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40 UNDER 40 2024

In today’s corporate environment, the most impressive young professionals are juggling a lot. They excel at their jobs, of course, but are also well-liked among peers, spend ample time volunteering, take on leadership roles outside the office, participate in continuing education, and have rich personal lives. 

Honored among the next several pages are 40 such young professionals in Oklahoma – the ones most of us look at and think:
How do they do it?” 

Oklahoma Magazine presents the 40 Under 40 Class of 2024.

Rebekah Kriegsman, D.O., 33

Tulsa
Family Medicine Physician at Warren Clinic Family Medicine, Muskogee, Saint Francis Health System

As a family medicine physician, Dr. Rebekah Kriegsman works with patients from all walks of life in a variety of health aspects – “spanning from newborn care to women’s health and geriatrics,” she says. Mixing her love of science, education and a genuine interest in connecting with others, Kriegsman enjoys providing care across the life span. She says the most rewarding aspect of her job is “the opportunity to assist patients in achieving their personal health goals. Witnessing the success of others while being able to assist along the way is a humbling and rewarding experience.” A meaningful section of her career came during med school during international medical trips. “I was so fortunate to be able to help deliver babies, visit hospitals and learn different medications all while being exposed to new communities and cultures,” she says. Outside work, Kriegsman volunteers with Amplify Youth Health Collective, the Tulsa Jewish Federation and the B’nai Emunah community. She is often found taking “little local adventures” with her family, like trips to the park, zoo or aquarium. As a busy physician and parent, Kriegsman’s stress relievers are a no-brainer. “There is nothing better than my own baby laughing to relieve stress,” she says, “except maybe a full night’s sleep.”

Canaan Duncan, 33

Stilwell
Deputy Secretary of State, Cherokee Nation

Canaan Duncan has dedicated his entire professional career to the betterment of the Cherokee Nation. And, he says, “I wouldn’t have it any other way.” As the Deputy Secretary of State, Duncan’s responsibilities “center around community engagement by providing support to cities, towns, nonprofits and individual communities. My job directly impacts large numbers of our citizens, and though it is tough work, it is rewarding. I also love that I get to focus on the rural areas of the reservation, that is where the heart of our Nation lies.” In short, he works diligently to ensure quality of life is improved for all. “Looking back through history, there have been Cherokee leaders since time immemorial whose purpose was to make lives of Cherokees better – and I am filled with pride knowing I am working towards the same goal my ancestors before me worked on.” His greatest accomplishment on the job was successfully lobbying Congress to re-open the Indian Health Services Joint Venture program “that allowed for tribes to partner with Indian Health Services to construct and operate a health care facility,” he says. Outside work, Duncan volunteers for a variety of Cherokee community non-profits. He enjoys spending time at the creek with his wife and children, playing co-ed softball and watching baseball.

Meghan Joiner, 36

Tulsa
Associate General Counsel, Xcaliber International, Ltd.

Meghan Joiner, J.D., works as an attorney in the tobacco industry – what she calls “arguably the highest regulated industry in the United States.” As such, her job requires her to wear many hats. In her role as associate general counsel, she specializes in state regulatory matters, interfacing with “Secretaries of State, Fire Marshals, Departments of Revenue and Attorneys General,” she says. “I also lobby on behalf of the company in different national organizations.” Joiner says she chose the legal profession because of her balance of “wanting to solve problems, being people-oriented, and having sheer, dumb luck. Somehow, I got the right combination of all three and have had the privilege to make a career out of it.” Outside Xcaliber, Joiner is an active board member with the Junior League of Tulsa, the 2024 Next Level Women’s Leadership Program, and the Tulsa Zoo; she is slated to be the Zoo’s first female chair of the board of directors during the entity’s centennial year. “I take so much pride in the work that we have done in such a short time to make the Zoo the best family facility around,” she says. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, running, dining out or, of course, visiting the Zoo. “I’m a meerkat girl – but my husband and daughter love our elephants,” she says.

Lindsey Ridgway, 38

Oklahoma City
Attorney – VP, Deputy General Counsel, INTEGRIS Health

Growing up with two physician parents, Lindsey Ridgway, J.D., saw firsthand the selfless dedication healthcare workers exhibit throughout their careers. “I love the complexity and variety of health law,” she says. “I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work for a not-for-profit health care system full of passionate individuals who are dedicated to improving the lives of their fellow Oklahomans.” In her day-to-day, Ridgway handles INTEGRIS Health’s legal operations, working with attorneys, contract specialists and support staff. “I feel fortunate that my job gives me a deep sense of purpose every single day,” she says. “I get to work with incredibly bright, dedicated professionals who are committed to partnering with people to live healthier lives.” If she didn’t follow this career trajectory, Ridgway says she’d still be in the healthcare industry somehow – “perhaps by raising therapy dogs to visit patients and caregivers; they are the best medicine!” Outside the office, Ridgway serves on the Teach for America Oklahoma City board of directors. She enjoys yoga, spending time with family and friends, playing Mahjong and cooking. In fact, she’s most looking forward to “teaching my kids to cook! Some of my favorite childhood memories are in the kitchen with family.”

