Stephen Ellis, executive vice president and director of personal banking at MidFirst Bank, was the featured speaker during OBU’s Business Forum Monday, Nov. 4. The event was hosted by the Paul Dickinson College of Business and took place in the Tulsa Royalties Auditorium of the Bailey Business Center on OBU’s campus in Shawnee.
Ellis shared a list of sayings and rules he has compiled during his business career. These included numerous pieces of wisdom and knowledge, intended to encourage the students as they begin their own careers in business.
“All of you are probably making a plan for your future,” Ellis said. “Advice I was once given when I was thinking about my future was to make two lists. One is all of the things that I love and the other was all of the things I dislike. This will help you when deciding what your future plans are.”
Ellis stressed the importance of decision making and shared advice on how best to make important decisions. He told the students to have three people in mind when making decisions: the shareholder, the customer and the employee, as having the best interest of these people in mind allows for decisions to please everyone involved and is the goal he strives for when making decisions in his career.
Finally, Ellis reminded students of their calling as Christians in the workplace.
“You work for God and not anybody else,” he said. “You are called to do everything you do for the glory of God and it is important to remember that during your daily life.”
Ellis joined MidFirst in 1996 as a financial analyst and has served in several roles at the bank since. He manages 70 branches in Oklahoma and Arizona along with MidFirst’s contact center and has worked in the financial industry for more than 20 years.Ellis graduated from OBU in 1996 after earning a Bachelor of Business Administration. He also participated in Leadership Oklahoma Class XXIV. He serves on advisory boards for the Dickinson College of Business at OBU and the University of Central Oklahoma and has served on various boards and charitable organizations over his career.