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Douglas Decision Allows TSET to Reassess CEO Search

Statement from Patrice Douglas
After much contemplation and consultation with my family and friends, I have decided the right decision for me and TSET is to allow them to continue their search for a new CEO.

I appreciate the support of the TSET board and many people in the public and private sectors. The words of encouragement were deeply appreciated, especially when the matter of hiring a CEO at TSET was unfortunately politicized. I stood ready and willing to fulfill the responsibilities of the job, but unfortunately, the TSET board had been informed that others will not permit this to occur.

One learns very quickly in these types of matters how priceless family and true friends are.

Let me note, I did not pursue this position. An executive search firm engaged to oversee the hiring process contacted me. I was pleased with my executive position in the private sector. After deliberating and consulting with several people, I decided to proceed through the interview process to better understand the opportunity. This decision was influenced by my inherent respect for the mission of TSET and the important work it does to help Oklahomans trapped in the addiction of smoking. Our state has serious health issues and this position was one way I could use my management and finance experience and energy to help our state and its citizens. The process used by TSET was vetted through the Attorney General's office and was determined to be legally correct.

While I am disappointed it didn't work out as anticipated, I am at peace with my decision and look forward with high anticipation to restarting the opportunities presented in the private sector for me.

Statement from TSET Board of Directors in response to today’s development
We have the utmost admiration for Patrice Douglas. She comported herself professionally and thoughtfully throughout the process, including the difficult last few days. While we are very disappointed, we respect and honor the decision by Patrice. She was exceptionally qualified for the position with an impressive record of achievement in the both the public and private sectors. Her vast knowledge of investment, finance, law and executive management made her eminently qualified to lead TSET, particularly in light of the expected retirement of our longtime executive director in the next year. Our search firm, which was recommended and approved by OMES, strongly
recommended we consider Patrice. We did and she quickly rose to the top of the list, which included people from both the public and private sectors.

It should be noted, we carefully sought out the counsel of the Attorney General’s office to ensure our executive search was in compliance with the constitutional language establishing TSET. At this time, we are going to pause and reassess. Our board believes it is prudent to continue focusing on the mission of TSET and work with organizations around the state to build a better and healthier Oklahoma.

For more information, contact:
Julie Bisbee
julieb@tset.ok.gov
(405) 521-3888
Mobile (405) 301-3693