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David C. Owen Leadership Institute


Established in 2010, the mission of the David C. Owen Leadership Institute is to inspire and equip servant leaders to achieve their full leadership potential as ethical, innovative, civic-minded leaders to contribute positively to their communities and the world.  The Institute sponsors many of the Leadership Matters workshops, hosts renowned business speakers, and will carry its message to other countries as a way of sharing the Ottawa University experience abroad.

Proud supporters of Ottawa University and the Angell Snyder School of Business, Dave Owen and his wife Laura funded the establishment of the David C. Owen Leadership Institute.

“Perhaps nothing we do is more important for future generations than equipping leaders with servant leadership principles and a strong moral compass,” says Owen. “That is the goal of the David C. Owen Leadership Institute at Ottawa University, and Laura and I are delighted to be the catalyst for this important initiative.”

Owen is a former State Senator and Lt. Governor of Kansas. He is a 1960 graduate of Ottawa University, where he was a standout athlete in both basketball and track. He was elected to the OU Braves Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000 and is a past president of the Hall of Fame. As President he orchestrated the establishment and endowment of the BAHOF Scholarship Program. He is currently a member of the OU President’s Council. Professionally, Owen has nearly 60 years of business experience in the financial industry, having served as Founder and President of two banks in the Kansas City Area, and as Regional Manager for Stephens Inc, an investment banking firm headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dave was Co-Founder and CEO of ICOP, a public company traded on the NASDAQ Exchange, and a global market leader in motion video products for First Responders. ICOP received the Patriot Award from the U.S. Department of Defense in 2008. He was a member of the Board of the Greater Kansas City Fellowship of Christian Athletes for many years. He studied at Ohio State University and Rutgers University in conjunction with the American Bankers Association and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Economics from Ottawa University.

Mission, Vision, Values


To empower students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the Ottawa University community at large to engage in self-discovery and development of leadership talents and opportunities through Christian-based programs and activities, empowering them to carry out the Ottawa University directive to Live-Learn-Lead.


To continuously extend the reach of the Owen Leadership Institute and become known internationally as a consequential Christian-based leadership development experience.


Leadership that is deeply grounded in the Christian faith, with servant leadership, integrity and courage of convictions as core values.

Institute Founders, David and Laura Owen

Institute Founders, David and Laura Owen

Dave and Laura Owen have a long association with Ottawa University. Dave is a graduate of Ottawa University and he and Laura have both served on the OU Board of Trustees. Dave currently serves on the President’s Council.
“It is critical that we educate and equip leaders with servant leadership skills and a strong moral compass,” says Owen. “This is the goal of the David C. Owen Leadership Institute at Ottawa University, and Laura and I are delighted to be the catalyst for this important initiative.”
Their business careers have intertwined on several occasions having both worked for Stephens Inc. Investment Bank and as Co-Founders and executives of ICOP (ICOP: NASDAQ).
Laura holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Delaware Valley University (Philadelphia, PA). Laura also served on the Board of Trustees at Delaware Valley University.
The Institute is governed by the University as part of its Angell Snyder School of Business. It operates collaboratively with the University’s academic leadership to ensure program quality and compliance with regulatory accrediting bodies and governmental requirements. In addition to reaching individuals associated with Ottawa University, the Institute also seeks to reach individuals outside of Ottawa University across the United States and around the world.
Dave Owen will serve as Chairman of the Institute and as a member of the Board of Advisors for Ottawa University’s Angell Snyder School of Business. Laura, an accomplished businesswoman and former Kansas Secretary of Commerce, is also a lifetime member of the Institute’s Advisory Committee.  (Learn about Laura's current work with her company she founded, UpSkill.)
“Ottawa University is grateful for Dave and Laura’s contribution and leadership of the Institute.  Throughout his life, Dave has been an outstanding servant leader whose life mirrors the principles the Institute supports and seeks to instill in others” said Kevin Eichner, Chancellor of Ottawa University.

