Cathy O'Connor - President of The Alliance of Economic Development of Oklahoma City

Cathy O'Connor
President 

Ms. O’Connor is the President and CEO of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City, a non-profit corporation designed to coordinate public participation in economic development projects. In her role as President of the Alliance, Cathy has been instrumental in furthering development downtown, helping to ensure the success of the MAPS 3 projects and promoting job creation. She was the point person on the team that worked with GE to locate their Global Energy Research Facility, and the Boeing Aircraft Modernization and Sustainment division in Oklahoma City.  She also is very committed to the redevelopment of distressed areas and led the efforts to create the NE Renaissance Urban Renewal Area and Tax Increment Finance district and the Core to Shore Tax Increment Finance District.

Prior to becoming President of the Alliance, Ms. O’Connor served as an Assistant City Manager with Oklahoma City where she enjoyed an almost 30 year career.  Catherine was appointed Assistant City Manager in May 2001 and worked to develop the incentives to bring Bass Pro Shops, QuadGraphics and Dell Computers to the Oklahoma City area. She led the City’s team to structure the terms for the redevelopment of the historic Skirvin Hotel. In her role with the Alliance she continues to have responsibility for management of the City’s Tax Increment Financing program; a $75 million Strategic Investment Program, a local economic development incentive fund; and management of the City’s Urban Renewal Authority and Economic Development Trust

Ms. O’Connor is active in a variety of community organizations and currently serves on the board of directors of the United Way of Central Oklahoma, Commercial Real Estate Women of Oklahoma City, the Beacon Club, Historic Preservation Inc. and the Committee of One Hundred.  Ms. O’Connor is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City and Leadership Oklahoma. Cathy was named the Journal Record’s Oklahoma Woman of the Year in 2009 and has also received the Stanley Draper Award for Community Excellence from Downtown Oklahoma City, Inc. and a Byliner Award for Economic Development from the Association of Women in Communications. She is a member of the Economic Club, the Downtown Rotary Club, the International Economic Development Council, the Urban Land Institute, and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

 

Geri Kenfield

Geri Harlan

Chief Financial Officer 

 

 

Geri is the Chief Financial Officer of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City. Prior to becoming CFO, Mrs. Harlan served as vice president of a non-profit community development investment company where her primary responsibilities related to management and compliance for federal and state tax credit programs. She began her career with a local tax accounting firm and has provided financial counseling and accounting assistance to individuals and small businesses throughout the Oklahoma City metro area. 

Mrs. Harlan is a Certified Public Accountant and has twenty years of business management experience. Geri serves on the Business Administration Advisory Board at Oklahoma State Univeristy-Oklahoma City

Geri resides in Oklahoma City with her husband, Michael and daughter, Makenzie and two dogs. 

 

Michael Owens

 

Michael Owens

Community Development Director 

Michael Owens is the Community Development Director for The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City. Michael is the former Manager of Library Operations at the prestigious Ralph Ellison Library in Oklahoma City.

Following a successful career in the United States Navy, where he achieved Sailor of the Year honors, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, earning degrees in History, Political Science and Law, as well as the Outstanding Graduate Award. He received his Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

As a leader and participant in multiple minority communities throughout the United States, Michael created, spearheaded and coordinated engaging programming to help unify communities. Owens has led literacy, leadership and mentoring programing that has helped communities thrive. He continues to be successful at integrating divergent opinions, dispelling misconceptions and mitigating arising conflicts. 

In his spare time, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, reading and writing, and exploring the outdoors of Oklahoma. 

 

Nicolle Goodman  Director of Redevelopment Programs

 

Nicolle Goodman 

Director of

Redevelopment Programs

 

 

Nicolle Goodman is the Director of Redevelopment Programs for the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.  In this role, Nicolle manages and directs the various redevelopment programs overseen by the organization. 

Prior to joining the Alliance, Nicolle worked for ADG, Inc. for five years as the Program Administrator for the City of Oklahoma City’s MAPS 3 capital improvement program.  In that role, she was responsible for the ongoing administration of the program implementation plan, program scheduling, community outreach and project programming for the $777 million construction program. 

She has previous experience consulting with local agencies and nonprofit organizations in the areas of project management, grant writing, public involvement and human resource management. Nicolle holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma with a concentration in Public Management, and is a Congress for New Urbanism Accredited Professional. 

She is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City and served on the Leadership OKC Alumni Board.  She has served on the boards of several other non-profit organizations as well, including several years as the President of the Board of Directors for the Neighborhood Alliance of Central Oklahoma.

