Amber Whitlatch, Trustee, a Tulsa native, joined Smart Growth Tulsa in July 2014, shortly after its inception. She was looking for a new outlet for her number-one passion, public activism, and an association with Smart Growth Tulsa seemed like a good fit for both parties. In the beginning, Amber preferred to remain in the background, utilizing her talents and experience to help SGT develop a strong social media presence, behind the scenes.
Only recently has she graciously agreed to let us list her name as a valued member of our Advisory Board. By her steady hand, our Facebook page serves as a platform to share our vision, mission, and message with thousands of Tulsans every day of the week.
Steady public policy victories drive Amber’s passion, and direct her to read, learn, and share best practices from around the country, and the world, relating to the Smart Growth principles of sustainable development, expanded transportation employment and housing options; social equity, preservation of our natural and cultural resources, and the promotion of public health.
Amber is also a Teaching Assistant at Mayo School, and is active at All Souls church, while maintaining co-ownership of the Nightingale Theater since 1999. Aside from advocacy, her favorite things include music, art, crab legs, Netflix, dark chocolate, thunderstorms, dancing, her front porch, and spending time with her husband, son, and their Mini Australian Shepherd, Tesla.
Bill Leighty, Trustee, Founder and acting Executive Director, brings the legacy of a successful business career, multiple highly effective entrepreneurial endeavors, ongoing civic leadership and a passion for Tulsa’s long-range growth and development.
He has been continuously active in community and professional development, serving the real estate industry, and volunteering for various leadership roles in school, church and civic related activities.
Originally appointed by Mayor Kathy Taylor and re-appointed by Mayor Dewey Bartlett, Bill served 5 years on the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission. He also served 3+ years on Tulsa’s Transportation Advisory Board including as Vice Chair, and Tulsa’s Land Use Task Force.
Bill is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the Oklahoma Association of Realtors, and the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors, a 5 year member of the American Planning Association and earned Leadership Training certification from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Bonnie Leighty, Trustee, married forty-five years to SGT founder Bill Leighty, has served the organization well by sharing her observations and wise counsel since its beginning in early 2014. As a career administrator and staffer at Cascia Hall Preparatory School, Bonnie possesses a wealth of administrative talents but more importantly, a commitment to ethics and fair play that helps keep Smart Growth Tulsa grounded in purpose-driven faith.
As a fun-loving free spirit with a contagious zest for life, Bonnie has a knack for diffusing difficult situations by interjecting her unique brand of humor and sense of levity, often diffusing an otherwise emotional impasse; yet she can be firm and serious when the occasion requires it.
Having organized social events as both Activities and Retreat Director at Cascia in addition to her duties in campus-ministry, Bonnie knows how to have fun and how to help others do the same. She is therefore the de facto Entertainment Director of SGT in charge of customer happiness.
As Bonnie often says, “If you want to sing out, sing out.” She is indeed the venerable First Lady of Smart Growth Tulsa.
Carlos Moreno, Advisor, is a graphic designer, community volunteer, serial entrepreneur, and a magic-bean buyer. Carlos is the in-house graphic designer at CAP Tulsa (http://www.captulsa.org), the largest anti-poverty nonprofit in Oklahoma, providing early childhood education services and comprehensive enrichment programs for low-income families.
Carlos serves on Tulsa’s local Code for America chapter (http://codefortulsa.org/). He is certified in Human-Centered Design, and was selected by national urban-affairs magazine NextCity (http://nexcity.org) as part of its 2014 Vanguard Class. He’s passionate about revitalizing neighborhoods, improving public policy, and collaborating with local creative.
Clarence Boyd, Advisor, is Vice President – Commercial Banking at Bank SNB. Clarence earned a business degree from Oral Roberts University and later completed a Master’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Oklahoma. Clarence has gained experience in retail, project and sales management, and has worked in several industries throughout the course of his career, including Food and Beverage, Architecture, Construction, Banking and Commercial Real Estate.
His experience in a variety of industries and understanding of graphics, art, photography and music has aided him in a broad array of career opportunities and personal ventures. As a native of Tulsa, Clarence is extremely dedicated to the community though his efforts in local organizations. He hopes to leverage his experiences to connect with people and resources, and find innovative ways to build and spur economic development in North Tulsa.
Craig Immel, Advisor, is Vice President of Operations at Francis Renewable Energy, a position which combines his interests in the environment, natural resources, energy, real estate and construction. Prior to joining FRE, Craig founded Steady State Renewable Energy Company, a geothermal HVAC design, construction and consulting firm. Craig also has considerable experience in Colorado real estate and construction management, including commercial preconstruction services with leading Colorado contractors, Shaw Construction and Adolfson & Peterson Construction.
