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Board of Directors

Marshall Snipes - Chair

Marshall Snipes, appointed by the Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma, is the CEO of AmeriClaim, a nationwide independent insurance services firm, and is the managing director of Snipes Management Company, a private equity firm specializing in health care and insurance. Snipes is the former chair of the Board of Integris Health. He also served as chair of the Audit and Finance Committees and the chair of Quality Alliance, Integris’ offshore captive insurance company. He is the author of The Black Jet, a health care public policy newsletter. He was a member of Governor Stitt’s transition team as the chair of the healthcare policy group. He previously served on numerous boards and commissions of state government including the Oklahoma Teachers’ Retirement Fund, Committee to Privatize the State Insurance Fund, the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, the Working Group to Reform the Workers’ Compensation Law of the State of Oklahoma and the Electronic Data Interchange Commission. He has also served on numerous non-profit and business association boards. Snipes received his bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting from Oklahoma State University and is a member of the Oklahoma Society of CPAs.

Kenneth Rowe

Kenneth D. Rowe, appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, served as Chair of the board from 2006 until 2008 and was re-elected as Chair in November 2010. Mr. Rowe currently serves the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center as the Vice President for Administrative Affairs. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Academic Physicians Insurance Company, and the not for profit Health Sciences Facility, Inc. Board. Prior to this position, he worked for two years as the Director of Internal Auditing for the University of Oklahoma, directing the internal audit activities for OU, Cameron University, and Rogers State University. Preceding this role, he had thirteen years of experience in the banking industry where he conducted fraud investigations and internal audits for large bank holding companies. Mr. Rowe earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from East Central University and a Master of Accountancy from the University of Oklahoma. In addition to being a licensed C.P.A., he is also a Certified Fraud Examiner.

Bruce Benjamin

Bruce Benjamin, Ph.D., appointed by the House Speaker, is the vice provost for graduate programs, associate dean for biomedical sciences and associate professor of physiology at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences. As vice provost, Dr. Benjamin serves in a leadership role for the graduate programs in biomedical sciences, forensic sciences, healthcare administration and athletic training. Dr. Benjamin is also head of the OSU Center for Wearable Electronic Sensing Systems and Technologies, an interdisciplinary team working to develop wearable smart garments for use in health and wellness. Before joining the faculty at OSU-CHS in 1997, he was an assistant professor of cell biology at Duke University Medical Center, a research scientist at Texas A&M University and University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, and a National Research Council Research Associate at NASA/AMES Research Center. He received his bachelor’s degree from Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. and his doctorate at OU. He is a member of the American Physiological Society and the Oklahoma Physiological Society.

Michelle Stephens

Michelle Stephens, appointed by the Governor, is the Director of Policy for the University of Oklahoma. She previously served on the Oklahoma Commission for Human Services, state Board of Education and state Career Tech Board. Stephens has been a practicing attorney since 1992, serving as an assistant attorney general under Susan Loving and Drew Edmondson. She earned her law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law after graduating from Oklahoma Christian University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Stephens is a member of the Board of Trustees for Oklahoma Christian University and is past president of the Weatherford Board of Education. She is a member of the Oklahoma 4-H Horse Council and has served as a member of the State 4-H Volunteer Council. She and her husband, Weatherford dentist Dr. Brian Stephens, have two children.

Jack Allen, Jr.

Jack Allen, Jr., appointed by the State Treasurer, is the Chairman Emeritus of HUB International CFR and is involved with the Extension for Community Health Care Outcomes (Project ECHO) at the OSU Center for Health Sciences and at the University of New Mexico. Allen is also involved with the Alzheimer’s Association, the OSU Spears School of Business and the OSU School of Entrepreneurship. He has held advisory board positions with Hillcrest Hospital and Commerce Bank. Allen founded the Jack Allen Family Education Foundation, which is committed to improving public education and he currently serves as a Green Country Boy Scouts board member. Allen received his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University (OSU) and holds the accreditation of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC). He belongs to the Independent Agents Association and serves on the Board of Governors for the OSU Foundation. He is also a member of the OSU School of Business Hall of Fame.

Runako Whittaker

Dr. Runako Whittaker, appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, is a native of Seattle.  For the past 21 years she has lived in Tulsa and has been practicing in the North Tulsa community since 2003. After graduating with honors from Clark Atlanta University with a degree in biology, she attended the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine. She entered a preliminary residency program for a year at UCSF -Fresno before being accepted to the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine- Tulsa residency program in Pediatrics. Dr. Whittaker was a staff pediatrician at Morton Comprehensive Health Services. She later became the pediatrician and medical Director of Westview Medical Center’s first-ever pediatric clinic, Westview Pediatric Care. Dr. Whittaker is a member of Metropolitan Baptist Church, The Tulsa Chapter of The Links, Inc., The Oklahoma Black Physicians Alliance, The American Academy of Pediatrics and a board member of The Heather Burns Memorial Scholarship Fund. Her honors include Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Status of Women Award (2013), Supporters of Families with Sickle Cell Disease Physician Advocate Award (2015) and Women of Color Expo - Tulsa Woman of The Year (2018).

Jennifer Needham

Jennifer Needham, J.D., appointed by the State Auditor and Inspector, is currently the Dean for Student Engagement at the OU College of Law. Prior to becoming an Assistant Dean, Needham served in a variety of capacities as in-house counsel to OU, including Coordinating Counsel for Regulatory Matters across all campuses, Senior Counsel at the Health Sciences Center, and Director of University Collections. Needham has previously served on both public and private boards, including as an inaugural member of Oklahoma’s Opioid Abatement Board. She has been heavily involved in the community, volunteering with several nonprofit organizations such as City Rescue Mission and Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Needham received a Bachelor of Arts in English from East Central University and her Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma.

Learn About the TSET Board of Directors

The seven-member Board of Directors supervises the earnings from the Trust to fund programs that improve the health and well-being of all Oklahomans. Initial appointed members serve staggered terms of office, and subsequent appointed members serve seven-year terms. As specified in the Constitution, at least one appointee must be appointed from each congressional district, and no more than two appointees may be appointed from any single congressional district. Furthermore, no more than four appointees may be from any one political party. All appointees must have demonstrated expertise in public or private healthcare or programs that benefit children or senior adults.

Last Modified on Jun 21, 2024
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