Gov. Mary Fallin presents 2012 agenda during State of the State address
In a joint session of the Oklahoma Legislature on the first day of the 2012 legislative session, Gov. Mary Fallin outlined her top priorities in the annual State of the State address in the House chamber. The governor began by touting Oklahoma’s achievements over the past year, calling the 2011 legislative sessions one of the most productive in memory.
“I’m proud of the work we have accomplished in such a short period of time. But that work is not done; far from it,” Fallin said. “The people of Oklahoma expect us to continue to focus on moving this state forward and creating a more prosperous, better state to live and work in.”
Fallin focused her comments on job creation, education and workforce development, tax reform, energy efficiency and improving Oklahoma’s transportation infrastructure.
“We commend Gov. Fallin’s commitment to making Oklahoma one of the most business-friendly states in the nation,” said Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal. “The governor’s priorities align with many of our OneVoice items, and we look forward to working with her and our legislators on passing several items in 2012 that will benefit our economy, the region’s businesses and our quality of life today and in the future.”
Fallin included in her address the initiative to increase the number of college graduates in Oklahoma, restoring funds to the transportation budget, funding additional doctor residency positions.
Governor Fallin also proposed streamlining the state’s income tax system. “We applaud Gov. Fallin for her proposals to support funding for core government services such as transportation infrastructure and public health,” Neal said. “These funding requests illustrate the governor and our state are committed to ensuring we have a healthy workforce and our businesses have the infrastructure necessary for a successful future, and that we must continue to invest in our state.”
For more information about the State of the State address, click here.
Volunteers needed to help reach $2.9 million Resource Campaign goal
With the second highest grossing campaign in the nation raising more than $3 million last year, the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s Resource Campaign plays a major role in the organization’s strength and ability to deliver business-building events and benefits to members.
Last year's 2011 Resource Campaign volunteers
celebrated raising over $3 million.
The 2012 Resource Campaign leadership has set a goal to recruit 180 volunteers to raise $2.9 million and is currently seeking individuals who would like to increase their involvement with the Chamber while benefiting from networking, relationship-building and cash incentives.
“The Resource Campaign is critical to our ability to offer business-building programs and events to Tulsa Metro Chamber members,” said Matt Pivarnik, the Chamber’s executive vice president. “It’s also fun and extremely beneficial for our volunteers who have the opportunity to build significant networking relationships, enjoy weekly reward lunches and an incentive trip.”
The 2012 Resource Campaign, which contributes approximately 25 percent of the Chamber’s total annual budget, will kick off on Tuesday, April 10 under the leadership of campaign chair Mike Thornbrugh, QuikTrip Corp.; campaign co-chair Dave Kollmann, Flintco, LLC; and vice chairs Wade Edmundson, Summit Bank; Kirk Hays, Arvest Bank; Bruce Heine, Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P.; Marilyn Ihloff, Ihloff Salon & Day Spa; and David Stratton, JPMorgan Chase.
Involvement in the Resource Campaign means being part of a 10-week campaign to generate revenue by selling memberships and sponsorships for Chamber programs, events and publications. Top producers can earn a trip to Costa Rica as reward for their dedication and commitment.
Individual volunteers are welcome, and member companies can create teams to participate. If you or a company representative would like to participate as a team member, form your own team or would like to be a sponsor, contact Karen Humphrey at email@example.com or call 918.560.0250.
OSU Medical Center completes renovations
The Oklahoma State University Medical Center has completed about $25 million in renovations and improvements in the wound-care, surgical, emergency and cardiology departments. Hospital officials spoke about the upgrades at a forum sponsored by the Chamber last Tuesday. The center will also replace its aging parking garage with an $8.7 million, three-story unit.
The OSU Medical Center plays a critical role in both Tulsa and the state’s health care system. The center is the nation’s largest osteopathic teaching hospital, training an average of 150 residents a year.
Read more from the Tulsa World.
Transportation Connections WorkAdvance program offers demand-driven training
Transportation Connections WorkAdvance, a new industry-focused career advancement program that provides low-income individuals with technical training, job placement and promising careers in the transportation, aviation and aerospace industries, has opened a new center at 907 S. Detroit Ave. to serve the Tulsa region.
The WorkAdvance program also aims to help companies in the region’s transportation industry become more competitive by building better employee pipelines.
“Demand-driven training is a valuable tool for the optimization of our workforce development efforts in the Tulsa region,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Metro Chamber. “Transportation is a key sector in our community, and this training can help many great Tulsa-area employers fill a real need for qualified workers.”
John Bolton, BOK Center GM, receives international Executive of the Year honor
BOK Center General Manager John Bolton was named the 2012 Pollstar Facility Executive of the Year at an awards ceremony in Los Angeles Friday night. Bolton received the top honor over all venue managers around the world. It was Bolton’s third time to be nominated and first time to win.
“I have so many colleagues and friends that do such an amazing job and that I respect so much,” he told the Tulsa World. “I am honored beyond belief.”
Bolton also told the Tulsa World that the honor helps draw national attention to the BOK Center and Tulsa’s success as a concert market. Ray Hoyt, senior vice president of VisitTulsa, echoed Bolton’s sentiments and applauded his diligent commitment to the Tulsa region.
