Mar 2, 2023

OKIAAI Board Minutes 3/2/2023

Date: March 2, 2023
Time: 11:16 a.m.
Location: Mariachi Restaurant – Stillwater, OK

Call to Order

Made by President, Ashley Stephens

Roll Call

Absent: Ashley Stephens (Pres.), Steve Rhodes (2nd VP), Jonathan Wilk (Treasurer)

Present: David VanBuskirk (1st VP), Chad Oubre (1st yr.), Johnnie Sawyer (1st yr.), Gina Coleman (2nd yr.), Marc Sutphin (2nd yr.) appeared by phone, Jesse Benne (3rd yr.), Heather Cropper (3rd yr.), Renee Southerland (Secretary), Chris Woodall (Past Pres.)

Reading and Approval of Minutes

Chris Woodall made a motion to forego the reading and approval of the January minutes, seconded by Johnnie Sawyer, motion carried and approved.


Chuck French applied for membership and he was approved.

Treasurer’s Report

Jonathan Wilk provided an email stating the current balance was $11,954.39, and since the last meeting, there were service charges for $5.00 and a $15.00 charge for an additional P.O. Box key.  A motion was made by Chad Oubre to approve the Treasurer’s Report, seconded by Jesse Benne, motion carried and approved.




Dan VanBuskirk will get with Marc Sutphin and add 2022 conference photos to the website.

Annual Conference

  • David VanBuskirk discussed the possibility of the conference being at Sequoyah State Park. 
  • Gina Coleman advised that the Sequoyah State Park, which is east of Wagoner, is only $750.00 for the Event Center, and as for food, we would have to cook it each day or have it catered.  
  • David VanBuskirk advised he has checked with the Hard Rock and it might possibly be too expensive, but he is waiting on some additional information from the rep we used in 2019 before a final decision is made. 
  • Renee Southerland was able to do a video facetime meeting with Vicki at Gordon Cooper the night before this Board meeting and was able to “tour” those facilities in that manner.  Vicki had advised that there was a cafeteria and all meals were less than $10.00 each and that it would be okay to bring in food trucks.  It is stadium-style seating in the conference area.  The rooms are still on hold at Grand Casino for the week of October 17 – 20, but if the venue gets changed to the Hard Rock then the rooms at the Grand would have to be cancelled.  Gordon Cooper has a potential conflict with those dates but said they would make it work if we chose their facility. 
  • Marc Sutphin advised that he checked with Apache Casino in Lawton, but the rooms could not be on a block hold as they do not do that.  
  • Chad Oubre and Jesse Benne advised that we could possibly do a live burn at another point throughout the year and just focus on good speakers at this year’s conference.  
  • Chad Oubre advised that the speakers he has on stand by will be able to speak except Novak. 
  • Renee Southerland advised we need to nail down the exact dates of the conference in October so that sponsor forms and vendor forms can be prepared. 
  • Johnnie Sawyer then advised he was good friends with Tony who runs the Hard Rock and would get with him about the possibility of using their conference area for free.  He texted Tony during the meeting.
  • Jesse Benne and Gina Coleman advised that we needed to sell t-shirts or give them away to the members this year, as well as possibly backpacks.  They will check on the cost of each. 
  • Chad Camponella will do a data analysis and case study at the conference and Cusatis will do a 4-hour case study. 
  • Renee Southerland advised that Bill Cathcart wanted to speak on wildland fires and would need a 2-hour time slot if agreed upon.  Chad Oubre advised that he would want to meet with Bill Cathcart to discuss his systematic process for wildland fires and would like Hugh Graham to present at the conference as well.  Chad Oubre will schedule a meeting with Renee Southerland to talk with Bill Cathcart.  Chad Oubre advised that it might be good to have Hugh Graham, Danny Wells, and Bill Cathcart all be on the first day.
  • Johnnie Sawyer advised that the Tulsa DA has agreed to speak on arson fires.  We could possibly have him speak Friday morning and then do the mental health segment.  
  • Heather Cropper advised that she has a contact with 511 and will check with them concerning apparel and being a vendor/sponsor. 
  • Chad Oubre advised he could purchase appliances to burn and would get both speakers to mesh their presentations with these appliances.  He will get the dollar amount of the appliances and then we will submit for approval to the Board. 
  • Jesse Benne advised he would order the same three items from the Department of Corrections that we’ve given away the last couple of years and will work with Heather Cropper on giveaways. 
  • Gina Coleman also advised that she had contacted the Wisconsin IAAI and they charge $265.00 for attending the conference and they get law firms to donate money and provide all the meals.  They spend about $30,000.00 to put on their conference.  Their president, Brian Whitmore, is a CFI and can speak on technology and scenes if needed.
  • After a lengthy discussion concerning possible venues, it was agreed that Apache Casino was not a viable option nor was the Durant Casino.  The Hard Rock possibly might be out due to cost and there was additional discussion regarding the Grand Casino and Sequoyah State Park.  
  • Heather Cropper advised that the Reed Center at the Sheridan in Midwest City might be an option as well. 
  • It was decided to pend the decision about the Hard Rock until more information was obtained and then an email vote prior to the next meeting could be had.


Per Chris Woodall there is no update from the accountant.

Old Business

  • David VanBuskirk questioned whether Lee Aston and Judah Sheppard got paid their additional monies for the photo awards because they were not paid enough during the last conference for winning in their photo category.  It was not notated on the bank statement that checks had been written tot hem. 
  • A discussion was had concerning who would be sent to the National Conference and whether or not a set fee needed to be voted on for whom would attend.  
  • Gina Coleman made a motion to send Steve Rhodes to the conference, seconded by Jesse Benne, motion carried and approved.  
  • Heather Cropper made a motion to cover his lodging, conference fees, and daily per diem at the current government rate of $60.00 per day, seconded by Chad Oubre, motion carried and approved.  
  • Jesse Benne discussed the purchase of a conference/organization laptop and the cost would be $630.00 to do so.  We currently have the free version of Microsoft 365.  To upgrade for larger storage would be $60.00 per year with one login and $80.00 per year with four logins.  The $60.00 per year is 1 TB, and the four logins for $80.00 is 5 TB.  This would be with a discount from the City of Edmond.  Jesse Benne made a motion for the purchase of the $60.00 Microsoft 365 option and to purchase the laptop, seconded by Chris Woodall, motion carried and approved.
  • Jesse Benne discussed his contact with the National IAAI about us being an enhanced Chapter as they would take care of our membership, but National advised that our members would also have to be a member of the National IAAI and that would cost an additional $100.00 per person besides the cost of our membership fee.  That  may not be agreed upon by our members to have to be a member of both.  
  • Jesse Benne talked with Vicki Clancy who does training at the National IAAI.  She sent him documents for us to review concerning additional training and how they take care of all registrations and fees, but we would have to get the location and would need at least 30 people in attendance. A discussion was had concerning courtroom testimony and that you would need a facilitator and how to be a facilitator.  
  • Johnnie Sawyer advised that Jeff Vandolah teaches that particular class and had credentials through NFA to do so.

New Business


Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 13, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. in anticipation of having our new conference location, but the location for lunch will be announced.  David VanBuskirk made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Jesse Benne, motion carried and approved.