Professional Q&A: Paul Crawford
Paul Crawford is an Edmond resident and the CEO of OrderMatic Corporation, LLC, an industrial manufacturer in Oklahoma City. Let’s learn more about Paul, his business, and what he enjoys about Edmond.
Q: Do you live in Edmond, work in Edmond, or both? For how long?
A: My wife and I have lived in Edmond since 1997. Alissa (Ph.D.) is an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Oklahoma in the Department of Educational Sciences. Together, we’ve raised twin sons, Joel and Paul, who enjoyed their years in Edmond Public Schools and are both now studying at Oklahoma Christian University. We have very much appreciated our years in Edmond and are glad we chose to find our community here.
Q: Where did you grow up and go to school?
A: I grew up in Norman, Oklahoma, and attended Norman High School, graduating in the great class of ’88. Immediately afterward, I attended the University of Oklahoma and earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a minor in Psychology. I attended Oklahoma State University in 2005, eventually earning a Master’s Degree in Management Information Systems with a specialty in Knowledge Management. Educationally, I’m a total Oklahoma product and was grateful to have many outstanding teachers and professors along the way.
Q: What did you do prior to getting involved with OrderMatic Corporation, LLC?
A: I served as Director of Technology for a few small companies in industries such as marketing, software/network consulting, and medical device manufacturing before feeling the pull to join Chesapeake Energy in 2008. During my stint there, I was blessed to witness the vision of Aubrey McClendon and experience firsthand what hard work, dedicated collaboration, and focus among highly talented people and vast resources can achieve. My focus at Chesapeake was on Creative Services, Community Development, and Information Technology. This gave me a very broad sense of the business which would prove to be very useful at OrderMatic. Those were exciting and amazing years before the market issues of 2012, and I’ll always be grateful for the relationships formed during those years. In 2013, I quit Chesapeake to join Performance Technologies, a subsidiary of Seventy-Seven Energy, as a member of the management team.
Q: How did you get involved with your current organization?
A: I received a call in March of 2016 from Patti Hager, then Executive Assistant for Mike Carroll, the CEO of Heritage Trust Bank in Oklahoma City, about a job at OrderMatic. They knew me from church and remembered my technical background and leadership experience. He didn’t share what the position was until about halfway through the first interview. Soon after, I met the Greg Cunningham family, who owns OrderMatic. They are a special family with a true Oklahoma-style “born out of a garage” story when in 1955, Bill Cunningham first developed an ordering system for Cattleman’s Steakhouse Drive-In. I started in April of 2016 and instantly fell in love with this little company as I got to know the employees and customers who shared their own chapters within that story. There was a lot of pride and fondness for what Bill built in those 65 years.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love having the ability to affect the culture at OMC to create a community of innately valuable and talented people. I am most proud of the people at OMC, and the journey each of us is taking to become increasingly better versions of ourselves. We aim at developing proactive growth mindsets to solve the continual flow of challenges in building our business while creating an ecosystem of encouraging partnerships between employees, customers, and vendors. We strive to intentionally make our little corner of the world a little better for those with whom we share influence. That’s easier said than done, but it’s the journey that counts, right?
Q: What’s something you’re passionate about in your personal life?
A: I’m a believer in Jesus and especially his message of reconciliation. There is much hurt, pain, and brokenness in our world, and many times we begin to believe that we are alone or uniquely broken in unchangeable ways. We allow our hurts, limitations, and labels to become our identities. The good news of his message tells us that we can change because of his sacrifice and gift. That has immense power. I’ve seen it time and time again in situations such as heroic people that foster/adopt children, broken marriages that transcended their hurt, and mentorships between unrelated older and younger adults around local restaurants tables. Personal life change is difficult but amazing and inspirational to witness!
Q: What do you like about Edmond?
A: Edmond has some great parks. Personally, I love to jog around Mitch when it’s not so hot. Thank you to whomever it is that keeps our parks looking great. You do a fantastic job! I try to share a friendly wave with those I pass by, and most people reciprocate. My neighborhood has become more of a melting pot over the years, and it has been beautiful to see the warmth shared within. We need more “waverhoods” in this world, and I’m glad to be a part of one in Edmond.
Q: What is your number one tip for other professionals, either for work or life in general?
A: Balance your optimism and realism. It is important to surround yourself with positive people because life is lived in the wild and challenges are non-stop. Find friends and determine mentors that you can break bread with and fill your positivity tank. At the same time, learn to go “meta” and be able to assess yourself honestly inside difficult situations. Why am I getting frustrated? Am I being honest with myself and others? It is crucial to be real with yourself, so you can solve—or at least manage—the actual complex problems we face daily. Balance those two to make sure you can keep your sanity. Being out of balance is an on-ramp to the stress highway.
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About Tim Priebe
Tim is a public speaker, author, publisher of Edmond Business, and the owner of T&S Online Marketing. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.
Tim started the Edmond Business online magazine in May 2020 to fill a need in the community when The Edmond Sun shut down and stopped publishing their monthly magazine, The Business Times.