EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Jill Harrison joined the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma as executive director in May 2015. Jill assists the organization with event planning, fundraising, publicity/awareness, advocacy and general office management.

Jill received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in Spanish from Arizona State University. She has held numerous communications and marketing positions over the course of her career. Jill is active in the community, and serves on the board of the Public Relations Society of America. She was previously a DSACO board member and was chair of the Festival & 5K in 2014.

Robert Powell was raised in and lives in Edmond with his wife, Marne, and their three children. Robert has been a member of DSACO since the birth of his middle child, Lil’ Rob, who was born with Down syndrome in September of 2010. Robert holds a BA from the University of Central Oklahoma and a MBA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has held multiple financial positions in the private sector and has owned and operated a small business in the Oklahoma City area for the past six years.

Sarah Soell is the proud mother of Adliene, Kerstin (DS), and Koen.  She works for the University of Oklahoma as the assistant vice president for Public Affairs, where she plans and coordinates many of the major university events.  She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University earning her BS degree in Hotel Management and her MS degree in Hospitality Administration.  Sarah has been involved with DSACO since the birth of her daughter Kerstin and helped coordinate the FESTIVAL for the last four years, serving as Co-Chair the last two.  She is currently a sustaining member of the Junior League of Norman, where she served on the board for two years, and serves as Vice President of the Cleveland County 4-H Foundation.  She and her husband Preston along with their three children reside in Norman where they are members of the First Christian Church.  Sarah was a member of the 2003 Leadership Norman Class and was selected as Oklahoma Magazine 40 under 40, April 2008.

Dr. Ursula Bowling, PsyD is a clinical psychologist with a particular interest in marriage and family therapy.  She is married to Michael and the mother of four young children by birth and adoption.  As the mother of a child with Down syndrome, Ursula is grateful for all the resources DSACO provides and thankful to be able to serve her community as a member of the DSACO board.

Jennifer Hromek is a group event and ticket sales coordinator for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Jennifer’s first experience with the Down syndrome association was as a
basketball court escort on a DSACO-Thunder game night. She quickly began volunteering for the organization after realizing how much she enjoyed interacting with people with Down syndrome.

Chris Paynter, a Special Olympics athlete from Edmond, is one of the first Global Messengers from Oklahoma, beginning his career in 1997. Chris began competing at the age of eight. He competes in several sports including aquatics, bocce, and bowling; but is best know for his powerlifting accomplishments. Chris has represented Team USA at the 1995, 1999, and 2003 World Summer Games in Connecticut, North Carolina, and Ireland bringing home 7 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze medals in World competition.  Chris also competes in Alpine skiing and snowshoeing each year at Heartland Games in Missouri.  At the 2001 World Winter Games in Anchorage, Alaska Chris won a Gold Medal in the downhill and a Silver Medal in the giant slolam. Chris is what every Special Olympics athlete aspires to be – he’s competitive, fun-loving, warm, polite, and a true champion at heart. Chris is also a member Oklahoma Law Enforcement Torch Run Board of Directors.

Bobby Kern is the proud husband of Lisa and father to Lydia and Josiah. Bobby has been a member of DSACO since the birth of Josiah in 2013.  Bobby holds a BS and MA from Oklahoma Christian University and a PhD in Human Development and Family Science from Oklahoma State, and is a Certified Family Life Educator.  Currently, he serves as Assistant Professor of Psychology and Family Studies at Oklahoma Christian.  He also serves as a representative on the National Affiliates Board for the National Council on Family Relations, and on the board of the Oklahoma affiliate.  

Lori Wathen is currently employed at OUHSC; she is the Region 3 Coordinator for Sooner SUCCESS, who provides resources and information to families that are raising a child with special needs from birth to 21. Lori is married to Brian Wathen and they live in Norman OK. They are the proud parents of a son Reis, who was born with Down syndrome. Lori is a 2010-2011 LEND (Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopment Disabilities) Fellow graduate representing Parent/Family issues. She currently serves as a member of the IDEA-B Advisory Panel, Special Education Resolution Center Advisory Board, ABLE Tech Statewide Consumer Advisory Council, Moore Schools Transition Team, and Special Education Chair for OKPTA. Lori has also served as the Past-President of the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma.

Anthony Garcia provides community support as the Marketing Representative for Tinker Federal Credit Union.  Anthony is a native Oklahoman, and has volunteered in the nonprofit community in Oklahoma City for more than a decade. Anthony developed a passion to work with children with Down syndrome after his sister Rebekah was born with the condition eight years ago. His work in the local community, and with nonprofits throughout the state, has given him a deep appreciation of how much our state continues to grow. In his spare time, he’s a part-time foodie and claims he can tell you all 23 flavors used in Dr. Pepper. 

Vance Holder lives in Edmond with his wife, Kari, and his two amazing children Norah (DS) and Hayes. He is a graduate from MidAmerica Christian University with a degree in Pastoral Care and Theology. He is a 7th grade Bible teacher at Crossings Christian School where he also coaches wrestling and football.

Angela Hornsby is currently employed at OUHSC; she is the Family Advocacy Coordinator for the Oklahoma Infant Transition Program, where she provides supports and resources to families in the NICU.  Angela is mom to 3 wonderful children, Malachi the youngest was born with Down syndrome. Angela is currently a LEND (Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopment Disabilities) family mentor.  She is also a Partners in Policymaking graduate, as well as a member of PAC (Parent Advocacy Corp), FAR (Families Allies and Resources), and the Sooner SUCCESS Strategies for Successful Parenting Task Force.

Heather Hancock

Lisa Hancock

MEETING MINUTES

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016 - No meeting

February 2016

January 2016 - No meeting