Try this tip at Thursday’s Business After Hours
The Tulsa Metro Chamber's highly-attended networking event, Business After Hours, is being held this Thurs., Feb. 11 from 5-7 p.m. at the newly renovated Tulsa Convention Center, and to help overcome a commonly awkward experience, check out this networking tip from etiquette expert Cynthia Lett.
If two people are deep in conversation, rather than interrupting, wait for one of them to turn toward the room. Then make eye contact and introduce yourself. He should introduce you to the other person, but if not, do it yourself. Repeat your full name which the other person may not have caught. Later, if you’re stuck in a conversation you’d like to end, try: “I know you want to meet others, and I’m glad we had the chance to speak. I wish you well with your project.”
Put Lett’s tip to the test by inviting customers, coworkers and friends to the region's premier networking event with more than 600 individuals from the Tulsa regional business community in a relaxed, after-hours atmosphere while exhibitors showcase their products and services.
Follow @TulsaChamber on Twitter for details on how you can win free tickets to the event this week. The Chamber also encourages participating vendors to consider offering special prizes or giveaways to their Twitter audience at Business After Hours.
And don't miss the $500 balloon drop.
Cost to attend is $5 for members and parking is free in the Convention Center garage. To register contact Elaine Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918.560.0298 or click here to register online.
Networking tip source: www.businessweek.com
Tulsa Tough Kids program needs community votes to win $50,000Pepsi Refresh Project is awarding 10 $50,000 grants to ideas receiving the most votes
The Tulsa Sports Commission is asking the Tulsa region and bike enthusiasts across the nation for their support as they compete for one of 10 $50,000 grants being award by Pepsi through the Pepsi Refresh Project.
Tulsa Tough Ride & Race submitted a proposal to Pepsi outlining the purpose, goals and plan for the Tough Kids Bike Program now in its fourth year. The program awards bikes provided by The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis to kids successfully completing the Tough Kids Challenge. Pepsi accepted the proposal as one of 1,000 ideas competing for a total of $1.3 million in grants. Ideas are posted online and voted on by the public. Ideas receiving the highest number of votes by the end of the month will be awarded grants at various funding levels.
To vote for the Tulsa Tough Kids Program, visit www.refresheverything.com/TulsaTough before Sun., Feb. 28. One vote per person, per day is counted.
The Tough Kids Challenge is a program of the Tulsa Tough Ride & Race scheduled for June 4-6 and was developed to help promote health and fitness to children in grades third through fifth by requiring participants to attend bicycle safety education training, a skills and drills class and participate in the 8-mile Townie Ride on Sun., June 6 to earn a free bike.
Tulsa and Oklahoma face challenging health statistics with high rates of obesity and various societal and health side effects. One goal of Tulsa Tough is to change behavior patterns by engaging the community starting with elementary school-aged children through the Tulsa Tough Kids Bike Program, which combines community outreach, awareness, education and fitness.
“In short, if we can show kids how to safely ride their bikes we may be able to get them to ride to school, to a friend’s house or the store,” said Malcolm McCollam, Tulsa Tough event director. “We can potentially change their future and our own through improved health outcomes and self confidence.”
This year marks a major milestone for the project when the 1,000th bike will be awarded.
“We are beginning to see the impact of the program and believe we are setting a model other communities around the world can use,” said McCollam.
Tulsa Tough was created in 2006 by the Tulsa Sports Commission and the Tulsa Wheelmen. The three-day cycling festival is designed to promote fitness and healthy lifestyles while showcasing the beautiful city of Tulsa, Okla. Tulsa Tough offers events and spectating opportunities for everyone with professional-level races, recreational and tour rides; kids and youth activities; live music; and vendors in one action-packed weekend. For more information, please visit www.tulsatough.com.
TPS school board election tomorrow
Tulsa Metro Chamber encourages Tulsa-area voters to participate in the TPS School Board election, scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 9. Candidates are running for open seats in Districts 4 and 7 and include Anna America, Bobbie Gray (incumbent, District 4), Lois Jacobs, and Matt Livingood (incumbent, District 7).
