Mike Joseph’s introduction of Roberta Fields for United Way’s 2024 Ray Ackerman Leadership Award

On January 26, 2024, veteran labor and employment attorney and trial lawyer Roberta B. Fields was honored with the 2024 Ray Ackerman Leadership Award at the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s 23rd Annual United Way Gala at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK. Mike Joseph, a McAfee & Taft colleague and an ex-officio board member of the United Way, had the honor of introducing Roberta (via video) to the audience prior to the awards presentation.

“I’ve been working with Roberta for about 12 years. Before she became a lawyer, she worked as a corrections official for the Department of Corrections. She is tough. She’ll make hard decisions and she’ll stick by them. She takes a firm position many times, although she’s flexible, which is a great way to work as a lawyer.

“When she gets involved with something, she commits herself fully and becomes intimately involved with these organizations. She’s the type of person that she makes a distinctive impact with an organization when she becomes a member, she has wonderful leadership qualities. She has a high degree of integrity, loyalty.

“She’s a wonderful person. She does her part and she always comes prepared. She comes to rock and roll all the time. She wants to do something important for the community. She’s always concerned about making sure that people can be better than their dreams.

“I think that Roberta shares the tireless efforts and devotion to United Way’s mission that Ray Ackerman espoused. She wants to bring people together and come up with solutions that are workable for them, and she does the same thing in the United Way, where she can bring in others, where she can come up with answers and solutions that are workable for the community at large. I think that she’s like a conveyor belt of hope.

“I love going to lunch with her. We always pick different places, and the best thing about it is she always pays for lunch.

“Congratulations, Roberta, and to Larry as well. This award is a result of your community service, your leadership, your innovative ideas, and your commitment to United Way’s mission. I’m proud to be your partner. Thanks for all you do for our community.”