Being a thought leader is good.
Leading the effort to produce substantive reforms for your state is even better.
That's why Ben Lepak decided to accept a job as the executive director of the State Chamber Research Foundation.
Until recently, Ben served as a legal fellow at The 1889 Institute, a think tank focused on Oklahoma. He is also a scholar-in-residence at the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise, and he has practiced law in Oklahoma and Texas.
Ben wrote insightful and powerful pieces on tackling judicial reform, argued against judicial overreach and drafted notable court filings over public nuisance.
Ben will help the State Chamber find, develop and implement solutions to benefit business in Oklahoma, which ultimately serves all our citizens' needs.
At the State Chamber, he can step outside the academic echo chamber and really make positive change in our state's business climate. His razor-sharp analysis, combined with our members' advocacy networks, will promote reasonable regulation and defend free enterprise. Once he integrates with our team, the State Chamber will clearly offer the most well-researched and well-prepared advocacy team in the state.
This powerful combination will also benefit the legislative process. When legislators partner with us to promote or consider running a bill, they will know it is backed by in-depth research, with the policy implications fully evaluated. Elected officials need a policy partner they can rely on to give them accurate and relevant information to make significant decisions.
And if it's necessary to defend business in court or settle a regulatory matter, Ben's excellent legal mind - he was trained at Notre Dame, in party by new U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett - will have already laid the groundwork, and he can help make the most persuasive arguments.
Ben's resume is impressive and, as the co-founder of a law firm, he personally understands why a business-friendly environment is so critical.
The State Chamber has one goal - to make the best place in the nation to do business. Bringing Ben Lepak on to our team gets us one step closer to the uncluttered free enterprise friendly environment Oklahoma deserves.
Chad Warmington serves as the president and CEO of the State Chamber of Oklahoma, the state's leading advocate for business since 1926
Note: This article was first published in The Journal Record on Nov. 6, 2020.