Member profile: Mike Patterson honored on 2023 55 Over 55 Inspiring Oklahomans list
Recognizing individuals who make a difference and positively impact local quality of life is the title mission of a new honor, 55 Over 55 Inspiring Oklahomans. Open for Business Oklahoma member Mike Patterson, HTNB vice president and National Department of Transportation practice consultant, was recently announced as a winning nominee for the 2023 list.
“Being included as one of the 55 Over 55 Inspiring Oklahomans is a humbling experience. I see so many outstanding names on the list, from Gov. Bill Anaotubby of the Chickasaw Nation last year to Gov. Mary Fallin, [former mayor] Mick Cornett and Chief Gary Batton, among others, this year. It was a tremendous surprise.”
Donald B. Swift, founder of ion Oklahoma Magazine and the NextGen Under 30 Award Recognition Program is the founder of the 55 Over 55 Inspiring Oklahomans list.
Patterson’s humility characterizes his life’s work. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Oklahoma Employees Credit Union (OECU) for 42 years and worked in comptroller and administration roles at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) for nearly 40 years, including as executive director.
“With the list, they were celebrating things that I've accomplished and done over the years but through time, I was just doing my job, just doing life. It is incredible when someone recognizes you were more than what you did and you begin to contemplate and think about the impact that you had,” said Patterson. “What I know for sure is that I could not have done any of it without the love and support I have within my family, including my wife, Joy, and our daughters. They afforded me the opportunity to do all that I did and hope to continue doing.”
Patterson has also volunteered at numerous organizations throughout his career. His current commitment is to five local nonprofits, in addition coaching girls’ softball, which he has also done for more than four decades.
“At times, I probably volunteer more than I should but the one piece of advice I can share for younger professionals is to get involved in the community,” said Patterson. “You're doing what you do at work, of course, but as much as you can, give back to society, through volunteering. There is always something you can do beyond what you're doing at work.”
Patterson considers his involvement in Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) as the founder of its Oklahoma chapter in 2016 one of his career and volunteer service highlights. As a father of two daughters and grandfather of five granddaughters, he hopes to see more workplace equity, particularly in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. WTS provides related peer mentoring and support opportunities to female professionals throughout the sector.
A proud University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) graduate, Patterson holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA with emphasis in finance.
“Going to UCO afforded me a wonderful, top education and I knew that the people that I was going to school with were the same people I was going to work with,” said Patterson.
Quality of life he describes as difficult to find anywhere else led him to stay in Oklahoma.
“I continue to hear what we have in Oklahoma is hard to beat. We have access to great things and a growing community, in addition to work/life balance,” said Patterson. “I used to say at ODTO all that time that our rush hours last 30 minutes. You can get across our largest metropolitan area in half an hour or less, get anywhere you want to go, even if it's on the other side of town.”
As for future plans, Patterson anticipates a full calendar of work, volunteering and coaching.
“I enjoy working for HNTB and innovating through finance. As long as it continues to be something that is fun, I'll continue to work,” said Patterson. “I will also be involved in as many nonprofit boards as I can and continue to give back to my community in various ways.”
Find out more about the 55 Over 55 Inspiring Oklahomans list at https://55over55.com/.