President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, announced the remaining members of his Leadership staff today as well as changes to the Senate service staff. Former Senator Jim Williamson was previously announced as Chief Policy Adviser and Legal Counsel.
Cheryl Leonhardt Boothe will join Sen. Bingman in the Pro Tempore’s office after four years as his Senate Executive Assistant. Boothe will continue to be Sen. Bingman’s EA upon her move to Room 422. “Over the last four years Cheryl has been an excellent Executive Assistant. I am very fortunate to have her assistance going forward in the Pro Tempore office,” said Bingman. In college at Oklahoma State University, she majored in Recreation; something she proudly excelled at even though the title could be misleading. Boothe had experience in the private sector before moving into public service work. Prior to working in the Senate she worked in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Cheryl is a proud mother of four daughters, Christina, Jessica, Melissa and Morgan.
John Willbanks will join Bingman’s staff as Appointments Secretary for Boards and Commissions. Before joining the Pro Tem’s staff, Willbanks worked with Appropriations Chairman Sen. Mike Johnson. A very welcoming and effective communicator, John has a knack for hospitality. “Without public servants like John we would never be able to manage the civic appointments process that is so important to our state. I am glad to have his dedicated help as Appointments Secretary for Boards and Commissions,” said Bingman. Willbanks has a background in marketing and communications. He is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma and he holds a Public Relations Certificate from Rice University. John resides in Oklahoma City with his wife Karen who he enjoys spending time with along with their son Jonathan who is currently a student at the University of Southern California.
Jarred Brejcha will fill the role of Communications Director and Leadership Assistant. Brejcha was recently the Executive Director of the Oklahoma State Republican Senatorial Committee during the 2010 election. “I have worked with Jarred for multiple years and I am excited to bring him into a new capacity at the State Senate. His skills will benefit our efforts to promote our agenda and work with all Senate Members to move Oklahoma forward,” said Bingman. He has been active in the business of politics going back to his college days at the University of Tulsa, where he graduated in 2006. Brejcha has worked for numerous Senate and House candidates and members and he also worked for the re-election of U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe in 2008. Prior to working with the Senate Republicans, Brejcha managed Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett’s 2009 campaign. Jarred is married to Jennifer and they have two dogs Peyton and Rayford.
Trait Thompson is the Legislative Director for Pro Tempore Bingman. Trait is a dedicated worker with a passion for public policy. Before joining the Pro Tem’s staff, Thompson was a Field Representative for Governor-elect Mary Fallin and he also maintained the position of Adjunct Professor at Rogers State University. “Trait is a perfect fit for legislative director. His natural affinity for policy work combined with a willingness to work hard and improve Oklahoma makes him an excellent addition to our team,” Bingman said. A true fan of John Wayne, Thompson can quote the Duke without hesitation. In addition to being a policy wonk and a film buff, Trait enjoys reading, playing golf and listening to live music. Trait and his wife Sara have a three year old son and reside in the Oklahoma City area.
Dallyn Minnick will be managing the front desk as Administrative Assistant. Dallyn is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and majored in Agricultural Communications. Before working for the Pro Tem, Minnick was the Oklahoma City Coordinator for the One Oklahoma Coalition, an organization that opposed State Question 744. “Dallyn is a hard working individual and I appreciate her communications and creative skills that add so much to our office,” said Bingman. She remains involved with her family’s farming and ranching operation back home in western Oklahoma.
Other staff changes occurred within the Senate service staff. Chief of Staff Tom Walls is retiring and will be replaced by Randy Dowell who will continue as Fiscal Director while assuming the Chief of Staff duties. Restructuring within the service staff and Senate as a whole from 2009 to present time has resulted in over $2.3 million worth of savings through voluntary buyouts, page program cut backs, part-time Executive Assistants for freshmen Senators, travel freezes, attrition and continued furloughs.