Oklahoma Leadership

Kirk Purnell

Kirk Purnell

General Manager

Kirk started with Ben E. Keith in 1984, at the Fort Worth Division. He began in the warehouse and held a position in customer service prior to becoming a District Sales Representative, which he served in for five years. He was promoted and worked as a District Sales Manager for two years before transferring to the Little Rock Division where he purchased frozen foods and meat. Kirk was then promoted to General Manager of the Oklahoma Division in 1993. Kirk is a graduate from Mississippi State University with a degree in Marketing.


Nolen Cleaves

Nolen Cleaves

Assistant General Manager

Nolen, attended Oklahoma State University, and began his career with Ben E. Keith in October of 1995, as a District Sales Representative. He was promoted to a District Sales Manager in 1998, and then promoted to his current position of Assistant General Manager in 2004.


Michael Powers

Michael Powers

Assistant General Manager

Michael Powers is a native of Oklahoma City. He earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma, and Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. Michael began his career with Ben E. Keith as a District Sales Representative in 1999. He was promoted to District Sales Manager in 2001 and then Assistant General Manager in 2007.


Terry Stephens

Terry Stephens

Director of Purchasing

Terry attended the University of Oklahoma and started with Ben E. Keith in 1998, as a District Sales Representative. Nine months later he was promoted to a District Sales Manager and a year later he assumed the position of Frozen and Refrigerated Meat Purchasing Manager. In 2003, he was once again promoted to his current position of Director of Purchasing.


Tim Maxberry

Tim Maxberry

Transportation Manager

Tim has worked in the foodservice industry since 1992. He began his career at Ben E. Keith Foods Oklahoma in May 2007. He started as a truck driver, transitioned to a dispatcher and is currently the Transportation Manager.


Debbie Sparks

Debbie Sparks

Credit Manager

Debbie joined Ben E. Keith in 2001, with 17 years of experience in the credit industry. She graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State with a Bachelor’s in Finance.


Colleen Morris

Colleen Morris

Controller

Colleen Morris has 10 plus years of experience with Ben E. Keith dating back to October 2002 when she was hired as an Accounts Payable Associate.  She was promoted to Accounts Payable Supervisor in May of 2004 and to the Assistant Controller position in July of 2006.  In August 2013, she was promoted to Branch Controller.  Colleen graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology.


Jeremy Austin

Jeremy Austin

Marketing Manager

Jeremy began his career with the Albuquerque Division of Ben E. Keith in June of 2005 as a District Sales Representative. In August of 2006, he was promoted to National Account Manager and then in November 2008, to Dairy Purchasing Manager. Jeremy was relocated to the Oklahoma Division in April of 2010 as a District Sales Representative before being promoted to the Marketing Manager in July 2012.  He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University.


Don Essary

Don Essary

Information Systems Manager

Don joined Ben E. Keith in 1999, as the Information Systems Manager for the Oklahoma City Division. He has over 20 years of experience in the technical arena. Don graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1988 with a Bachelor’s in Journalism/Television Production.


Terry Martin

Terry Martin

Human Resources Manager

Terry started with Ben E. Keith in October of 2014. He possesses over 25 years of Human Resources experience and 17 years food service industry experience. An original native of Oklahoma, Terry attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University and also was an active member of the United States Air Force. He has been instrumental in helping the Ben E. Keith Oklahoma City Division