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, community development and economic opportunity 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 and was a speaker at TEDxOU 2018.
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.
Shakira is the Director of Finance and Administration for Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation. A native Oklahoman, she comes to LTFF with over 15 year of experience in accounting, administration, and human resources. Shakira earned her BS in Accounting from University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma. Later, she move to Tulsa, Oklahoma to earn her Master of Business Administration and SAS Analytics Certification from Oklahoma State University. Shakira is married to entrepreneur, Justin Brauchie. Together, they are own and operate a bar located in the Blue Dome District in Tulsa, Oklahoma. When she is not working, you can find her enjoying dinner with friends, baking gluten free goodies, listen to live music or cheering on the Roughnecks.
Robbie, Kitchen 66 Program Director, 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 the Program Manager for Kitchen 66, Rachael creates and oversees sales opportunities for Kitchen 66 companies. A Tulsa native, Rachael joins the LTFF team after having spent three years in Boston receiving her MFA in Gastronomy and Culinary Arts from Boston University. While in Boston, Rachael worked for a food tourism start up, Bites of Boston, where she coordinated food tours throughout different Boston neighborhoods. She also worked for Cooking Up Culture, an education program designed to create culturally exploratory experiences for children through food. Before joining LTFF, Rachael created and ran a cooking after-school program at Riverfield Country Day School.
Non-food related hobbies include trying her hand at comedy and taking long walks with her English Bulldog, Ham.
An Oklahoma native born in Bristow, Ok, Rick has lived in Tulsa most of his adult life. He spent 5 years in Washington, DC but returned to Oklahoma to be part of the food scene. Rick originally spent 14 years in the oilfields, and 8 years in the environmental consulting field, but has been in the food industry since 1996 when a he and a friend opened a small place in the Brady district, “The Snooty Fox”. He has worked in small mom and pop short order type restaurants as a cook, a sous chef in a 230 seat fine dining restaurant, a chef in DC restaurants and pastry bakeries, as well as an old established bread bakery, started from a true bread master in DC, and the last 14 years at Farrell Family Bread. He has enjoyed all of these different fields, but working in the food industry has been the most rewarding. He has been passionately involved with the Tulsa Farmers Market (Cherry St Farmers Market) as a vendor since 2006 and board member since 2012 with the mission to promote locally produced sustainable food for the citizens of the area. He currently is President of the Board for Tulsa Farmers Market.
Rick is looking forward to this new chapter in his life and being a part of the Mother Road Market. These groups of enthusiastic people, who seem to enjoy being a team, are working hard to break new ground in the Tulsa food scene as a food hall and incubator kitchen. The Mother Road Market helps people fulfill their dream of bringing their food creations to the public.
Jeff comes to Lobeck Taylor with over 20 years of experience opening and managing restaurants and retail operations for national brands including Whole Foods Markets, Starbucks Coffee Company, Baskin-Robbins, as well as several iconic Tulsa brands such as The Phoenix and Joe Momma’s Pizza.
Jeff also worked for several years in the non-profit field for FareStart in Seattle, Washington as the Program Manager for the Youth Barista Training Program, which helps at-risk and homeless youth find sustainable employment in the coffee industry.
He is a published poet, amateur DJ and an avid coffee culture enthusiast. A proud Tulsan with deep Oklahoma roots, Jeff lives just off Route 66 in Sapulpa with his fiancé Jeni, their son Kasper and their three dogs Lola, Louie and Roscoe.
Samantha is the Event Coordinator for Mother Road Market, where she organizes, designs, and collaborates with the community, entrepreneurs, and businesses to create public events for Mother Road Market’s many event spaces. She joined the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation after working in community engagement and event planning at Tulsa World Media Company.
A Tulsa transplant from New York, Sam moved to pursue her graduate studies in English at the University of Tulsa where she also taught composition classes. Sam is also the artist and owner of Bohemian Romance Jewelry, and enjoys reading, baking, and crafting in her spare time.
