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.

  • Q&A with David Bohanon

    Published: Thu, Dec 24, 2015

    Information is provided that will benefit landlords and lenders in the energy industry as they deal with solving problems in commercial real estate, particularly with leases, defaults and/or foreclosures.

  • Q&A with Elizabeth Bowersox

    Published: Tue, Dec 22, 2015

    The U.S. Labor Department has announced a final version of its proposed new overtime regulations that will be published next year. The new rules are expected to affect up to 4.6 million workers nationwide.

  • Mind Your Own Business: Even last minute, you can save on gift cards

    Paula Burkes | Updated: Mon, Dec 21, 2015

    For all you last-minute Christmas shoppers out there, consider the procrastinator's go-to present: the gift card. Studies show gift cards top holiday wish lists for the ninth consecutive year, making them the most popular present for U.S. adults. But even if you can't go wrong with a gift card, there are right ways to buy, and save, on them. Here are a few from personal finance guru Andrea Woroch: Buy in bulk from warehouse stores. Warehouse clubs like Sam's Club sell bulk gift cards to retailers and restaurants at discounts of up to 30 percent. For example, Costco offers a four-pack of $25 e-gift cards to Coldstone Creamery for $69.99, or four $25 gift cards to (redeemable at AMC, Regal Cinemas

  • Executive Q&A: SoonerCare chief works by 'Love Your Neighbor' belief

    Paula Burkes Business Writer | Published: Sun, Dec 20, 2015

    Nico Gomez, 44, is the CEO of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, and manages a $5 billion annual budget and leads 550 state employees.

  • Q&A with Brandon Long

    Published: Fri, Dec 18, 2015

    Brandon Long, an employee benefits attorney with McAfee & Taft, discusses the Affordable Care Act's so-called "Cadillac tax" on health coverage.

  • Q&A with Sheppard F. Miers Jr.

    Published: Thu, Dec 17, 2015

    Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled a county treasurer should have done more to locate a property owner after a certified letter was returned marked "not deliverable as addressed unable to forward.” The county sold the property as auction after the letter came back.

  • Q&A with Aaron Parks: Veterans Affairs pension is likely to become more difficult to obtain

    Published: Tue, Dec 15, 2015

    Aaron Parks, founding attorney at The Elder Care Law Center in Norman, discusses Veterans Affairs pension and what changes could be coming soon.

  • Q&A with Joe Edwards: Individuals will be responsible for corporate wrongdoing

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer | Published: Mon, Dec 14, 2015

    Joe Edwards, an attorney with Crowe & Dunlevy, talks about a new Justice Department policy that will hold individuals responsible for the wrongdoing of corporations.

  • Mind Your Own Business: 70% employees dread workplace gift giving

    Paula Burkes | Updated: Mon, Dec 14, 2015

    The elephant in the boardroom this holiday season? Seventy percent of employees feel pressured by compulsory gift giving at work, including white elephant and secret Santa exchanges. That's according to a November survey conducted by Paul White, creator of the Toxic Workplace Prevention and Repair Kit. “Holidays are supposed to be a happy time, but when bosses combine ‘forced fun’ with expectations that impact employee’s finances and eat into their personal time – it’s a toxic combination that often results in negative attitudes, the opposite of what was intended," White said. His advice? Don't force workers to participate in gift giving exchanges -- explicitly or

  • MyRA has Oklahomans saving up for retirement

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer | Published: Sun, Dec 13, 2015 allows working Americans or their spouses to open no-fee Roth IRAs (individual retirement accounts) and make one-time or recurring after-tax contributions, of as little or as much as they want, via automatic checking or savings account withdrawals, paycheck deductions through participating employers, or their tax refunds.

  • Executive Q&A: Bank of Oklahoma chief in Oklahoma City market considers his job a 'dream opportunity'

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer   | Published: Sun, Dec 13, 2015

    John Higginbotham has been the CEO of the Oklahoma City market for Bank of Oklahoma for nine months.

  • Etiquette expert offers creative ways to tip service providers

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer | Updated: Thu, Dec 10, 2015

    Carey Sue Vega, principal of Expeditions In Etiquette, talks about creative ways to tip service providers during the holidays.

  • Q&A with James Helm

    BY PAULA BURKES | Published: Wed, Dec 9, 2015

    Dale Rogers Training Center in Oklahoma City provides jobs for people with disabilities throughout Oklahoma. It is a entrepreneurial nonprofit and manufactures products as well as offers services.

  • Health insurance deadline nears for 2016 coverage

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer | Published: Wed, Dec 9, 2015

    Dec. 15 is the deadline to sign up for health insurance for 2016 if you want to be covered on Jan. 1.

  • Q&A with Kitt Letcher

    BY PAULA BURKES | Published: Tue, Dec 8, 2015

    The holiday shopping season provides a perfect opportunity for scammers, posing as job solicitors, to con unsuspecting victims into providing personal information that can lead to identity theft.

  • Q&A with Richard Newberry

    BY PAULA BURKES | Published: Mon, Dec 7, 2015

    Goods or property damaged in storms might be inspected by insurance agents during the claims process. So it's a good idea to not throw away damaged items, such as carpet, furniture or other items until the claims representative says it's OK to do so.

  • Mind Your Own Business: Deadline nears to buy 2016 health insurance

    Paula Burkes | Updated: Fri, Dec 4, 2015

      Dec. 15 is the deadline to sign up for health insurance for 2016, if you want to be covered on Jan. 1. The federal government issued the reminder last week, reporting that -- as of Nov. 30 -- 30,183 Oklahomans had signed up for coverage on the federally run “Whether you are enrolling for the first time or are an existing customer who is shopping for the best plan for 2016, now is the time to visit or,” said Sylvia Burwell, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Open enrollment on began Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 31. So far, more than 2 million consumers nationwide have enrolled, including more than 700,000

  • Executive Q&A: Staffing exec strives to build great teams, celebrate accomplishments

    Paula Burkes Business Writer | Published: Sun, Dec 6, 2015

    Joe McIntyre, based in Oklahoma City, has risen to regional vice president for Menlo, Calif.-based Robert Half.

  • Employee suggestions encouraged at Melton

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer | Published: Sun, Dec 6, 2015

    Melton Truck Lines employees were greeted by a stunning 35-foot Christmas tree when they reported to work the Monday before Thanksgiving week, the first holiday season in their new 77,000-square-foot building. “I think I saw no less than five posts of pictures of the tree on Facebook that day,” said Shayla Williams, 29, safety and employee services staffer. The tree, the headquarters' open layout and expansive windows — and the fact that so many Melton employees are friends off and on social media — is by design. Melton Truck Lines, No. 1 among midsize employers on this year's Top Workplaces list, cares about its employees. The company's new headquarters facility at 808 N 161st East Ave.

  • Paycom uses its own software to evaluate employees

    Updated: Thu, Dec 3, 2015

    Paycom uses its own software to evaluate employees