Meet our staff
Annette Wisk Jacobi, JD
Annette Wisk Jacobi has dedicated her career to improving the lives of Oklahoma’s children and families. Since December 2017, she has had the privilege of serving as the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth (OCCY) Executive Director. Before her work with OCCY, she spent over 20 years working within public health’s child abuse prevention arena; before that, she worked for the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. After receiving her Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, College of Law and certification from the University of Oklahoma Center on Child Abuse and Neglect’s Interdisciplinary Training Program, she started in this line of work. Before law school, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Family Relations/Child Development from Oklahoma State University.
Outside of her day-to-day role with OCCY, Ms. Jacobi serves as a member of the federal Quality Improvement Center for Domestic Violence and Child Welfare National Advisory Committee, as Board Treasurer for the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds, as a Master in the William J. Holloway Inn of Court, and Chairperson of the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness Board. She has received the Empowering Adults-Protecting Children Government in Action Award, the Oklahoma Bar Association Trailblazer Award, the Oklahoma Lawyers for Children Buddy Faye Foster Service Award, and the Exceptional Merit Award presented by the Oklahoma Public Health Association.
Ms. Jacobi lives with her “Colorado Buffalo” husband, Steven, in Oklahoma City. She and Steven spend time perfecting the art of empty nesting while bragging about their “Jayhawk” daughter, Gabrielle, and “Johnnie” son, Jack.
Mark James is the Assistant Director of the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth (OCCY). Currently, he oversees the work of the Office of Juvenile System Oversight, Child Death Review Board, Post Adjudication Review Boards, and the Juvenile Competency Forensic Evaluator services.
Mark has over 25 years of experience working with OCCY and the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA). Mark began his service with the state as a Juvenile Justice Specialist at the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center (COJC) in Tecumseh, OK. Within OJA, he also served as Social Services Supervisor at COJC, served in the OJA Placement Unit, and was the Deputy Superintendent at COJC. At OCCY, Mark previously managed the Post Adjudication Review Board program.
Mark earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work from the University of Oklahoma. Mark and his wife, Jennifer, have five children and live in Shawnee.
Mahboob ul Haq
As a highly motivated financial manager, Mr. Haq has over 20 years of experience providing financial management, performance analysis, budgeting, compliance, auditing, and grant and contract management services to the government and public sector. Providing accurate financial analysis to support informed decisions is his strength. He can synthesize business data that can help to maximize performance and achieve strategic objectives. His profile has several professional accomplishments, including projects with The World Bank, United Nations Organizations, and the International Rescue Committee. Previously, he was employed by the Oklahoma District Attorney’s Council, and before that was with the California Department of Child Support Services.
Mr. Haq has a Master’s in Business Administration, a Master’s of Arts in Economics, and a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and Economics degrees. He is a quick learner and a disciplined team player who strongly desires to move forward with new learnings. His understanding of business principles and economics also gives him a solid base to excel in any work environment.
He has been happily married to his beautiful wife Zunera for 19 years and has two sons and a lovely daughter. He loves to be outdoors in nature and spend time with family and friends. His family is relatively new to Oklahoma and chose to make our state their home because of our reputation for friendliness and a sense of community.
Marcia Goff Johnson, MPA
Marcia Goff Johnson is the Legislative Liaison for the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth. She is the primary point of contact between agency leaders and members of the Oklahoma State Legislature. Additionally, she provides legislative-based resources and information that further OCCY's mission.
Marcia has more than 30 years of experience working in state government – the last 25 years of which were at the Oklahoma House of Representatives. She retired from the House in 2021 after serving ten years as the Research Director.
Rob Agnew, MPA
Public Information Officer
Rob Agnew has enjoyed a career filled with various adventures that led him to the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth (OCCY). In March 2020, he joined the OCCY team as the Public Information Officer, where he supported all agency programs and initiatives by providing communications, graphic design, social media, and website resources.
Rob received his Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations/Journalism (2007) and Master of Arts in Public Administration/Political Science (2011) from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). While at UCO, he achieved high academic standards, served as the UCO PRSSA Chapter President (2006-2007), Project Leader for the UCO for USO Student Project (2007), and received the College of Liberal Arts Public Relations Student of the Year Award (2007).
Throughout Rob’s career, he has served as a production manager for three newspapers, an underwriter and claims adjuster, and an award-winning public relations specialist for an Oklahoma City-based sports/entertainment arena and convention center. He is most proud of his service in the United States Army (2001-2005) and is a combat veteran.
