Kate Tillotson, Workforce Strategy Analyst
Prior to her current role with Workforce Tulsa, Kate served as a Policy Fellow and Veteran Advocate for Mayor G.T. Bynum, empowering Tulsa’s military-connected community through research, advocacy, and strategic partnerships. Shortly after graduating from Will Rogers High School in 2007, Kate enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a Field Radio Operator. Deploying to Iraq in 2009, Kate was selected to be part of the Marine Corps Lioness Program. The Lioness Program was developed to counter insurgents using women to smuggle contraband and to act as suicide bombers. The Lioness Program success led to policy changes in the Marine Corps allowing women to serve in traditionally male-only combat roles.
Kate graduated from The University of Tulsa with a Bachelors of Science in Communication Science Disorders. While at TU, Kate worked closely with The Office of the President to help develop veteran programing. Her work to change the narrative of military connected students and creation of strategic partnerships on campus led to TU being able to acquire a $5,000,000 endowment for student veterans. In 2017, Kate was awarded national Student Veteran of the Year by Student Veterans of America for creating systematic and cultural changes on campus to be inclusive of veterans.
Kate serves as both a local and national advocate for veterans within economic opportunity. She currently serves as a Resource Board Member for the Community Service Council, is a member of Leadership Tulsa’s THRIVE II Class, as well as the Hispanic Leadership Institute Class II. Kate was also previously selected as a summer fellow for High Ground Veteran Advocacy in Washington, D.C., and the Oklahoma Policy Institute’s Summer Institute.
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Cherie Stierwalt, Deputy Director
Cherie Stierwalt joined Workforce Tulsa after over twenty-five years in public administration working with Non-profits, Federal, State, County and Tribal governments and their stakeholders. Her background in Criminal Justice and Youth Programs gave her a wide range of experiences in developing policy and programs especially for youth development. She has been Director for the Department of Defense's Youth Challenge Program in Oklahoma, Community Sentencing Executive Director/Chief Probation Officer, Warden for both adults and juveniles, Instructor, Volunteer Coordinator for Army Community Service, and Associate Editor for a national trade magazine.
Cherie has served and worked with several non-profit boards and volunteer agencies including the Victim's Impact Panel for Oklahoma and Comanche counties, Lawton's Boulevard of Lights, Oklahoma and Kansas's Law Enforcement Torch Run, and Thunderbird Youth Foundation.
In 1987, Cherie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Political Science/Law Enforcement and is an avid volunteer for Special Olympics.
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Julie Sorrels, Manager of Operations
Julie Sorrels joined Workforce Tulsa on September 12, 2013. She was a participant in the Women in Recovery Program, an intensive and comprehensive outpatient treatment program designed as an alternative to female incarceration, from which she graduated in December, 2013.
Julie was also a participant in the Lindsey House program. The program provided her and her teenage daughter with a safe place to live as they transitioned from a history of situational homelessness to self-sufficiency. She has since become a homeowner and served on the Lindsey House Board of Directors.
The Tulsa Area United Way awarded Julie with the 2017 Live United Spirit Award in recognition of her passion, heart, advocacy, and volunteerism.
In 1997, Julie graduated East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Social Work Degree. She worked as a Child Welfare Specialist at the Tulsa County Department of Human Services for over ten years. In the summer of 2013, she participated in a pilot program started by Women in Recovery in partnership with Tulsa Community College’s Second Chance Program. She subsequently obtained an Information Technology - Business Computer User Certificate of Achievement and was named on the President’s Honor Roll. She is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the workforce Tulsa team, and looks forward to rebuilding a career founded in helping others.
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Rachel Hutchings, Executive Director
Rachel D. Hutchings is the Executive Director of Workforce Tulsa. Her background in workforce development includes various roles on the Workforce Tulsa board, the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development and involvement in local, state and national workforce development initiatives.
Most recently, Rachel was the Director of Development for the Tulsa Community College Foundation. Her focus was primarily on grant writing, donor reporting and student scholarship management. Prior to joining TCC, Rachel was the Corporate & Government Affairs Manager for American Airlines covering Oklahoma. She represented American during their various changes ranging from introducing new leadership, restructuring, and their merger with US Airways. Hutchings began her career at American Airlines in 1995 and worked in various capacities, including Supply Chain, Warranty and Maintenance and Production Scheduling.
She has a master’s in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Oklahoma, a bachelor’s in Business Management from University of Phoenix, and an associate degree in Business Management from Tulsa Community College.
Rachel is Chair of the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals and on the Leadership Oklahoma Board. This July, she completed a six year term as Chair of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.
She and her husband, Dean, have six children. They make their home in Skiatook. She is also a proud member of the Cherokee Nation.
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Seth Fargen, Finance Director
In 2007, Seth was appointed as the Deputy Director of the Coast Guard Finance Center with responsibility for Accounting Operations, Financial Systems, Financial Reporting and Control, Human Resources, and Administration of this DHS Shared Services Center. The Finance Center provided agency wide financial services and systems for the Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, with responsibility for the financial management of $17 billion of Federal government funds. He was a key team member in achieving the first unmodified audit opinion for the Department of Homeland Security. He also provided oversite of the accounting for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulting in the recovery of over $6 billion from the responsible parties.
Prior to this Seth worked as a senior financial manager for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) working in labor accounting and analysis, general ledger and financial reporting, reimbursables, property and grants administration. He was a core team member of the e-Payroll, e-Travel and Agency Labor distribution teams, as well as a member of the Agency Working Capital, Full Cost, and CFO Education teams. He was responsible for the consolidation of payroll, benefits and travel accounting into the NASA Shared Services Center, a multi-function centralized service organization supporting Accounting, Procurement, Human Resources and Information Technology to support NASA’s core business operations.
Previous to his federal government experience Seth worked for Price Waterhouse Coopers as an SAP Consultant working with Global 500 companies in the energy and chemical industries, developing solutions to complex accounting, systems and international financial problems.
In previous positions Seth was employed as an accountant, financial analyst, Corporate Comptroller and Treasurer at Peabody Energy, United Technologies, and Memorex Telex, and as Vice President of Finance and Administration for Telenova, supporting the Beta installation of Oracle Financials and the development of the first digital telecommunication system.
Seth graduated with a B.S. Business Economics Southern Illinois University, and earned an MBA in Finance cum laude, with a Fellowship in Corporate Finance.
He is a veteran of the United States Air Force, having served in support of the Vietnam War.
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