Mayor, VisitTulsa VP reveal top picks for NCAA Final Four
At a press conference this afternoon Mayor Dewey Bartlett and VisitTulsa Interim Senior Vice President Ray Hoyt revealed their final four picks for the NCAA Tournament betting a $100 donation to the winner’s charity of choice.
“Ray and I will both personally lay down $100 a piece on a wager of our basketball team brackets, we are calling ‘Bracket Battle,’“ said Bartlett. “If I’m the winner in our basketball selections, $200 will go to the YMCA of Greater Tulsa.”
Hoyt selected the Boys and Girls Club of America as the beneficiary should his teams make the final cut.
The mayor’s bracket includes Ohio State, Kansas, Connecticut and Pittsburgh with Kansas taking the national championship title while Hoyt’s bracket includes North Carolina, Louisville, Connecticut and Pittsburgh with Connecticut taking the national championship title.
Bartlett and Hoyt also updated the local media on action taken to date in preparing the city for an estimated 70,000 – 100,000 visitors resulting in a $8 to $15 million economic impact, which included street repairs, transportation plans, business district meetings, banner hangings and a community-wide clean up among other things.
Hoyt reported that hotels are busy fielding reservation calls after last night’s team placements while the BOK Center is now selling tickets direct through bokcenter.com, by calling 866-7-BOK-CTR or in person at the BOK Center’s Arby’s Box Office. The Arby’s Box Office is open weekdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday’s hours are contingent on game times.
For the latest NCAA Tournament news and downloadable maps with available parking and free fan shuttle routes, visit TulsaSports.org.
Brady District warehouse to be renovated
Construction is under way on the Mathews Warehouse in the Brady District, spanning the city block between Boston and Cincinnati Avenues, to create an artistic center to provide Tulsans with more access to arts education.
Through the generosity of George Kaiser Family Foundation and a partnership with Philbrook Museum of Art and The University of Tulsa, the Mathews Warehouse will be transformed into an artistic center featuring Philbrook’s Eugene B. Adkins Collection and Study Center, as well as The University of Tulsa’s Zarrow Center for Arts and Education.
“When completed, Oklahomans will relish this arts center landmark, enjoying collections, exhibits, art studios and learning opportunities that will be available here,” said Ken Levit, executive director of George Kaiser Family Foundation, in a press release. “Our partnership with Philbrook and TU is vested not only in the renovation of this magnificent warehouse, but also in the shared interest of economic development, enhanced artistic appreciation and engaged citizens to ensure the Brady District’s promising future.”
The Philbrook Museum of Art will occupy the two buildings in the center of the complex, which will be combined into a two-story space with basement containing some 30,000 square feet.
The first floor will be dedicated to the Philbrook: Modern Art & Design space, which was conceived as a dynamic platform for the fusion of Philbrook’s growing commitment to modern and contemporary art, the recently pledged George R. Kravis II Industrial Design Collection and a consistent presentation of leading-edge programming. The second floor will house the Eugene B. Adkins Collection & Study Center, primarily focusing on the exhibition and study of Native American art. The center will also highlight important and related examples of Southwestern American and Taos Society artists from each collection.
Plans for the Zarrow Center span the Mathews Warehouse’s three stories and 18,000 square feet. The first floor will feature gallery space and a supporting wine and cheese bar, where members of the public can come together to enjoy exhibits in a social setting. The second floor will include four classrooms, where TU instructors, Gilcrease Museum educational staff and guest teachers will provide arts education. The third floor will feature studio space to serve TU’s Master of Fine Arts program, making the site a living laboratory of artistic expression for resident talents and visiting professionals.
“This new center will not only create a wonderful destination for Tulsans, it will quickly become a must-see tourist attraction and is another great selling point for our business attraction efforts for downtown Tulsa,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Metro Chamber.
The Philbrook portion of the project has an expected completion date of spring 2012, and the Zarrow Center for Art and Education is expected to open in the first half of 2012.
Tulsa named the No. 2 city for employment
The Tulsa metro area tied for the second best city in the nation for second-quarter employment outlook, according to a Manpower Employment Outlook survey. The survey revealed Tulsa MSA employers expect to hire at a “vigorous” pace during Q2 2011.
Of the companies interviewed for the survey, 22 percent plan to hire more employees while only 2 percent expect to cut staff. The remaining 73 percent will maintain their current staff levels and 3 percent are uncertain of their plans. If these hiring forecasts come to fruition, it could yield a net employment outlook of 20 percent.