Nicolle grew up in Joplin, Missouri and has previously lived in Tulsa, Dallas and St. Louis. She has lived in Oklahoma City since 2004. Nicolle is married to Todd Goodman, and they have two children. The family enjoys traveling together, and Nicolle especially loves exploring cities with her family.

 

Cassi Poor - Project Manager for The Alliance of Economic Development of Oklahoma City

Cassi Poor
Senior Project Manager 

Cassi Poor joined the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City in 2012 as a project manager. Previously, she worked as a landscape architect in Dallas, Texas for MESA Design Group. From 2012 to 2015 she served as a Citizen Advisory Team representative for GreenOKC, a role she was selected for by Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. As a GreenOKC representative, Cassi played an integral part for The City of Oklahoma City’s PlanOKC Comprehensive Plan.

She is highly involved with the Uptown 23rd District Association – serving as Treasurer on the Executive Board, is a committee leader for Better Block OKC, and plays many other active roles in her community. In 2013, she graduated from Leadership Oklahoma City’s Young Adult Leaders program and from 2011 to 2014, she served as Vice President for OKC Beautiful’s young professional organization 'Making Oklahoma City Beautiful.”  

Cassi holds a bachelor's degree in Landscape Architecture from Oklahoma State University, as well as, a master's degree in Sustainable Design with emphasis in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Sydney, Australia. Cassi is dedicated to creating a thriving environment, enhancing quality of life, and generating a strong sense of community between Oklahoma City and its residents. When she is not working to create a great place to live, work, and play, you can often find Cassi on a local restaurant patio cheering for her alma mater, the OKC Thunder or the OKC Energy.

 

Pam Lunnon
Executive Assistant

  

Pam Lunnon, a native of Oklahoma, earned a Bachelor’s degree from Southwestern State University before moving to Oklahoma City in 1983.  Pam brings to her position multi-tasking skills developed over many years of working as an Executive Assistant. Before joining The Alliance, Pam worked with both the Oklahoma Industries Authority and the Oklahoma City Industrial and Cultural Facilities Trust on many economic and industrial development projects including the Journal Record Building and the MROTC at Tinker Air Force Base. She has had the privilege of working with many business and civic leaders in the community. Pam and her husband reside in Edmond with their dachshund, Sissy. 

 

Cynthia L. McCollum 

Office Assistant

Cynthia McCollum was born in Bethany, Okla. but was raised in Nashville, Tenn.  She graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations.  Cynthia moved back to Oklahoma in 2004 and got her MBA at DeVry University Keller Graduate School of Management.  Cynthia brings to this organization 20+ years of office professional experience specializing in communication and organization. Cynthia loves people and customer service and is all about first impressions.  Cynthia is also Green Belt certified in Six Sigma and loves to coordinate events and meetings.  In her free time, Cynthia enjoys riding across the country with her husband on their Honda Goldwing motorcycle and is the secretary and member of the Southern Cruisers Riding Club and Faithriders.  Cynthia and her husband enjoy family dinner time with their very active teenage son, and they all enjoy going to the movies together.  Cynthia also contributes to the Guiding Eyes for the Blind organization and is a true animal lover.  


Picture of Neila Crank-Clements, Progress OKC Director
Neila Crank-Clements
Progress OKC Director

Using the resources of a local community-based housing redevelopment organization and partnering with local government entities, neighborhood associations, and other non-profits, Neila worked diligently to honor the historic character of the neighborhoods, while still providing amenities for modern living

Neila holds a degree in English from the University of Oklahoma, and an accreditation from the Congress for the New Urbanism. She serves on the Historic Preservation Commission of the City of Oklahoma City, is a member of the Commission’s ad hoc committee to identify Historic Landmarks, serves on the steering committee for the City of Oklahoma City’s Traditional Neighborhoods residential zoning overlay, and volunteers her time as landscape and public art team leader for Better Block OKC.

For the past two years, Neila has served the Plaza District Association as board member and former-secretary, as committee member for the Association’s Friends of the Plaza, and member of Urban Land Institute Oklahoma.

Neila is past chair of the community advisory board for Gatewood Elementary School where she worked to secure funding to build a new playground for the students and neighborhood residents. She helped get the Military Park Neighbors Association off to a start by winning a $10,000 grant to be used as a way to raise awareness of the new community organization, and to fight crime in the inner-city neighborhood.

Neila’s community revitalization efforts were recognized by the Neighborhood Alliance of Central Oklahoma, when she was honored as the 2014 Good Neighbor of the Year.