Founded in 1997 by Bill Lobeck and Kathy Taylor, the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation (LTFF) has grown into a second generation investment in making Tulsa an innovative, collaborative and thriving city. Under the leadership of Taylor’s daughter, CEO Elizabeth Frame Ellison, LTFF focuses on entrepreneurship, innovation and community engagement projects. Learn more about the programs we support here.
Elizabeth Frame Ellison currently serves as President and CEO of the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation (LTFF). Ellison has dedicated her professional career to ensuring Tulsa has an innovative, diverse landscape that encourages small business.
Ellison is a lifelong Oklahoman, earning her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to law school, Ellison worked in Washington, D.C. as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Dan Boren, handling a variety of issues including women’s rights, education, small business issues, healthcare, and education.
Today, Ellison’s main focus is leading the generous community support provided through the LTFF’s owned and operated programs and numerous grants. Under her leadership, LTFF has committed over 11 million dollars to back critical issues ranging from entrepreneurship, to education, to health. In 2013, Ellison, along with Kathy Taylor, Amy Santee, Mimi Taransch and Janet Levit, founded the Lobeck Taylor Family Advocacy clinic within the University of Tulsa College of Law to assist women seeking legal help with civil issues. Ellison and Taylor also founded Women Count OK, a bi-partisan, statewide program designed to inform women about important issues, and encourage financial support and voter turnout among and between women.
Ellison is well known as one of the driving forces of Tulsa’s entrepreneurial scene. Her personal passion for this area led to LTFF’s cornerstone support of the innovative efforts of 36°North, The Mine, Tulsa Startup Series Powered by LTFF, Startup Weekend and more. Ellison also established Cultivate918, a group that creates a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem for Tulsans, as well as Kitchen 66, Tulsa’s first-ever kick-start kitchen for food entrepreneurs.
Ellison has served on numerous boards, including Street School, Tulsa Cares and Global Gardens. She served on Tulsa Area United Way as chair of Community Collaborative Initiatives, and has been a member and yearly speaker at the Tulsa Area United Way Women’s Leadership Council. Ellison was one of two Tulsa women on the i2E (Innovation to Enterprise) board. In 2013, she was elected to represent Zone 4 as a member of Tulsa Technology Center’s school board. She served as vice president of the board, and chaired the programs committee, facilities committee and the ad hoc strategic planning committee.
Ellison is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including delivering the OU College of Law’s commencement address as president of her graduating class, becoming the inaugural recipient of the David L. Boren Commitment to Service Award, a recipient of the Bass Memorial Scholarship, Tulsa Business & Legal News Top 40 Under 40, Women of Distinction, and the 2016 OU College of Arts and Sciences Young Alumna honoree.
Elizabeth is married to attorney Chris Ellison and is the proud mother of C. Taylor Ellison born in 2011 and R. Wyatt Ellison born in 2013. In her spare time, she enjoys running, travel and gastronomic exploration.
Meredith Peebles is the COO for the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation. Prior to joining LTFF, she spent more than five years working for ConocoPhillips in various supervisor, advisor, and analyst roles in the finance and human resources organizations. Meredith graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oklahoma in 2009 with a BA in Economics and a minor in International Studies. While at OU, she served as Panhellenic President and was honored as a Big Woman on Campus for her service to the university community.
Currently Meredith is pursuing her Master of Public Administration at the University of Oklahoma- Tulsa. She serves on the advisory board for The Mine, the Domestic Violence Intervention Services associate board and as a trustee for the Tulsa Young Professionals Foundation. She was recognized as a 2016 Tulsa Business & Legal News Top 40 Under 40.
Before joining LTFF as Director of Grants and Impact, Natalie Deuschle worked both in the US and abroad to create positive social impact. During her studies at Colby College, she launched an income generating project in Battambang, Cambodia, which was recognized by former USAID Administrator, Rajiv Shah. Since then, Natalie has worked for Family & Children’s Services to help move families out of poverty, created a healthcare program with the Senhoa Foundation for survivors of human trafficking in Siem Reap, Cambodia and managed a top 12 public private partnership between the Aspen Institute and the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State. Her written work has appeared in the Huffington Post, the Aspen Journal of Ideas, the Aspen Institute Blog and Art Focus Magazine – OVAC.
Natalie also teaches yoga and enjoys writing, reading and textile design.
Adele Beasley is the Director of Kitchen 66, Tulsa’s Kickstart Kitchen, where she supports food startups of all stages by connecting them with resources to launch and scale their businesses. Prior to joining Kitchen 66, Adele founded and operated a bread business, Heavenly Bread Co. in Tulsa, OK and served as Consumer Brands Analyst for Stripes Group, a growth-equity firm based in NYC, NY. Adele graduated from New York University with a concentration in Food & Entrepreneurial Studies. Adele was recognized as Tulsa’s Civic Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013.
Ashley is a seasoned communications professional with nearly a decade of experience. She joined the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation after managing communications for the Tulsa Regional Tourism brands at the Tulsa Regional Chamber. Ashley has a unique background in sports communications, having managed projects for brands like ESPN, Nickelodeon, Spike TV, the NFL Network and Yahoo Sports. She brings to the table a diverse perspective that combines public relations, marketing strategy and event management. After graduating cum laude from the University of Southern California in 2009, Ashley worked on major national sporting events and marketing campaigns including the Super Bowl, NFL Draft, NBA All Star Weekend, BCS National Championship, NCAA March Madness, Nickelodeon Kids Choice Sports Awards, Spike TV’s Lip Sync Battle, ESPN This is SportSCenter commercials, Monday Night Football and more.