Current and Future Initiatives

Lecture Series

  • Leadership Matters
  • Enterprise Bank/Ottawa University Series
  • Organizational Leadership Series
  • Executive Invitational Series
  • Local/National Conference

Student Programs

  • DECA
  • SIFE
  • Owen Leadership Film Series
  • Leadership Studies Major
  • Experiential Leadership Programs

Community Programs

  • Niche Group Sponsorship
  • Mentoring Program (OJEDAW)
  • OLI Advisory Board
  • Owen Leadership Award
  • Owen Leader-in-Residence

On the Web

  • Newsletter
  • Curriculum and Events
  • Social Media
  • Journal


2021 - John Hudson is a successful attorney, businessman and philanthropist and a man of deep faith. A lifelong Baptist, he grew up in the church in a small Oklahoma town where his father was the volunteer pianist. Hudson wrote the constitution for the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) in 1978 and served as the SAC's only commissioner for 38 years until 2016. He was instrumental in guiding the SAC from the original five Oklahoma schools to the prominent level the SAC is at today, now a 12-school conference that spans four states and crowns champions in 16 intercollegiate sports.

Today, Hudson continues to operate his Edmond, Okla., law office, where he had run the SAC from a drawer in his file cabinet. He never took a salary as SAC commissioner – and funded many league initiatives out of his own pocket – symbolizing his dedication to his work and the betterment of student-athletes. During Hudson’s nearly four decades as commissioner, the SAC won 84 national championships, including 11 men’s and 15 women’s basketball titles. He was also at the time a member of the NAIA's Conference Commissioners Association.

Prior to serving as the SAC Commissioner, Hudson had played basketball as an undergraduate at Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU), where he graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. While pursuing his juris doctor degree, which he earned in 1973 from the University of Oklahoma's School of Law, he was the assistant men’s basketball coach at OBU. Hudson then started the men's basketball program at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO), serving as its first head coach. He was also the athletic director, and at 23 was the youngest head coach and AD at a four-year college in the country at the time. For his tireless service to these institutions and college athletics as a whole, Hudson has been inducted in the NAIA, OBU and USAO halls of fame.

Through the years, Hudson assigned basketball officials for the SAC and also served as a trainer and Observer of Basketball Officials for the Big 12 Conference for 15 years. He has helped current and former players, coaches, athletic directors, and officials throughout his career. Hudson was also the recipient of the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Small College Basketball Association

In addition to his law practice, Hudson has been involved in real estate development in Oklahoma, and also in oil & gas exploration for many years, and remains active in those businesses today. He also represents many prominent clients in both the entertainment and sports world, and currently represents two NBA stars and an entertainment mogul, who recently was named to Forbes Billionaires list.

Hudson and his wife, Janet, live in Edmond, Okla., and have three daughters and six grandchildren

Phone - 405-641-7338 | Email:

2018 - Mark DeYmaz is the founding pastor of the Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, multi-ethnic and economically diverse church where significant percentages of Black and White Americans, together with men and women from more than 30 nations, walk, work and worship God together as one.  A recognized leader in the emerging Multi-ethnic Church Movement, his first book, Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church (Jossey-Bass/Leadership Network, 2007), provides the Biblical mandate for the multi-ethnic church and outlines seven core commitments required to bring it about. The book was chosen as a finalist in 2008 for a Christianity Today Book of the Year Award and for a Resource of the Year Award sponsored by Outreach Magazine, in both cases a nominee in the Pastoral Leadership category.

In his second book, Leading a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church: Mixing Diversity Into Your Local Church (Zondervan/Leadership Network, 2010, 2013), Mark identifies seven common challenges of a multi-ethnic church and demonstrates, through sound exegesis of Scripture, culture, and experience, how to overcome the obstacles  Mark’s latest book (in iBook format) is entitled, The Multi-ethnic Christian Life Primer is the first personal devotional and small group study on multi-ethnic life and church designed for people in the pews. Available in iTunes and from

In addition, he is a contributing editor for Outreach magazine, and as well a contributing editor for Leadership Journal. He is also a co-founder, and currently the Executive Director of the Mosaix Global Network, an organization dedicated to inspiring unity and diversity in the local church throughout North America and beyond. He posts regularly on Glue, his personal blog. Mark is a former member of Little Rock’s Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission and past chair of the city’s Faith Alliance.

