Top OneVoice priority to be voted on this week
House bill 1381, creating the Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program (SHOPP), will be voted on this Wednesday, May 11 by the House of Representatives. The Chamber encourages businesses to advocate their delegation for the passage of this bill, which will greatly benefit quality and costs at Oklahoma’s hospitals.
HB 1381 will:
• prevent financial losses to area hospitals and physicians and ensure they can continue to treat Oklahomans;
• limit cost-shifting to insured patients to cover losses; and
• help close a $350 million gap in the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s 2012 budget.
SHOPP allows 77 hospitals across Oklahoma to access federal matching funds, giving them more dollars to cover indigent care costs without raising prices for insured patients. This is particularly beneficial in rural areas where smaller hospitals have higher costs caring for uninsured patients and rarely receive full reimbursement from Medicaid for their services. This gap in funding is most often passed on to insured patients through higher costs and can result in million-dollar losses annually.
All 77 hospitals across Oklahoma who will be affected by the bill support SHOPP, realizing the federal funds will allow them to offer better health care services to patients while making them more efficient financially.
Please contact your delegation today and urge their support of HB 1381. Your representative contact information can be found here.
Oklahoma Museum of Music and Popular Culture comes to center stage, brings widespread support
The Chamber is seeking local and legislative support for the Oklahoma Museum of Music and Popular Culture, a 67,000 square-foot museum dedicated to the creative spirit of Oklahomans.
With a potential site identified in the downtown Brady Arts District, the OK POP Museum has quickly become less of an idea, and more of a hot issue.
The two major motivational factors for establishing the museum are simple: honor the people and culture of Oklahoma, and give Tulsa another economic impact gem similar to ONEOK Field and the BOK Center.
According to the Chamber’s economist, Bob Ball, the economic impact could be as much as $56.5 million in the first year of construction, which would also create approximately 213 jobs supporting another 178 jobs. Ball estimates the museum, once up and running, will create 549 jobs, ranging from food service and restaurants to museum staff. These 549 jobs would support an additional 187 positions. Plus, total sales taxes are estimated at $1.8 million.
On top of job growth and local economic impact, the museum's ability to attract visitors and guests would bring an additional boost to the economy, something Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb mentioned at the Chamber’s Legislative Briefing Breakfast last Friday. Lamb said the museum's conference alone would bring an additional economic impact.
“Tourism is the third highest grossing industry in our state,” said Lamb. “We beat Texas in football; we need to beat them in economic development.”
Stories featured in the museum will include Wild West Shows, movies, radio, television, illustration, literature, and Route 66 - all connected to a sense of time and place through the language of music. The OK Pop will be built and managed by the Oklahoma Historical Society, a statewide organization that opened the Smithsonian-affiliated Oklahoma History Center five years ago.
The Oklahoma Historical Society is requesting the $40 million bond issue from the State of Oklahoma, which will be matched by an $8 million private fundraising campaign, which has already been launched with a $1 million challenge grant from the George Kaiser Family Foundation.
As the state delegation weighs bond issues that support the Oklahoma City region, museum advocates are pushing for equal consideration of Tulsa and the OK POP Museum.
“This project is not about Tulsa, but about Oklahomans being proud of Oklahomans,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO. “This is a state rich in creative talent and Oklahomans should proudly display its impact on the music and entertainment industries.”
Oklahomans like Kristen Chenoweth, Reba McIntyre, Vince Gill and so many others have already pledged their support of the museum, giving the local donations and support a much greater impact.
“Investing in Oklahoma’s future now by supporting the OK Pop project will help us leap-frog past states in which we compete for jobs, workforce, and citizens,” said Mike Neal, Tulsa Metro Chamber President and CEO. “The return on investment is measured in tax dollars, but this is a top-tier project intended to reinforce our image as a top-tier state in which to do business, visit, work, and raise a family.”
Resource Campaign finishes week four with continued success
Resource Campaign volunteers gathered at Baxter’s Interurban Grill last Thursday for the week four Rewards Session boasting a 4 percent overall increase from last year’s numbers at this time. The rock star volunteers joined Chamber staff and leadership for networking and a fun, delicious lunch.
Executive Director of Tulsa’s Young Professionals Brian Paschal informed attendees of the sponsorship opportunities with the organization, like the new urbanization and redevelopment event, Street CReD, that kicked off this April in the Pearl District. Other TYPros sponsorships give members a chance to pair their brand with efforts and themes like sustainability, leadership development and community betterment.
