Legislative Summit leads way to 2011 OneVoice Agenda
It was an important day for the Tulsa region last week as 260 prominent business leaders, legislators and governing bodies from the region gathered at the Tulsa Country Club to make decisions about legislative priorities.
The Tulsa Metro Chamber’s Regional Legislative Summit served as a critical step in determining what issues the Chamber and regional OneVoice partners will advocate for on behalf of the community. The summit came following weeks of taskforce meetings in which volunteers selected top issues from areas; including business retention and expansion; development; economy and taxes; education; energy; health care; labor and human resources; regional tourism; small business; and transportation. The top issues were then presented to attendees who engaged in a prioritization exercise placing state and federal issues in order of importance.
“We were pleased to see the number of individuals who participated in the process – a process we developed three years ago and have been growing ever since,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Metro Chamber. “I believe our recent successes through the OneVoice agenda are proving how much more successful we can be as a region when we work together, but our job doesn’t end with identifying the needs. We’d like to challenge every citizen to get involved, learn the issues and join us in our advocacy efforts next year.”
Before breaking into table groups for the exercise, Tulsa-area legislators also addressed the group including term-limited Speaker of the House Chris Benge and Speaker-designate Kris Steele who were encouraged to see so much involvement on behalf of the region.
“I would encourage you to not just view this as regional planning but with an eye on how to make the entire state better,” said Benge.
Benge and Steele also provided a brief outlook for the 2011 legislative session, which they will expound upon, along with Pro Tempore Glen Coffee, at the upcoming Speaker/Pro Tempore Forum on Tuesday, Sept. 7 from noon – 1 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel at Warren Place.
Once finalized, the OneVoice agenda will be announced in January at a press conference prior to a legislative reception. It will also appear on the OneVoiceTulsa.com website where members can sign up to receive legislative action alerts and weekly updates distributed during the session.
To read the story in the Tulsa World, click here.
Tulsa to host SEDC national conference in 2013
Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) announced today the organization will hold its 2013 annual conference in Tulsa. It is the first time Tulsa has hosted the event.
“Our economic development team should be commended for their efforts in recommending and attracting such a prominent group to our region,” said Dave Nolan, senior vice president of VisitTulsa, the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s convention and visitors division. “Their concerted effort and commitment to bringing this group to Tulsa is exactly what we need from every citizen – the conscious effort and awareness to work on behalf of the city as ambassadors by encouraging your organization to hold their next event in our wonderful city.”
Tentatively scheduled for Aug. 3-6, 2013, the SEDC annual conference will bring more than 300 individuals to Tulsa with an estimated economic impact of $377,990 for the Tulsa region. The conference is presented annually to provide information and enhance leadership best practices for economic professionals in the American South.
“This is a great opportunity for the city of Tulsa as we continue to pursue economic development opportunities that will in turn, create jobs,” said The Honorable Dewey Bartlett, Tulsa mayor. “Not only will this conference bring in a considerable amount of convention business, but we will be meeting and becoming friends with economic development professionals from around the country. The SEDC conference will bring a fresh perspective to our city and bring exposure to our ‘Tulsa Spirit’ and entrepreneurial way of life.”
Tulsa beat out a number of other cities to host the event.
“The decision is the culmination of a site study that began in February in locations in four states,” said Dan Motley, secretary/treasurer of SEDC and chair of the 2013 conference site selection committee. “What made the difference in Tulsa was the enthusiasm, the coordination and the motivation of the local planning committee. We are all very excited about coming to Tulsa in 2013.”
A host hotel has not been selected yet. However, tentative activities for conference attendees include a reception at ONEOK Field, a golf tournament, a reception and auction at a Tulsa-area museum and an offsite dinner. The agenda will be decided once the host hotel is determined.
Attracting SEDC’s annual conference to Tulsa was a collaborative effort of the Chamber’s economic development and VisitTulsa divisions as part of VisitTulsa’s “Bring it Home Tulsa” campaign, which encourages citizens to recommend Tulsa to their affiliated groups and organizations planning meetings and conventions.
