In Memory of Mayor Murrell
Mayor Marilyn Murrell was born and raised in Arcadia, Oklahoma. She lead a successful 4 year legal battle to re-establish the identity of Arcadia as an official town. The Governor of Oklahoma appointed Marilyn as the first mayor in July, 1987. Marilyn Murrell was elected Mayor by the citizens of Arcadia in the first election May of 1988. She has been re-elected to the post every four years since. She was instrumental in creating town ordinances, establishing the police and fire departments, the municipal court system, the Arcadia Community Development Corporation, and other required governmental entities for town management.
Mayor Murrell has been a member of the Oklahoma Conference of Black Mayors and the National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM) since 1988. She has served in numerous positions with both organizations. She served as President of the NCBM during the 2002-2003 year, the second woman to hold the position of president. During her tenure she initiated several programs to enhance the capabilities and improve the resources available to member mayors.
In 1999 Mayor Murrell participated in a diplomatic trip where mayors from the United States met with national and local elected officials in West Africa to share experiences and methods of governance. The countries visited were: Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), and Ghana. The delegation also participated in the 5th African/African-American Summit (later renamed the Leon H. Sullivan Summit) in Accra, Ghana. The Summit attracted nearly 5,000 participants and over 2,000 observers, including Heads of State and official delegations from more than 40 African nations, prominent African Americans, government officials, executives and professionals from all around the world. Participants came together to focus attention and resources on Africa’s economic and social development.
In 2003, she helped to organize and currently serves as Chairman of the National Small Town Alliance, a nonprofit organization with a mission of assisting small and rural communities throughout the country to improve growth and development through technology, education and advocacy. A major project of the National Small Town Alliance is the development of computer labs and distribution of computers to small towns and non-profit organizations.
Ms. Murrell serves on the Advisory Board for N.E.W. Leadership, a special project of the Carl Albert Center at the University of Oklahoma. N.E.W. Leadership encourages and mentors young women interested in entering the world of politics and public service.
She serves on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma, an organization with a mission of providing funding, advocacy and supports to organizations that improve the status of women and girls in Oklahoma.
Other memberships include the, NAACP, and the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs.
Mayor Murrell has served on many local and state boards and commissions representing her community. Those organizations include the Oklahoma Municipal League, Board of Directors for Youth Services for Oklahoma County for 23 years, Oklahoma Conference of Mayors, Central Oklahoma Regional Economic Development Task Force, ACOG 911 Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Oklahoma Rural Development Council.
Ms. Murrell’s professional career spans more than 30 years as an advocate for small businesses and as a business consultant providing management and technical assistance to small and minority businesses. Ms. Murrell was affiliated with the Minority Business Development Center (MBDC) in Oklahoma for more than 20 years and served as the Executive Director from 1985 until 1990. After leaving the MBDC, she established her own consulting firm, M & M Enterprises. Currently she serves as the CEO of M & M Business Consultants, a firm that provides business management and technical assistance. Since 1990 she has served as the chairman of the Oklahoma Consortium for Minority Business Development, Inc. In 1995, Ms. Murrell was an Oklahoma delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business in Washington, D.C.
A lifelong member of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Arcadia, she serves as a steward, stewardess and clerk of the official board.
Marilyn Murrell has three adult children: Monica, Alfred and Cypreanna, and one grandson, Taylor Duncan.
Her Awards/Activities Include:
- 2003: Participated in First African American Leadership Summit sponsored by the Senate Democratic and Congressional Black Caucuses (Washington, D.C.)
- 2003: Spirit of Women Award by Oklahomans for Indian Opportunity
- 2002: Woman of the Year by St. James A.M.E. Church
- 2001: Participated in an intensive 3 week Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
- 1998: Award of Excellence by Miss Black Oklahoma Committee
- 1998: Leadership Award by Arcadia Historical & Preservation Society
- 1998: Governor’s Award: “Contributor to the State of Excellence” by Governor Henry Bellman
- 1998: Keeper of the Dream Award by the Oklahoma Tribune Newspaper
- 1989: Outstanding Service Award by the Arcadia Dunbar School Reunion