PartnerTulsa is eager to assist you as you seek to invest in Tulsa. Below is an overview of our team.
"In 2020, we advanced major policy changes to our Economic Development Infrastructure Fund that aligned requirements with our job quality and equity goals – this was our first real attempt to understand how we can make small changes to align our equity commitments with incentive policies."Kian Kamas , Executive Director
"PartnerTulsa, like any startup organization, requires a heavy lift by all members of the organization. Leveraging existing relationships with our philanthropic community and government partners, we will grow the organization to new levels. This requires critical process development and constant review of our fiscal policy to ensure that PartnerTulsa continues to become a premier economic vehicle benefitting the citizens of Tulsa for generations to come."Mike Dickerson , Controller
"The ability to establish a single Board of Trustees – from what was previously five separate bodies – to support this work is one of the most exciting aspects of PartnerTulsa. Through coordinated leadership, we can now focus on impact and reduce past inefficiencies."Iesha Youngblood-Blakely , Executive Assistant And Board Secretary
"I joined the team at PartnerTulsa to help build prosperous communities where we are committed to building bridges of opportunity together, and where we are intentional when accounting for and including the shared experiences, history, challenges, and needs of the people that we serve."Jonathan Butler , SVP, Community Development
"The redevelopment of the Morton site is the perfect confluence of Real Estate & Financial Development, Community Development, and Workforce Development... all of PartnerTulsa’s pistons are firing on this one!"Casey Stowe , SVP, Development Finance & Strategic Investments
"Black Wall Street Square is slated to be an exciting North Tulsa development that will not only transform the neighborhood, but also showcase the talent of Tulsa's local minority developers."Nia James , Director, Real Estate & Asset Management
"The success of Tulsa and future growth is tied to the success of Downtown Tulsa and the urban core. A vibrant urban environment is crucial to building a world class city that attracts and retains changemakers."Spencer Mitchell , Director, Economic Incentives
"Outputs vs. Outcomes. It's not enough for us to count jobs created – that's the easy part – but creating access, physically and educationally for economic mobility, that's the real work."Michelle Barnett , SVP, Economic & Workforce Development
"Securing proper permits is a vital step in the development process and a task that can make or break a project. Providing guidance, support and facilitating communication between the City of Tulsa, TAEO and the developer helps to keep projects on track and moving forward toward its goal. What I find most exciting is the opportunity to work with a diverse group of individuals who are equally committed to the growth and development of Tulsa."Ashley Chaney , Business Liaison Services Manager
"Reliable data is the cornerstone of all good policy, but it’s even more important to make sure that data is easy to understand for everyone involved in the policymaking process. Tracking SBE utilization across the city will be a great way to figure out how Tulsa can work hard to provide contracts for small businesses throughout the metro area."Jonah Toay , Small Business & Entrepreneurship Fellow
Kian Kamas serves as the Executive Director of PartnerTulsa, leading Tulsa’s comprehensive community and economic development strategy. Prior to this role, she served as Mayor G.T. Bynum’s Deputy Chief and then Chief of Economic Development. Before her work at the City, Kian spent six years at the Tulsa Regional Chamber, in various roles in Economic Development and Government Affairs. Kian is passionate about creating long-term, institutional change in how Tulsa pursues its economic and community development objectives and is committed to building a world-class and sustainable operating model that provides Tulsa with strong and stable long-term revenues for this work.
Mike Dickerson serves as the Controller of PartnerTulsa, setting the organization’s financial policy and actively participating in setting its strategic direction by ensuring financial resources are available for short- and long-term priorities and objectives. Prior to this role, he served as the City of Tulsa’s Sr. Economist in the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and a variety of other positions during his 18 years with the City of Tulsa. Mike is passionate about data and creating policies that are equitable, sustainable, and just.
Iesha Youngblood-Blakely serves as the Executive Assistant and Board Secretary of PartnerTulsa, supporting the overall operations of the organization and the Tulsa Development Authority through the professional management and support of the Executive Director, Board of Trustees, and Board of Commissioners. Prior to this role, Iesha served as the Senior Administrative Assistant for the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and Board Secretary for the Economic Development Commission, Tulsa Parking Authority, and Tulsa Industrial Authority. Before her work in the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, Iesha spent four years in various roles including an Administrative Assistant for Asset Management and Engineering Services at the City of Tulsa.
Gary Hamer currently serves as the Senior Performance Strategy Analyst for PartnerTulsa, overseeing the implementation of PartnerTulsa's strategic plan, performance monitoring, and strategy formulation. Prior to joining PartnerTulsa, he served as the City of Tulsa's Capital Planning and Grants Manager where he was responsible for the City's Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and the oversite of the administration of the City’s annual Housing and Urban Development (HUD) entitlement funds. He has served in a number of capacities during his 25 years in local government including transportation planning, zoning and subdivision administration, and project management. He is committed to researching and implementing best practices, is fascinated by Legacy Cities, and believes strongly in the advocacy for equity.
