Chamber launches new sites
A new, enhanced Tulsa Metro Chamber Web site and the addition of two new Web sites in economic development and workforce attraction are now live.
A fresh, user-friendly redesign of www.TulsaChamber.com provides regularly updated news and announcements on the homepage; an updated calendar of events; easily navigated tabs for more information about every facet of the Tulsa region; and helpful links to Chamber partners and program of work.
An associated Web site, found by clicking the Econ Dev. tab on the Chamber home page, or by visiting www.GrowMetroTulsa.com, is an industry and community marketing tool. The site serves as a comprehensive clearing house of information for local companies interested in expansion opportunities and incentives; site-location consultants researching the most recent data on the Tulsa region; and prospective new businesses seeking a cost-effective community in which to consider relocation. The site contains demographics, cost of living index, economic profile, workforce analysis, largest employers list, business snapshots and much more, GrowMetroTulsa.com is a one-stop shop for anyone who does or is considering doing business in the Tulsa region.
Information and resources from the previous site have not been lost. The newly, reorganized information allows individual users to quickly and easily find the information sought. General categories of interest at the top including small business, residential, tourism, government and economic development, among others, help users narrow their search. Detailed section menus on each page further expedite searches for specific information. However, browsing is also encouraged with all the related information for a specific subject located in one easy-to-view place.
The new workforce attraction Web site, ChooseTulsaJobs.com, was created to advance recruiting efforts for the community’s growing demand for talented workers. The site provides a valuable, user-friendly online destination for both job seekers and recruiting professionals.
ChooseTulsaJobs.com showcases the quality of life and career growth opportunities Tulsa has to offer professionals at any stage of employment – from the new college graduate to the seasoned professional employee. Additionally, the site includes a list of major public and private companies headquartered in Tulsa, relocation information for job seekers and family members, and a look at the area’s top industries: aerospace, energy, health care, technology, manufacturing and transportation.
Both the www.GrowMetroTulsa.com and www.ChooseTulsaJobs.com Web sites are directly tied to the Chamber’s economic development program called Tulsa’s Future. Tulsa’s Future is focused on assisting the region’s valuable, existing companies with expansion opportunities and recruiting prospective new businesses. This focus on job creation is equally balanced with workforce attraction.
The TulsaChamber.com and GrowMetroTulsa.com Web sites were designed and programmed by Chamber member Cubic. The customized, content management system called FireApp allows the Chamber to manage the content of multiple sites from one administration program. The ChooseTulsaJobs.com Web site was designed by Chamber member BlueView and programmed by Cubic.
Tulsa Metro Chamber info available via Twitter and Facebook
The Chamber is participating in the popular social networking sites, Twitter and Facebook, to further strengthen communication with members and the community. Easily accessed on the Chamber’s new homepage, members are encouraged to follow Chamber alerts via Twitter.
“Social media communications is an effective tool to quickly ‘push’ information to a large audience,” said Sheila Curley, Chamber’s vice president of marketing and communications. “The Chamber, in turn, also follows our members so we can recycle his or her information to our audiences.”
A fan page for the Tulsa Metro Chamber is available via Facebook allowing for discussion opportunities and reminders of upcoming events.
For more information about the Chamber’s participation in social networking or how to establish it for your business, watch for upcoming stories in the Monday Memo and Chamber Report newsletters.
Member communication changes
In an effort to more effectively communicate with members and lessen the impact on members’ growing inboxes, the Chamber is reducing its number of weekly e-communications.
Members will continue to receive the Monday Memo containing news alerts and up-to-date information on the Chamber’s program-of-work. On Thursday morning, members will receive a weekly e-alert called Calendar @ a glance detailing information on approaching Chamber events.
Finally, members receive during the State legislative session, a Legislative Update, every Friday morning with the latest information on the region’s OneVoice Legislative Agenda. Members also receive a monthly e-newsletter from the Convention and Visitors Bureau describing the latest activities in the tourism industry.
The Chamber remains conservative in its policies regarding member communications and is respectful to not inundate our members with too much information. Please do not hesitate to contact the Chamber’s marketing and communications team with questions or concerns regarding e-communications at CommunicationsTeam@TulsaChamber.com.
$1.3 million raised in first two weeks of Resource Campaign
Resource Campaign volunteers gathered at Texas Roadhouse, 11111 E. 71st St., last Thursday to celebrate the first two weeks of the 2009 Resource Campaign.
Volunteers and campaign leadership celebrated a grand total of just over $1.3 million raised in the first two weeks of the 10-week campaign, more than half of the total $2.3 million goal.
At the rewards lunch for all volunteers, top producers were announced and awarded a trip for two to Whistler, British Columbia. In all, 21 volunteers have been awarded the trip.
