2019 SPI Speaker Bios Day 4

Speaker Bios [Day 4]

[2019 SPI Home]

Alphabetical by last name of person (sorted by agenda)

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Panel Discussion: Policy Perspectives

Sen. Allison Ikely-Freeman – Oklahoma State Senate

As a first generation college graduate, Senator Allison Ikley-Freeman (D-Tulsa) earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health and worked as a therapist at a Tulsa based, non-profit, community mental-health agency. Through the Tulsa Achieves program, she embraced volunteerism as a way of life; earning the President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Obama. She is on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Appropriations Subcommittee on Health, and the Education Committee.

Senator Ikley-Freeman and her wife, Dawn, have two sons and a daughter. They attend Centenary United Methodist Church in Tulsa. Senator Ikley-Freeman serves Oklahoma’s Senate District 37, encompassing west Tulsa, Sand Springs, Berryhill, west Jenks, and Glenpool.

Lisa Kramer – Bixby Public Schools Board Member

Lisa Kramer is a CPA and the Controller of Affiliated Entities for U.S. Beef Corporation. In addition, she is in her tenth year of service on the Bixby School Board and also serves as the Treasurer for the Bixby Outreach Center. She is a co-chair of the Bixby Parent Legislative Action Committee and serves on the Board for the OKPLAC. She is married and has 2 daughters that attended public schools.

Mary Beth Lykins – School Counselor at Booker T. Washington High School and President of Oklahoma School Counselors Association

Mary Beth Lykins is a proud graduate of Will Rogers High School. She attended Northeastern State University, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Secondary Education. She continued at NSU to obtain her Masters of Education in Secondary School Counseling. Lykins taught high school English in Tulsa Public Schools for 13 years before moving to a rural district, beginning an 8-year school counseling career at Claremore before returning to TPS to work at Booker T. Washington for the last five years. She is recognized as a Nationally Certified Teacher by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, is an O.S.C.A.R award winner, and was runner-up for Oklahoma School Counselor of the Year. She is an IMPACT Tulsa member, an advisory member for the Tulsa Technology Center Bio-Medical Science program, serves on the Oklahoma Superintendent’s advisory council and is a past-president and a Board member of the Oklahoma School Counselor Association.

Ed McIntosh – President AFT-Tulsa Local 6049

I was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’m a product of Tulsa Public Schools, as was my daughter and my three sons. I did a stitch in the U.S. Navy right after graduation from Booker T. Washington High School in 1968. Moved back to Tulsa in 1973, got married and raised four kids and working on raising a fifth, (grandson).

Started my career with Tulsa Public Schools in the fall of 1978, in Plant Operations Department, at East Central High School. Rose through the ranks to Night Supervisor, and Day Assistant. I’ve been assigned to several schools though out my tenure with Tulsa Public Schools. The last, Will Rogers High School as Building & Grounds Site Supervisor, before being elected to my present position.

I was elected President of AFT Tulsa, Local 6049, in 2012, where I’ve served since. We represent and advocate for Support Personnel of the District.  I am also a member of the State AFT Executive Board and a delegate of the Northeastern Oklahoma Labor Council.

Elton Sykes – Principal, Carver Middle School

Sykes is a principal in Tulsa Public Schools at George Washington Carver Middle School, which strives to empower all students to be inquirers and to meet high academic standards in a nurturing, enriching, supportive environment where individual differences and talents are respected. Elton also serves as the President-Elect for the Tulsa Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP). Sykes graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science (’09), a Master’s Degree in Education Administration, Curriculum and Supervision from University of Oklahoma (’12), and will complete his Doctoral Degree in Education Administration from University of Oklahoma in the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.


