Meet The Team


Grant Gille
Board Chair

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Grant T. Gille is an associate at Dunlap Codding, practicing in the areas of patent drafting and prosecution, licensing, prior art searches, and patentability analysis.  His areas of technical focus are mechanical, construction and aerospace. His prior work experience includes the Office of Counsel Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Legal Intern, The Boeing Company, Materials and Process Engineer, US Army, Tactical Operations Officer


Merideth VanSant
Board Chair-Elect

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Merideth is a public sector consultant, entrepreneur, and fitness enthusiast. She holds an MBA from NYU and her M.S. degree from OSU. Merideth is a member of Leadership OKC and serves on several OKC boards and committees that promote growth and community connection. She's completed over 5 full marathons and is looking forward to summiting Everest when she has time.


Lina Khalaf

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Lina Khalaf graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 2019 with Distinction. While in law school, Lina was an editor of the Oil and Gas, Natural Resources and Energy Journal. She was an active member of the Organization for the Advancement of Women in Law and was inducted into the Phi Delta Phi legal honor society. Lina was also chosen to be a student pupil member of the Ruth Bader Ginsberg Inn of Court during her final year of law school.


Braden Hoffmann

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 Braden Hoffmann is an associate attorney with the Law Firm Pierce Couch Hendrickson Baysinger & Green, LLP. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2016, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, and obtained his Law Degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2019.  Braden is an avid fan of his Oklahoma City Thunder and rarely misses a game.  He also loves camping, golfing, and hanging out with his family. 


Janya Cox
Speaker Chair

Jayna was raised in Oklahoma and has lived here for most of her life. Jayna attended and received her Bachelors degree from Oklahoma State University where she studied Health Promotion and General Business. Before graduating from the University of Oklahoma College of Law where she received her Juris Doctorate, Jayna was a small business owner. Jayna is a tax attorney in Oklahoma City and board member of IgniteOKC. When she’s not working, Jayna enjoys spending time with her two children, watching her son play sports and daughter play the violin. Jayna also enjoys working out, going to barre classes, meeting friends for dinner, and shopping trips. 


Caroline Carter
Speaker Chair-Elect

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Caroline Carter is pursuing a career in vocal performance and arts management throughout the world. In 2018, Caroline graduated from Meredith College, in Raleigh, NC, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a Professional Performance Certificate and a minor in Arts Management. Following a summer performing with the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, Caroline began her Master’s in Music in Opera Performance at Oklahoma City University. She is celebrated not only as a singer, but also as a dancer, actress, choreographer, composer, voice teacher, stage manager, director, and front of house manager.

Kristin Josephs
Event Chair

Kristin is originally from Dallas, TX, where she graduated from Highland Park High School. From there she earned her bachelor’s degree in Letters & Classics with an emphasis in Constitutional Studies from The University of Oklahoma and graduated with distinction. Kristin was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority while at OU. She completed her Juris Doctor at The University of Oklahoma College of Law in 2019. During her time in law school, Kristin was worked in the OU Legal Clinic criminal division for three semesters where she was given the Clinic Distinguished Intern Award. She is currently an associate attorney at Kuykendall Law Office in Norman and practices criminal defense, representing defendants across the state of Oklahoma in cases ranging from misdemeanor offenses such as DUIs to drug trafficking and murder.

Tessa Clinton
Event Chair-Elect

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Tessa is in her second year at Oklahoma City School of Law and a soft intellectual property intern at Dunlap Codding. She is currently a member of Law Review. Tessa was born and raised in Oklahoma. She attended Oklahoma State University, where she studied Apparel Design and Merchandising. Tessa has since then shifted her focus to intellectual property law. Before law school, Tessa worked with many entrepreneurs, small business owners, and creatives in Oklahoma City. She sees IgniteOKC as the perfect way to combine her creative background with her love for Oklahoma City to be a part of an organization that encourages people to foster innovation and bring growth to our community. Her free time is spent listening to podcasts, volunteering as a CASA, and advocating for endometriosis awareness.


