Q&A with Scott Meacham
i2E's new head is longtime fan
Q: Why were you interested in leading i2E, a nonprofit corporation serving the state's startup companies?
A: I have been a longtime supporter of i2E and its mission. We have a proud history for innovation in Oklahoma. Great ideas are produced at our colleges and universities, at institutions like Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and the Noble Foundation, and at many other places across our state. The problem is that these promising ideas all too often either die on the vine or become business opportunities in other states because of lack of knowledge of how to successfully start a business or lack of startup capital. i2E is the only entity in the state that provides help with both of these problems.
I have been privileged to serve on i2E's board since 2010. This gave me the opportunity to observe firsthand i2E's staff at work. A great staff together with a company mission I really believe in made the decision pretty easy.
Q: Did you learn anything as state treasurer that has helped you in your role at i2E?
A: I have found that everything I have done in my career has prepared me for the next thing. I started out practicing law with the Meacham & Meacham law firm in Clinton. Then, I took over the management of our family bank, First National Bank & Trust of Elk City. Next, I moved to state government, first as state finance director and then as state treasurer. After leaving state government, I went back to practicing law as chair of the banking practice group at Crowe & Dunlevy. In each of these positions, I utilized things I had learned in the prior positions.
At i2E, I use my skills as a banker, professional manager and attorney as well as the funds management and administrative skills I learned as state treasurer. I also credit state government for teaching me how to work collaboratively with others outside my workplace to accomplish common goals.
Q: How will you juggle your role as CEO and president of i2E, as well as your clients at Crowe & Dunlevy?
A: My New Year's resolution was to give up sleeping. Seriously, I am a bit of a workaholic. Over the past 24 years, the only time I have not had at least two jobs was the past two years which I spent establishing my law practice and growing the banking practice group at Crowe & Dunlevy. I had been a professional senior manager for the previous 20 years. I found that although I really enjoyed practicing law, I missed management and running a company. Fortunately, I was offered an opportunity which is compatible with my law practice. Thanks to technology, it is much easier than ever to keep up with both my responsibilities as CEO and president of i2E as well as my responsibilities to my clients at Crowe. I am also blessed to be surrounded by a great staff at i2E and extremely gifted and talented attorneys and legal support staff at Crowe & Dunlevy. That makes it a lot easier and more manageable.
Brianna Bailey, Business Writer