- About OCSW
- Summit Issues
Maria Trapp-Braly is a licensed psychologist in the state of Oklahoma. She has been in private practice for over 15 years. Dr. Trapp has enjoyed a diverse career in psychology including teaching for the University of Oklahoma and University of Central Oklahoma. She was a featured expert on KFOR news at 4:30 for 4 years. She has been president of the Oklahoma Psychological Association as well as on the Board of Directors. She has participated in the Integris youth and women’s programs. Dr. Trapp has been a guest and keynote speaker for several groups throughout the state. Dr. Trapp graduated from California State University, Los Angeles. She earned her Masters degree and Doctorate at the University of Oklahoma. She did her internship at the Veterans Medical Center in Dallas. She is married and has 5 children. She lives in Edmond. She loves to play tennis, travel and sew. Her favorite saying is “Flexibility is an indicator of youth.” And being a commissioner for the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women is one of her current passions and blessings.
Ms. Gloria Torres is a native Oklahoman, born and raised in South Oklahoma City. She serves as the Director of Community Outreach and Education for Oklahoma City Community College. Ms. Torres has been a lifelong educator, beginning her career in education with the Oklahoma City Public Schools. Over the span of her career she has worked at every level from elementary to higher education. Ms. Torres serves as the Oklahoma City Public Schools, Board of Education, District 6 Board Member, a publicly elected office she holds since 2014. In addition, she serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Community Action Agency of Oklahoma and Oklahoma/Canadian Counties, Historic Capitol Hill Business Council and various non-profit organizations.
Financial Services, Financial Diva, Victoria Woods, Entrepreneur, Author, Founder and CEO of ChappelWood Financial Services, as well as Visionary and Founder of the 84 acre Financial District of Oklahoma. lives by her motto, “The one who says it cannot be done should never interrupt the one doing it.” A successful Woman Business Owner of 27 years, Woods’ mix of wisdom and wit has contributed to the success of her local Radio Show along with her book, “It’s All About The $Money, Honey!”. She is widely sought out for various boards, committees, speaking engagements and judging events, including judging the Mrs. International Pageant. Woods was selected as a White House Conference Delegate and a member of the President’s Advisory Board. She was also named the National Association of Women Business Owners “Best of the Best,” one of Oklahoma City’s Journal Record’s 50 Most Influential Women, Innovator of the Year, National Community Inspiration Award, just to name a few. In addition, Woods founded Women for Financial Independence, an organization that helps women learn the strategies of investing and finance. She can be seen on , FoxNews, ABC, NBC, CBS, and local affiliates across the country including the popular Today Show as a Financial Contributor. Most recently she has been seen on Success Today with Bachelor Bob Guiney, and featured in Newsweek and Barron's.
Karen Sneary was appointed by Governor Mary Fallin to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women in 2012. She has served on the Hall of Fame Committee as well as the Communication Committee of the Commission. Sneary was born and raised in Alva, Oklahoma and has been in the education profession for 19 years. She also continues to be involved in her family’s farming and ranching operation in Woods County. She currently serves as the DECA State Advisor for the State of Oklahoma and works for the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education in the division of Business, Marketing, and Information Technology Education. She is involved with helping new teachers with professional development and growth as well as involved with student leadership. Karen also teaches at Northwestern Oklahoma State University on a part-time basis in the Division of Business. She has served as faculty senate president and numerous other committees at the university level prior to joining CareerTech. Sneary served as a Master Trainer for HB1815 as well as a Training Manager for the Cal Hobson Teachers and Technology for Tomorrow program. She has also served as a volunteer for the Woods County 4-H, the NWOSU Wesley House Board, Connors State College Ag Alumni, Woods County Grow and Share, and Phi Beta Lambda. She works with multiple groups including Business Professionals of America and FFA as a volunteer at various events around the state. She enjoys working with young people across the state and watching them grow and develop as future leaders for Oklahoma. Politically, Karen Sneary has been involved serving as Woods County Chair, Vice-Chair, and District Committee Woman. She has been involved with the Republican Party for several years following in the footsteps of her father who also served as the County Chair. Karen’s favorite quote is from nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Adeline Yerkes was appointed to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women in 2009 by Senate President Pro-Tempore Glenn Coffee. She is the current chairperson of the Advisory Council. She previously has been very active on the OCSW serving as Chair, and in other leadership positions. Mrs. Yerkes graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in nursing sciences, received a master’s degree from the University of Omaha in education with an emphasis on counseling and guidance, received additional education in case management of children with special needs at Case Western Reserve, and received a master’s degree in public health from the University of Oklahoma. Mrs. Yerkes has over 40 years of experiences in community health from school nursing, visiting nursing, case management of children with special needs, occupational nursing, to public health nursing. For the last 25 years, she has served in an administrative capacity with the Oklahoma State Department of Health as the Chief of Chronic Disease. In this capacity she was appointed to serve as the Oklahoma Liaison for Women’s Health for the State of Oklahoma, reporting to the DHHS Office on Women's Health. She has numerous publications in various areas of health: aging and community mobilization, public health perspective of urinary incontinence, diabetes, mortality of chronic disease, and monographs on various chronic diseases. She is currently serving as a private consultant in the area of women’s issues specializing in women’s health and as an ambassador for Heart’s Truth.