Following graduation from college in 1983, Mark served as a youth pastor in churches throughout the western United States and in Germany. From 1993 to 2001, he was the Student Ministries pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, before leaving to launch Mosaic. He has been a full-time pastor for nearly 28 years.  Mark is a graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA (B.S., Psychology), Western Seminary in Portland, OR (M.A. Exegetical Theology) and Phoenix Seminary in Phoenix, AZ (D. Min.).

Mark and his wife, Linda, have been married for 21 years and together they have four children - Zack, Emily, Will and Kate. Linda is the author of two books, including Mommy, Please Don’t Cry (Multnomah, 1996), an anointed resource providing hope and comfort for parents who grieve the loss of a child.


2018 - Wayne Simien, Wayne grew up in Leavenworth, KS where he was an outstanding athlete. In 2001 he was selected to the McDonalds All American Basketball Team. He chose to continue his basketball career at the University of Kansas where he led the team to three Big 12 Championships, four trips to the NCAA tournament, two Final Fours, one Elite Eight and was named Big 12 Player of the Year and a First Team All-American at the end of his senior season.  His #23 Jersey was retired and now hangs in the rafters of Allen Field House with outstanding players such as Clyde Lovellette, Wilt Chamberlain, Danny Manning and Paul Pierce. Coach Bill Self called him “The best collegiate player I have ever coached-Ever!”

The Miami Heat selected him in the 2005 and the Heat won the NBA Championship in 2006. He finished his basketball career in Spain and returned to Lawrence where he founded “Called to Greatness”, a Christian Ministry now represented at not only at KU but also at K-State, Washburn, Wichita State, University of Missouri-Kansas City and Baker University.

Called to Greatness, is a Christian ministry committed to equipping the future leaders of our societies – students. Wayne believes that by reaching these students now, we can train and empower the next generation to love God and serve Him. God has called us to live a life of greatness and he defines greatness as the full expression of being the person God created you to be.”

Wayne and his wife Katie live in Lawrence and have five beautiful children.

2017 - Chris Waddell, always thought that the lessons he learned in sports would provide the foundation for later success. As a ski racer at Middlebury College in 1988, he had no idea how profoundly one moment could change and paradoxically enhance that conviction. On December 20th his ski popped off in the middle of a turn. He fell, broke two vertebrae, and damaged the spinal cord. Paralyzed from the waist down, he learned and achieved more than he could have imagined.

He returned to college just two months after the accident, started monoskiing in less than a year and was named to the US Disabled Ski Team a little more than two years later. With 12 Paralympic medals, he became the most decorated male monoskier in history. Also a track athlete, he’s one of a handful to have won World Championships in both the winter and the summer. He competed in four Winter Paralympics, winning 12 medals and three Summer Paralympics, winning a silver medal in the 200 meters in Sydney. In World Championship competition, Waddell won 9 total medals.
Waddell was inducted into the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and the Paralympics Hall of Fame. The Dalai Lama honored him as an “Unsung Hero of Compassion”. People Magazine named him one of the “Fifty Most Beautiful People in the World”. Skiing Magazine placed him amongst the “25 Greatest Skiers in North America”. Middlebury College presented him with a Doctorate in Humane Letters. National Public Radio (NPR) named his 2011 commencement address to Middlebury College as one of “The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever.”

In September of 2009 Waddell became the first nearly unassisted paraplegic to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. The film documenting the climb has won awards throughout the world. Chris has appeared on Dateline, Oprah and 20/20. He is the founder of the One Revolution Foundation and does his best to share the belief that, “It’s not what happens to you. It’s what you do with what happens to you!