“A goal of the Chamber’s economic development plan, Tulsa’s Future, is to assist our VisitTulsa division with bringing more events and visitors to Tulsa,” said Jim Fram, the Chamber’s senior vice president of economic development. “Tourism has a considerable impact on our region; it is an industry that creates jobs and provides critical tax revenues for the community.”
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 today 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 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.
Chamber recognized for communications efforts
Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) will recognize the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s marketing and communications work at its annual conference this week in New Orleans. The Chamber won “Best in Class” for an overall marketing campaign. In addition, Tulsa won an “award of superior” in the following categories: economic brand, annual report, advertising campaign and brochure.
“We work closely with our communications team to create collateral materials and advertising that successfully illustrates the benefits of doing business in Tulsa,” said Jim Fram, the Chamber’s senior vice president of economic development. “The Chamber is honored SEDC officials have acknowledged our strategies to brand Tulsa.”
The Chamber’s communications team partnered with Littlefield, Inc. brand development firm, in 2010 to create a new brand for Tulsa’s economic development efforts.
Judges for the 2010 SEDC Communications Awards are economic development consultants and practitioners from around the southern U.S. Entries are judged on graphic appeal, clarity of message, quality of information, positioning and format.
Chamber leaders request peace at City Hall
Constant disagreement between Tulsa’s City Council and the mayor prompted Tulsa Metro Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal to request the two parties overcome their differences and make peace.
“As an organization focused on representing and selling Tulsa to the rest of the world, we were compelled to ask the two parties to end the fighting and learn to work together,” said Neal. “It has been embarrassing for us to respond to questions about a dysfunctional city government from potential businesses and conventions we’re trying to bring to Tulsa.”
Recent attempts to enlist the help of a mediator have also failed leading to further discouragement and conversations about the effectiveness of the current form of city government from neighbors at The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City who employ a city manager to run day-to-day operations.
"Our city council members advocate for their wards but also keep the entire city's best interests at heart. Their positions, like that of the mayor, are nonpartisan, which enhances collegiality. Bottom line: Our elected city officials tend to get along, and the city thrives," The Oklahoman editorial stated.
A later editorial appearing in the Tulsa World reluctantly agreed with the rival paper’s assessment stating that “Oklahoma City's municipal operations are swimmingly smooth and efficient compared with Tulsa's.”
The Chamber will continue to encourage the two parties to reach a resolution and learn to work together to move the city forward.
To read the entire Tulsa World editorial, click here and for more of Neal’s comments, click here.
Tulsa City Council honors Chamber for national award
At the Tulsa City Council meeting last Thursday, the city’s governing body recognized the Tulsa Metro Chamber for their third win in consecutive years of eligibility as the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Chamber of the Year.
The Nation’s Best Chamber designation goes to a chamber who exemplifies excellence in the industry through the programs and divisions created to benefit their region and members.
The proclamation recognizes the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s achievement in receiving the national award and its position as a leader in the industry.
Tulsa Country Club receiving $8.5 million facelift
Established in 1908, the Tulsa Country Club adds a historic attraction to the downtown area as well as a space for meetings, receptions and other events. Acclaimed architect Tom Hoch has done a masterful job of redesigning more than 25,000 square feet of the clubhouse.
The club now has additional dining areas showcasing the downtown Tulsa skyline as well as the golf course. Additionally, there are new member lounges, locker rooms, a pro shop, kid’s zone, fitness center and an adult game room. The golf course is under construction and will reopen in May 2011 with a Rees Jones’ layout expected to increase playability for golfers of all levels.
“We are excited to be so close to the downtown area during a time of growth and revitalization,” said Kevin Hayes, Tulsa Country Club’s board president. “Tulsa Country Club is glad to be a part of the community for more than 100 years now.”
Pictured are Joby Wood, president-elect of the Tulsa Country Club board of directors; Kevin Hayes, club board president; Jeff Combe, head golf professional; Greg Holley, the club’s director of marketing; and Jason Fiscus, general manager of the club.
