Donate Today!


Trustees & Staff

Chickasaw Foundation Staff

Blake Long

Program Assistant

Lori Rico

Foundation and Corporate Grants Manager

Chickasaw Foundation Trustees

Leta Burwell - Chairperson

Ms. Leta Burwell serves as chairperson for the Chickasaw Foundation. She has worked for the Chickasaw Nation for 33 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.

Ms. Burwell is also a member of the Pontotoc County Homeless Taskforce and a member of Leadership Oklahoma Class 35.

Ms. Burwell has one daughter, Savannah. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, shopping, reading and serving the church in various capacities. She is honored to serve on the board and support the mission of the Chickasaw Foundation.

John Fryrear - Vice Chairperson

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.

Jay Keel - Immediate Past Chair

Mr. Jay Keel serves as immediate past chair for the Chickasaw Foundation. Mr. Keel is cabinet secretary of the Chickasaw Nation Department of Family Services. The department provides comprehensive mental health services along with a wide array of human services including foster care/adoption, child protective services, child support services and violence prevention.  In 1993, Chickasaw Governor Bill Anoatubby appointed Keel to establish the department of youth services.  He was appointed administrator of the division of youth and family services in 1995 and later appointed Secretary of the Department of Family Services in 2013. 

He served as youth pastor at First Baptist Church, Ada for 10 years and has worked to help children, youth and families for over 40 years.  Keel is past president of the board for Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, past president of the board for Caring for Ada’s Children, past chairman of the board for Chickasaw Nation Head Start and past chair of the Board of Trustees for the Chickasaw Foundation.  He previously served on the boards of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Oklahoma, Prevent Child Abuse Oklahoma, McCalls Chapel School, Fellowship of Christian Athletes advisory group, Ada Family Crisis Center, Oklahoma City University Addiction Prevention Program, Oklahoma Baptist University Native American Advisory Team, Governor Fallin’s Children of Incarcerated Parents Task Force, Ada Area Chamber of Commerce, and was appointed by Governors Keating and Henry to serve on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs.  He currently serves on the boards of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Mercy Hospital Ada, Murrow Indian Children’s Home, a member of the Intertribal Council Tribal Services Committee, and serves as the Oklahoma City area tribal representative for the National Tribal Advisory Committee on Behavioral Health (NTAC).

An ordained Baptist minister, affiliated with World Vision and Global Outreach International, he led missions in Belize and Lesotho, Africa.  Keel received a B.A. in speech communication from East Central University and attended graduate school at Southwest Baptist Seminary.  He is married to Donna Mason Keel.  They have three children, Wyatt, Allison and Natalie.

Joshua Bess - Trustee

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

Mr. Bess is a graduate of the Chickasaw Leadership Academy bronze, silver and gold levels. He served as a member of Toastmaster’s International and is a current member of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Core Committee, partnering with the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare to develop safer plans of care for mothers and their children with prenatal substance use exposure.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in human resources administration from East Central University.

Debra Gee - Trustee

Ms. Debra Gee serves as a trustee 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.

She is a graduate of Arizona State University College of Law and Smith College where she earned a juris doctorate and Bachelor of Arts, respectively. Ms. Gee maintains bar memberships in the tribal courts of the Chickasaw Nation, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Navajo Nation and the state of Oklahoma.

Nicole Schultz - Trustee

Ms. Nicole Schultz serves as a trustee 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.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in journalism and is a 2019 graduate of Leadership Native Oklahoma, 2020 Leadership Ada, Leadership YOUniversity class V and completed the Chickasaw Leadership Academy Bronze through Platinum levels.  She has received the honor of being named as one of ionOklahoma 30 under 30 in 2014, 2013 NCAIED Native American 40 under 40 and the same year, Oklahoma Indian Woman of the Year. In 2021, she was named Oklahoma Indian Mother of the Year.

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.

Mr. Scribner has served as executive director of the Chickasaw Housing Authority since 2004. Throughout his tenure, he has also had the privilege to serve as a board member for the Southern Plains Indian Housing Association and the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act Formula Rulemaking Committee. He is a former board member for Region IV AMERIND Risk Management Corporation. He currently serves as a member of the Arkansas Riverbed Authority board of directors and is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma Class XXXII.

Mr. Scribner is a traditional Chickasaw bow maker and passionate about keeping the Chickasaw culture alive. He devotes his time to teaching and mentoring the art of bow making so the tradition will not be lost. Through his mentorship, apprentices have learned the creative process from the harvesting of the wood to the completion of a bow. He has been instrumental in reviving the tradition of cornstalk shooting for the Chickasaw Nation. He is an active member of the Chickasaw Cornstalk Bow Shooters Society and travels across the state to compete in cornstalk tournaments.

Jenny Trett - Trustee

Ms. Jenny Trett serves as a trustee 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.

Ms. Trett graduated from East Central University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in accounting. In 2009, she completed an MBA from Oklahoma State University. She is a certified public accountant with memberships in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants and Institute of Internal Auditors. Ms. Trett is a member of Leadership Oklahoma Class XXII, Leadership Murray County, and has served on the Chickasaw Nation Boys and Girls Club executive board. Currently, she is a member of the Sulphur Kiwanis Club, Sulphur Public Schools Board of Education and the chairperson for the People’s Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees.