“Alright, here we go!” Shalynne Jackson, ONEOK diversity and inclusion consultant, announces as a sea of ONEOK employees head toward Tulsa’s Martin Luther King Jr. Parade route.
The annual parade, now in its 39th year, is one of the three-largest MLK parades in the United States. Despite the cold front, more than 130 employees and family members accompanied the ONEOK float and 18-member drill team in the parade.
“Participation in the MLK parade is a fun way to develop skills that will help employees grow and create a better work environment,” said Justin Thompson, development analyst, programming, who also served as the parade committee chairman.
Making ONEOK’s participation in the parade a success was definitely a group effort, Thompson pointed out.
“MLK committee members exercised their project management and leadership skills while working together to plan a successful event,” he explained. “The drill team exercised attention to detail while getting outside their comfort zone. Parade walkers exercised initiative by taking time away from their work to show support for the community.” Thanks to that planning and hard work, ONEOK has the prizes to show for it.
Taking top honors in the corporate, professional built category, ONEOK’s float featured employee photos to “give the community a deeper glimpse into our wonderful company, highlighting the diversity within ONEOK and displaying our company culture,” said Jasmine Steen, staff accountant, and MLK Float Committee chair.
The drill team won second place in the corporate team competition with their routine, “I Have a Dream.”
“Getting to be a part of the drill team as a relatively new employee was an amazing experience and truly exemplifies ONEOK’s inclusive culture,” said Erin Holland, communications consultant, who coached the drill team alongside Meaghan Parker, engineer technician, hydraulic modeling. “In the end, the competition didn’t even matter– we were all just having so much fun,” Erin added.
This event is just one of the many community events that ONEOK participates in throughout the year within our operating footprint. Providing these opportunities to employees and their families is important to build new relationships and in this case, was a great way to start the year off as a unified team!
Check out this video of the parade walkers, float and drill team performance: