Ellyn Novak Hefner is a single-working mother with three children. Life changed and so did her career path when her youngest son was born with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Learning to navigate the developmental disability service system and advocate for her son is what inspired Ellyn to become a champion for disability rights in Oklahoma.
She has spent the last 18 years as a caregiver and professional dedicated to helping Oklahoma parents find hope and resources for their children with IDD. Originally a small business owner with her late husband in Oklahoma City, Ellyn shifted careers to become a health coordinator for the Oklahoma Family Network, a nonprofit serving families with disabilities and special health care needs. She became more involved at the policy level after graduating from Partners in Policymaking, a leadership training program designed to teach people with disabilities and family members the power of advocacy to positively change the way people with disabilities are supported, viewed, taught, live and work. She served on the Interagency Coordinating Council for Sooner Start as a member and Chair. In 2015, Ellyn helped organize the Roll and Walk from 11th and Walker to the Capitol to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act Sunday, July 26, 2015. She was appointed by the Governor, in 2015, to serve on the Advisory Committee on Services to Persons with Developmental Disabilities.
Ellyn is currently a financial advisor at Bluecrest Financial Alliances in Midtown She is a Chartered Special Needs Consultant (ChSNC) and helps families access information, specialists, financial products and services that improve the quality of life for Oklahomans with disabilities and special needs. She is also an ambassador for OKSTABLE accounts, which allows individuals with disabilities to save and invest money without losing eligibility for certain public benefits programs. She recently worked alongside State Treasurer Randy McDaniel and Rep. Kyle Hilbert on an Income-tax deduction for Oklahomans who contribute to STABLE accounts.
As a mother of a child with disabilities, Ellyn has first-hand experience dealing with the deficiencies in our state, including Oklahoma's unacceptable 13-year waiting list for developmental disability services. She has worked directly with the thousands of Oklahomans and their families who get left behind every day. In the state legislature, Ellyn will support practical, common-sense solutions that are family friendly and benefit all Oklahomans, not just a few.
Ellyn is ready to build on her leadership experience as your State Representative. She has a reputation as a servant leader on multiple boards. She is the immediate past board chair for Daily Living Centers in Oklahoma City and served as board member and president for the national Sotos Syndrome Support Association. Currently she is a board member of the Santa Fe Family Life Center and is a member of the development Committee for the JFK awards.
In her spare time, Ellyn sweep rows with The River Sirens on The RIVERSPORT Corporate Rowing League. She enjoys great coffee shops and new restaurants with her family and friends. Ellyn is a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Oklahoma City.