MEET OUR Team

Laura Lang, CFRE

CEO/Executive Director

 

Laura is a nonprofit leader with 25 years of service in the social services and social justice arena. She has held positions at leading nonprofits in the Oklahoma City area, including the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Laura graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Journalism and became a Certified Fundraising Executive in 2008. She currently serves as the Board Chair for the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition and is a member of the Mayor’s Human Rights Commission Task Force. Laura believes that people and culture are central to an organization’s success and impact, and she encourages Thrive staff to relentlessly pursue work-life balance. Her favorite modes of self-care are reading, meditation, traveling, live music, long talks with friends, and anything involving bodies of water. She and her husband, George, and their son, Sam, live in Oklahoma City with their dogs Ozzie and Finn.


she/her/hers

Brittney Criswell, MPH, CHES

Senior Director of Programs

 

Brittney holds a master’s of public health degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and is a certified health education specialist. She has over 10 years of experience in health promotion, program planning and program implementation with concentrations in adolescent sexual health, employee and organizational wellness, and student health and wellbeing. As senior director of programs, Brittney leads the program team responsible for coordinating and facilitating the Collaboration’s comprehensive plan activities. Working in conjunction with public and private partners, Brittney ensures that all of central Oklahoma’s leaders in sexual health work together effectively to serve youth and the caring adults in their lives. Brittney’s favorite modes of self-care include exercise, binge-watching Netflix, and spending time with her husband Jeff, kids Boston and Berkeleigh, dog Penny, and cat Addison.

 

she/her/hers

Sharayah Fore, MA

Senior Director of Data & Evaluation

 

Sharayah graduated magna cum laude with a master’s in experimental psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma. She worked six years at the Oklahoma Health Care Authority as a senior research analyst, with the majority of her work focused on the reporting and data unit. In that time, she developed several new evaluations and summary reports as well as served on multi-agency workgroups to fulfill public health needs in the community. Additionally, she served as the head of the Decision Support System User Committee to establish reporting best practices, develop new user training, and disseminate system updates and changes. As the senior director of data and evaluation, Sharayah leads a variety of evaluation activities for the Collaboration, including community assessments, data reviews, survey development, listening sessions, shared measures, evaluation planning, and learning agenda development and serving as the principal investigator on federal grants for Thrive. Sharayah believes that through collaboration not only with professionals but also with those with lived experiences, system change is possible. She is dedicated to driving decision-making with data to create initiatives that can impact the most vulnerable populations. She believes that data is essential to the community’s story and has the power to create sustainable progress and equity. Her form of self-care is being outdoors as much as possible or board game nights!

 

she/her/hers

Preston Shatwell

Director of Development and Communications

 

Preston is a born and raised Oklahoman with a passion for local politics and advocacy. As a student, Preston was twice elected as the Governor of the historic Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature, where he led hundreds of students across Oklahoma to work on our state’s unique problems through legislation and leadership. Preston is a Point Foundation Scholarship recipient, the national LGBTQ scholarship fund, awarded for his work on youth engagement and local politics. Preston is a creative professional passionate about building connection and advancing equity. His experience includes private sector marketing and communications, local politics, nonprofits, and business development. In 2020, he was awarded Oklahoma’s NextGen under 30 Nonprofit Leaders Award. Before joining Thrive, Preston was the Deputy Director for the Tulsabased teen pregnancy prevention backbone organization, Amplify Youth Health Collective. Preston led the rebrand for Amplify and collaborated to increase positive adolescent sexual health outcomes in Tulsa County and support direct service partners as a collective impact leader. Preston joins Thrive as an experienced nonprofit leader, certified sexual health education facilitator, and professional creative.


he/him/his

Tosha Baird

Director of Strategic Partnerships

 

Tosha has an extensive history working in the nonprofit sector and has dedicated her career to working with vulnerable and at-risk populations. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, her experiences include education, mental health, domestic violence, and crisis response. Tosha has a passion for leadership development, teaching, equity/inclusion, and building relationships. She is committed to breaking down barriers and making positive change in our community. Tosha’s favorite modes of self-care include reading, art, puzzles, and bubble baths.

 

she/her/hers

Sasha Hughes, MA

Project Coordinator

 

As a non-traditional adult learner, Sasha graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from the University of Central Oklahoma. Having obtained all six tenets of Transformative Learning, Sasha is now working on her MBA at the University of Central Oklahoma. Sasha has amassed over a decade of combined experience in hospitality and health care, as well as three years of recruiting, training, and connecting young people to employment opportunities. It was during this time that Sasha was able to grow her love for helping others as well as grow her skills in project coordination, professional communication, and leadership. Sasha is committed to helping the younger generation obtain education and opportunities to make an impact on their communities. She has joined Thrive as the project coordinator, convening, supporting, and connecting the partner network of content and context experts, to make the biggest impact. Sasha’s favorite mode of self-care is writing. She has written Weekend Warrior blogs for Oklahoma City’s own Metro Family Magazine. She also enjoys spending time with her family, working out, cooking and entertaining.