Kathleen Arrieta is the Executive Assistant to the Director and the Assistant Director of the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth (OCCY). She joined the OCCY team in October 2022. In addition to supporting the agency directors, she coordinates human resources functions and employee benefits.
Before joining OCCY, she worked for 19 years at Graham Windham, a child welfare agency in Brooklyn, New York. Kathy is originally from Guthrie, Oklahoma, and is so happy to be back home.
Kathy graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism. She and her husband, Al, live in Edmond. In their spare time, they chase their recently adopted 45 lb. puppy and try to convince their daughter Brianne, who still lives in Brooklyn, to move to Oklahoma.
Cherra is the Office Coordinator for the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth (OCCY). Cherra joined the OCCY team in November of 2012. Since joining the OCCY team, she has served as the agency's administrative assistant and community development planner.
She serves the executive leadership team daily by maintaining documents and records for the agency's vehicle fleet and is the agency's LEARN training administrator. When she does not answer phones or greet visitors at OCCY, she supports all staff-related technical issues.
Cherra is passionate about the services that OCCY provides to the community. Her own lived experiences have empowered her to overcome numerous obstacles in life. She believes that if you work hard, you can achieve great success. Cherra studied Business Administration and received a certificate from Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center. Before working at OCCY, she worked as an administrative technician and assistant at the Oklahoma State Department of Health for over six years.
Child Death Review Board
Lizz Kaup, M.S.
CDRB Case Manager
Elizabeth Kaup is the Case Manager for the Child Death Review Board and has held this position since May 2020. Before her employment with the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth, Ms. Kaup was employed with the Department of Human Services with both the Office of Background Investigations as a Background Investigator and as a Child Welfare worker in Child Protective Services. In 2004, Ms. Kaup started her career in social services with the Office of Juvenile Affairs at Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center (COJC).
Ms. Kaup held various positions at COJC, most recently as the Independent Living Coordinator for the Independent Living Program. Lizz received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Criminology in 2004 from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Science in Human Resources Administration in 2014 at East Central University.
Joseph McGrath, B.A.
CDRB Case Manager
Joseph McGrath is a Case Manager for the Oklahoma Child Death Review Board, handling data collection and statistical quality control. He has served the board since January of 2021. Before working for the board, Joseph was in Education, specializing in Language Arts instruction for at-risk youth and international students. Joseph has taught English as a Foreign Language abroad and has led workshops in Oklahoma training EFL tutors and instructors.
Joseph received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Langston University and attended graduate school at the University of Oklahoma, studying composition, rhetoric, and literacy.
Freestanding Multidisciplinary TeamS
FSMDT Program Manager
Brittany Gassner is the Freestanding Multidisciplinary Teams (FSMDT) program manager at the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth.
Brittany has more than 14 years of professional experience within the career field of victim services. She began her career as a Volunteer Coordinator and Family Advocate at the Garfield County Child Advocacy Center. Her primary focus was working with families with children who were abuse victims.
In addition to being a Volunteer Coordinator, Brittany also served as a Victim/Witness Coordinator at the Kingfisher County District Attorney’s office and the Team Coordinator for the Kingfisher County FSMDT. Before joining OCCY, Brittany worked with the agency to develop a statewide training model to help prepare new FSMDT Coordinators to serve their counties.
In 2021, Brittany received her Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from Southern New Hampshire University. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her husband, Bob, reading, and spending time with her children, dog, cat, and extended family.
FSMDT Training Coordinator
Makala Pittman is the Freestanding Multidisciplinary Teams (FSMDT) Training Coordinator at the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth in Oklahoma City, OK. In this position, she provides administrative support, coordinates training, and provides technical assistance to FSMDT members and professionals. Before her role with OCCY, she was employed by the Oklahoma Division of Capital Assets Management as an Administrative Assistant, Eligibility Officer for the Federal Surplus Property Distribution Program, at the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office as an Intake Clerk, and lastly at Zoning-Info as a Research Clerk.
Post Adjudication Review Board
Keith Pirtle, MSW
Keith Pirtle, MSW, is the Post Adjudication Review Boards Program Manager at OCCY in Oklahoma City, OK. He supports and monitors the 47 local Post Adjudication Review Boards and the State Post Adjudication Review Board. He also provides training, technical assistance, and support to the 315 PARB volunteers across Oklahoma.
Keith was formally the Principal Investigator and Senior State Project Director for Oklahoma’s Systems of Care and has had a long career developing new programs and providing technical assistance and quality assurance on the local, state, and national levels. His vision is to help the PARB Program reach its full potential statewide through improved support, quality assurance, training, and partnerships with child welfare and juvenile court judges.
