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2022 OVF Awards: Guest Speakers

April 09, 2022 4:15 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

OVF Awards Guest Speakers

Featuring a fireside chat guided by OVF Director Cody Dupler of Summit Utilities in Lawton. Cody will host Jennifer Hankins from Tulsa Innovation Labs and JOsh Merrill from Echo Investment Captial in a discussion about "Collaboration for Innovation."

Guest Host | Cody Dupler

Business Manager, Peaks Renewables | Subsidiary of Summit Utilities

Summit Utilities concentrates on developing renewable natural gas, with offices in Colorado, Arkansas, Maine, and Oklahoma. Cody has led the charge in developing landfill gas projects from the company’s inception.

During his career, Cody has established a reputation of community collaboration and relationships as he has served on the Boards of the United Way of Southwest Oklahoma, the Lawton Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity, AUSA – Fires Chapter, the Young Professionals of Lawton, and the Oklahoma Venture Forum. In addition to his duties at Peaks Renewables, he is also an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Cameron University and a Major in the Oklahoma Army National Guard.

Cody has received numerous community awards, notably “Volunteer of the Year”, “Young Professional of the Year” (Lawton, OK), and the Southwest Ledger’s “Top Ten Young Professionals of SW Oklahoma”. He has a Master’s degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and is currently a 2nd year doctoral candidate at Liberty University. None of this could be done without the support of his Wife Danae and their five amazing children: Daelynn, Ace, Decklynn, Hayden, and Harlow.

Guest Speakers

Jennifer Hankins | Head of Partnerships | Tulsa Innovation Labs

Jennifer is a fierce advocate for innovation and entrepreneurship in the heartland of America, with extensive experience working in Tulsa and the wider region on economic development initiatives. In her role as Head of Partnerships, she is responsible for helping shape TIL’s strategic direction, mission, investments, advisory bodies, and, in particular, is responsible for securing and managing its partnerships with corporations and other entities.

Prior to joining TIL, Jennifer served in the economic development division of the Tulsa Regional Chamber as vice president of entrepreneurship and small business. In this capacity, she worked with area partners to help grow the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, assisting local startups and small businesses remove barriers to growth and managing the Chamber’s business incubator for high-growth startups, The Forge.

Josh Merrill | Managing Partner and General Counsel | Echo Investment Capital

A native Oklahoman, Josh attended Oklahoma State University where he received his B.S. in accounting and finance. After receiving his undergraduate degree, Josh attended the University of Oklahoma College of Law where he received his J.D. Shortly after law school, Josh moved to Dallas, where he eventually became a Partner in Kirkland and Ellis, LLP’s private equity and mergers and acquisitions practice.

Throughout his career, Josh has facilitated transactions with a total deal value exceeding $20 billion. He was happy to return home to begin work as Echo Investment Capital’s General Counsel and has since expanded his duties at Echo to include a Co-Managing Partner role, where he oversees many of the organization’s verticals.

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