OK Policy announces new board leadership, interim executive director 

The Oklahoma Policy Institute is excited to announce new board leadership and an interim executive director following the recent departure of former executive director Ahniwake Rose for a position at a national organization.

The new leadership for the OK Policy Board of Directors includes Jeff Berrong of Weatherford, Chair; Caroline Guerra Wolf of Tulsa, Vice Chair; Beverly K. Carmichael of Tulsa, Secretary; and Rebecca Thompson of Tulsa, Treasurer. They take over from previous board leaders Joe Siano of Norman, Chair; Erica Lucas of Oklahoma City, Vice Chair; Berrong, Secretary; and Chuck Garrett of Tulsa, Treasurer.

“OK Policy has always been fortunate to have a strong board with deep and diverse expertise to help guide the important work of our talented and committed staff team,” said Berrong, who is the first OK Policy board chair to reside outside the Tulsa or Oklahoma City metro areas. “We want to continue to build our solid reputation as Oklahoma’s objective and pragmatic think tank that truly works in a nonpartisan way to analyze public policy and score real life victories for Oklahoma families throughout our entire state.”

The board also recently appointed longtime OK Policy staff member Shiloh Kantz to serve as the organization’s interim executive director. Shiloh joined OK Policy in 2010, was promoted to Director of Operations and Development in 2015, and then to her most recent role as Deputy Director in 2018. She is a wife and mother of three children and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

“OK Policy has been a central and formative part of my life, and I am thrilled to serve the organization and the state in my new role,” Kantz said. “State policies impact everyone, and my career with OK Policy has helped me see firsthand how everyday Oklahomans can use their political voices to help shape these policies so that everyone in the state can thrive.”

In addition to the board leadership, current board members include Susan Bynum of Tulsa, Chuck Garrett of Tulsa, Ashley Harris Philippsen of Tulsa, Kelsey Karper of Oklahoma City, Rodger T. Kerr of Altus, Roger Knak of Fairview, Erica Lucas, and Joe Siano.

OK Policy is an independent nonprofit that seeks to advance equitable and fiscally responsible policies that expand opportunity for all Oklahomans through nonpartisan research, analysis, and advocacy.

For more information about OK Policy or the Executive Director search, visit OKPolicy.org.

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Board Leadership Bios

Jeff Berrong, Chair.  A resident of Weatherford, Berrong is a third-generation owner in his family’s independent insurance agency, Ed Berrong Insurance Agency, Inc., which has been in business since 1948 and now has locations in Weatherford and Edmond.  He received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2004.  Before returning home to western Oklahoma in 2006, Jeff served as a field representative for former Oklahoma Congressman Dan Boren. He is very involved in his community where he has served on the board of directors of the Great Plains Family YMCA, the Weatherford Rotary Club, the Weatherford Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Weatherford Industrial Trust.  Jeff has enjoyed a lifelong interest in public policy, government, and politics and was a candidate for the Oklahoma State Senate District 38 seat in 2018.

Caroline Guerra Wolf, Vice Chair. A resident of Tulsa and TU Law graduate, Guerra Wolf is an Assistant Professor of Legal Writing at the University of Tulsa College of Law and a recent judicial law clerk for Chief Judge John E. Dowdell of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma. She is a 2014 alumna of OK Policy’s Oklahoma Summer Policy Institute, and worked for the Tulsa City Council as a council aide.

Beverly K. Carmichael, Secretary. Carmichael is a former C-suite executive having served as the top HR executive at several organizations including Southwest Airlines, Ticketmaster, and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. She is also an attorney and was the top labor lawyer at heavily unionized Southwest Airlines for many years. A Tulsa native and OU graduate, Carmichael has served on the boards of several nonprofit professional organizations.

Rebecca Thompson, Treasurer. A resident of the Tulsa area, Thompson has served as the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of AAON, Inc. since May 2021.  Previously, she served as the company’s Chief Accounting Officer since December 2012 and as CAO and Treasurer since November 2017. Thompson graduated from the University of Tulsa with a B.S.B.A. in Accounting and a Master of Information Systems and Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Hamby has more than 25 years of experience as an award-winning communicator, including overseeing communication programs for Oklahoma higher education institutions and other organizations. Before joining OK Policy, he was director of public relations for Rogers State University where he managed the school’s external communication programs and served as a member of the president’s leadership team. He served in a similar communications role for five years at the University of Tulsa. He also has worked in communications roles at Oklahoma State University and the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce in Arkansas. He joined OK Policy in October 2019.

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