Craig holds a Master of Science degree in Real Estate and Construction Management from the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, and a Bachelor of Science in Geography from Oklahoma State University. With over a decade of hands-on experience with green building, renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies, Craig is a LEED Accredited Professional, and also holds IGSHPA and NATE geothermal installer accreditation’s, drilling and heat fusion certifications.
Craig has been recognized as an outstanding young business leader by Oklahoma Magazine and The Journal Record, and received the OSU Environmental Science 2011 Award for Sustainability. Craig also volunteers in the community, currently serving as Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Oklahoma Chapter Board of Directors, and as Past Chair of the USGBC South Central Regional Committee, representing 6 USGBC Chapters across Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana.”
John Griffin, Advisor, is an Urban Designer at Selser Schaefer Architects, an award-winning architectural design firm headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A Tulsa native and graduate of Union High School, he received a Master of Architectural Design and Urbanism from the University of Notre Dame.
Prior to returning home to Tulsa in 2014, John practiced architecture working in London, New York City, and Washington, D.C. before serving a two-year term as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. His worldwide master planning experience has received multiple New Urbanism Charter Awards including a 2015 Award for his team’s work, Visions for Lafayette, undertaken for the community of Lafayette, Louisiana. While at Notre Dame, John and a team of colleagues received an RIHA grant to undertake a 100-year masterplan for the greater metropolitan area of Chicago.
John also serves as an advisory board member for the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture and is passionate about creating diverse, walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods that provide opportunities for people of all backgrounds to flourish.
John McNulty Ph.D., Advisor, is an Associate Professor and Chair of the University of Tulsa’s Psychology Department. A native of Northeastern Oklahoma, John earned an MBA from the University of Oklahoma and a doctorate in clinical psychology from The University of Tulsa. His primary research focuses on understanding how questionnaires can be used to understand personality characteristics and functioning.
More broadly, John is interested in issues and controversies about how measurement ideas influence psychological assessment. He teaches courses on how to understand and conduct psychological research as well as how to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of personality questionnaires.
John is a board member and Treasurer of the Society for Personality Assessment, located in the Washington, DC, area. Most Saturdays you’ll find him at Jones Riverside Airport working with the local Commemorative Air Force squadron rebuilding WWII aircraft (actually, keeping track of the money it takes to get and keep those planes in the air). He has become keenly interested in issues of land conservation and restoration as well as the ethics of land use.
Jonathan Belzley, Advisor, is a real estate sales associate of KMO Urban, LLC and a Principal of New Leaf Development, specializing in urban redevelopment, mixed-use and adaptive reuse of historic buildings in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the surrounding region.
A graduate of The Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA, Jonathan lived in Los Angeles, CA and worked as a mastering engineer for The Mastering Lab and Lurssen Mastering before returning to Tulsa in 2008. Upon return, Jonathan founded the Urbanist Crew of Tulsa Young Professionals and its signature event Street CReD, which annually highlights an existing area of Tulsa ripe for redevelopment.
Jonathan is a member of the Accessible Transportation Coalition, Transit Matters, Tulsa Now, The Urbanist Crew, TYPros Advisory Board and the Downtown Coordinating Council, and also served on the Board of the Tulsa HUB. Jonathan and his beautiful wife, Susanna, live in Tracy Park with two black cats.
In his spare time, Jonathan is a musician, DIY’er, gardener, amateur photographer, bourbon connoisseur and karaokephile. In 2010, he co-founded Charityokie – “Karaoke for a Cause”, an event that has raised over half a million dollars for local charities.
Julie Skye, Treasurer comes to Smart Growth Tulsa from a different career path. Following graduation from Tulsa University with a degree in Finance, her first volunteer position was with the Woman’s Resource Center. Halfway through her MBA in Organizational Change, her past had led her to people who didn’t have options because they didn’t have financial literacy.
Fast forward 30 years and Julie, now a Senior Wealth Advisor at Mariner Wealth Advisors, uses her education and experience in areas that don’t often draw traditional financial advisors. Passionate about environmental activism and social justice, she serves on the board of Tulsa Interfaith Alliance, recently joined the City of Tulsa’s Compassionate Tulsa Steering Wheel, co-chairs the All Souls Green Team and is the Conservation Chair of the Green Country Sierra Club.
The intersection of organizational change, strategic planning, and finance also landed her on the Tulsa Economic Development Board where she served for 17 years. A consummate entrepreneur, she also does board development with local non-profits. She is currently working with the Spotlight Theater to ready them for a capital campaign to restore the historic Bruce Goff “Riverside Studio.”
Her work with the Unitarian Universalist Socially Responsible Investment Committee also led her to connecting the environmental, social and governance factors that will lead to sustainability, identifying risks before they are realized in business operations and share prices.