2016 - Col. Edward L. Hubbard, author, artist, and internationally known speaker, is dedicated to helping others overcome any obstacle, handle any ordeal, and reach any goal by developing the correct state of mind. Building upon his adverse experiences during more than six and one half years of captivity in North Vietnam, Ed conveys a positive message for personal growth. After hearing his presentation, you will feel good about your country, yourself, and your own ability.
A product of the Midwest, Ed spent his childhood in the Kansas City area. At age seventeen, he joined the Air Force Reserve and in 1962, entered active duty where he received his navigator wings and commission through the Aviation Cadet program.
Ed culminated a twenty-eight-year, active duty, military career in August, 1990, of which almost 25 %( six years, seven months, and 12 days) were spent as a prisoner of war. It was an experience that truly changed his life, and as a result, the lives of countless others.
Following his release from prison in 1973, Ed completed five college degrees in seven years, in his spare time and at night. In 1976, his concept–after only eight days of implementation –increased the productivity of a $350 million resource by 50%. He later
inherited an organization designated “…the worst managed…” among fifty-eight units by an Air Force audit. Within four months, he turned the unit around and demonstrated statically significant improvement in 96% of the audited areas.
During 10 years as head of the largest safety organization in the air Force, they shattered all records. They achieved 30% to 70% improvements in all categories, where a 3% improvement had long been the norm. His organization was recognized as “best in the Air Force” for ten consecutive years, and a previously accepted, multi-million-dollar loss rate per year was reduced to less than fifty-thousand dollars per year.
In 1985, Ed began motivational speaking. Following his Air force retirement in 1990, Ed formed Positive Vectors, Inc., in order to share the lessons he learned during captivity and authenticated by his Air Force results. Since, he has spoken to thousands of members of corporate America, government agencies, and non-profit groups. Ed’s desire to change the attitudes of individuals through a better understanding of true, human potential remains his number one goal in life.
Today, Ed is an acknowledged motivational speaker, management consultant, artist, and author. His book, “Escape from the Box: The wonder of Human Potential” was published in January, 1994.

2014 - Jerry Haney, had a very successful business career, primarily in sales and marketing, with two remarkable companies - Xerox Corporation and Marion Laboratories who are both known for their outstanding workplace cultures during their zenith years. HE served in a number of sales, sales training, sales and marketing positions during my formative years. He gained a great deal of executive experience in a number of business disciplines including sales, marketing, engineering, manufacturing and general management.

He authored a leadership book "Making Culture Pay - Solving the Puzzle of Organizational Effectiveness" that is available at He gives keynote addresses, conducts leadership workshops and consults in the area of building and/or rebuilding high performance workplace cultures.

He currently serves as the development director of All India Mission, working to secure funding for the operational expenses of Shanti Bhavan Medical Center that opened in 2014 in the dangerous and oppressive region of northeastern India. To date he have raised more than $26 million dollars in cash as well as $15 million dollars’ worth of donated medical furniture and equipment. Shanti Bhavan Medical Center will eventually be a medical center of 300 beds, bringing modern healthcare to a region of 6,000 native villages with several million villagers who had no access to advanced healthcare before. Shanti Bhavan Medical Center is the work of All India Mission, a highly successful ministry with more than 700 full-time workers, 400 village churches and well over 25,000 new Christians.

The David C. Owen Leadership Institute has helped fund mission trips to this area of India for students from Ottawa University, led by Dr. Russ McCullough. These students deeply touched the lives of these people, and in so doing, the lives of these students have been forever impacted.

2011 - Viktor Yushchenko, a Ukrainian politician who was the third President of Ukraine from January 23, 2005 to February 25, 2010. He took a courageous stand against corruption in his country. He led Ukraine's infamous Orange Revolution, a series of protests in the immediate aftermath of the run-off vote of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election.

As an informal leader of the Ukrainian opposition coalition, he was one of the two main candidates in the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election. Yushchenko won the presidency through a repeat runoff election between him and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. The Ukrainian Supreme Court called for the runoff election to be repeated because of widespread electoral fraud in favor of Viktor Yanukovych in the original vote. Yushchenko won in the revote (52% to 44%). Public protests prompted by the electoral fraud played a major role in that presidential election and led to Ukraine's Orange Revolution.



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