Breckyn Hudelson, Creative Services Coordinator for the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, provides the nonprofit with design, events and communications coordinating services for LTFF and its programs Kitchen 66, Mother Road Market, Tulsa StartUp Series, and Kiva Tulsa.
Breckyn found her way to LTFF by following her passion for startup culture. Having grown up in an entrepreneurial family, Breckyn has long standing love for small, local business. She graduated as the only female “Top 5 Senior” in Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University, and went on to work as the Marketing & Communications Director for Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue. At Oklahoma Joe’s, Breckyn discovered her niche as a brand ambassador, designer, and writer. Breckyn pursued her dream of starting a business with her husband, Derek Hudelson and the couple have created Tulsa’s first “farmscaping” and landscaping service, The Bearded Gardener. Breckyn serves as the Marketing Director for their business.
When Breckyn isn’t writing, designing, or marketing for LTFF she focuses on her other passions: the arts and the great outdoors. Breckyn loves to cook with homegrown ingredients, hike the Oklahoma wilderness, create music, prose, & sketches, and host cozy gatherings for friends & family.
Claire Lemaster handles the digital marketing for the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation. Before joining LTFF, Claire worked in social media management for five years focusing on a variety of industries/clients from energy to oil and gas, Tulsa Run to Fuel 66 Tulsa. With 15 years of marketing experience, she has touched on all aspects of marketing but found her niche in social media. She works to create a clear and creative voice on social media to connect with our audience in an authentic, genuine way. On the personal side, Claire enjoys having fun with her husband and two kiddos, exploring Tulsa, cooking, Instagramming and having a glass of wine.
Brian Biehl comes to Lobeck Taylor with 15+ years of experience in both sales and the food & beverage industry, including with the McNellies Group and as the owner/operator of the Alley Gastropub in Tulsa. As Bar Manager, Brian is responsible for the operation of the WEL Bar within the Mother Road Market and works to promote the many breweries and distilleries the state has to offer.
Brian graduated from the University of Kansas in 2001 with a BA in Journalism. When Brian is not providing Tulsans (of age) with some of the tastiest beverages in town, he can be found practicing yoga, cooking, enjoying patio weather (did you know MRM has a great one?) and watching college basketball.
Jeff Burdge is the Kiva Tulsa Lead for the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation. Prior to his position as Kiva Tulsa Lead, he was the claims manager for John Christner Trucking in Sapulpa, OK. Before that he served multiple claims positions for State Farm Insurance. Jeff graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2010 with a BS in Geography and a minor in Emergency Management.
Jeff is a Tulsa native, graduating from Tulsa Union. He is involved with multiple nonprofit organizations & events including Health Outreach Prevention Education, Arthritis Foundation, and CREATE Gala for ahha Tulsa. He was named one of Tulsa’s New Leaders in 2014 and was also awarded a Governor’s Commendation in 2014.
Outside of work Jeff is a dog dad to Phoebe, his yellow Labrador, an avid foodie, lover of travel, and a Potterhead.
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 recently served Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum as Chief of Economic Development from 2017-2018, 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.
Mr. Kennedy served as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Hertz Global Holdings from 2013 to 2018. Prior to joining Hertz, Mr. Kennedy served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Hilton Worldwide Holdings from 2008 to 2013. Between 2003 and 2007, Mr. Kennedy served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Vanguard Car Rental, parent company of the National Car Rental and Alamo Rental Car brands. Prior to joining Vanguard, Mr. Kennedy served in a number of financial positions with increasing responsibilities from 1992 to 2003 at Northwest Airlines, Inc., a global network airline, including Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller; Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis; Managing Director, Corporate Planning; and, Director Finance and Information Services, Pacific Division, Tokyo, Japan.
Mr. Kennedy graduated from Tulane University, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Economics in 1987 where he also was a three-year letterman swimmer. Mr. Kennedy received his Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University in 1992. Between his undergraduate and graduate studies, Mr. Kennedy worked for Merrill Lynch Capital Markets in their Public Finance investment banking division from 1987 to 1990.