BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Board Meetings

Ben Stewart

Board Member

Ben Stewart works on PreK-12 education initiatives at GKFF. Prior to joining GKFF in 2010, Mr. Stewart worked in venture capital for the Oklahoma Life Sciences Fund, lived abroad in Argentina, and worked with social entrepreneurship groups Ashoka and Endeavor. A Tulsa native, he is a 2007 graduate from the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in international business, entrepreneurship and Spanish.

Palmer Johnson

Palmer Johnson is a business owner and attorney in Tulsa. He is a two time graduate of the University of Tulsa, completing both his undergraduate and law degrees with highest honors. He began his career practicing law where he worked at a large firm with a practice focused on adoption and family law. Despite enjoying the legal field, he decided to join the family business Johnson Floor & Home Carpet One in 2013. Palmer currently serves as the companies Vice President. Since joining the business, it has experienced significant growth and currently operates in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. Palmer is well respected in the flooring covering industry and is frequently interviewed and quoted in industry trade journals. Having a strong connection to the Tulsa community is important to Palmer as evidenced by his service on several other nonprofit boards in the community.

Nancy Carter

Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair

A Tulsa native and Oklahoma State University grad, Nancy Carter has lived her entire life in Tulsa. After two years in the public accounting sector, she has worked in the energy and non-profit industries. Nancy has been a CPA since 1989.

Jahaziel Hiriart

Secretary

Jahaziel Hiriart serves as Associate Director of SEL & Impact at The Opportunity Project, an intermediary organization focused on promoting expanded learning. She is responsible for increasing the impact of social and emotional learning as a citywide initiative. She believes in empowering people with the knowledge and tools they need to improve their quality of life and interactions with others. Jahaziel is an international student from Mexico. She serves as a board member for Tulsa Global Alliance, TYPROS Foundation, the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice and is actively involved in community events throughout the year, especially those that involve Latin dancing. She holds degrees in international relations, global business, and (soon) educational psychology. Jahaziel joined the THA board because she believes in the power of education to disrupt inequity and move our community forward.

Conor Cleary

Board Member

Conor Cleary is an attorney with the Office of the Solicitor at the U.S. Department of the Interior specializing in Federal Indian and environmental law. Mr. Cleary has extensive non-profit board experience, most recently serving as President of the Board of Tulsa CARES, as well as serving on the boards of Youth Services of Tulsa, Oklahomans for Equality, and the Tulsa Debate League.  Mr. Cleary graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 2010 and obtained his LL.M. in American Indian Law from the University of Tulsa. He graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Oklahoma in 2007 and as an undergraduate, he won the college debate national championship.

Moises Echeverria

Board Member

Moises Echeverria serves as President and CEO of the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice (OCCJ), an organization dedicated to achieving respect and understanding among all people. He has been involved with OCCJ for sixteen years, first as a program participant, then as volunteer and subsequently as staff. He is passionate about social justice, education, and giving back to the community. He serves in the Tulsa City-County Library Commission, Oklahoma Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Tulsa Public Schools Community Advisory Committee, Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Society, on the boards of Community Health Connection and Tulsa Honor Academy, and is the 2018 Chair of TYPros, one of the largest organized young professional associations in the United States. Moises has received multiple awards for his work in the community.   He completed a Bachelors in Business Administration at Oklahoma State University and a Masters in Human Relations from The University of Oklahoma.

John Gawey

Board Chair

John Gawey is an attorney atFrederic Dorwart, Lawyers PLLC. John represents commercial banks, investmentbanks, private equity funds and other borrowers in connection with a variety oflending and M&A transactions. John was an associate with White & CaseLLP in New York from 2013 to 2018. He also served as a law clerk to theHonorable Charles R. Wilson of the United States Court of Appeals for theEleventh Circuit. In addition to his work with Tulsa Honor Academy, John serveson the NextGen committee for Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma.

John received a B.A. inLetters summa cum laude fromthe University of Oklahoma. He graduated magna cum laude from Notre Dame LawSchool. In law school, Mr. Gawey was a member of the Notre Dame Law Review.

Cynthia Jasso

Board Vice Chair

Cynthia Jasso is the Associate Director of Community Engagement for the Birth through Eight Strategy for Tulsa (BEST), where she works on policy, sustainability, and sharing lessons learned locally and nationally. She joined GKFF after spending nearly 6 years in education, first as an educator and then moving into leadership roles at a national education-based nonprofit. Most recently, she worked at Teach For America Greater Tulsa where she led the region’s fundraising and communications efforts. She is a proud graduate of Leadership Tulsa’s Class 60 and the Hispanic Leadership Institute, and serves on several community boards and task forces. She attended the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) where she graduated with departmental honors in Political Science and Chicana/o Studies.


Kian Kamas

Board Member

Kian Kamas serves as Chief of Economic Development for the City of Tulsa. In this role she is responsible for directly managing a team of eight staff who focus on managing and developing tools and programs crucial to successful economic development, and supporting existing industry and new business prospects seeking to invest in Tulsa. In addition to this, she is responsible for oversight of the Development Services Department, Tulsa Parking Authority, and Downtown Coordinating Council. Prior to joining the Mayor’s team in August 2017, Ms. Kamas served as Vice President of Economic Development for the Tulsa Regional Chamber. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma, a Master’s Degree in Comparative Public Policy from the University of Edinburgh, and completed the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. Ms. Kamas is a founding member of the Tulsa Honor Academy Board of Directors and has served as Chair for two terms. She is passionate about ensuring all Tulsans achieve their full academic potential.

Michael Smith

Board Member

Michael F. Smith is a shareholder at McAfee & Taft, Oklahoma’s largest law firm. Mr. Smith is a trial and appellate lawyer whose practice is concentrated on defending clients in complex litigation, including consumer protection class actions and claims involving breach of contract, professional malpractice, insurance bad faith, and manufacturers’ products liability, including automotive, medical device, and pharmaceutical products liability. Mr. Smith is admitted to practice in Oklahoma, Illinois, and New York and has represented clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout the United States. He is particularly regarded for his expertise with appellate practice and procedure in the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and has had primary briefing responsibilities on a broad range of cases. His achievements as a trial and appellate lawyer have earned him inclusion in Benchmark Litigation, The Best Lawyers in America (commercial litigation) and Oklahoma Super Lawyers, as well as the honor of membership in the International Association of Defense Counsel, where he served as editor of the Defense Counsel Journal for two years. Mr. Smith previously chaired the Oklahoma Bar Association’s appellate practice committee and is an active member in the Council Oak/Johnson-Sontag American Inn of Court. Mr. Smith earned his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University in 1987 and his Juris Doctor, with distinction, from The University of Tulsa College of Law in 1991.

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