State Senator Kenneth Corn was elected to the Oklahoma State Senate in 2002 at the age of twenty-five making him the second youngest state senator in state’s history and the current youngest serving senator. Prior to his election to the senate, Corn served two terms in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He was elected to the House at the age of twenty-two which made him one of the youngest Oklahomans to serve in state’s history.
Corn was born in Poteau, Oklahoma in 1976 to Elester and Katy Corn. He graduated from Howe High School in 1996 and the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science in 2005. He was a member of the OU President’s Leadership Class, a Ruth Norman and United State Senate Youth Scholar. Corn is the only person to serve two terms as the State President of Future Business Leaders of America and one term as National President.
How did serving as an officer of the FBLA prepare you for your role as State Senator?
The opportunity to serve as a national officer gave me the skills necessary to be an effective communicator and the ability to set goals and establish a plan of action. I have often used my ability to think critically about issues and always factor the human element into the solutions we seek. I learned that from FBLA.
What are the similarities working in the government and the private sector as a business leader?
As an elected public official, you must learn how to best serve your constituents. That is similar to business because you have to learn to meet the needs of customers and make sure that you meet their expectations. Unlike the private sector, an elected leader must make the decision for the greater good, while in business you focus on the bottom line.
How important is networking and relationships to the work you do?
Networking is extremely important. You win elections based on the connections you have made and by meeting the public while expressing your ideas. Networking also allows you to expand your resources that can help you do your job more effectively.
How can young business leaders earn the trust of more senior members of a business or organization they work for?
It is important for young leaders to prove themselves by their willingness to work hard and put in the hours needed to be effective. Being prepared to do the job means you may be asked to complete and be willing to learn from your peers. It is extremely important to gather as much wisdom as possible by listening and putting that information to work.
Do you believe business education is a priority for our schools?
Business education is extremely important for young people. It is imperative for them to understand how the economy works and how important fiscal management is for them as individuals, government, and business. The basic understanding of the free enterprise system can serve as a great incentive for young people to establish goals, to be creative, and to understand how we are all connected to one another.