 

she/her/hers

Amy Jenkins

Evaluation Coordinator

 

Amy’s dedication to sexual health promotion began in high school when she grew up without receiving sex ed and saw the consequences of withholding sexual health information. As friends and classmates became unintentionally pregnant, had no idea how to treat or manage STIs, and survived intimate partner violence, the most common reaction she heard was, “I didn’t know what to do.” Consequently, Amy went on to get her bachelor of arts in human relations at the University of Oklahoma, with a focus on social justice and nonprofit management and served as a peer sexual health educator and Planned Parenthood volunteer. She is currently pursuing a master of public health at George Washington University in the Health Promotion program. In her studies, she has focused on reproductive health, historic and present racialized reproductive violence, and data equity. Prior to her current role with Thrive, Amy served as the Freshmen Diversity Experience coordinator at the University of Oklahoma, program assistant for Thrive, communications fellow at SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change, and has done social media and public health consulting. For self-care, Amy enjoys knitting, hiking, playing fetch with her dog, snuggling her cat, and unwinding with a bourbon cocktail made by her husband Jake.

 

she/her/hers

Brittany Keck

Program Manager

 

Brittany has been working in youth and family education for the past decade with expertise in sexuality education. Her bachelor’s degree is in family life education from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she focused on child and adolescent development. Brittany’s main goal is to make a positive impact on families. She began working in sexuality education in 2013 by providing comprehensive sexuality education classes for Oklahoma middle and high school students. From there, she became the education coordinator for the Collaborative’s sex education efforts in Oklahoma County. In addition to her work in sexuality education, Brittany also works as a Family Life Educator. In this role, she works directly with new parents, challenging them to work on their relationships as they work to build emotionally strong foundations for their children. Brittany’s favorite modes of self-care include kayaking, fishing and camping. Family time with her husband and daughter consists of family game nights, movie nights and dance parties. Brittany also loves country music, gardening, true crime podcasts and all things Harry Potter.

 

she/her/hers

Katherine Keith

Director of Finance & Administration

 

Katherine has dedicated 20 years of her professional career to working in the social services sector. Her background includes extensive experience in operations, human resources, fundraising, accounting and financial management. Prior to joining the Thrive team, she held the position of Chief of Staff at the Center for Children and Families, Inc. in Norman, OK. With over 10 years of upper management experience, Katherine has honed her skills in creating operational structure and efficiencies. She has a passion for mentoring others and helping them succeed. This can be seen in her day-to-day professional work at Thrive and her philanthropic interests.
Katherine’s self-care activities include spending an entire day binge-watching shows, watching live music, taking trips to beautiful places and spending quality time with her husband Donovan, their son Ian, dog Ogely, and cats Arie and George.

 

she/her/hers

Ronneal Mathews, MPH

Director of Community Engagement

 

Ronneal is a public health professional with over 20 years of experience in program development, implementation and evaluation. Her work has primarily been in chronic disease prevention and sexual and reproductive health education. She is passionate about making an impact on the health of communities and families. She takes great pride in playing an instrumental role in developing several programs and curricula that have become evidence-based models and loves mentoring and training other current and future public health professionals. Ronneal holds a master of public health from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and is currently completing her Doctoral dissertation towards the completion of her Ph.D. in maternal and child health from the University of Maryland College Park.
Her modes of self-care include arts and crafts, journaling, playing strategy games, reading, singing, watching movies, and writing short stories and poetry.

 

she/her/hers

Board of Directors

Officers

  • Alba Weaver, Chair
    Economic Development Project, OG&E
  • Leslie Osborn, Vice Chair
    Oklahoma Commissioner of Labor
  • Stephanie Mendenhall, Treasurer
    Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
  • Dr. Leslie Hudson, Secretary
    Epidemiologist, Community Volunteer
  • Liz Eickman, At-Large Member
    Director, Kirkpatrick Family Fund
  • Rev. Dr. Lori Walke, Past Chair
    Minister, Mayflower Congregational UCC

 

Members

 

  • Jorge Hernandez
    Tango PR
  • Shante Fenner
    OK State Department of Education
  • Dr. Nelson Fong
    Lakeside Women’s Hospital
  • Eran Harrill
    OK National Guard
  • Carrie Coppernoll Jacobs
    Oklahoma Education Association and OKCPS Board of Education
  • Dave Lopez
    Business and Community Leader
  • Adam McLain-Snipes
    Civil Rights and Healthcare Consultant
  • Penny Voss
    OMRF
  • Heather Healey Whiteside
    BancFirst

Join our movement!