Don’t forget to vote tomorrow
Tulsa County will hold its annual school board election tomorrow, Feb. 14. Voters in Tulsa Public Schools District 5 will select their school board representative, as will voters in Skiatook and Berryhill. In the Union, Jenks and Owasso school districts, voters will consider bond initiatives.
Tomorrow’s ballot will also include a special primary election to select Democrat and Republican candidates for Oklahoma’s vacant seat in House District 71. The general election for that seat is April 3.
Some voters will experience new precincts Tuesday, following redistricting due to the 2010 U.S. Census. According to the election board, new voter identification cards have already been distributed to registered voters assigned to new precincts.
Individuals may vote early until 6 p.m., today at the Tulsa County election board, 555 N. Denver.
For a map of precincts, click here.
CAEL facilitates meetings in Tulsa
The National Council for Adult & Experiential Learning (CAEL) partnered with the Tulsa Metro Chamber last week to facilitate three meetings with community stakeholders to identify how we can work together to ensure the success of our region’s business and industry.
Tulsa Metro Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal discussed the Talent Dividend initiative, an effort to partner with area employers and education institutions to increase the number of adults in the region with post-secondary degrees or certificates.
“Increasing the number of college degrees conferred in our region by just one percentage point will result in a $646 million economic impact. Achieving this requires a partnership between city leadership, higher education, workforce system, employers and the community at large to positively encourage working adults without post-secondary training and degrees to seek additional training and college attainment,” Neal said.
The meetings were focused on discussions with three distinct groups with which the Chamber is partnering: Education and Training, Public Sector and Workforce, and Business and Industry. Attendees engaged in a dialogue regarding how the Talent Dividend initiative can aggregate education and training efforts for broader community impact and what policy changes could impact the Talent Dividend effort. The partner groups also discussed strategies for increasing engagement of non-traditional learners and promoting accelerated training and degree completion.
Chamber hosts Oklahoma legislators at Capitol Luncheon
The Tulsa Metro Chamber leadership team monitors legislative issues throughout the session by staying in constant communication with representatives and elected officials.
The first of the session’s capitol lunches was held last week at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. Updates were heard on a variety of topics, including the Quick Action Closing Fund, health care, tax reform, transportation, education and bond issues.
“Our board members, volunteers and regional partners had the opportunity to hear directly from legislators on our state’s priority issues, including OneVoice agenda items,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Metro Chamber.
More than 20 legislators, including Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, attended the luncheon. The next capitol luncheon is scheduled for March 7 in Oklahoma City.
Council of Bond Oversight approves sale of river bondsThe Oklahoma Council of Bond Oversight last week approved the sale of $26 million in bonds to finance Arkansas River improvements.
“The Council’s action gives the Tulsa River Parks Authority the tools they need to continue with development of the Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Metro Chamber.
The low-water dam project was previously authorized by the legislature and now with the Council’s approval, it is set to receive financing.
Communities across the nation have successfully developed riverfronts into economic generators for their regions. The Arkansas River is considered one of the Tulsa region’s greatest assets and also one of the most underdeveloped and underutilized. River development has been one of the Chamber’s top initiatives since 2008. There is significant momentum surrounding the future of the Arkansas River, such as Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett’s plans to spearhead development of the west bank.
“As evident in communities across the country, public commitment will spur private investment,” Neal continued. “The Chamber and its 55 OneVoice partners will continue to advocate for the improvement of the Arkansas River as it is considered one of the state’s greatest assets, and its development is critical to positioning the Tulsa region for long-term economic and community growth.”
VisitTulsa staff asked to participate in Route 66 task force
Ray Hoyt, senior vice president of VisitTulsa, spoke at a kickoff dinner last Thursday promoting the revitalization of Route 66, a task force organized by District 4 City Councilor Blake Ewing.
Hoyt was joined by Vanesa Masucci, VisitTulsa’s manager of tourism and cultural sales. Other speakers included author and historian Michael Wallis, former Mayor of Tulsa Bill LaFortune and City of Tulsa Director of Economic Development Clay Bird. Joy Avery, granddaughter of Cyrus Avery, the “Father of Route 66,” and Dennis Whitaker, City of Tulsa planner whose responsibilities include the Vision 2025 Route 66 improvements, also attended.
“VisitTulsa is excited to be a part of this revival,” said Hoyt. “Route 66 is an inherent quality that attracts visitors from near and far and of all ages to Tulsa. There’s not a lot of building or developing needed; it already exists and already has an iconic reputation. Now it’s time for Tulsans to rally their forces and bolster Route 66, making it a thriving piece of our local landscape that is easily enjoyed by all.”
Route 66 winds through Tulsa for 24 miles, an asset that is poorly recognized on maps and that many feel is underutilized. The task force hopes to change that through one large, focused effort incorporating the multiple interested parties like VisitTulsa, the City of Tulsa and passionate citizens.
The task force is open to the public. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What we’re working onExecutive Offices
Attending Governor’s Economic Development & International Team meetings
Attending State Chamber Board meeting and Legislative Reception in Oklahoma City
Hosting Mayor’s Business Retention breakfast for TYPros group
Hosting Tulsa’s Future II Oversight Committee meeting
New Business Development
Meeting with BNSF representative
Hosting national site location consultant in Tulsa
Attending Governor’s Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Council Meeting
Existing Business Development
Hosting volunteer training for Business Retention and Expansion program
Visiting with a company to discuss expansion efforts
Mayor’s Retention Breakfast Event: TYPros
Marketing and Communications
Creating brochure for governor’s trade mission event
Completing annual publications
Working on content for new websites
Meeting with various downtown stakeholder groups to align and coordinate downtown economic development strategy
Attending Business After Hours
Attending Tulsa’s Future II Oversight Committee meeting
Attending Education Committee meeting
Tulsa Sports Commission
Planning for U.S. elite Challenge Trampoline and Tumbling press event
Ongoing event bid preparation
Ongoing planning for owned and operated events
Creating schedules for volunteers at our Business After Hours
Recruiting volunteers to participate in the Resource Campaign
Attended the Western Association of Chamber Executives
Education and Workforce
Recruiting Oklahoma Scholars participants
Preparing for Health Care Forum on FQHCs
Hosting follow-up meetings with employers and workforce partners on career pathways and the Talent Dividend – “Finish for Greater Tulsa”
Tulsa’s Young Professionals
Leadership Team volunteers participating in Mayor's Mentoring breakfast
Planning for Tulsa Big Wheel fundraiser to benefit YWCA
Working with Route 66 Village on redevelopment projects for Street CReD
Monitoring legislative action on OneVoice priorities
Attending grand opening of the Center for Employment Opportunities
Attending the Broken Arrow Area Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Briefing Breakfast
Introducing Hotel Partners to new VisitTulsa and Tulsa Sports Commission PartnerNet, the source for event leads
Follow-up from Society of Government Meeting Professionals PIE Conference
Preparing to attend upcoming shows and conventions
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.
AG Equipment Company
Atlantic Sunglasses, LLC
Bert Johnson, D.D.S.
Learning Unlimited Corporation
McDaniel Longwell Acord, PLLC
Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Cue
Owasso Properties, Inc.
Perfection Homes by Wayne Farabough
R A Bodenhamer & Associates, Inc.
Rockin Sooner Ranch Mercantile
Roy D. Jenkins & Associates
Stars Go Dim Holding Company, LLC
Tinker Federal Credit Union
Total Ground Care
Trost Designs, LLC
T-Town Senior Cab
Wilcoxen & Wilcoxen
Wilson Electric and Lighting, LLC