In Tulsa, where Bank of Oklahoma was founded, the BOK Center carries the financial institution’s name. But rather than name a building in greater Oklahoma City, BOK here has opted to support financial education.
Per state legislation passed in 2007, Oklahoma students, effective last month, must demonstrate an understanding in banking, taxes, investing, loans, insurance, identity theft and eight other areas to graduate.
To help 29 schools in the metro-area meet the criteria, Bank of Oklahoma is underwriting the hands-on software of Washington, D.C.-based EverFi Inc., which puts students on the floor of the stock market, at a bank’s teller window and elsewhere.
The education cause comes naturally for Oklahoma City market chief Marc Maun, who’s the first college graduate in his family and serves on the education committee of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and board of the John Rex Elementary Charter School downtown.
“I honestly believe such public-private partnerships are the only way to improve public schools,” Maun said.
From his offices at 201 Robert S Kerr, Maun, 56, sat down recently to talk about his life and career. This is an edited transcript:
Q: Tell us about your roots.
A: I grew up in Omaha with a younger brother, who today lives in Phoenix. My father oversaw sales for an animal feed company; later in life, he ran a wholesale hardware company. My mother was a homemaker. We lost my father in ’94 to Alzheimer’s. My mother is 85 and lives near my brother. She played tennis until a few years ago, and only recently gave up golf.
Q: What was your thing in high school?
A: I worked a lot, 20 to 30 hours a week. I was a bus boy, vacuumed hallways and cleaned laundry rooms in apartment buildings, and worked as janitor for retail establishments. I wanted money to buy a stereo, music and concert tickets — a lot of bands would play at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, which is just 50 miles southwest of Omaha. I liked classic rock and blues, and when I was 16, heard Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first live performance of “Freebird.” Today, I joke that I saw Aerosmith and Fleetwood Mac 35 years apart, and am excited that Steely Dan is coming to Oklahoma City next month.
Q: What led you to attend college at the University of Tulsa?
A: I was determined to leave Nebraska and was awarded a partial scholarship to TU. I liked the small class size and the great relationships I had with my professors. Though it was a small school, there were plenty of sports and campus life activities. I joined Lambda Chi and worked two summers as the fraternity’s recruitment chair, earning free room and board in exchange. I’d travel to Chicago, St. Louis and Springfield, where I mostly stayed with friends, and made cold calls to potential members, selling them and their parents on TU’s academics and campus life. I also was involved in student government and, my senior year, was in charge of the campus lecture series. I put together one program, “Can Watergate Happen Again?” with John Dean, the L.A. Times reporter who covered Watergate and a psychologist who studied Richard Nixon, and another on ERA with the president of NOW and Phyllis Schlafly. I had to work with the agents of the latter and my mentor—the late Larry Payton, who founded Celebrity Attractions — taught me how to negotiate, including how to say “no” on the phone and expect them to call back which, sure enough, they did. Upon graduation, I went directly to St. Louis to earn my MBA at Washington University, while working a variety of jobs, including in the accounting department for Monsanto chemical company and picking stocks for Edward Jones.