Ericka Rivers serves as the Office Assistant/Accounting Clerk of PartnerTulsa, aiding the Executive Assistant in the overall operations of the organization. Prior to this role Ericka spent 20 years in the manufacturing industry as an Accounts Payable Clerk, Payroll Accountant and Compensation & Benefits Manager.
Economic and Workforce Development
Michelle Barnett serves as the Senior Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development for PartnerTulsa, leading a team of professionals working on small business and entrepreneurship, business attraction, retention and expansion, and workforce development. Prior to this role, she served as Mayor G.T. Bynum's Deputy Chief of Economic Development. Before her work at the City, Michelle spent over ten years in operations management with Tulsa engineering firms. Michelle is energized by connecting people to work they love, helping businesses grow, and empowering communities to achieve economic resilience. She believes in PartnerTulsa’s mission to create jobs that increase individual economic mobility for all Tulsans.
Ashley Chaney serves as the Business Liaison Services Manager for PartnerTulsa. Prior to this role she served as the Development Services Liaison in the Mayor's Office of Economic Development, and prior to that as the Infrastructure Development Coordinator in the City of Tulsa's Development Services Department. With nearly 10 years’ experience working for the City of Tulsa, Ashley has a passion for improving business’ experience working with the City of Tulsa and streamlining the permitting process.
Jonah Toay joins PartnerTulsa as a Small Business and Entrepreneurship Fellow as a part of the Tulsa Service Year Program where he will implement projects to spur new business growth in Tulsa. Prior to this role he served as a Voter Engagement Analyst at Grit For Democracy where he worked to increase the number of young voters in Oklahoma by holding fundraisers and organizing social media campaigns. Jonah is passionate about making his hometown a more equitable place by empowering individuals to make positive change in their community with help from municipal services and challenging long held assumptions about how to grow a city for the betterment of all its citizens.
Jonathan Butler serves as the Senior Vice President of Community Development, leading a dynamic team of housing and community engagement professionals working to strengthen Tulsa’s neighborhoods, increase equitable development, and ensure economic mobility and opportunity for all residents. Prior to joining PartnerTulsa, he served as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager for the City of San Antonio. Before his work in San Antonio, he served as the Manager of the Neighborhood Services and Development Division for the City of Chattanooga. Jonathan is a licensed attorney in two states, and he believes in transforming communities by centering the needs of people in processes, policies, and decision making.
Gretchen Mudoga serves as a Senior Community Manager at PartnerTulsa. Prior to this role, she was the Neighborhood Revitalization Director at Growing Together, spent 10 years as Housing Operations Director for the Tulsa Housing Authority, and 10 years in various roles throughout the City of Tulsa. Gretchen has called North Tulsa home for nearly 30 years, and is passionate about creating equitable housing opportunities for her community. She believes in the importance of being a catalyst for residential growth and leaving behind a continued legacy of building generational wealth through homeownership.
Finance and Real Estate
Casey is the Senior Vice President of Finance & Real Estate, a role that encompasses both the financial tools PartnerTulsa uses to promote economic development and all the real estate assets in the organization’s portfolio. Prior to joining PartnerTulsa, Casey was a private real estate developer and principal in various development partnerships as well as temporarily serving as the acting Executive Director of the Tulsa Development Authority. Casey is passionate about both real estate and economic development and has served on the Board of Directors of Tulsa Economic Development Corporation since 2006.
Nia serves as the Director of Real Estate and Asset Management for PartnerTulsa, managing existing public assets, real estate, and resources to ensure they provide maximum economic impact and generate sustainable revenues to support organizational operations. Prior to this role, Nia spent over 13 years working at international commercial real estate firms managing commercial and industrial properties. Nia is excited about helping to achieve PartnerTulsa’s mission to make Tulsa an extraordinary city for all its citizens. She works to remain abreast of current real estate industry trends and how they can support Tulsa’s advancement toward shared prosperity and racial equity.
Spencer Mitchell serves as the Director of Economic Incentives for PartnerTulsa, focusing on leveraging incentives to drive growth across the City. Prior to this role, Spencer was an Economic Development Specialist and Economic Incentives Manager at the City of Tulsa. Before working at the City, Spencer was a research and teaching assistant at Oklahoma State University. Spencer is passionate about driving growth through real estate development and creating a world class city that people from all over the world want to live in.
Billy joins PartnerTulsa as a Real Estate Analyst, serving as a member of AmeriCorps. During his term, he will assist with property disposition and evaluate sites for potential development projects. Prior to this role, Billy worked in operations management and managed a large staff for a local event venue. While relatively new to Real Estate, Billy has long had a passion for Real Estate and Economic Development. He enjoys keeping up to date on the newest developments coming to Tulsa. Billy is excited at the opportunity to make a positive impact in his hometown.