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  Bio -- Steve Hickerson (admin)
Posted: 8:19:07 am on 9/12/2011 Modified: Never
Graduation, 1966 - one of my good memories was spending my last evening in Tulsa with Dotty Martin, Don Orchard and Karen Karstetter at Keystone Lake. Drinking beer and I borrowed the bottoms of Dotty's two-piece to go swimming. Next day I flew to Mexico City to study at the Instituto de Bellas Artes for the summer. Living in Mexico City changed my life. I learned to drink and met some wonderful folks while experiencing a life far away from Tulsa. Returned in September and traveled to OSU to study Engineering and Music Education. Constant battles with my mom over where and what I should do with my life. Two years later returned to Tulsa and attended TU. Got a job at Amoco Production Company to pay for school. Worked in the computer department and rose to materials manager and electronics buyer. Met and married my wife. Played with the Tulsa Philharmonic for six years. Divorced in '74 because I finally figured out that I was gay. We had a daughter (Allison is now married to a great guy and lives in NYC). On to the next chapter of what to do with my life.....<BR><BR>Left Amoco after ten years and went into sales (initially selling discrete components to the growing IT industry). Was recruited to Dallas where I worked for several electronics distributors and attained a position of number one in sales with every one (bragging here). Had a knack for selling, mostly from my ability to get close to people. I usually asked as many questions about their personal lives as their business. Hired by a rep firm where I sold system components like high-speed printers, industrial laser readers and process control system components - a big step up from resistors and diodes. A group of us split off from this company with an idea to design and sell a portable scanning system. We were ahead of our time. We hired Joe Johnston to assist us with our image and develop our advertising. We were all sued by the owner of the company we left (my portion of the suit was for $6.5 million!). Out of money and out of a job I ended up being a direct rep for a company out of San Diego, selling Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems and firmware. My clients were Lockheed, Boeing, General Dynamics and LTV. The equipment I sold helped design the Stealth fighter and B-2 bomber. Funny story about when my clients had me visit the "inner sanctum" design area and I had to carry a flashing, beeping box to announce a non-cleared visitor.<BR><BR>The next seven years were fantastic. I started psychotherapy, began my involvement with the gay community and commenced investing in residential real estate. I also left my "significant other" who many of you met at our 20th reunion. My involvement with the GLBT (gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender) community came from my desire to make things better for us. Served on many boards where my usual contribution was my fund-raising and leadership abilities. I was involved in the early development of a political action committee that started in Dallas and later became a major part of the Human Rights Campaign, the most powerful GLBT PAC in Washington. I co-chaired an annual Black Tie Dinner event for this organization and helped grow it from a couple of hundred gay men in tuxedos to over 3500 at a sit-down dinner evening featuring speakers like Ann Richards, Barney Frank and Pat Schroeder. Attending meetings in Washington over the years, my high point was getting to meet Ted Kennedy during a luncheon where we taught HRC representatives from other cities how to hold successful fund-raisier dinners.<BR><BR>Lost my shirt and a small fortune in the banking and real estate debacle in Texas in the late 80's. Shortly after, black Friday wiped out my IPO chances with the start-up company I had been working for. Another fortune wiped out. Bummer. Continued therapy and found a new niche market selling facilities management and architectural design systems. Major client was JC Penney. <BR><BR>Lost my job with another start-up company when they discovered I was gay. The wife of the CEO stumbled into me and my partner at the hotel where we were holding one of the HRC dinners. Hard to explain why I was dancing with a man in a ballroom full of men! Struggled for a couple of years trying to find somewhere to work that didn't care if I was gay. Met a fantastic lady through a mutual friend and she hired me to do technical writing for her client, Mobil Oil. I got to use everything I was taught by Ruth Stidham and Jan Kizziar. Also during my time at Mobil, my partner of twelve years, Curtis, died of a heart attack. The support of my bosses at Mobil and Curtis' company (American Airlines) during this sad period will always be remembered for the compassion and assistance they provided me.<BR><BR>Tried a couple of years in medical management but found it was not a good fit. Don't get me started on how the insurance companies have too much control over our health care in the United States!<BR><BR>Met my current partner, Fred, seven years ago. He's a gentle soul and has a huge family that has welcomed me to their clan. We travel to El Paso, Deming, New Mexico (always stop to visit with Katrin Watt Sumpter in Las Cruces), Phoenix and Flagstaff where Fred has family.<BR><BR>I've retired from community volunteerism and political involvement although I still read about it all on the internet. Fred forbids me from watching the news because my cussing causes him some discomfort. There are some mean folks with stupid ideas out there, guys. <BR><BR>I'm back at Mobil now although they call it ExxonMobil. Charles Sutter was one of their attorneys. I'm doing project administration and technical writing for a team I worked with before. They treat me great and I'm happy.

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