At the first rewards lunch of the 2009 campaign, Tulsa Metro Chamber Executive Vice President Matt Pivarnik stressed the importance of the campaign to the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s reach and effectiveness each year.
“The Chamber’s operating budget is $9 million annually,” said Pivarnik. “This campaign and the money you’re raising will make up almost a quarter of our budget. That’s huge. We couldn’t do this without you.”
Pivarnik went on to share some of the Chamber’s rich history from its origins as the Commercial Club in 1903 to some of its greatest achievements including a 60-year commitment resulting in the funding to construct the Kerr McClellan Arkansas River Navigation System and the Port of Catoosa. Pivarnik also shared how the Chamber enticed a small, private college in Muskogee to move to an area east of downtown in 1915 by raising money and sharing the cost to acquire the land resulting in the University of Tulsa.
The examples shared by Pivarnik reminded volunteers of the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s commitment to seeing Tulsa thrive and how their role as volunteers was directly responsible in helping the Chamber continue its mission.
The Chamber’s annual Resource Campaign, which generates revenue by selling sponsorships and memberships, officially kicked off on March 31. Approximately 150 volunteers will help raise the $2.3 million goal amount by connecting businesses with Chamber sponsorship opportunities for maximum exposure and return.
If you would like to learn more about available sponsorships or trade opportunities with the Tulsa Metro Chamber, contact Karen Humphrey, campaign director, at email@example.com or call 560-0250.
This annual campaign contributes approximately 23 percent of the Chamber’s total annual budget, all of which is directly returned to Chamber members in the form of business-building events and initiatives that benefit the entire community.
Capitol lunch emphasizes OneVoice priority issues
Leaders of the Tulsa Metro Chamber, Tulsa regional business community and area legislators gathered at the Faculty House in Oklahoma City last Wednesday to recap important issues as the legislative session draws near a close.
Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal began the lunch with an overview of issues on the OneVoice Legislative Agenda including including funding for the Arkansas River , which moved to the top priority position when last year’s signed bill for funding was ruled unconstitutional.
“This was an issue we thought we put to bed last year, but extenuating circumstances have brought it back up,” said Neal to State legislators. “I want to reiterate special thanks to Rep. Dan Sullivan and the guys who voted with us on this in the House. As it moves to the Senate, we ask you to consider your constituents and what’s in their best interest.”
Being heard as SB 239, the Arkansas River funding bill has passed the House and is now before the Senate awaiting acceptance of House amendments. It authorizes the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority to issue $25 million in bonds to pay for dams at Sand Springs and Jenks and to refurbish Zink Lake in Tulsa. These low-water dams are considered infrastructure, which is approved, built, owned and maintained by state funds and will also spur private investment.
Other top issues in critical stages right now include SB 111, the Education Accountability Reform Act, which transfers specific duties of the State Board of Education to the Education Oversight Board. After passing the House Appropriations and Budget Committee by a vote of 9-6 last week, the bill will go to the House for consideration this week.
“Senate Bill 1111 adds for more transparency and the elimination of politics in testing,” said Rep. Jabar Shumate. “It will allow for a good analysis for our students of where we are and where we need to be. We can’t grow as a state and region if the children in our schools aren’t where they need to be.”
This legislation is the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s highest priority for education reform this year and advocacy efforts will continue as the bill progresses.
Another education-related bill discussed at the lunch was SB 834, the School District Empowerment Program authored by Sen. John Ford and Rep. Tad Jones. The Chamber supports this legislation, which aims to eliminate many unfunded mandates on local school districts, which have negatively impacted their ability to develop innovative approaches and programs.
This bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 60-39 and now goes to the Senate.
Also discussed was opposition to HJR 1042, SB 1156 and SB 1120, all issues pertaining to English being proclaimed as the official state language. What’s being termed a “complicated conversation” is taking place over three measures, which have to do with the English-only issue. Rep. Randy Terrill continues to work for a statewide vote to amend the Oklahoma Constitution to make English the official language of state government. However, the Chamber feels such a statewide referendum will bring negative national and international attention to Oklahoma, portraying it as restrictive to other cultures and unreceptive to international business and visitors. A competing measure designates English as the state’s “common language” and is acceptable to many, including the Chamber. Legislative leaders have been discussing this issue privately and are seeking a solution to an impasse.
As these important bills continue to make their way through the capitol, please look for the Legislative Update distributed each Friday from the Chamber to stay informed on these and other important issues.
Chamber recognizes outstanding Partners in Education
Tulsa Metro Chamber recognized 11 organizations at a reception last week for outstanding partnerships with Tulsa Public Schools. Recipients were chosen from success stories submitted by both partners and schools.
