Patriot of the Game
University of Oklahoma recognizes retired co-op CEO
Max Meek, retired Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (OEC) chief executive officer, received the Patriot of the Game award at the University of Oklahoma home opener against Missouri State on September 12, 2020.
“Good heavens to Betsy, I couldn’t believe it,” Meek says. “It was such a surprise, but it was fantastic.”
The Patriot of the Game award honors military service members at home football games, as well as various men’s and women’s sporting events. The University of Oklahoma College of Professional and Continuing Studies, a leader in supporting the educational needs of United States service members, presents the award.
Autumn McMahon, OEC manager of marketing & member relations, nominated Meek for the honor.
“This award recognizes those who have served their country and have served their communities as well,” McMahon says. “Max is a great man who has built his life around service from the military, to the co-op, to the members of the co-op.”
Meek, a lifelong University of Oklahoma fan, attended the college after serving in Vietnam. At the time of being drafted, he was two years into playing basketball at a junior college in California. As a notable memory, one of his teammates at the time was actor Tom Selleck. Considering Meek’s education and typing skills, Meek thought he might be drafted as a clerk, but he was instead assigned to be a platoon medic.
None of his prior education was in the medical field. Meek received a brief eight-week training course, but he says he learned by instinct in the field with members of his platoon. At reunions, the infantry servicemen still refer to Meek as “Doc.”
After graduating from OU in 1972 with an accounting degree, Meek worked in Oklahoma City and Shawnee before joining OEC’s billing department in 1975. Seven years later, the board promoted Max to be CEO of the cooperative. He and his wife, Ivanell, continue to view OEC and its members as family.
“I appreciate OEC nominating me for this award,” Meek says. “It has been a great honor.”
Meek and Ivanell received four tickets to enjoy the game and were taken into the tunnel at the end of the first quarter to make their way onto the field. During the announcement, photos of Meek and his family were displayed across all the big screens in the stadium. At the end of the presentation, Meek received an OU jersey with the word “patriot” on the back.
“Max is an easy man to celebrate because he brings love and dedication to any role he fills,” McMahon says. “Not only was he a great CEO, but he continues to be such a great family man and patriot.”
To nominate a patriot for this award, visit https://patriot.pacs.ou.edu/.