The legacy of Harland C. Stonecipher, founder of LegalShield, will forever live on as the company hosted its third annual Founder’s Day event Oct. 20 at the Oak Hills Golf and Country Club.
The event was held ahead of “Harland C. Stonecipher Day,” which is Nov. 10. The Founder’s Day celebration is held to commemorate the life, legacy and impact of LegalShield’s founder and long time chief executive and chairman, as well as to honor those committed to the community and entrepreneurship.
“Harland set a strong legacy that will be remembered for eternity, and LegalShield is truly honored to celebrate his life through these celebrations and by recognizing others in the community with the same mission,” said Jeff Bell, LegalShield CEO. “He was an innovative leader who created a solution that creates equal access to justice and ensures one’s identity is theirs alone. We continue to carry out his mission, as do this year’s award recipients.”
Bell said because Stonecipher made such a dramatic impact not only with the company, product and opportunity – addressing legal accessibility and “flipping the script” on how legal services are rendered – but also with public service, LegalShield opted to recognize two leaders — one for entrepreneurship and another for public service.
This year, LegalShield honored Mike Turpen, former attorney general of Oklahoma and partner at Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison and Lewis, for public service, and Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby for entrepreneurship.
Turpen has dedicated his career to public service, charity and raising awareness of the need for more young people, especially legal professionals, to seek careers in public service. He was elected attorney general for the state of Oklahoma in 1982 and served as the Muskogee County District Attorney General from 1977-1982. His book, “Turpen Time: The Wit and Wisdom of Mike Turpen,” has been used as a vehicle to raise over $1.6 million for college scholarships.
Anoatubby has served as the governor of the Chickasaw Nation since 1987. Under his leadership, today the Chickasaw Nation employs more than 13,500 people. His commitment to raising funds and awareness have helped provide health care services, opportunities for employment and career advancement, and the chance for every Chickasaw to obtain a higher education.
Previous award recipients include Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole (public service) and former Primerica co-CEO John Addison (entrepreneurship).
For his achievements at LegalShield, Stonecipher himself was named 2002 Southwest Master Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. In 2005, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reappointed him to a two-year term on its 100-person board of directors. Stonecipher’s alma mater, East Central University, recognized him as a Distinguished Alumnus in 1987. He and his wife, Shirley, later endowed a gift to the university, which memorialized him through its Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business.