Clovis Hamilton, 39

Ada
Director, Chikasha Academy Adult Immersion Program – Division of Language Preservation and Department of Culture and Humanities, Chickasaw Nation

In his role as the Director of the Chikasha Academy Adult Immersion Program, Clovis Hamilton loves that he is able to “connect to all age groups through Chickasaw language revitalization,” he says. Hamilton, who graduated in 2017 with a Master of Science in Native American leadership, chose this path “to learn and carry the Chickasaw language while getting the chance to enrich others’ lives with opportunities to create their own learning journey.” Alongside carrying and sharing the Chickasaw language with his children, family and community, Hamilton also manages the stickball programs for youth and adults; in fact, he says if he wasn’t in his current position, he’d “probably be doing community recreation activity programs.” His greatest achievement at work is “the ability to build and lead programs that influence our Chickasaw youth and programs that promote language carriers.” Outside work, Hamilton can be found playing stickball, working out, “at an event that my 6-year-old daughter is involved with, or on the back porch of my home.” He says the best advice he’s ever received is: “You must learn how to follow before you can lead, but once you lead, you cannot forget how to follow.”

Mickey Peercy, 32

Tulsa
Manager of Financial Management Services,
HoganTaylor LLP

Working to make accounting and finance “more pain free and accessible to clients,” Mickey Peercy handles a variety of projects at HoganTaylor. “I enjoy translating and distilling complex topics into ‘normal’ terms so that my clients can focus on the operations of their organizations rather than learning accounting lingo,” he says. His favorite aspect, however, is “teaching and training up team members. I love to get better and I love to be a small piece of helping others do the same.” In fact, he believes the secret to his success is investing in others and “focusing on people around me and helping them succeed. I have established a reputation within my teams as someone who cares for and invests in the people around me.” Outside work, Peercy supports a variety of organizations related to helping those experiencing homelessness and children who are orphaned or in foster care, learning about “a few of the many gaps that exist in our systems and communities,” he says. He also sits on the board of the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation. On the weekends, Peercy can be found outside with his family, at Turkey Mountain or the River Parks trail system. He’s most looking forward to welcoming his second child, due this month.

Danielle Minnick, 34

Tulsa
Chief of Staff, Craft Health

At Craft Health, Danielle Minnick’s mission is singular: “Make the CEO’s vision a reality,” she says. She began at Craft Health – which connects patients to preventative or diagnostic imaging, primary care and hormone therapy – in the marketing department. “After working closely with the CEO, he proposed the idea of moving into a Chief of Staff role,” she says. “After learning more about the role, I decided to make the switch.” Within her job, Minnick finds that seeing things through is her favorite component. “I love starting from an idea and bringing it to fruition,” she says. “Also, I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the growth we have experienced and worked hard to achieve. When I was hired in 2020, there we about twelve people, and now we are close to 70.” In fact, Minnick’s proudest achievement at work is “protecting our company culture” despite that major growth. A native of Albuquerque, N.M., Minnick immediately got involved in Tulsa’s nonprofit sector upon moving and serves on Tulsa Ballet’s board of directors. “This commitment has not only allowed me to immerse myself in Tulsa’s vibrant community but has also provided a platform for me to deepen my roots within the city,” she says. On the weekends, Minnick can be found spending time with her husband and children or at the gym.

Andrew Melson, M.D., 35

Oklahoma City
Neuro-Ophthalmologist, Dean McGee Eye Institute

Dr. Andrew Melson understands that vision loss is scary – and in his job as a neuro-ophthalmologist, he works to reverse those symptoms if at all possible. And “even when we can’t restore vision, I appreciate the opportunity to empower my patients with the knowledge or resources to understand what is happening and move forward to achieve their goals,” he says. Specializing in diseases that affect how the eyes and brain communicate, Melson spends his working hours performing an array of surgeries that improve patients’ quality of life. He was inspired to enter the field after a mission trip as a med student. “I saw an ophthalmologist perform surgery to restore vision in blind patients and thought it was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen,” he says. Melson is also the residency program director at Dean McGee, and directs the institute’s multispecialty access clinic, which he describes as an “access point to our healthcare system for many vulnerable populations. In leading this clinic, I have worked hard to concentrate a number of important resources into this space to support our patients and overcome the many barriers they face to equitable and high quality outcomes.” Melson additionally travels abroad to provide eye care services and education to vulnerable communities. Off the clock, you can find Melson with his wife and two kids.

Kirby Brinlee, 34

Edmond
Senior Manager of Brand & Marketing, OG&E

In her work at OG&E, Kirby Brinlee understands that there are “very few things that are more essential than electricity.” As the senior manager of brand and marketing, Brinlee is responsible for “developing and implementing OG&E’s brand and marketing strategies, fostering key relationships with stakeholders and community-minded brands to create valuable partnerships,” she says. Brinlee enjoys a variety of aspects about her job, but the people come first. “I love my team,” she says. “I am fortunate to have a team of awesome people who are very good at their craft. They make work fun, keep me laughing, and inspire me to be the best leader I can be for them.” Brinlee mentions she’s always been interested in business and marketing – and has had her eye on OG&E for quite some time. “I started as a marketing intern at OG&E in 2010 and I knew back then that I wanted to build my career here,” she says. Outside work, Brinlee volunteers with the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, Meals on Wheels, the Regional Food Bank and the City Rescue Mission. After work, you’ll find Brinlee spending time with her husband and children, who recently purchased farmland. “People are always surprised to hear that I drive a tractor and fill deer feeders,” she says.

