- About OCSW
- Community Conversations
- Celebrating Oklahoma's Women
- News Around the Globe
Photo and bio coming soon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Gardner Denver 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. She is a board member of Women Lead OK, and 20/20 Women on Boards. 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 2014-16 she was was elected Secretary 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.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
Prior to being elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2016,Representative Rhonda Baker was a middle school English teacher who had spent nearly two decades in the profession at the middle school, high school, and collegiate level. In addition, she and her husband, Les, also an educator, are owners of a successful small irrigation business. As a member of the House, she has developed a reputation as a strong and articulate advocate on education issues, serving as the vice-chair of the House Common Education Committee and as a member of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Education. She also serves as a member of the Children, Youth, and Family services committee, Judiciary Committee of Criminal Justice and Corrections and the Oversight Committee. Representative Baker was recently presented with the Rising Star Award by the State Chamber of Commerce for her role as a legislative leader in the business community. Recently she was one of 11 select legislators chosen from a pool of legislative applicants within the Southern region to attend the Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills (CALS). Additionally, she considers it one of her greatest honors to have been appointed to serve as a Commissioner on the Commission of the Status of Women. Representative Baker is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a master’s degree in Education. She and her husband have three children.
Jan Barrick is committed to improving education in Oklahoma. Barrick began her career as a special education teacher in her hometown of Lawton. She later taught in public schools in Norman and Edmond as well as the University of Central Oklahoma before leaving the classroom to focus solely on her tutoring and consulting business. She developed the Alpha Plus Way to an A Model that includes teacher training, aligned interim assessments and data-driven improvement of instruction. Alpha Plus now works in more than 80 schools across Oklahoma. Her company, Alpha Plus was formed to assist schools across the state meet the needs of their students. She has done this by keeping well-informed on federal education issues, attending local school board meetings across the state as well as State Board of Education meetings each month, and going to the state Capitol to monitor issues important for quality schools. In addition, Barrick serves on the board of advocates for OU's Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education as well as the board of trustees for the Oklahoma Foundation of Excellence and is active with other professional and civic organizations. Barrick’s personal philosophy is “what is good can be made better, and what is better can be the best.” She is married to Jerry Plant. In her free time she enjoys gardening and volunteering to help women and small business owners become successful.
Mrs. Kathy L. Banks-Monroe presently serves as the Director of the Network Enterprise Center (NEC) for the Department of the Army-Fort Sill based in southwest Oklahoma. Since her appointment in November 2003, she has provided oversight in the development and implementation of the network services/solutions designed to provide 24 X 7, 365 days per year of Information Technology to the >25K Fort Sill population. As a 34 year Dept. of the Army civil servant, her entire background has been in the networking field. As a 5th generation Oklahoman and a life-long resident of Oklahoma, Mrs. Banks-Monroe is a graduate of the Army Management and Staff College and the Signal Pre-Command Course at Fort Gordon, GA. She has completed an extensive amount of professional & executive training/development courses and attended Oklahoma & Cameron Universities where she studied Business Administration along with Communications and Electronics. Kathy not only supports the military in mission accomplishments, she also influences the Fort Sill Community which includes the quality of life for Soldiers, families, civilians and contractors who work on the installation and live in the surrounding communities. She is an active Board of Director on several governance boards (Leadership Oklahoma, Leadership Lawton Fort Sill, Lawton Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women) covering a broad range of topics impacting the city and county family residents. Mrs. Banks-Monroe is a life-time member of Leadership Oklahoma (Class XXIX), Commissioner on the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, Sustainer with Junior League of Lawton-Fort Sill, member of the Signal Corps Regimental Association, Lawton Chamber of Commerce, Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association, US Field Artillery Association, Federal Executive Board, Boys Scouts of America, and has been inducted to the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara (Patron Saint of Artillerymen) as well as the recipient of numerous Dept. of Army and community awards. She resides in Lawton where she is married to Henry Monroe and is the mother of 4 sons.
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.
Carol is a graduate from Oral Roberts University, Tulsa Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Marketing. For seventeen years, she owned and operated several retail stores in Oklahoma. She also has five years experience as a residential real estate sales associate. For seven years Carol worked in the area of community development as it pertains to public health issues. She served a nineteen county area in Northeast Oklahoma as a Field Representative in the area of Community Development for the Oklahoma State Department of Health. She also served as Coordinator for the Walk This Weigh – Oklahoma initiative as well as the Chair for Oklahoma Turning Point Council. Most recently she served as the Executive Director of the Crime Prevention Network. The non-profit coordinated the Alert Neighbor program and Crime Stopper program for the Tulsa Metropolitan area. Carol likes to say that all her professional endeavors prepared her to enter the world of politics. She is a freshman legislator, defeating the incumbent in a primary June of 2016. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Long-Term Care and Health Services Committee, member of the Public Health Committee, Children Youth and Family Services and Finance A&B subcommittee, member of the Oklahoma Commission on the status of Women, member of the Diabetes Caucus, and member of the Oklahoma Care-Giver Coalition. Carol has extensive experience as a community volunteer. Over the years she has served on various boards in the Tulsa area including; Big Brothers and Sisters of Green Country, Tulsa Area United Way, Camp Fire U.S.A. (VP Ways and Means), Tulsa Public Schools Mentoring Council, Philbrook Art After Five (Chair), Board of Deacons at First Presbyterian Church (Chair), Emergency Infant Services (Fundraiser Chair), Philcrest Tennis Club Board of Directors, Brookside Merchant Association, American Advertising Federation, Carnegie Elementary PTA (VP Ways and Means), Elder at First Presbyterian Church, YWCA, Board Member of the Junior League of Tulsa for 5 years and served as President of the Junior League of Tulsa 2001-02, YWCA Board of Directors and Chair of the Advocacy Committee. She has two daughters, Moriah and Nicole. Leisure time activities include bicycling, and travel.
Bio coming soon.
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.
Bio coming soon.
Representative Elise Hall - District 100
Appointing Authority - Speaker of the House of Representatives
Bio coming soon.
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.
Denise Kinzie was born and raised in Cushing, Oklahoma. in 2005, she was appointed to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Woemn by the Speaker of the House Todd Hiett. She is married to Kris Kinzie whose family has owned and operated the Steer Inn Family Restaurants since 1953. 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 Chapter AX, PEO. Active in her church, she has served as chairman of the finance committee and is a member of the church choir. She has served on the Ethics and Religious Liberty 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 eighteen years, Kinzie has been the coordinator for the National Day of Prayer in Cushing. She is a member of the Singing Church Women of Oklahoma
Transplanted New Mexican, Molly Wehrenberg first came to Oklahoma to pursue a nursing degree at St. Anthony’s School of Nursing and Oklahoma City University. She became the head nurse at St. Anthony’s Hospital Eye Surgery Unit, and after retirement enjoyed Spanish translating for eye surgeons doing surgery on non- English speaking patients. Molly’s volunteerism is broad and wide; she has volunteered as a Spanish translator on a mission trip to Peru, worked as a member of the Board of Directors for *Celebrations!, served several years with the Mobile Meals program, worked with a child with a learning disability, as well as cared for a family member with dementia. Recently, she served on St. Gregory’s Abbey Advisory Committee on Finances. A student of the US Constitution, Wehrenberg is actively involved in public service: Among her many involvements are Clerk for the Oklahoma County Election Board, treasurer of the Edmond Republican Women’s Club and current treasurer for the Oklahoma Chapter of Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. Recently she was the Oklahoma representative for the Foundation at a conference at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Currently she leads a fundraising effort to refurbish the Oklahoma acre at Valley Forge Medal of Honor Grove. She has worked on State Senate and Congressional campaigns and served as precinct chai for her House District. Wehrenberg was a founding member and program director for the High Noon Club. She is a citizen lobbyist and spends quality time at the capitol when the legislature is in session. She was a member of the OKC Host Committee for the National Foundation for Women Legislators conference (NFWL). Prior to her appointment as Commissioner, she served on the Advisory Council of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. A 2015 recipient of the George and Martha Washington Award, Wehrenberg proudly accepted this prestigious award presented by the Defenders of Liberty organization. She also received the 2016 Good Samaritan Award from BOTT Radio for all the ways she supports metro Oklahoma City. As a member of Visionary Oklahoma Women (VOW), she is involved in many different fields fostering creativity and enhancing global prosperity. Active in her faith, Wehrenberg is a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church and the Women’s Prayer Group at Christ the King, Chairs St. Elizabeth Ann Guild, and served as auction chair for Catholic Charities’ Green Tie Gala. Hobbies: Traveling and spending time with family and friends. She is married to Paul Wehrenberg and the mother of two successful sons, Aaron and Casey
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.
Delores Runnels has a heart and passion for community outreach as well as in the public school system. She has worked in the Putnam City School District for over 6 years and since that time has started a Non-Profit Organization called “Career Daze, connecting the classroom with the real world.” In hopes of helping students better prepare for life after high school, she believes in helping students focus on developing a career before getting out of high school. She believes this will help to eliminate some of the next generation from entering into a life of crime, as well as living below the federal poverty threshold. Delores has actively been focused in this endeavor since 2008. Business professionals from various careers and backgrounds come into area schools and speak to students, sharing their story of failure and success. Her motto is: “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, so finish strong.” In addition to this, she has organized several young women’s leadership conferences at Putnam City North High School. Until recent months, Delores was a member of the Advisory Board for the Oklahoma City Career Academy for Douglas High School. In the past, she was a substitute teacher for the PC District and strongly believes in making a difference wherever you find yourself. Delores holds an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies and has over 15 years’ experience in the legal field. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre for several years. Delores earned a Masters in Theology from Christian Life School of Theology, located in Columbus, GA. Delores currently serves as Senior Pastor along with her husband Keith, at The Father’s House Church located in Edmond. They have been married for over 26 years and have an adult daughter. As Director of the Women’s Ministry for TFHC called Sister Sister, Delores is currently in pursuit of reaching out to women in crisis. Some of the organizations they partnered with in the past were the YWCA Women’s Shelter for Domestic Violence and No Boundaries Int’l. Currently, they are partnering with The Eden Clinic and ReMerge. The Eden Clinic exists to protect the sanctity of human life, especially life in the womb and to affirm women and men in their dignity as mothers and fathers. Remerge helps to transform mothers facing incarceration and restoring the lives of women and children. A mentoring group was recently formed by Delores called “Girl Talk” for young girls and teens to empower young girls, focus on career awareness and help bridge the gap in this age group. Delores works from home part time for the Mark 5 Care Group as Credentialing Specialist.
