Oklahoma Policy Institute has grown a lot in the past few years. From humble beginnings in 2008, we now have a staff of 20, including talented individuals who focus on a wide range of policy issues, intensive data analysis, outreach, communications, events and operations, and more. To give you a better idea of who we are and what we all do, we are running an OK Policy Blog series highlighting our staffers.
For this edition, here’s Shiloh Kantz, Deputy Director and Operations and Development Director:
What do you do at OK Policy?
My main work is centered around the daily operations and development of OK Policy. I oversee an Operations & Development team that is responsible for all of OK Policy’s events, fundraising, accounting, H/R, donor relations, grant writing and reporting, office culture, and financial management. My team also helps support the Board of Directors when needed. In the last two years, I have become much more involved in specific policy programs and assist in oversight, implementation, and budgeting for those programs. I am a member of the OK Policy leadership team that is responsible for oversight of the entire organization in partnership with the Executive Director and Board of Directors.
What’s your favorite thing about doing this work?
The people. The people have always been my favorite part of my job. The staff of OK Policy is the reason I get up and come to work every day. I am invested in them personally and professionally. I know it is cliche to say that we are like family, but don’t we really spend as much time working together as we do with our family? They’re all different and add such an array of viewpoints and lenses in which to view the work we do. Their successes, happiness, failures, and growth are a real part of the work we do.
What would you most like Oklahoma to become a “Top 10 State” in?
I would most like Oklahoma to become a “Top 10 State” in putting people over politics. So many decisions made at the Oklahoma Capitol stem from political influence or campaign money promises. If we made decisions based on facts, not partisan slant, lobbyist opinions, or reelection funding promises, then we could see Oklahoma start leading the country in many policy areas.
What else should OK Policy’s readers know about you?
My professional background is in restaurants and restaurant accounting. Prior to being hired as OK Policy’s second employee in February of 2010, I had zero nonprofit work experience and no interest in state policies or budgets. My how things have changed. I am so grateful to have had these years at OK Policy to learn on the job as well as find my new passion~