Katie L. Plohocky, Advisor, is a Principal of StreetLife, LLC, a consultancy firm specializing in integrated urban strategies. She is also works for TEDC serving as the Project Manager overseeing the construction and leasing of The Shoppes on Peoria, an innovative economic development model to create new businesses and jobs in underserved communities.
Plohocky has 15 years’ experience in commercial real estate leasing, appraisal, retail development, and project management. She currently specializes in economic and community development. Her leadership positions related to food initiatives include Tulsa Food Security Council Chairman, President of the Pearl Farmers Market, the Oklahoma Food Policy Council member, Co-Founder and Director of the Healthy Community Store Initiative (HSCI, Inc.), and Coordinator for National Food Day.
Plohocky is also the project manager for a USDA Community Food Project grant and consultant for the Tulsa Community Wellness Partnership TSET grant. She also serves on the BOK Financial Corporation Advisory Board, as a Tulsa Industrial Authority Trustee, the North Tulsa Economic Development Initiative Chairperson, and the Business Industrial Development Corporation Board Secretary, OU School of Urban Design Northland Plan Advisory Committee, McLain High School Foundation Treasurer, Junior Achievement teacher, Route 66 Task Force Business Development Chairperson, and a guest lecturer at Oklahoma University School of Social Work, Langston University, and Leadership Tulsa. Plohocky earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Leadership from Baker College and a MBA from the University of Phoenix.
Kimberly Fobbs, Advisor, served the citizens of Oklahoma from 2009-2013 on Oklahoma’s Judicial Nominating Commission. In this capacity, she was part of a non-partisan team who screened, evaluated and recommended judicial applicants to the Governor for final selection.
Kimberly also represented Senate District 33 in 2016, and House District 80 in 2006, both times as the Democratic primary winner. Kimberly studied Architectural Engineering & Communications before enjoying a successful corporate management career of over 16 years with a leading Fortune 100 Insurance and Financial Services Company followed by tenures serving in Marketing Director leadership and Business Intelligence roles.
Kimberly has over 20 years experience leading mid-size and Fortune 500 companies through the design, development, analysis and implementation of data models, customer segmentation models, CRM deployment and Marketing analytics. Her experience spans a wide range of industries including financial services & insurance, call centers, standby-power generation and telecommunications.
Kimberly’s experience includes leading all aspects of Marketing & Customer Analysis (financial, operations, process, customer relationship management (CRM implementation & strategy) unit cost models, data/database administration, quality auditing and quality management systems implementation; and leading all aspects of marketing, branding, social media and collateral development. Kimberly also led operational and service teams in metrics reporting and data analytics, annuities, customer investigations and call center operations in addition to her specialization in business intelligence delivery.
Kimberly is a problem-solver for small business and nonprofits alike. Her passion is helping organizations maximize opportunities to succeed and she has a passion for public service and shaping public policy. She excels in defining key business indicators and developing implementation plans that are measureable and effective to drive revenue, reduce cost and improve outcomes.
Patti Mullen, Advisor, grew up in Tulsa and returned to Oklahoma in 2014 after a 40-year absence. She spent the last 30 years in Seattle where she served as President & CEO of the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce and witnessed what visionary leadership can accomplish to forward the Puget Sound Region. Sustainable growth, retention of green space, and designing economic success were the issues that defined her last 15 years in Puget Sound.
Prior to beginning her work in the Chamber of Commerce profession, she held the position of Director of Accounting/HR for TEC, an international buyer-centric sales education firm serving Fortune 500 firms, and Director of Operations for Ontempo.com, managing the start-up and launch phase of a national media content management firm. Patricia believes in a strong business community and the power of collaboration to ensure economic advancement. She holds her BA from the University of Oklahoma in Social Psychology.
Patti has extensive experience local and regional transportation issues, transit oriented development, commercial port activity, city planning, destination marketing, and community development. She loves history, hiking, and gardening,
She now resides with her 91 year old mom and volunteers her time to issues that hold meaning to her including SGT and the League of Women Voters / Metropolitan Tulsa.
Shawn Michael Schaefer, Advisor, is Director of the University of Oklahoma Urban Design Studio and a faculty member of the College of Architecture. Founded in 1988, the Urban Design Studio is an outreach program from the College of Architecture with a three-part mission to train urban design professionals in Architecture, Community Planning and Urban Studies, to further the understanding of the city through research and creative activity and to conduct community service projects benefiting Tulsa and Northeast Oklahoma.
Professor Schaefer holds professional degrees in Architecture and Urban Design. He is licensed to practice architecture and interior design in the State of Oklahoma and is board certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and the American Institute of City Planners (AICP). He is also a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional and an FAA certified, instrument-rated pilot. Mr. Schaefer is founding Principal of PLACES LLC, Oklahoma’s first urban design consulting practice.