Lou Kohlman was appointed to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women by the Senate President Pro Tempore in 2006, and re-appointed twice. She has served as Chair of the Commission from June 2013 through June 2016. Before becoming Chair, she served as Secretary from 2006-2009. She chaired the Kate Barnard Luncheon and Award Ceremony several times, and chaired the Women and Leadership Committee for 2008 and 2009. Before her appointment, as an advisory council member, she co-chaired the Oklahoma Women's Summit in 2004 and 2006. Kohlman has represented the commission at NACW conferences, and as a member of the Legislative Task Force on Stopping Sexual Violence from September 2006-January 2007. Kohlman graduated from Harvard Law School and Rice University. She is a member of the Oklahoma, California and Massachusetts Bar Associations, the Oklahoma County Bar Association and the Oklahoma American Indian Bar Association. She teaches as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University School of Law. A graduate of Leadership Oklahoma Class XV, Kohlman has been involved with numerous local and state community and civic organizations. Currently she serves on the Executive Board of the Oklahoma Academy, as an officer with the Harvard Club of Oklahoma City, and as a founding Board member of ACE, Inc. She is a soprano soloist for St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, as well as a member and soloist with the Musica Sacra Chamber Choir.
Kitti Asberry is a long-time community leader, activist and volunteer in Oklahoma City. She has been advocating for local and state issues since the mid 80's. On May 19, 2007, she was the first African-American elected to serve as the Vice Chair of the Oklahoma State Democratic Party. Ms. Asberry works tirelessly for women, minorities, and children, through her volunteer work with several non-profit agencies in the Oklahoma City area. In 1976 she was employed by Western Electric, working in the Denver Gardner machine shop area. She was elected to serve as a Union Stewardess for IBEW Local 2021. In 1979 she was employed at the OKC General Motors Assembly Plant. In 2009 she retired from the plant after serving 27 years as an International Union Representative for UAW Local 1999. She has served in numerous leadership positions for civic, non-profit and community organizations. She is a graduate of Leadership OKC, Class XXX, and a member of the Leadership OKC Alumni Board representing her class. Ms. Asberry is a member of the Volunteer Council Board for the American Cancer Society (ACS), where she has been a volunteer for over 25 years. In 1991 she started the ACS Survivors Dinner in OKC. After noticing a lack of minority participation at Relay events, in 2013 she started the Annual ACS Juneteenth Relay for Life at Douglas High School in Oklahoma City. Currently she serves as Secretary on the Executive Board of the National Association of Commissioned Women (NACW). She is a graduate of the University of Phoenix where she holds a Bachelor of Science in Business /Management, and a Master of Business Administration / Human Resources Management. In addition, she is a 1986 graduate of the George Meany School of Political Science and Labor Studies, in Washington, D.C. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, cooking, canning and reading.
