Bartlett pledges to serve city
Inauguration for Tulsa’s new mayor and city councilors held at the Convention Center
Dewey Bartlett was officially sworn into office today as Tulsa’s new mayor along with nine city council members and the new city auditor.
Held in the newly constructed Convention Center ballroom, Bartlett expressed his excitement and gratitude to the city of Tulsa for electing him to lead the city during such a crucial time in our nation’s history.
“It is an honor to accept the position as the 39th mayor of Tulsa,” said Bartlett. “The Bartlett Administration will immediately begin the task of governing our fine city.”
In his inaugural speech, Bartlett also reiterated the vision and goals outlined in his campaign, which are:
• To make Tulsa the new energy capital.
• Find and facilitate new cooperative ventures.
• Support and emphasize the concept of customer service.
• Make certain anyone doing business with the city of Tulsa is met with red carpet treatment.
• Provide economic opportunities to the citizens of Tulsa.
Other elected officials joining Bartlett in an oath to serve with the city’s best interest in mind were City Councilors Jack Henderson (District 1), Rick Westcott (District 2), Roscoe Turner (District 3), Maria Barnes (District 4), Chris Trail (District 5), James Mautino (District 6), John Eagleton (District 7), Bill Christiansen (District 8) and G.T. Bynum (District 9). Preston Doerflinger was also sworn in as Tulsa’s city auditor.
The Tulsa Metro Chamber has a long track record of successfully working with both the mayor and city council to grow economic prosperity, create jobs and ensure this region’s businesses and workers are globally competitive.
“As the city turns the page, the Chamber shares the excitement of beginning a new chapter in our history,” said President and CEO Mike Neal. “We commend former Mayor Kathy Taylor for her valuable civic service. She’s been an outstanding representative and dynamic community leader.”
As the transition in leadership occurs, the Chamber is also eager to bring critical business legislation to the table and work with the city in all aspects for the benefit of the regional business community.
“The Chamber vows to work with Mayor Bartlett and the city council to help ensure a smooth transition of power and tackle the many serious issues facing the city,” said Neal. “We are absolutely committed to a continuity of government during this critical period for our city, and thus will work quickly to engage the new mayor in our successful One Voice legislative process and build critical relationships among regional partners.”
TU and OU partner on medical education program in Tulsa
University of Tulsa President Steadman Upham and University of Oklahoma President David Boren announced last week plans for a joint four-year medical education program in Tulsa to help address the state’s low health status, low health systems performance and physician shortage.
“Two top-notch Oklahoma universities are joining forces to ensure our region will continue to have access to quality doctors and quality health care,” said Tulsa Metro Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal. “Through programs like this, we will be able to keep our best and brightest in Oklahoma after they graduate. On behalf of our entire region, thank you to those who made this partnership happen.”
TU and OU have programs that will complement each other in this joint venture: TU has an existing core of science education and research programs, and OU has a residency and third- and fourth-year clinical medical student training program in Tulsa.
“Through this collaboration, we seek to effect real and dramatic gains in the health of Oklahomans,” Upham said in a press release. “The vision for this program is to produce physicians with a focus on community health, to address the social aspect of disease and wellness and to create equitable access to care for all Oklahomans. Our aim is to keep these doctors right here at home – living and working in Oklahoma’s communities.”
Representatives from both OU and TU will serve on a steering committee to coordinate all planning of the new School of Community Medicine. University officials have set a goal for the first class of the medical education program to begin studies in fall 2014.
“I am very excited that these two strong universities will work together to create a new model for a community medical school in Tulsa,” Boren said. “By pooling our resources and our excellent faculties in this area, we can develop a truly outstanding medical education for Tulsa and northeastern Oklahoma which can serve as an example for others across the nation.”
New vice president of government affairs officially joins Chamber
Gwendolyn Caldwell accepts position to lead Tulsa Metro Chamber legislative agendas
Last week was Gwendolyn Caldwell’s first day on the job as the Chamber’s new vice president of government affairs and she was busy familiarizing herself with the issues affecting to the Tulsa regional business community.
As she prepares to help lead the Chamber’s local, state and federal legislative agendas – a top priority for the Tulsa Metro Chamber – Caldwell will meet with Chamber constituents as well as regional elected officials to develop relationships and advocate on behalf of the OneVoice legislative agenda.
“Legislative success is critical to the Chamber’s program of work,” said Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal. “In order to advance the Tulsa region for economic prosperity, it’s vital we make our voice heard especially regarding pro-business legislation. Gwendolyn shares our same passion and determination and will work diligently on behalf of our region to strengthen our pro-business climate.”
Caldwell most recently served as legislative director in the Oklahoma State Senate and as an advisor to Senate Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee on policy and political issues. In this role she assisted the majority floor leader in the strategic management of the flow of legislation through committee and on the Senate floor.
“Gwendolyn Caldwell has been an invaluable asset for me for the past five years,” said Coffee. “Our success in passing pro-business, pro-prosperity legislation in Oklahoma has been due in no small part to her hard and effective work. I wish her the very best in her new position with the Tulsa Metro Chamber.”
Caldwell began her political affairs career in a constituent services role for Kansas’s 4th and 2nd Congressional District offices then represented by U.S. Congressmen Todd Tiahrt and Jim Ryun, respectively. To that end she managed constituent-related issues and was the main conduit of communication between the congressional office and its constituents.
