Ada News: The late Harland C. Stonecipher to be honored today in Ada
A host of dignitaries will be on hand today, along with family and friends, to honor the late Harland C. Stonecipher, one of Ada's biggest movers and shakers, on the one-year anniversary of his death at a public reception from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the LegalShield Corporate Office, One Pre-Paid Way, Ada.
Rep. Tom Cole, Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby, Sen. Susan Paddack, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak, East Central University officials and LegalShield executives will honor Harland C. Stonecipher by declaring Nov. 10th as Harland C. Stonecipher Day.
Doors open at 3:45 p.m. and the presentation begins at 4 p.m. at LegalShield Corporate Office LegalShield Lobby, Founders Gallery. Dignitaries and LegalShield executives will talk about ‘Harland C. Stonecipher Day’ and the impact Stonecipher had in creating a solution that creates equal access to equal justice and ensures one’s identity is theirs and theirs alone.
Oklahomans will celebrate the accomplishments, legacy and memory of Harland C. Stonecipher, who did so much in his lifetime for the city of Ada.
Stonecipher grew up in Centrahoma and attended Tupelo Schools before being the first in his family to attend college. He graduated from what was then East Central State College in Ada in 1959.
In 1969, he was involved in an automobile accident, which even though was not his fault, nearly left him in financial ruin. It was then that he created Pre-Paid Legal Services in 1972, which is now LegalShield. Today, LegalShield, continues Stonecipher’s mission by providing legal protection to more than 3.7 million individuals and identity monitoring and restoration services to more than a million people across North America.
Stonecipher often commented he “would’ve given up on the company if he had known how broke he was,” but with the help of his wife, Shirley, he saw his idea grow from a single-room operation to being listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Stonecipher felt strongly about keeping his company in his home state and in rural Oklahoma as he believed his staff had a work ethic he wouldn't find anywhere else.
The company, now with offices in Ada, Antlers and Duncan, Richardson. Texas, and New York, N.Y., has more than 700 employees and sold for more than $650 million in 2011.In 2000, Stonecipher helped pen his own story, “The Pre-Paid Legal Story,” and shared the history of his company and his vision of affordable legal protection for everyone.
He was named Ernst &Young’s Southwest Master Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002. That same year, he accepted the Line in the Sand award from the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce in recognition of Pre-Paid Legal’s stand against frivolous lawsuits.
In 2005, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reappointed Harland Stonecipher to a two-year term on its 100-person board of directors. In 2006, he was named as the Distinguished Entrepreneur of Oklahoma. His alma mater, East Central University, recognized him as Distinguished Alumnus in 1987.
He and Shirley would later bestow a gift to the university leading to the naming of the Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business.
Online: Ada News