OUR Board

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LESLIE DAUGHERTY, secretary
INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - TEACH FOR AMERICA, OKLAHOMA

As a member of the Teach For America-Oklahoma management team, Ms. Daugherty leads the organization’s statewide development efforts, as well as its work to build effective and meaningful partnerships with the schools and districts where the region’s 340 corps members work. Prior to joining the staff of Teach For America, Ms. Daugherty was a 2009 Teach For America charter corps member in Tulsa, where she taught High School English for 9th, 10th, and 12th-grade students. With over 5 years of experience in human resources management from Fortune 500 organizations, Ms. Daugherty also offers College Bound Academy important private sector experience. Ms. Daugherty earned a BS in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University and a MBA from Oklahoma City University.


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Ross Faith, treasurer
Vice President - SpectrumFX

Mr. Faith is a lawyer and entrepreneur from Tulsa, OK. He is currently Co-Founder and Vice President of SpectrumFX, a startup company that sells a fire suppression product to the airline industry. At Spectrum, Mr. Faith has principal responsibility for business development, legal, and financial aspects of the company. He is committed to serving students in low-income communities. As a 2004 Teach For American corps member in Las Vegas, Mr. Faith taught fifth grade in low-income schools in Las Vegas. In 2013, he founded the Tulsa Debate League to provide opportunities for Tulsa Public School students to think critically and communicate through debate.  Mr. Faith earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern California, a Master of Education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan.


Daniel Gomez
Attorney - Conner & Winters, LLP

Mr. Gomez is a litigation attorney with Conner & Winters, LLP, where he represents Native American tribes and tribal businesses in financial disputes, self governance, and in interactions with the federal government.  Mr. Gomez also has considerable experience in the areas of insurance coverage, insurance defense, bankruptcy, and appeals.  As a lawyer, Mr. Gomez has been active in the community and in local and national bar associations.  He currently serves as Deputy to the Regional President for the Hispanic National Bar Association and is Chair of the Tulsa County Bar Association’s Diversity Development Committee.  In furtherance of the Committee’s mission to increase racial and ethnic diversity among the local legal profession, Mr. Gomez has organized and participated in presentations to students at Rogers High School on basic principles of law and on the means for accessing a professional career through higher education and life experiences.  The Committee is also in the process of organizing and assisting a local high school to compete in the Oklahoma Bar Association’s statewide mock trial program.  Mr. Gomez earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Oklahoma State University and a Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. 


Lizaimee (Liza) Mata, vice chair
 

At BOK Financial, Ms. Mata is involved providing strategic communication support for the company’s Consumer Banking division. Ms. Mata’s community involvement has included providing public relations support to nonprofit organizations, serving on the organizing committee for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, and working as communications chair for the Tulsa Area United Way campaign during her time at Williams, her previous employer. Ms. Mata has also been involved in professional organizations in Tulsa, including currently participating in Leadership Tulsa’s Class 55, and previously serving as vice president of Finance for the Tulsa chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. Ms. Mata graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Master’s degree in Strategic Communications Management and received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Tulsa. A native of Venezuela, Ms. Mata has lived in Tulsa for more than 10 years. She is passionate about volunteering in the Tulsa community and is a firm believer in education as an essential aspect in influencing the community’s success. 


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Cassie Reese

vice president, Nabholz corporation

Cassie Reese joined Nabholz Corporation in 2015 as Vice President, Client Relations. In her role with this nationally ranked commercial construction firm, Reese directs strategy for business development, client relations and corporate social responsibility. Reese has served on the State Board of Directors for SMPS (Society of Marketing Professional Services - An AEC Industry Organization) and is an affiliate member of the Eastern Oklahoma Chapter of AIA (American Institute of Architects). Her past experience includes positions in public relations, advertising and non-profit management for several of State’s largest and most well-respected agencies and philanthropies. Based in Tulsa, but engaged across the state, Reese is long-time community volunteer serving in both civic and philanthropic roles.  Reese just completed her term as a mayoral appointee and immediate past chair of the City of Tulsa’s Economic Development Commission, is a past Board Member of the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce and an active Tulsa Ballet Founder’s Society Board member.  Reese is currently serving as the Honorary Chair of Philbrook Museum of Art’s Festival Opening Night and as a Co-Chair for the Tulsa Young Professionals 10 Year Anniversary Gala. Additionally, Reese serves on the Steering Committee of the Tulsa Area United Way Women’s Leadership Council, the Vision 2025 Tax oversight committee and Philbrook Museum of Art’s Young Masters Society to name only a few. For these professional and personal achievements, Reese has been recognized by Oklahoma Magazine, The Journal Record and Tulsa Business Journal as a “Top 40 Under 40” recipient.  She was awarded the same distinction by the NCAIED (National Council for American Indian Economic Development) and is a Leadership Oklahoma class of XXVI graduate.  Reese is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, CCEW Mine Core Fellowship for social entrepreneurship and innovation, a distinguished graduate of the University of Arkansas and is currently pursuing a certification in Corporate Social Responsibility/Corporate Citizenship from Boston College.


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Kristen Schooley
director of wellness, montereau

As Distinguished Events Specialist, Ms. Schooley guides and empowers volunteer committees to coordinate and implement fundraising events that raise more than $350,000 annually for the American Cancer Society.  Prior to assuming this role, Ms. Schooley served the American Cancer Society as the Director of Community Development for Relay For Life in Eastern Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Region Communications Director.  Ms. Schooley has been named to the American Cancer Society’s mentor and management development programs and has served on a number of boards and committees for local community organizations.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the University of Tulsa and brings a wealth of leadership experience in nonprofit and volunteer management, as well as fund development and marketing.


Sharmien Watkins
CEO - Watkins & Associates Accounting and Tax Services

Ms. Watkins is the founder and owner of Watkins & Associates Accounting and Tax Services, LLC. Her career began with Amoco (now BP), in their tax department where she managed the State Income & Franchise Tax accounting processes and reporting for the company. As the owner of Watkins & Associates, she has worked with individuals and organizations large and small.  Her 18 years of accounting and tax experience has allowed her to serve a broad range of businesses.  Ms. Watkins is passionate about accounting and its possibilities. Her passion for supreme service and excellence in all that she does is evidenced by one of her favorite quotes, “To whom much is given… much is required.” She is deeply involved in the Tulsa community and surrounding areas.  She is a member of Metropolitan Baptist Church where she serves in the children’s ministry, serves as a Trustee for Aim High Gymnastics Academy, and is the treasurer of the Alfresco Community Development Corporation.  Ms. Watkins is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration where she majored in Accounting.  


Joey Wignarajah, chair
Vice President - Argonaut Private Equity

As a Vice President at Argonaut Private Equity, Mr. Wignarajah evaluates potential investment opportunities and collaborates with portfolio company leadership in solving challenges they face. Prior to joining Argonaut, Mr. Wignarajah worked as the research director for two political campaigns, as a management consultant in Washington, DC, advising Fortune 500 companies in the aerospace and defense industry, and as a policy advisor in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. He also served as an officer in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps with tours in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Baghdad, Iraq, and Washington, DC, during which he managed over $100M in construction and services contracts. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Tulane University, where he worked managing 8 tutoring programs in ten schools in low-income areas of New Orleans.