Trustees & Staff


  • Johnna R. Walker:  Chief Executive Officer
  • Meagan Waller:  Program Assistant

Chickasaw Foundation Trustees


Robyn Elliott - Chairman

Ms. Elliott is the secretary of the Chickasaw Nation’s Department of Communications and Community Development. She and her team work to promote cultural pride among Chickasaw citizens by sharing timely and important information using outlets such as print and digital media and film.

Ms. Elliott received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from East Central University in 2002 and her MBA in 2016 from Oklahoma State University. She is involved in several organizations, including the Chickasaw Nation Small Business Development Center, the Oklahoma Heritage Association, the Public Relations Society of America and Leadership Oklahoma. She is also a board member of Creative Oklahoma, Ada Jobs Foundation, Ada Chamber of Commerce, Ada Arts District, East Central Alumni Association and Oklahoma Women’s Coalition and is on the Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma Regional Advisory Committee.


Holly Easterling - Vice Chairman

Ms. Holly Easterling is the treasurer of the Chickasaw Foundation and joined the board in February 2015. In 2003, she was elected to the Chickasaw Nation Legislature. In 2010, she was named administrator of the division of planning and organizational development, and in 2012, she was appointed to the position of secretary of the department of treasury.

Ms. Easterling received her bachelor's degree in accounting from Oklahoma State University. She is a certified public accountant (CPA), a member of the Oklahoma Society of CPAs, a member of the board of directors at Citizens Bank, an independent director for the Federal Home Loan Bank – Topeka and an appointed Ethics Commissioner for the State of Oklahoma. She is a former member of the National IRS Advisory Committee of Tax Exempt and Governmental Entities representing Indian Tribal Governments and a past board member of the Ada City Schools Foundation. Ms. Easterling is also an active member of the Native American Finance Officers Association and a member and trustee of the First Christian Church in Ada, Oklahoma.


Jalinda Kelley - Secretary

Ms. Jalinda Kelley serves as secretary for the Chickasaw Foundation Board of Trustees. As the secretary for the Chickasaw Nation Department of Interior Services, Ms. Kelley oversees many internal operations for the tribe, such as human resources for headquarters, health, housing and commerce, benefits, compensation, the legal division, self-determination, training and career development and organizational planning and support.

Ms. Kelley received a bachelor's degree from East Central University and is certified as a professional of human resources (PHR). Ms. Kelley is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management, the Chickasaw Nation Head Start Advisory Board and Landmark Bank's Ada Community Board.


Jerry Jones - Treasurer

No biography available.


Matt Chesnut - Assistant Treasurer

Mr. Matt Chesnut is a trustee for the Chickasaw Foundation and has served on the Board since February of 2016. He is a Senior New Business Development & Private Investments Manager for the Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerce. He began working for the Division of Commerce in 2014 where he has since worked in the Office of Corporate Development.

Mr. Chesnut received his Bachelor’s Degree in finance from the University of Arkansas (’09) and his MBA from Harvard Business School (’14), where he served as CFO of the school’s Student Administration. In addition to serving on the Board of Trustees for the Chickasaw Foundation, he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Central Oklahoma Humane Society. He and his wife Chesna reside in Oklahoma City with their two dogs, Shep and Birdie.


Dr. Tina M. Cooper - Trustee

Dr. Tina M. Cooper joined the board in December 2003. She is the great-granddaughter of original Chickasaw enrollee Wellington Kemp, the granddaughter of Harvey and Verna Kemp Rochelle of Achille and the daughter of Gene and Wanda Rochelle. She is married to Richard Cooper, and they have two children, Ian and Jane, a daughter in-law, Marla, and three grandchildren, Eli, Allison and Charlie.

Dr. Cooper graduated from Cameron University in 1979 with an associate degree in nursing and from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 1983 with a B.S. in nursing. From 1979-1991, she served as a registered nurse. She also graduated from the OU Health Sciences Center in 1995 with an M.D. From 1995-1998, Dr. Cooper performed her post-graduate residency training through the University of Oklahoma. She was a family practice graduate and chief resident. Dr. Cooper has been a family physician with the Chickasaw Nation Department of Health since 1998. From 2011 to April 2015, she served as medical director for the Sovereign Family Practice Clinic. In May, she returned to the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center as a family practice physician.

Dr. Cooper is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Oklahoma Academy of Family Physicians, as well as a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She attends Ada’s Central Church of Christ and serves as the medical director for their Compassion Outreach Center.

Dr. Cooper makes her home in Ada and enjoys baking, decorating and spending time with family and friends.


John Fryrear - Trustee

Mr. Fryrear has served on the Chickasaw Foundation board since 2007.

Fryrear is the owner of a full service broker-dealer, Investment Securities of Oklahoma LLC. He has been in the investment banking/securities business for more than 30 years.

He is a board trustee and co-chairman of Vizavance (formerly known as Prevent Blindness of Oklahoma), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing children’s education through vision. He is also a member of the Native American Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Fryrear and his wife reside in Norman with their son, Gavin.


