Judy Love, an Oklahoma City native, long-time philanthropist and co-founder of one of the nation’s largest private companies, has been appointed to the Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City Board of Trustees.
Love’s first meeting as a board member will be April 27.
With her husband, Tom, Judy Love co-founded Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores in 1964. The company, which began with a gas station in Watonga, has grown to more than 340 locations in 40 states. In 2014, Love’s ranked No. 13 on the Forbes’ list of the nation’s largest private companies.
“I have always had a passion for health care, and Catholic health care in particular,” Love said. “I am thrilled to be a part of the good work that Mercy does to improve the lives of Oklahomans.”
Love noted Mercy and Love’s operate in many of the same rural Oklahoma communities and share values.
“Love’s provides jobs, community support and, of course, services to rural Oklahomans,” she said. “Mercy does the same thing in many of the same places.”
Jim Gebhart, president of Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City, praised Love’s appointment to the board.
“Judy Love understands business, health care and service,” Gebhart said. “She will help Mercy meet the challenges that are facing health care providers, and particularly those that are faith-based.”
Judy Love is a graduate of Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School and attended Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Central Oklahoma, where she obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees in interior design. She worked full time for Love’s from 1964-75, when she returned to college.
Judy Love currently serves as the chairman of the Love Family Fund and is secretary of Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores. She currently serves on the boards of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Allied Arts, Saint Anthony’s Foundation, Catholic Charities and the United Way of Central Oklahoma. She previously was chair of the Bishop McGuinness board and served on the boards of the March of Dimes, Susan Komen Foundation, Oklahoma City Community Foundation and the board of the UCO Foundation.
She currently is the United Way 2015 Campaign co-chair. She was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2010 and was voted 3rd in the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Oklahoma City in 2014. Along with her husband, Tom, she even has been honored by the Vatican: Pope Francis awarded her the Cross of Honor, the highest medal the Catholic church awards to laity, in 2014.
Judy and Tom love have four children and nine grandchildren.