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Women With Influence

We Shine the Spotlight on Some of Our Outstanding Women Leaders

Amy Cerato

Title: OU Professor of Civil Engineering & Environmental Science 

Proudest Professional Achievement: Winning the 2009 Presidential Award for Scientists and Engineers for her research on predicting expansive soil behavior; the PECASE Award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Other Current or Previous Community Involvement (limited to top 1-3): Founding board member & president, Pike Off OTA, Inc. (current)

Philosophy on Giving Back to the Community: We are stronger together than we are individually. Everyone has the capacity to give back in some fashion, and it is incumbent upon us to use our talents to help our community achieve a shared goal. 

Favorite Quote: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.  Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” – Marie Curie, Nobel Prize Winner

Shari Jackson

Titles: Executive Director, The Depot; executive director, Norman Music Alliance

Proudest Professional Achievement: I am proud of the career I have built in the town I grew up in, and the work I have done at the organizations I serve. 

Other Current or Previous Community Involvement (limited to top 1-3): Business Director, Sooner Theatre; Executive Director, Cimarron Opera (both previously held positions)

Philosophy on Giving Back to the Community: For over 20 years in Norman, I have intentionally served nonprofit arts organizations. I have dedicated my career to working for arts organizations that have missions I can support fully and without hesitation because they don't just give back to community, they help build it. I think we are all responsible for helping build the community we would like to be a part of and ensuring that it is welcoming and inclusive and of service of ALL the humans in it.

Favorite Quote: "It's your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don't take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver." - Betty White

Cindy Merrick, PT

Title: Founder, Therapy in Motion (retired)

Proudest Professional Achievement: My proudest professional achievement was actually being blessed with careers of teacher, counselor, mentor and physical therapist, which provided me many opportunities to meet and work with people from all different walks of life.

Other Current or Previous Community Involvement (limited to top 1-3):  Currently teaches at The Well and volunteers at The Boys and Girls Club, The Center for Children and Families Inc. and Abbot House Child Advocacy Center.

Philosophy on Giving Back to the Community: I believe that we live in a reciprocal universe and there is power in positive thinking. My life’s motto has been, 'The More We Give, The more We Get.'  For my birthday one year, my sons had bumper stickers made for me with this thought.

Favorite Quote: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill; and, “You wish you could throw like a girl.”

Tracy Ann Miller

Title: Founding partner, Credent Wealth Management

Proudest Professional Achievement: Becoming an Independent Advisor

Other Current or Previous Community Involvement (limited to top 1-3):  Achieved industry accreditations of CFP®, ChFC® and CLU 

Philosophy on Giving Back to the Community: A community is made up of people willing to take part in each other's lives—not only when you have time or when it is convenient. When everyone pitches in—whether you pick up trash on the street or help a homeless person or serve on an HOA board—every activity is important! 

Favorite Quote: "You do not know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." - Anonymous

AndreaShei Phan 

Title: Artist/Muralist

Proudest Professional Achievement: I believe my proudest achievement would be being able to make it on my own. I have been through a lot of adversities throughout my life and I never allowed that to stop me from exploring the world and following my oh-so-many dreams. I built myself into this amazing young woman that gets to create every day of her life and share a little of her mind with the world.

Other Current or Previous Community Involvement (limited to top 1-3): Currently discussing options with multiple nonprofits to facilitate paint classes for underserved communities. It's important for me to advocate for minority groups, too, which I do in part through social media.

Philosophy on Giving Back to the Community: PANDANATION is something that came about when I was on ANTM 21 because I had to figure out a way to show the world my art while on a modeling competition show. I created the PANDAS and my fan base became known as PANDANATION. Growing up half Asian and half white, I wanted all my fans to feel like they had a place where they belonged because I know how it feels to feel like you don't. So PANDANATION is for my community to have a place where there is no judgment and all characters are welcome. I believe I was given this platform for those who don't have a voice, to let them know they are not alone, and that they have someone on their side to support them just like they support me.

Favorite Quotes: 

"Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one's ability to persuade." - Ruther Bader Ginsburg; "My mission in life is not to merely survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." - Maya Angelou

Amy Singleton

Title: Owner, Hite Digital Norman

Proudest Professional Achievement: I have been able to help so many people by showing them their worth and giving them the confidence to pursue their dreams. Whether it is through my work at Hite Digital Norman, my podcast or my public speaking, I am always looking for ways to inspire and motivate others to embrace their true selves and make a positive impact in the world.

Other Current or Previous Community Involvement (limited to top 1-3): Serves on the board of the Virtue Center; Moore and South OKC Chambers of Commerce

Philosophy on Giving Back to the Community: My philosophy on giving back to the community is simple: leave it better than you found it. This community was built by good citizens who wanted to create a better future. I believe it is my duty, as a member of this community, to carry on that legacy and do my part to improve this community and the lives of those around me.

Favorite Quotes: 

"If you can dance and be free and NOT be embarrassed, you can rule the world." - Amy Poehler; “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.” - Dolly Parton

Amy Stowe

Titles: Vice President of Operations, GEICO OKC South; Vice President of Operations and Entertainer, WEJ Productions

Proudest Professional Achievement: I feel that being a member of the South OKC Chamber Ambassadors is a huge honor. I consider them the 'welcoming committee' for new small businesses that come to South Oklahoma City. I served as co-chair of the ambassadors last year and was named Ambassador of the Month in January 2023. Both of these honors meant a great deal to me because of the amazing people who also serve as ambassadors; these are some of the busiest and most giving people I have ever met.

Other Current or Previous Community Involvement (limited to top 1-3): Member/Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary Club of South Oklahoma City

Philosophy on Giving Back to the Community: I believe giving back to the community is the most important contribution we can make. I want to help make our community better than it was when we arrived here and better for my children and grandchildren. I think every contribution we make can make a positive difference in someone’s life in some way. I think time is of as much or more importance than monetary contributions and many times a lot harder to get people to give. 

Favorite Quote: “I choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life.” – Louise Hay

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