Tallgrass is a wholly owned Osage Nation subsidiary headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Responsible for the oversight and management of several subsidiary companies, Tallgrass focuses on government contracting in a variety of industries, including aerospace, construction services, and information technology.
Tallgrass Economic Development, LLC Board & Leadership
There’s a bold new spirit of entrepreneurism sweeping across the Osage Nation. A revitalized determination to create jobs, change lives, and see our people prosper as never before. It’s fueled by the rich heritage and proud traditions of our past, driven to build the strongest possible legacy for future generations. We’re taking our best and brightest business minds, guided by the priceless wisdom and expertise of our leaders, and together we’re showing the world that we mean business.
Our leadership boasts more than 125 years of combined experience, which includes executive leadership in a wide variety of governmental, tribal, public, and privately held companies in industry. We also have significant experience in manufacturing, construction, distribution, mergers and acquisitions, information technology, health care, and financial services.
Board of Directors
Timothy R. Tall Chief – Chairman
Tim’s career evolves around improving public health for the state Oklahoma. He is the director of health services for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and held the role of state director for Indian education at the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Tim is also involved in creating Oklahoma’s bright futures. He has taught at the University of Oklahoma in the College of Liberal Studies, and served at the OU Health Sciences Center as the director of the Office of Student Services and as associate director for the Native American Graduate Program.
Tim earned his bachelor’s of science degree at the Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma) in 1972. He added a master’s in education from his alma mater in 1978. He serves on the governing board of the Chickasaw Nation Hospital and Health Services. Tim was also the former vice-chair of the Osage Nation Health and Wellness Board and former chairman of the board of the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission, appointed by former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating.
Phillip A. Morrow – Vice Chairman
Phillip is a residential mortgage banker with seven years of experience. He currently works for Bank of Oklahoma in Tulsa, overseeing a team of mortgage bankers. Phillip is an Osage citizen who was born and raised in Tulsa. He graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in marketing management. His expertise lies in the areas of marketing, finance, and communication.
Raymond C. Hankins – Treasurer
Ray is a certified public accountant serving the state of Oklahoma with more than 25 years at a senior managerial level. He also is a certified procurement officer, with a strong background in governmental accounting, financial management, grants management, and business affairs. Ray is currently the deputy state comptroller at the Office of Management and Enterprise Service, which is primarily responsible for all aspects of the financial operations of the Information Services Division of OMES and for overseeing production of the annual division budget work program and strategic plan. He was also the CFO of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, answering directly to the Board of Health, legislative support staff, and leadership of the financial position of the department.
Ray graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in business administration and accounting. He earned his master’s in public health occupational environmental health from the University of Oklahoma in 2007, and a fellowship in the national Environmental Public Health Leadership institute in 2008.
Jim R. Parris
Jim has more than 30 years of accounting, auditing, and management experience focused on serving tribal governments, the federal government, and public clients. His current activities include litigation support for tribal trust litigation in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., and providing financial management consulting services to tribal governments. Jim was the director of the Office of Trust Funds Management at the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Under his tenure, his team managed more than $2 billion in investment for more than 2,000 tribal accounts and 300,000 individuals. Jim also spent his fair share of time serving the Osage Nation as a tribal auditor and controller.
Jim received his degree in business administration and accounting from Oklahoma State University in 1977. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant, the New Mexico State Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the American Institute of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Kay E. Bills
Kay is an Oklahoma City resident with Grayhorse District roots. She has served as the first director of the Office of Native American Business Development under the U.S. Department of Commerce for four years. In this position, Kay made recommendations to the Minority Business Development Agency on Native American issues and built collaborative working groups with major federal organizations.
In addition to Washington, D.C., Kay also lived in Alaska where she worked for the Chugach Alaska Corporation where she identified business opportunities for the corporation and its telecommunications company. Kay also served as executive director for the Alaska 8(a) Association.
James E. Holder
Jim has had a 35-year career that includes executive level leadership, advisory and consulting for Fortune 500 companies, middle market companies, and start-up businesses. He spent 10 years with Coopers & Lybrand, serving large and middle market clients in the areas of assurance, due diligence, and transaction structure for mergers and acquisitions, private placements of capital, and initial public offerings of capital. As a senior executive, he has served as chief financial officer, chief operating officer, and president of companies in manufacturing and distribution, retail, finance, franchising, and software development. In 2005, he became a partner in a private equity and merchant banking firm, investing in lower middle market companies through the Midwest. He is also the co-founder and a managing director of Waypoint Private Capital and Waypoint Securities.
Jim is a certified public accountant and an investment banker registered with FINRA, carrying the Series 79, 28 and 63 licenses. He has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas. He is active in several civic and faith-based organizations, both domestically and internationally.
Sharon Bertram, has over 35 years of experience in accounting and auditing, including 25 years in internal audit and several years in public accounting. She has held the positions of Senior Vice President of Shared Services with oversight over Business Process Improvement, Human Resources, Information Services, Ethics, and Enterprise Risk Management, Due Diligence, Policy Administration and Internal Audit Services. She has audited businesses for compliance in highly regulated industries, been responsible for development of compliance programs and policy/procedures and performed internal fraud investigations that led to prosecution.
Sharon has been responsible for development and administration of corporate governance practices and ethics programs; facilitation of enterprise risk management processes; oversight of multiple operational process improvement initiatives, and development of corporate policy and procedures. Sharon developed documented, evaluated, and tested key compliance and financial controls and implemented remediation procedures and policies to strengthen internal controls and eliminate compliance deficiencies.
Sharon has extensive experience in performing forensic audits including involvement in a large Security Exchange Commission financial misappropriation and executive level fraudulent activities. Cases included coordination with tribal, state and federal authorities and led to multiple prosecutions.
Tallgrass Technology Services, LLC
Jill S. Jones – Operating General Manager
Jill brings more than 25 years of experience in the information technology and petroleum industries to her TTS position. The Oral Roberts University graduate and Osage Nation tribal member started her professional career at CITGO Petroleum in Tulsa, holding system analyst positions in petroleum refining, marketing, trading, and transportation. She has served as a management consultant with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Consulting, and as a senior consultant and developer with ConocoPhillips.
Her project management experience includes full system implementation, with emphasis on comprehensive processes such as resource planning, requirements gathering, communication, change control, scope definition, risk mitigation, contingency planning, procedure development, and status reporting.
Bluestem Ranch, LLC
Bluestem Ranch is led by a committed and experience board of directors. These board members have extensive backgrounds in agriculture and ranching operations. The board is continuing to develop their business plan and build their management team.