Shalynne Jackson, 33

Edmond
Chief Equity Officer, City of Oklahoma City

Shalynne Jackson works diligently to cultivate a culture where “OKC is recognized as an employer and community where all people thrive,” she says. Her focus is on DEI – diversity, equity and inclusion – which, “simply put, is about compassion, empathy, respect and love – all of which align with my personal values.” In her day-to-day at the City of OKC, Jackson works closely with her team and leaders, influences policies and creates programs to ensure all have a seat at the table and a voice in important matters. “One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is witnessing the direct impact of our initiatives on individual employees,” she says. “It’s incredibly fulfilling to see how our programs positively transform their experiences, whether it’s promoting opportunities for career advancement, fostering a sense of belonging or providing support where needed. Witnessing the tangible benefits and improvements in their lives reaffirms the importance and effectiveness of our efforts.” Outside work, Jackson serves on the board of ReMerge, SHRM’s Oklahoma Human Resources State Council and as a volunteer basketball coach – all of which help Jackson “play a small part in empowering others to reach their potential.” You’ll often find Jackson spending time with her two children, playing tennis or heading to the gym.

Miguel Da Corte, 38

Tulsa
Assistant Professor of Spanish, Tulsa Community College

Teaching a language, says Miguel Da Corte, is “more than just helping others acquire a new skill; it is about opening doors to different ideas and ways of thinking to foster a more inclusive and understanding community.” He helps further that mission at Tulsa Community College, working with students from all walks of life. He loves his work because it “allows me the opportunity to be creative, reinvent myself and try something new and fun to support my students’ learning. My students keep me young and honest, and guess what? They are the best teachers!” Da Corte, who has worked at TCC for 14+ years, says his greatest achievement on the job is “ensuring students have access to the support and tools they need to become responsible, employable citizens – whether it is through direct academic instruction, facilitating access to resources, or guiding them in developing soft skills.” Outside the classroom, Da Corte serves on the TCC Foundation Scholarship Committee, is active with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and acts as a translator for the Immigration Office at Catholic Charities, “bridging the communication gap between the office and non-English-speaking immigrants.” He also enjoys baking and running, and has completed back-to-back half marathons.

David L. Adams, 38

Oklahoma City
Senior Manager of Investor Relations, Chesapeake Energy Corporation

David L. Adams had a circuitous route to his current role at Chesapeake Energy. “Coming out of undergrad, the original plan was to go to seminary. Instead, my wife and I got married and decided to devote some time to figuring out what was next,” he says. After starting in accounting, he shifted to financial planning and finally, investor relations. “Each role has been an opportunity to see the world in a different way,” he says. Now, he “tells the company story to anyone who wants to listen. I love finding solutions, through telling a story in such a way that it resonates, proving out something through numbers, or helping others grow in their abilities.” He says his greatest achievement thus far at Chesapeake is “having made it through a relatively tumultuous industry all these years, finding opportunities, growing and creating a lot of great relationships.” Outside work, Adams says his “greatest cause and avenue of volunteerism is through my faith.” He can often be found with his family, spending time at church, visiting swim meets or exploring the great outdoors. As for advice for others, he says, “Don’t let your external circumstances dictate your internal mindset. There’s so much power in knowing who you are and tuning out the noise.”

Brandon Gaffney, 39

Broken Arrow
SVP and Director of Marketing, Regent Bank

Although he never imagined himself in the world of banking and finance, marketing professional Brandon Gaffney says the culture at Regent Bank cannot be beat. “Not only do I feel like my opinion does and has always mattered, I’m consistently given the ability to try things and fail up,” he says. “I’m extremely blessed to work for an organization like this.” Day-to-day, Gaffney manages all the brand, marketing, creative and web/digital assets for the bank as well as its subsidiaries. He finds deep meaning and purpose in his work – and in his coworkers. “I’ve watched huge groups of staff and executives inside the organization give up their Christmas bonuses to pull something together for someone who might have gone through a terrible situation. Not just once, but multiple times. It’s an organization that attracts the right group of people from all types of backgrounds, but all share the fact they care for others.” Outside work, Gaffney is passionate about ministry and outreach within his church and community. He’s often elbow-deep in home design projects and, along with spending time with his family, Gaffney is an avid Lego collector. “I also have an extensive lightsaber and helmet collection,” he says.

Kaylen Conkling, 26

Bristow
Director of Marketing, The Orthopaedic Center

Building and fostering relationships, providing effective and efficient communication to patients, advising on process implementation and promoting the quality outcomes of her providers is all in a day’s work for Kaylen Conkling at The Orthopaedic Center. Though her degree is in marketing, Conkling says she’s always been drawn to the medical field. “One reason is for the sustainability of the industry. The second is because of my upbringing in the Christian faith and my passion for helping others,” she says. That passion is reflected in Conkling’s volunteerism; she spends time with a variety of nonprofits, including Harry’s Blessings in a Backpack, Goodland Academy, ARC of Oklahoma and the Jenks Food Pantry. “I believe all these volunteer opportunities have brought me closer to those around me and have amplified my compassion for my fellow man,” she says. “In my opinion, serving others is the best way for growth and gratitude to flourish.” After work, you can find Conkling at the gym with her husband, hanging out with her golden retriever, or spending time with her niece, Annie. “When you’re sitting on the floor looking into the world of a 2-year-old, all your ‘problems’ just don’t seem quite as big,” she says.

Robert Burkybile, 37

Miami
Chief, Modoc Nation

As Chief of the Modoc Nation, Robert Burkybile oversees the tribal government and collaborates with tribal businesses in the region. What he loves most about his role is his exposure to a variety of people and activities, all giving him the opportunity to educate himself and others. “I get to learn about the many different aspects of Indian Country, the people, the land and the interconnectedness that comes with that; and I get to serve and honor our tribal members,” he says. He decided to enter this line of work for a variety of reasons – “to sustain our culture, preserve our language and provide more opportunities for our tribal members,” he says, and is proudest of the growth and progress the Nation has made through this work. “I feel that every opportunity to help tribal members, no matter how small, is a step forward for all of us as a whole.” Burkybile spends ample time volunteering for the Rotary Club, a local backpack program and the Miami Public Schools Enrichment Foundation. “By focusing on someone else other than yourself, I have found this to provide physical and mental rewards,” he says. Burkybile can often be found outside of work with his wife and two daughters, whom he describes as “the most fun part about my life.”

