Board of Directors

At Bridges of Norman, we are proud to have phenomenal board members who make sure we serve our students and community at the highest possible standard. This dedicated group of individuals go above and beyond to care for our students and staff, and we couldn’t be more grateful to them.

Gail Blaylock
President of the Board

"My reason for serving on the Bridges board is to hopefully bring the light of joy and hope to teens who have had to live in a world full of darkness. If my participation on the board changes one teen's view of their worthiness, then I have done my job as a board member. "
Gail is an Associate Judge for the City of Norman.

Tory Tedder-Loffland
Vice President of the Board

"In a successful society, members must contribute, be accountable for their actions, and responsible with their resources. What we often forget is these traits are taught to us and developed from childhood. Bridges steps in to provide the foundation on which its students can build a successful life."
Tory is the Education & Outreach Coordinator for OEC.

Vincent Deberry
Finance Chair of the Board

"I am very fortunate that my 'day job' allows me to make a positive impact on people living in our state every day on a systemic level. Serving on the board of Bridges provides me those same impacts closer to home with youth in Norman. I get to see the faces of these incredible young people and know we are making a difference in their lives." Vincent is the Executive Director of the OU Center for Public Management.

Lisa Allen
Secretary of the Board

"I serve on the Bridges board because I think every child should feel safe and valued. Every child should have basic necessities. Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed. I serve on the Bridges board to make sure these core values and needs are realized."
Lisa is a community member in Norman.

Rhonda Burton

"I am honored to serve on the board at Bridges and have had the opportunity to see first hand the tremendous impact this organization has on young people's lives. I have had several former students who have lived at Bridges and it has quite literally given them hope for a better life and the chance to achieve their dreams."
Rhonda is a counselor at Cleveland Elementary.

Joan Costello

"Hundreds of things go into helping the students Bridges serves to succeed and stay in high school; whether that is food and a safe place to sleep, getting their driver's license, filling out job or college applications, getting healthcare, or making a financial budget. By serving on the board, I help the wonderful staff of this important organization accomplish these things."
Joan is the owner of Firehouse Subs in Norman.

Marcy Fleming

"It is very difficult to be your better self when you're hungry, scared, or in need of a shower or clean clothes. Students in family crisis often can't meet these basic needs, but Bridges fills this gap and gives students a chance to find their own path and succeed. I serve because of that look in a student's eye when they realize this is for them, they are safe, and that they are cared about- for real. We mean it."
Marcy is the Director for HR Systems, Communications, and Data Solutions at the University of Oklahoma.

Doug Haws

"I began serving on the Bridges board 10+ years ago because I was asked. However, today I serve because I am compelled by the amazing life-changing stories of our students and the unyielding dedication of the staff that serves the organization. Outside of raising my own daughters, I believe my affiliation with Bridges is the most humbling, yet rewarding, endeavor I have undertaken."
Doug is the VP and Portfolio Manager at Tom Johnson TJIM, LLC.

Sharon Heatly

"We can't change past experiences, but an organization such as Bridges can support and guide a teen to change their future. I serve to help teens have the same advantages as other teens by getting a quality education. The empowerment that takes place at Bridges changes their entire perception of life and their future. Seeing students' pride in graduating from high school and being ready for college or other avenues validates why Bridges is a life-changer!"
Sharon is the Director of Counseling and Student Advocacy at Norman Public Schools.

Liz Hedrick

"As a 45-year educator, I knew countless teens who left school because they did not have a safe place to live. Bridges provides housing and support services so our students have the resources to overcome obstacles. I am committed to support our students as they work to graduate and become productive adults.."
Liz is a retired educator.

Mariann Lawson

"'You may not control all of the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.'- Maya Angelou
For me, that quote defines the purpose of Bridges. Life can be difficult, unfair, and exhausting. Doing it alone can be overwhelming. Bridges makes the rough days smoother, balances the playing field, and provides support in bringing renewed hope and a brighter tomorrow for youth in our community who need it most. I want to live in a place known for its compassion and action, and I want to be a part of that brighter tomorrow for the students at Bridges."
Mariann is a Community Banking Officer at Armstrong Bank.

Eric Lehenbauer

"I've lived in the Norman area most of my life and love this community. Long ago I made the choice to work in public service, and to do so in Norman. Throughout my career, I've seen the benefits of the Bridges program and jumped at the chance to serve here when I saw a position open on the board. I feel the best way to make improvements in our community, and in society in general, is to help our youth. Helping young people to realize their potential, overcome hardship, and succeed in life is perhaps the most rewarding experience one can have! I feel it a privilege to be able to participate."
Eric is a Captain in the Norman Police Department.

Peter Liesenfeld

"The work that Bridges does- helping high school students with a place to live and people who watch out for them- literally changes lives. These students who have nowhere else to turn are welcomed and given opportunity to not only graduate high school, but to learn life skills and get career coaching and mentoring. I serve on the Bridges board because of the better future that they offer students in Norman."
Peter is the Chief Technology Officer for Norman Public Schools.

Mark Millsap

"The reason I serve is that I have trouble imagining that any teenager, by no fault of their own, does not have a home. They need a place where they can be nurtured, mentored, and loved, and that is what Bridges does."
Mark is the Publisher of the Norman Transcript.

Eileen Paternostro

"Every child deserves the opportunity to reach their potential. I serve to help kids during their most formative years to develop into the best young adults possible. It is rewarding to see a young person complete their education, gain life skills, and impact them as a future community adult for a lifetime."
Eileen works as a Delivery Manager at Amazon.

Yves Saintelo

"I chose to serve on the board because I wanted to be a part of real change , and I wanted to be a part of real impact in students' lives."
Yves is a counselor at Norman North High School

Megan Siravo

"I serve on the Bridges board to help empower and give back to students who are choosing to better themselves and their situation through education and hard work."
Megan is the Resolutions Supervisor at Love's Travel Stops.

Sarah Smith

"I serve on this amazing board to help students have a better chance to succeed in high school, work, and life. I love that we can provide a safe and supportive environment for young adults to live on their own, but for them to have access to resources and caring adults that they need. I think it is so amazing that they can learn life skills, go to school, work, and graduate all with the help of this organization."
Sarah is a CPA at Classic Vision and a contractor for Armstrong Bank.

Emily Virgin

"I love serving on the Bridges board because as a community, we have a responsibility to ensure that every child is safe and supported. The best investment we can make as a state and as a community is in our young people, and we see the results of this investment every single year when Bridges students graduate and go on to the next step in their journey, using the skills and support that Bridges has provided to them."
Emily is a State Representative for the State of Oklahoma.