Southeastern News

Lesa Smaligo to address spring graduates on May 12

DURANT, Okla. – Lobbyist/consultant Lesa Smaligo will be the speaker at Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Spring Commencement on May 12.

Two ceremonies (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) will be held in the Bloomer Sullivan Arena.

Smaligo is a Southeastern graduate, receiving her bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1990. She was active on campus as  a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and the Southeastern Business Club. Following graduation, she worked in High School and College Relations at Southeastern as a recruiter and scholarship coordinator, served as assistant coach of the Southeastern cheerleaders, and was assistant director of the Miss Southeastern Scholarship pageant.

She is currently a member of the Southeastern Alumni Association board of directors.

After working in the private sector for two years, Smaligo served as Executive Assistant to the President of the University Center at Tulsa and worked for the next five years helping the Center become a full branch campus of Oklahoma State University.

In 2000, Smaligo took a position as Legislative and Fiscal Analyst for the State Regents for Higher Education.  During her tenure there, Smaligo was involved in the drafting and passage of the Tuition Deregulation bill, the Endowed Chairs bill and the OU/OSU Optional Retirement bill.

Switching to a contract lobbyist role on behalf of multiple clients in 2004, she successfully lobbied for the passage of HB 2660 – the Tobacco Tax bill.  In addition to contract lobbying, Smaligo also spent three years serving as Executive Director for CARE – Coalition of Advocates for Responsible Eldercare, Inc., a not-for-profit organization which is committed to excellence in long term healthcare.  In that role, she successfully lobbied for an additional $20.4 million in funding for nursing homes across the state.

In the summer of 2006, she founded The Smaligo Group, an Oklahoma based LLC specializing in lobbying and consulting.  She successfully signed Cisco Systems, a Fortune 500 company, as well as several other clients.

In 2007, Smaligo was appointed by Governor Brad Henry to serve on the Oklahoma Campus Life and Safety and Security (CLASS) Task Force representing the independent and private colleges in the State of Oklahoma.

During the 2012 legislative session, she successfully lobbied for the passage of the Uniform Equipment Dealers bill, which has now become the model legislation for many other states.

She and her husband, former State Representative and current Tulsa County Commissioner John Smaligo, reside in Tulsa. Their daughter is a student at Auburn University.

Smaligo has been involved in the community through Youth Services of Tulsa, Tulsa Ballet, American Heart Association Heart Ball Executive Committee, Tulsa Opera Ball Committee. She also serves on the Tulsa Zoo Presidents Advisory Committee, Emergency Infant Services Spectrum Society and the Green Leaf Gala committee. She was selected to serve as a member of Governor-Elect Mary Fallin’s Tulsa Inaugural Ball Steering Committee in 2010.

The schedule for Saturday, May 12, will be two ceremonies in the Bloomer Sullivan Arena, as follows:

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.      School of Arts & Sciences

Master of Technology

Master of Music Education

Master of Science (Native American Leadership)

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.          School of Education & Behavioral Sciences

John Massey School of Business

Master of Business Administration

Master of Science (Aerospace Administration and Logistics)

Master of Science (Safety)

Master of Arts (Clinical Mental Health Counseling)

Master of Early Intervention and Child Development

Master of Education

Master of Science (Sports Studies and Athletic Administration)

Additional information for students who plan to participate in the Commencement Ceremony is available at http://www.se.edu/dept/registrar/commencement/