MEET OUR Team

Laura Lang

CEO

 

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.


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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.

 

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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.


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Tosha Baird

Director of Programs

 

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.

 

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Ronneal Mathews, Ph.D.

Director of Equity and Strategic Partnerships

 

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.

 

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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.

 

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Carlie Stout Deatherage, MPH, CHES

SPARK Innovation OKC Program Manager

 

Carlie holds a master’s in public health from Oklahoma University. Carlie has experience in and is passionate about creating equitable spaces, program development, relationship building, leadership development, and applying a public health approach to all areas of health. As the Program Manager for SPARK Innovation OKC, Carlie works to support organizations as they develop innovative designs to empower caregivers to talk with youth about sexual health. You can find Carlie and her Australian Shepherd, Riley, making therapy dog visits with H.A.L.O or in the community as a part of Leadership Edmond class XXVI. For self-care Carlie enjoys any kind of movement, snuggling her dogs, drinking lots of coffee with her partner, and experiencing food!

 

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Amy Jenkins

Evaluation Coordinator

 

Amy’s dedication to sexual health promotion began as a teenager, when she grew up without receiving sex ed and saw the consequences of withholding sexual health information. 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. Amy also holds Master of Public Health from George Washington University, where she focused on reproductive health, historic and present racialized reproductive violence, and data equity. Prior to her current role with Thrive, Amy served as Freshmen Diversity Experience coordinator at the University of Oklahoma, program assistant for Thrive, communications fellow at SIECUS, and has done social media and public health consulting. For self-care, Amy enjoys knitting, hiking, and unwinding with a bourbon cocktail made by her husband, Jake.  

 

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Tyler Burns, Ph.D.

Evaluation Coordinator

 

Tyler Burns received their Ph.D. in Human Sexuality Studies from Widener University in 2021. They have a background in psychological counseling and social science research. Tyler is a founding member of the Interdisciplinary Sexuality Research Collaborative (ISRC) research organization at Widener University. During their time at the collaborative, they worked on multiple projects, most of which focused on sexual wellness, the needs of the LGBTQ+ community, and providing community support and development. They also worked as a facilitator for Widener University’s Safe Space Training, and mentor for Widener’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA). Their research interests include LGBT+ issues, non-monogamies, and the intersection of technology and sexuality.

 

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Kim Pempin

Office Coordinator

 

Kim is a longtime advocate for children and youth, animals, senior citizens and those experiencing homelessness. She has spent much of her career in the for-profit world until her passion for helping others led her to working in the nonprofit sector. In 2010, she became the founder of the Pet Food Pantry of Oklahoma, a nonprofit focused on helping low-income pet owners feed their companion animals. Kim later went on to work as the Development Manager for Pivot, a Turning Point for Youth where she learned about the struggles young people face when they have no stability in their lives.  Kim has volunteered her time helping adults and children learn to read, as a leader and mentor in children’s ministry, and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate.  

Kim’s favorite modes of self-care include spending time with her husband Mike, two dogs Sam and Shelby, and relaxing by their Koi fish pond. She also enjoys reading, listening to music, playing the piano, coloring and crocheting. 

 

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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
  • Penny Voss
    OMRF
  • Heather Healey Whiteside
    BancFirst

Join our movement!