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state mother of the year
Oklahoma - Lori Johnson Vegas

Meet Lori Johnson-Vegas, 2023 Oklahoma Mother of the Year®

March 16, 2023


Lori has spent her entire life in relocation mode. With her father in the Air Force, the family moved every two years. She has lived all over the world. After high school, Lori pursued her educational goals and obtained three degrees—a bachelor’s, a master’s, and a doctorate. She served in the USAF Reserves, then married into the military, and has continued traveling the world. She is the mother of two amazing young men, a college professor, and owns her own business where she is a Human Resources Consultant and Personal and Professional Life Coach. Lori is a professional speaker and has participated in numerous speaking engagements. She serves on the Board of Advisors for several local and national organizations, is a certified Master Resiliency Trainer for the Air Force, and is a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor.

Who has been impactful in your journey as a mother?

My mother, grandmother, and aunts shared with me the importance of “The Village.” They did not just share it with us in words, they shared it with us by example. Everyone’s mother was everyone’s mother. It did not matter if “your” mom was there or not, it was an unwritten rule that any mother can become your mother when you needed a hug or a timeout. I learned that being a mother does not require that you give birth to the person you are “mothering.” As a youth pastor and military spouse, I am so proud to have “mothered” many.

What continues to inspire you in your motherhood journey?

I am inspired by our upcoming generation of mothers and children. I look at our young military spouses and recognize the challenges they face trying to maintain the Homefront in the absence of their military member. Their desire to have a “mom” in close proximity to be available to help them in their time of need is evident. I think of the mothers of our brand new, young military members and how they wish for someone to be in close proximity who will be available to help their child when they need it. I am honored to be “that” mom.

How has being a mom shaped your life?

I cannot imagine what it would be like never to become a mom. I can’t even remember what my life was like before motherhood. I believe every mom feels this way. All the skills I use daily inside and outside of the home, I developed by being a mom. My children have taught me how to be an effective communicator, negotiator, organizer, event planner, manager of time, problem-solver, collaborator, mediator, project manager, money manager, mentor, and friend. All these transferable skills have helped prepare me for the “outside-of-home” world. My children have taught me what it means to love.

Share one of your favorite stories from motherhood.

We have always been a family that believes in and practices positive/public praise and recognition. When we eat out, we always take the time to let the manager know what our server(s) did well. Before paying the bill, we ask to see the manager and watch the employee(s) get nervous. We do and say the same thing each time. Once, when our oldest was 9 before we could say anything, he surprised us and initiated it. He knew what to say word for word. My husband and I quietly chuckled. It was so cute. We were so proud of him.