Valeska Barr was appointed to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women by the Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2008. Valeska is the Director of Hope Pregnancy Center of Tulsa. She has worked with women and families in unplanned pregnancies for sixteen years. Her passion is to educate, equip and empower women to make healthy choices and find wholeness. Some of Valeska’s accomplishments include, developing and operating Pregnancy HopeLine, a 24-hour hotline for women in unplanned pregnancies and facilitating support groups for incarcerated women who were sexually abused. In addition to working one on one with women, she has spent time at the State Capitol educating and encouraging legislators to pass pro-woman laws. She serves on the Tulsa Infant Mortality Review Program, working with other organizations to reduce infant deaths in Tulsa County. One of her favorite quotes is by Mother Teresa, “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”
Brenda Jones Barwick was appointed as a Commissioner in 2011 by Governor Mary Fallin. Brenda is a strong national advocate for women in business and in 2001 founded the national integrated communications agency, Jones PR. She has developed and implemented a national marketing campaign for the nation’s largest women’s business group, Women Impacting Public Policy, the voice for women in business in our nation’s capital. In 2015, the Association for Women in Communications (AWC) recognized her achievements in advocating for women with the National Headliner Award. Prior to establishing Jones PR, Brenda was Vice President of Public Relations at Ackerman McQueen. She returned to Oklahoma after 15 years in Washington, D.C., and Switzerland where she worked at The White House and The U.S. State Department for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Brenda has been very active in the community. She has served on the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Board of Directors and Executive Committee as a Vice Chair. She was selected to Leadership Oklahoma Class XXV and is an active member in Rotary Club 29. She represented Oklahoma City as a National Delegate to the Public Relations Society International Conference. Inc. magazine ranked Brenda’s company in 2015 on the coveted Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America. She has received the national Clarion Award by AWC and the Paul E. Dannelly Harmony Award for achievements in public relations. Jones PR has won three Best of Show Awards by Public Relations Society of America, Oklahoma City chapter and several ADDY Awards. She earned national accreditation in public relations in 1999 and her B.A. in Journalism from OU. Brenda and her attorney husband, James, reside in Edmond.
Karne Beighle has 35 years of sales and marketing experience and is a distributors rep for Lighting, Inc. and was in media sales in Oklahoma City, Denver, Bakersfield and Houston. She is a member of International Facility Management Association and Lord of Life Lutheran Church. Karne is a co-developer for Edmond’s Fritz Street Area Neighbors. She served on the ELCA Tanzania Medical Mission and Mexico City Immersion teams. And was a leader for the Tasty Mondays Mentors in Edmond, OK and a member of the Montgomery County, TX Hispanic Achievement Council.
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Sarah R. Brown was appointed to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women in 2015. Brown is a lifelong Oklahoman. After graduating from Shattuck High School, Brown attended the University of Tulsa. Brown graduated from the University of Tulsa with a B.A. in Sociology, and Certificates in Women’s Studies and Legal Thought. After college, Sarah attended the University of Tulsa College of Law. She graduated with a Juris Doctorate and a certificate in Health Law. Brown is a graduate of the National Education for Women’s Leadership program at the Carl Albert Center and London’s Public History program at the University of Westminster in London, UK. In 2013, Brown was appointed Associate Judge for Tulsa’s Municipal Criminal Court. In 2014, Brown was appointed Municipal Judge for Depew, OK. In addition to serving as a municipal judge, Brown is a practicing attorney. Her areas of practice include business law, insurance defense litigation, and estate planning. She is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, the Tulsa County Bar Association, the Creek County Bar Association, and the Cherokee Nation Bar Association. When she is not practicing law, Brown teaches business etiquette seminars. Brown has served on numerous community boards. She served on the Tulsa Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women from 2008-2011 (she served as Vice Chair from 2010-2011). Brown also served on the Tulsa BRIDGE (Building Resources in Developing and Growing Enterprise) Certification Committee from 2010-2011. Brown has volunteered for many organizations, including the University of Tulsa College of Arts & Sciences Board of Visitors, The American Legion Auxiliary’s Girls State program, and The Junior Women’s Association of the Tulsa Boys’ Home. Brown is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She is married to Kyle Brown.
