Guest Speakers Are Big Hit With OKDHS 55G

Talk about grabbing people where they sit and stand! Talk about an exhilarating time with an exciting group of speakers! OPEA recently lined out a group of leaders hosted at OKDHS 55G that would make a political convention envious!
OPEA coordinated with Board Member Thomas K. to host a luncheon at County Office 55G to hear State Representative Mike Shelton, OPEA Board Members Thomas K., Tom Dunning, and DHS Council Chair Haley Faulkenberry speak to them about the exciting new happenings, present and future, centering around OPEA members!
“55G approached me about bringing in a legislator of their choice,” said OPEA Membership Representative Brandon Watkins. They stated to me they had questions about the alternative 4 day work week that Representative Shelton had proposed earlier this summer; so naturally, OPEA delivered, yet again, to the workers of Oklahoma by bringing in the most qualified legislator to answer those questions,” Watkins said.
“OPEA is doing an amazing job! I invite all state workers to join OPEA and become active in the campaign process. They were the catalyst working on behalf of state employee’s interests when I proposed the 4 day work week. This proposal is intended to lighten the financial burden already imposed on state employees,” said Shelton. “I also want to thank you all for what you do for the people of Oklahoma. I know that you all take care of the people of Oklahoma; and you do it in a manner that’s noble and professional. It’s time all of the legislators at the capitol take the same notice I have in you. And the best way to have your voices heard is a united and collective voice only OPEA provides. If any of you here today are compelled to change your circumstances, then OPEA is the right choice for you,” said Shelton.
In addition to Representative Shelton, OPEA had the pleasure of introducing brand-new OPEA board members Tom Dunning, Thomas Kalayilparampil, and Haley Faulkenberry to the DHS crowd. “Tom is an extremely informative speaker who really has a knack for zeroing in on the main issues concerning DHS. He is an aging-services specialist whom has been with the agency for a number of years; which adds to his arsenal of knowledge pertaining to DHS needs and issues,” said Watkins.
Thomas Kalayilparampil is also an experienced and tenured DHS worker who serves in the Long-Term Care Unit. “Thomas is a very effective leader who is both passionate about DHS issues and persuasive in conveying that information to co-workers,” said Watkins. “It was the ‘Haley and Dunning Effect,’ which made the difference. After hearing from them, the group felt more personal and well connected to them. Representative Shelton was frank and cordial to the staff, and impacted them in a positive way as well,” said Kalayilparampil.
Haley Faulkenberry is a TANF worker in Oklahoma County 55J and was recently elected DHS Council Chairperson. “I enjoyed seeing so much enthusiasm from fellow OPEA members. It was nice to have the opportunity to share some of the new ideas the OPEA DHS Council plans to implement. I hope the members will be able to come to the OPEA DHS Council Quarterly Meeting and further voice their ideas and solutions,” Faulkenberry said.
OPEA DHS Council Membership Representative and OKDHS 55J worker Eric Dickerson was also on hand to give support the abundantly growing 55G workers. “It was really great to introduce not only the new leadership DHS has within OPEA but also the ideas we have to help unite our members and what our vision is as we move through the next year,” said Dickerson.
“Haley did an utterly fantastic job in relaying to the workers in attendance the current happenings surrounding the DHS Council! She talked about the exciting new website designed especially for DHS workers who are OPEA members; along with the importance of OPEA members being present at the quarterly meeting with Director Howard Hendrick. They are all truly invaluable to the DHS leadership of OPEA,” Watkins said.
Well there you have it. A fantastic day with a lot of people gathered. All wanting and willing to get involved in OPEA, with a list of compelling speakers to provide the motivation. Now it’s up to you. Your voice is strongest when united with others, such as yourself, when voicing to the leaders of our state that it’s our time in ’09! Remember, OPEA is doing and will continue to work for you!

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