Meet Our Commissioners
Since 1982, the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth has helped create quality systems for children, youth, and families by bringing accountability and independent oversight into Oklahoma’s child and youth service system. OCCY Commissioners meet to approve strategic plans, coordinate efforts between agencies, and make recommendations to the governor, legislature, and child-focused agencies. They serve without compensation for up to four terms of two years each.
For more information, please call 405-606-4900.
- A member with a demonstrated interest in improving children services who is not employed by a state agency or a private organization that receives state funds
- Appointed by the President Tempore of the Senate
Lindsay Laird serves as vice president of programs at the Arnall Family Foundation where she is responsible for developing engagement strategies, building partnerships and overseeing project implementation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Lindsay served as vice president of Saxum, an integrated marketing communications agency based in Oklahoma City.
She has a master’s degree from West Virginia University and a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Central Oklahoma. In 2014, Lindsay was listed in the OKCBiz Achievers Under 40 and is a graduate of Linking Oklahoma City’s Young Adult Leaders (LOYAL) Class IV. She serves on the board of directors for ReMerge, a comprehensive female diversion program. In 2018, Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat appointed Lindsay to the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth.
- Representing a statewide court-appointed Special Advocate Association
- Appointed by the Governor
Jacqueline Aaron is from Weatherford, Oklahoma and is the Executive Director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Western Oklahoma which covers 5 counties. Her degree is in education. She also coordinates the Custer/Washita County Child Protection Team. Jackie was a founding board member/parent for the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma, which began in 2000.
SECRETARY OF HUMAN SERVICES, DIRECTOR OF OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
In June 2019 Governor J. Kevin Stitt appointed Justin B. Brown as Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, the state’s largest agency by workforce. In March 2020, Governor Stitt further appointed Brown to the position of Cabinet Secretary of Oklahoma Human Services. As CEO of a regional senior housing company prior to these appointments, Brown built a deep experience in organizational leadership, finance and strategic planning & execution. With this experience, Brown is well suited to build a vision based on a customer first mentality, motivating the team to execute on a vision of serving the State of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens. As a strong relationship builder, Brown was uniquely qualified to position the Department of Human Services as a collaborative agency that engages with partners across the state to serve together.
In addition to having built a passion for serving seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease through his prior profession and Board of Directors engagement with the Alzheimer’s Association, Brown has built a life of service to children through non-profit service including the OU Children’s Hospital Foundation, the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, the OKC Zoo, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, among others. He and his wife, Kelly, have been married for 20 years and have two children, Hannah and Ford.
Chief Executive Officer, Oklahoma Health Care Authority
Kevin Corbett was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA), Oklahoma’s Medicaid agency, effective August. 15, 2019. Most recently, Corbett was appointed to serve as the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Mental Health on June 29, 2020.
Previously, Corbett served as a Senior Partner and Risk Advisory practice leader with Ernst & Young, retiring in 2017 with over 38 years of service.
During his career, Corbett advised some of the largest companies in the U.S. and abroad, gaining extensive experience in a wide array of corporate matters, including public offerings, merger and acquisitions, debt restructurings, bankruptcy proceedings, risk management and transformational change.
Corbett is a graduate of Oklahoma State University (BS in Accounting) and the executive management program at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. Corbett has served on the board of several civic Organizations in Oklahoma and Texas, including Sunbeam Family Services, Junior Achievement, United Way, and Oklahoma State University Foundation Board of Governors. Corbett is a CPA licensed in Oklahoma and Texas and a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors.
DIRECTOR, OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION SERVICES
As executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, Melinda Fruendt leads more than 1,000 state employees who served 76,134 Oklahomans with disabilities in 2021. She previously served as DRS chief of staff for DRS’ seven divisions with 25 statewide programs focused on employment, education, independence and the determination of medical eligibility for disability benefits. Her past positions include executive-level project coordinator for DRS and program manager of the Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council, a DRS partner.
Melinda grew up the youngest of six children on a family farm in Chouteau and continues to farm and ranch with her husband Paul in Guthrie where they have a cow-calf and stocker operation, as well as diversified crops production.
