OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA (December 19, 2012)—Oklahoma Today magazine has named Devon Energy executive chairman and co-founder J. Larry Nichols its 2012 Oklahoman of the Year.

Nichols’ life, his tenure with the company, and his vision of transforming downtown Oklahoma City are detailed in a profile by Tulsa World reporter Randy Krehbiel that appears in Oklahoma Today’s January/February 2013 issue. Krehbiel’s story, “Sky Changer,” chronicling the construction of Devon Energy Center and its 850-foot tower, features photography by John Jernigan of Oklahoma City. The tower was dedicated in October.

“Oklahoma City and the state of Oklahoma have benefited so much from Larry Nichols' professional and civic leadership over the years,” said Oklahoma Today editor Steffie Corcoran. “His integrity, character, and vision have made Oklahoma City a better, and more beautiful, place."

When construction on Devon Energy Center began, the company requested that tax increment finance funds generated by the project be used to improve the downtown Oklahoma City streetscape and the Myriad Botanical Gardens, a $224 million project known as Project 180.

“Larry set the standard for the rest of the business community,” said Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett in the story. “It’s hard to say you’re too busy if Larry Nichols has time to get involved.”

The Oklahoman of the Year franchise began in 1992 and has included many notable Oklahomans, from entertainers (Vince Gill, Carrie Underwood), to notable athletes (Dennis Byrd, Kevin Durant), to state heroes (Shannon Lucid, the Oklahoma City Fire Department).

“It is gratifying to be associated with this honor and with all of the great Oklahomans who have been recognized for their enormous contributions through the years,” Nichols said. “This is not just a tribute to me. This is recognition of all of the people who have helped to make Devon the company it is today, the leadership they have demonstrated, and the commitment they have made to our industry and to Oklahoma.” 

Nichols started Devon Energy with his father, John, in 1971, and became its chairman and chief executive officer in 1980.

In addition to serving and leading a number of national business and industrial organizations, Nichols has served locally as chairman of the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and State Chamber of Oklahoma and on the board of directors for the Dean McGee Eye Institute, the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

The January/February 2013 issue of Oklahoma Today will be available on newsstands by January 1 and available by request beginning Friday, December 21. To request a copy, call (405) 230-8450 or visit oklahomatoday.com.

Oklahoma Today, the Magazine of Oklahoma since 1956, focuses on the people, places, and culture of Oklahoma. A paid-circulation magazine, it has subscribers in every state and many foreign countries. It is published bimonthly by the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department.