“John is such a huge asset to our market,” said Hoyt. “His hard work continues to pay off as the BOK Center and Tulsa celebrate success as a visitors’ destination. It’s great to see him honored, and we couldn’t be more proud to call him a Tulsan. Congratulations to him on this worldwide accolade.”
To read more, click here.
Oklahoma Scholars program in need of volunteers
The Oklahoma Scholars program will soon begin reaching out to this year’s class of eighth graders. Launched in 2004, Oklahoma Scholars is an aggressive education program that encourages eighth grade students to enroll in a rigorous curriculum in high school, thus better preparing them for success in post-secondary education and the workforce.
Students participating in the Oklahoma Scholars course of study receive incentives throughout their high school career in order to encourage them to continue the coursework. Those who complete the program have been shown to achieve higher ACT and SAT scores, take fewer remedial courses at the college level and have better college completion rates.
Oklahoma Scholars relies on volunteers to present the program to eighth grade students to generate interest. The program is currently in need of volunteers to present at Tulsa and Union Public Schools. Those interested in becoming a volunteer presenter are highly encouraged to attend the information meeting and training session Feb. 8 at 3 p.m. in the second floor conference room at the Tulsa Metro Chamber, 2 W. Second St.
For more information about the Oklahoma Scholars program, contact Heather Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-560-0218.
Federal surface transportation programs legislation moving forward
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last week approved the reauthorization and reform of federal surface transportation programs to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges and infrastructure. The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, HR7, authorizes $260 billion over five years and is consistent with current funding levels.
The U.S. Senate version of the bill was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in November 2011, and authorizes $109 billion over two years. Both the House and Senate versions aim to reduce the number of transportation programs, giving more power to states in determining where funds are spent. Currently, both the House and Senate are working on how to pay for the proposals.
“The timely reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs is one of the top federal priorities on our OneVoice agenda,” said Mike Neal, the Chamber’s president and CEO. “These programs will provide Oklahoma the flexibility we need to address our most significant infrastructure and transportation needs, and we look forward to working with Sen. Inhofe and Rep. Lankford to ensure their hard work results in robust transportation funding for our state and country.”
The Chamber’s government affairs division will be monitoring both pieces of legislation closely.
What We're Working OnExecutive Offices
Executive management team visit to Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation and NSU
Participating in the Council for Adult & Experiential Learning education and training
Hosting Tulsa’s Future II municipality/partner investor meeting
Hosting regional college and university presidents meetings
New Business Development
Submitting industrial request for proposal
Meeting with new company to discuss workforce options
Assisting new company with incentives options
Existing Business Development
Attending Oklahoma Venture Forum monthly meeting
Meeting with manufacturer regarding expansion and infrastructure needs
Working on Governor’s European Trade Mission with Oklahoma Department of Commerce
Marketing and Communications
Completing annual publications
Preparing print materials for upcoming events
Continuing to plan for the 2012 Intercity Visit
Speaking to the Tulsa Business Builders about downtown development activity
Attending BRE and Small Business Retreat
Meeting with LSI Business Development regarding new Small Business Council initiative
Tulsa Sports Commission
Preparing a bid for a number of national championship level events
Working with committee on plans for the Bill Connors Sports Dinner
FinalizingiInvitations for A.C. Milan Heartland Cup
Education and Workforce
Hosting Oklahoma Scholars kickoff/training/presentations at TPS and Union
Hosting Health Care Forum on federally qualified health centers
Meeting with contact at WPX Energy to discuss convening an energy roundtable
Tulsa’s Young Professionals
Hosting monthly Pub Club at Edward Delk’s
Planning for Tulsa Big Wheel fundraiser
Hosting GreenSpeak event with Rebuilding Together Tulsa
Attending the Public Sector and Workforce Partners Community discussion
Hosting first Capitol Lunch in Oklahoma City with legislators and regional partners
Participating in a conference call with the U.S. Chamber on the reauthorization of federal transportation funding
Attending an exhibit at Society of Government Meeting Professionals for Partners in Education Conference
Working to enhance meeting / events client experience through the use of PassKey and GroupMax Housing Services Software
Working to maximize our marketing presence to reach the best markets
Training new business development manager Ange Nickell
Getting feedback and insight from Resource Campaign sponsors on investor relations calls
Working with the economic development division to establish a quarterly cycle of investor calls to the Tulsa’s Future Regional Partners
Chamber welcomes new businessesEach month the Tulsa Metro Chamber's Hospitality Club welcomes new businesses and new Chamber members to the community by assisting with ribbon cuttings and groundbreaking announcements.
5T Construction, Inc.
A & L Body Shop
AAB Engineering LLC
Carrick Plumbing LLC
Claremore Church of the Nazarene
Code Ninja, Inc.
Community Digital Media, LLC
Gem Holdings, Inc.
Graves A/C Service
Heart L Ranch
Jaquita Trogdon Photography
LMR Oil, LLC
Mane Wave Salon, LLC
Raindrop Turkish House
Retirement Income, Inc.
The Broadway Urban Event Center
Urban Financial Group
Tinker Federal Credit Union
702 S. Main Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74119
Tinker Federal Credit Union
Sean Barton, AVP/Branch Manager
8920 E. 61st Street
Tulsa, OK 74133