Schools in District 4 include Columbus, Cooper, Disney, Kerr, Lindbergh, Mayo, Peary, Sandburg and Skelly elementary schools, Foster and Lewis and Clark middle schools and East Central High School. Schools in District 7 includes Carnegie, Grimes, Grissom, Patrick Henry, Key, Marshall and McClure elementary schools, Nimitz and Thoreau middle schools, and Memorial High School.
About the candidates
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.
Gray is the incumbent of District 4 and 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.
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.
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 leaders meet with NSU and Cherokee Nation leaders
Members of the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s senior management team spent two days in Tahlequah last week to learn more about Northeastern State University and the Cherokee Nation.
President and CEO Mike Neal and Executive Vice President Matt Pivarnik met with Chief Chad Smith, Cherokee Nation Business President David Stewart and group leaders for the Cherokee Nation. The visit included a tour of the Cherokee Nation headquarters and the Cherokee Nation Heritage Center. The Chamber shared its vision for economic development and education in the Tulsa region while discussing the Cherokee Nation’s industry expansion and legislative priorities.
The visit also included several meetings with NSU President Dr. Don Betz and his management team. The group toured expansions on the NSU campus and its popular Jazz Lab featuring student artists. Discussions centered on NSU’s plans for academic expansion and committed to the Chamber’s vision for regionalism.
The Tahlequah Mayor Purdy and Chamber Executive Director David Moore also joined the group for discussions surrounding the Chamber’s regional OneVoice legislative agenda.
“This was a tremendous opportunity to learn more about the Cherokee Nation and Northeastern State University,” said Neal. “Fostering relationships helps build consensus in the region today and in the future. Chief Chad Smith and Dr. Betz are exceptional leaders in Oklahoma.”
Additional attendees from the Chamber team included: Jim Fram, sr vice president of economic development; Susan Harris, sr vice president of education and workforce; Gwendolyn Caldwell, vice president of government relations; Sheila Curley, vice president of communications and marketing; and Angie Walters, executive assistant to Mike Neal.
Oklahoma Scholars program seeking volunteers
Now in its sixth year, the Chamber’s Oklahoma Scholars program encourages high school students to complete a more rigorous course of study. Oklahoma Scholars is a partnership between Tulsa Metro Chamber and Tulsa Public Schools that calls on area businesses and school volunteers to assist in encouraging students to complete challenging courses during high school to better prepare for jobs or higher education post-graduation.
The Scholars Course of Study gives area students the foundation needed to succeed in a technical school, community college, university, military or industry. With a Scholars background, an individual is a more appealing employment candidate and more likely to complete training or education that leads to better jobs and better pay.
The Chamber is seeking volunteers to give presentations about the program to eighth-grade students this spring. If you are interested in becoming an Oklahoma Scholar volunteer presenter, please contact Heather Johnson at 918.560.0218 or email@example.com.
Oklahoma Scholars is endorsed by employers, Tulsa Public Schools, Oklahoma Business Education Coalition and the Tulsa Metro Chamber. The Scholars Course of Study meets the graduation requirements set by the Oklahoma State Board of Education.
Affordable insurance options 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.
Save on office supplies as a member benefit
The newest members-only benefit provided by the Tulsa Metro Chamber is helping Chamber members save money on the office supplies they use every day to run a successful business.
A program entered into with Office Depot now allows Tulsa Metro Chamber members the opportunity to participate in the nation's largest office supply discount program.
Step 1: Sign up
Go to tulsachamber.com/officedepot and follow the link to the Office Depot portal to create a new account.
• Access to private website for order placement
• Free next-day delivery of in-stock items for orders over $50
• In-store discounts
• Additional discounts based on order size
• No contract or sign-on fees
Step 2: Order supplies
Shop online or in the store to receive great savings on hundreds of supplies used every day.
Step 3: Save money
Besides deep discounts on a core products list, members will also receive:
• Up to 83 percent off 196 key items on your "Best Buy List"
• Up to 10 percent off retail pricing on general catalog items
• Up to 20 percent off technology items through Tech Depot
• Up to 20 percent off copy print items
• Up to 10 percent off promotional products
For questions regarding the sign up process or problems with your account, contact Bobby Bingham at 918.845.5845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Chamber membership, contact Karen Humphrey at 918-560-0250 or email@example.com.