Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
Karen Pennington is a native Tulsan and graduate of Oklahoma State University. Karen is the Executive Director of Tulsa Community WorkAdvance, and she is dedicated to bridging the skills gap by using innovative approaches to improve workforce development practices. As one of the original TCW team members, Karen has played a key role in establishing relationships with industry leaders, educators and employers across Tulsa and shaping the WorkAdvance program. She has a passion for helping Tulsans secure high-paying jobs with benefits through meaningful education as well as helping businesses gain access to a pipeline of quality employees. With her passionate drive and enthusiasm, it’s no wonder her favorite movie quote is, “Punch it, Chewie,” from the legendary Star Wars movies.
Originally from Southern California, Chad has called Tulsa home since 2014. Chad holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Cal Poly Pomona and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of La Verne. Chad brings a wealth of experience in account management, customer success and business consulting to TCW. He believes that the values we offer businesses are access to a highly qualified candidate pool, reduced recruiting time and expense, and ultimately a reduction in a business’ turnover rate. Chad assists TCW’s partner companies by understanding their business needs and adapting our customers to their changing workforce requirements. Chad finds the career connection between a business and a quality candidate to be the most rewarding aspect of his work. If Chad’s USC Trojans aren’t playing football you can find him on the tennis courts at La Fortune hitting winners.
Rachel Griffin was born and raised in Texas but has called Tulsa home for over a decade. Rachel has been a part of the TCW team since 2012. Currently, Rachel oversees the intake team, manages databases, creates operational procedures and policies, and reports on program goals and statistics. She has a passion for data and using numbers to tell TCW’s story. Rachel believes that education and training have the power to transform lives, and she has full confidence in TCW’s ability to create better futures for Tulsans, their families, and our community. Her dedicated, hardworking personality keeps her busy, which is echoed in her favorite Will Rogers quote: “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
O’Cee-Barac is a Tulsa native who has travelled the globe with stops in Rhode Island, Texas, Sweden, Spain, and New York. Driven by the understanding that the only difference between those who have and those who don’t is opportunity, she has returned to Tulsa with 10 years of operations experience to put her skills to good use within the community. Her ideal work day includes having all items on her to-do list checked off putting her ahead of the game. This dedicated approach to work is based on Vince Lombardi’s famous quote, “perfection is unattainable, however in chasing it, we achieve excellence.” Still new in her move back to Tulsa, she’s seeing what’s new and is excited to find new favorite spots for adventure.
Amber is a native Tulsan and has spent the past 12 years working in higher education, with the last several years focused on career placement and business development. She is passionate, energetic and thrives on establishing and maintaining meaningful business relationships. Amber loves playing a role in helping her fellow Tulsans connect with opportunities to flourish. When she’s not at work, she can be found burning off some of her high energy at the gym, checking out a concert at Cain’s Ballroom, or cooking for friends and family.
A native Tulsan who spent her formative years in Northern California, Roschell came back home where her roots are. Roschell has a passion for people and she brings a wide variety of talent and knowledge to the JobsFirst program. She’s spent the last 15+ years as a Human Resources Manager in retail and telecommunications. She loves the non-profit world where she worked previously as a Job Developer/Talent Acquisition associate, helping individuals identify and develop their strengths, and the business community increase their skilled workforce. Her belief is that when we help people find, keep and advance in jobs they can discover that a job is a trip, but a career is a journey. When she is not helping others find their road to success, she can be found relaxing in her art studio painting.
Kendra grew up in Rochester, Minnesota, but has established roots in Tulsa for nearly two decades. She is passionate about serving her community in ways that benefit the growth and development of people, and is excited to bring that perspective to serve young adults through the NextUp program. Kendra holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and has worked to help people achieve their highest potential throughout her career. Her optimism for the potential of individual achievement can be captured in one of her favorite quotes by Walt Whitman, “Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” In her free time Kendra enjoys sewing, woodworking, and time with her family.
As a native Tulsan, Amanda enjoys everything the city has to offer. In her role as TCW’s Intake Administrative Specialist, she provides support to applicants and customers by administering assessments, scheduling interviews and directing customers to appropriate services. Along with her ambitious personality, she brings extensive customer service and administrative support experience to the TCW team. Amanda is passionate about TCW because she believes in helping people to better their lives with training and career advancement. Her favorite piece of advice is to stay true to yourself, and she encompasses that concept exquisitely. Amanda’s bold, giving personality makes her a quintessential part of the TCW team.