Sarah King, 36

Jenks
Architect, KKT Architects, Inc.

Sarah King was the type of kid who “enjoyed going on vacation to look at all of the buildings,” she says. “I would also draw out floor plans in my spare time for fun.” It’s no surprise, then, that she landed in the world of architecture. Education and school design is her speciality, which she says fell into “kind of by accident. My very first job out of college was working with a firm that primarily focused on school design. I absolutely fell in love with not only the buildings and what made them function well, but also with the people. Educators, teachers, students, and those in that field are all extremely selfless people,” she says. “To be surrounded by all these great minds on a daily basis was/is something I look forward to each day.”  As an infrastructure creator, King says the most satisfying part of her job is “seeing people walk through their space for the first time. It’s just something else to see students and kids run through the halls.” Alongside volunteering at nonprofits that focus on educational design and teaching pedagogy, King is often found on the ball field with her kids and husband – who was her high school sweetheart. “I also cherish opportunities to hike at Turkey Mountain or go on weekend camping trips whenever possible,” she says.

Casey Ahlden, 38

Okarche
Vice President – Revenue Cycle, INTEGRIS Health

Casey Ahlden says a deep-seated passion for healthcare led her to her profession. At INTEGRIS, she oversees the revenue cycle operations for patient care services across 12 hospitals and 700 providers. “My main objectives are to enhance financial performance, streamline operations, ensure compliance with healthcare regulations and promote a culture of accountability and engagement among caregivers,” she says. For Ahlden, her coworkers make all the difference. “Collaborating with individuals who share the same passion of helping others while demonstrating the same values is what keeps me going each day,” she says. “What truly excites me is contributing to the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery.  Despite the challenges posed by complex regulations and payer policies, I find fulfillment in navigating this continuously evolving landscape.” If she weren’t in her current position, Ahlden says she’d still be involved in healthcare. “Originally, I had intended to apply to physical therapy school after completing my undergraduate studies,” she says. Outside work, Ahlden volunteers with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. You can often find her at her daughter’s cheerleading competitions, listening to podcasts, or spending time with family and friends.

Caleb Bigham, 35

Bixby
Treasurer, BOK Financial Corporation

Caleb Bigham always had a passion for business and entrepreneurship; just ask his mother. “Most kids had a lemonade stand. I wanted to differentiate myself, so I cut down all the flowers in her flowerbed – without permission – and opened my own flower stand!” he says. “Maybe that wasn’t the best decision at the time, but it is a great memory looking back.” Bigham harnesses that entrepreneurial spirit today – albeit in a different manner – as treasurer at BOK Financial. “I get the opportunity to deal with unique challenges, and make a meaningful contribution to our community here in Oklahoma as the largest bank in the state that supports our local economy and the energy industry, which is such a vital part of the community,” he says. “I also get to work with inspiring leaders and a great team.” Bigham mentions that some of his fondest memories are at his alma mater, Oklahoma Christian University, where he still volunteers. “Anything I can do to help set up students for success in entering and succeeding in the workforce is where I spend my time, including being a member of [the school’s] Finance Advisory Council,” he says. Outside work, Bigham spends time with his wife and two children and enjoys golfing, reading, hunting and fishing.

Andrew Bullock, 37

Tulsa
Senior Project Manager, Crossland Construction Company

Oklahoma native and OSU grad Andrew Bullock never wanted a desk job, so his role with Crossland Construction is the perfect fit. “I started my career in the field and transitioned into project management – which also allows me to walk job sites and visit potential project locations,” he says. Within his day-to-day, Bullock wears a lot of hats. “I am responsible for managing multiple projects and project teams. I help with preconstruction and estimating as well as critical path scheduling and financial forecasting for each project,” he says.  Both internally and externally, Bullock enjoys collaborating with people from all walks of life. “The job is different every single day.  We get to work with multiple clients from different industries and backgrounds.” Additionally, Bullock collaborates with others at Crossland within their education academy, “creating and teaching construction related curriculum.” One of the highlights of his job is seeing those people he mentored “get promoted and be passionate about construction,” he says. Alongside volunteering with Leadership Tulsa and the Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges, Bullock is an avid fly fisher; you can find him on the weekends casting a line and spending time with his wife and two sons.

Cameron Richardson, 37

Coweta
Registered Nurse and Stroke Program Manager, Saint Francis Hospital

Cameron Richardson, MSN, RN, ASC-BC, is passionate about the work he does as a registered nurse and stroke program manager – but he hadn’t always planned on going this route. “My wife, Rebekah Richardson, opened my eyes to the world of nursing. I was originally seeking to be a radiation therapist and ultimately a dosimetrist,” he says. After she suggested looking into nursing instead, his path changed. Now, he oversees the stroke program, collaborates with multidisciplinary groups within the hospital, participates in community outreach and education about stroke risk factors, and manages a small group of critical care nurses. “I love the rapidly changing nature of stroke care,” he says. “New research is always being published that I/we get to try to operationalize to provide that new care or treatment to patients. We have been able to provide excellent, award-winning care to northeast Oklahoma using an atypical stroke nurse model – a small cadre of stroke trained dedicated nurses.” Outside the hospital, Richardson volunteers with his son’s Cubs Scouts group, and you can often find him spending time with his family, reading, playing video and tabletop roleplaying games, or performing standup at an open mic night.

