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Board of Directors Honors Departing Member, Last of Original Founding Board

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 9, 2013) -- The Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust on Thursday honored its last founding board member.

The seven-year term for board member Susan Walters Bizé ends in June. Bizé, a certified public account and attorney from Edmond, was appointed to the board in 2000 and re-appointed for a second seven-year term in 2006. Bizé is an appointee of the State Auditor and Inspector.

Bizé is the last member of the board who was served as part of the original TSET Board of Directors when the endowment’s governing structure first began in 2001. Bizé was instrumental helping to build TSET and navigating sometimes complex financial matters of the endowment and payments from 1999 Master Settlement Agreement.

“Susan has been a treasured advocate for a health and accountability while a member of the TSET Board of Directors,” said Dr. Robert McCaffree, who served with Bizé (as chair) of the original TSET Board of Directors. “Her knowledge of finance and her passion for serving the people of Oklahoma has been invaluable. She is an exemplary public servant.”

A bi-partisan seven member board oversees the operations and program funding at TSET. Board members represent the state’s five congressional districts and appointees must have expertise in health care or programs that benefit children or senior adults. Members serve seven-year terms. Board members are appointed by the Governor, the Attorney General, the State Treasurer, the State Auditor and Inspector, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Senate President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House.

“It has been a pleasure to serve with Susan,” said Casey Killblane, current chairman of the TSET Board of Directors. “She has helped to shape and form the mission, vision and future for TSET. Her dedication to this board is apparent to all who have served with her and she will be missed.”

“Throughout her time on the board, Susan has been committed to TSET’s mission of improving the health of all Oklahomans,” said Tracey Strader, TSET executive director. “Her knowledge of law and finance, and her experience in public health, were integral in helping us set up TSET on a solid foundation in the early years of our organization.”

Bizé served as the TSET Board of Directors chair from November 2003 to November 2005. She is of counsel at Lester, Loving & Davies law firm. She has practiced as a CPA and attorney in the public and private sectors in the areas of tax and business law. Bizé, an adjunct professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, has also worked with various members of Congress and the state Legislature as the Senior Government Relations Counsel for J.C. Penney Co.

Bizé has also served as the regional vice-president for the American Cancer Society, where she oversaw the implementation of programs in western Oklahoma. She is a graduate of Rice University and the University of Texas School of Law.

State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones recently appointed Dr. Curtis Knoles, a pediatric emergency physician, to the TSET Board of Directors. Knoles will join the board in July.

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The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working toward shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working with local coalitions and initiatives across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public’s health. TSET – Better Lives Through Better Health. For more information visit www.tset.ok.gov.