Shelby Kirkes
Communications Chair

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Shelby Kirkes joined the Oklahoma City Dodgers in August 2016 as the Manager of Special Events. Kirkes was born and raised in Carlsbad, NM and attended Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM, where she earned her bachelor's degree in communication with emphasis in public relations. Kirkes enjoys trying new restaurants, coffee shops and jogging trails. She has two Great Danes, Fitzgerald and Hemingway, named after two of her favorite authors. She enjoys supporting the Thunder, Dodgers, and Texas Rangers, and attending any Hockey game she can find.

Breanna Kay
Programming Chair

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Experienced Advanced Certified Litigation Paralegal in Trial Practice, Corporate Governance, Land Use and Property Law with a demonstrated history of working in the legal field. Skilled in Legal Research and Writing, Statutory and Regulatory Filing, Proxy Drafting, Civil Litigation, Appellate Litigation, Oil and Gas Litigation, Native American Property Law, E-Discovery, Trial Support, and Complex Commercial Real Estate Transactions.


Jim John
Co-Sponsorship Chair

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Jim grew up in the north shore suburbs of Chicago. Jim attended Knox College, where he studied Neuroscience. After graduation, Jim worked at Cigna Healthspring in Chicago before moving to Oklahoma to attend University of Oklahoma College of Law. Since law school, Jim has been working as an intellectual property attorney at Dunlap Codding. 


Liz Stevens
Sponsorship Co-Chair

Liz Stevens is new to IgniteOKC this year!

Hunter Akin
Technical Committee Co-Chair

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Hunter Kiyoshi Akin is an associate at Dunlap Codding, practicing in the areas of patent drafting and prosecution, licensing, prior art searches, and patentability analysis.  His areas of technical focus are computer hardware and software, including software as a service (SaaS). Prior to joining Dunlap Codding, Hunter worked as a summer associate at an Oklahoma City corporate firm and at Walt Disney World as a Disney College Program Cast Member.


Dale Spoonemore
Technical Committee Co-Chair

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Dale Spoonemore is the creator of From Seed to Spoon, an iOS & Android mobile app that helps people grow food and manage pests in their garden. He's a member of the Surgical Care Affiliates software development team and lives in Oklahoma City with his wife and 4 children.


Alyssa Grooms

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Alyssa’s practice focuses on advising clients on a variety of intellectual property issues. She has represented clients in intellectual property matters involving a wide range of technologies and industries, including chemicals, biotechnology, materials science, engineering, oil and gas, and medical arts. Her experience includes patent and trademark prosecution, licensing, due diligence, patent litigation, and strategic patent portfolio assessment.

Alyssa has worked with numerous U.S. and international companies to prepare and prosecute patent applications ranging from chemical compounds, polymers, medical devices, and diagnostic devices. She also has significant experience rendering intellectual property opinions, including freedom-to-operate, infringement, and invalidity opinions. Additionally, she has experience supporting teams through pre-litigation and litigation processes.

Alyssa was recently honored with a NextGen Under 30 2017 award recognizing individuals under 30 who demonstrate talent, drive, and service to their communities.

Travis W. Brown

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Travis is a complex litigation attorney at Edinger Leonard & Blakley in Oklahoma City. His practice primarily focuses on general corporate litigation, oil and gas, and environmental law. Born an Oklahoma native, Travis attended college at Oklahoma State University majoring in Health Education and Promotion. Upon graduation, he attended and graduated from Oklahoma City University School of Law. Besides work and IgniteOKC, Travis spends his time attending concerts, music festivals, enjoying the outdoors, hiking, Frisbee, learning about various topics, listening to podcasts, and spending time with his fiancé and daughter.


Genni Ellis

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Genni Ellis is a hockey mom and an associate at Dunlap Codding, practicing in the areas of patent drafting and prosecution, licensing, prior art searches, and patentability analysis. Her work also extends to intellectual property litigation as well as trademark, copyright, and e-commerce representation. Genni’s areas of technical focus are life sciences and chemistry. Before joining Dunlap Codding as an associate, Genni served the firm as a legal intern. She also held legal internships at the Office of Counsel Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, and at Ward & Glass, LLP.