Editor's Note: Oklahoma Baptist University alum Mike Edge, a 1986 graduate, is a 2013 recipient of the OBU Alumni Association's Profile In Excellence Award. The award is given to a former student who has "demonstrated recognizable accomplishment in his or her profession, business, avocation, or life service in such a way as to bring pride and honor to the University." Each year, Profile In Excellence recipients are featured in OBU Magazine.
Mike Edge, a 1986 OBU graduate, strives to be "others focused." He believes business should be this way, too.
In 2007, Edge felt called to make a positive impact on the corporate world, leading him to found The Xtra Mile Group. The company's title and mission are clear, deriving from Matthew 5:41: "If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles." Edge, who serves as CEO to the Denver, Colo.-based company, practices this concept in his business as he studies organizations' cultures and centers on building trust and developing leaders who focus on others. He also helps organizations build and expand commercial operations, develop strategy and build processes. Though Edge's mission is clear now, he did not always have such direction.
Edge said he wanted to play basketball in college, he just didn't know where. Several schools showed interest in recruiting him, but Edge, having grown up in Purcell, Okla., attending First Baptist Church and Falls Creek, was familiar with Oklahoma Baptist University. Edge eventually chose OBU because he liked the people, the mission and the close proximity to his hometown.
"I had no idea what God had in store for me and how my life would be impacted greatly by attending OBU," Edge said.
He attributes much of his success and achievement in the business world to lessons learned on Bison Hill. He felt prepared for the workforce because he said he understood his discipline, with multiple opportunities to study unique, real-life situations through classroom instruction and internships.
"An OBU education is a special thing," Edge said. "It's very challenging. It's demanding. But when you leave OBU, you are prepared."
Edge said his professors inspired and shaped him. He considered them role models as he admired how they lived their lives and their interactions with others. He said they showed they cared about people by being involved in local churches and campus activities which help set a tone and culture for a great learning environment.
"I always respected the professors at OBU because they were committed not just to your professional and educational growth, but to your personal growth as well," he said. "They cared about you."
Edge appreciates all his professors, but said Dr. David Sallee, Max Brattin, Dr. Rhonda Hall, Dr. Slayden Yarbrough and Bobby Canty were some professors and administrators who greatly impacted his time at OBU.
"All had a positive impact on my life and shaping me into the person I am today," Edge said. "I am a better person and better equipped to handle specific life challengestoday because of these individuals."
After graduation, Edge corresponded with his former professors as they continued to mentor him. Edge said God has blessed him with lifelong friendships built at OBU. He is especially grateful for having met his wife, Amy Griffis, a 1987 alum, 25 years ago at OBU.
Edge and his wife have spent much of their free time in gyms, fields and auditoriums as their three children, Nate, 20, Tasha, 17, and Carlee, 12, have been involved in sports and music. Edge said he's been fortunate to be able to coach all three children in different sports over the years.
Today, Edge practices the "others focused" concept he learned from OBU professors in his business and by being active in his community by coaching and mentoring youth.
Click the following link to view a full list of previous Profile in Excellence recipients.