Mikaila is originally from Atlanta, but has lived in Tulsa for most of her life. She has degrees in Culinary Arts and Hospitality and Tourism Management from Oklahoma State University. She believes that strong support systems are a huge part of success, so having a hand in supporting our customers is very exciting for her. Her love and passion for helping others and past experience in customer service make her a great addition to the TCW team. When she is not working, she can be found enjoying time with her family, cooking for her friends, or watching movies.
Angela Munoz manages the Career Services team to ensure that TCW participants successfully complete technical skills training and obtain meaningful employment. A California native, Angela, better known by most as “Angie”, is committed to providing Tulsans with excellent career services and leading her team to achieve their goals. Her compassionate altruism helps her thrive in her position. When Angie’s not at work, you can find her spending time with her family by adventuring around Tulsa, making frequent stops at their favorite hangout, Guthrie Green.
Bailey is a native Oklahoman who has lived in Tulsa most of her life. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Spanish from the University of Tulsa and is passionate about working to make Tulsa a more equitable city. In her role as Career Services Coordinator, Bailey strives to provide professional support to customers based on their individual needs in order to assist them in the pursuit of their academic and career goals. Bailey is adamant about the importance of continuing education no matter what your age. She is a supporter of active listening, a believer that you can never be connected to too many resources and she defines community as the ability to lean on others. Bailey is fond of adventure and has traveled through South America. Her interest in Hispanic culture is clearly expressed through the portrait of Frida Kahlo she has sitting on her desk. On the weekends, she enjoys going salsa dancing.
Originally from New York, A.J. has lived in Oklahoma most of his life and considers Tulsa home. A.J. brings an abundant amount of experience in sales, customer service, administration, and warehouse operations. As Lead Career Advisor, A.J.’s goal is to provide meaningful guidance to our customers in all aspects of their career journey. He believes that the most important aspect of his job is to connect with the customers by showing them that they are worthy of great opportunities and an awesome career. A.J. assists TCW’s customers throughout their entire process, from obtaining a job to advancing in a career. A.J. feels that the most rewarding part of his job is giving the customers the tools to succeed and watching them grow as a valued employee. When he is not at work you can find A.J. enjoying the unique scenery of downtown Tulsa at The Boxyard.
Megan considers herself a true Okie, though not from Muskogee, but always in the Tulsa area. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Northeastern State University. Megan has spent the majority of her career supporting families in identifying and achieving their personal and professional goals. She is passionate about nonprofit work and has a continual desire to “help others help themselves”. She believes advanced training and gainful employment are pivotal in helping others succeed. When Megan is not at work she enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, and cheering on the Kansas City Chiefs.
Abigail, an Ohio native, now calls Tulsa home. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Community Development from Oral Roberts University. In her role as Career Advisor, Abigail looks forward to partnering with customers to help them achieve their goals while supporting them in their education and training. When not at work, Abigail enjoys any type of outdoor activity, exploring new places, and finding new places to travel!
Emory grew up in South Texas, but has lived in Tulsa for over 10 years and now calls it home. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Sociology from the University of Tulsa and uses her educational background to connect with people from all walks of life. Emory has spent much of her career advocating for the rights of others and helping individuals and families live safe and healthy lives. She is passionate about improving the Tulsa community and brings her love of learning and sharing knowledge to the TCW Training Team. Emory believes in helping TCW customers identify their unique strengths as they build resumes, practice interviewing skills, and prepare for a new career. When she is not working you can find Emory jogging around LaFortune Park or poring over a new cookbook choosing a recipe to try.
Holly joins the TCW team as an upbeat and task-oriented Operations Admin Coordinator. Originally from Texas, she settled in Oklahoma after spending the last 20 years in Missouri. Holding a master’s degree in communication, Holly enjoys learning about the nuances of organizational processes and culture. A great day for Holly at work involves knocking out a full to-do list, which she keeps in an old school paper planner. She’s still discovering the best of Tulsa, but is hoping to find a place to hike or a peaceful park to call her favorite. Her best advice is great for everyone to adopt – you never know the battles someone is facing, so take the opportunity of every interaction to improve others’ days.
Tyler is originally from a small town 40 miles northwest of Tulsa. After graduating from Cleveland High School, he attended Oklahoma State University to earn a degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations. A former business owner, Tyler has also served as managing editor and art director of national magazines, as a communications professional in the manufacturing industry, and in other marketing and public relations roles. His favorite place in Tulsa is Mother Road Market, where you’ll likely find him eating at The Chicken and the Wolf. When he’s not working on crafting messages and campaigns for TCW, he enjoys spending time with family, fishing with his two boys, traveling when possible and reading as many books as he can. Reading plays into the best advice he ever received, which was to “for every book you read for entertainment, read a book that improves your skill set or knowledge base.”