OUR TEAM

At Yay Dude, you’ll get to know the people behind the passions in Oklahoma City from our team of entrepreneurs and local leaders. We’ll bring you what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next so you’ll know the best places to celebrate with your people and how to support local. We’re a celebrations community committed to cheering each other on, collaborating, and building community.

Bookmark our site to check back each week for new stories in style, sports, eats, arts, people, and events, and sign up for our FriYay Fan Mail so you’ll get the best events happening in OKC, curated by our team. If you own a business and want more information on joining us, email malena@readyaimgrow.com. If you have a story idea, use the subject line Yay Dude Pitch for consideration.

Get to know these entrepreneurs who are making a difference in Oklahoma City. A huge thank you to all of our fans.

MALENA PUTNAM

Chief Inspiration Officer, Yay Dude, Chicks in Charge Brand Strategist + Storyteller

Malena Lott Putnam is a brand strategist, marketer, communications manager, speaker, and author. A married mother of three, Malena hails from Western Oklahoma, where she learned to live with tornadoes and love football, and received a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Comm at the University of Oklahoma where she was an Alpha Chi Omega and McMahon Scholar. Malena has won numerous writing and advertising awards and was named OKC’s Alpha Chi Omega Panhellenic Woman of the Year in 2022 and named to the Journal Record’s 50 Women Making a Difference in 2022. She is a social butterfly who loves supporting local events and eateries and is the CEO and Chief Storyteller of Yay Dude and Chicks in Charge.

JILL CASTILLA

CEO Citizen’s Bank

Jill Castilla of Edmond, OK is the CEO and president of Citizens Bank Edmond. She joined Citizens in 2009 and helped transform this once struggling institution into the most innovative community bank in the nation. She has became widely known and has received many awards and recognition for her leadership and innovation at Citizens.

Jill’s entrepreneurial spirit spills into community engagement as she is the founder of “Heard on Hurd”, a monthly street festival in Downtown Edmond each year from June through October. Heard on Hurd has impacted the Edmond community by creating an inspiring platform and generating over $30 million in immediate economic impact.

ED WRENN

Eddies, Hott Wings and The Lounge Owner

Ed Wrenn, is the owner and founder of Eddies Bar & Grill, Hott Wings and The Lounge in Edmond, OK. He grew up in New York and was a part of a tight knit family where they would gather at his grandfather’s place on 300 acres. In this large area, it was easy to get lost on the way there. He could never find the property line in the dark except for one thing: a red moose on a barn that meant he was exactly one mile from his Papa’s place. For Ed, that moose meant family and that memories were about to be made. So, when Ed founded his restaurant, Eddies in Edmond, he used the red moose to symbolize a special place with good food, drinks and good times.

JALEN DORSEY

DJ Litebrite

Jalen Dorsey, aka LiTEBRiTE is an electrifying 27-year-old American disc jockey, emcee, husband, father, business owner, and social influencer with over 16k followers. LITEBRITE is the official entertainment partner with Torchy Tacos, Chicken N Pickle OKC and McNellie’s Group. He is a is a resident DJ at Fassler Hall and Relax Park, both located in Oklahoma City. As an influencer, LITEBRITE partners with Kosmik Brands, Truly Hard Seltzer, and Might Kind Cannabis Seltzer. LITEBRITE’s live performances can be best described as energetic , diverse and inclusive. He loves to engage with his crowd and have his vibrant personality shine through.

DAVID SOUTHARD

Bourbon St. Cafe Owner

David Southard of Oklahoma City, OK attended Oklahoma State University and is the owner of Bourbon St. Cafe in Oklahoma City.

Bourbon St. Cafe was established in November of 2000, just after the opening of the Bricktown Canal in Oklahoma City. Customers will find the value of Southern hospitality and will also experience the flavor, style, and festive vibe of New Orleans. Including versatility, local live music, craft cocktails, Cajun food, featured local breweries, chill atmosphere, and patio views along the canal.

JULIE MILLER

Tin Lizzie’s Owner

Tin Lizzie’s is conveniently located in Automobile Alley and offers a crafted selection for gift- giving, sprucing up your home, and pampering yourself. We try to bring you a great selection of unique items across every price point – something for everyone.

