Chamber employees earn new distinction
Two Tulsa Metro Chamber employees earned a distinguished certification last week after completing their fourth and final year of the Institute for Organization Management.
Ruth Littlefield, vice president, membership development and relations, and Chris Oden, executive director of Tulsa’s Young Professionals, graduated last week from Institute, a four-year nonprofit leadership training program at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
“We are very proud of Ruth and Chris’s dedication and commitment toward earning this distinction,” said Tulsa Metro Chamber Executive Vice President Matt Pivarnik. “I know the knowledge they’re bringing back to the Chamber will be of great benefit to our organization.”
Graduates of Institute receive the IOM recognition, signifying completion of 96 hours of course instruction in nonprofit management. In addition, participants can earn points toward the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) or Certified Association Executive (CAE) certifications. Nearly 1,000 individuals attend Institute annually. In all, six Tulsa Metro Chamber employees have graduated from the program.
Pivarnik, who was appointed to the Board of Regents last year, also served as the 2010 chair of the winter Institute.
“Institute is a rigorous program of study designed to equip students with tools and resources they can use within their own organizations to strengthen and increase effectiveness of the organization as a whole,” said Pivarnik. “For this reason, the Chamber greatly values Institute and strongly encourages and assists our employees in completing it.”
Since 1921, Institute has attracted association and chamber professionals from across the country to its five university sites. During the four-years, most Institute participants attend the one-week sessions at the same site, building valuable relationships with others in the industry. Through a combination of required courses and electives, Institute participants are able to enhance their own organizational management skills and add new fuel to their organizations, making them run more efficiently and effectively.
Institute is a 501(c) (3) affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is the premier nonprofit professional development program for association and chamber professionals, fostering individual growth through interactive learning and networking opportunities.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.
Tulsa’s Young Professionals launches new Web site
Tulsa’s Young Professionals introduced a redesigned, multimedia Web site last week featuring a ‘local sound’ music player, new blog, photo gallery, interactive events calendar and more. Nearing its fifth anniversary, TYPros continues to evolve as does the need to utilize the latest technology.
“We are continually seeking effective ways to communicate with our nearly 6,500 members, and this Web site allows us to keep young professionals informed via a variety of methods,” said Michael Christian, 2010 TYPros chair and assistant vice president of alternative investments at Bank of Oklahoma.
The Web site, www.TYPros.org, presents an updated, user-friendly look and feel. Members will find something new each time they visit with a special photo gallery, “latest Tweet” feed, event vidcasts and a blog. The weekly blog is written by Tulsa native and lifetime TYPros member Kristin Ware, and visitors to the site can leave comments.
In order to increase young talent recruitment efforts, a special section was added to the site with information about living and working in Tulsa. Music, sustainability, diversity, education and other topics are included. Additionally, both TYPros members and non-members can view the organization’s history, read the latest news, and learn how to become more involved through work crews and other volunteer opportunities, including the 2010 TYPros community initiative, Junior Achievement.
TYPros encourages members to visit the new site frequently to stay up-to-date on events, news and initiatives. Members are also invited to follow the organization on the social media sites Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Small Business Council announces mission/vision statement
The Chamber’s Small Business Council voted to implement a mission/vision statement at its meeting last week. The Council serves as the voice of small business in Tulsa and is comprised of business owners who serve as mentors to early-stage businesses and develop programs of value to the small business community.
The mission/vision statement is: To be advocates for the economic prosperity of small business by continuing to bring to fruition new and innovative programs.
The statement embodies the purpose of the Council, said Cari Marshall, 2010 Small Business Council chair and owner of L&M Office Furniture.
“We represent all small business, not only in voice, but also through the education, legislative and economic forums and programs we develop and/or represent,” Marshall said. “It is important to the Small Business Council to be able to unite under this statement, as it sets forth the direction and the responsibility we have to all small businesses in our area.”
Council goals include helping educate, promote and strengthen businesses in the tough economy, growing the Let’s Do Business business-to-business buy-regional program, and continuing representation in the Chamber’s OneVoice legislative agenda. The group will also launch additional developmental opportunities in 2010 through outreach and Web-based tools.
Tulsa Public Schools hold school board elections
Elections for Tulsa Public Schools’ District 4 and District 7 School Board seats are scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 9. Candidates selected for the positions will serve four-year terms.
