Nonprofits

On this edition of ST, we speak with Chris Gates, who is CEO of the Tulsa-based Janada L. Batchelor Foundation for Children, or JBFC, a nonprofit that works to provide aid to, and combat extreme poverty in, East Africa. As noted on the JBFC website: "Janada Batchelor is JBFC Founder Chris Gates's grandmother. The organization carries her name because she is the woman who introduced Gates to Tanzania in 2002.

Last fall, about 40 local non-profit arts organizations joined Phil Lakin, CEO of the Tulsa Community Foundation, in launching Arts Alliance Tulsa (or AAT), a United Arts Fund that aims to provide funding for -- and audience-development support for -- the City of Tulsa's various cultural assets. (United Arts Funds, as noted at the AAT website, "seek to raise money to provide ongoing operating support to local arts institutions. Over the past 65 years, more than 100 communities across the country -- both large and small -- have established UAFs.

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, we learn about a non-profit called WellOK, which was formed in 2014, and which bills itself as "the Northeastern Oklahoma Business Coalition on Health." It's a coalition of 17 locally based organizations, including businesses large and small that purchase healthcare as well as government and philanthropic organizations.

On today's StudioTulsa, we learn about a new documentary film called "Misfits," which was screened last week at a special event at the Circle Cinema. This film, which was directed by the Danish filmmaker Jannik Splidsboel, and which debuted at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, is (per its listing at the IMDB website) about "three American teenagers from conservative Tulsa [who] are struggling with isolation and instability....

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, guest host John Schumann speaks with James Walker, who's been the executive director of Youth Services of Tulsa (or YST) for 14 years now. A nonprofit United Way agency dating back to 1969, YST is, per its website, "committed to fostering a community atmosphere that values youth as resources. We provide innovative services and activities designed to increase self-discovery and instill positive core values and decision-making skills that will keep youth safe and allow them to lead healthy and productive lives.

The State of Oklahoma has one of the highest incarceration rates in the nation. And now, as we set forth on a new school year throughout this community and, indeed, across this state, we pause to ask: What about the children of those incarcerated? Who's assisting the kids, in this moment of great transition, whose parents are behind bars?

On this edition of our program, we speak with Vanessa Finley, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer at YWCA Tulsa. A Tulsa native, Booker T. Washington grad, and non-profit executive with 20+ years of experience, Finley has recently relocated to Tulsa from Kansas City; she began her tenure at YWCA Tulsa earlier this month.

On this edition of ST, we speak with a big-thinking, fast-talking, highly motivated, and fairly progressive entrepreneur who's made and lost several fortunes: Bill Bartmann is best known as the founder and CEO of Commercial Financial Services (or CFS), a debt-collection company that actually treated its debtors with respect and fairness. CFS was based in Tulsa, operated from 1986 to 1999, and was for a time amazingly successful as a business --- but the fast-growing company fell apart amid charges of illegal stock trades and bogus debt sales.

What if a bright young guy who had enough brains, training, and ambition to thrive on Wall Street suddenly decided --- in his mid-twenties, while watching an especially "passionate" pianist perform at a concert --- to give up on all the money and glory associated with his fledgling career...in order to start a small, independent nonprofit dedicated to building schools in the world's poorest regions? On this edition of ST, we meet just such a person.

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