Members of the Board
Samuel Combs III, Chair
Samuel Combs III is president and chief executive officer of COMSTAR Advisors, LLC; an Oklahoma-based management advisory and private investment firm that specializes in helping executives leverage their effectiveness in business strategy, leadership, operations and regulatory affairs. Sam has more than 30 years of profit-and-loss leadership at large public companies, and deep management experience in operations, consumer services and regulatory affairs. COMSTAR’s investment activities in banking, energy, healthcare, and manufacturing are primarily focused in growth-oriented Oklahoma companies.
Prior to COMSTAR, Combs was president of ONEOK Distribution Companies, the natural gas distribution segment of Fortune 500 diversified energy company ONEOK, Inc. As a member of ONEOK’s senior executive team, Sam led the company’s $3 billion natural gas distribution segment. ONEOK Distribution Companies was the predecessor business to NYSE publicly-traded spin-off ONE Gas, Inc. During his tenure, ONEOK Distribution established the business model for ONE Gas and was among the nation’s largest natural gas utility operators serving over 2 million wholesale, retail and industrial customers through operating divisions in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Combs is credited with leading the integration of the three operating divisions, and creating the strategic architecture that resulted in ONEOK Distribution Companies achieving multiple years of record profits and sustained growth in investment returns. Sam served as president of the Oklahoma Natural Gas Company division before his promotion to the ONEOK Distribution role. Prior to ONEOK and COMSTAR, he held management positions of increasing responsibility in the telecommunications industry with AT&T, and the former Southwestern Bell Telephone Company.
Sam is a former board member of the Southern Gas Association; and, member of the American Gas and Midwest Energy Associations. Also, he is a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers. Combs is a director of First Fidelity Bank, NA where he serves on the Compensation and Asset/Liability Committees. He chairs the Governance Committee. He is an investor and advisory board member of healthcare provider, WellQuest-Tulsa. He is an owner of the WNBA Dallas Wings (formerly, Tulsa Shock) sports franchise, and has served on the WNBA Board of Governors, and its Labor Relations Committee. Combs is active in community and state affairs, and co-chaired the “Step-Up Tulsa” community revitalization initiative. He is a past-president of Leadership Oklahoma and the University of Tulsa’s “Friends of Finance”. He is a former chair of the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association national board. Also, he has served on the executive committees of the State Chamber of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. Currently, he is board member of the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation, and has enjoyed serving as a volunteer and board member for numerous not-for-profit organizations statewide.
Sam has twice been recognized as being among the most influential African-Americans in corporate America by Black Enterprise magazine in 2005 and 2009, respectively. Also, he is a member of the Washington D.C. based Executive Leadership Council of executives, and past-president of Sigma Pi Phi, Inc., Epsilon Iota professional fraternity. Combs received a Bachelor of Science Industrial Engineering degree from OSU; graduated from the Ross School of Business Executive Program at the University of Michigan, and has completed studies at Harvard and Columbia Universities. He and wife Rita have three adult children.
Wesley G. Mitchell, Vice Chair
Wesley G. Mitchell was appointed to the TCC Board of Regents in 2017 by Governor Mary Fallin. Regent Mitchell retired from Hewlett Packard Enterprises where he was responsible for service delivery from the data processing production facilities in Tulsa. In his executive role, he oversaw growth that filled the over 80,000-square-foot Cherokee Data Center. In 2015, Mitchell’s team won the Hewlett Packard Enterprises President’s Quality Award for their support of American Airlines Group.
Regent Mitchell has broad experience in the IT industry supporting primarily transportation, hospitality, and financial industry clients. He held numerous positions within the HP Enterprise Services organization where his considerable leadership experience and record of accomplishment led to his overseeing all aspects of Data Center Operations globally.
Regent Mitchell is a graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing. While at Howard he was a student athlete, lettering in football. Mitchell lives in Owasso with his wife Yolanda, and two sons: Wesley, Jr. and Jordan Alexander, both Eagle Scouts. He enjoys spending time with his family, and staying involved in his community. He is a member of Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, a leadership development organization for African American males, and a member of the Executive board of the Indian Nations Council of the Boy Scouts of America. His other board memberships include the Owasso Education Foundation, Junior Achievement of Oklahoma, Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, Career Tech Business Advisory Board, State Education Superintendent Hofmeister's African American Advisory Council and Bishops Committee of Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross. Mitchell previously served as a trustee to the TCC Foundation.
Ronald S. Looney, Secretary
Ronald S. Looney has served on the TCC Board of Regents since 1985 and has served as Board Chairman for four terms.