About the candidates
Anna America is running for the District 4 board seat. She is currently the executive director of Up With Trees, and previously served as aide of communications and special projects for former Mayor Kathy Taylor, communications coordinator for the City of Tulsa and managing editor of the Tulsa Sentinel. America volunteers with PlaniTulsa, Habitat for Humanity and the Eisenhower International School PTA.
Bobbie Gray, the incumbent of District 4, has served as a TPS School Board member since 1996. She is currently a full-time realtor, and her past experience includes the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission and numerous other community organizations.
Dr. Lois Jacobs, a candidate for District 7, is a Tulsa-area dentist. Jacobs earned a bachelor of science from University of Iowa, completed residency in anesthesiology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and completed a Pharm D. at the University of Oklahoma. Jacobs has held previous appointments at Oral Roberts University and writes test questions for the national board.
Matt Livingood, incumbent for District 7, has been a Tulsa School Board member since 2001. He currently teaches history at Street School and previously taught middle school in Kentucky; served as a general practice attorney with expertise in family law, small business issues and mediation; and was owner of a dispute resolutions service firm, Just Decisions, LLC.
Tulsa Metro Chamber will host a forum featuring the four school board candidates, 8:30 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 14 in the Chamber’s second floor conference room, 2 W. Second St. Each candidate will discuss his or her platform, and goals for TPS and the school board. A brief Q&A session will follow. There is no cost to attend, but seating is limited. For information or to register, contact Sharon Goswick at email@example.com or 918.560.0276.
Nominations now being accepted for 2010 Small Business Awards
The Chamber will honor Tulsa’s rising entrepreneurs at the 2010 Crystal Star Small Business Awards in April, and the nomination process has begun. Business members are invited to nominate an esteemed colleague to receive recognition for his or her business efforts.
The Crystal Star is awarded annually to small business practitioners who, in the judgment of their peers, exemplify professional skill and leadership and are champions in their fields. Nominations are accepted in 10 categories, including:
• Small Business Person
• Entrepreneurial Success
• Small Business Exporter
• Young Entrepreneur
• Family Owned Business
• Financial Services Champion
• Home-Based Business Champion
• Minority Small Business Champion
• Veteran Small Business Champion
• Women in Business Champion
Nominees must be Tulsa Metro Chamber members and in business a minimum of three years. All nominations will be considered and reviewed by the Small Business Awards Committee. Along with Tulsa-area recognition, winners are nominated for state-level awards with a chance to proceed to regional or national level.
Nominations close Jan. 22. Winners will be recognized at the Chamber’s annual awards luncheon Wednesday, April 28, at Tulsa Marriott Southern Hills.
24th Annual Chili Bowl Nationals kick off tomorrowEvent expected to have a $15 million economic impact
An international field of competitors will swarm upon Tulsa January 12-16 for the 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals at Tulsa Expo Raceway inside the QuikTrip Center at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds.
A total of 260 entries have been filed representing 27 different states from coast to coast as well as New Zealand, Australia and Canada. Additionally, with only nine percent of attendees from the local region, the Chili Bowl Nationals draws a great crowd of visitors to the city with an estimated economic impact of $15 million.
Pre-qualifying begins Tuesday night, January 12th with qualifying events taking place Wednesday night through Friday. The event concludes with Saturday night’s 50-lap Chili Bowl championship event.
Always a popular attraction at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, the Trade Show will be open to the public each day (Tuesday through Saturday) free of charge. All variety of racing products, apparel and more is available with well over 100 different vendors. The Trade Show covers approximately 20,000 square feet.
Four-day tickets for the event are already sold out, but a limited number of reserved seats for Tuesday night's Warren CAT Qualifying Event and the Second Annual Vacuworx International Chili Bowl Race of Champions are available for $26 per person and may be obtained by calling 918.838.3777 or at the gate. Pit passes for all five nights are available at the gate as well.
Portions of the 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals will be broadcast on SPEED TV on a tape-delayed basis.
For more information about the Chili Bowl Nationals, including official entry lists, race results and recaps, please visit chilibowl.com. Also, all five nights of the Chili Bowl Nationals will be broadcast live (audio) on racinboys.com.