Jody Reiss was named the Executive Director of Safenet Services out of 30–40 qualified applicants.
“It’s definitely exciting,” she said. “The organization is just an amazing organization.”
Reiss said she never expected to be in this position. Reiss worked at Rogers State University as an admissions counselor and thought she’d bridge into college sports — but landed in public health instead.
“Its kind of funny how little bits and pieces of my life along the way I can trace back to something related here,” she said.
Reiss was working for Volunteers for Youths with the TSET Healthy Living Program when one of her mentors sat her down and encouraged her to apply for the job.
“After going through my own things, I found a love and a large interest in domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking,” she said. “I have my own personal story and as I began to share my story with others I was surprised at how many people are touched by domestic violence and that’s not a good thing.”
Reiss is a first generation student who graduated from RSU with an associate degree in Accounting and a bachelor's degree in Sports Management.
Christi Mackey, the 2021 chair of the board of directors, was a part of the transition coordinating committee that was responsible for selecting the new Executive Director.
“She's invested in our community,” Mackey said. “She’s not doing the job for a salary, she's doing it because she loves it and wants to make a positive impact.”
Mackey said when it came to finding a new executive director, the committee was diligent in making sure they found someone that had all the qualities needed to take over the reigns of the director who founded the organization.
“We were trying to be very selective,” she said.
Mackey said it was Reiss' enthusiasm, diligence, leadership, passion and love for the community and for domestic violence that made her stand out as a candidate.
“She’s enthusiastic and optimistic about the future and she has so many skill-sets from strategic planning to grant development,” she said. “She’s just kind of the total package.”
Mackey said Reiss was involved in writing the grant for the Claremore Farmers Market and a TSET grant.
“She’s well-respected within the community,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for her to grow and flourish in her position.”
Reiss serves in other organizations throughout Claremore including the Rogers County Salvation Army Board, Claremore Collective Leadership team and a PAL Mentor for Volunteer for Youth.
Mackey said Reiss is someone who diligently thinks and brainstorms about opportunities for the future. “She’s someone that seeks out answers, seeks out knowledge,” Mackey said. “She's not someone to make a decision simply because someone told her to. She will ask and involve everyone in a collaborative approach to really brainstorm and think about what our best next steps for the organization.”
As the new executive director, Reiss said her goals are to listen and learn more about the prorams offered and how to grow them.
“If there's something we can do to better serve our clients, we want to do that,” Reiss said. “If there’s something we can do to better serve our community, we want to do that.”
Reiss said she wants to look at strengthening partnerships and diversifying the strings of funding.
Safenet Services' mission is to create a safe, healthy and supportive environment for women and families healing from the consequences of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
“I just don’t think you can really put word in the impact and the value that it has on the individuals that come through and utilize the services,” Reiss said.
Those services include a supervised visitation program, counseling, a 24/7 crisis line, a domestic violence shelter, protective order office, sexual assault advocacy program and a court advocacy program.
Reiss and Mackey said these programs are designed to help break the cycle of abuse.