“This information confirms what our staff is hearing from businesses in the Tulsa region,” said Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal. “Our industries are strong and our workforce is extremely talented, and for those reasons and much more, Tulsa is attracting the attention of many relocating businesses. 2011 will be an extremely positive year for our region.”
To read more about the survey, click here for an article in the Tulsa World and click here for a story from KJRH Channel 2.
Chamber’s CEO Roundtables assist small businesses
The Chamber’s Small Business Council started a new program in 2010 for leaders of companies of any size, and the benefits to participants have been tremendous.
Area business leaders are invited to sign up for the ongoing, no-cost personal advisory groups.
CEO Roundtables are groups of eight non-competitive CEOs (or equivalents) who serve as each other’s advisory board and support unit. Roundtables are self-governing groups that meet at least two hours monthly to discuss relevant topics and brainstorm strategies to improve both their businesses and personal lives.
There are currently four active CEO Roundtables with a fifth group being trained. Additional groups will be forming, and the Chamber will offer training dates throughout the year.
Sean Kouplen, CEO of Regent Bank and founder of the CEO Roundtables program, said the groups meet a huge need for small business leaders.
“Small business leaders tell us that it can be really lonely at the top, particularly in our recent economy,” said Kouplen. “The CEO Roundtables program allows business executives and owners to share sensitive issues with peers who understand their situation in a highly confidential setting. Sometimes you are looking for a solution and sometimes you just want someone to listen. Either way, it is a valuable group for business leaders.”
Mark Tedford of Tedford & Associates in Jenks agreed.
“Meeting with executives of different industries allows us all to compare best practices and hear different points of view. I am often dealing with a situation that someone in the roundtable has faced, and they can give me valuable advice,” he said.
The CEO Roundtable groups are free for Tulsa Metro Chamber members. Click here to learn more about the groups and criteria for participating. To join a group, contact Warren Unsicker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918.560.0235.
Pop museum to feature Bob Wills exhibit
The Oklahoma Historical Society announced last week it received a collection of Bob Wills memorabilia from the Oklahoma music icon’s daughter, Carolyn Wills. The collection includes live recordings and glass discs of his recordings, 350 photos, letters and more, and will be preserved in The Oklahoma Museum of Music and Popular Culture (Oklahoma Pop), a museum attraction to be built in the Brady District.
The collection is currently on display in a special exhibit at the OSU-Tulsa campus, which also features other rock ‘n’ roll personalities and venues.
Members of the Oklahoma History Center and Oklahoma Historical Society have spent years collecting the state’s rock ‘n’ roll heritage and believe moving the exhibit to Tulsa is critical to developing the Pop.
An opening date for the museum has not been determined.
To read more about the museum and the Wills collection, click here for a Tulsa World article.
Sullivan introduces tax break for Oklahoma businesses
Congressman John Sullivan introduced on Friday, H.R. 1039, legislation which makes permanent certain tax incentives for businesses located on former Indian lands and for companies who hire or increase the wages of enrolled Indian tribal members. Over two-thirds of the land in Oklahoma qualifies for the relief.
The office of U.S. Rep. Sullivan provided a news release with the following written statement: “The Indian lands tax credits are extremely beneficial to economic development in Oklahoma –these substantial tax incentives not only create jobs, but also improve the quality of life across our state. Any business that chooses to operate on federally recognized Indian lands is eligible to receive this credit, since two-thirds of Oklahoma’s land meets this criteria, it provides an economic boom to our entire state. Making these tax incentives permanent will not only help to attract new business, but will also allow our existing businesses to plan for the future without the uncertainty of these incentives disappearing year to year.”
Original co-sponsors of the legislation include all Oklahoma U.S. Reps. Dan Boren, Tom Cole, Frank Lucas and James Lankford. To read more about their support visit the Chamber’s legislative web site at www.OneVoiceTulsa.com.
I-244 transportation project begins
A multi-modal bridge spanning the Arkansas River on westbound I-244 in Tulsa has the green light to begin. The Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved a contract to Manhattan Road and Bridge Co. on Monday to replace this structurally deficient bridge with a double-decker bridge. The cost of construction is $64 million, the cost of construction time is $14 million bringing the total bid to $78 million.
Top priority from 2010 OneVoice federal agenda advances
The new structure will incorporate highway lanes on the top side, with two dedicated future rail lines and an area for bicycle and pedestrian traffic underneath.
“The replacement of this bridge is critical due to its deteriorating conditions,” Oklahoma Department of Transportation Director Gary Ridley said. “This double-decker bridge is the first of its kind in the state, and opens the door to endless possibilities for expanding transportation in this region.”
