Gatesway Foundation Announces Leadership Changes to Enhance Support for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Community

Tulsa, OK, 6/22/23 - Gatesway Foundation, Inc., a leading provider of support services for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), is pleased to announce changes in its leadership team, effective July 1, 2023. These strategic appointments reflect Gatesway's commitment to delivering exceptional care and enhancing its services for the I/DD community.

Gatesway Foundation is pleased to announce that Kristi Tackett, previous Director of Administration, will be taking on the role of Chief Administrative Officer. With a proven track record in administration, Kristi brings valuable skills to the team. Her expertise in driving operational efficiency and streamlining administrative functions will contribute to Gatesway's continued growth and ability to deliver exceptional support to individuals with I/DD and their families. Her direct impact being most highlighted through providing front line support and cutting initiatives for our zealous staff. This all being proven throughout her 19 years of devoted service.

Elijah Blankenship will assume the role of Gatesway's Chief Development Officer. Elijah has over a decade of professional experience in the field and a personal involvement in caring for family members with disabilities since a young age.  Elijah has been serving as Gatesway’s Chief Operating Officer and has been instrumental in the historic foundation’s resurgence and significant growth over the last two years. Gatesway has launched significant capital improvements both on its Broken Arrow campus and in the community, thus setting the new standard of housing for the I/DD population in the Tulsa metropolitan area.  Elijah’s passion for the I/DD population is indisputable. His charisma will be channeled to advocate and fundraise for the foundation’s community impact.

Kristina Watkins is transitioning from her role as Director of Business Development to serve as the Director of Gatesway Employment Services, LLC, and General Manager of Gatesway’s new Business Services and Solutions division. This new division is focused on B2B and B2C solutions and national partnerships that facilitate employment and growth opportunities for the I/DD population in the Tulsa metropolitan area.  Kristina has been with Gatesway Foundation since 2016, contributing to its growth and success. Kristina has clear dedication to empowering individuals with I/DD. Her comprehensive understanding of developing strategic partnerships will drive impactful initiatives and create meaningful employment opportunities.

Joanna Jones is transitioning from her role as Chief Director of Resident Services to Chief Operating Officer of Gatesway Residential Care Services, Inc. Joanna brings 30 years of experience serving as the administrator for long-term care and skilled facilities. Being honored to serve as a state preceptor for administrators in training. Joanna’s unique perspective, gained through volunteering in the political arena, 18 years as a foster parent, and serving in multiple nonprofit organizations as a volunteer and board Vice President. This perspective will ensure the Gatesway standard of high quality of care in housing solutions for a vulnerable population.

"These leadership changes represent a significant milestone for Gatesway Foundation," said Greg Arend, CEO at Gatesway Foundation. "We are confident that the expertise, dedication, and fresh perspectives of our new leadership team will propel us forward in achieving our mission of individualized, quality care. Quality in all things is the team’s focus – quality of care, quality of housing, and quality of life to the I/DD community."

About Gatesway Foundation:

Gatesway Foundation, Inc., winner of the Broken Arrow 2022 Non-Profit of the Year award, is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to providing support services for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD). Since 1963, Gatesway has been committed to enhancing the lives of those with I/DD by focusing on quality housing, quality programs, and quality of life for Friends.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Elijah Blankenship

Chief Development Officer