Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

January 22, 2013

Connor grateful for hometown experience

TAHLEQUAH — Bo Connor is another Tahlequah son who credits his hometown influence with much of his success in life.

Connor, a vice president and wealth management adviser at Merrill Lynch in Tulsa, said he enjoys the strategic aspect of his business.

“But what I enjoy most is the relational aspect. I am privileged to work with, and for, a lot of great people,” he said.

Connor earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University, and a Juris Doctorate and MBA from The University of Oklahoma.

“My plan was always to go to law school and become a corporate or tax attorney. I did everything according to plan, except I ended up at Merrill Lynch instead of practicing law,” he said.

Connor was born in Tahlequah, and brought home from the hospital to the same house in which his parents, Wes and Brooks, still live today.

Connor believes the people make growing up in Tahlequah great.

“I know it is cliché, but the people of Tahlequah are thoughtful, honest, caring, and genuine, and when you grow up there, you know you are part of a tight-knit community that takes care of its own,” Connor said.

Connor said growing up in Tahlequah equipped him for life, both personally and professionally.

“I have observed over the years that a disproportionate share of successful business people come from small towns like Tahlequah. I don’t think that is coincidental,” Connor said. “You learn honesty, integrity, authenticity and strong work ethic because that is the way of life, and that leads to success.”

Connor recalled that when he was a child, he always felt safe, no matter where he traveled around town.

“As kids, my friends and I would walk, or ride bikes, literally all over town to whatever backyard football, basketball, or wiffle ball game we had planned,” Connor said. “We always felt safe, and somehow our moms always knew where we had been when we got home. As the saying goes, ‘It takes a village to raise a kid.’ I always felt like the whole village was there for me.”

He has maintained a number of childhood friendships, too.

“I tell people all of the time that I was very fortunate to have a great group of friends growing up, all of whom I could include as positive influences, and all of whom I am still friends with to this day – [Including] guys like Jay Baker, Bruce McClure, Damon Talburt, Matt Rader, J.J. Eckert and Danny Davis,” Connor said. “Surrounding myself with these guys was undoubtedly one of the most important things I ever did to spur my life in a positive direction.”

He claims to have way too many good memories of growing up here to name, but said he’ll always remember attending Greenwood Elementary.

“[One good memory is of] my first class at Greenwood Elementary, where Lisa Hart had an incredible jungle gym inside her classroom,” he said. “This was great motivation to behave and get your work done. I also have a lot of great memories on the Illinois River, Lake Tenkiller and Gable Field.”

His dad, Wes, is in the insurance business, and mom Brooks is in real estate.

“My older sister, Maryde Bedenbaugh, graduated from Oklahoma State University, and lives in Morgantown, W.Va., with her husband Bill and their two kids, Will and Lacy,” he said. “My younger sister, Crosby, graduated from Northeastern State University and is working for Good Shepherd Hospice.”

Connor values his family and their efforts.

“My family was incredibly supportive of me growing up, and gave my every advantage and opportunity to succeed. They spent countless dollars and hours traveling and sitting in gyms all over the country so I could chase my dreams,” he said.

A number of people and families had a positive influence on him.

“My heroes growing up were Mike Sheets and my cousin, Steve Connor, and I don’t think any kid in any city in the world could have two better heroes than that,” Connor said.

Most every memory he has of growing up involved the Burris family or the Bailey family in one way or another.

“Both of those families had a tremendous influence on me, and I will always consider them a part of my family,” Connor said. “John Hammer and G.V. Gulager were my youth wrestling coaches, and Tim Baker was our little league baseball and football coach. I also owe a great deal to coach Charlie Cooper and coach Mickey McGowan, Bob Ed and Jo Ellen Culver, Veraman and Billy Davis, Jim McSpadden, Tom and Teensie Eckert, Gary and Veronica McClure, and many, many others.”

Today, his life is about his own family.

“My wife, Lindsey, and I have been married for 15 years, and we are blessed to have two terrific daughters – Littie, 12, and Kylie, 7,” he said.

His hobbies come second to those of his children.

“My kids are at the age where their hobbies have become my hobbies,” he said. “When I’m not working, I spend a lot of time watching 12-year-olds play basketball and cheer, and 7-year-olds doing somersaults,” Connor said. “I enjoy spending time with family and friends, following college football, and playing an occasional round of golf.”

Connor visits Tahlequah several times a year to see family and friends.

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Features
  • Dream, Brewdog’s to host music festivals

    One sign of spring’s arrival is the scheduling of music festivals, and 10 bands will visit a Tahlequah venue May 24, the Saturday before Memorial Day.

    April 17, 2014

  • rf-Zoe-thing.jpg Conference attendees get words of encouragement

    Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
    Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art

    Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
    “A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
    Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg Dickerson believes in putting the student first

    As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
    “I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
    The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
    “Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
    Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg Cleaning things up

    Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9

    While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
    It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • green-bldng.jpg City council to discuss ‘green building’

    Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • alcohol-info.jpg Alcohol screening can be critical

    It has been decades since Prohibition brought Americans gangsters, flappers and speakeasies, but statistics for alcohol addiction are staggering.
    Millions of Americans suffer from alcohol addiction and abuse, which affects families and friends.
    Today, April 10, is the annual National Alcohol Screening Day, and raising awareness through education, outreach and screening programs is the goal, according to the website at www.mentalhealthscreening.org.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • jn-CCSO-2.jpg Law enforcement agencies to get new facility

    Area law enforcement agencies will soon have a new training facility in Cherokee County.
    The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is building the new training room near its gun range, located north of the detention center. Sheriff Norman Fisher said tax dollars were not used for the building.
    “This is something we’ve been trying to work on, and it was built with no money from the taxpayers,” said Fisher. “It was paid for with drug forfeitures and gun sales.”

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Stocks