A Tulsa transplant originally from California, Ashley enjoys exploring Oklahoma and soaking up the four different seasons. She is a volunteer at GUTS Church, a freelance writer for TulsaPeople Magazine, a CrossFit coach and a nutrition counselor in her spare time.
Shanese Slaton is the Project Manager of the Mother Road Market, a program funded by LTFF, where she supports local food entrepreneurs by connecting them to a space and a community of foodies.
After graduating from Oklahoma State University, Shanese was accepted into the Professional Development Program at Williams Energy where she spent time in corporate strategic development, human resources and natural gas liquids operating area. There she discovered her passion for serving the community and moved to Kendra Scott, helping them open and establish a presence in Tulsa. Prior to joining LTFF, Shanese opened and operated 36 Degrees North, as Operations Manager.
Shanese is married to local entrepreneur Clay Slaton. They are active members of the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa Foundation for Architecture and Barre Society for the Tulsa Ballet. You can find Shanese out and about enjoying Tulsa’s local food scene, catching a show at Tulsa’s Performing Arts Center or attending a wine class when not traveling or home with Piper, her King Charles Spaniel.
Robbie, Kitchen 66 Program Coordinator, graduated from the University of Oklahoma obtaining a degree in Environmental Sustainability with a focus in Geography, Culture & Society. He has used food and food production as a way to explore sustainable practices & community development. Robbie has worked at many small scale mission driven food businesses including Native Roots Market, Mariposa Coffee, Nani OKC. In an effort to get closer to food ingredients and to further practice sustainability in Oklahoma, he began working on Provisions Organic Farm, raising pastured pork, eggs & produce for a farm to table fast casual restaurant. He has also lived & worked in a small farming community on the San Juan Islands of Washington. There, Robbie worked with his fiancé Katie on a self-sufficient biodynamic farm producing food for CSAs, Markets, and the Lopez Island High School. On the island, they also worked for Barn Owl Bakery, a solar powered wood-fired sourdough bread bakery.
Currently, Robbie is pursuing his master’s degree in Urban Design at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa.
As executive administrative assistant for the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, Karen shares more than 20 years of professional experience in Tulsa, working with several well-known Tulsa businesses and entities throughout her career.
In these capacities, she has coordinated numerous events, managed internal and external interview processes and produced communication pieces for internal audiences, among many other responsibilities.
Bill Lobeck began his career in the daily car rental industry in Norfolk, Virginia. He created the first dealer repurchase program and established a special purpose leasing company which today are significant components of current automotive and daily car rental industries.
In 1971, Lobeck became president and CEO of Dallas-based American International. During his 11-year tenure, the company grew from 18 offices in 7 states to nearly 300 offices across the country.
In 1981, Lobeck and partners purchased Thrifty Car Rental. Under Lobeck’s leadership the company’s profitability and growth led to a successful IPO in 1987.
When Chrysler acquired Thrifty in 1989, Lobeck remained as president and CEO. As part of Chrysler, he formed Pentastar Transportation Group and acquired three additional companies, today known as Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. In 1995, Lobeck together with his wife Kathy and partners acquired National Car Rental from General Motors. Lobeck brought National into the AutoNation family, becoming president and CEO of AutoNation’s Rental Group. Lobeck retired from AutoNation in 1999.
In 2003, AutoNation’s Rental Group fell into financial difficulty. Lobeck and Cerberus Capital Management acquired the assets of the companies, bringing them out of bankruptcy as Vanguard Car Rental USA. The company became one of the industry’s most financially successful companies. In 2007, Vanguard was acquired by Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
Kathy Taylor has long served as a tireless advocate and change agent for Tulsa. Through decades of steadfast public service and personal investments through the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, Kathy is known for her dedication to issues that advance the success of future generations.
She currently serves Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum as Chief of Economic Development, drawing from years of experience as a business executive and corporate attorney. It’s an office she knows well, having served as Tulsa’s 38th Mayor herself. Her administration led the way to create afterschool and mentoring programs; launch the City’s first entrepreneur business competition; and revitalize downtown.
Kathy currently serves as Chair of the Leadership Council for ImpactTulsa, Chair for the Regional Board of Reading Partners, sponsor of the USS Tulsa (LCS 16) and a member of the Board of SONIC®, America’s Drive-In®. She previously served as a resident fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics, teaching a course on Pathways to Public Service. She is also a former Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce, Tourism and Workforce Development, and was an advisor to Governor Brad Henry as Chief of Education Strategy and Innovation.
Molly Lobeck Pellegrini and her husband Hank resided in Tulsa until 2014, but remain active in and dedicated to the Tulsa community. Molly currently serves on the board for Monte Cassino School in Tulsa. The relocation of Molly and Hank to Southern California with their children Annie, Will, Meg and Charlie began a new focus on charitable causes that interact with and impact their family life and activities. Molly currently serves on the board of National Charity League, Newport Chapter and the Southern California Regional Board of United States Pony Club Association.
Molly’s time in Tulsa was spent active on several boards, including Tulsa Zoo Management, Philbrook Museum of Art, Route 66 Marathon and YWCA of Tulsa. Her work history includes retail and hospitality management in Boston, Chicago and Tulsa, as well as commercial cash management and treasury services with the Bank of Oklahoma.