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
  • rf-Faith-7-29.jpg New opportunity opens door for local pastor

    A unique opportunity for ministry training will begin next year in Tahlequah.
    The River Ministries will be launching The River Training Center, a complete ministry school. The training center will also perform community outreach and sponsor mission trips, all beginning in January 2015.
    The founder of the school, Pastor Brandon Stratton, was raised in Tahlequah and previously pastored Calvary Assembly of God Church.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 22ndAmendment.jpg Presidential terms limited by 22nd Amendment

    The past 30 years have been marked by occasional grumbling from one American political party, and celebration from the other - depending on who occupies the White House - about the disqualification of a president after eight years of service.
    For much of the nation’s history, a presidency could last indefinitely.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • sg-Paperbacks.jpg Paperbacks still survive in the digital age

    In an era when mobile technology is always at hand, most people can access an electronic book at any time. Such literary luxuries weren’t widely available to previous generations until the dawn of the paperback book.
    Wednesday, July 30, is set as a day to celebrate the low-cost, portable book during National Paperback Book Day.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-skydiver-tomahawk.jpg Former resident tapped for national skydiving award

    A man known locally for putting Tahlequah on the international map by bringing world-class skydiving events to town is being inducted in the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame in October.
    Norman Heaton said he’s very honored to be selected for the prestigious award given to people who have made significant contributions to the sport of skydiving.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20th-Amendment.jpg Inauguration day changed by 20th Amendment

    Sometimes an amendment is added to the U.S. Constitution that is uncontroversial and virtually unlitigated.
    Such is the 20th Amendment, which moved the seating of the new Congress and the presidential inauguration day to January, and enumerates procedure if a president-elect dies or cannot take office.
    Because the “Lame-Duck Amendment” addresses procedure, it is long.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-School-Fashion.jpg Fashion show to feature local teachers

    A fun fashion event that will provide funds for one lucky area school is coming up next weekend.
    Local teachers and students have until Tuesday, July 22, to sign up for the Teacher and Student Back 2 School Fashion Show at Arrowhead Mall in Muskogee.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-actress.jpg TV’s ‘Mistresses’ has second local tie

    Tahlequah has at least two ties to the TV drama “Mistresses.”
    Local florist Josh Cottrell-Mannon designed the flower arrangements for the show’s season finale, and Arriane Alexander, daughter of local resident Sharilyn Young, is portraying a television news reporter.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Stark-Sequoyah.jpg Stark enjoys making a difference

    Kristin Stark, Sequoyah Elementary Teacher of Year, loves teaching, and has a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children.
    “I love making a difference in the lives of children; it is a wonderful feeling to make a positive impact on a child,” said Stark.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • sr-19thAmendment.jpg Women got the vote with 19th Amendment

    During its first 140 years, the United States Constitution underwent a series of changes intended to extend voting rights to those who were not white or didn’t own property - but as the American experiment entered the 20th Century, half the adult population still had no protection to vote.
    Though they certainly had political opinions, women could not cast a ballot in most states. That changed with passage of the 19th Amendment.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • renee-storyteller.jpg Cherokee, Tlingit storytellers to share their craft during special NSU event

    Two Native American cultures will be represented during a storytelling workshop featuring Cherokee Gayle Ross and Tlingit and Cherokee dancer and storyteller Gene Tagaban, of Seattle.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Stocks