Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores’ Founder and CEO, Tom Love, was named one of Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEOs by The Journal Record.
During an awards ceremony Feb. 18, the Journal Record honored eight CEOs from around the state as the most admired in their respective fields. Love’s category was private companies with more than 500 employees. Nearly 500 guests attended the inaugural event.
“These leaders have shown the tenacity in tough economic times while possessing values that have earned them respect from their employees as well as the business and civic communities,” wrote Journal Record reporter Jessica Mitchell in the Feb. 19 issue.
Senior Vice President of JP Morgan Chase Bank, Allison Taylor, wrote a letter in support of Tom’s nomination. “My experience with Mr. Love can be defined by an individual of unmatched character and integrity, and yet one who exhibits graciousness and humility as well. His ongoing commitment to share these values with his employees is demonstrated by his priority of being on the road visiting every Love’s store in an effort to recognize exceptional performance and identify future leaders,” Taylor wrote.
Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits President and CEO, Debby Hampton, also wrote a letter recommending Tom for the honor. “Rarely do I come across a CEO who is so sincere about supporting the local community,” she said. “In my contact with Tom Love, I have discovered a person who has extraordinary character, integrity and a genuine concern for his employees and the community.”
Love family members attended the event for support and recognition of this honor. “We’re all proud of Dad’s accomplishments and of this company,” said Director of Communications Jenny Love Meyer. “And while he’s honored for the award, particularly given his admiration of the other finalists in his category, he gives credit to the successful group of employees who are on the front lines every day,” she said.
Seven other CEOs received top honors in six categories: Aubrey McClendon of Chesapeake Energy and J. Larry Nichols of Devon Energy-public companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue; Harland Stonecipher of PrePaid Legal Services Inc. – public companies with less than $500 million in annual revenue; David K. Hill Sr. of Kimray Inc. – private companies with fewer than 500 employees; George Stephen Mason of Cardinal Engineering Inc. – small businesses with 50 or fewer employees; Tom J. McDaniel of Oklahoma City University – nonprofits with more than $10 million in annual revenue; and Lou Kerr, The Kerr Foundation – nonprofits with less than $10 million in annual revenue.
Founded in 1964 by Tom Love, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and remains family owned and operated. With more than 220 locations in more than 30 states, Love’s current growth rate is approximately 15 stores per year. Love’s is currently ranked No. 15 on Forbes’ Magazine’s annual list of America’s largest private companies.