Business attraction marketing is part of the Chamber’s economic development plan, Tulsa’s Future. Beginning January 2010, the Chamber implemented a brand for Tulsa’s economic development efforts. Utilizing a new logo with the tagline, “Where business grows,” the brand has been incorporated into a nationwide print advertising campaign. In addition, the Chamber is using creative ways to reach site consultants and company CEOs to communicate the benefits of doing business in Tulsa. Pictured is a wall clock sign located in the Dallas Love Field airport just past the security checkpoint, one of the highest-traffic areas for business travelers flying in and out of Dallas.
What we’re working on:Executive
• Hosting Tulsa Sports Commission Executive Committee meeting.
• Celebrating PlaniTulsa and beginning next steps.
• Touring Grand Lake area with regional state legislators and business leaders.
• Conducting gubernatorial Interviews with Oklahoma Economic Development leaders.
• Attending Kansas City Civic Council meeting with Tulsa business leaders.
• Kicking-off The University of Tulsa’s football season with luncheon.
• Meeting individually with Tulsa city councilors.
• Participating in Oklahoma Academy Annual Salute in Tulsa.
• Finalizing 2010 staff development objectives.
• Hosting August Board Meeting & TYPros Advisory Council.
• Developing leadership for 2011 Resource Campaign.
• Finalizing development and fundraising strategic plan.
• Planning budget.
• Meeting with ORU PR staff.
• Meeting with Small Business Council chair.
• Hosting a mayor’s business retention breakfast with leadership in the energy industry.
• Attending the Southern Economic Development Council’s annual conference in New Orleans.
• Discussing collaborative business retention and expansion efforts with the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce.
• Meeting with city representatives to discuss retail development.
• Completing an impact analysis presentation for an upcoming city council meeting.
• Mapping company headquarters in Tulsa.
• Attending Tulsa Hotel and Lodging Association’s monthly luncheon.
• Participating in the Courtyard by Marriott – Atlas Life’s grand opening.
• Participating as a judge for Kollaboration.
• Welcoming the National Snaffle Bit Association’s World Championship Horse Show to Tulsa’s Expo Square.
Tulsa’s Young Professionals
• Hosting an Advisory Council meeting.
• Planning the second annual Green Gala.
• Facilitating a brainstorming session with all past chairs of the organization.
Education and Workforce
• Collaborating with TPS to feature Partners In Education stories on the district’s website and television station.
• Recruiting volunteers and planning training sessions for the Career Access College Readiness project.
• Attending Workforce Tulsa’s youth council retreat.
• Organizing and planning upcoming health care forums.
• Meeting with state regents and area presidents of higher education institutions.
• Meeting with NSU’s higher learning commission’s outreach committee to prepare for reaccreditation.
• Develop Talent Dividend survey to identify needs, gaps and resources in the community, and education and business industries.
• Verifying membership data.
• Strategizing opportunities with the Business Retention and Expansion program.
• Reviewing membership information on website.
• Prospecting for new members.
• Held the Regional Legislative Summit where the 2011 OneVoice agenda was formulated
• Gathering endorsements for 2011 OneVoice agenda
• Preparing for Congressional Forums featuring U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn; State of the City with Mayor Dewey Bartlett; and Speaker/Pro Tempore Forum.
Marketing and Communications
• Preparing the itinerary for the Chamber’s first intercity visit to Louisville, Ky., Oct. 10–12.
• Accumulating and finalizing restaurant participation for Restaurant After Hours on Thursday.
• Planning two Congressional Forums.
• Updating the community profile.
• Promoting Restaurant After Hours.
• Gathering and preparing information on the ballpark assessment fee.
• Determining a communications plan for the anti-State Question 744 campaign.
• Updating website content for The Forge.
• Generating content for a Tulsa’s Future collateral piece.
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.
Welcome new members:
Arabian Horse Association
Big Cedar Lodge
CC Investment Firm, LLC
Demeter Consulting, LLC
Hanna Insurance Agency
Hannibal B. Johnson, Esq.
Head, Johnson & Kachigian
Marketing Alliance, Inc.
North American Bancard - Oklahoma
R & S Manufacturing
The Best Job Interview
Central National Bank
Assistant Vice President
4880 S. Lewis, suite 101
Tulsa, OK 74105
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