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Contact Our Economic Development Team

The Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity is eager to assist you and your project as you seek to invest in Tulsa. Below is an overview of our team.

Administration

KIAN KAMAS | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

kkamas@cityoftulsa.org | (918) 596-7696

Kian Kamas serves as the Executive Director of the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity, leading Tulsa’s comprehensive community and economic development strategy and a team of talented professionals dedicated to increasing economic opportunity for Tulsa residents. 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 (6) 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. She loves crazy ideas and tries to encourage out-of-the-box thinking and a collaborative approach to problem-solving among TAEO’s staff. Kian holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma, a Master’s Degree in Comparative Public Policy from the University of Edinburgh and has completed the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. She and her husband Lathen and their son Leith have lived in Tulsa since 2009.

 

MIKE DICKERSON | CONTROLLER

mdickerson@cityoftulsa.org | (918) 576-5568

Michael Dickerson serves as the Controller of the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity and is a member of the Senior Leadership Team for TAEO, setting the organization’s financial policy and actively participating in setting the strategic direction of the organization by ensuring financial resources are available for and short- and long-term priorities and objections. 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. Mike holds a BSBA in Economics and is a Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) from the Council of Development Finance Agencies. He and his wife Carrie live in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area with their two dogs, Poppy and Luna.

 

IESHA YOUNGBLOOD-BLAKELY | EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT AND BOARD SECRETARY

iyoungblood@cityoftulsa.org | (918) 596-1883

Iesha Youngblood-Blakely serves as the Executive Assistant and Board Secretary of the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity, supporting and improving the overall operations of the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity and Tulsa Development Authority through the professional management and support of the Executive Director, Board of Trustees, and Board of Commissioners. Prior to the role Iesha served as the Senior Administrative Assistant for the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and Board Secretary for Economic Development Commission, Tulsa Parking Authority, and Tulsa Industrial Authority. Before her work in the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, Iesha spent 4 years in various rolls including an Administrative Assistant for Asset Management and Engineering Services at the City of Tulsa. Iesha holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Langston University, she has earned her Green Belt Certification, and completed the course Introduction to Economic Development. She loves traveling and spending time with her family. Tulsa has been home to Iesha for the last 14 years, she lives with her husband Jarrett and their four kids Issys, Annyce, Clinton, and Isles.

 

RACHEL STRASSBERGER | OFFICE MANAGER AND SBE ADMINISTRATOR

rstrassberger@cityoftulsa.org | (918) 576-5681

Rachel Strassberger serves as the Office Manager and Small Business Administrator. Rachel provides support to the overall operation of TAEO and its staff as well as support implementation of the Small Business Enterprise Program. Prior to this role, she served the City of Tulsa for over 9 years in various roles, including Senior Administrative Services Officer for Kian and the MOED staff, Council Aide II for Tulsa City Council, Administrative Assistant II for Human Rights, and Certificate of Occupancy Coordinator for Development Services. Before joining the City, Rachel worked in non-profit, legal, and manufacturing fields. Rachel is excited to expand the SBE Program opportunities and work with new staff members as we share TAEO with the Tulsa community. Rachel holds a Bachelor's Degree in Multi-Disciplinary Studies with an emphasis on Geography and Religious Studies. Rachel is a proud Booker T graduate, fluent in Spanish and visited four continents in a two-year period.

 

Economic and Workforce Development

MICHELLE BARNETT | SVP, ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

mbarnett@cityoftulsa.org | (918) 596-7457

Michelle Barnett serves as the Senior Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development for TAEO, leading a team of professionals working on small business and entrepreneurship, business attraction, retention and expansion, and workforce development with the goal of increasing economic mobility for Tulsa residents. 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 (10) years in operations management, design, and permitting with Tulsa engineering firms. Prior to this she co-owned a residential construction company and worked in engineering design. She is a Professional Engineer in the State of Oklahoma. Michelle is energized by connecting people to work they love, helping businesses grow, and empowering communities to achieve economically resilience. She believes that it is not enough that Tulsa creates more jobs, but that Tulsa creates jobs that increase individual economic mobility. And that doing so requires access - relational, physical, and educational - for all Tulsans. Michelle holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. She is a Certified Development Finance Professional (CDFP) through the National Development Council. In 2021, Michelle was awarded the Franzini Fellowship for Women in Development Finance from the Council of Development Finance Agencies. Michelle and her family have been Tulsa residents for over 20 years. She is a proud mom to three teenagers and two German Short-hair Pointers.

