Shelley Zumwalt Okla. Employment Security Commission

Posted in: Events

Live Stream Available at 11:55am


Shelley Zumwalt started her state service almost a decade ago in an entry level position as a budget analyst at the Office of State Finance overseeing the Health and Human Services Cabinet. She has held many positions in the years since that start including serving the Office of the Governor as Public Affairs Director and as Chief of Communications and Strategic Engagement for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. Her most recent position before coming to OESC was as the Chief of Innovation for the Office of Management and Enterprise Services.

Since joining OESC in late May of 2020, Zumwalt has overseen a $50 million business process technology transformation that kicked off at the end of September 2020. The transformation, named BT40, will transform the agency and retire the agency’s 41-year-old bull mainframe that all agency payments and claims must process through.

In addition to the BT40 transformation, Zumwalt has led the agency in reducing the 100,000+ claims backlog that was present when she arrived, reducing fraud and partnering with Google and SpringML in the creation of a new fraud risk scoring tool and system, implementing Digital ID Verification for claims and cutting the time for claims adjudication by over 80%. To date, OESC has paid out over $5 billion in unemployment benefits under Zumwalt.

Zumwalt lives in Oklahoma City with her husband John and daughter Lilly. She enjoys running, reading and cherishes spending time with her family.

Chair of the Day

Susan Winchester, former member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Oklahoma’s first female Speaker Pro-Tempore, will join Governor Kevin Stitt’s cabinet as the Secretary of Licensing and Regulation. Winchester will oversee more than 80 state agencies as an integral part of Governor Stitt’s goal to deliver taxpayers more for their money.

From 1998 until 2008, Susan Winchester was a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, serving as Oklahoma’s first female Speaker Pro-Tempore. In 2005, she was selected as one of 40 emerging state leaders from across the nation to participate in the Toll Fellowship Program sponsored by the Council of State Governments. Other legislative awards and honors include The Defender of Free Enterprise Award from the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce and the Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy as well as induction into the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy Hall of Fame.

From 2017-2019, she served as Chief of Staff for Lt. Governor Todd Lamb. Prior to joining Lamb’s office, she served 8 years as President for the Research Institute for Economic Development, a pro-economic development growth company that worked to ensure Oklahoma’s legislative leaders worked toward progressive business ventures and policy initiatives.

Winchester is a member of numerous local and state organizations promoting leadership development. She currently sits on the board and has served as Board Chair for the Oklahoma City National Memorial and The Oklahoma Academy for State Goals. She is also a board member for the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the Economic Club of Oklahoma and is currently serving her third term as President of the Regents of the Regional Universities System of Oklahoma. She is a member and former board member of Leadership Oklahoma.

In 2016, she was recognized as a National Mother of Achievement by the Washington D. C. based Association of American Mothers. She has also been recognized as the Oklahoma Woman of the Year by the Journal Record.

Before her career in politics, Winchester was a businesswoman in the agricultural industry. For more than ten years, she co-owned and operated American Dusting Company and Chickasha Flying Service.

She is married to Supreme Court Justice James Winchester. Together, they have a son, Davis.

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