Looney is well known for his professional accomplishments. He is president and CEO of Tri-Angle Development Co., Inc, a real estate development company engaged in general contracting, including construction of industrial as well as commercial buildings.
His other titles include: managing member, CEO and owner of both BLR Properties I, L.L.C. and RL Holding Co., L.L.C., and president, CEO and owner of BLR Realty Corp., all Real Estate holding companies; He also serves as president, managing broker and CEO and DPV Investments, Inc., dba Looney & Associates, Realtors, a real estate brokerage company actively engaged in the Tulsa metropolitan area.
A Will Rogers High School graduate, Looney completed over three years of college attending the University of Tulsa, the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.
The professional and community organizations he has been involved in throughout his career are extensive. A few of them include: member, past board member, Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa; member Local Development Act HB 1525 Review Committee for City and County of Tulsa, City of Sand Springs, City of Jenks and City of Glenpool; member of Education Committee, Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce; and member, past board member and twice past president of Tulsa Chapter NAIOP, including 2006 Member of the Year designation, and 1987 Developer Member of the Year designation.
In addition to serving TCC as a Board of Regents member, Looney is also on the Signature Symphony at TCC Advisory Board.
Looney is a member of the First Baptist Church of Jenks where he has taken many leadership roles, including Deacon and past Trustee. He is an alumni of Delta Omega Chapter Sigma Chi Fraternity.
Looney enjoys gardening, physical fitness, golf, spending time with his grandchildren and performing public service.
He has been married 44 years to Mary Sue Poppe Looney and they have three grown children: Paul Scott, David Ronald and Virginia Poppe Harris, along with five grandchildren.
Robin F. Ballenger, Member
Robin F. Ballenger is currently the chairman of Flint Resources Company, LLC, and president of the Flint Family Foundation.
She was the third generation of the Flint family to lead Flintco, a diverse, national construction company with offices in seven cities, until its sale in January, 2013. She served as Chair of the Board of Flintco, LLC and its subsidiaries.
Through her leadership, Flintco consistently ranked in Engineering News’ top 100 contractors in the Nation and won the 2006 U.S. Department of Commerce Business Development Agency’s Minority Construction Firm of the Year Award. Her distinguished leadership was further evidenced by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s 2006 American Indian Business Owner of the Year Award and by The Journal Record’s prestigious 2007 Woman of The Year Award.
A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Robin served as president of the Cherokee Nation Foundation, a tribally chartered nonprofit, and has served on the Cherokee Nation Citizens’ Compensation Committee. She is a past Board member of the Cherokee Heritage Center.
She has been honored by many local agencies, including winning the Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission’s Charles Chibitty Family Community Contributor Award for her tireless efforts to improve lives in Native American communities. She was inducted into the 2010 Tulsa Hall of Fame.
Ms. Ballenger received a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College, and holds two masters degrees, one from Occidental College in Los Angeles in Urban Studies and one from the University of Southern California in Gerontology.
Active Community Service & Board Memberships:
- 108 Contemporary
- Philbrook Museum of Art
- Northeastern State University - President’s Advisory Council
- River Parks Authority
- Saint Simeon’s Foundation
- Tulsa City-County Library Trust
- Tulsa Funders’ Roundtable
Paul H. Cornell, Member
Paul H. Cornell is President of Citizens Bankshares, Inc. and a Partner with Premier Consulting Partners. Through the PCP partnership, Paul represents StoneCastle Financial’s capital and other offerings to the banking industry.
Paul is a 1994 graduate of the Oklahoma State University School of Accounting and later earned a Certified Public Accountant designation. He began his career with KPMG, with a focus on Banking and Insurance clients. Thereafter, beginning in 1998, he served SpiritBank for 16 years in various executive roles including holding company President and Deputy CEO of the bank. During that tenure his service included being President of the headquarter branch in Bristow, Oklahoma for several years providing meaningful rural America community bank experience. Additionally, he was responsible for affiliate expansion including the acquisition of American Southwest Mortgage Corp, development of an effective insurance agency solution, and development of an in house secondary market mortgage solution. At the holding company, he was responsible for capital market matters and shareholder relations. To assist SpiritBank in navigating difficult times, he developed and executed on a regulator approved strategy to raise capital in Citizens Bankshares, Inc., an affiliate bank, as a tool to offload mortgage assets allowing SpiritBank to shrink its balance sheet and create excess capital. Through this transaction he then moved to President of Citizens Bankshares, Inc. in 2013.
