MEET OUR Team
Chief Executive Officer
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.
Jessica Kobylinski, MPA
Chief Administrative Officer
Jessica is passionate about ensuring Oklahomans have access to accurate information and resources that enable them to make informed decisions regarding their sexual health. By breaking through the silence, fear, stigma and shame that can be associated with open communication around sexual health, Jessica hopes to empower Oklahomans to engage in honest conversations, ultimately leading to a healthier community for all. She comes to Thrive with over 25 years of nonprofit experience providing care to those living with HIV and administering programs focused on stopping the spread of HIV, STIs, and viral hepatitis. Most recently she served as the Chief Operating Officer for one of the largest AIDS Service Organizations in the county. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, with a certification in nonprofit management, from the University of Colorado. Jessica grew up in Southern Oklahoma and is thrilled to be “home,” where she can focus on making a difference in the state she loves so much.
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.
Director of Development and Communications
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.
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.
Director of Data and Strategic Learning
Sarah comes to Thrive with more than 15 years of experience in research design, data analysis, and organizational strategic planning and effectiveness. Prior to joining the Thrive team, she directed Institutional Assessment at the University of Central Oklahoma. Sarah holds degrees from Vanderbilt University and Texas Christian University, and her experiences include higher education administration and religious non-profit leadership. In her spare time, Sarah leads children and youth ministries at Southern Hills Christian Church and is passionate about creating safe spaces for youth to develop who they are. Sarah’s self-care interests include reading, hiking, weight-lifting, and spending time with her wife, Lauren, her two sons, and dog Eleanor (named after Eleanor Roosevelt, of course!).
Training and Capacity Building 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.
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!
Data and Strategic Learning Specialist
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.
Tyler Burns, Ph.D.
Data and Strategic Learning Specialist
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.
Board of Directors
- 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
- Jorge Hernandez
- 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
- Heather Healey Whiteside