The Osage Shareholders Association held its quarterly meeting on Nov. 21 at Osage Casinos in Ponca City. After the opening prayer and Thanksgiving-style meal, they held elections.
Now former Vice Chairman Nancy Benthien said she would step down but will continue being a part of the association. She added she was, “grateful for the opportunity.” Nominees were voted on by voice. Julie Malone retained her seat as Chairwoman, Gene Bowline replaced Benthien as the Vice Chairman. Melissa Ryan will continue as the Secretary, and Nicki Lorenzo will stay on as the Treasurer. The Executive Committee also includes Beverly Brownfield, Ray McClain, Rhonda Wallace, Jim Ryan, Teresa Rutherford, Billie Ponca, and James Hessert. The Executive Committee positions will hold for the next two years.
The meeting consisted of four sets of speakers, starting with Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear. Standing Bear spoke about the growth of the Osage Nation without the help of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Osage Minerals Council members Myron Red Eagle and Susan Foreman spoke about the upcoming June 6, 2022, Osage Minerals Council election. The Council has appointed Billie Ponca as its Election Supervisor. Shareholders had questions for the council members, asking specifically about getting questions on the ballot. A discussion took place on one shareholder, one vote. Currently, voting is based on how much headright interest a shareholder has, which allows some shareholders’ votes to outweigh others.
Lastly, Jim Hessert and Paul Parrot each talked about their respective businesses. Hessert presented about the North Burbank Unit Story. He talked about the failures and successes of enhanced oil recovery projects throughout the history of the North Burbank Unit. Parrot shared his technique for reestablishing fertility on land with saltwater scars, which he said can help combat climate change. According to Parrot, one acre of salt scarred land produces zero oxygen, while one acre of fully vegetated land can create oxygen for 80 people annually. He compared this statistic with how much oxygen one acre of forest can produce, which is enough oxygen for up to 18 people annually.
The meeting concluded with talk of the OMC election. OSA members discussed conducting a candidate forum. That forum will consist of a list of questions from the OSA that each candidate will answer. There is no date, but OSA members decided it would be sometime in April.
The OSA’s next quarterly meeting is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2022, at Osage Casinos in Tulsa at 1 p.m.