HER 2023 Humanitarian: Gayle Maxwell - 405 Magazine

HER 2023 Humanitarian: Gayle Maxwell

Director of Corporate Communications at Oklahoma City Thunder

Photographer: Shevaun Williams | Stylist: Pivotal Style, Sarah McDonald & Lindsey Lawrence | Hair and Makeup: Marlo Haus’s, Ricki Marlow, Rylee Makeup Artistry, & Miranda Augusta |

Gayle Maxwell has served numerous vocations in many capacities throughout her career so far, and in each one, she has been on the front line of transformation, community service and positive change in Oklahoma.

Her first professional job was working for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce as part of a team to get the very first MAPS package passed. “There was no ballpark, there was no arena, there was no canal,” Maxwell said. “Bricktown was just a concept; there were just two restaurants and only one hotel. I was so fortunate to be part of that project and to also catch the vision of what Oklahoma City could be.”

During Maxwell’s tenure at the Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City, the organization built an affordable 36-unit multifamily housing development and an affordable 60-unit senior housing development in Northeast Oklahoma City. These two developments represented $12 million of property and hadn’t happened in 40 years in that area of the city. “It was one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever had,” she said. “The Urban League works tirelessly every day to help families break the cycle of poverty, and to also drive inclusion and equity in our communities.”

While at OG&E, Maxwell was honored to provide communications strategy and support to help launch Oklahoma’s first utility-scale solar farm.

“In my role now at the Oklahoma City Thunder, you’ll often hear me say that it’s the perfect storm for me. I love Oklahoma City. I love PR and communications. I love sports — especially the Thunder. I get to work at an organization whose global brand elevates the city in ways that frankly just aren’t an option for many other cities. It’s an organization that is just as passionate about serving off the court as they are competing on the court. I’m grateful to see how the work we do every day is more than basketball and bigger than just me.

Photographer: Shevaun Williams | Stylist: Pivotal Style, Sarah McDonald & Lindsey Lawrence | Hair and Makeup: Marlo Haus’s, Ricki Marlow, Rylee Makeup Artistry, & Miranda Augusta |

“I help with the storytelling of the Thunder off the court. When we talk about the things we do in the community, with the schools, our youth basketball camps, the things that we do with our corporate partners — those are the kinds of stories that I tell. I work with a larger content team and we as a cohort try to tell the story of the Thunder’s impact on the community.”

Recently, with the Thunder Broadcasting and OKC Thunder Films, Maxwell was a part of a team that won an Emmy for Seeds of Greenwood. The 2022 film highlighted the inaugural year of Thunder Fellows, a program that aims to unlock new opportunities in sports, entertainment and

technology for Black high school and college students in the Tulsa area.

“It’s important to understand that it’s more than basketball. Basketball affords us a tremendous platform to engage in the community. And sports has a tendency to bring people together. We like to think of ourselves as the largest cheerleader for all things Oklahoma,” said Maxwell.

“I crave being a part of something bigger than me. To know that by doing a job I love, I could also be a part of transforming the city that I love or a part of contributing to opportunities for people to transform their own lives, careers or families.”

As long as Gayle Maxwell is part of Oklahoma City’s story, we can be sure it will be one worth telling.

*Correction: A previous version of this article misstated a fact about the Urban League’s developments.

Read about all of the incredible HER 2023 Honorees.