“Her experience, not only at the state capital, but also in Washington, D.C., will be a tremendous asset to the Chamber’s government affairs program,” said Neal.
Caldwell later served as director of government relations for the American Cancer Society in Kansas to develop and manage local, state and federal lobbying efforts, campaign strategies and resources before volunteering her time to direct numerous state Senate campaigns.
In 2007, the leadership of the Tulsa Metro Chamber selected legislative success as one of its top priorities during the next five years. To that end, the Chamber is committing even more resources to ensure a return on investment to the Tulsa region.
As vice president of government affairs for the Chamber, Caldwell will oversee the development and management of the chamber’s government affairs program, which represents the collective best interest of chamber membership. The program involves working with membership on developing public policy, developing strategies to implement policies, developing relationships with elected officials at all levels and positioning the chamber as the lead business organization for public policy relating to a positive business climate.
Economists forecast 2010 will bring gradual upswing
Tulsa Metro Chamber and OSU Spears School of Business presented the Economic Outlook Conference last week featuring keynote speaker Jim Huntzinger, executive vice president and chief investment officer of BOK Financial Corporation, and Russell Evans, director of OSU’s Center of Applied Economic Research.
Huntzinger provided a national market outlook at consumer confidence, vehicle sales, U.S. money markets, credit spreads and other economic indicators. Leading indicators show signs of improvement in 2010, according to Huntzinger.
“The economic statistics are telling us the U.S. economy is starting to improve and will improve throughout next year,” he said. “We have seen positive indicator numbers since spring 2009, but some growth will be more subdued than you expect coming out of a deep recession. We aren’t fully out of the difficult mental environment we’ve been in, but we are doing better.”
Evans also believes the national and local economies will turn around in 2010, but says the key is “steady, predictable, reliable growth.” For the Tulsa MSA, Evans predicts non-farm wage and salary employment will follow national patterns – modest contraction and a return to growth in 2011; a slight rise in the unemployment rate before falling to just below 7 percent by year’s end; and a slow in real income growth.
A panel discussion included experts from industry sectors including advanced manufacturing, health care, aerospace, energy and logistics distribution. Panelists included Jim Bachman, plant manager at Lafarge; Tom Neff, senior vice president of strategic planning and corporate business development for Saint Francis Health System; Vic Bird, director of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission; Steve Malcolm, chairman, president and CEO of Williams; and Bob Portiss, port director of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa.
Click here to read coverage of the conference in the Tulsa World.
Convention and Visitors Bureau offers unique Tulsa gifts
Tulsa ornaments and snow globes available for purchase
A limited number of 2009 Tulsa holiday ornaments and snow globes featuring the Tulsa skyline are available for purchase through the Tulsa Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The two-dimensional ornament features the Arkansas River and comes individually packaged in a green perma-suede folder. The ornaments cost $18 each with optional stands available for purchase at an additional cost of $4.
The snow globes feature the Tulsa skyline in a traditional glass snow globe and are available for $45 each.
Proceeds from the ornament will benefit the CVB, which works to promote the city to national meeting and convention planners as well as individual visitors.
Ornaments and snow globes are available for shipping. The cost is $5 for one ornament and $2 for each additional ornament and $10 for snow globes. To place an order, please call 918.585.1201 or pick one up at the Visitor Information Office located in the Williams Tower II building at Two W. 2nd St.
Affordable insurance option for members
For a fourth year, the Tulsa Metro Chamber is partnering with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma to provide more affordable insurance to small businesses as a member benefit.
Chamber Choice is available to members with two to 50 employees.
o No medical underwriting
o BlueOptions PPO
o Blue Optimize PPO (new this year)
o BlueLincs HMO
o Prescription drug coverage
o Network availability in all 50 states
o Dental coverage available
o Group Term Life, Accidental Death & Dismemberment and disability coverage available
o Qualified Insure Oklahoma health plans
The Chamber expanded the program in 2006 to offer Chamber Choice to all surrounding chambers of commerce. The program is now offered in Bartlesville, Bixby, Broken Arrow, Claremore, Collinsville, Glenpool, Greater Tulsa Hispanic Chamber, Henryetta, Jenks, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Owasso, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Wagoner and Wynona. By partnering with the surrounding communities, the Tulsa Chamber is expanding the program's availability with the goal of keeping the workforce healthy and increasing small business owners' ability to provide for employees.
Today, nearly 700 employers are enrolled in the Chamber Choice plan covering more than 4,000 individuals.
Click here to download the 2009 Chamber Choice brochure.
To find out more about Chamber Choice, contact your Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma representative or call (918) 551-3385 or visit http://www.bcbsok.com/chamber_tulsa.html.
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.
Aesthetic Surgery of Tulsa
Robert E. Mitchell, M.D.
6802 S. Olympia Avenue, Suite G-113
Tulsa, OK 74132
Axxe Tax & Bookkeeping Services, Inc.
Nancy C. Johnson, President
1312 S. Garnett Road, Ste. AA
Tulsa, OK 74128
Mayo Hotel & Lofts LP
Wesley Ludloff, General Manager
115 West 5th Street
Tulsa, OK 74103