Paula Burkes
Business Reporter

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 City and Boston. Since February 2001, she’s worked as a business writer for The Oklahoman state newspaper, specializing in personal finance and workplace enterprise stories that have far-reaching effects for readers’ lives. Paula and her teenage daughter, Jessica, live in Edmond, Okla.


  • Counteroffers are an ineffective retention tactic, employers find

    Paula Burkes Business Writer pburkes@oklahoman.com | Published: Sun, Aug 30, 2015

    Wolf Gugler, who has an executive search firm with offices in Oklahoma and Canada, said he over the past 30 years has seen only one successful counteroffer, where the company offered the employee more responsibility along with more money.

  • Executive Q&A: Insurance broker, ex-state legislator has a lifetime of lobbying for reforms

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer pburkes@oklahoman.com | Published: Sun, Aug 30, 2015

    Executive Q&A: Wayne Pettigrew is president of the Oklahoma State Association of Health Underwriters group.

  • Business Q&A with Mark A. Craige

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    Oklahoma business Q&A with Mark A. Craige: In the context of a reorganization, bad faith is determined by application of the “classic badges of a bad-faith bankruptcy filing” or what are often referred to as bad faith “factors.”

  • Business Q&A with Michael R. Pacewicz

    Updated: Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    The National Labor Relations Board did not address the question of whether the Northwestern University players are employees and have the right to organize. Instead, the board declined to exercise jurisdiction over the case.

  • Trade Talk: Avoid probate by creating a trust

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer pburkes@oklahoman.com | Updated: Thu, Aug 27, 2015

    Holding off on creating a trust can needlessly result in probate, writes Paula Burkes.

  • Business Q&A with Danielle Ezell

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer pburkes@oklahoman.com | Updated: Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    Nearly one in three Oklahomans could be impacted by a proposed rule change that would increase the salary threshold for which salaried workers are automatically eligible for overtime.

  • Daily business Q&A with Kitt Letcher

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    Consumers can see multiple reviews in one place, scan details about past complaints and see how the company handled them plus read reviews from verified real customers.

  • Mind Your Own Business: Where there's a will, there's a way (to avoid probate)

    Paula Burkes | Updated: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    With the unexpected death of my baby brother this summer, I'm not waiting to "get my affairs in order." I remembered last week that I'd named Jeff -- who died of a sudden heart attack in July at age 55 -- as the payable-upon-death beneficiary on my checking and savings account. I promptly went to the bank and changed the beneficiary to my twin sister, as my daughter Jessica is a minor. I did the same beneficiary change on my traditional IRA, Roth IRA (which I've been funding for Jess' college) and 401k, on which I had no beneficiary listed! if you're married, your spouse is the legal and automatic beneficiary on IRAs. But I had my husband, now ex, sign away his rights to my IRAs -- days after I realized we were no

  • Executive Q&A: Builders trade association leader works on sinking a hole-in-one for members

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer pburkes@oklahoman.com | Updated: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    Executive Q&A: Mike Means is on top of his game at the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association, having successfully lobbied over the past 11 years for several laws to support the building industry and offered countless hours of continuing education to OSHBA members.

  • Daily business Q&A with Mary Holloway Richard

    Published: Wed, Aug 19, 2015

    Consumers can search for doctors and clinical experts on a new product of Google called "Helpouts." The trial is limited to symptoms related to common conditions or diagnoses and a wide range of pediatric concerns.

  • Are emails the future for conducting daily business?

    Paula Burkes Business Writer pburkes@oklahoman.com   | Published: Wed, Aug 19, 2015

    Meetings are the bane of many workdays — so much so that a Facebook meme has made the rounds among Oklahomans.

  • Daily business Q&A with Nathan Whatley

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Tue, Aug 18, 2015

    A California jury awarded a $186 million verdict to an employee of AutoZone after it found discrimination was involved high-ranking officers in company. She was demoted from her position as a store manager and later terminated after informing her supervisor that she was pregnant.

  • Executive Q&A: Utility chief enjoys helping rural communities thrive

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer pburkes@oklahoman.com | Updated: Mon, Aug 17, 2015

    Executive Q&A: Brett Leopold is president of ITC Great Plains, a transmission-only utility operating in the Southwest Power Pool region with 436 circuit miles of transmission lines in west and southwest Kansas and southeast Oklahoma.

  • Mind Your Own Business: Should emails replace meetings?

    Paula Burkes | Updated: Mon, Aug 17, 2015

    There’s a post trending now on Facebook showing a blue ribbon with the words “I survived another meeting that should’ve been an email.” The reason the post has zillions of “likes” and “shares” is obvious: pretty much everyone abhors meetings. A recent study by Harvard Business School and the London School of Economics found executives spend one-third of their workweeks in meetings, and they believe 25 percent to 50 percent of that time is wasted. Researchers Alexandra Luong and Steven Rogelberg found the more meetings employees attended, the more exhausted they felt and the higher they perceived their workloads to be.

  • Same-sex marriage rights may not extend to Indian country land

    Published: Thu, Aug 13, 2015

    Indian Country is deeply divided over the same-sex marriage issue. At least 12 tribal governments recognize same-sex marriage, including the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma. The Supreme Court ruled a century ago that domestic relations issues within tribes should be regulated by tribes themselves according to their own laws and customs and that federal courts would not get involved in those issues.

  • Oklahoma job seekers pull creative, crazy stunts to land jobs

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer pburkes@oklahoman.com   | Updated: Wed, Aug 12, 2015

    Writer Paula Burkes says today's job seekers are doing crazy stunts to get the attention of hiring managers.

  • Daily business Q&A with Roger Stong

    Published: Wed, Aug 12, 2015

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has adopted a rule requiring CEOs of public companies to have their compensation listed as a ratio of its workers' median pay.

  • Oklahoma City tech company rolls out progressive talent benefit initiatives

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer pburkes@oklahoman.com | Updated: Tue, Aug 11, 2015

    Oklahoma City company a la mode now offers employees Fridays off, unlimited vacation and a higher starting salary.

  • OMRF's leader seeks challenges in building, growing institutes

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer pburkes@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Aug 11, 2015

    Stephen Prescott, president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, travels at least once or twice a month on business. In late June, he traveled with a group from the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber to Philadelphia to gather ideas on reshaping the Oklahoma Health Center. A few weeks ago, he was in Guadalajara, Mexico, helping an associate start a children’s hospital there. And in September, he and his wife plan to vacation in Rome. Every departure, Prescott, 67, makes sure to bring along a travel diary, not only to describe, but also sketch — and later paint with watercolors — all he experiences. “Illustrations are so much better than photos to remember meals and other things,” he said.

  • Mind Your Own Business: Jobseekers pull creative, crazy stunts to land jobs

    Paula Burkes | Updated: Tue, Aug 11, 2015

    A man wearing a trimmed beard, jeans, boots and a Cowboy hat was standing on the southeast corner of Villa and the I-40 service road as I headed for the Stockyards Monday to meet a friend for lunch at Cattlemen’s. He lacked the disheveled, unkempt look that most solicitors have, and held a cardboard sign that read: “Cowboy dad. Lost job.” Such picketing and other creative and crazy stunts are being pulled to land jobs, CareerBuilder online job site and Oklahoma workers report. According to a recent online survey of 2,532 U.S. hiring and human resources managers by Harris Poll for Chicago-based CareerBuilder, jobseekers nationwide have learned where the hiring manager was having dinner and





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