Bridges named Mustang ambassador


By Traci Chapman

Sometimes it’s the awards closest to home that mean the most.

That was the case for LeRoy Bridges, who April 17 was named Mustang Chamber of Commerce Ambassador. Bridges has been a mainstay in the Mustang community – and beyond – for years.

“I’ve received a lot of awards and I have to say this one is among the best,” Bridges said Monday. “It was just really special.”

Bridges is special and not just to Mustang, although here he has made a lot of positive changes, Rep. Leslie Osborn said in her chamber banquet speech introducing Bridges as ambassador.

“Our recipient of tonight’s Mustang Ambassador Award has been finding people to help his entire life,” Osborn said. “He is an example of service and volunteerism and for those who have had the privilege of his wise counsel and sound advice over the years, the results have been life-changing.”

For years, Bridges has been a fixture at Tuesday morning Positive Posse meetings. A gathering of Mustang businesspeople and others, the weekly gathering has become well known in Canadian County and beyond for its discussion of current affairs and national issues. Bridges has brought his insight and knowledge of events around Oklahoma to the local group, but his influence is known far beyond Mustang’s borders.

Bridges was a longtime regent – many of them as chairman – of Redlands Community College’s Board of Regents. He also served as the school’s Alumni and Friends Association president, as well as working as a member of Redlands’ foundation board for several years. He was a founder of Red Earth, Inc., serving on its board since 1986.

Bridges was an “active participant” on the Gary E. Miller Canadian County Children’s Justice Center citizens advisory board.

“He was a valued member of our board, and we appreciated his knowledge and his commitment to our children,” Associate Judge Bob Hughey said.

Bridges is also a mainstay at University of Oklahoma, serving as Political Communications Center advisory council chairman and served as economic development committee chairman for the state of Oklahoma, in addition to serving as chief executive officer of Bridges Consultants. The list of Bridges’ accomplishments and his service on public and private boards and commissions was too long to list, Osborn said.

On a state level, three governors have proclaimed Leroy Bridges Days in Oklahoma, a commendation for his work across the state.

But it is in Mustang – and recently – that brought the current chamber honor to Bridges, Osborn said. After Mustang Public Schools’ recent bond issue failed, Superintendent Sean McDaniel and Board President Chad Fulton approached Bridges and asked for his help. He agreed.

“For the next several weeks, our ambassador spent countless hours meeting with school officials to strategize, making phone calls and personal visits in the community, and made it his personal mission to see the bond pass,” Osborn said in her speech. “He even spent the evening of the election watching the results come in with several others at the administration building.”

The bond passed.

For Bridges, it’s just the way he wants to live his life, he said.

“I don’t feel like I’ve done more than others – I just wanted to make this a better place to live and work,” Bridges said. “I’ve been very lucky, very fortunate, and I love Mustang.

“I am honored beyond words to have been given this award,” he said.