The National Association of Counties (NACo) recently recognized Oklahoma County Commissioner Ray Vaughn with the prestigious 2011 County Courthouse Award for Innovative Governance, sponsored by Siemens.
As part of the award, Siemens presented a $5,000 scholarship on Vaughn’s behalf to Oklahoma Christian University’s School of Engineering. Vaughn is a 1970 Oklahoma Christian alumnus.
NACo honored Vaughn for his dedication to improving the lives of Oklahoma County’s residents, including his leadership in the county’s acquisition of a shuttered General Motors manufacturing plant. The county leased the facility to Tinker Air Force Base, the area’s largest single-site employer. By doing this, nearly all of the 2,400 jobs lost as a result of the plant closure are on track to be replaced.
“On behalf of the nation’s counties, I commend Commissioner Vaughn for his bold leadership in turning a devastating economic hit on the community into economic boom,” NACo president Glen Whitley said. “He was the driving force behind the public/private partnership that led to passage of the $55 million bond issue to purchase the GM plant and lease it to Tinker Air Force Base, keeping nearly 2,000 jobs in the area.”
NACo selected Vaughn as the Urban Category winner from more than 50 entries. He and the other award winners were honored at NACo’s 76th Annual Conference and Exposition in Portland/Multnomah County, Ore.
Siemens national manager Chuck Hall presented the scholarship check to Vaughn, OC president Mike O’Neal and OC senior vice president for advancement John deSteiguer at an October meeting of the Oklahoma county commissioners.