Volunteers support roughly 23 percent of the Chamber’s annual budget through the sale of memberships and sponsorships that earn them cash incentives and trips to places like Barbados. The money raised is returned to member businesses through business-building events, forums, regional initiatives, advocacy efforts and more.
Volunteers and Chamber staff work with businesses to build sponsorship packets that fit their specific needs. These sponsorships give companies opportunities to gain awareness with potential customers, develop their brand and reputation within the community, and garner a higher level of business interaction with their peers.
For more information on the Resource Campaign, sponsorship or membership opportunities or how to volunteer for next year’s campaign contact Karen Humphrey, campaign director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 918.560.0250.
Chamber hosts mid-session Legislative Briefing Breakfast
Legislators and Chamber staff joined business leaders Friday morning at a Legislative Briefing Breakfast touting the many successes of the session and bringing focus to the issues coming in the last half of the 2011 session.
At the forefront of discussion were two lingering decisions left to be made and one new effort. The Chamber hopes to see movement on these three issues before the end of May, when the session ends.
HB 1381, creating the Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program (SHOPP), and HB 1953, creating the Quick Action Deal Closing Fund, are two OneVoice and Chamber priorities that are still being discussed at the Capitol.
SHOPP, which will be voted on Wednesday in the House, will allow Oklahoma’s hospitals access to federal matching funds, allowing them to more efficiently offer care to their uninsured patients. The Chamber encourages its membership to contact state delegation and advocate for their support of HB 1381.
HB 1953 will give local and state leaders the necessary tools to attract, grow and retain businesses in
Oklahoma. Without the Quick Action Deal Closing Fund, Oklahoma cannot compete with neighboring states. HB 1953 will ensure that Oklahoma crosses the finish line in business attraction, creating job growth and economic development to sustain business-friendly efforts and encourage the state’s pro-business climate.
“A deal closing fund is integral to the state’s continued business success,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Chamber. “There have been too many times that we’ve gotten to the closing table and a company has chosen Arkansas or Texas over us. The Quick Action Deal Closing fund will allow us to get businesses into Oklahoma and create jobs for Oklahomans.”
The Chamber touted another success at the breakfast that has a proven track record for affecting job growth, according to Rep. Skye McNiel. McNeil authored the bill reinstating the Aerospace Tax Credit. McNiel also said the tax credit is already being used in Oklahoma and has been good for the state.
Chamber-hosted events offer businesses an opportunity to get first-hand knowledge of legislative action and ensure legislators remain aware and informed on regional priorities. Legislators at the event expressed their appreciation and support of these events and the Chamber’s OneVoice regional partnership agenda, which allow them to better serve their constituents and remain well-informed of priorities.
“The folks that come from Tulsa always have my ear,” said Rep. Jadine Nollan. “They make sure we’re aware of issues and I’m so excited for OK POP. Thank you so much for your local leadership and helping us understand the issues in our community.”
To see a list of upcoming legislative events or to research legislative issues, go to the Chamber’s legislative tool, www.onevoicetulsa.com.
Breeder’s Invitational Derby begins May 16
Two-week long event brings estimated $3.3 million economic impact to city
The ever-popular Breeder’s Invitational returns to Tulsa May 16-28 at the world-class Expo Square in the heart of Tulsa. This event offers one of the largest payouts of any competition sanctioned by the National Cutting Horse Association and promises to deliver the finest cutting horses and riders in the country. And, for the second year in a row, the BI will run in conjunction with one of the Mercuria World Finals qualifying shows kicking off May 14.
On May 16, Breeder’s Invitational competition gets under way and will continue for 13 days, building to an exciting Open Finals showcasing this season’s top 4-year-olds in cutting from across the nation. With $1.5 million in prize money at stake, and the wonderful venue of Tulsa as the backdrop, the BI is a favorite for some of the cutting industry’s top competitors.
“This show is one of the best cuttings in the business,” said Phil Hanson, last year’s Open Derby Champion aboard LHR Smooth Jamie May. “Not only is the prize money significant, but the town of Tulsa has a lot to offer all of us who travel to be here.”
Breeder’s Invitational Executive Director Bob O’Bannon largely credits the town’s hospitality with the event’s great reception.
“Tulsa is such a great place for this event,” he said. “The city truly welcomes the cutters with open arms. We get a great deal of media attention and the Expo Square is an ideal, top-notch venue. We have a large selection of vendors once again this year and have expanded our shopping area. To accommodate special guests and spectators, we have added a VIP viewing platform that affords visitors a bird’s eye view of the competition.”
