Starting college at the age of 15 in Chicago, Anna and her family moved to Tulsa when she was 16. With a 4.0 at the time, she was able to attend Tulsa Junior College, now Tulsa Community College, tuition free while she worked in the library to earn money for books. “Without TJC, I might have eventually been able to complete college, but it would have taken a lot longer and been much harder,” she said.
Anna went on to receive a bachelor’s degree and then started her career as a reporter with the Tulsa Tribune, where among other beats she covered education, City Hall and the U.S. Capitol. She worked as a journalist for several different publications, then joined the City of Tulsa, where she handled marketing and communications, first in the Public Works department and then the Park and Recreation department. She moved to the nonprofit sector, where over the next decade she served as the top executive for three Tulsa organizations – Up With Trees, Communities in Schools and Child Abuse Network.
Meanwhile, she also began her public service and was elected to the Tulsa School Board in 2010. In 2014, she was elected to represent Southeast Tulsa on the Tulsa City Council. In 2016, she was re-elected as City Council Chair. In 2018, Anna was elected again without opposition to a third term but resigned in August when Mayor GT Bynum asked her to accept the role of Park and Recreation Director. In this role, she manages 135 parks covering roughly 8,652 acres. Her responsibilities include four golf courses, five swimming pools and 66 miles of walking trails.
A former soccer coach, Girl Scout leader and Neighborhood Association president, Anna has served in various leadership roles in numerous schools, neighborhoods and nonprofit organizations, as well as community and civic efforts.