Ana Guerrero, 33

Moore
Vice President and Senior Branch Manager, First Fidelity Bank

Coaching employees, overseeing operations for her branch, assisting on the teller line and venturing into the community to form relationships are just some of Ana Guerrero’s day-to-day responsibilities. “I love everything about my job, from developing my employees for their next position to helping small business owners achieve their dreams,” she says. She entered the world of finance, she says, almost by accident. “I went to school for something completely different, but I believe everything happens for a reason. I started working in banking while in school and realized that banking is where I should be.” Off the clock, Guerrero puts significant time into the Moore Rotary Club, where she served as president in 2023. “I was responsible for writing a district grant, putting a plan together to achieve the grant project, and completing a financial report. This year, we chose to install buddy benches at some of our Moore elementary schools. After the installation, we held an assembly to educate the students about the purpose of the buddy bench. It was a great success!” Guerrero also harbors a passion for live music. “I am a front row concert lover,” she says. “Last year, I attended over 10 concerts. This year, I already have tickets for four future concerts.”

Kendall Carter, 39

Tulsa
Vice President, Thompson Construction Inc.

Walking around the OSU campus as a student, Kendall Carter says he was awed by the transformative nature of construction. “The ability to contribute to changing the look and feel of an entire area inspired me to pursue a career in this field,” he says. Carter, now a VP at Thompson Construction, oversees business development, preconstruction and construction team members, “providing overall leadership and strategic direction to ensure the success and growth of our company,” he says. Carter loves his job for a variety of reasons. “Firstly, I enjoy building relationships with numerous individuals in the industry and the community,” he says. “The most rewarding aspect, however, is witnessing the tangible impact that constructing a building can have on the lives of our clients and users. Seeing the positive changes and contributions our projects make is truly fulfilling.” What makes him proudest at work is “the ability to foster a strong family culture. I take pride in creating an environment where people feel genuinely appreciated, and they understand that their work and actions have a meaningful impact on others.” Outside work, Carter volunteers with the Tulsa Boys Home and the Scott Carter Foundation. You’ll often find him with his wife and four children, playing tennis, golfing or traveling.

Rainee Easley, 32

Ada
Marketing Strategist, Chickasaw Nation

As a marketing professional, Rainee Easley is, in many ways, a storyteller. “Marketing focuses on telling stories through design and copywriting,” she says. “Storytelling is an important aspect of keeping our language, culture and history alive. As a Chickasaw citizen, I am utilizing marketing to be a storyteller, sharing the stories of the Chickasaw Nation with the world.” In her day to day, Easley implements a variety of integrated marketing campaigns for the Nation. “I love collaborating with an amazing team that strives to share Chickasaw history, language, culture and experiences,” she says. “I chose the marketing profession because industry trends and technology are continuously changing. I find my daily tasks exciting, challenging and rewarding.” In her free time, Easley volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, as well as with the Native American Women’s Conference, Crosspointe Church and the United Way. On the weekends, you can find her with her children, or participating in the Native Praise Choir and Chickasaw Community Choir. She’s an avid reader and is also training in jiu-jitsu. And if you look closely, you’ll also find her and her kids as background actors in a variety of shows, including the popular Reservation Dogs.

Victoria A. Carrasco, 33

Oklahoma City
Attorney, Cordell & Cordell

Working as an attorney at Cordell & Cordell – a divorce and family law firm – Victoria Carrasco, J.D., says she plays “a vital role in helping people navigate some of the most poignant periods of their lives, using vast legal expertise and extraordinary empathy.” She enjoys the role because she sees it as an “opportunity to assist people with issues that have a direct impact on families,” citing a relevant accomplishment as her greatest achievement at work: when she “successfully secured an adoption of a five-year-old little girl who had lost her parents to drugs, alcohol and mental illness,” she says. Since childhood, Carrasco has “always had a righteous indignation when witnessing unfairness, and the legal profession also gives a unique opportunity and immediate authority to help others and make a profound difference in their lives.” Off the clock, Carrasco is a board chair for the South Central Court Appointed Special Advocates, a nonprofit that helps improve the lives of children in the Oklahoma foster care system. “It is exceptionally and intrinsically rewarding to be a positive, stable influence for children, ensuring they have a voice in the courts and the services they need for a stable future,” she says. After work, you’ll find Carrasco with family and friends, running a 5K or playing soccer.

Joel Koester, 39

Bixby
Director of Sports Sales, Tulsa Sports Commission at Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce

Creating long-lasting memories through athletics is the mission for Joel Koester at the Tulsa Sports Commission. He achieves that by attracting youth, amateur and professional – events from around the world to take place in Tulsa. He’s proudest of “giving back to the community on a regular basis and making my community a great place to live,” he says. His philanthropic nature is evidenced in his involvements both inside and outside work; he is active with the Tulsa Area United Way, USA BMX Foundation and Turn Two for Youth. Additionally, during last year’s NCAA Men’s Wrestling Championships, he “organized and launched Tulsa’s first event ‘Cares Center’ for Tulsa’s unhomed population,” he says. “During the event, we were able to provide basic services to over 500 Tulsans including showers, water, meals, haircuts, laundry service, clothing. Be part of the solution and not the problem.” Alongside giving back, Koester believes the secret to success is simply being himself. “I am always me, and you get the honest truth 24/7,” he says. Outside work, Koester is often found in the outdoors, as he’s an avid kayak bass angler; he recently competed in the professional Bassmaster Kayak Series.

