Wednesday, September 7, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced the appointments of Wes Lane and Brad Yarbrough to the Department of Human Services (DHS) Commission.
“Having grown up with a mother who worked as a social worker, I have respect for the hard work DHS employees do every day. As a society, it’s incumbent upon us to protect our most vulnerable citizens,” Fallin said. “The neglect, abuse or loss of any child is unacceptable and it’s important we have a fresh perspective to evaluate how such tragedies can be prevented.
Fallin continued, “The new appointees to the DHS Commission have a wealth of knowledge and are community leaders dedicated to assisting our children and our families. I know they are committed to addressing the problems within the child protection system that got us where we are today.”
Lane of Oklahoma City is president of the Burbridge Foundation, a foundation dedicated to solving problems that impact families. He served for 21 years in the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office, including five and a half years as district attorney. He oversaw the office’s juvenile division and personally handled hundreds of DHS child welfare cases.
Lane earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and a law degree from the OU College of Law.
He will serve a nine-year term and is replacing Dr. George Young whose term expired.
“I’m honored that Governor Fallin has selected me for this important role,” Lane said. “As a prosecutor, it was always my priority to do everything I could to protect the most vulnerable among us. As a DHS commissioner, I’ll do the same and examine our system to ensure we’re doing all we can to protect our children.”
Yarbrough of Oklahoma City operates Pilgrim Land Services, a staffing company that serves the energy industry. He served as director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives during the Keating Administration.
He is a board member on Global Leadership, an international business and leadership consulting group and the Leadership Foundation of Oklahoma. He also helped open several “Hannah Houses” for women in crisis in cities across the United States.
Yarbrough is an ordained minister and counseled families and victims of the Oklahoma City bombing. He also assisted the Red Cross and Billy Graham ministries during the disaster response to the 9/11 attacks in New York City.
Yarbrough earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Nazarene University. He has founded several successful companies and at age 27, took a business public serving as its chairman and chief executive.
“I’m grateful that Governor Fallin would select me to serve on the DHS Commission,” Yarbrough said. “Throughout my career, I’ve worked to improve the lives of our children and our families in Oklahoma and I’ll continue that commitment at the commission.”
Yarbrough also will assume the role of commission chairman following the October commission meeting. He will serve a five-year term and is replacing Bob Rawlings who resigned.
Senate confirmation is not required for either appointment.