She was honored with the Workforce Champion award in 2016 from the Oklahoma Association of Workforce Development Boards and the Oklahoma Workforce Association.
KEITH REED, RN, MPH, CPH
INTERIM COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH
Keith Reed has worked for the State of Oklahoma for 24 years, the past 19 with the Oklahoma State Department of Health. While with OSDH, Keith has served in multiple positions within the agency, and currently serves as the Deputy Commissioner for Community Health Services. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Oklahoma’s Northeastern State University and a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Oklahoma. In addition to his public health career, Keith is also a Colonel in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, serving multiple tours in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. He is currently assigned as Commander, 137th Special Operations Medical Group, Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Oklahoma City.
- Representing business or industry
- Appointed by the Governor
Jonathan Hall currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors and is a Managing Principal at Warburton Capital where he manages day-to-day operations, leads the firm’s advisory and operations teams as well as directs efforts to attract and retain talent. Hall also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Finance at Oral Roberts University (ORU) teaching Personal Financial Planning and Capital Markets. He serves as the President of the Board of Directors for Emergency Infant Services (EIS) of Tulsa and has served on this board since 2014.
Commissioner Hall earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from ORU, where he served as President of the ORU Graduate Business Association. He further earned a Master of Science degree in Financial Services (M.S.F.S.) with an emphasis in Financial Planning from Saint Joseph’s University.
- Oklahoma Children's Agencies and Residential Enterprises
- Appointed by the Governor
Ginarie Harrington, is the Vice President of Programs for Circle of Care. She has 15+ years of experience serving children and families across Oklahoma. Her experience includes working in the following fields; mental health, medical social work, residential treatment and the child welfare field. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a TBRI practitioner and a foster parent of 8+ years. As a foster parent, she is passionate about helping biological parents find success when they have lost custody of their children to DHS. In her role as Vice President of Programs at Circle of Care she leads programs that serve children and families along the continuum of care including: foster care, transitional living, and counseling services. Many of the positions she has held during her career have been in leadership where she focuses on coaching her team, growing their potential and helping them do the best work of their lives.
As a lifelong Oklahoman, Ginarie earned her Bachelor’s of Social Work at Northeastern State University and her Master of Social Work at The University of Oklahoma.
THE HONORABLE JOY JOFMEISTER
STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION
A former public school teacher and small business owner, Joy Hofmeister has led a number of successful efforts to improve public education in Oklahoma. Under Hofmeister’s leadership, Oklahoma teachers have won two long-overdue pay increases averaging $7,400. In addition, she innovated a program to provide the ACT or SAT for every high school student in Oklahoma at no cost. She was a chief architect of House Bill 3218, now law, which mandated significant strengthening to the A-F school accountability system, repealed the seven End of Instruction (EOI) tests and replaced them with a new plan to ensure high-value assessment tools, less time testing, more time for rich instruction, personalized learning and multiple pathways to college and career readiness.
Hofmeister's strategic plan and state goals, Oklahoma Edge, center on lowering remediation, raising graduation rates and lifting educational achievement for all students with a keen eye on closing opportunity and equity gaps individually. She has also championed laws that strengthen the Reading Sufficiency Act, improve student safety, reduce bureaucratic red tape and combat the teacher shortage.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF JUVENILE AFFAIRS
Rachel Canuso Holt, a native of Philadelphia, graduated cum laude from George Washington University with a major in criminal justice and a minor in women’s studies. After graduation, she worked as a victim advocate for victims of domestic violence in the Washington D.C. court system and as a legal assistant for a small corporate law firm. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 2007 with recognition for her participation in the Interdisciplinary training program in child abuse and neglect. During law school, she was a licensed legal intern in the school’s civil clinic and with the Oklahoma County district attorney’s office.