Cole Niblett, 30

Norman
Oklahoma Water Team Leader, Garver

As a licensed professional engineer and water works operator, Cole Niblett has a complicated job. But he explains it simply: it is “largely focused on helping the municipalities and water districts in our state provide clean and safe water and wastewater service to their citizens.” At Garver, he leads a team of 13, focusing on executing a variety of water projects across the state. “At the end of the day, I love delivering creative solutions for our communities and water providers in Oklahoma,” he says. “When I get to look back on a difficult project or challenge completed that our team was able to help solve for fellow Oklahomans, it gives me a sense of purpose and gratitude.” Passionate about mentorship, Niblett says “finding strong mentors and learning as much as possible from others is one of the things that has made me successful. So, I endeavor to provide that value to my team where I’m able.” Outside work, Niblett and his wife, Katie, are involved with the Cavett Kids Foundation, whose mission is to develop character, coping and connection for kids battling life-threatening illnesses. He can often be found in the great outdoors, taking road trips, participating in archery and bowhunting, or at his family’s cattle operation in Tishomingo.

Brooke Tuttle, 38

Owasso 
Director of the Center for Family Resilience, Oklahoma State University

As the director of OSU’s Center for Family Resilience, Brooke Tuttle, Ph.D., leads a team of faculty, staff and students “in community-based and translational science initiatives on topics related to risk and resilience for individuals and families,” she says. “I love the interdisciplinary nature of my job that allows me to work at the intersection of family science, mental health, public health, child and youth development, and education, as well as across family, school and community sectors.” In tandem with her “incredibly motivated, collaborative and innovative team,” Tuttle works to make a meaningful impact “on mental and behavioral health prevention in our state, through our mission of connecting research and practice to promote resilience,” she says. Her philanthropic nature can be found outside work, as well; she serves as president of The Bench Foundation, an organization that supports active and retired first responders and their families, as well as Warrior’s Rest Foundation, an organization that helps first responders who have experienced significant traumas in the line of duty. “As a first responder spouse,” she says, “I am passionate about first responder wellness, which has motivated my volunteerism.” You can often find Tuttle around Tulsa, spending time with her husband and 10-month-old son.

Elsie Urueta Pollock, 38

Tulsa
Founder and CEO, Tulsa Honor Academy

Elsie Urueta Pollock’s elementary school teacher Mrs. Bennett changed the trajectory of her life. “When I stepped into her classroom, I was nearly 8 years old, had just moved to Tulsa, and did not speak any English,” she says. “She saw potential in me and poured into me by teaching me English during recess and after school.” Now, Pollock strives to open up a world of opportunities for students at Tulsa Honor Academy, a charter school in East Tulsa. “I specifically chose to found Tulsa Honor Academy because I firmly believe that all children, regardless of race, background, income or ability levels, can succeed if given access to an excellent education and the proper supports to fulfill their potential.” Outside work, Pollock has served on the Hispanic and Latinx Commission for the City of Tulsa and co-founded Latino Educators Advancing Leadership, a nonprofit that is “dedicated to ensuring there is a greater representation of people of Latino descent to hold positions like mine,” she says. This initiative hits home for Pollock because, she says, “ I am the only Latino person to ever run a charter school in the state of Oklahoma, although many of the students attending charter schools are Latino.” After work, Pollock can be found with her husband and two children, spending time outdoors or cheering on the Sooners.

Sarah Wyatt, 33

Stillwater 
Deputy Director, Tulsa Higher Education Consortium

Sarah Wyatt, Ed.D., lives by a clever motto: School is cool. “Education is one of the most powerful tools for reducing poverty and promoting economic mobility,” she says. “Earning a college degree isn’t a blip on someone’s radar, it’s a lifelong accomplishment that will pay off again and again.” As Deputy Director at the Tulsa Higher Education Consortium, Wyatt works with nine higher education institutions to “connect, strategize and support student bachelor degree completion in northeast Oklahoma,” she says. “My job allows me to be innovative and forward-thinking when it comes to degree completion.” The THEC is the only consortium of its kind in the state, and Wyatt is grateful that her job allows her to “be nimble, think outside of the box, and develop processes in preparation for the future.” Her proudest moment on the job thus far was curating a list of businesses that offer tuition assistance benefits for their employees. “This allows for employees to earn college degrees in an affordable way, and allows businesses to maintain and grow their talent,” she says. Off the clock, you can find Wyatt on her acreage with her husband and three kids. Otherwise, she says “you can find me at the T-ball field, at the grocery store or in my blackberry patch.”

Madison Maguire, 30

Tulsa
Program Manager, Cherokee Federal

As a program manager, Madison Maguire oversees “the capture, planning and execution of large-scale federal government projects, ensuring we provide high quality delivery of a variety of services, grow our portfolio, and maintain profitability for the ultimate benefit of our shareholder, the Cherokee Nation,” she says. “I love my job because I get to work with a team of smart people to solve hard problems for our federal clients.” Maguire entered her field for a variety of reasons – the competitive nature of the work, as well as the ability to drive growth and profitability. “I chose to create a career within Cherokee Federal because of the opportunity to work for a high growth company that serves a noble cause,” she says. “I get to partner with our federal clients to solve hard problems, improving the lives of American citizens, while simultaneously creating profit for our shareholder. Getting to see the amazing services the tribe provides, powered by our business’s economic engine, is incredibly fulfilling and motivating.” Off the clock, Maguire and her husband volunteer with Catholic Charities because it provides comprehensive services to those in need, regardless of their backgrounds. Maguire can often be found spending time with family and friends, or “chasing our almost-one-year old, Carter, around,” she says.

