EDMOND — The University of Central Oklahoma Alumni Association will recognize recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award and Central Family of the Year during an alumni recognition ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Nigh University Center.
This year's distinguished alumni are Trey Aven, associate professor and special assistant to the Office of International Cooperation at Xiamen University of Technology in the People's Republic of China; Chuck Mills, president of Mills Machine Co.; Dana Murphy, Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner; Chad Richison, chief executive officer of Paycom; and Randall Ross, executive director of the Oklahoma Accountancy Board and mayor of Choctaw.
Trey Aven, 1970
Aven also served as coordinator of foreign business faculty at Yang En University, where in 2008 he was awarded the Lin Hui Award for excellence in teaching. In 1995, he was a member of the first contingency of Peace Corps volunteers to enter the former Soviet Union. As a consultant for the United States Agency for International Development, Aven was recognized for his contributions to the promotion of privatization in the Republic of Moldova. In 2004, he was an international election observer during the presidential elections in Ukraine. During his 20-year career in advertising, he received more than 80 awards.
Chad Richison, 1994
Richison is founder and chief executive officer of the Oklahoma payroll software company Paycom. In 2010, he was named Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year in the Southwest Area North. In 2011, Paycom celebrated its sixth consecutive year as an Inc. 500/5000 honoree and its ninth year on the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce Metro 50 list. He has shared his financial success with nonprofit organizations including Anna's House Foundation, Oklahoma Regional Food Bank, Deer Creek Public Schools and Johns Hopkins Medical Research Foundation.
Chuck Mills, 1979
Mills is the third generation president of Mills Machine Co., which was established in 1908. In 2004, he served a four-year term as mayor of Shawnee. Also passionate about international affairs and the state economy, Mills is chairman of the governor's International Team and helped establish in 2008 a sister city in Jinchang City, Gansu, China. He serves on the executive committee for the governor's council of Workforce and Economic Development and the Oklahoma State Chamber. He was named in 2011 the Governor's Small Business Person of the Year and Oklahoma Mayor of the Year in 2008.
After attending UCO from 1979-81 and receiving the best all-around freshman athlete award, Murphy received a degree in geology from Oklahoma State University. She worked as a geologist for 10 years before earning a law degree from Oklahoma City University. She was an administrative law judge at the Corporation Commission before being elected in 2008 as corporation commissioner. She is a committee member with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; is an advisory member for several boards including the Financial Research Institute and the Oklahoma Water Resources Research Institute; and is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and Energy Advocates.
Randall Ross, 1977
Ross has more than 30 years experience in the accounting field. He has served as deputy director for the Oklahoma Department of Central Services, deputy administrator of the Oklahoma Group Insurance Board and director of the audit division at the Oklahoma Tax Commission. He was named 2011-12 Mayor of the Year for Cities and Towns in excess of 5,000 in population. He served as honorary Speaker of the House for the annual Oklahoma Congress of Mayors event. Ross is chairman of the Eastern Oklahoma County Partnership and chairman of the UCO Foundation Audit and Finance Committee.
“Homecoming has become one of our most favorite times of the year,” said Al Jones, director of the UCO Alumni Association. “Each time I am humbled by the wonderful things our alumni are out doing in the world, and this group is no exception.”
The association will honor the Dub Raper family as the 2012 Central Family of the Year, given annually to a family with a long line of members who attended and/or graduated from UCO and continue to stay involved with the university.
For a complete listing of homecoming activities, go to www.uco.edu/alumni.
Reagan Hamlin is coordinator of marketing and public relations for UCO Development.