Transportation funding for Oklahoma remains a top priority in the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s regional OneVoice legislative agenda and funding for replacement of the I-244 bridges over the Arkansas River was a lead item in 2010.
“The Chamber has steadily increased the visibility of Northeast Oklahoma and the greater metro region in Washington, D.C.,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO. “Receiving notice of Oklahoma’s federal TIGER grant last year was a huge win, and we remain celebratory as the I-244 project is a significant investment selection in the midst of tough competition for dollars.”
The project cost is a combination of federal funds and received a nearly $50 million federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant in February 2010. This grant cycle was extremely competitive, with more than 1,400 applications submitted nationwide. The I-244 multi-modal bridge is considered one of the top projects in the country to receive this funding.
The existing westbound I-244 bridge will be removed and the new bridge built along the current alignment. During construction westbound traffic will detour onto the eastbound I-244 bridge which will accommodate two-way traffic. The existing eastbound bridge is scheduled for replacement in 2013, although the $30 million estimated project cost is not fully funded at this time.
Work is expected to begin in mid-spring 2011, and the project is scheduled to complete in two years. Information on the project will be posted in the Traffic Advisories section of www.okladot.state.ok.us.
What we’re working onExecutive office
• Hosting dinner with USA Fencing, Tulsa Sports Commission and VisitTulsa volunteer and staff leaders.
• Breakfast meeting with Vic Vreeland, mayor of Jenks.
• Entertaining NCAA representatives and officials from participating universities, economic development, tourism and sports prospects at BOK and around Tulsa during the NCAA tournament in Tulsa.
• Preparing for the executive committee meeting.
• Setting Tulsa’s Future II CEO calls.
• Participating in the European Wind Energy Association Conference,
• Participating in the International Economic Development Council federal forum.
• Working with a regional incentives task force.
• Making Tulsa’s Future II calls.
• Follow up company-specific lead development packets with phone calls in response to KPMG study.
• Meeting of Tulsa Mosaic to discuss strategic plan and roll out of program.
• Conducting CEO Roundtables training.
• Hosting Small Business Council executive committee meeting.
• Meeting with the TIPS Presidents Committee.
• Meeting with the City of Tulsa’s Entrepreneurship Committee to continue planning for 2011 Global Entrepreneurship Week.
• Meeting with the Small Business Awards committee to ensure nominees are submitting appropriate information.
Education and Workforce
• Recruiting presenters for Oklahoma Scholars presentations in TPS.
• Planning the Partners In Education Recognition Reception.
• Planning the Oklahoma Scholars Graduate Dinner.
• Writing the April Partners In Education e-newsletter
• Planning a brown bag lunch for CACR coaches.
• Attending TAHRA program meeting.
• Meeting with TYPros Sustainability Crew leader.
• Researching vision/mission statements for Chamber’s Diversity & Inclusion taskforce.
• Working with FUMC Overcoming Job Transition group to identify speakers.
Tulsa’s Young Professionals
• Hosting YP Day at the Capitol.
• Finalizing vendors, entertainers and community partners for Street CReD.
• Volunteering at the Downtown Basketball Bash Pop-Up Pub.
• Attending Leadership Tulsa meeting.
• Hosting Appaloosa Horse Club board members with Expo Square partners.
• Training NCAA volunteers.
• Making final preparations for NCAA 2nd and 3rd round Men’s Basketball Tournament.
• Processing housing requests for SKILLS USA 2011 Leadership Conference.
Tulsa Sports Commission
• Making final preparations and visits with all NCAA team and headquarter hotels.
• Hosting USA Fencing for site visit.
• Hosting AC Milan representative for future event development.
• Finalizing hotel and city décor options for NCAA.
• Communicating to all entertainment districts in downtown and midtown to increase staff and product for visitors this week.
• Distribution of shuttle routes, parking and maps to hotels, taxis and entertainment venues.
• Setting appointments with rights holders GBs at NASC Conference next month to recruit more sporting events to Tulsa.
• Monitoring state and federal legislation.
• Attending state chamber legislative affairs meeting.
• Planning March-May legislative events.
• Planning and attending TYPros Day at the Capitol.
Marketing and Communications
• Fielding media calls and fulfilling requests associated with NCAA Tournament.
• Assisting in planning of game-day operations for the NCAA Tournament.
• Communicating latest NCAA Tournament news to members.
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.
Switchgear Search and Recruiting
Dixie Agostino, Managing Member
206 S. Cheyenne Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74103