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Executive Q&A: Better Businesss Bureau chief strives to better Central Oklahoma

Executive Q&A: Tulsa native Kitt Letcher welcomes new role as president of the Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma.
by Paula Burkes Modified: August 4, 2013 at 10:00 pm •  Published: August 3, 2013

Kitt Letcher started May 20 as president and chief executive of the Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma, but don't ask her for a business card, yet.

She put off ordering them until this past week — so that she could take advantage of bulk cost savings on cards for her staff, which she's doubled to eight, to better handle the thousands of inquiries her organization fields annually.

One new hire's sole job will be handling the yearly accreditation of its some 2,000 member companies, which pay annual dues of $375 and up, depending on the size of their respective organizations.

“Companies are evaluated every year,” Letcher said, “to ensure they're still meeting the standards by which they were accredited on day one.”

Consumers bring numerous issues before the organization, she said. Complaints range from companies allegedly pressing people into buying things they don't need to contractors demanding upfront payment from consumers and then leaving work incomplete.

“We want to make people aware of the dangers and what to look out for,” Letcher said, pointing to her organization's website as a great tool for researching firms.

From her offices at 17 S Dewey, Letcher sat down with The Oklahoman to talk about her professional and personal life. This is an edited transcript:

Q: Is Kitt short for Katherine?

A: No, it's my given name, and I love it. You know those websites you can search to see who else has your name? Well, I'm the only Kitt Letcher out there. Of the people named Kitt I've met, there've been a lot more men than women.

Q: Tell us about your roots.

A: My father, who taught Oklahoma history and coached wrestling and tennis in Sapulpa, and mother, who retired from American Airlines as supervisor of engine records, divorced when I was 3 and my brother and sister were 12 and 13. I lived with my mom in south Jenks, but went to school in Tulsa — Monte Cassino and then Holland Hall. From fifth grade through high school, I took English-style horseback riding lessons for the pure joy of it. I also took piano and played the flute in the high school orchestra, along with competing in cross country and field hockey.

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by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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Position: Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma, president and chief executive

Birth date: Oct. 30, 1978

Family: Stuart, married 12 years (They were high school sweethearts); Isabel, 5, and Collin, 17 months

Education: University of Tulsa, bachelor's in marketing

On the nightstand: “Bossypants” by Tina Fey, and “Real Simple” and “Better Homes & Gardens” magazines

Latest movie: “Monsters University” and other kid flicks

Next getaway: Germany in August

Secret to success: Great mentors. “My past supervisors, and volunteers, have always been really direct, helped me look at situations from all angles, and reach for goals I didn't think were possible.”


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