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History Briefs

Judy Webb: A Lifetime of Service

Click play on the video player above to view this week’s special episode, the latest installment of our year-long weekly celebration of the firm’s 70th anniversary.

To have a career that spans eight decades — at just one company, no less — you have to start young. And that’s exactly what Judy Webb did.

Photo of Judy Webb, Betty Northcutt and Mrs. Hanna
Judy Webb with Betty Northcutt (upper right) and Geraldine “Mrs. Hanna” (lower right) together in 1979.

It was through a friend that 18-year-old Judy Webb, a recent high school graduate who didn’t even possess a driver’s license at the time, heard about a job opening at the law firm of McAfee, Taft, Cates & Kuntz. The firm was small — just four partners and a couple of associates — but it was growing.

And so, on October 1, 1959, Webb rode a bus to the firm’s offices, then located on the 20th floor of the First National Building, and embarked on what would eventually become a 63-year career with the firm. She was initially hired as a receptionist with a starting pay of $200 per month, but in those days, she said, you pitched in and did whatever was necessary to keep the office running smoothly. It was a great way to learn the business and to get to know your colleagues.

Though admittedly “young and green” at the time, Webb said she had numerous people help her along the way, and she counted Geraldine Hanna, CPA Betty Northcutt, and a secretary named Hazel as her mentors. Under their guidance, she worked her way through the firm — first as a receptionist and office assistant and later as a legal secretary. Her career-changing moment came years later when Mrs. Hanna asked Webb to work alongside her in handling the firm’s finances and accounting functions.

The rest is history. Webb was later promoted to the role of accounting supervisor, a position she held for decades until her retirement in July 2022.

Photo of Distinguished Service Award for Judy Webb at 70th Anniversary Celebration Dinner
McAfee & Taft attorneys, staff and retirees honored Judy Webb with the Distinguished Service Award at the firm’s 70th Anniversary Celebration event at the Omni Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City on August 20, 2022.

On August 20, 2022, at McAfee & Taft’s 70th Anniversary Celebration, Webb was honored as the recipient of the firm’s first-ever Distinguished Service Award for her “unparalleled kindness, friendship, dedication, and service.”

In addition to holding the distinction of being the longest-serving employee in McAfee & Taft’s history, Webb is perhaps best remembered for the many ways in which she graciously and generously served and gave back to others — not only to those within the firm, but also to those outside the firm who were disadvantaged or in need.

“Judy has always been willing to do whatever needed to be done,” said her long-time colleague Sharon Selby. “More than what she’s done for the betterment of the firm is the care she has for the people of the firm. She’s the first person to champion anyone who needs it, and she’s the first in line to help people when they need it.”

“She is reflective of what McAfee & Taft is all about,” said attorney and former firm managing director Richard Nix.