I am thrilled to feature Nancy and Ted Kachel, the first couple to be included in our resident profile series. They are a dynamic duo, with impressive career accomplishments, rich experiences, and a zest for life that is truly inspiring. Over their 13 years in our community, they have been deeply involved in the social fabric of our neighborhood, and their contributions are immeasurable. It is an honor to share their story with our 400 residents, as we get a glimpse into the lives of two remarkable individuals who have made their mark on the world in so many ways.
In 2010, after living for ten years in a lovely and spacious home in Sand Springs, Ted and Nancy Kachel decided to move back to Tulsa to enjoy a more urban lifestyle. Their son, Dan, had bought a condominium at Central Park and five months later, Ted and Nancy decided to join him.
Since they were downsizing, they were thrilled to find two condominiums available for purchase that would supply space for both a residence and a study/library and studio/workshop. Early on, Ted Kachel recognized that the CPOA Board was struggling with many challenges, and he decided to run for a seat at the table. Ted was elected and subsequently served four terms, two as president. In my view, his second term as president was a defining moment in the governance of Central Park.
He was a natural leader and brought a calm and deliberate demeanor to the open meetings that in the past had often been victimized by accusations and shouting matches, as owners expressed their frustrations over unaddressed issues. Ted earned the confidence of owners by being a good listener, and by forsaking any personal agenda goals of his own, at least publicly. He encouraged others to speak up and take an active role in establishing priorities. He was exactly the right person at the right time to lead Central Park and all owners benefited from his leadership.
Ted and I talked this week about the progress at Central Park in recent years. He confided that he and Nancy stayed after surviving those earlier “troubles” because they found that living at Central Park ideally suits their retired lives as active community members with a variety of interests and activities. He was complimentary of recent CP boards’ stewardship of our property and appeared confident about the association’s future. He and Nancy are delighted with the switch to heat pumps, but they would love to see other imaginative ways to go “Green,” and reduce our carbon footprint. He summed up the conversation with this: “Central Park is home, and we enjoy living here.”
More about Nancy Kachel: Most know her as the retired President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma, Inc., where she served from 1988 to 2011.
What most might not know, according to Janet Pearson in a Tulsa World article published some years ago, is that Nancy has also been “a teacher, a social worker, a guest artist, a counselor, a benefits administrator, an executive secretary, a vice president and marketing director for a multi-million-dollar real estate development firm, and the director of two public-purpose agencies.”
For 3 ½ years beginning in 1984, Nancy served as the Executive Director for Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc. (DVIS) of Tulsa. During her tenure with that agency, she improved the budget from $230,000 to $950,000. And she helped build a 60-bed shelter for men, women, and children by coordinating a capital campaign, in addition to helping raise funds to train police, district attorneys, and judges about domestic violence issues.
Under her direction over twenty-five years, Planned Parenthood grew from 3 small clinics to 6 locations, housing 8 health centers in Eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas. And the budget improved from $800,000 to $7.6 million. Funding that originally offered only family planning services grew to a system offering prenatal care, pediatrics, WIC, colposcopy and cryosurgery, treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, reproductive health services for males, and a reproductive health research department.
In 1993, Kachel was appointed to serve on the Governor’s Commission that developed the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, which manages the Medicaid and Medicare programs for the State. Over the years, Nancy Kachel has earned a reputation as one of the staunchest advocates of women’s causes and reproductive rights this state has ever seen.
More about Ted Kachel
Teacher, author, historian, performer, and community volunteer, all describe our neighbor, Ted Kachel. After forty years teaching humanities and theatre at colleges and universities across Midwestern America, A Theodore (Ted) Kachel, retired as Head of the Theatre Program at Tulsa Community College in 1999. Although retired, Ted still teaches part-time in religious studies and humanities at TCC using his Ph.D. studies in Religion and Society from Columbia University (1975).
Professor Kachel graduated magna cum laude from Union Theological Seminary, NYC, in 1965 and was a campus minister at Penn and Michigan universities until 1975. He has had a fascinating journey since then.
Since 2006, Ted has worked with First Matter’s Watts Wacker, a futurist, presenting several Chautauqua characters while adding new character sketches of P.T. Barnum, Thomas A. Edison, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Frank Lloyd Wright at meetings for Genworth Insurance, Hasbro Toys, T.B.G. Landscaping, Inc, and R.J. Reynolds American.
In the summer of 2008, he was invited to Dayton, Tennessee for their annual July reenactment of the Scopes Trial in the historic courtroom where it happened in 1925 to present William Jennings Bryan. The climax of this performance was when joined by a local lawyer, they recreated Darrow’s cross-examination of Bryan on the final full day of this famous trial.
Ted Kachel attended the Iowa Summer Writing Festival in 2009 to complete a novel, BACKSTORY, about America in the cultural revolutions of the 1960s. And since the summer of 2010, he has presented General Robert E. Lee in Oklahoma, Colorado, and Nevada Humanities Chautauqua programs.
Today, much of Professor Kachel’s work is touring in first-person performances as William Jennings Bryan, General William Tecumseh Sherman, Sir Winston Churchill, William Shakespeare, Joseph Mallord, William Turner, or H.G. Wells. And, recently, he finished a screenplay, CUMP & SAM, showing how Generals Grant and Sherman won the Civil War for the Union, i.e., his answer to GONE WITH THE WIND!
More about this dynamic and energetic couple (I saved the best for last)
Nancy and Ted have embarked on a new adventure together – writing novels. The idea surfaced after Nancy dreamed about a body floating past an old fishing shack on the Wapsi River near her childhood home in Iowa. The couple decided to use this as a starting point for a thrilling story and penned two mystery-thrillers together in a series called “The Irregular SEAL Team”.
The first book, “Taken at the Flood”, was just launched on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service on March 1, 2023, and is available for purchase as an e-book or paperback. The second book, “Murder Most Foul”, will follow shortly. The series follows the story of Liz, the farm manager of Iowa’s largest agri-business, and Jake, a retired SEAL commander, as they fight against an international criminal organization that seeks to control the genetic future of humanity. Click the link above to learn more about this fascinating story and order your copy today. Perhaps you can ask them to sign a copy for you.
In conclusion, I find Nancy and Ted Kachel to be an extraordinary couple whose impact on the community and the world at large is noteworthy by any standards. Their impressive careers and professional accomplishments span multiple fields and their involvement in the social fabric of our neighborhood has been significant.
I consider Ted’s time as CPOA president as a defining moment in the governance of Central Park. Now, as they embark on a new adventure together, writing novels, we can all join in the excitement of their most recent endeavor. It is truly an honor to have them as members of our community, and I look forward to witnessing all the amazing things they will continue to achieve.