Tulsa’s Young Professionals launches small business incubator
TYPros announced last week the launch of The Forge, a business center created to accelerate the development, success and sustainability of start-ups and existing small businesses in the region.
The Forge, 206 S. Cheyenne Ave., includes a physical space for small businesses (similar to an incubator), a meeting place for entrepreneurs, and a resource of knowledge for creating the next generation of business leaders. Tenants of The Forge will include both small businesses owned by young professionals and those which cater to the young professional demographic.
“The Forge is tangible proof of what happens when minds come together united in making Tulsa a better, more prosperous city for all of us,” said Michael Christian, 2010 TYPros chair and assistant vice president of alternative investments for Bank of Oklahoma. “It’s a project unique to our region… unique because it was created by young professionals for young professionals.”
The Forge will host up to nine businesses. Currently there is one tenant, and applications are being accepted for the remaining spaces, which are made available at an affordable cost and include core services including utilities, phone and Internet access, office supplies and meeting spaces.
Don Walker, 2010 Tulsa Metro Chamber chair and president and CEO of Arvest Bank, said The Forge is one of TYPros’ most significant accomplishments and one that will have a lasting impact.
“When you create a place like The Forge where raw innovators are given the support, resources and know-how they need to build successful, sustainable companies, you revolutionize the business community,” Walker said.
Founding sponsor of The Forge is Arvest bank, which is providing a loaned executive to head the project. Karisha Arnett, vice president of the Next Division at Arvest and a former TYPros chair, will serve as executive director at The Forge. Benefactor sponsors include Cox Business, Glass Wilken, Jay & Associates, Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation and Tulsa’s Future, Inc.
For information about The Forge, eligibility and tenant selection criteria, visit www.TheForge-Tulsa.com or call 918.574.8700.
VisitTulsa names senior vice president
Tulsa Metro Chamber president and CEO Mike Neal announced last week the selection of Dave Nolan as senior vice president of VisitTulsa at a press conference with community leaders in the tourism industry.
“The search process to fill this post has been a lengthy one because of the importance we placed in finding the right person with the right direction to lead this program,” said Neal. “Dave Nolan is a top-tier professional with a major list of accomplishments. We are confident in his ability to build on our growing tourism industry.”
Nolan has more than 30 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry, which includes posts as the president and CEO for convention and visitors bureaus located in Toledo, Cleveland and Milwaukee. He also has experience in the private sector with more than 12 years at Marriott International and with Experient Inc.
As the senior vice president of VisitTulsa, the convention and visitors program of the Chamber, Nolan will oversee marketing and promotion of Tulsa with the goal of attracting national meetings, conventions and events as well as provide leadership and guidance to the Tulsa Sports Commission, a division of VisitTulsa. Nolan will report to the Chamber leadership and the VisitTulsa Advisory Council.
“Tulsa’s visitor assets are spectacular,” said Nolan. “The world-class BOK Center, the expanded Convention Center, major hotel investments, and Expo Square provide an excellent package to sell. These assets really set Tulsa apart from competitors when combined with the Chamber’s focus on making Tulsa a premier destination. The civic pride displayed in this community will allow us to work toward shared improvement and growth.
Nolan will officially join the Chamber on August 1, 2010. Developing a long-term vision through a strategic planning process with the VisitTulsa Advisory Council will be among his first duties.
Taskforce volunteers needed
The process of creating the 2011 OneVoice agenda begins now with the formation of taskforces who will identify top regional priorities for consideration on the OneVoice agenda.
The Tulsa Metro Chamber is asking Individuals to consider their areas of expertise and volunteer to serve on a taskforce that best aligns with their interests. Taskforces have been organized for the following areas:
• Health care
• Business retention and expansion
• Labor and human resources
• Regional tourism
• Small business
• Economy and taxes
• Energy and environment
To participate on a taskforce, please contact LToya Knighten at the Office of Government Affairs at (918) 560-0278 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Meetings are starting now.
Chamber’s business retention, expansion program honored
Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI) will recognize Tulsa Metro Chamber’s new Business Retention and Expansion program at the BREI/Southern Economic Development Council Joint Conference, Aug. 14-17 in New Orleans. The Chamber will accept the Multi-Community/Regional award for a population of more than 100,000, an award given annually to recognize innovative, effective and exemplary BRE programs.
“It is a tremendous honor for the Chamber to receive this level of recognition for a program still in its infancy,” said Stuart Solomon, president and COO of the Public Service Company of Oklahoma and the Chamber’s vice chairman of the board for economic development. “The Chamber’s expanded BRE program was launched just last year as a key economic development strategy to help Tulsa-area businesses grow and succeed. The Chamber’s BRE efforts have been very well-received by companies in our region, and it is great to see organizations such as Business Retention and Expansion International acknowledge the BRE program’s successes and accomplishments.”
The Chamber launched its peer-to-peer outreach BRE program in September 2009 in an effort to spur job creation and assist Tulsa-area businesses with both opportunities and challenges. The program is made possible with the assistance of more than 115 trained volunteer business leaders who accompany Chamber staff during on-site visits to area companies. More than 250 on-site visits have been completed in the first half of 2010, resulting in at least 10 local expansion projects, 350 new jobs and an economic impact of more than $66 million.
“The Chamber’s team of professionals is working to improve the economic vitality and quality
of life for its members and the Tulsa region,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Metro Chamber. “I commend our economic division for implementing such a highly successful program and one that is truly a community effort involving volunteers representing hundreds of area companies.”
Through its BRE program, the Chamber offers support in a variety of areas, including barriers to growth, expansion, regulatory processes, mergers and workforce issues. Since the inception of the program, the Chamber has assisted a number of companies with enrolling in state incentive programs, educated businesses about the Chamber’s recruiting tools, helped resolve workforce issues such as employee training, and more.
For information about the BRE program, contact Danielle Runyan at email@example.com or 918.560.0265.
What we’re working on this week• Completing an impact analysis for an area hospital
• Meeting with four area aerospace companies and touring facilities
• Business retention and expansion visits to a number of companies in various industries
• Assisting a local company with completing an application for the state’s 21st Century Quality Jobs program.
• Submitting letter of intent to the U.S. Economic Development Administration for an i6 Challenge Grant
• Finalizing content on a new Let’s Do Business website
• Marketing Tulsa’s target industries and business news to site consultants and company CEOs
• Submitting an application for the Henry Bellmon Sustainability Award for TYPros’ green efforts
• Reviewing tenant applications for The Forge
• Beginning meetings with the education advocacy and health care taskforces
• Meeting with area university and college presidents to discuss public funding
• Assisting with the Workforce Investment Board’s summer jobs program for youths
• Collaborating with partner organizations to plan the 2010 Return On Inclusion Summit
• Organizing taskforces to create OneVoice priorities
• Hosting RETA show representatives who are considering Tulsa for the 2018 show
• Hosting and supporting an AAU Area 11 Track & Field Qualifying Meet recruited from Joplin, which will bring more than 1,000 athletes to town
• Updating content on the VisitTulsa site
• Creating content for a new Tulsa Sports Commission site
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.
Saxum Public Relations
C. Renzi Stone, President & CEO
200 E. Brady Street
Tulsa, OK 74103
Two Men & A Truck
Mike Mays Owner
2013 N. Willow Ave, suite c
Broken Arrow, Ok 74012