Rep. Lee Denney was appointed to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women by the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Lee Denney is a native of Payne County having been raised in Cushing Oklahoma. Denney graduated from Cushing High School, received her degree in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University, and then went on to receive her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Oklahoma State University. She is Co-owner of Veterinary Medical Associates, Inc. in Oklahoma and has been since 1979. Some of Representative Denney’s activities in the Payne County area are and have included: Mayor/Vice Mayor of Cushing, Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association, Treasurer of the Cushing Arts & Humanities Council, Payne County Youth Services Board of Directors, Oklahoma Academy, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and the Oklahoma Community Institute. Representative Denney developed an interest in government when she served as a campaign manager for a colleague. As soon as her children graduated from high school she decided she wanted to become a public servant not only for her community but for her district. She has currently represented District 33 from 2004 to present. Representative Denney has served as the Assistant Majority Floor Leader and has served as a member of the Appropriations and Budget, Higher Education and Career Technology, and Public Health committees. She has also served as Chair of the Subcommittee on Education and Chair of the Arts and Culture Subcommittee. Lee received the New Legislator of the Year 2006 Honor, along with the 50 Women Making a Difference and the Leadership Oklahoma Class VII. Lee is married to Frank Denney. They have been married for 30 years. Her family includes Will, age 23 and Kate, age 21.
Commissioner Lydia Gonzalez-D’Ross , is a US Army Veteran Daughter, Tribal, Jewish and from Hispanic descent. She is a pioneer and forerunner in many ways. D'Ross is nationally recognized for her work and professionally serves a conduit consultant and political advocate on behalf of the Hispanic -Jewish and Tribal community. She has 30 years expertise as a seminary or conference national speaker.D’Ross serves on numerous local and national executive board of directors. She serves as the national Hispanic spokesperson for Oklahoma in DC on legislative policy Hispanic initiatives on Education, Immigration, Justice, Business, Youth and Family and Media Arts. Politically, D'Ross worked for US House Speaker Newt Gringich on the National Hispanic Advisory Team and she was a nominee of the House of Representatives, first Conservative Latina to run for elected office in Oklahoma. D’Ross has a earned Master’s Degree from the School of Government in Public Administration and Homeland Defense against Terrorism in Emergency Management. She also studied in Israel at Hebrew University with Professor Dr. Jay Sekulow as an International Student. D’Ross has a Bachelor’s Degree in Physiology Psychology and 66 honored credits in Business and Education. D’Ross is the founder and CEO of National Hispanic Disaster Relief Network & founder of Chaplaincy International Academy, Professor, Publisher of Intel7 Kingdom Connections,White House commentary writer for several news publishing, radio and TV Networks. She serves as the Oklahoma VP National Hispanic Journalism and Broadcast, Hispanic National Director & Spokesperson for the United States National Prayer Council, Oklahoma State Leader, National Governor's Prayer Task Force, Hispanic Action Network, The Black Robe Regiement, and OK State Chairwoman of the National Republican Hispanic Assembly. Since 1987 D’Ross is humbled to receive numerous awards for her workand pioneering spirit -from leading national organizations, military and including recognition from the President of the United States. D’Ross is humbled to receive a recent nomination for “Madam President” from the Tulsa League of Women Voters and was honored in 2014 Women of Distinction from Tulsa Business Legal News, Congressional and Governor Mary Fallin for pioneering the Hispanic Youth Government Civic Council.