Oklahoma County Post Adjudication Review Board Coordinator
Christina Whatley is the Post Adjudication Review Board Coordinator for Oklahoma County. She manages all seven Oklahoma County PARB Boards, including the specialty boards such as domestic violence and transition-age youth. She schedules the meetings and provides case information to volunteers.
Christina welcomes new members and provides technical assistance to the Oklahoma County PARB boards. She has been with OCCY since 2006 and the Oklahoma PARB Coordinator since 2014. Christina has worked for OKDHS in foster care and has extensive knowledge in deprived case reviews.
Office of Planning and Coordination (P&C)
Danielle Dill, MPH
Danielle M. Dill, MPH, is the Program Manager for the Office of Planning and Coordination at the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth. In this position, she leads joint planning and service coordination efforts to improve the safety and well-being of children and youth throughout Oklahoma.
Danielle has worked in non-profit, higher education, and public health for over 26 years. Before joining OCCY, Danielle served as the Program Manager for the Office of Partner Engagement at the Oklahoma State Department of Health, building community partnerships and mobilizing resources to improve health outcomes at the local and state level. She also served as the Director of Health and Fitness at the Wellness Center and adjunct instructor for the Department of Kinesiology & Health Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Danielle received her Bachelor of Science in Community Health from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master of Public Health from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Danielle is a Leadership Edmond Class XXVII graduate, Oklahoma Educators Leadership Academy and Oklahoma Public Health Leadership Institute.
An advocate at heart, Danielle is guided by her core values of authenticity, creativity, teamwork, equipping others, and building legacies defined by voices heard and lives saved. Danielle’s professional interests and efforts center on leadership development, community organization and planning, public policy and advocacy, and health and wellness. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching group fitness, outdoor recreational activities, sports, music, and spending time with family.
James Boykin, MPA
James has over ten years of experience leading, planning, and building programs for nonprofit agencies in Oklahoma City.
His most significant accomplishments are receiving his associate degree in Counseling/Social work, his bachelor’s in organizational leadership, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Central Oklahoma.
Isabel Rodriguez, M. Ed.
Isabel Rodriguez is the Community Development Planner for the Parent Leadership Programs at OCCY. In 2006, she moved from Mexico to Oklahoma to pursue her Master’s degree in Education. In 2008, she obtained her degree from the University of Central Oklahoma.
She has more than 12 years of experience in child abuse prevention programs, parenting programs and support groups, and Latino youth education programs. She believes utilizing educational tools is the best way for parents and families to improve their lives. Throughout her career, helping those who are considered the most vulnerable have been some of her proudest moments.
In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, road trips, and the majesty of nature. She looks for ways to learn more about other cultures and loves to try new things.
Caitlin Merritt is the community planner for the Preschool Development Grant. Working closely with other stakeholders, she facilitates community capacity building by encouraging family voices to be heard and valued throughout strategic planning and implementation processes to improve early childhood education and outcomes.
Before coming to OCCY, Caitlin was a public educator for four years at the elementary level. As an educator, she focused on equitable reading instruction. She utilized parent partnerships to empower the next generation of Oklahomans with the necessary knowledge and tools to create generational change. She is passionate about collaborating and coordinating efforts to serve Oklahoma's children through a family-centered approach.
She holds a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, and is a first-generation high school and college graduate. Her passion for serving single-parent households and neurodivergent families stems from her lived experience and belief that knowledge is transformative.
Ellen J. Hardy
Ellen J. Hardy is the administrative assistant for the Office of Planning and Coordination for the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth. She joined the agency in 2020. Before her position with OCCY, she was employed by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections as an administrative assistant for the Records Department, Continental Resources, Incorporated in the Treasury Department as an Accountant I, and lastly, at Emmanuel Baptist Church as an office assistant.
In her spare time, Ellen enjoys outdoor activities, including gardening, hiking, exercise, reading, expressing herself through fiber arts, painting, refurbishing furniture, hanging out with her family and friends, and traveling.
Office of Juvenile System Oversight
Tina Pendergraft - Oversight Specialist IV, OJSO Supervisor
Contact Tina: email@example.com | (405) 606-4928
Tina Pendergraft is one of two supervisors for the Office of Juvenile System Oversight (OJSO) and started with the Oklahoma Commission on Children & Youth (OCCY) in August 2005. The OJSO unit was created through Oklahoma State Statue 601.6. The OJSO reviews wrongdoings and unlawful acts for all children's services statewide and reviews any child agency policy to ensure the agency is working by their policy set forth.
Tina has two employees in her unit, Brooke Laws and Matthew Spruill and as a team, they primarily deal with issues with Oklahoma Human Services.
