I am honored to be a part of the Leadership Lawton Fort Sill Class 25 this year. We have been learning more about our community and about our state. On Tuesday, April 28th, we took a trip to the Oklahoma State Capital Building to learn more about our state government.

There are 16 members of our class from all different backgrounds. I am representing Lawton Business Women and Townsquare Media. We have representatives from Great Plains Technology Center, Cameron University, Southwestern Hospital, Comanche County Memorial Hospital, Lawton Public Schools, Fort Sill MWR, Fort Sill PAO, Arvest Bank, BancFirst, IBM and an attorney. It's a very diverse group and a very fun group.

When visiting the capital on Tuesday we met the Secretary of State, Chris Benge. He explained his roll and how he works with the Governor. We also met Judge David B. Lewis. Judge Lewis is one of the 5 judges seated on the Court of Criminal Appeals. He was born in Ardmore but served 4 years as a Comanche County prosecutor, special judge and district judge for Comanche, Stephens, Jefferson and Cotton counties. Governor Brad Henry appointed him to the court in August of 2005.

We sat in the House Chamber and were introduced to the Representatives in the chamber. We sat in the Senate Chamber and observed a debate over the medical marijuana bill.

We then had a short demonstration and role play on "How a Bill Becomes a Law" with Sandra Shelton, aid to Senator Don Barrington. To say that she made the day entertaining would be an understatement.

We had lunch with some of our state representatives, Ann Coody (R-District 64), Jeff Coody (R-District 63), and John Michael Montgomery (R-District 62). Senator Don Barrington (R-District 31) and past representative from District 63 Don Armes also joined us. We were able to ask them questions in an informal setting which was very nice.

We then moved to the capital rotunda and had our picture taken with the SW Delegation in front of The Guardian.

Later we were able to meet with 2 lobbyists that discussed issues that they were working on and the vital role they play in the legislative process.

Joe Doreman, past state representative from district 65 then gave us a personal tour of the capital building. I think he was the best tour guide they could have given us. He knew everyone we passed and introduced us. We made a good representation for the Lawton Fort Sill community.

The art work throughout the building was the most interesting to me. I want to go back and walk through the art gallery sometime soon.

Each year the class has to complete a project. Our project this year is to raise money for the Lawton Public Schools STEM program. For more details on our fundraising efforts please follow us on Facebook.

If you are interested in being a part of the next Leadership Lawton Fort Sill class visit their website at llfsok.org