We proudly partner with other smaller Oklahoma owned boutiques, artisans and makers to bring you several shop in shops and pop up experiences so you can always find Oklahoma made, Oklahoma themed, and Oklahoma spirit.

MARA & MIKE ENGLISH

Waters Edge Winery Moore Owners 

Waters Edge Winery Moore is a family-owned winery in the heart of Moore, OK. Waters Edge Winery is the city’s first winery. We source our grapes from the best vineyards located in the finest grape-growing regions: France, Italy, Spain, Australia, South Africa and the United States. Under the guidance of our Head Wine Maker, Conner Meek, we hand craft each and every small batch of our wines locally.

SOPHIE SIDDIQUI

Photographer, Videographer, Blue Element Visuals

Sophie is passionate about weddings and storytelling through photography and videography. Mom to daughter Scarlett and two fur babies, George + Sugar, dachshund mixes. She grew up in the mountains in Arizona + moved to Oklahoma City when she was 9. Connect with her to discuss your wedding or other special event. She also shoots headshots and mini sessions throughout the year.

Tracy & Britt Reece

Smile Time Photo Booth

Smile Time Photo Booth was started in in 2010 by Tracy & Britt Reece. With 24 years of photography experience this may be the most fun we have had photographing any event type.. We have three children and love having fun in a photo booth! 

We loved putting smiles on face everywhere we go! It is important to us that your photo booth be fun and entertaining for all guest. Lots of fun props, glasses, signs & Hats. We create custom graphics for all events and have great background to complement the graphics.

RHIANNON ABLA

Balloon Masters Owner

Rhiannon Abla is the CEO, owner and designer of Balloon Masters of Oklahoma City, OK. She lives in Oklahoma City with her husband and two littles and attended school at Heritage Hall and The University of Oklahoma. She enjoys experimenting with new ideas, craft products and designs.

Balloon Masters was originally established in 1985 by her mother, and after a few years of bouquets and telegrams, they discovered that corporate event decorating was where all the artistic challenge and serious growth was. So, the name changed to something more descriptive of what we aspired to be and, “Balloon Masters” was born.

Balloon Masters specializes in corporate decor and our expertise is developing your theme by transforming an ordinary room into a magical place. Balloon Masters delivers and decorates in Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas. We bring your event to life by filling it with creations that will WOW your guests and make them remember your event for years to come!

JULIE REISING

Life Coach

Julie Reising is a Mindset & Empowerment Coach who utilizes her 20+ years of experience as a licensed therapist turned life coach to help men and women rediscover who they are and what they REALLY want so they can live a life of abundant time, energy and money that’s anchored in their core values. Julie helps eliminate emotional blocks that keep them stuck in uncertainty and inaction, create healthy boundaries, and practice their “no” so they can say hell YES to their most cherished goals and dreams.

SHAY WOOD

Wood Insurance Agency OKC

A modern insurance team to do life with. Life. Home. Auto. Health. Business. Our agency is built on relationships and being with you every step of the way with smiles and solutions. A woman-owned insurance agency located in Bethany, OK and serving Oklahoma with solutions and a smile! A modern insurance team to do life with. Knock on Wood. We’re here to help.

MATTHEW & TRACY MORRIS

Edmond Family Eye Care Owners

Dr. Tracy Morris was born and raised in Edmond, OK. She attended the University of Kansas where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design in 2002. Later, she attended the Southern College of Optometry where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2009. While in school, Dr. Tracy did a clinical externship at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO. Here she learned expanded skills in the field of pediatric optometry. She also completed an externship at Primary Eyecare Group in Nashville, Tennessee focusing on primary care optometry.

Dr. Matthew Morris practices family eye care which includes the prescribing and fitting of glasses and contact lenses, along with the diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease. He also does pre- and post-operative care for patients undergoing cataract, refractive and glaucoma surgeries. Dr. Morris is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians and the Heart of America Contact Lens Society.

BEN NOCKELS

Commonplace Books Edmond

Commonplace Books is a gathering spot for people who want to lead meaningful, thoughtful lives. Our collection of unique books and small goods are thoughtfully curated by a small, caring staff with great input from our community.