Ryan Oss, 39

Edmond
Vice President of Operations, SSM Health Medical Group of Oklahoma

Overseeing 80 ambulatory clinics sites across Oklahoma, Ryan Oss is responsible for strategic growth, financial performance and implementation of policies and procedures for SSM Health Medical Group. “I am blessed to work with a lot of talented people who have dedicated their lives to making healthcare better for Oklahomans and are passionate about our mission,” he says. “The days are never boring and the opportunity to collaborate with people across different backgrounds, training and expertise is very professionally satisfying,” he says. When deciding on a career, Oss was set on entering an industry that made a difference – and after meeting with a local hospital CEO, “seeing the positive impact he and his team were able to make on our community through the success of the hospital,” his curiosity was sparked. In his spare time, Oss volunteers on the boards of the Stillwater United Way and the Community Health Center. He is also a deacon at his church and a volunteer youth coach with the Oklahoma Wrestling Academy. He can often be found attending or coaching one of his kid’s sporting events, cheering on the OSU Cowboys, swimming, hitting the gym or hiking with his wife.

Kendall Mullen, 39

Bixby
Senior Vice President, Human Resources Professional and Chief Human Resources Officer, Mabrey Bank

Kendall Mullen’s road into human resources started with a memorable incident. “I originally had an interest in news broadcasting and learned quickly it wasn’t for me when being recorded for the first time nearly made me faint,” she says. “One day, my dad told me he enjoyed the human resources professional he worked with and she reminded him of me. I was intrigued and my degree path allowed for an emphasis in HR, and the rest is history.”  Now, Mullen manages the HR team, the recruiting process, payroll and benefits, performance management, culture and team member development and engagement. “I love that no day is ever the same and I’m challenged by other perspectives on a consistent basis,” she says. “I enjoy both the data and analytics involved in HR but also the interaction with others. I genuinely feel like I’m making a difference in others’ lives and within the company.” On the weekends, Mullen can be found “in the car, ensuring my 14-year old daughter meets her social obligations!” she says. She donates her time to a variety of philanthropic endeavors as a board member and HR committee chairperson at Discovery Lab and member of the National Charity League. She enjoys time at the lake, hiking and traveling with her husband.

Daniel Haynes, 33

Mustang
Founder and CEO, Skyward Financial Solutions

Aligning his passions for “people and profitability,” accounting is the perfect fit for Daniel Haynes, founder and CEO of Skyward Financial Solutions. There, he serves businesses and nonprofits with an array of financial offerings, from reporting to risk assessments, bookkeeping, tax consulting, internal controls and audits. “I love that I get to lift the arms of people through servitude, support and stewardship,” he says. “A leader in my life once told me that’s all accounting and finance is about. And these things are in direct correlation with who I am to my core.” Consequently, he says the secret to his success is “intentionally going above and beyond to serve people with excellence.” Outside his finance business, Haynes’ is dedicated to volunteerism. He and his wife lead a community outreach ministry and nonprofit called Live Full, where, he says, his team “serves different nonprofits and families throughout the state with whatever needs they have at the time. Most of the nonprofits we serve have missions to impact kids and their parents.” He is also on the board of directors at Shiloh Camp and the OK City Center. “Serving has enriched my life by adding value to others,” he says. He is often found with his wife and two sons, on a run, at church or at brunch.

Monica Michelle Schweighart, 37

Oklahoma City
Attorney and Junior Partner, McIntyre Law P.C.

Practicing personal injury law, says Monica Michelle Schweighart, J.D., is all about listening. “Listening to the tragedies and triumphs my clients have had to overcome gives me the daily strength to keep fighting for what is right,” she says. “Seeing the relief on my client’s face the moment they realize they aren’t fighting the battle alone is absolutely priceless.” As a personal injury attorney, Schweighart walks clients through the many hoops to get their lives back together following car crashes they did not cause. Schweighart, who joined McIntyre Law straight out of law school and has worked her way up the ladder to junior partner, says she was born to be an attorney. “My father is a criminal attorney, and for as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an advocate for others,” she says. “I pride myself on relating to a wide range of people, which allows me to put myself in their shoes as a way of seeing things from a much different perspective.” Schweighart spends time each year volunteering with Lawyers Fighting Hunger, which helps families in need get a warm meal for Thanksgiving. She has two children and can often be found on the weekends outdoors, watching soccer, going to the zoo or playing pickleball.

Kaylee Roper, 29

Oklahoma City
Structural Engineering Manager, FSB Architects + Engineers

Kaylee Roper’s structural engineering work can be seen all across the country. “We work on a broad range of projects to create safe, functional and attractive buildings that meet our clients’ needs,” she says. “These projects range from building airplane hangars for many of the major airlines to multi-level mixed use buildings, to local Oklahoma schools.” Roper loves her ability to meld engineering skills with leadership in her role as manager. “I feel proudest when I see young engineers get engaged and excited about our projects,” she says. “When I am helping them with something or answering questions and I see the concept click, it really just gets me thrilled for them to continue to grow their technical knowledge base and get excited about the buildings we design.” Outside work, Roper volunteers with Pivot and Focus on Home, which both provide assets for people transitioning out of homelessness. Through GirlTech, Roper is also a mentor to female high school students interested in STEM fields. “Supporting both the greater community and the engineering community gives me inspiration to do what I can to make the world a better place,” she says. Outside work, you can often find Roper at a CycleBar spin class or training for an upcoming half marathon.

