Tornado Survivor to Speak at AAUW Spring Luncheon


Carolyn StagerCarolyn Stager, executive director of the Oklahoma Municipal League and survivor of the 1999 F-5 tornado that struck Oklahoma City, will be the featured speaker at the annual spring luncheon of the American Association of University Women chapter at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.

The luncheon, which is open to the public, will be held Thursday, March 11, at 12 noon in the Memorial Student Center East Ballroom. Tickets are $10 and available from any AAUW member, in the Administration Building Room 205 or by calling 580.774.3063.

Stager wrote the book Twist of Faith that was released in May 2009. Stager suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of the massive F-5 tornado that struck central Oklahoma. Though her injuries necessitated four years of reconstructive surgeries, she did not relent in her efforts to promote the interests of Oklahoma cities and towns. She continued to lobby on behalf of Oklahoma municipalities at the state and federal level and even took on the added responsibilities of the organization's chief operating officer post. Stager collaborated in writing the book with author Kimberly Suiters about her survival and eventual triumph over the disaster and its effects. 

Stager has worked at the OML since 1987 when she joined the organization as its assistant director of intergovernmental relations. She was promoted to director of intergovernmental relations and later to chief operating officer. In 2007, she was named interim executive director as the OML Board of Directors conducted an extensive search process for a new leader. Following that process, Stager was named to the organization's top position, becoming the first female executive director in OML's 95-year history.