Achievers under 40 Profile: Katrina B. Shaklee, Director for Sports and Recreation at Oklahoma University

Article excerpt

Katrina Shaklee knew she wanted to work in the sports business world since she was in college. A high school athlete and lifetime lover of sports, Shaklee said she realized she wasn't quite good enough to play in college. "I decided working in sports was the next best thing!"

After earning her bachelor's degree in business administration, she began her career as public relations director for Sooner State Games, Oklahoma's amateur sporting festival. Several years later, she headed to the University of Northern Colorado to obtain her master's degree in event and sports administration. During her last semester of graduate school and newly engaged, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. "The diagnosis was not what I had planned at the age of 24, but it allowed me to look at life differently and go toward a different career path that eventually led me to where I am now," Shaklee said.

In 1999, she returned to Oklahoma and to Sooner State Games, this time as assistant director. She began to dream of an event in Oklahoma for athletes with physical disabilities. With financial support from The Robertson Group Advertising Agency, many pro and con lists and encouragement from her family, Shaklee resigned from Sooner State Games to start a nonprofit. The Sports Group Inc. was formed in February 2000 and its first event, the Endeavor Games for Athletes with Physical Disabilities, was held in June that same year. The Endeavor Games just celebrated its 10th year of competition with more than 400 sport participants.

"Creating that event was a huge accomplishment and many others took notice," she said. …