Adan Loera-Gonzalez, 27

Oklahoma City
Assistant Branch Manager, Tinker Federal Credit Union

When Adan Loera-Gonzalez was growing up, he loved going to the bank with his parents. “It was a place that helped my family achieve our goals and helped us live a better life,” he says. “In those moments I thought to myself: ‘When I grow up, I want to be a teller.’” Now, he’s exceeded that childhood goal; he oversees the branch operations of four locations of Tinker Federal Credit Union and mentors 25 employees. “I get the opportunity to support those who serve our country,” he says. Through Tinker, Loera-Gonzalez has ample opportunity to give back. “There are various activities, such as helping serve a meal with Home Away from Home– an organization focused on providing a home for service members that are away from their families to promote general health and wellness in all aspects during and after their service to our country.” He is also a sponsor of TAFB Airman Leadership School. “I attend ALS graduation and assist in recognizing the next generation of service members that serve our country as a whole,” he says. Off the clock, Loera-Gonzalez is pursuing his Master of Business Administration from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He enjoys traveling, nature and brunch with friends.

Jessica Prince, 38

Owasso
President and Principal, Hudson Prince Engineering & Inspection

Engineer Jessica Prince says she loves “applying math and sciences to our everyday lives through building the vital infrastructure we use.” At Hudson Prince, she leads a team of 25 doing just that – from managing construction projects to performing environmental studies and permitting for infrastructure projects. “I spend much of my time managing client relationships and providing solutions to a variety of engineering, personnel or operations challenges,” she says. The best part of her job, she believes, is just how dynamic it is. “There is always a problem to solve and something to learn,” she says. She also enjoys seeing growth in her employees and going to work each day knowing that what she does “directly improves the lives of thousands of people.” Outside work, Prince is involved with Women in Transportation, a nonprofit uplifting women in her industry. “The transportation industry is a male dominated field, particularly in the engineering sector. I was a part of the original board who ratified the local chapter for this organization in Oklahoma,” she says. “Through this organization, I have met numerous young female engineers and have been inspired by them to be the best role model I can be.” After work and on weekends, you can find Prince with her husband and two kids, working out or playing soccer.

Holly Liu, 30

Oklahoma City
Tax Manager, Wedel Rahill & Associates

As a tax manager of Wedel Rahill & Associates, Holly Liu provides tax consulting and planning to various clients. But it’s more than that, she says. “What I love most about my work is not only do we add value to our clients’ business and the community, but I can also shape young minds around me to become better professionals and grow with the firm to be better contributors to our profession.” In short, Liu could be described as a total team player. “As my career developed, I acquired more knowledge to help my team, and I try my best to help everyone on my team,” she says. “They could be my associates or my supervisors. Everyone can use others’ help and everyone can help others.” Liu is heavily involved in industry groups outside work. She’s an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Rotary International Group. She volunteers with the OSCPA Day of Service and spends time at OKC Animal Welfare and Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity. This year, Liu and her husband’s family is growing … by more than one! “My first baby is coming on June 1,” she says. “At the same time, we adopted a couple of bunnies, and they are expected to have their first group of kids in the summer as well!”

J. Taylor Fudge, 39

Oklahoma City
Managing Partner, Claims Management Resources

At Claims Management Resources, J. Taylor Fudge helps the company’s strategic direction, and leads the sales, marketing and customer relations departments. In short, he says, “my teams ensure customer relationships are happy, healthy and profitable.” Describing himself as “fairly extroverted,” Fudge loves that his job allows him to engage with new and interesting people every day. He’s also excited about “being a part of, and helping to lead, my family’s claims processing business.” Alongside helping clients reach goals, CMR and its employees donate time and financial resources to charitable organizations in Oklahoma and across the country. Additionally, the firm is no stranger to major clients. “Our ‘little’ family-owned organization (200+ people) in Oklahoma City supports significant, nationally recognized brands across the country,” he says. In his spare time, Fudge volunteers with Upward Transitions. “I really appreciate the organization’s focus on its core-competency of providing identification/licenses to people experiencing homelessness or on the verge of homelessness,” he says. He has also served in leadership capacities for the United Way. In his off hours, you’ll find Fudge cheering on his sons at their sporting events or spending time outdoors.

Whitney Cipolla, 29

Tulsa
Policy Research and Engagement Coordinator, Healthy Minds Policy Initiative

Tulsa native Whitney Cipolla is passionate about making systems-level changes in Oklahoma through policy, and she’s working to do just that in her role at Healthy Minds Policy Initiative. “During the legislative session, I attend or watch committee meetings and floor sessions, track bills, assist with bill language and inform partners regarding behavioral health legislation,” she says. “Outside of session, my role is focused more on researching policy best practices, analyzing data and making policy recommendations.” There’s a lot to enjoy in her position, but Cipolla says that she most loves “how mental health policy intersects with many other policy areas like criminal justice, housing, education and healthcare. It’s great being able to support policy makers’ decisions with data-driven information to move behavioral health forward in Oklahoma.” Outside work, Cipolla is on the board of directors and the executive committee for Oklahomans for Equality. “As a queer woman living in Oklahoma, being able to support an organization that provides lifesaving services and programs inspires me daily,” she says. She is also the 2024 Tulsa Young Professionals chair. You can find Cipolla in her off hours spending time with friends, watching Law & Order SVU, or taking her dog, Miles, on a walk.