Paul grew up in Oklahoma City but has been in the Tulsa area since 1998. In the banking community, he a Past Chairman of the Oklahoma Bankers Association, after serving a two-year term as Chairman from May 2014 to May 2016. Additionally, he is active in the American Bankers Association presently serving on the Government Relations Committee, and having served on the ABA Community Bankers Council and its Grassroots Committee. He believes in and is active in the communities around him. Today, Paul serves the community and state as a Regent and Vice Chairman for Tulsa Community College, and Governor for the OSU Foundation Board of Governors. Paul is a member of the Economic Club of Oklahoma, and the Tulsa Downtown Rotary Club. Paul is past Chairman of the Tulsa Chapter of Young President’s Organization, the OSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors, Bristow Rotary Club, and the Bristow Chamber of Commerce. Paul is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma (class XVII), and the OSBI Citizen’s Academy. Professionally, Paul serves as a Director of Citizens State Bank.
Paul married the former Tabitha Kelly of Okemah in 1995. They reside in Tulsa and are proud parents of twin boys, Andrew and Joshua, born in March of 2001, daughter, Rachel, born in February of 2006, and son, Caleb, born in April of 2009.
Caron Lawhorn, Member
Caron Lawhorn is Senior Vice President, Commercial of ONE Gas. Headquartered in Tulsa, Okla., ONE Gas, Inc. provides natural gas distribution services to more than two million customers in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. ONE Gas is one of the largest publicly traded, 100-percent regulated natural gas utilities in the United States.
In her role, Ms. Lawhorn is responsible for commercial activities of its three natural gas distribution utilities – Oklahoma Natural Gas Company, Kansas Gas Service and Texas Gas Service – including business development, customer service, gas supply, and rates and regulatory. Prior to ONE Gas becoming a stand-alone publicly traded company separated from ONEOK, Inc. in early 2014, she served in the same role at ONEOK.
Prior to assuming her current role, Ms. Lawhorn was president of ONEOK’s natural gas distribution segment. From July 2009 until March 2011, she was senior vice president, corporate planning and development of ONEOK and ONEOK Partners, responsible for business development, strategic and long-range planning and capital investment. She became senior vice president and chief accounting officer of ONEOK in 2007, adding responsibility for ONEOK Partners in 2008. Prior to that, she was senior vice president of financial services and treasurer of ONEOK. Ms. Lawhorn started at ONEOK in 1998 as manager of auditing.
Before joining OKEOK, Ms. Lawhorn was a senior manager at KPMG and chief financial officer of Emergency Medical Services Authority in Tulsa.
Ms. Lawhorn is secretary-treasurer of the board of directors of the Southern Gas Association, and vice chair of the board of directors of the Tulsa Area United Way, where she also serves on the campaign committee. She also is a past chair and serves on the steering committee of the United Way’s Women's Leadership Council. She is a member of the board of trustees of Saint Simeon's Foundation, past executive chair and former board of trustees member of Saint Simeon’s Episcopal Home, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma – Class 21 and Leadership Tulsa – Class 32. She is a former chair of the Executive Advisory Board of the University of Tulsa Collins College of Business and a past president of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tulsa.
Ms. Lawhorn earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Tulsa, where she was named an Outstanding Alumna in the College of Business. She also is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.
William R. McKamey, Member
William R. "Bill" McKamey has served on the Tulsa Community College Board of Regents since January 2007.
McKamey retired as vice president–external affairs for AEP’s Public Service Company of Oklahoma. He was responsible for economic development, community affairs, governmental affairs, and environmental affairs.
He started his career with Southwestern Electric Power Company, a sister company of PSO and held numerous positions from 1969-1990. He became director of Marketing and Economic Development for Central South West in 1990. In 1992 he was named vice president of marketing and business development for PSO and moved to Tulsa. Since that time McKamey has held several executive positions at PSO.
A registered professional engineer, he holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas. He also completed the Darden School of Business Executives course at the University of Virginia.
Besides serving on the TCC Board of Regents, McKamey serves on the following boards: Oklahoma Center for Non Profits – Chair Elect, Chair Long Range Planning Committee; Metro Tulsa Chamber of Commerce –Legislative Committee; University Center Trust Authority –Trustee; and Oklahoma State University Tulsa – President’s Council
He has previously served as chairman of the following: Oklahoma Academy for State Goals; Tulsa Community College Foundation; Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineers; and Comp Source of Oklahoma.
He has one son and one grandson who reside in Greensboro, N.C.