Deanna Hartley-Kelso - Trustee

Ms. Deanna Hartley-Kelso, Chickasaw, is a senior partner at the Indian and Environmental Law Group, PLLC, with offices in Tulsa and Ada, Oklahoma. Her practice focuses primarily on Indian law matters, including large scale litigation on behalf of tribes and handling governmental, business and gaming matters for tribes or tribal agencies. Her tribal clients include both large and small tribes, primarily located in Oklahoma. With other members of the firm, she also participates in Indian tribal trust litigation and environmental tort litigation, on behalf of both tribal and non-tribal clients, in federal and state courts and with state administrative agencies.

Ms. Hartley-Kelso is an adjunct professor, teaching criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country in the Masters of Jurisprudence program at Tulsa University College of Law, a previous adjunct professor in legal studies at East Central University and a past volunteer with the North Texas Legal Services-American Indian Law Project.

Ms. Hartley-Kelso served as attorney general for the Chickasaw Nation and was an executive officer and administrator of the nation’s division of justice from 2004-2014. She also served the Chickasaw Nation as its general counsel from 2001-2004 and its first legislative counsel from 1997-2001. During her tenure with the Chickasaw Nation, she established an in-house legal department that later became the attorney general’s office. Over the years, she has participated in numerous projects geared toward the development of legal and law enforcement infrastructure for the Chickasaw Nation, including revising and updating various provisions of the tribal code, key roles in implementing the nation's criminal code, establishing a prosecutor's office, the development and re-establishment of both the tribal law enforcement and the tribal court functions, developing and implementing a juvenile justice program and the legal groundwork under tribal law for a tribally owned bank. She also has extensive experience in drafting tribal employment policies, conducting employment related hearings and developing training presentations and materials for tribal employees. Ms. Hartley-Kelso is licensed in the courts of the Chickasaw Nation, the states of Oklahoma and Texas and the Northern, Eastern and Western Districts of Oklahoma and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado. As for professional memberships, she serves on the board of trustees for the Oklahoma Bar Foundation, and holds memberships with the Chickasaw Bar Association, serving as its president in 2013-2014, the Oklahoma Indian Bar Association, Native American Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association. She is also a fellow of the College of the State Bar of the State of Texas, an organization recognizing professionalism through education.

Ms. Hartley-Kelso is a previous chair, vice-chair, treasurer and a current member of the Chickasaw Foundation Board of Trustees. She served as a citizen appointee to the Arkansas Riverbed Authority from 2001-2014, and numerous boards and committees within the Chickasaw Nation. Ms. Hartley-Kelso was appointed to serve as an advisory board member for the eastern Oklahoma region to the Indian Law and Order Commission and provided testimony related to law enforcement issues in Indian Country. She was appointed by Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry to the Oklahoma Juvenile Affairs Board from 2009-2013, serving as its 2012 chair. She also represented the Chickasaw Nation at the 2004 United Nations Human Rights Working Group on the Draft Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva, Switzerland, and provided subsequent testimony in 2012 to the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights.


Jay Keel - Trustee

Mr. Keel is the Secretary for the Department of Family Services. This department operates family therapy and enrichment programs that contribute to the overall well-being of Chickasaw families. Mr. Keel is an ordained Baptist minister, received a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication from East Central University and attended graduate school at Southwest Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He is a board member of the Family Crisis Center in Ada, McCall’s Chapel School, National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Chickasaw Nation Head Start, Children of Incarcerated Parents Task Force and advisory board member to the Southeast Oklahoma Fellowship of Christian Athletes and OCU Addiction Prevention Program.


Kirk Perry - Trustee

Mr. Kirk Perry has served on the board since April 2001. He is the executive officer for the Chickasaw Nation Historic Preservation Division. His Chickasaw parents are Johnson and Sophia Perry. His education in general business and mathematics at East Central University has helped his professional career.

During the 1970s, while the deputy director of the Chickasaw Housing Authority during its infancy, he helped establish new housing programs, working with many federal agencies and local governments. Although the Chickasaws were a smaller tribe, he helped lead the housing programs to become the second-largest Indian Housing Authority in the United States. The Chickasaw’s successful programs became recognized nationally as best examples of management and development of Indian Housing. He helped establish both the Oklahoma Indian Housing Authority and the National American Indian Housing Council, while serving both organizations as an officer and board member. Knowing the drastic need for Indian housing training on standards and advocacy, he served on national housing coalitions and professional organizations. He helped establish needed nationwide Indian management programs for counseling, a new project-based budgeting study, development practices, housing management training and certification programs and professional certification for Indian housing managers.

For more than 25 years, Mr. Perry has worked in land survey, highway contract administration, architectural planning and consulting. He successfully operated businesses in oil and gas land leasing, commercial and residential building inspection and construction as a general construction contractor before accepting an opportunity to work for the Chickasaw Nation in 1997, where he served to administer several new and growing programs, such as historic preservation and repatriation.

Learning the value of respect for others, seeking education and the warrior spirit given him by growing up as a Chickasaw has made Mr. Perry’s participation especially rewarding when working with Chickasaw people to help others achieve their own life goals.


Debra Gee - Trustee

No biography available.