Chamber’s President and CEO selected as Oklahoma’s best
Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Metro Chamber, was selected as the 2010 Executive of the Year by the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives (OCCE). The announcement was made during its annual conference on Thursday, Nov. 4, in Oklahoma City.
In a written statement provided to the Tulsa World, Neal said, “It is a great honor to be recognized for accomplishments, but it’s an even greater honor when that recognition comes from my peers in the industry. Together, we work every day to sell our communities, grow our economies, and provide a direct return on investment to our members. I'm fortunate, in Tulsa, to have what I consider the best professional team in the nation and this award is indicative of their outstanding work.”
OCCE is a statewide organization for chamber staff dedicated to the professional development of its members and to the chamber of commerce industry throughout Oklahoma. The Executive of the Year is the highest award given to an Oklahoma chamber professional. Learn more about OCCE by clicking here.
In a statement by OCCE, Neal was recognized for the following:
• Leading the Tulsa Metro Chamber to two national Chamber of the Year awards in 2008 and 2010.
• Expanding the Tulsa region's influence in legislative advocacy through the launch of its successful OneVoice program.
• Increasing the Chamber's annual Resource Campaign to the second largest of its kind in the nation-- raising $2.8 million in 2010. A 40 percent annual increase since he joined the Tulsa Chamber four years ago.
• Growing the chamber membership to 3,100 and maintaining a 90 percent retention rate.
Neal is beginning his fifth year as president and chief executive officer and leads the chamber’s full-time professional staff of 52 in the areas of economic development, convention and visitor development, government affairs, education, workforce development, small business, sports, young professionals, downtown and river development, and membership services.
Neal formerly served as the president and CEO of the Nashville, Tenn., Area Chamber of Commerce for four years. Prior to that, Neal spent 12 years as president and CEO of the Monroe, La., Chamber of Commerce in his hometown.
An active member of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), Neal has earned several professional designations, including the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designation and the Certified Community Developer (CCD). He received the prestigious Chairman’s Award, the highest national award given by ACCE. Neal was a long-time member of the ACCE Board of Directors and is currently treasurer of the ACCE Benefits Trust, a member of their Economic & Community Development Committee and immediate past chairman of the CCE Certification Commission.
Through 3,100 member organizations, the chamber represents more than 180,000 regional employees and utilizes 1,900 volunteers to achieve its mission.
Turnpike Authority approves study for Gilcrease Expressway
By BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau, Tulsa World
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority on Wednesday approved a study of completing the Gilcrease Expressway.
The study will include engineering designs and will determine if traffic counts could support a toll road, said OTA Deputy Director Tim Stewart.
The cost of the study is $767,100. It is expected to be completed in August or September, Stewart said.
A continent from the Tulsa area was present at the authority meeting to express support for the study.
The project involves a road beginning at Interstate 44 at or near its intersection with 49th West Avenue, extending north to U.S. 64, turning northeast, crossing 41st West Avenue and continuing east to the L.L. Tisdale Expressway.
The Gilcrease Expressway currently stretches from the L.L. Tisdale Parkway east to U.S. 75. Farther east, it picks up the entire stretch of Oklahoma 11 and terminates at Interstate 244.
Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith, who attended Wednesday's meeting, said the project is huge for the area's transportation system.
She said it was a missing link, adding that she appreciated support from the OTA.
Guy Berry, a former member of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission, said the road will complete the northern route around the city and be significant for economic development in the area.
TYPros survey seeks to learn perceptions of Tulsa
Research has revealed most individuals outside of the region have little to no perception of Tulsa, which creates a challenge for organizations like Tulsa’s Young Professionals whose mission is to attract and retain young talent to the region. TYPros will host a D2: Diversity and Dialogue event, “Perceptions of Tulsa,” Tuesday, Nov. 16. Discussion will focus on the perceptions of Tulsa from both internal and external perspectives.
Results from the survey will be used for discussion at next Tuesday’s D2: Diversity and Dialogue event.
In order to gauge existing perceptions, TYPros is asking its members, Chamber members and the general public to participate in a brief survey. By participating, you can help TYPros discuss what can be done to enhance Tulsa’s brand. Click here to take the survey.
D2 is scheduled for 6-9 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 16, at the Holiday Inn Downtown, 17 W. Seventh St. There is no cost to attend, and food will be provided. To attend, RSVP to Brian Paschal at email@example.com or 918.560.0286.
Company announces expansion in Broken Arrow
Broken Arrow-based Enerflow Industries Inc., announced last week it could add as many as 500 jobs during the next five years. The oilfield equipment manufacturer is a participant in the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program, which could give Enerflow as much as $6.19 million in payroll tax rebates.
“We chose the Broken Arrow/Tulsa area over Houston due the quality of the workforce and property that was available,” said John R. Power, general manager for Enerflow. “The incentives offered by Oklahoma and the local communities were definitely a plus too. We feel that the Broken Arrow/Tulsa area has the resources necessary for our projected growth and will continue to provide the support needed for manufacturing.”
Enerflow’s expansion will create a significant economic impact and furthers the region’s continued economic development efforts.
“We congratulate the community of Broken Arrow and the Broken Arrow Area Chamber of Commerce for successfully bringing this project to the region,” said Jim Fram, Tulsa Metro Chamber’s senior vice president of economic development. “Broken Arrow is an integral regional partner in creating new jobs in our area.”
Save on supplies with Office Depot affinity program
Office Depot, Inc. and the Tulsa Metro Chamber have partnered to provide exclusive savings on office supplies for Tulsa Metro Chamber members.
