The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission will welcome southwestern Oklahoma bank executive Rick Holder, 60, of Creta in July. Gov. J. Kevin Stitt appointed Holder to an eight-year term from District 7. He is filling the seat that was held by Robert Dan Robbins of Altus, whose term is expiring.
“I’m excited to get started, meet the other Commissioners and find out about all the different hunting and fishing opportunities across Oklahoma,” Holder said.
He was raised in Altus, and he recalls as a youngster toting his BB gun and tagging along with his father on quail hunts. “Bobwhite quail is my passion. In the ’70s, all we had was quail hunting down here.” But soon, Rio Grande turkeys and white-tailed deer populations increased in southwestern Oklahoma.
“My family has always respected wildlife, and we’ve always had that reputation. We’ve always been outdoor-oriented, so maybe I can make a difference,” Holder said.
Holder is an Altus High School graduate. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University in 1981, and entered the banking industry in 1982 with Stockmans Bank in Gould. He’s worked in nearly every position at that bank during his career. Now he is chief financial officer and chairman of the board of Stockmans Bank, with headquarters in Altus and an additional five locations.
He and his brother, Mark, also have a cow/calf business on their family’s original ranchland first settled by their great-grandfather in 1898. They returned to live on the original land after they worked during most of the 1990s to build a rural water system called the Creta Water Corp. Creta is an unincorporated community about 14 miles southwest of Altus.
For many years, Holder has served as a director of the Western Oklahoma State College Foundation, where he works to secure scholarship funding. He is also a board member of the Harmon County Livestock Show and The Bankers Bank of Oklahoma City, and he is a member of the Salvation Army and Lions Club.
Holder’s wife, Angie, is a physical therapist. They have three sons, a daughter and three grandsons. One of Holder’s adult sons operates a hunting guide business in the area.
District 7 includes the counties of Ellis, Dewey, Roger Mills, Custer, Beckham, Washita, Kiowa, Greer, Jackson, Harmon and Tillman.
The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission is the eight-member governing board of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The Commission establishes state hunting and fishing regulations, sets policy for the Wildlife Department and indirectly oversees all state fish and wildlife conservation activities.
(Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation)