Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt named one of “2018 Ten Outstanding Young Americans.”

David Holt, picture via City of Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt is one of JCI USA’s “2018 Ten Outstanding Young Americans.”

Each year, JCI USA (formerly known as the Jaycees) recognizes the accomplishments of 10 people who are truly outstanding in the areas of business or entrepreneurial accomplishment, political achievement, humanitarian and voluntary leadership and more.

Mayor Holt and the other members of the list will be honored at the 80th annual black-tie awards ceremony on Sept. 29 in Denver. Mayor Holt, 39, was elected Feb. 13, making him the youngest Mayor of Oklahoma City since 1923, the youngest current mayor of a U.S. city with more than 500,000 residents and the first American Indian mayor of Oklahoma City.

“Obviously this is a great honor and I’m grateful, but I’m more excited by the national exposure this means for the generational shift in leadership happening in our city,” said Mayor Holt. “I really feel like I share this honor with the under-40 visionaries in our city who are committing to carry on the Oklahoma City renaissance and taking it to new heights. I’m just a representative of that new generation.”

JCI USA was founded in 1920 as the original member of the Junior Chamber Movement. JCI USA operates in close to 500 communities. The Ten Outstanding Young Americans program (TOYA) is one of the oldest and most prestigious recognition programs in America. Annually since 1938, JCI USA has sought out young men and women (under the age of 40) who best exemplify the finest attributes of America’s youthful achievers.

Previous honorees include Arthur Ashe (1968), Bill Clinton (1979), John F. Kennedy (1946), Dick Cheney (1976), Kurt Warner (2010), Wayne Newton (1977), Gale Sayers (1969), Elvis Presley (1970), Michele Tafoya (2001), and Ruth Riley (2014). Oklahomans who have made the list in the past include David Boren (1976), Steve Largent (1990), Don Nickles (1983), and JC Watts (1996).

“The 2018 Ten Outstanding Young Americans are truly accomplished individuals in their fields, as well as in creating positive change within their communities,” said Noelle Nachreiner, 2018 National President for JCI USA. “These 10 individuals represent the best and the brightest of young people in America and we should strive to emulate them in our everyday actions. Each Honoree has shown a commitment to that hope, reminding all Americans that no problem is too difficult when handled with grace, ingenuity, courage and determination.”

The JCI USA 2018 Ten Outstanding Young Americans are:

  • Mayor Holt, 39
  • Caitlin Ahrens, 26, graduate student in space & planetary science, NASA Solar System Ambassador, Fairmont, W.V.
  • Dan Berei, 31, Owner of Combat Flags, Davidson, N.C.
  • Jeremy Harrison, 39, Co-Founder/Chief Operating Officer for Helping Heroes: A Center for Veteran Resources, Glen Dale, W.V.
  • Alyson Hehr, 23, President/Founding Member of Alyson’s Angels, Wheeling, W.V .
  • Major Elliott Milliken, 33, HH-60G Pilot/Assistant Director of Operations, U.S. Air Force, Hahira, Ga.
  • Daniel Pettit, 37, CEO & President of Encompass Holdings, Urbandale, Iowa
  • Capt. Zachary Purser, 30, F-15E Weapons System Officer in the U.S. Air Force, United Kingdom
  • Veronika Scott, 27, CEO of Empowerment Plan, Detroit
  • Lt. Col. Bishane Whitmore, 37, Director of Operations in the U.S. Air Force, Roseville, Calif.