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Trustees & Staff

Chickasaw Foundation Staff

Blake Long

Program Assistant

Lori Rico

Foundation and Corporate Grants Manager

McKenze Smith

Executive Assistant

Chickasaw Foundation Trustees

Jenny Trett - Chair

Ms. Jenny Trett serves as chair for the Chickasaw Foundation. Ms. Trett is the chief audit officer for the Chickasaw Nation. She was appointed to the position in December 2017, and oversees internal audit activities for Chickasaw Nation departments, programs and business activities. She began her career with the Chickasaw Nation in 1997 as a tribal accountant. In 2000, Ms. Trett accepted the position as director of health system finance. After serving five years in that role, she moved into the administrator position for the treasury division. Since 2012, she has served in executive officer positions for the organizational planning and support division and the tribal health division. Before her employment with the Chickasaw Nation, Ms. Trett was employed by Samson Resources Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Nicole Schultz - Vice Chair

Ms. Nicole Schultz serves as vice-chair for the Chickasaw Foundation. She has served the Chickasaw Nation since 2010 and was appointed executive officer of public affairs in 2021. She previously held the positions of director of public affairs, communications officer and public relations manager.

Debra Gee - Secretary

Ms. Debra Gee serves as secretary for the Chickasaw Foundation. She also serves as chief counsel for the Chickasaw Nation Office of Tribal Justice Administration. Prior to employment with the Chickasaw Nation, Ms. Gee worked at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., where she served as deputy director of the office of tribal justice and tribal legal counsel for the violence against women office, office of justice programs.

Rachel Wood - Treasurer

Rachel Wood serves as treasurer for the Chickasaw Foundation. She also serves as under secretary of treasury administration for the department of treasury. She has worked for the Chickasaw Nation since 2015. Ms. Wood is a graduate of the gold level of the Chickasaw Leadership Academy. Ms. Wood earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from East Central University and is a certified public accountant as well as a certified fraud examiner.

Leta Burwell - Immediate Past Chair

Ms. Leta Burwell serves as immediate past chair for the Chickasaw Foundation. She has worked for the Chickasaw Nation for 34 years and serves as Secretary of Administration. She is a member of Restoration Church in Ada, OK and currently serves as the children’s church teacher.

Jalinda Kelley - Trustee

Ms. Jalinda Kelley serves as a trustee for the Chickasaw Foundation Board of Trustees. Ms. Kelley is the cabinet secretary for the Chickasaw Nation Department of Interior Services. Ms. Kelley oversees many internal operations for the tribe including human resources, benefits, compensation, self-governance, emergency management and training and career development.

Joshua Bess - Trustee

Mr. Joshua Bess serves as the under secretary of support and sustainability for the department of family services. He is a Chickasaw citizen and has worked for the Chickasaw Nation since 2006. 

Billy McCurdy - Trustee

Mr. Billy McCurdy serves as a trustee for the Chickasaw Foundation. He brings over 35 years of expertise in management and marketing, coupled with a remarkable 40-year tenure collaborating with First American organizations. As the proprietor of Reel Vizon Research LLC and McCurdy Group Inc., Billy oversees thriving enterprises that emphasize helping First American businesses through research and continuous improvement.

John Fryrear - Trustee

Mr. John Fryrear serves as vice chairperson for the Chickasaw Foundation. He is the owner of a full service broker-dealer, Investment Securities of Oklahoma, LLC, and has been in the investment banking/securities business for more than 30 years.

Wayne Scribner - Trustee

Mr. Wayne Scribner serves as a trustee for the Chickasaw Foundation. Mr. Scribner has been employed by the Chickasaw Nation for 40 years, and serves as the cabinet secretary for the department of community services. The department of community services consists of eight divisions; the divisions of Housing, Grant and Support Services, Social Services, Youth Services, Aging, Chickasaw Employment Access, Support Services and Property and Facilities.  More than 100 programs and services offered by the Chickasaw Nation are administered through these divisions. 

Deanna Hartley-Kelso - Trustee

Deanna Hartley-Kelso has served in various capacities with the Chickasaw Foundation since 2001, and currently serves as a trustee. She has been employed with the Chickasaw Judicial Department since 2015 and currently serves as a District Judge for the Chickasaw Nation District Court hearing family, civil and criminal matters.