Discounted items include:
o Office supplies
o Digital print services
o Coffee and break room supplies
1. Next day delivery (in all major markets) and free shipping for all orders over $50.
2. Top 100 Item Chamber Discount List.
3. Take an additional 5 percent off everyday lowest price both in-store and online for all other purchases.
4. Now more than 98 percent of items qualify for at least a 5 percent discount off the everyday lowest store or web price.
Click here to register today.
For questions or problems signing up, contact the Office Depot representative Bobby Bingham.
For more information or questions about Chamber membership, contact Karen Humphrey at 918-560-0250.
Chamber Choice offers affordable insurance for small businesses
The Tulsa Metro Chamber partners 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
Today, nearly 700 employers are enrolled in the Chamber Choice plan covering more than 4,000 individuals.
Click here to download the 2010 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/employer/chamber_tulsa.html.
What we’re working on
• Making Tulsa’s Future II CEO calls.
• Having dinner with USA Volleyball and Tulsa Sports Commission.
• Attending Governor’s Economic Development Team.
• Attending OEDC Annual Membership Meeting.
• Making presentation to the Tulsa County Board of Commissioners.
• Speaking at Tulsa Technology Business and Industry Services Partners Recognition Breakfast.
• Attending Tulsa Area United Way Board of Directors.
• Having dinner with Indo American Chamber of Commerce.
• Attending SEDC Fall Board Meeting.
• Securing endorsements for the 2011 OneVoice agenda.
• Updating the 2011 Political Directory.
• Working with legislators to secure authors and brief them on 2011 OneVoice agenda.
• Working with Greater OKC Chamber to develop annual Tulsa/OKC joint legislative agenda.
• Monitoring legislative interim studies.
• Preparing Breeders Invitation future bid.
• Wrapping up details from the 2010 Arabian Horse Association’s U.S. Nationals and finalizing contracts for 2011.
• Finalizing details to bring in a writer to do a feature story on Tulsa’s Art Deco.
• Working on two leads received from the FAM tour.
• Pinto Horse Association’s Colored Horse Congress Show at Expo Square.
• Processing Housing Bureau requests for Appaloosa Horse Club’s 2011 National Show.
• Attending the Oklahoma Society of Association Executive’s luncheon.
• Meeting with Oklahoma Airport Operators Association.
• Attending Exploring New Territory: Cultural Tourism Conference.
• Attending Society of Government Meeting Professionals’ luncheon.
• Scheduling sale calls for Stillwater.
• Process and follow-up on leads generated from the Rejuvenate Marketplace conference.
• Designing new event pages for the VisitTulsa website.
• Attending a site tour of the new conference space at Oral Robert University.
• Meeting Professional International Monthly Luncheon in Tulsa.
Tulsa Sports Commission
• USA Volleyball site visit Nov 7-9.
• Hosting Tulsa football tailgate.
• Reviewing BMX marketing collateral for event promote.
• Event planning with ABA for the BMX event during Thanksgiving weekend at Expo Square.
• Working with a task force to develop a regional incentives program.
• Participating in Tulsa’s Future II fundraising calls and presentations.
• Working with a task force on a direct flight strategy.
• Meeting with regional economic development partners.
• Working on spring 2011 consultant activity for Tulsa region.
• Facilitating meetings for the development of a transmodal facility.
• Working with KPMG on a headquarters recruitment strategy.
• Working on a manufacturing RFP.
• Working with the Port of Catoosa to co-submit a manufacturing RFP.
• Attending the SBIR National Conference in Oklahoma City.
• Working on a regional BRE plan and plan for volunteer engagement for 2011.
• Coordinating BRE meetings and following up on action items.
• Attending the Brady Business Association meeting.
• Attending the unveiling and open house for Fab Lab (Fabrication Lab) Tulsa.
• Attending the Tulsa Airport Authority meeting.
• Working on software implementation for tracking and reporting.
• Forecast coordination with OSU in preparation for the Economic Profile 2011 publication.
Education and workforce
• Hosting the Adult Enrollment Blitz.
• Meeting with Langston University President JoAnn Haysbert and local companies.
• Recruiting and training coaches for the College Access Career Readiness program.
• Attending the CEOs For Cities Urban Leaders Summit.
• Recruiting employers to promote Adult Enrollment Blitz and individuals to attend the event.
• Meeting with The Persimmon Group to explore opportunities to offer training on soft skills as a workforce development initiative.
• Partners In Education holiday help for students newsletter.
• Completing the 2011 Education Guide.
• Completing the Partners In Education fall/winter newsletter.
• Attending the Education Trust conference.
• Presenting at OSU-Tulsa's Impact of College on Students and Society.
Tulsa’s Young Professionals
• Hosting an Advisory Council social event at Yokozuna.
• Holding a 2011 planning session with the new leadership team.
• Planning and brainstorming for the NCAA tournament "fan experience."
• Hosting a leadership seminar on "Branding Yourself."
Marketing and communications
• Hosting a press conference to announce a company expansion.
• Completing Chamber Report articles.
• Beginning work on a number of annual publications.
• Seeking earned media opportunities for small business programs and an education/workforce event.
• Continuing to make website content updates.
• Completing Tulsa feature article for Bank Travel Management publication.
• Creating marketing materials to promote BMX event at Expo Square.
• Promoting networking events including Roundtable Connection 5.0 on Tuesday, Nov. 16.
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 member:
Stop Child Trafficking Now
Best Buy Mobile
Candace Polhamus, General Manager
7021 S. Memorial Drive, Suite 217
Tulsa, OK 74133