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Ann Simank to be Recognized for the 2009 Urban Pioneer Awards

Below is the press release for the 2009 Urban Pioneer Awards! We are so pumped to not only honor our awesome former city councilwoman–but to do it at RED Prime Steak!! RED is a great sponsor of the event and Plaza District, and we look forward to hosting our event in their cool showroom upstairs!

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, April 2nd, 2009 – The Board of Directors of the Plaza District Association is pleased to announce that former Oklahoma City Councilwoman Ann Simank will be the recipient of the 2009 Urban Pioneer Award.
The award is given each year to an individual in Oklahoma City who exemplifies Oklahoma’s pioneering spirit with their leadership and their commitment to urban revitalization.  The 2009 Urban Pioneer Awards Luncheon will be held Thursday, May 14th from 11:30 to 1:00 PM at RED Prime Steak in Oklahoma City.   Meg Salyer, recipient of the 2007 Urban Pioneer Award, will serve as the event emcee.
“It was Ann Simank’s leadership that launched the revitalization of the Plaza District in 1996.  As an outspoken advocate for the inner city, she was instrumental in establishing the public/private partnerships that have made our efforts in the Plaza District so successful” said Susan Hogan, former director of the district association. “Ann always understood that a city can only be as healthy as its inner core – and today, the prognosis for Oklahoma City is excellent!”

“Ann has been a long-time supporter of ALL of our inner city” continued Kristen Vails, Executive Director of the Association. “Her leadership has been instrumental in the redevelopment of Stockyards City, Automobile Alley, Midtown, the Medical District, and St. Anthony Hospital – just to name a few”, she continued.

The Plaza District Association has adopted the term “urban pioneering” to describe its work in inner city revitalization.  Fueled by creativity, over the last several years the Plaza District has emerged as an exciting new destination for arts and entertainment. The district’s transformation has been driven by the collaborative efforts of neighbors, business owners, property owners, volunteers, artists, City staff, and the Oklahoma Main Street Program.

Past honorees include: Dr. Tom McDaniel, President of Oklahoma City University, honored in 2005; Mrs. Lou C. Kerr, visionary leader in the Plaza District and all the arts, honored in 2006; Mrs. Meg Salyer, pioneer in the transformation of Automobile Alley and invaluable Plaza advisor, honored in 2007; and Mr. Mark Funke and Mr. Mike Turpen, leaders of Lyric Theatre’s highly successful $10 million capital campaign, honored in 2008.

For reservations or more information contact: Kristen Vails at or phone 308-5991.  Luncheon tickets are $45 and can also be purchased online at


April 1, 2009 at 8:49 pm Leave a comment


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