 

WYATT DONNELLY-LANDOLT | DIRECTOR, SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

wdonnelly@cityoftulsa.org | (918) 576-5577

Wyatt Donnelly-Landolt serves as the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Director for the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity. In this role, he oversees the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program, small business financing initiatives, and efforts to improve Tulsa's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Wyatt has nearly a decade of public service experience focused on finance, data, and public-private partnerships. He most recently worked as the Economic Development Finance Manager for the Port of San Francisco where he managed the financing of $500 million in public improvements for $6 billion in private investment to build new mixed-use neighborhoods on the SF waterfront. Wyatt is focused on expanding Tulsa's economically locally by helping small businesses grow and internalizing our economy. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Stonehill College in Massachusetts and holds a Master of Public Policy Degree from UC Berkeley. Wyatt is an avid reader, board game geek, and lover of the outdoors.

 

ASHLEY CHANEY | BUSINESS LIAISON SERVICES MANAGER

achaney@cityoftulsa.org | (918) 576-5527

Ashley Chaney serves as the Business Liaison Services Manager for the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity. Prior to this role, she most recently served as the Development Services Liaison in the Mayor's Office of Economic Development and prior to that as the IDP Coordinator in the City of Tulsa's Development Services Department. With nearly 10 years’ experience working for the City of Tulsa, she has held various positions in multiple departments. Ashley has a passion for identifying factors that most significantly suppress permit approval processes and assessing whether those obstacles can be reduced or eliminated to streamline processes and procedures. Ashley holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication from Northeastern State University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Southern Nazarene University. Ashley is a Tulsa native and lives with her fiancé Lonnie and their son Jazz.

 

AUSTIN BRITT | ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST

abritt@cityoftulsa.org | (918) 576-5402

Austin Britt serves as an Economic Development Specialist for the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity.  Prior to this role, he served in the same role with the City of Tulsa in the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, as well as several roles in rural economic development and planning in Central Virginia. Austin’s passionate about supporting new and existing business growth and retention, while focusing on bringing quality employers and opportunities for all Tulsans. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy from the College of William & Mary and is currently in the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute.  Austin is a native of Central Virginia, and in his free time, enjoys working on his golf game, exploring the depths of terribly obscure music, teaching himself Ableton, and convincing his friends that Oklahomans indeed live in the 21st century.

 

JONAH TOAY | SMALL BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP FELLOW

jtoay@cityoftulsa.org | (918) 576-5571

Jonah Toay joins the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity 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 assumption about how to grow a city for the betterment for all of its citizens. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and a Minor in Arabic Language from the University of California-Berkeley. Jonah is an avid cook, amateur interior designer, and active nature watcher wherever he goes.

 

Community Development

VACANT POSITION | SVP, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

A national search is currently underway for this position.

 

KRISTIN MAUN | DIRECTOR, HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AND INCENTIVES

kmaun@cityoftulsa.org | (918) 576-5569

Kristin Maun serves as Director of Housing Development and Incentives for the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity, leading the implementation of the City of Tulsa's Affordable Housing Strategy through affordable housing development and landlord incentive programs. She previously worked on the Affordable Housing Strategy as the Housing Coordinator for the Mayor's Office. Prior to returning to Tulsa, Kristin served as an attorney for Kansas Legal Services, specializing in public interest law areas including housing, consumer, mortgage foreclosure prevention, community development, and disability. As a native Tulsan, she has been happy to return home to support equitable economic and community development in Tulsa. She is passionate about housing policy and creating safe, quality housing opportunities that will help all Tulsans to be stably housed. Kristin earned a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and her Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law. She has been admitted to practice law in Kansas and Oklahoma. Kristin enjoys hiking, traveling, and is an avid reader.

