Sarah Haertl | Regional Director of Marketing | 918.894.4250 |


(Tulsa, Okla.) December 26, 2013 – John Bolton, SMG Regional Vice President and General Manager of the BOK Center and Cox Business Center, was honored as one of Oklahoma Magazine’s 2013 ‘Oklahomans of the Year.’ The award was given to six Oklahomans this year in recognition of their achievements in making notable contributions to their communities and to the state of Oklahoma in 2013. Recipients are featured in the January 2014 edition of the monthly publication.

Bolton was recognized for the continued success of the BOK Center and Cox Business Center and for putting Tulsa on the map in terms of being a must-play market in the touring industry. The BOK Center recently celebrated its 5th anniversary with a concert series of many of the top touring acts including Paul McCartney, Eagles, Blake Shelton, Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Buffett. Bolton also received recognition by industry trade publication Venues Today as a ‘Hall of Headlines’ winner in the Bookings category, along with Assistant General Manager Jeff Nickler, for the 5th anniversary concert series.

“Although I’m not a native Oklahoman, since moving here in 2008 Oklahoma has become my home. To be recognized as an ‘Oklahoman of the Year’ is a great honor,’” Bolton said. “The success achieved at the BOK Center and Cox Business Center is the culmination of hard work by an amazing team. I’m proud to lead SMG Tulsa and appreciate the dedication of everyone in our community and state who have contributed to the success we have enjoyed.”

Since opening in 2008, the BOK Center has repeatedly been recognized as one of the nation’s top venues and received a long list of awards and nominations including four consecutive Pollstar ‘Arena of the Year’ nominations, four consecutive nominations by the Academy of Country Music for ‘Venue of the Year’, and the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Venue Excellence Award in 2011.

Under SMG-management, the Cox Business Center has achieved some of its most successful years in recent history including the ten-year naming rights partnership with Cox Business and box office naming rights partnership with Osage Casino both of which were finalized in 2013. Additionally in 2013, the former Tulsa Convention Center and BOK Center co-hosted one of the most successful Bassmaster Classics in the event’s history.

The other five ‘Oklahoman of the Year’ recipients are Jill Simpson, director of the Oklahoma Film & Music Office; Chris Lieberman and Philip Kaiser, organizers of the Center of the Universe Festival; Nico Gomez, CEO of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority; and Gary England, vice president for corporate relations and weather development at Griffin Communications.

Oklahoma Magazine is a complimentary monthly magazine covering the people, places and culture that make Oklahoma such a fascinating place.