Years before taking his place at the state capitol, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt sold books door to door with Southwestern Advantage, an experience that he directly points to for teaching him the skills that would one day lead him to the Sooner State’s highest office. He shares some of those lessons from his days in the book field (spoiler alert: he crushed records) with Southwestern CEO Dustin Hillis, as well as how he co-founded and grew Gateway Mortgage Group from “$1,000 and a computer” to the 2nd most profitable bank in the country, how he’s working to make Oklahoma “hope-centered” state, and his odds for a future presidential run.
About Gov. Stitt:
J. Kevin Stitt is the 28th governor of Oklahoma. Governor Stitt is leading the state with a vision to become Top Ten in critical categories, from government accountability to job growth, infrastructure, education and more.
Governor Stitt is an entrepreneur and businessman who founded Gateway in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2000. Starting Gateway with only $1,000 and a computer, he grew his business into one of the top 20 mortgage lenders and servicers in the nation, operating in more than 40 states and servicing more than $20 billion in residential mortgages. Stitt led Gateway through a merger with Farmers Exchange Bank in 2018 and formed Gateway First Bank, which is headquartered in Jenks, Oklahoma, and operates more than 160 mortgage centers across the country and employs more than 1,400 people.
Oklahomans spoke in record numbers that they wanted Stitt to use his business acumen to transform the state. In 2018, he received more votes than any gubernatorial candidate in state history in his first bid for elected office of any kind. Since taking office, he worked together with the Legislature to produce historic reform in five of the largest state agencies, allowing him to identify and recruit the best talent to serve in critical leadership positions. More than half of the governor’s cabinet is made of experts who came from the private sector in Oklahoma, including the first chief operating officer in state history. Governor Stitt also led the state to build its largest savings account in history, which proved to be prophetic in the face of a significant decline in the oil and gas market.
He is a fourth-generation Oklahoman who graduated from Norman High School and is an alumnus of Oklahoma State University, where he received an accounting degree in 1996. Stitt and his wife, Sarah, have six children and have been married for 23 years.
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