Advocacy Partners

Our Allied Organization partners consist of government agencies, businesses, foundations and nonprofits who support greater investment in early childhood programs and services. 

Through organizational support, we expect to see our state improve educational outcomes, build sustainable economic development and assure a better quality of life for all citizens.

Member organizations agree to:

  • Provide focus on greater investment in early childhood development programs
  • Be supportive of policies and priorities that prevent rather than punish and that offer a hand up rather than a handout
  • Focus will be on providing family opportunities for cradle to career success
  • Be given the opportunity to sign public letters of support or opposition, as the government wrestles with the allocation of scarce resources
  • Be asked to provide a balance in the message legislators often get from single-issue advocates


Anschutz Foundation
Avedis Foundation
Bethesda, Inc. Center on Child Abuse and Neglect
Central Oklahoma Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
Child Advocacy Centers of Oklahoma
Community Service Council
Crosstown Learning Center, Tulsa 
George Kaiser Family Foundation
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Green Shoe Foundation
Health Alliance for the Uninsured
Healthy Minds Policy Institute
Healthy Steps
Inasmuch Foundation
Jubilee Partners, OKC
Latino Community Development Agency
McLaughlin Foundation
Mental Health Association of Oklahoma
OKC-Society of Human Resource Management
Oklahoma Business Roundtable
Oklahoma Center for Community Justice 
Oklahoma Center for Healthcare Improvements 
Oklahoma Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians
Oklahoma Charitable Clinic Association
Oklahoma Child Care Association
Oklahoma Child Care Resource and Referral
Oklahoma City Interfaith Alliance
Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth
Oklahoma Conference of Churches
Oklahoma Department of Health
Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Oklahoma Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services
Oklahoma Educational Television Authority
Oklahoma Guardian Ad Litem Institute
Oklahoma Head Start Coalition
Oklahoma Health Care Authority
Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy
Oklahoma Lawyers for Children
Oklahoma Partnership for Expanded Learning
Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness
Oklahoma Policy Institute
Oklahoma Primary Care Association
Oklahoma Public School Resource Center
Oklahoma State School Boards Association
Oklahoma Women’s Coalition
Parent Child Center of Tulsa
Pivot, Inc.
Potts Family Foundation

Public Health Institute of Oklahoma
Rainbow Fleet
Reach Out and Read
Sarkeys Foundation
Schusterman Foundation
Smart Start Central Oklahoma
State Department of Education

Sunbeam Family Services
The CARE Center
The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools 
The Lynn Institute
The Oklahoma Academy
The Oklahoman 
The State Chamber
Tulsa Lawyers for Children
Tulsa World
Tulsa Regional Chamber
United Way of Central Oklahoma
United Way of Enid & Northwest Oklahoma
United Way of Southwest Oklahoma
Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City
Woven Life Oklahoma
The Early Childhood Legislative Caucus members are those senators and representatives who have agreed to strengthen the political will to protect Oklahoma’s youngest citizens.

They do this through bill sponsorship, voting on behalf of the well-being of Oklahoma children and their families and by notifying us regarding pending legislation that will have either a positive or negative impact.In return for their willingness to serve as a member of the Oklahoma Early Childhood Coalition Legislative Caucus we support them in their advocacy role by:

  • Providing research and information on Early Childhood Development sources as needed.
  • Involving our business/professional leaders – Oklahoma Champions for Early Opportunities (OKCEOs) in support.
  • Involving our Early Childhood Coalition of 60 plus Allied Organizations in support.
  • Providing information regarding needs and resources available to meet them for the counties represented.
  • Inviting caucus members to our early childhood and economic development events and monthly lunch and learn exchanges during the session.

Rep. Rhonda Baker
Rep. Merleyn Bell
Rep. Meloyde Blancett
Rep. Carol Bush
Rep. Sherrie Conley
Rep. Sheila Dills
Rep. Andy Fugate
Rep. Kyle Hilbert
Rep. Brian Hill
Rep. Mark Lawson
Rep. Mark Lepak
Rep. Marcus McEntire
Rep. Nicole Miller
Rep. Gary Mize
Rep. Cyndi Munson
Rep. Monroe Nichols
Rep. Jadine Nollan
Rep. Daniel Pae
Rep. Ajay Pittman
Rep. Melissa Provenzano
Rep. Trish Ranson
Rep. Cynthia Roe
Rep. Jacob Rosecrants
Rep. Todd Russ
Rep. John Talley *
Rep. Emily Virgin
Rep. John Waldron *
Rep. Collin Walke
Rep. Tammy West
Sen. Mary Boren
Sen. Michael Brooks
Sen. JJ Dossett
Sen. Jo Anna Dossett
Sen. Kay Floyd
Sen. John Haste
Sen. Carri Hicks *
Sen. Chris Kidd
Sen. Julia Kirt
Sen. John Michael Montgomery
Sen. Adam Pugh
Sen. Brenda Stanley *
Sen. Roger Thompson
Sen. George Young

*Denotes Co- Chairs


Oklahoma Champions for Early Opportunities (OKCEOs) was formed over ten years ago as a partnership of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, Potts Family Foundation (PFF), and Smart Start Oklahoma. OKCEOs is a network of business and civic leaders from across the State of Oklahoma who recognize that early childhood development is a significant economic, social, and workforce issue. We understand the neuroscience of brain development, that 80% of brain development occurs in the first three years of life and is “activity-dependent.” 

Critical early investments in social-emotional learning and cognitive activities with evidence-based programs for children and their parents enhance positive outcomes for both. Those investments strengthen the link between early childhood development, economic growth and workforce development.

Today, we are 20 strong and remain committed to sharing our message in Oklahoma communities and with businesses/organizations through presentations, Op-Eds, and printed/electronic information. We are a promotional voice for PFF’s OK25by25 Coalition.

Member Responsibilities
  • Become an advocate for birth to five early childhood development.
  • Recruit additional advocates through interpersonal and business relationships.
  • Attend periodic events in support of this issue (conferences, workshops).
  • Consider lending your name to print columns (Op-Eds), participating in radio segments and/or speaking engagements, and keeping your legislators informed on this critically important topic during and after the legislative session.
  • Commit to hosting or attending an educational breakfast/lunch in your community to educate the broader community and recruit new members who are willing to advocate on behalf of Oklahoma children.
Time Commitment
  • No formal time commitment is required. The degree of involvement is determined by each member and by their participation in events and advocacy opportunities mentioned above.
  • Periodic electronic/telephonic communication will transpire with the Potts Family Foundation staff for updates on upcoming events, new studies, research, and new members.
Monetary Commitment
  • None.

To schedule one of our OKCEO members to speak at your next meeting or event, contact Craig Knutson at

OKCEO Members:

Dr. Robert Block (Tulsa)

Freda Deskin, Ph.D. (OKC)

Desiree Doherty (Tulsa)

Dr. Marny Dunlap (OKC)

Adrienne Elder (OKC)

Dr. Amy Emerson (Tulsa)

Raúl Font, ED (OKC)

Bob Harbison (Lawton)

Jennifer Hays-Grudo, PhD (Tulsa)

Michelle Key (Ada)

Craig Knutson (Norman)

Carolynn MacAllister, DMV (Stillwater)

David Nimmo (Norman)

Sara Orellana-Paape (Lawton)

Jessica Phau (Ardmore)

Jim Priest (OKC)

John Reid (OKC)

Dr. Carl Rubenstein (OKC)

Dan Schiedel (Enid)

Frank Turner (OKC)