Prior to becoming a supervisor, Ms. Pendergraft was an oversight specialist for the OJSO and started that position in August 2005. Ms. Pendergraft worked for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) from November 1989 through her start of employment with OCCY in August 2005.
Tina received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1989. She was enrolled primarily in social work classes with a law enforcement minor from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva.
Harold Jergenson - Oversight Specialist IV, OJSO Supervisor
Contact Harold: firstname.lastname@example.org | (405) 606-4929
Harold is one of two supervisors for the OJSO program within OCCY and has been with the agency since 2008. Prior to his employment with OCCY, Mr. Jergenson was employed with OKDHS with both the Office of Client Advocacy as a Social Service Inspector and as a Child Welfare Specialist in Child Protective Services. In 1999, Mr. Jergenson began his career in administrative investigations working as a Private Investigator for a private firm.
Harold received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Psychology in 1998 from the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma, and is a U.S. Army Veteran.
Raegan G. Qualls - Oversight Specialist III
Contact Raegan: email@example.com | (405) 606-4930
Raegan Qualls is the Oversight Specialist III for OJSO and has held this position since January 1, 2010. Prior to her employment with OCCY, Ms. Qualls was employed with OKDHS in permanency planning as a Child Welfare Specialist II and the Adoption Transition Unit (ATU) as a Child Welfare Specialist II. In 2006, Ms. Qualls started her career in child welfare with the Canadian County DHS as a Child Welfare Specialist II in permanency planning then in 2008 transferred to the Oklahoma County DHS holding the same title in their ATU. In 2010, Ms. Qualls was hired at OCCY in as a part of OJSO where she currently conducts oversights at facilities with DHS and the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) custody children.
Raegan received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology in 2005 from UCO and a Master’s in Criminal Justice in 2009 from UCO and is currently in the Forensic Science Program for a Doctorate in Forensic Science (DFS) with an emphasis on Forensic Investigative Sciences from Oklahoma State University (OSU).
Dawn D. Bender - Oversight Specialist III
Contact Dawn: firstname.lastname@example.org | (405) 606-4914
Dawn D. Bender is an Oversight Specialist III for OJSO. Prior to her employment with the OCCY, she was employed with the OKDHS as a Child Welfare Specialist and Supervisor. She has a total of 25 years working for the State of Oklahoma. She received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Psychology and her Masters Degree in Human Relations from Cameron University and The University of Oklahoma, respectively.
Matthew T. Spruill - Oversight Specialist, III
Contact Matthew: email@example.com | (405) 606-4918
Matthew Spruill is an Oversight Specialist for the Office of Juvenile Systems Oversight. He has held this position since October, 2016. Prior to his employment with OCCY, Mr. Spruill was employed with Oklahoma Child Support Services as a Programs Field Representative and a child support specialist prior to that. Matthew began his career in social services with the OJA at the L. E. Rader Treatment Center in 2005 where he was a Juvenile Justice Specialist working with incarcerated youth.
Prior to his work in social service, Matthew attended and received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa, College of Law. While there he became a certified Mediator for both the State of Oklahoma and the State of Kansas.
Brooke Laws - Oversight Specialist III
Contact Brooke: firstname.lastname@example.org | (405) 606-4901
Brooke Laws is an Oversight Specialist III for OJSO and has held this position since November of 2012. Prior to working at OCCY, Ms. Laws was employed with OKDHS in both the Office of Intergovernmental Relations and as a Child Welfare Worker in Permanency Planning. In 2005, Ms. Laws began her career in social services with OKDHS as a child welfare worker.
Tameron Session - Oversight Specialist
Contact Tameron: email@example.com | (405) 606-4905
Tameron Session is an Oversight Specialist for OJSO and has held this position since 2017. Ms. Session held the position of Community Development Planner in Planning and Coordination from 2014 to 2017. Prior to her employment with OCCY, Ms. Session was employed with the Department of Corrections (DOC) working with Community Corrections.
Ms. Session has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Masters Degree in Business Administration.
Regina James - Administrative Assistant
Contact Regina: firstname.lastname@example.org | (405) 606-4939
Regina James is the Administrative Assistant for the Office of Juvenile System Oversight for the OCCY. She joined the agency in 2021. Prior to her position with OCCY, she was employed by the Construction Industries Board as the Hearing Clerk and Building Inspector Division Secretary. Regina received her Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from Rogers State University in 2016.
Regina serves as President for a non-profit animal rescue, A Lab for Life. Regina has been involved in animal rescue for over 10 years.