The Gooch Family
Each of us has played a significant role in the journey to creating Dyfference Makers.
Together we have worked to create a meaningful company focused on contributing in real ways to our community and to families seeking support.
Executive Director & Founder
Laken graduated from Northeastern State University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She is licensed by the State of Oklahoma for both Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. Laken most recently received her certification as an Orton-Gillingham Tutor after successfully completing a two-year training and practicum program from the Institute of Multi-Sensory Education. She is also certified through the Center for Effective Reading. Laken has taught both in the classroom and as a private tutor.
Laken enjoys traveling, trying new foods and spending time with her friends and family, especially Dunder, their white Labrador retriever.
Laken is an amazing baker and used to own and operate Lick Your Lips Mini-Donuts out of her restored vintage trailer here in Tulsa, OK.
Meagan obtained her bachelor’s in Nutritional Science from Oklahoma State University and her master’s in Occupational Therapy from the University of Oklahoma. She is an Occupational Therapist that has worked in a variety of settings, including home health, neuro-rehab, outpatient, school-based services and private practice.
Meagan is the owner of Wondrous Kids Pediatric Therapy and TimberNook of Northeast Oklahoma.
Meagan enjoys running, hiking, gardening, and spending time with her husband, her two boys and their many, many farm animals. In what spare time she doesn’t have, she is a party planner extraordinaire and makes the most delectable charcuterie displays.
Kent Gooch Jr.
Secretary and Treasurer
Kent graduated from the University of Tulsa with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Marketing. He later went on to obtain a Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. Kent has been a Firefighter/Paramedic with the Tulsa Fire Department since 2005. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Rising Village, a local non-profit that empowers refugees to become self-sufficient contributors to their communities.
Kent loves to travel with his family and try just about any new food he comes across, something he acquired from his time abroad with a semester at sea in his senior year of college. Kent also enjoys the mountains of western North Carolina and relaxing by watching The Office with his family (he’s basically the Assistant to the Regional Manager for his family).
Pat obtained a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Economics (Cum Laude) from Oklahoma State University, before achieving a Master of Studies in Environmental Law (Magna Cum Laude) from Vermont Law School, and his Juris Doctorate (With Honor) from the University of Tulsa College of Law. Currently, Pat is an Assistant Professor of Political Science with Tulsa Community College and does a little legal work here and there.
Pat is passionate about helping children have any and every opportunity, a passion that dates back to 2004 when he worked for Project Summer Spirit, a program for at risk kidd in Sand Springs Public Schools. Pat’s son was diagnosed with dyslexia, so he knows firsthand the many challenges and struggles families can face. This is why he wanted to be a Dyfference Maker.
When he’s not on an adventure with his wife and three children, Pat can be found either performing a Jiu-Jitsu Brabo choke or baking a perfect Kanelbullar.
Meredith graduated from the University of Tulsa with degrees in marketing and public relations, as well as integrated marketing communications.
She was diagnosed as heavily dyslexic during her freshman year of college and began the slow and arduous task of learning how to read while still taking college classes. Once she conquered this challenge, Meredith became an avid reader. She favors biographies and has a wide variety of books in her library. She is also an active volunteer and nature lover who finds humor in life and enjoys traveling. As a recovering dyslexic, she is determined to help others not have to face the same unnecessary hardships she did.
It was through her learning struggles that Meredith found her gift of thinking “differently” and that ultimately led her to become the CEO and Founder of Outrider Gas Transports in Tulsa, OK.
Sean obtained his Master of Business Administration from Southern Nazarene University. He currently serves as Vice President for Administration and Chief Operating Officer for Tulsa Community College. Prior to this, he served in the United States Air Force, earning various awards and commendations including a “Below the Zone” promotion to Senior Airman while enlisted. He later graduated from Officer Training School as a distinguished graduate, before serving as a communications officer.
Sean also serves the larger Tulsa community in a variety of capacities including a position as past board president for Leadership Tulsa, an active participant in the Tulsa Area United Way campaign, and a current a board member with the Downtown Tulsa Partnership. Sean is also part of the design team for Strategic Horizons Network, a national collaboration of community colleges focused on learning and applying best and better practices that support student success.
Sean understands the need to help those with dyslexia and other struggling readers, because he sees it firsthand in the education system. He desires not only to help kids learn and succeed, but to do so without facing extreme hardships. These qualities make him a perfect fit to serve on the Dyfference Makers board of directors.
In his personal time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters as much as possible, ideally somewhere outdoors near a body of water.
Amy graduated from the Moody Bible Institute with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Media Studies. Amy is currently the Director of Sales and Marketing for Knight Pecan Farms in Tulsa, OK.
Amy understands firsthand the importance of early intervention for struggling readers, and had it not been for “that one” teacher who took Amy under her wing, she probably never would have learned to read. Amy was diagnosed with dyslexia in elementary school and she’s passionate about helping others, which has led her to serve on the board of directors for Discover the Dyfference. Amy loves making connections with others and that enables her to be an invaluable asset as a Dyfference Maker.
Amy loves to travel and explore new adventures and cuisines. When not traveling, she can be found with her husband and puppy, Kia, on the pecan farm, or playing hide-and-go-seek with all of her nieces and nephews.
Rob is the founder and owner of Rivertop Contracting, western North Carolina’s premier landscaping management and enhancement company. Rob is the driving force behind the company’s success and that is apparent through his dedication to the numerous employees and customers Rivertop services. Rob also has quite a knack for real estate development and investing. It is because of Rob’s commitment to high quality work and service to others that makes him a perfect fit for the Dyfference Makers Board of Directors .
Even more importantly, Rob is dyslexic! Knowing first hand the struggles that fellow dyslexics can face allows him the ability to be instrumental in helping shape and implement the vision of Dyfference Makers. Rob’s desire to constantly help others achieve their highest potential makes him a key asset to our organization.
Rob is married to Katey and they have raised two amazing boys, Logan and Carson. When not working or being the jack of all trades, some of his favorite activities are enjoying the sand at a beach, the waters of Lake James or just sitting around a good camp fire with family and friends.