Spears School, Chickasaw Nation program
receives Best Custom Program Award

by Hannah Barron 
(December 18, 2017 at 1:46 pm)

From left, Marisa Dyess, Sarah Williams, Lindsey Kirksey and Julie Weathers with the Center for Executive and Professional Development were recognized with the Best Custom Program Award at the 40th Annual Conference on Management and Executive Development.

The Center for Executive and Professional Development at Oklahoma State University was recently presented the Best Custom Program Award for its design and implementation of the Chickasaw Leadership Academy Platinum Level Executive Development program at the 40th Annual Conference on Management and Executive Development.

Organizations from 34 states and eight countries – the United States, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine – were represented at the conference. Selection of the Best Custom Program was voted on by peers attending the conference after being narrowed to three programs by a voting committee.

“I congratulate the CEPD team for their excellent work in partnering with the Chickasaw Nation on this program,” said Ken Eastman, dean of the OSU Spears School of Business. “Our Spears School faculty and CEPD do a great job of providing professional development to organizations and businesses to the state and region, and we are proud of this accomplishment.”

The Best Custom Program Award requires the awarded program to provide assurance that this effort included engagement that required the design and development of new services and content specifically for the customer.

The Chickasaw Nation Executive Development program began in the spring of 2017 and is uniquely designed for the Chickasaw Institute. The extensive five-day program was designed around five executive leadership competencies: business acumen, leading change, leading people, results driven, and building coalitions/communication.

This program is offered only to Chickasaw Nation managers, and OSU faculty members customize the material to meet the cultural needs accordingly. As a new learning measurement tool and to help provide rationale for the financial investment, the Chickasaw Nation requested to have a pre-assessment of each session sent out to the participants to be completed before the program. A post-assessment of each session was sent to participants at the end of the program, and this evaluation assesses prior knowledge and newly acquired knowledge through attendance of the OSU program.

“The partnership with Oklahoma State University has been incredibly successful in bringing quality professional development to our employees,” said Carol McCurdy, Executive Officer Training and Career Development, Chickasaw Nation. “The executive development program is our highest level, Platinum, of four leadership levels in which employees can participate. We were particularly pleased to offer this program for employees who were already in leadership roles and for those who completed the previous three levels of leadership and were looking for the next level of development.

“Employees of the Chickasaw Nation represent a wide range of careers that serve Chickasaw citizens. The curriculum that was delivered by OSU faculty was appropriate and most importantly applicable to all areas of leadership within the Chickasaw Nation. This was a fantastic addition to our Chickasaw Leadership Academy. We appreciate all of the time and effort of those involved from OSU.”

The executives represented a variety of Chickasaw Nation departments, including the department of health, culture & humanities, interior services, treasury, security, gaming, community services, accounting, human resources, family preservation, IT, project development, etc.

“We are truly honored in regard to this prestigious award which partners OSU Spears School faculty and staff in working with the Chickasaw Nation on management development,” said Julie Weathers, director of the OSU Center for Executive and Professional Development.

“We are proud of our faculty and Center team in taking the time dedicated to work with our friends at the Chickasaw Nation in making this a great joint program. We are thankful for the partnership and look forward to more ways we can continue to expand on our educational program offerings,” Weathers added.

A two-day conference in Austin, Texas, the Conference on Management and Executive Development is specifically tailored for executives, directors, managers, deans and coordinators. More than 150 participants were registered for the conference. Eastman, dean of the OSU Spears School of Business, was a keynote speaker at the conference.

To learn more about the Center for Executive and Professional Development and its programs, visit the website.