A life-long Oklahoman, AJ Griffin grew up on a family farm in Adair where three generations made their homes. The child of educators, she graduated from Adair High School then continued her education with a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University in Hotel and Restaurant Administration. Griffin went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma, in human environmental science education. Griffin gained business management experience working in the restaurant industry. She eventually entered education, sharing her professional knowledge by becoming a teacher and hospitality careers instructor, helping others acquire the skills and education needed to launch new careers. Those experiences merged when she began a new career managing non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the lives of Oklahoma children and families. Griffin has served as chair for the First Christian Church Board, the Guthrie Chamber of Commerce and the Oklahoma Child Abuse Training and Coordination Council. She’s been a member of the Oklahoma Substance Service Alliance, the Oklahoma Association of Youth Services, Oklahoma Sports Museum Board of Directors, Mercy Health Systems Advisory Board for Logan County, and Logan County United Way Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Guthrie Rotary Club and the Chambers of Commerce for Guthrie, Kingfisher, Perry and Pawnee. She is an appointee to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. Griffin is an Elder at the First Christian Church in Guthrie. First elected to the State Senate District 20 seat in 2012, Griffin serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Republican Caucus as well as Vice Chair of Senate Energy Committee and Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Service. She has been appointed to Co-Chair the OK Conference for the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL). She has worked to write and pass legislation to address Oklahoma’s fastest growing substance abuse issue—prescription drug addiction. She also authored as legislation to better protect victims of child abuse. With an eye on saving tax dollars through greater efficiency, she’s also passed legislation combining and streamlining agency boards and improving county government operations.
An Oklahoma resident for nearly 40 years. Linda has spent her professional and personal live enhancing the lives of others with an emphasis on the progress of women and children. She has made a decided difference in the following areas: business, community service and national/international leadership. Linda created new frontiers for women business owners by convincing certifying bodies that women and minority franchisees are true small business owners and are thereby eligible for certification as Women Business Enterprises (WBE) and/or Minority Business Enterprises. As a small business owner, corporate executive, women’s and political activist and community volunteer, not only has Linda experienced a rewarding and professional career, but she undeniably believes in giving back and paying forward. She has mentored thousands of women in business across the United States by speaking, teaching, serving and contributing to other’s wellbeing. Linda has contributed thousands of countless hours and raised thousands of dollars for numerous communities and national causes, for example, the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) – OKC, Go Red for Women, and the University of Oklahoma (OU) WE Inspire program to name a few. Linda is a proud wife and mother, dog owner, enthusiast of French antiques and Native American artifacts, Oklahoma sunsets, calla lilies and lavender.
Estela Hernandez received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business. She also holds an Associate Degree in Business Management. For the past decade, her husband Ezequiel Hernandez and she have owned Lone Star Construction LLC. They are proud parents of 3 kids; Hannah, Samuel, and Zeke. Estela is Chairman of the Community Engagement Committee for Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women and Oklahoma County Republicans. By attending the monthly Nationalization Ceremonies, she is registering new citizens to vote and sharing with them the importance of civic engagement. She also understands the importance of getting involved at the grassroots level. She is Chairman of Precinct 173 and Vice-Chairman for House District 84 and is currently running unopposed for State Vice Chair of the Oklahoma Republican Party. Estela’s story was featured in Family Metro Magazine, Real Moms of the Metro. In 2014 she was appointed by Governor Mary Fallin to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. She is a 2014 Honoree of “Ladies in the News”. In 2013 she received the Rising Star Award from the Oklahoma Republican Party. Due to her professional and civic accomplishments, she’s was honored as OKC BIZ Forty Under 40. Estela is the spokes model for Mundo Fox-Oklahoma City. She is a strong voice on encouraging all Oklahomans to engage in the political process.
Denise Kinzie was appointed by the Speaker of the House Todd Hiett in 2005. She has served on the nominating committee of the Commission. Kinzie was born and raised in Cushing, Oklahoma. She has been married to Kris Kinzie for thirty-three years and has two children, Olivia Porter and Kristopher Kinzie, and one grandson, Cash Porter. Although primarily a community volunteer, over the years, she has helped her husband in the family business, the Steer Inn Family Restaurant. She was employed for a time with the Cushing Chamber of Commerce as the Executive Assistant to the Director. As a volunteer, Kinzie has helped with such organizations as United Way, Arts and Humanities Council, Chamber of Commerce, Cushing Community Theater, Hypatia Club's Festival in the Park, and is a member of Chapter AX, PEO. She has also worked as a Pack Leader with the Cub Scouts, den mother, and homeroom mother for both her children. Active in her church, she has served as chairman of the finance committee and is a member of the church choir. Also she was selected to serve on the Ethics and Religious Committee for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Kinzie founded "The Upper Room", youth ministry, which provided a fun and safe atmosphere for Jr.High and Sr. High young people in Cushing and the surrounding area. In 1998, the Cushing Ministerial Fellowship named her "Humanitarian of the Year" for her work with The Upper Room. For the past eleven year, Kinzie has been the coordinator for the National Day of Prayer in Cushing, and the area coordinator for the eastern half of the state. Also, for the past ten years, she has enjoyed singing with the Singing Church Women of Oklahoma, which is an auditioned choir of 450 women sponsored by the Baptist Convention of Oklahoma. With the group, she has traveled all over the state of Oklahoma, most recently to New Mexico, and as far as Romania and Hungary. Politically, Denise Kinzie has been involved by serving as Secretary for the Payne County Republican Party for several years. Her favorite quote is from Margaret Thatcher, "If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman".
Mary Larson joined the faculty of Oklahoma State University in 2009 as head of the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program and a co-director of the Center for Oklahoma Studies, and in 2014 she became the Associate Dean for Special Collections and the director of the Women’s Archives at OSU. She has worked as an oral historian for more than twenty-five years, having previously been employed at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Nevada, Reno. All of her degrees are in anthropology, including a BA from Harvard and an MA and PhD from Brown. She has served on a number of regional and national boards, but her major professional contributions have been through the national Oral History Association, where she was a two-term president. At OSU, she has been a member of the Women’s Faculty Council since her arrival. Much of her academic research has focused on addressing issues of inequality in the treatment and representation of women in the historic record. Since moving to Oklahoma, she has continued her emphasis on documenting diverse female voices through the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program and the Women’s Archives, but also through her own research agenda, which focuses on the lives of rural women.
Jean S. Lehr is the chief executive of J. Lehr Advertising/Marketing, a division of Timeline, Inc. She has been an active agency owner for nearly thirty years with extensive academic and experienced-based understanding of advertising and marketing principles. Her agency services include branding, marketing plans, media analysis and buying, radio and television commercials, print materials and more. Her professional / business affiliations include, President, Oklahoma Media Network, Oklahoma City, 2006-2009~Board of Advisors, Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, 2004-Present~Member, OKC Downtown Rotary Club 29, Paul Harris Fellow, 2002~Director, “Best of the Best Woman Business Owner,” Governor’s Conference for Women in Business, Oklahoma, 2001~President/CEO, National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Central Oklahoma Chapter, 1999~Conference Chair, Governor’s Conference for Women in Business, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma, 1995-2000~Member of President’s/Mirah Circle (40 Second Wind, Ltd. agency owners), United States, 1993-Present~Member, Second Wind, Ltd., United States. Her awards, honors and distinctions include, 2013 - 2018~Commissioner, Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, 5-year term, appointing authority-Governor Mary Fallin, 2012~”Ladies in the News” honoree for exceptional personal and professional contributions to the state, Oklahoma Hospitality Club, 2011~Patti Meis Award for character, integrity and professionalism in advertising, Oklahoma Media Network, Oklahoma City, 2002~Named to Circle of Excellence, The Journal Record Woman of the Year, Oklahoma, 2000 & 2001~Named to Distinguished Panel of Regional Judges, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Southwest Area, 1987 to Present~Board of Advisors, Oklahoma Youth With Promise Scholarship Fund, Oklahoma. Lehr has a Master of Education from the University of Central Oklahoma with Honors and a Bachelor of Science from Oklahoma State University. Her motto is “Not advertising is like winking in the dark; you know what you’re doing, but nobody else does.”
Shondra McCage is an enrolled Chickasaw citizen and works for the Chickasaw Nation Department of Health’s diabetes program. Ms. McCage graduated from East Central University in 1998 with a degree in Exercise Science. In 2005 she received her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist. One of Shondra’s passions is doing advocacy work. She is actively involved with the American Diabetes Association and currently serves in two roles within the organization: Chairman for the Native American/Alaska Native Diabetes Action Council and board member for the Western Oklahoma Area. Ms. McCage is also the president for the Oklahoma Inter-Tribal Diabetes Coalition and is a Native American/Alaska Native stakeholder for the National Diabetes Education Program. In the fall of 2013, Shondra was appointed as a Commissioner for the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, which has been very rewarding and continues to bring new and exciting experiences.