Upon graduation from law school, Holt was named an assistant district attorney for Oklahoma County where she served in the juvenile division prosecuting juvenile delinquents and youthful offenders and assisting with deprived matters. She took a few years off to be home with her children. She returned to the Oklahoma County district attorney’s office in July 2014. In August 2016, she started duties as deputy general counsel for the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA). She was named an assistant attorney general on Nov. 1, 2016 and served in an assignment as the general counsel for OJA. In December 2017, Holt joined OJA as chief operating officer and senior general counsel.
On March 5, 2020, the Board of the Office of Juvenile Affairs appointed Holt to serve as the interim executive director for OJA. On Oct. 15, 2020, Gov. Kevin Stitt appointed Holt executive director of OJA, pending Senate confirmation in the 2021 legislative session. On May 19, 2021, the Oklahoma Senate confirmed Holt as executive director of the Office of Juvenile Affairs.
DR. KALIE KERTH
- Representing the Post Adjudication Review Boards
- Appointed by the Governor
Dr. Kalie Kerth is a practicing clinical pharmacist at Southwestern Oklahoma State University College of Pharmacy in Weatherford, Oklahoma. She is the Founder and CEO of Harley’s House Crisis Nursery, a local nonprofit serving children and families in Western Oklahoma. Dr. Kerth is an avid child advocate and serves on the Custer Washita child protective team and as a board member for the Family Drug Treatment Court in those counties. Dr. Kerth serves on the Commission as a member of the Post-Adjudication Review Board representing a foster parent with an agency. Dr. Kerth and her family have welcomed over 37 children into their home during their 5-year foster journey.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY JASON M. HICKS
- Representing the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council
- Appointed by the Governor
Jason M. Hicks serves as District Attorney for the Sixth Prosecutorial District, which includes Caddo, Grady, Jefferson and Stephens Counties. He was elected in 2010 and ran unopposed for the position in 2014 and 2018.
Hicks was born in Oklahoma City and grew up in Chickasha, graduating high school in 1987. In December 1997, Hicks graduated from Cameron University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. His studies in the criminal justice area sparked an interest in Hicks to become a prosecutor. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Hicks attended the University of Oklahoma, College of Law earning his J.D. in 2001.
Prior to graduating from the University of Oklahoma, College of Law, Hicks was hired as an intern for District 6 where he also served as an Assistant District Attorney. During his time as an ADA for Stephens County, Hicks successfully prosecuted a countless number of cases. His caseload included responsibility for one-third of all felonies filed in Stephens County, misdemeanors, juvenile delinquents, juvenile deprived, along with other tasks assigned to him through the course of daily business.
Hicks left the District Attorney’s Office in 2004 to become a partner in the law firm Ellis, Buckholts & Hicks where he specialized in adoption law and all other areas of family and criminal law. During his time in private practice Hicks was aware that his calling was to be a public servant. This calling became a reality when he made the decision to run for the position he now holds in 2009.
Hicks and his wife, Marla, were married in 1993 and reside in Stephens County. They have three children, Jackson, Chandler and Reagan.
- Representing the Metropolitan Juvenile Bureaus
- Appointed by the Governor
Brenda Myers was appointed on March 17, 2017 as the Director of the Comanche County Juvenile Bureau and Comanche County Regional Juvenile Detention Center. Myers' work life has focused on the juvenile justice system since she began her career. Serving in roles as a career counselor, intake/probation officer, supervisor, and now a director, Myers strives to help Oklahoma’s children, youth, and families navigate juvenile justice service systems. Myers holds two additional positions, Coordinator for the Comanche County Freestanding Multidisciplinary Team and board member of the Lawton Public Schools Foundation. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Behavioral Sciences from Cameron University, and is bilingual (speaking both English and Spanish). Myers' most important and outstanding accomplishment occurred in March of 2006 – the moment she became a mom.
- Representing a Statewide Association of Youth Services
- Appointed by the Governor
John Schneider is an energetic, motivated, driven leader. He has been committed to Youth & Family Services, Inc. (YFS) for 10 years. Throughout his service at YFS, he has served in various rolls including Development Director, Assistant Director, and now Executive Director.
He is known for establishing creative partnerships and relationships to collaboratively provide life changing solutions to some of our community’s most challenging social issues.
