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Executive Q&A: Same mantra guides Oklahoma executive over career

Executive Q&A: Todd Lisle, managing partner with BKD, always has aspired to do interesting work with good people.
by Paula Burkes Modified: February 9, 2014 at 10:00 pm •  Published: February 9, 2014

Todd Lisle, managing partner of the Oklahoma branches of BKD CPAs & Advisors, has nearly 30 years of experience in public accounting. He worked more than a decade with Arthur Andersen, 11 years with his own firm, and the past seven, has been with Springfield, Mo.-based BKD.

Lisle — who specializes in business valuation and fraud investigation — said he throughout has maintained the same mantra.

“I wanted to enjoy what I did; find the work interesting and fulfilling, and enjoy who I did it with,” he said. “It was important that I was around good people, who shared my values and didn’t take themselves so seriously.”

BKD’s Oklahoma City office employs 56 and has annual revenues of roughly $7.5 million — $25 million counting its branches in Tulsa and Enid.

From his offices in Leadership Square, Lisle, who turns 52 on Tuesday, recently sat down with The Oklahoman to talk about his professional and personal life. This is an edited transcript:

Q: Tell us about your roots.

A: I grew up in Enid. A WWII vet, my dad — who’s 92 and lives at the Touchmark retirement community in Edmond — worked as a pharmacist: first as a pharmaceutical salesman for Squibb and then as head of pharmacy at St. Mary’s hospital. My mother, who passed away five years ago, was a homemaker. I have two brothers, eight and 11 years older. Growing up in Enid was great. It was large enough that I wasn’t bored, but not so big to get in trouble. I played on the high school tennis team, worked on the school paper and made decent grades. But I didn’t really apply myself until I pledged Beta at OU and had four-hour nightly study halls. I started in engineering, but soon switched to business, and decided accounting was the major that afforded me the best opportunity and pay.

Q: I understand your OU ties run deep.

A: They do. My (paternal) granddad, parents and brothers all graduated from OU, and Lindsay Street in Norman is named after my great uncle — my granddad’s sister’s husband, who was the first bursar at OU. Growing up, my family would go to a few football games a year and stop by the Beta house to visit with my brothers before the game. So I was indoctrinated early.

Q: How did you meet your wife?

A: We met our sophomore year at OU. My fraternity house, Beta Theta Pi, and her sorority house, Chi Omega, are right next to each other, and we both attended a party across the street at the Sig Alph house. We married soon after graduation. In fact, I managed to do four of what is considered life’s 10 major events the first three weeks of that summer. I graduated, married, started my first professional job with Arthur Andersen, and bought a house. Our parents loaned us the down payment.

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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: BKD CPAs & Advisors, managing partner.

Birth date and childhood home: Feb. 11, 1962; Enid.

Residence: East Edmond, north of Arcadia Lake.

Family: Donna, wife of 29 years; and sons Jackson and Connor, who are in their sophomore and junior years at The University of Oklahoma.

Education: University of Oklahoma, bachelor’s in accounting.

Civic and professional contributions: President, Oklahoma Business Ethics Consortium; advisory board chairman, OU Steed School of Accounting; and member; the American Institute of CPAs, which named him 2006 Volunteer of the Year for his service to the Accredited in Business Valuation committee.

Pastimes: Tennis and travel. They took their sons and their sons’ girlfriends to Kauai, Hawaii, after New Year’s. Lisle just went on his 12th annual guys’ skiing/snow boarding trip to Vail. And he and Donna and a couple of friends bought a charity-auctioned trip to St. Croix this summer.


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