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Bernice Compton Mitchell was appointed to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women in 1998 by the Senate President Pro Tempore and subsequently re-appointed in 2003 and 2008. While on the Commission, she has served as Vice-Chair and Chair. She was appointed as the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame Co-Chair in 1999, co-chaired the Women's Health Committee from 2000 to present, and served on the Special Task Force on Incarceration of Women. Mitchell has also represented the commission as a board member for the National Association of Commissions for Women (NACW) in 2005 (appointed to fill a vacancy), and for the 2006 and 2008 terms (elected). She presently is an Associate Director of NACW. While interested in all areas, Mitchell's priorities have been on women's health and the incarceration of women in Oklahoma. She is a 2011 graduate of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Leadership Academy. Mitchell was elected Payne County Commissioner from 1986-1996, and was appointed as Payne County Election Board Secretary from 1997-2000. She was inducted into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame in 1995 and has been honored with the 2008 Community Leadership Award in Stillwater and the 2008 AKA Outstanding Community Service Award. Mitchell is a 1978 graduate of Oklahoma State University.
In her professional role, Ms. Morriss is the Director of the International Relations and Services Division in the Office of the Oklahoma Secretary of State. In that capacity, she also serves as the state’s chief of protocol. She is the primary point of contact for the State of Oklahoma for the U.S. State Department, the Houston, Chicago, New York and Oklahoma Consular Corps. She is responsible for facilitating meetings; providing country specific background and protocol briefings for the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, elected officials, cabinet secretaries, agency directors and other entities who might be receiving high level foreign diplomats; and maintaining records documenting those visits. Morriss is also responsible for the State of Oklahoma Sister State agreements with Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, Gansu Province, China and Taiwan Province, Taiwan. She began her assignment in 2005 under Secretary of State M. Susan Savage. Since then, the state has received more than 150 visits (which include presidents, ministers, ambassadors and consular officers, etc.) from 40 countries worldwide. She earned her protocol officer certification in 2008 from the internationally renowned Protocol School of Washington and is a member of the Protocol and Diplomacy International-Protocol Officers Association. She has lived in the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Sicily and has visited London, southern region of Spain, the Amalfi Coast of Italy, Taiwan, and Kyoto, Japan.
Dr. Neese has spent over thirty (30) years finding careers for men and women. She has dedicated her career to assist/mentor others in their search for life/work sustainability as the founder of Terry Neese Personnel Services. TNPS is a multi-million dollar staffing firm located in Oklahoma and Dr. Neese’s daughter, Kim Neese, now leads the firm as President. She has served many non-profits: national president, National Association of Women Business Owners; Co-Founder, Women Impacting Public Policy; Distinguished Fellow, National Center for Policy Analysis, US/Afghan Women’s Council and the National Women’s Business Council to name a few. She traveled to all fifty states and dozens of countries. Neese founded the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women in 2006. In 2007, after spending time and conversations with women in Afghanistan, her skills and her heart lead her to develop the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program to empower more women around the world. She is also a pilot, a motivator, and dedicated to her family.
A lifelong resident of District 66, Jadine Cox Nollan attended Sand Springs schools and graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She met her husband, Phil Nollan, while attending OSU and they have been married for 31 years. They have three adult children, Kristin, Kasey, and Kurt who also attended Sand Springs schools and graduated from universities in Oklahoma. Representative Nolan received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Oklahoma State University in 1981. Prior to being elected, she was the Executive Director, Sand Springs Community Service, Inc. – 2007-2010, Pastor/Founder for C3 Ministries, Word of Life Fellowship – 2006-2010, and School Board Member, Sand Springs Schools – 1999-2010. She has been affiliated with numerous organizations in Sand Springs and Tulsa. Representative Nollan services on the Capitol Improvements and the National Conference of State Legislatures Education Committees. In 2014, she was appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives to serve on the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women.
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