He has a business background and specialized knowledge in building effective teams, strategic relationship development, private fund development, and outcome driven program management.
commissioner, oklahoma department of mental health and substance abuse services
Carrie Slatton-Hodges is the Commissioner for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Prior to her current role, Carrie served 12 years as Deputy Commissioner for ODMHSAS, overseeing treatment and recovery services statewide. She is committed to mental health and substance use prevention, treatment and recovery for Oklahomans and believes that everyone deserves to live a valuable, productive life in the community.
Carrie has transformed the delivery of treatment services through innovative programming and strategically leveraging resources to improve Oklahoma’s behavioral health, including the launch of Urgent Behavioral Health Care Centers, integrating Comprehensive Community Addiction Recovery Centers, developing a system of ambulatory detoxification services, and transitioning to an outcome-based payment system for Community Behavioral Health Centers. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Nazarene University and a Master’s in Applied Psychology from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and has been a Licensed Professional Counselor for 29 years.
JUDGE W. mike warren
chair of the SJR 13 oversight committee
Mike Warren has been a Judge of the District Court for the State of Oklahoma for more than 31 years. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BA in Accounting and received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Tulsa in 1981. He is licensed to practice in both the State and Federal Court.
Judge Warren began his career as a partner in a general practice law firm for 10 years, and prior to becoming a State judge, was a Municipal Judge 7 years, and a City Prosecutor 3 years.
Judge Warren is the Chair of the Juvenile Justice Oversight Advisory Committee, a committee of nine judges selected by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to examine children’s issues, state statutes, provide mandatory training curriculums for all judges with juvenile dockets, meet regularly with all state agency heads regarding children, meet with legislators seeking advice on proposed state childrens’/juvenile statutes, and make recommendations to the Chief Justice and Supreme Court on matters involving children.
Judge Warren represents the Oklahoma Supreme Court as a Board Member of the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth, created by statute to assist entities throughout the State with children’s issues.
Judge Warren was selected by the Oklahoma Attorney General as a member of the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, which reviews deaths in Oklahoma involving acts of domestic violence. He is an advocate to stop violence against children, as well as domestic violence in general.
In 2007, Judge Warren was selected as one of five judges to rewrite the entire Children’s Code and Juvenile Code (two statute law books) for Oklahoma and became state law, effective November, 2009.
In 2007, he also chaired the sub-committee which created and implemented the very first Deprived Child Uniform Orders, addressing all events for a deprived child, from the time the child is removed from the home until the child receives final permanency, either through reunification or parental rights termination, and adoption.
Mike was selected in 2012, by the Oklahoma Attorney General, to sit as a member of the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board. He is an advocate to stop violence against children, as well as domestic violence in general.
Mike is married to his sweetheart, has a 35 year old married daughter, a 13 year old son, and a four-year-old grandson. He is an accomplished pianist and singer and is a licensed pilot.
- Representing the Oklahoma Bar Association
- Appointed by the Governor
Commissioner Wilson resides in Ardmore, Oklahoma, where he is employed with the firm Mordy, Mordy, Pfrehm & Wilson, P.C., focusing his legal practice on banking, collections, foreclosures, real property and contract law, taxation, oil and gas law, and general civil litigation.
Commissioner Wilson is an active member in the community and volunteers frequently for non-profit organizations, including serving as both President and Vice President on the board of directors for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Southern Oklahoma, as well as serving as a board member of the First United Methodist Church Preschool, and other various scholarship and community organizations. In his professional capacity, Wilson has served as the Municipal Judge of the City of Ardmore. He is currently a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and the Carter County Bar Association (where he served as the president in 2014).
Commissioner Wilson attended Oklahoma State University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences in 2004. In 2009, he obtained his juris doctorate from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. During his time at the Oklahoma City University School of Law, he earned academic achievement awards in Oklahoma Land Titles and Estate and Gift Taxation.
- A member who represents a community partnership board
Selected pursuant to the guidelines established by the OCCY
- A parent of a child with special needs
- Appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives