Chamber, OneVoice partners advocate federal priorities in D.C.
More than 60 Tulsa-area business leaders and regional elected officials last week accompanied the Tulsa Metro Chamber for its fifth annual Tulsa Regional Washington, D.C. Fly-In. The group attended a number of meetings and discussions to advocate the OneVoice federal agenda, which represents the top 2012 legislative priorities for the Chamber and its 55 regional partners.
“We discussed a number of items that are not only significant to our region, but the nation as a whole, including transportation funding,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Chamber. “We had great meetings with our delegation, other members of Congress, policy experts and U.S. Chamber leaders. When we can stand united, as residents of Northeast Oklahoma, and as business people, and voice our needs and concerns to lawmakers, it makes a significant impact.”
Advocacy for the 2012 D.C. Fly-in focused on four primary issues: transportation reauthorization, regulatory environment, small business issues and health care reform. The packed two-day agenda included meetings with U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe; U.S. Reps. Tom Cole, Dan Boren, John Sullivan, James Lankford and Bill Shuster (PA-9); Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt; the U.S. Chamber and a number of policy experts.
OklahomaBizPac endorses Henke for tomorrow’s special election
OklahomaBizPac endorses Katie Henke (R) for State House District 71. A special election to fill the open seat, vacated by Rep. Dan Sullivan, is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, April 3.
“OklahomaBizPac supports Katie Henke based on her stance on a variety of issues, particularly those that will promote a strong business climate,” said David Page, OklahomaBizPac chair and market president for JP Morgan Chase. “The OklahomaBizPac board believes she exemplifies the collaborative, forward-thinking leadership needed to advance our state.
OklahomaBizPac is a nonpartisan political action committee activated in 2012 by the Tulsa regional business community that works to identify and support state candidates who demonstrate leadership and diplomacy, who will promote a strong business climate, and who are committed to improving the Tulsa region and the state of Oklahoma.
Health Care Forum: Certified Healthy Workplaces
Local business and health care industry leaders gathered last week at the Chamber to discuss the importance of area businesses establishing certified healthy workplace programs. The forum was the latest in the Chamber’s health care forum series.
Speakers included Dr. Bruce Dart, director of the Tulsa Health Department, and Jill Almond, Tulsa Health Department wellness coordinator. Both discussed the benefits of being a certified healthy workplace as well as the criteria for the designation.
Currently, 66 Tulsa businesses have received certification, according to the Tulsa Health Department. The number has been steadily increasing as the need for certified programs continues to be recognized. One Tulsa-area company, Nabholz Construction, will soon receive national attention for its innovative efforts. Nabholz will be featured on an HBO special next month, showcasing the company’s wellness program and other efforts toward improving the health of its employees and their families.
As the demand for skilled workers grows, certified healthy workplaces are becoming a competitive advantage in recruiting new employees and in retention efforts. Employers who are interested in becoming certified can contact the Tulsa Health Department to learn more about a program assisting employers in the qualification and application processes.
Read more from the Journal Record.
House, Senate opt for three-month extension on transportation funding
The reauthorization of federal transportation funding, a top OneVoice priority, has received at least short-term support from both the House and Senate.
Earlier this month, the Senate passed a two-year, $109 billion reauthorization for much-needed surface transportation funding. The House had been working on a five-year reauthorization plan; however, House members reached a deadlock and had to pass an extension to avoid any gap in federal funding.
Both the House and Senate approved a 90-day extension last week. The extension provides time for the House to consider a long-term reauthorization bill, and for both House and Senate bills to be merged in conference committee.
"As we work to grow, attract and retain business in the Tulsa region, it is imperative we have a fully functioning, safe and efficient transportation system with adequate, long-term funding and a proper plan for timely maintenance and rehabilitation," said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Chamber. "We will continue to advocate for a robust, long-term surface transportation funding plan, and we remain hopeful the House will reach a consensus before the end of the 90-day extension."
Construction almost half complete on I-244 multi-modal bridge
The construction of the multi-modal bridge spanning the Arkansas River on westbound I-244 is nearly 40 percent complete, with a final completion date scheduled for the middle of next year. The new structure will incorporate highway lanes on the top side with two dedicated future rail lines and an area for bicycle and pedestrian traffic underneath. The project, funded by a combination of federal funds and a $50 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant, will give Tulsa one more aspect of the modernized transportation system it needs.
“The Chamber congratulates Sen. Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma’s congressional delegation, Oklahoma Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley and the entire Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) team on this successful project,” said Chris Benge, senior vice president of government affairs at the Chamber. “This project brings endless possibilities for expanding transportation in the Tulsa region, and we congratulate Oklahoma’s leaders for their foresight and dedication to implementing this project through completion.”
CEO Roundtables offer exchange of ideas and best practices
The Tulsa Metro Chamber continues to offer its CEO Roundtables program for area business leaders. The roundtables are groups of eight non-competitive CEOs (or equivalents) who serve as each other’s advisory board and support unit.
Roundtables are self-governing groups that meet monthly for at least two hours to share best practices and exchange ideas in a confidential setting. The goal of the CEO Roundtable is to make all participating CEOs more effective personally and professionally. Participants will receive encouragement, feedback and resources to assist them with leadership challenges in today’s business climate.
CEO Roundtables are an initiative of the Chamber's Small Business Council. Click here to see criteria to participate and to apply.
What we’re working onExecutive Offices
Attending the Tulsa’s Future II Municipality/Partner Investor meeting
Hosting Mayor’s Business Retention breakfast with the health care industry
Hosting Tulsa City Council Luncheon
New Business Development
Attending the MRO (Maintenance Repair & Overhaul) Americas 2012 Conference/Expo
Meeting with local consultants
Meeting with Dallas-area consultants to discuss projects in the Tulsa metro area
Existing Business Development
Working with higher education on development of a new program
Attending Mayor’s Retention Breakfast
Working with regional partners on implementing a regional business retention and expansion program
Marketing and Communications
Assisting with a number of Resource Campaign communications needs
Attending enVision Summit steering committee meeting
Drafting event scripts and comments for various speaking engagements
Attending the envision Summit steering committee meeting
Tulsa Sports Commission
Working on multiple event bids with various event rights holders
Continuing planning for AC Milan Heartland Cup and other owned and operated events
Appointment setting for National Association of Sports Commissions Symposium
Education and Workforce
Attending Talent Divided network meeting with CEOs for Cities
Briefing with interim superintendent at Tulsa Tech
Working on Partners of the Year awards
Tulsa’s Young Professionals
Hosting Pub Club at Lot 6
Planning family friendly events
Hosting Toast to TYPros orientation event
Speaking at the opening ceremony for Apache Corporation’s first public CNG filling station
Hosting Tulsa’s city councilors for the monthly City Council Box Luncheon
Attending the Oklahoma Policy Institute’s forum “Eliminating the Income Tax: Silver Bullet or Fool’s Gold?”
Hosting training sessions for new and veteran Resource Campaign volunteers
Assisting with planning the Tulsa’s Future II Annual Meeting
Improving tracking process for membership sales
Preparing pre-promotional mailings for the Association for the Improvement of Minorities – IRS and its 2012 event
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.
Advanced Pain Specialist
Energy Source Advisors, LLC
Gallant Background Checks, LLC
Personal Health Partners
Steve Lewis, Attorney at Law