John Little is among the four Pillar of the Plains honorees for 2016.
While he retired from his position as OG&E district manager on Dec. 1, Little — who lives in the Carrier area — plans to stay in the Enid community he has been a part of for about 16 years.
“We really enjoy it. Best community we’ve ever lived in,” he said.
Over the years in the community, Little has served in a number of different roles for local organizations.
He is a past chairman of Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce, on which he served two terms a decade apart.
“I was quite honored to serve the community in that role there,” Little said.
He also is the chairman of both the Human Services Alliance of Greater Enid and of Hope Outreach Ministries, and previously served as president on the Denny Price Family YMCA board.
Little worked closing with the United Way when OG&E was the campaign chair about two years ago, has been involved with Enid Rotary Club and served on the board of Enid Regional Development Alliance.
“A lot of things the Enid Regional Development Alliance does, as well as the Chamber of Commerce, is things we don’t always see publicly at the time, but then later, the results of their efforts come to fruition,” he said.
One of the key things about the Enid community for Little’s family is it is faith-based.
“For me as an individual, and for us as a family, that’s real important. God is number one in our lives. We strive to put Him number one in our lives, He’s central to what we do. In fact, I wouldn’t have been able to be involved in all these organizations, and be a team player and be a part of great teams doing things in Enid if it weren’t for the Lord. I give Him all the credit and all the glory on that,” he said.
Little’s family are members of Hillsdale Bible Church.
Family is another key to why his family likes the Enid community, he said.
“There’s a big emphasis on families, family cohesiveness. That’s pretty neat, we really appreciate that,” Little said.
Currently, Little plans to remain on several boards.
“So, we’ll just see, kind of as time goes on, what opportunities and things come up as I kind of feel my way around this retirement thing. I don’t think of retirement as the end state but more of just a transition to new and different, and bigger and better things,” he said. “I like to think of it as all centered around the Lord, and centered around the family, and centered around the community, the state, the nation and kind of just go from there.”
Little felt his service was an opportunity to serve people.
OG&E really supports the involvement of managers in the communities, he said.
“I don’t think OG&E would have been in existence for 114 going on 115 years if we weren’t a company that embraced service to others. So it’s not just selling electricity but it’s being service to our communities and our state,” Little said.
It was something that allowed him to get involved in the community and fit with his Christian walk, he said.
“I’m still seeking to grow in the Lord and walk by the spirit, so to speak, but part of all that is serving our fellow man,” he said. “I think, ultimately, the Lord has been the reason for my desire to serve others, and then He’s given me a great company to work for — OG&E — and a great community to be a part of. It’s pretty amazing.
“Then having a wonderful family at home. My kids will often say … they appreciate having me and my wife as their father and mother, respectively, but I always tell them they also inspire us. Our kids are ones that we’re very honored to be their parents. It’s kind of hard to explain but they inspire me, inspire my wife.”
Little and his wife have four children.
Being a Pillar of the Plains honoree is an honor Little said he did not expect.
“Probably my best cheerleader is my wife, and she’s my very best friend in this world. It was a total surprise when I received the call about being nominated for this award. It took me by surprise. My wife said, ‘You know? I’m not surprised. You just do wonderful things.’ So she’s my finest, best cheerleader,” Little said. “I still think I’m just a team player, and just a cog in a big wheel of good people that are in this community.
“I just feel like I’m just a part of a big, wonderful thing and it takes all of us working together to make good things happen.”
Little — along with other Pillar honorees Leonard Northcutt, Barry Pollard and Jimmy Stallings — will be honored during a 5:30 p.m. Jan. 12 ceremony in the Benson Room in Convention Hall in the Central National Bank Center. One of the men will be named Pillar of the Plains for 2016.
STORY BY: ENID NEWS AND EAGLE
WRITTEN BY: JESSICA MILLER