Each year, the Chamber chooses one organization or company that stands out from the rest to receive the Partner of the Year Award. The 2008-09 recipient was Project Elf, a non-profit organization of more than 500 volunteer “elves” who help fill various needs within the community. Project Elf partners with eight TPS schools and is willing to assist any other school seeking support for a child.
The mission of Project Elf is not to draw attention to those who give, but to strengthen the foundation of the community by helping kids with the basics. Terri Hozhabri and Laurie Tilley got the idea to start Project Elf from the many stories they heard about Tulsa children with no shoes or winter coats. Through regular e-mail updates, the organization’s “elves” learn about a variety of needs at Tulsa schools. Whether it is assisting schools with field trips or special programs, or helping families in dire situations, the “elves” always respond.
For additional information about Project Elf, visit www.ProjectElf.org.
2009 Award Recipients
• Partner of the Year
Project Elf, partners with eight TPS schools
• Chittom Challenge Award
Rita Kukura, counselor, Cooper Elementary School
• Valuable Investment Award
FOMC (Families of Murdered Children), Jackson Elementary
• Outstanding Small Business Partner
James Shirley Management Consultants, Marshall Elementary
• Award for Excellence
Metropolitan Baptist Church, KIPP Tulsa Academy
• Investing in the Future Award
First United Methodist Church, Eugene Field Elementary
• Champions Award
320 S. Boston Inc., Anderson Elementary
• Dedicated Partnership Award
State Farm Insurance Companies, Foster Middle School
• Outstanding Faith-Based Partner
Garnett Church of Christ, Cooper Elementary ary
• Above & Beyond Partner
Atlas Pipeline, Addams Elementary
• Outstanding District Partner
Barnes & Noble, TPS District
TYPros raises $12,300 for Big Brothers Big Sisters
More than 100 young professionals raised $12,300 during TYPros’ first-ever bowling night to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. The event was part of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ 20th annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser. Proceeds go directly toward matching children with Big Brother and Big Sister volunteers.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters could not fulfill our mission without the support of community partners, such as TYPros,” said Sharla Hall, interim CEO for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma . “Not only do we have 100 TYPros members serving as Bigs, but they are also raising significant funds to help us match more kids in the Tulsa community. We are impressed with their commitment to make Tulsa a better place for children to grow up.”
TYPros members who participated dressed in ‘80s-themed gear and played ‘80s trivia in honor of Bowl for Kids’ Sake’s 20th anniversary. TYPros’ raised the second largest amount of any organization or company that participated in 2009.
“Our members really stepped up, because they believe in the mission of Big Brothers and Big Sisters,” said Chris Oden, executive director of Tulsa’s Young Professionals. “We are proud to serve the Tulsa community and know that when young professionals join together, we can impact positive change.”
Big Resources for Small Businesses
Take full advantage of your Chamber membership and help your bottom line this year by utilizing the Small Business Resource Center, a service offered to help members start a new venture or grow an existing business. Services available through the Small Business Resource Center:
• NEW resource partner referral service: SourceLink is a new central referral network that links small and emerging business owners in the Tulsa area to countless local resource partners who provide services to help small businesses grow and prosper. SourceLink resources can be accessed by calling 560-0235 or toll-free at 888-4-BIZ-411 (888-424-9411).
• Tulsa regional business listings
The Dun & Bradstreet database includes detailed contact and demographic information on more than 45,000 businesses in an 11-county region around Tulsa. These businesses can be targeted to produce a customized list using location, industry, employee count, and other parameters to pinpoint a target market. Once criteria are determined, an Excel spreadsheet is provided that can easily be sorted for mailings, call lists and market research.
• Nationwide population and consumer demographics
Research by specific location criteria and discover the demographic makeup of the area around your business by age, race, income, consumer expenditures and more. Information can then be compared to similar markets anywhere in the Nation.
• Salary profiles
This powerful salary research database can help you evaluate if your employees’ compensation is comparable to similar companies in Tulsa and around the nation. Results can be narrowed to industry, sales volume and size. The Salary Assessor program contains more than 6,500 job titles for comparison.
• Relocation comparisons
This database is a useful tool when hiring an employee from another location in the United States. The Relocation Assessor compares the cost of living expenses from one city to another, showing the benefits of living and working in the Tulsa area.
We know there are never enough hours in a day and it is often difficult to get away from the office. That is why information from the Center is also available to you by e-mail. For more information about the Small Business Resource Center or to make an inquiry, contact Warren Unsicker, small business program manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 560-0235.
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.
William (Bill) Clary, Chief Executive Officer
420 South 145th East Avenue, Mail Drop A
Tulsa, OK 74108
Rick Butefish, Owner
11403 East 19th Street, Ste. C
Tulsa, OK 74128
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