Rebecca Fine – Policy Analyst, OK Policy

Read more about Rebecca on the OK Policy staff page

Discussion: Oklahoma’s Political Landscape

Dr. Keith Gaddie President’s Associates Presidential Professor, University of Oklahoma

Dr. Keith Gaddie is President’s Associates Presidential Professor, Executive Faculty Fellow of the University, and Senior Fellow of Headington College at the University of Oklahoma. His current research focuses in three areas: the intersect of the built environment and democratic values; redistricting; and voting rights reform. Keith has authored or coauthored 24 books or volumes, and is a two-time winner of the V. O. Key Jr. Award for the outstanding book on Southern Politics. Among his published works are the books Regulating Wetlands Protection (2000), Triumph of Voting Rights In the South (2009), Rise and Fall of the Voting Rights Act (2016), and The Three Governors Controversy: Skullduggery, Machinations, and the Decline of Georgia’s Progressive Politics (2015). His textbook with Thomas R. Dye, Politics in America, is entering its 12th edition. Since joining the faculty at OU in 1996, Keith has been professor of political science (College of Arts & Sciences) and of journalism (Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication) and architecture (Gibbs College of Architecture) since 2017. Together with Dr. Kim Gaddie and Prof. Kirby Goidel of Texas A&M, Keith is coeditor of Social Science Quarterly, the world’s oldest, leading interdisciplinary social science journal. From 2014-2017 he served as chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma.


Courtney Cullison – Policy Analyst, OK Policy

Read about Courtney on the OK Policy staff bio page.

Breakout Sessions #3

Breakout Session: Infographics: Finding & Using Data

Gene Perry – Manager of Government Relations, Cherokee Nation Businesses

Gene Perry is Manager of Government Relations with Cherokee Nation Businesses. Prior to joining Cherokee Nation, he worked at OK Policy from January 2011 through July 2019. Gene also serves on the board of the Oklahoma Sustainability Network, is a trustee of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, and has chaired the communications advisory committee for the State Priorities Partnership, a nationwide network of state fiscal policy think tanks. He lives in Tulsa with his wife, Tulsa City Councilor Kara Joy McKee, and their daughter.

Breakout Session: Presentation: Running a Political Campaign

Michael Whelan – President, Camelot Consulting

Michael Whelan is the founder and principal political consultant at Camelot Consulting, LLC, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has worked for dozens political candidates helping with fundraising solutions, general strategy, media, mail, messaging, and ethical compliance. Michael has served as chairman the Tulsa County Democratic Party and as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2012 and 2016. Additionally, he has served on the National Finance Committee for the DNC since 2012.

Michael graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2004 with a degree in Arts Management with a focus on advertising and marketing. A self-described “recovering lawyer”, Michael received his legal education at the University of Tulsa – College of Law, and completed his Juris Doctorate in 2009. While at TU Law Michael created and served as the founding president of the Democratic Law Society, a student organization dedicated to promoting democratic ideals in the legal community.

Michael founded Camelot Consulting in 2012. Under his leadership, Camelot’s professional approach to politics is rooted in creativity and integrity. In an industry where campaigns have become increasingly template based, Camelot focuses on strategy that offers their clients solutions that break through the noise. Michael believes that with quality candidates, the truth doesn’t need to be stretched to be persuasive and that conventional wisdom should be questioned and re-questioned with every new race. This approach has transformed numerous fantastic candidates into elected officials AND won them a Gold Pollie award from the American Association of Political Consultants.

Michael’s work with Camelot Consulting has been recognized both locally and nationally. The current political climate has afforded Camelot Consulting accolades and notoriety. Their clients have flipped deeply red legislative districts in Oklahoma. News outlets have covered Camelot’s wins across the country including the Tulsa World, the Daily Oklahoman, the Economist, VICE News, the Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC. Additionally, Campaigns and Elections Magazine honored Michael on its “Influencer 500” list.

While Michael grew up all over North America in cities like Toronto, St. Louis, New Orleans and Houston, he now proudly calls Oklahoma home. Never one to shy away from insurmountable odds, Michael is committed to bringing common sense solutions to the Sooner State one seat at a time. Michael currently lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with his three precocious children, Brennan (11), Layla (9) and Amelia (8). These three future organizers are already well versed in phone banking, stuffing envelopes, and canvassing.

Breakout Session: Mental Health Fellowship Breakout

Maggie den Harder – Mental Health Fellow, OK Policy

Read about Maggies on the OK Policy staff bio page.

Breakout Session: Mental Health Fellowship Breakout

Brittany Hayes – Mental Health Fellow, OK Policy

Read about Maggies on the OK Policy staff bio page.