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Terry Neese
2007 Inductee

Terry Neese was born in Walters, Oklahoma and raised in Cookietown, Oklahoma. After attending the University of Oklahoma for a short time, Neese founded Terry Neese Personnel Service, a group that has now been around for over thirty years and has helped find careers for over 24,000 Oklahomans. 

In 2006 Neese founded Women Impacting Public Policy Institute, Inc., a non-profit public charity dedicated to the economic empowerment of women worldwide. She now serves as President of the Institute. She also serves as President and CEO of GrassRoots Impact, Inc. and has served as President of the Oklahoma Association of Personnel Consultants.

In 2005 Neese was elected by President George W. Bush to serve as Director of the United States Mint. However, she declined in order to remain with her family in Oklahoma. She was appointed by President George H.W. Bush and reappointed by President Bill Clinton as a Commissioner to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education. She was also appointed by President George H.W. Bush to serve on the SBA Small Business Advisory Council. She was appointed in 2001 to serve on the Office Depot Women’s Advisory Board as well as the Wyndham Women’s Advisory Board. Neese served as the National President for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) in 1990. She is a member of Euro-American Women’s Council, serving as its Global Corporate Vice President of Business and Development/Public Policy. She serves on the board of directors of the National Business Association, nFocus Software, March of Dimes, and Axela Government Relations, and is involved in many other organizations. She is on the Steering Committee for the Women’s Majority Network.     

Neese has received numerous recognitions for her hard work, including being recognized in the September 2000 issue of Fortune magazine’s Power 30 as the most influential small businessperson in the Washington, D.C. area. In 1990 she was the first woman nominated by a major political party in Oklahoma for Lieutenant Governor. She has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York and was inducted in 2007 to the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame. She has also received the Women in Communication Byliner Award, National Association of Women Business Owners’ National Public Policy Award, and the Oklahoma City NAWBO Chapter’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She was recognized by both the Business Women’s Network and the National Foundation for Women Legislators as “Entrepreneur of the Year” and was named The Journal Record’s Hall of Fame Woman of the Year in 2000.   

Neese has authored numerous articles and publications over the years. She is a licensed pilot and a member of the Ninety-Nines, a group founded by Amelia Earhart in 1929.

Neese is married to Earl Neese. They have one daughter, Kim Neese, and two grandchildren.

(Bio current as of 2008)