Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency Staff



The Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency (LOFT) is a state agency in the legislative branch that assists the Oklahoma House and Senate. LOFT provides budgetary recommendations to the LOFT Oversight Committee for use in setting the funding of state government, higher education, and public schools. LOFT is charged with ensuring state agency programs are efficient, effective and transparent. The LOFT Oversight Committee includes seven Senators and seven Representatives with political parties represented in proportion to membership in each house of the legislature.

 

Mike Jackson, Executive Director

Mr. Jackson was named the first Executive Director for the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency (LOFT) in May 2020. Prior to this role, Jackson spent six years with the State Chamber of Oklahoma; the last three as its Executive Vice President. Previously, he represented Enid as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives for five terms (10 years). During his final term in the House, Jackson held the leadership role of Speaker Pro Tempore, presiding over legislative sessions and serving as a voting member on all committees. During his time in the Legislature, Jackson helped with the development of rules and the enactment of meaningful reforms and improvements that have strengthened Oklahoma. Prior to serving in the Legislature, Jackson was the Northwest Field Representative for U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe and worked as a Public Information officer for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. He holds a B.A. in Communications with a minor in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University and obtained professional certification from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management program.

 

Regina Birchum, Deputy Director

Ms. Birchum most recently helped to establish, launch and lead the Oklahoma City campus of the nationally renowned Cristo Rey Network of high schools. Prior to this, Birchum spent 15 years at the State Capitol in numerous roles involving public policy and communications, including serving five years as the Deputy Treasurer for Policy and Chief of Staff to the State Treasurer. While with the Treasury, she helped to launch a new publication for enhanced reporting of state financial data, was a member of a national policy working group to examine business incentives, assisted with putting the state’s checkbook online and implementation of a first-in-the-nation performance pay program for the office’s Unclaimed Property Division. During her prior 10 years working for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, she coordinated House Leadership’s policy initiative on government modernization, helping to implement reforms that led to improved transparency and accountability in state government. Birchum holds a B.A. in Mass Communication from Texas State University and has completed the Executive Leadership Development Program from the Stayer Center for Executive Education at the University of Notre Dame.

 

Bradley Ward, Ph.D., Program Evaluator II

Mr. Ward is an Operation Enduring Freedom veteran who served eight years in the United States Army. His assignments include a deployment to Afghanistan, where he earned special commendation for his actions. Ward earned his doctorate in Education Policy at Texas Tech University and is an alumnus of the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), holding both a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Master of Public Administration. Prior to joining LOFT, Ward served in various public policy roles, with a focus on education and veterans affairs. Ward is a three-time recipient of the Oklahoma 30 under 30 and Top 20 under 40 recipient and a graduate from the FBI Citizens Academy. Ward has completed numerus leadership programs and policy fellowships including the American Enterprise Institute, the VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship in Washington, D.C., and Leadership Edmond.

 

Frank Magness, Financial Analyst II

Mr. Magness joined LOFT in 2020 after spending six years as an independent contractor providing project management, financial analysis, consulting and title examination services, primarily for the energy industry. He provided in-depth risk assessments and quality control review. Previously, he spent eight years working as a Senior Credit Analyst for four different banks in Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado. In these roles, he analyzed multi-million-dollar portfolios, conducted credit and risk analysis, provided quality assurance for credit analysis, and ensured regulatory compliance. Magness holds a M.B.A. from the University of Maryland Global Campus and a B.S. in Finance from Oklahoma State University. He also has the following certifications: from the Risk Management Association – Certificate of Continuing Education for Advanced Underwriting Techniques, Direct & Indirect Cash Flow Analysis, and Commercial Lending Basics; from the Western States School of Banking – Certificate of Continuing Education in Cash Flow Basic, Advanced Cash Flow Analysis, and Commercial Lending Cash Flow; from Udemy, Inc., the Complete SQL Bootcamp, from Basics to Advanced Concepts.

 

Katherine Grayson, Executive Assistant

Ms. Grayson most recently served as the Administrative Assistant and Event Coordinator for both the State Chamber of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Economic Development Council. During her five years with the Chamber and the Council, she coordinated meeting logistics, managed databases, maintained records and assisted in the planning and execution of numerous events. She also provided support to the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives. Previously, Grayson worked for Convergys Corporation as a Team Leader, where she honed her customer service skills.

 

Mike Davis, Program Evaluator

Prior to joining LOFT, Mr. Davis spent three years at the 1889 Institute, where he researched Oklahoma policy, wrote policy briefs and drafted model legislation. The majority of his work with the Institute focused on administrative reforms, civil justice, and occupational licensing issues. His work has been published by the Pacific Legal Foundation and Real Clear Policy. Previously, Davis worked in Hollywood producing Saturday Morning Cartoons for clients like Marvel Comics and the National Football League. Davis is a cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, where he focused on constitutional studies. He holds a B.A. in film production from Asbury University.

 

John (J.T.) Welch, Program Evaluator

Mr. Welch joined LOFT after spending five years as a Corporate Learning Partner for Paycom, where he also served as a project manager. In these roles, Welch built strategic, learning-based solutions for the company. Previously, Welch worked for the Department of Human Services as a Child Welfare Specialist within the Permanency Planning division, where he provided ongoing support for parents and children. Welch holds a B.A. in Communication with a minor in Public Affairs and Administration from the University of Oklahoma and has obtained professional certification from the University of Oklahoma Lean Institute's College of Professional and Continuing Studies.

 

Merin Gracey, Program Evaluator

Ms. Gracey has dedicated more than a decade of her career to the State of Oklahoma, serving as a budget analyst for the Department of Rehabilitative Services and a Program Manager for the Department of Commerce. Additionally, she has served as a budget analyst for Department of Defense and Northrop Grumman. Gracey has extensive experience in corporate and government financial analysis, including cost estimating, budget monitoring, forecasting, risk management, and reporting project lifecycles. Gracey has earned Best Practices recognition, and under her oversight, grants produced upwards of a 6,000 percent return on investment for federal funds. Gracey holds a Master of Business Administration for NOVA Southeastern University and a B.S. in International Relations with a minor in Economics and Finance from Middle Tennessee State University. She is also a licensed Commercial Pilot.

 

Rebecca Hobbes, Program Evaluator

Ms. Hobbes brings to LOFT six years of service in Oklahoma state government, beginning as a policy strategist in the Governor’s Office. During her three years in this role, she conducted policy research and developed legislation. Through her work on opioid policies, she collaborated with law enforcement on legislation and coordinated state and federal partners in statewide efforts regarding development of the Prescription Monitoring System. Hobbes subsequently joined the Oklahoma Department of Human Services’ Innovation Division. In this capacity, she helped develop the agency’s stakeholder engagement model and led roundtables and workshops for the agency’s divisions as well as multiple external government partners. Additionally, she led a team that planned, organized, and produced the first ever agency-wide hackathon: a competitive problem-solving event that resulted in winning proposals being implemented in the agency. Hobbes holds a B.S. in Political Science from Oklahoma Christian University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma.

 


Loft's contact information:

2300 N Lincoln Blvd.
State Capitol Building - Room 107
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 768-3200
info@okloft.gov



 
Address: 2300 N Lincoln Blvd., State Capitol Building - Room 107, Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 768-3200 | info@okloft.gov