Chamber urges Gov. Henry to approve SB 1111
SB 1111, the Educational Accountability Reform Act, is the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s highest priority for education this legislative session. Gov. Henry is considering a veto before a Wednesday deadline.
Please contact Gov. Henry IMMEDIATELY and ask that he approve SB 1111 for the following reasons:
• After years of working on data and assessment improvements, education accountability reform is the business community’s highest education priority issue for the session.
• SB 1111 is good government. If Oklahoma is to close the achievement gap, we must move the accountability responsibility for education to an independent agency. This is commonsense check and balance – not unlike businesses having an independent audit.
• Currently, parents are led to believe Oklahoma’s students are faring well when national data suggests otherwise. We must have transparency in data and testing results.
• Oklahoma cannot continue to lag behind while leading states are making significant improvements in student achievement and closing the gaps between disadvantaged and middle income children.
• The business community knows Oklahoma cannot prosper without a well-educated workforce. Oklahoma must prove schools graduate educated students prepared to compete in a global economy. It’s simply impossible to verify among our current system.
• This change has no impact on the state budget. The staff and budget follow with the functions.
Please urge Gov. Henry to sign SB 1111. Contact his office at 405-521-2342 or email: email@example.com
Tulsa named best place to live in the U.S.
The country's best-kept secret is out. Relocate America has declared Tulsa the No. 1 place to live in the U.S.
Relocate America's TOP 100 Places To Live! list is compiled using data regarding local economy, housing, education, employment, crime, parks and recreation, and other statistics used to make home-buying decisions.
Communities around the country are nominated by residents, and information is submitted about neighborhoods, the city's beauty, quality of schools, recreational activities and economic growth. The TOP 100 Places to Live! list is published annually.
“This ranking corroborates exactly what the Chamber uses to sell the Tulsa region 365 days of the year,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO. “We are fairing much better during the national recession than many of our peer cities because of our diversified industries, quality of life and cost of living.”
The Chamber is using this ranking and others like it to tell Tulsa’s story. The region is experiencing resurgence due to investments made by the community in Vision 2025, streets, Four to Fix the County, education and private business.
Tulsa has also been identified as the fifth best city in the nation to ride out the recession, according to Forbes.com.
"We have one of the strongest real estate markets in the country, and Tulsa is experiencing job growth other cities are not during this national recession," said Bob Ball, economist for the Chamber. "Additionally, our cost of living is 11.5 percent below the national average. When you consider all of this quality of life data, Tulsa is an attractive community to both businesses and relocating families."
To view the Top 100 Places to Live!, visit RelocateAmerica.com.
Top 10 Places to Live
Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
Little Rock, Ark.
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Volunteers surpass $1.5 million during week three
Resource Campaign volunteers were treated to a rewards lunch at Ti Amo’s Italian Ristorante, 6024 S. Sheridan, last Thursday where Campaign Chairman John Bowen announced week three totals for this year have surpassed last year’s week three totals.
“We are nearly $50,000 ahead of where we were this time last year,” said Bowen in the chairman’s message for the campaign’s weekly newsletter. “This is a phenomenal feat given the current state of the economy and is a true testament to you, our amazing volunteers.”
Nearly $1.5 million has been raised by the third week of the 10-week campaign, leaving a little more than $830,000 left to reach the $2.3 million goal.
At the lunch, top producers were announced and awarded a trip for two to Whistler, British Columbia. In all, 22 volunteers have been awarded the trip.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Next week’s rewards lunch will be on Thursday, April 31 at Bonefish Grill, 4651 W. Kenosha St.
Chamber encourages members to engage in social networking
The Chamber is participating in the popular social networking sites, Twitter and Facebook, and is encouraging member companies to establish their own presence in the social networking world. Already more than 380 individuals and companies are following @TulsaChamber on Twitter and approximately 15-20 new followers are added each day.
“Twitter is the first place the Chamber is releasing breaking news,” said Sheila Curley, Chamber’s vice president of marketing and communications. “It serves as an excellent news platform to reach members, elected officials and media outlets. An alert is limited to only 140 characters so expanded stories are available on the Chamber Web site and via email.”
Social networking sites allow for instant communication among members. Thus, whether a company is looking for a specific service, wants to take an impromptu survey or wants to quickly disseminate information about its own products or services, social media provides the outlet.
Followers of the Chamber will also gain an engaged audience and active partner able to dramatically multiply an individual’s reach. Additionally, the Chamber seeks to strengthen communication with members and the community by dispersing pertinent news and information. Thus, members are encouraged to follow Chamber alerts via Twitter, which is easily accessed on the Chamber’s new homepage.