Breeder’s Invitational made its debut in Tulsa two years ago when they signed a three-year contract through 2011. As a result of the show’s success in Tulsa, the group elected to sign another three-year contract good through 2014.
“Their decision to sign a second three-year contract is truly a testament to the wonderful facilities, dedicated staff and accommodating space at Expo Square as well as the hospitality only Tulsa can offer,” said Ray Hoyt, senior vice president of VisitTulsa. “As a representative of VisitTulsa it is my honor and duty to work with these fine men and women of the Breeder’s Invitational to ensure the two weeks they spend in Tulsa each year is a success both for their organization and for our region.”
Annually, the Breeder’s Invitational brings an estimated $3.3 million economic impact during their two-week stay in Tulsa. As a result, each three-year contract provides a nearly $10 million economic boost to the regional economy.
“They are very much a part of our community and their contribution has a lasting impact,” said Hoyt. “Through the additional sales tax revenue generated during their extended stay, the city receives help in funding critical civic works projects for the benefit of our citizens.”
The Breeder's Invitational is a non-profit corporation formed to promote and enhance the cutting horse industry by producing a major event that offers a very large purse and a top-notch venue. In its eight years of existence, the BI has paid out more than $11 million and is ranked as one of the major events in the cutting industry today. For more information, including the show schedule and festivities, contact the Breeder’s Invitational organization at (877) 781-2660 or visit www.breedersinvitational.com.
Affordability key selling point in business recruitment
Tulsa ranked as a top 10 metro area in 22 “tout” lists produced by national publications in 2010 and 2011. These publications acknowledge Tulsa again and again for its economy, real estate, low cost of living and quality of life.
“It’s difficult for relocating companies to ignore list after list identifying our region as a growing, innovative and business-friendly community,” said Jim Fram, senior vice president of economic development for the Tulsa Metro Chamber. “Our economic development team weaves these national recognitions into our business attraction marketing because they help showcase the Tulsa region as an ideal home for companies competing in a global economy.”
Bob Ball, economist and economic research manager for the Chamber, found the Tulsa region is indeed emerging from the recession ahead of its peer communities across the country and has much to offer:
• Tulsa’s cost of doing business is 11 percent below the U.S. average;
• The cost of living is 10 percent below the national average;
• The per capital income is 13 percent above the national average;
• And according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, the Tulsa metro area's jobless rate dropped to 6.5 percent in March - the lowest it’s been in two years.
For more news and information about business recruitment, visit the Chamber’s economic development website, GrowMetroTulsa.com.
Oklahoma Scholars graduates honored
Roughly 200 students graduating from Tulsa Public Schools this month completed the Oklahoma Scholars course of study, a college-preparedness curriculum program shown to better prepare its graduates for college education and higher-paying jobs.
Dr. Allyson Watson
assistant professor for educational foundations and leadership at Northeastern State University
The graduates were honored with a Chamber-hosted dinner at the Hilton Tulsa Southern Hills. The featured keynote speaker, Dr. Allyson Watson, is a graduate of TPS and former Oklahoma Scholar. Watson is now the assistant professor for educational foundations and leadership at Northeastern State University in Broken Arrow.
Watson expressed the importance of maintaining a focused, driven course throughout students’ education and touched on the difficulties she faced while making her own path to success. Now a highly-recognized and awarded leader with her doctorate, Watson is a prime example of what the Oklahoma Scholars program hopes to give its graduates- the early leadership, guidance and tools to assist students in finding success.
The graduates and their families enjoyed a performance from the Clinton Middle School band before the dinner, where Chamber staff and educators celebrated the graduates’ completion of the four-year program.
For more information on Oklahoma Scholars, please contact Heather Johnson at email@example.com or 918.560.0218.
Chamber staff member elected to state aerospace group
Dennis Altendorf, the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s director of aerospace development and strategy, has been elected as treasurer of the Unmanned Aerial Systems Alliance of Oklahoma (USA-OK). The organization is a statewide collaborative effort to support and grow the unmanned systems industry and has a mission to establish Oklahoma as a national leader in the research, development, test, evaluation, commercialization, education and training for unmanned system.
director of aerospace development and strategy
Aerospace and aviation is one of the Chamber’s target industries through its economic development plan, Tulsa’s Future, because of its significant impact on the regional economy and its continued growth potential.
What we’re working onVisitTulsa
• Welcoming Breeders Invitational to Expo Square with visitor’s information table.
• Following up on leads received at Collaborate Marketplace.
• Attending Meeting Professionals International monthly meeting in Stroud.
• Following up on leads received during the DFW Sales Blitz.
