, which still has the initials WP on all the doorknobs from when the oil tycoon opened it in 1931. Price, whose first name is William (another WP), says it’s surreal that he now owns the building.
Fond of quoting Phillips, Price says, “The only things we keep permanently are those we give away.”
That mantra rings true in Price’s philanthropy, including involvement with the Gathering Place and the Tulsa Achieves scholarships at Tulsa Community College. He says more than 20,000 students have received them.
In the next 10-15 years, Price foresees a “downtown Tulsa not seen since the 1920s – entertainment, apartments, arenas – bubbling with people and energy.”
Price also says he values a strong work ethic: “My dad always said, ‘Son, you can do anything you want. You just can’t do it on the couch.’”