Elected in September of 2015, Cyndi became the first Asian-American woman elected to the Oklahoma Legislature.Originally from Lawton, Cyndi developed her passion for public service at an early age. Her father’s military service taught Cyndi and her sister, Sandra, the importance of giving back. Cyndi began living this lesson as early as she could, serving in student government at Eisenhower High School and attending the American Legion Auxiliary’s annual Girls’ State program. Cyndi continued to follow her passion for community involvement by serving in student government at the University of Central Oklahoma. A first generation college student, Cyndi graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, where she earned a Master of Science in Leadership Education. She used a semester of her undergraduate career to study non-profit and voluntary services at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. While at the University of Central Oklahoma, Cyndi was awarded the Presidential Gold Medal for Leadership and Public Service. Cyndi has spent a decade working and volunteering in Oklahoma City’s non-profit community. She spent the last five years working with Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, providing leadership programs for thousands of girls in low-income schools, juvenile detention centers and public housing. Cyndi is an alumni member of Leadership Oklahoma City’s LOYAL Class VIII, a skill-based leadership training program for young adults beginning their civic lives. In the community, she serves as chair of the Infant Crisis Services Young Professionals Group, member of the Oklahoma Messages Project Board of Directors, and member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma City Resource Board. Cyndi is a 2006 graduate of the National Education for Women’s (N.E.W.) Leadership program through the University of Oklahoma, a program for undergraduate women interested in public service.
Rep. Tammy West is serving in her first term in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, having been elected in November 2016. Her strong leadership abilities combined with her exceptional communications skills were major reasons why she was elected Vice Chair of the Majority Caucus earlier this year. Rep. West was named Vice Chair of Higher Ed and Career Tech Committee in her first term by Speaker Charles McCall. She also holds three other major committee assignments are Public Safety, Health Services and Long-Term Care, and Education Appropriations/Budget. Rep. West has also been involved with the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). Rep. West is serving on two interim studies during the summer of 2017: (1) Air National Guard, Career Tech Job Integration and Preparedness; and (2) Education Administrative Overhead Review. In addition to interim studies, Rep. West was appointed to three Legislative Task Forces that will began work in August, 2017. The policy areas being addressed are Budget Reform, Education Reform/Support, and Agency Consolidation. A strong supporter of local control of schools, West was first elected to the Putnam City School Board in 2009 and reelected in 2014, both times unopposed. She served as president of the Putnam City Board of Education in 2013. Rep. West has lived for 36 years in the state house district she now represents. A graduate of Central State University (now UCO) with a degree in business management, she has owned and operated a successful small business, Wellness Plus, for more than 20 years. Her family’s roots are in the oil business. Tammy’s grandfather and father both worked in the oil industry, and her husband Jon has a petroleum engineering degree from University of Tulsa. He is sales manager for Burleson Pump Company where he has worked for the past 20 years. Tammy and Jon are active members of Council Road Baptist Church and have three grown children.
Dr. Nyla Ali Khan is a faculty member at Rose State College. She is a visiting professor at the University of Oklahoma and former Associate professor at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. She earned her Masters in Postcolonial Literature and Theory at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, and obtained her Ph.D. at the same institution. She is the author of several books, including The Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism and Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir: Between Indian and Pakistan, and several articles that focus heavily on the political issues and strife of her homeland, Jammu and Kashmir. Her latest book, The Life of a Kashmiri Woman: Dialectic of Resistance and Accommodation examines the life of her mother, Akbar Jehan "paint[ing] a loving and personal picture of a powerful woman whose role and actions gave Kashmir a model for women's political action in the critical period before and after the partition of India in 1947." She is an Oklahoma Humanities Scholar presenting public talks statewide, including women’s correctional facilities, where she focuses on education and women’s empowerment. Dr. Khan is a member of the Harvard-based Scholars Strategy Network. She has served on the board of Generation Citizen, a nonprofit organization seeking to empower the younger generation through civics education. She is an active member of the multicultural, multinational and multireligious Women’s Interfaith Alliance. In May 2015, Khan was the first Kashmiri woman to be nominated and accepted as a member of the Advisory Council for the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. In March 2019, Khan was appointed as a Commissioner for the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Woman by the Senator Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma Senate. She was recognized at the OK State Capitol for her human rights work in 2018 and honored by the Oklahoma League of Women Voters as one of the 100 Trailblazers for 2018.