• Attending the TCC 1010 meeting.
• Attending National Tourism Week Education Conference in Oklahoma City.
Tulsa Sports Commission
• Attending USA Volleyball Local Organizing Committee meetings.
• Participating in USA Volleyball conference calls.
• Preparing for the TSC Golf Tournament through event coordination and sales.
• Requesting RFPs for potential new events.
• Meeting with regional representatives of the Oklahoma Manufacturers Alliance.
• Attending the Tulsa Airport Authorities monthly meeting.
• Attending Tulsa Tech’s dedication ceremony of the MD-80 aircraft.
• Attending NAIOP Spring Fling real estate professionals’ reception.
• Site visit to Austin, Texas to meet with downtown stakeholders and developers.
• Participating in CDFA-TIF Coalition webcast series: Offensive TIF’s and Tax Districts.
• Attending small group City Councilors luncheon.
• Working with local manufacturer on potential consolidation and expansion in Tulsa region.
• Attending Business Retention and Expansion International Annual Conference.
• Strategy session for Small Business Council.
• Creating presentation for BRE program.
• Meeting with the Direct Flights Task Force.
• Attending the Regional Chambers Coalition meeting.
• Attending the Oklahoma Foreign Direct Investment meeting.
• Attending the Oklahoma Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team meeting.
• Attending the Oklahoma Professional Economic Development Council meeting.
• Attending the CoreNet SW Chapter Board of Directors meeting.
• Attending the Southern Economic Development Council’s “Meet the Consultant’s” event.
Marketing and Communications
• Assisting River Spirit Casino with a new event announcement.
• Assisting VisitTulsa with preparations for Local Heroes Luncheon on Thursday, May 19.
• Attending National Tourism Week Education Conference in Oklahoma City.
• Helping organize media coverage for the Breeder’s Invitational.
• Preparing media kit about Tulsa for national publication.
• Assisting USA Volleyball in marketing and promoting event in Tulsa.
• Writing script for Small Business Awards luncheon.
• Writing advertorial and creating advertisement for national site publication.
• Completing collateral materials for downtown development efforts.
Education and Workforce
• Attending Talent Dividend Network meeting in Chicago.
• Hosting “National Health Reform – One Year Later” health care forum.
• Hosting breakfast meeting to focus efforts and resources to bolster African-American male graduation rates.
• End-of-year event for College Access Career Readiness Coaches.
• Transitioning Partners In Education to new schools as TPS makes changes.
• Presenting Oklahoma Scholars to Nimitz Middle School.
• Developing June Partners In Education e-newsletter.
• Organizing Partners In Education handbook.
• Attending Leadership Tulsa closing and membership induction.
• Meeting with Broken Arrow Chamber to discuss Partners In Education program.
• Attending Higher Ed Forum.
• Attending Resource Campaign Rewards Session.
Tulsa’s Young Professionals
• Hosting inaugural Progressive Dinner event.
• Organizing 360˚ Orientation and LED Series on Volunteer Management
• Hosting Unplugged with Steve Malcolm at Brady Tavern.
• Organizing Intern Summer Series.
• Brainstorming family-friendly event options.
• Planning Big Wheel Race fundraiser.
• Organizing outreach to local companies through DIVE presentations touting benefits of joining TYPros.
• Monitoring State and Federal legislation.
• Attending State Chamber Legislative Affairs Committee meeting.
• Attending Staff meeting.
• Attending Regional Chamber Coalition meeting.
• Attending TRUST House Transportation Committee event.
• Attending District 9 City Form of Government public meeting.
• Attending Election District Commission public meeting.
• Attending Resource Campaign Reward Session luncheon.
• Planning May-August legislative events.
• Preparing for OneVoice Legislative Task Force meetings.
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.
Aerie Properties, LLC
Brandon Whinery Agency
Building Owners & Managers Association - Tulsa (BOM
C2 Oil, LLC
Cloud Capital LLC
Depression and THS Therapy Center of Tulsa
Group M Investment, Inc.
Halo Branded Solutions
Howell-Stone Insurance, Inc.
Maynard Family Chiropractic
Meek's Electrical Services, Inc.
Norwood Law Firm, P.C.
One Source Windows and Doors
Route 66 Marathon, Inc.
Southern Hills Veterinary Hospital
Southwest Fire Protection, Inc.
TC Lane "Make A Difference" Foundation
The Campbell Hotel & Event Center
TranSol Pro, LLC
Tulsa Direct Mail, Inc.
Tulsa Firefighter's Local 176
United Physicians, LLC