 

DEMAURI MYERS | NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION MANAGER

drmyers@cityoftulsa.org | (918) 576-5544

Demauri Myers serves as the Neighborhood Revitalization Manager for the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity. Prior to this role, he served as a Development and Project Analyst with the Tulsa Development Authority for two (2) years and participated in my community led efforts in helping to revitalize areas of Tulsa. Demauri is passionate about Public Service, Real Estate, and equal opportunity for people in the City of Tulsa. He also enjoys exploring creative solutions and implementing futuristic plans that create positive and sustainable change. Demauri holds a Dual Bachelor’s Degree in Finance & Economics from Langston University, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Leadership and Organizational Development from Oklahoma Christian University. Demauri was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. He enjoys sports, traveling the world and experiencing various types of cuisine.

 

SIMONE DOWNS | COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST

sdowns@cityoftulsa.org | (918) 576-5566

Simone Downs is the Community Development Specialist at the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity, supporting the progress made on the City's Affordable Housing Strategy. Prior to joining TAEO, Simone worked as a Social Impact Designer, focused on economically empowering local farmers through a more localized food system. Her other work has focused on expanding educational opportunities in her hometown of Philadelphia as well as in Mumbai, India. Simone is passionate about tackling systemic barriers that block access to a more equitable distribution of resources. She is excited in this role to work towards ensuring that all Tulsans have access to quality affordable housing. Simone holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University, where she also received certificates in Information Technology and South Asian Studies. She is new to Tulsa but has already become a regular at the Tulsa Farmer's Market and many of the vegan restaurants downtown.

 

Development Finance and Strategic Investment

CASEY STOWE | SVP, DEVELOPMENT FINANCE AND STRATEGIC INVESTMENT

cstowe@cityoftulsa.org | (918) 576-5664

Casey is the Senior Vice President for Development Finance and Strategic Assets, a role that encompasses both the financial tools TAEO uses to promote Economic Development and all the real estate assets in TAEO's portfolio. Prior to joining TAEO 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. Loyola University was foolish enough to grant Casey not just one but two degrees in business, a BBA, and an MBA. A native Tulsan and fourth-generation Okie, Casey likes dogs, a good joke, and is quite proud of his children.

 

NIA JAMES | DIRECTOR, REAL ESTATE AND ASSET MANAGEMENT

njames@cityoftulsa.org | (918) 576-5565

Nia serves as the Director of Real Estate and Asset Management for the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity, managing existing public assets, real estate, and resources to ensure they provide maximum economic impact and generate sustainable revenues to support organizational operations. She also provides administrative support to the functions of the Tulsa Development Authority. Prior to this role, Nia spent over 13 years working at international commercial real estate firms managing commercial and industrial properties where financial forecasts, property inspections and leasing duties were essential to the success of the assets. Nia is excited about serving as a team member of TAEO and playing a role that helps achieves its goals and mission to make Tulsa an extraordinary city that all its citizens can be proud of. She seeks to continually gain knowledge of the local and national real estate industry and how it can support Tulsa’s advancement of shared prosperity and racial equity. Nia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurship and Venture Management from the University of Oklahoma, an Oklahoma Real Estate license, designated as a Real Property Administrator (RPA), and is a LEED Green Associate. She and her husband Kellen both grew up in Tulsa and enjoy spending most of their time with their daughter Quincy.

 

SPENCER MITCHELL | DIRECTOR, ECONOMIC INCENTIVES

smitchell@cityoftulsa.org | (918) 576-5561

Spencer Mitchell serves as the Director of Economic Incentives of the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity, focusing on leveraging incentives like Tax Increment Finance 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. Spencer holds and Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Political Science from Oklahoma State University and is currently working towards completing the University of Oklahoma's Economic Development Institute. Spencer spends the majority of his free time cycling and has recently started road and crit racing for the Tulsa Wheelmen.