Professional of the Year
2019: Vance Gilmore
Vance Gilmore – Vance, an "Okie" to the core, was born and raised in Miami, Oklahoma and is an enrolled member of the Quapaw Tribe.
Graduating from The University of Oklahoma (OU) with a B.S. in Special Education; Vance completed his student teaching at the United Cerebral Palsy Statewide Center. Following this, he obtained a Master’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation.
From 1978-1981, Vance worked at Camp Soroptimist (now Camp Summit) as a summer counselor. Camp Summit is a long-standing camping program for individuals with disabilities. From 1981 to 1989, he held the full-time role of Executive Director and Camp Director.
From 1989-2015, Vance was the Executive Director and Camp Director of Camp John Marc, a unique camping program dedicated to serving campers living with chronic illnesses and physical challenges.
Since 2015, Vance has been involved with the facility design and program development of The Tolleson Family Activity Center at Highland Park United Methodist Church. In 2017, Vance became the Director of Belong disABILITY Ministry at Highland Park United Methodist Church.