A fan page for the Tulsa Metro Chamber is also available via Facebook allowing for discussion opportunities and reminders of upcoming events.
Local marketing and public relations firms are now hiring full-time social media strategists to assist clients. Search the Chamber’s online Member Directory or its buy-regional website at www.LetsDoBusinessTulsa.com to find local firms.
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.
Teach for America announces expansion into Tulsa, founder to speak at Chamber event
In a press conference last week, Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard announced Teach for America’s decision to expand educational opportunities for students in Tulsa.
“Teach for America has a long track record of providing talented educators who do whatever it takes to help their students succeed,” Ballard said in a press release. “I am thrilled to welcome their corps of members into our classrooms this fall.”
Teach for America is a national corps comprised of recent college graduates from all academic majors who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools in an effort to eliminate educational inequity. Through the nonprofit program, 50 top college graduates will teach in Tulsa’s highest-need schools. An additional 50 teachers will come to Tulsa each of the following two years.
The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, George Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Williams Foundation are the founding investors in Teach for America’s Tulsa site. Significant support is also being provided by QuikTrip Corporation and Tulsa Public Schools.
Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach for America, will discuss the program and how it is helping to eliminate educational inequities in cities around the country during her keynote speech at Tulsa Metro Chamber’s annual State of Education Address, April 29.
Join the Chamber for the State of Education address, noon-1:30, Wednesday, April 29 at the Doubletree Hotel Tulsa Downtown, 616 W. Seventh St. Cost to attend is $30 per member, or $1,500 for a corporate table of eight. For reservations, click here, or contact Elaine Walsh at Walsh at 560.0298 or email@example.com.
Chamber representatives attend Small Business Day at the Capitol
Chamber leaders and members joined other chambers, small business owners and state agencies from around Oklahoma last week at the 11th annual Small Business Day at the Capitol, an event hosted by Lt. Gov. Jari Askins.
“Small businesses are the foundation of the Tulsa economy, and it is important for us to discuss with our legislators the issues that support and challenge entrepreneurs and small business,” said Kinnee Tilly, the Chamber’s vice president of business retention and expansion.
Hundreds of individuals attended to speak to state senators and representatives, and to hear special presentations from Lt. Gov. Askins; Natalie Shirley, secretary of commerce; Kim Holland, insurance commissioner; Larry Mocha, chair of the Oklahoma Small Business Advocacy Committee; Dottie Overal, Oklahoma state director of the Small Business Administration; and others.
“We need to listen more to find out what is going on in the small business community,” Mocha told attendees. “Through a series of town hall meetings, we will be asking small business owners what we can do at the state government to make small business better in Oklahoma.”
Tulsa will host the next Oklahoma Small Business Advocacy Committee town hall meeting, scheduled for June 4. Interested in attending? Learn more about the meeting in future issues of “Monday Memo.”
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.
TYPros advocates at Capitol for issues important to young professionals
Dozens of young professionals joined TYPros for a day at the capitol last week to advocate for river development, diversity, workforce, sustainability, health and other issues important to the YP community in Tulsa. Members made office visits to senators and representatives, and received special introductions in both the Senate and House chambers.
Several legislators met with TYPros to discuss a variety of topics and current bills, including Sens. Andrew Rice, Kenneth Corn, Judy Eason-McIntyre and Gary Stanislawski; and Reps. Lucky Lamons, Tad Jones, Eric Proctor, Seneca Scott, Jabar Schumate and Skye McNiel.
“The day was very successful for our members,” said Chris Oden, executive director of Tulsa’s Young Professionals. “Those who attended met many Oklahoma legislators, had the opportunity to discuss issues important to them, and learned more about current and upcoming legislation.”
Attendees also learned how young professionals can continue to make a difference at the capitol.
“Take action, make calls, come to the capitol, and run for office,” Schumate said. “By engaging in the process, you get people excited and paying attention.”
“Get active at a local level and prove young professionals are a force to be reckoned with to show legislators what you want to see happen,” Rice added.
Lt. Gov. Jari Askins also spoke with TYPros members about their role in improving state government.
“Young professionals are the next generation of leaders. The more you can understand about the process and how it impacts the community, the faster you will learn who supports the issues important to you,” she said.
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.
Matrix Service Company
Mike Bradley, President CEO
5100 E. Skelly Drive, Suite 700
Tulsa, OK 74135
Tulsa Postal and Community Federal Credit Union
Mark Colley, President
1419 S. Denver Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74119
Shawna Clark, Store Team Leader
8722 East 71st St., Suite C
Tulsa, OK 74133
Victory Lane Quick Oil Change
Ed Chamberlain, Owner
6959 S. Peoria
Tulsa, OK 74136