Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma's Most-Admired CEOs Profile: Michael A. Cawley, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma's Most-Admired CEOs Profile: Michael A. Cawley, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

Article excerpt

With more than 18 years of service, Michael Cawley is the longest tenured president and chief executive officer in The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation's 64-year history.

Founded by philanthropist Lloyd Noble, the Noble Foundation is an independent, nonprofit institute based in Ardmore. The organization is also Oklahoma's largest private foundation. The Noble Foundation conducts direct operations, including assisting farmers and ranchers and conducting plant science research and agricultural programs, to enhance agricultural productivity regionally, nationally and internationally.

Cawley was elected to the Noble Foundation's board of trustees in 1987. In 1991, he retired from his Ardmore law practice to become the foundation's executive vice president. In 1992, Cawley assumed his current role as president and chief executive officer.

Under his leadership, the Noble Foundation has experienced the largest growth in programs and infrastructure in its history. Net assets of the foundation have increased more than 500 percent during his tenure.

In the last decade, the Noble Foundation has spent more than $100 million for the expansion of the campus, doubling research and administration space to more than 500,000 square feet. The expansion has allowed the institution to vastly expand its plant science and agriculture research programs to include investigation into agronomy, bioenergy, cell and developmental biology, genomics, plant breeding, plant-microbe interactions and plant transformation. Today, the foundation employs 370 individuals from more than 25 countries.

Mindful of the commitment and purpose of the organization's founder, Cawley leads the Noble Foundation with specific regard to the focus and mission of the institution, as a steward of the resources of the institution's founder and with a vision to continue to innovate and not be satisfied with past successes. …

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