Awards banquet slated May 1.

The Seminole State College Educational Foundation’s annual recognition banquet, set for 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 1, in the Enoch Kelly Haney Center, will include recognition of college alumni, students, staff and supporters.


Long-time Seminole State College employee Don Gill will receive the “Distinguished Service Award” for his long-time support of the college and commitment to students and the institution. Gill, who retired from the College in 1991, still makes his home in Seminole.


Gill was one of the original administrators at the College, when it became independent of the local public school system. He served as Dean of Students at then Seminole Junior College from 1969 to 1983. He taught speech in the Language Arts and Humanities Division until his retirement.


He has been an active civic volunteer in the Seminole community – serving as a member of the Seminole Rotary Club, Past President of the Elks and an elder in the First Presbyterian Church. He is a member of the Maple Grove Chapel Association and for the past 30 years has helped organize and operate the Interfaith Social Ministries programs.

Also during the May 1 banquet, Rick Best, Ryan Kelly and Carl Packwood will be inducted into the Seminole State College Alumni Hall of Fame.


Rick Best, of Denver, Colo., graduated from Seminole Junior College and Cameron University in Lawton where he played varsity tennis and was active member of the debate team. He received a law degree from the Oklahoma City University School of Law, and is licensed to practice in both Oklahoma and Colorado.


Best has been with the Hughes Law Firm since 1988 where he concentrates his practice in criminal defense trial work and estate planning. He assists in hosting seminars, workshops and panel discussions on a variety of estate planning topics.


He has traveled the world, visiting 47 countries and every continent except Antarctica. Nationally and world-ranked in tennis, and nationally ranked in snowboarding, Best also enjoys paragliding, kayaking, riding motorcycles, and scuba diving.


Ryan Kelly, of Houma, La., is married to former Wewoka resident Penny Bevelhymer. He graduated from SSC with an Associate’s Degree in Arts in 1996. He was a member of the Trojan baseball team, where he earned the “Ironman” award from Coach Lloyd Simmons. He played baseball at Louisiana Tech University after leaving SSC.


He returned to Oklahoma and earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2001. While at OU, he was Vice President and President of the American Society of Civil Engineers Chapter.


In 2001, Kelly joined Schlumberger, one of the largest oilfield service companies in the world. He was based in Oklahoma and Texas, working as a field engineer, but covered several other states including California and Alaska. In 2005, he began his international career and moved to the Middle East, living in Doho, Qatar. After this assignment, Kelly became a Field Services Manager and moved to Southern Thailand for four years.


Kelly accepted a sales position as an Account Manager for Schlumberger in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for 2 1/2 years, where he also covered the Phillipines. Since January, 2013, he has worked as an Operations Manager for Schlumberger in the Gulf of Mexico.


Carl Packwood has served as President of Vision Bank of Shawnee since 2008. His previous banking experience includes 11 years with the BancFirst organization, serving as a loan collector, consumer loan officer, commercial loan officer and vice president and branch manager. He worked at locations in Shawnee, Tecumseh and McLoud.


A graduate of Shawnee High School, he received his Associate of Science degree from Seminole Junior College in 1986 and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from East Central University in 1988.


He currently serves as treasurer of the Gordon Cooper Technology Center Foundation and as a member of the Shawnee Kiwanis Club and South Central Industries. He was recognized by BancFirst with the Certified Master Lender Award.


He is actively involved in the Friends of Scouting Annual fund raiser, the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce and the Tecumseh Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of Leadership Shawnee and past Finance Chairman of the Last Frontier Council Boy Scouts of America.


Best, Kelly and Packwood will join 59 other former students in the Hall of Fame. Recipients of the honor are selected for their achievements while attending the college and contributions they have made in their professional careers which bring pride to the institution. Nominations are accepted each year from faculty, staff, members of the SSC Educational Foundation and the public for induction.


Proceeds of the banquet will go to the SSC Educational Foundation. Individual tickets for the banquet are available for $25 each. Corporate sponsorships for the dinner are available for $300 per table of eight. Additional sponsorship levels are $500 and $1,000.


The SSC Educational Foundation, Inc., was created in 1972 “to supply aid for charitable, benevolent, educational, scientific and literary purposes,” according to the foundation’s articles of incorporation.


Paige Sheffield serves as Chair of the Foundation Board of Trustees. Vice Chairs are Ray McQuiston and Ken Pryor. Other members of the Board are: Dan Boren, Bryan Cain, Richard Carr, Dr. Vickie Carter, Steve Degraffenreid, Ryan Franklin, Jim Hardin, John Hargrave, Blake Hargrove, Chief Leonard Harjo, Doug Humphreys, Tim Mathews, Gordon Melson, Jeramy Rich, Harvey Robinson, Lance Ruffel, Mark Schell, Jack Sherry, Roy Sisco, Sue Snodgrass, Bob Swearingen, Ben Walkingstick, Darlene Wallace, Mark White and Lance Wortham.


For more information about the event, contact a member of the Foundation Board of Trustees or SSC President’s Office at (405) 382-9200.