By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
Meet Kasey St. John, one of the most integral cogs in the Sand Springs machine. She will probably roll her eyes that I said that, but it's true--she's involved in everything.
The Marketing and Special Projects Manager for the City of Sand Springs has only been a Sandite for a little over two years now, and she has more than made a name for herself in that short amount of time. Most recently she was awarded the Oklahoma Planning Association's Outstanding Student Project Award for her work on the See Sand Springs website.
See Sand Springs is St. John's Master's thesis project, and is now an officially sanctioned effort to attract small businesses, developers, employers, and visitors to the Sand Springs area. The beautifully designed website answers questions about incentives, marketing, and cohesion with City planning. It was recently added to the City Council's Economic Development Resolution.
"It's cool to be honored for a student project," said St. John. "My goal was to make this project benefit the community." It seems like everything she does benefits the community, and not just in the scope of her job. Because See Sand Springs was a school project, she wasn't allowed to work on it during work hours. So after spending long hours in the City municipal building serving the City, she would then go home and continue serving the City on her own time.
She is no stranger to hard work. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 2008 with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications, she went to work as the Public Relations Coordinator for The Metropolitan Environmental Trust. In 2009 she began working in the Transportation Planning Department at the Indian Nations Council of Governments, where she worked until she came to Sand Springs. While at INCOG she designed the Tulsa Transportation Resource Center website.
She has been a member of the Tulsa Young Professionals for the past eight years and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the foundation. Though she modestly denies it, she has been referred to as being "instrumental in getting the Great Raft Race launch site located in Sand Springs" by a City official. St. John is good friends with the Executive Director of the Raft Race and lobbied on behalf of Sand Springs, but says her pushing likely wouldn't have made a difference if Sand Springs hadn't already been a piece of Raft Race history.
St. John has spent the last two years working on her Master's in Architectural Urban Studies at the University of Oklahoma--Tulsa College of Architecture. She will graduate with that degree in December.
Her duties with the City include managing projects such as the famous Sand Springs Herbal Affair, the City website and social media accounts, as well as development of the City's strategic marketing plans.
St. John and her husband of five years, Steven, have two dogs named Gilbert and Francisco. When she finds spare time she enjoys traveling and reading and also owns a marketing and wedding planning business.
In 2015 she was named as one of Oklahoma Magazine's "40 under 40."
Her most recent project is the #SandSpringsLocal campaign, which seeks to bring attention to the fact that Oklahoma is the only State where cities are almost entirely dependent on sales tax for general operations such as emergency respondents, parks and recreation, roads and infrastructure, and economic development. The campaign encourages Sand Springs citizens to use the aforementioned hashtag on social media and to "check-in" and tag businesses whenever citizens are out shopping and eating. Using the hashtag between October 15th and December 15th will enter citizens into a drawing for various prize packs from local businesses.
She can be reached through her Wordpress website.