Fallin addresses business community at annual State of the State address
Gov. Mary Fallin joined the Tulsa Metro Chamber at its annual State of the State address today, where business leaders and regional partners came together for a briefing and question and answer session on the current state affairs, the previous legislative session and what’s coming up next for Oklahoma.
Fallin’s overall outlook focused on continuing to bring business to the state, bolster the economy and better the quality of life across the state. Fallin said that after a successful legislative session, Oklahomans need to help send the signal to the rest of the nation that the state is ready and open for business.
“Go tell the Oklahoma story because the Oklahoma story is good,” said Fallin. “We’ve got a great story to tell. I’m always so proud when I have the opportunity to tell our state’s story.”
Fallin expects another successful legislative session next year with the cooperation and continued support of business and community leaders across the state. Fallin commended the OneVoice process and encouraged the Tulsa region to continue it’s efforts toward unification.
“You’re doing all that you can to help our state grow, and it’s working,” said Fallin.
Fallin touched on the many areas that saw reform and progress last session, including transportation, energy, health care, education and what Fallin called “right-sizing” government, where the governor worked diligently to prioritize spending needs and make the state government more efficient. Fallin was also proud of the progress made to establish a quick action closing fund, and encouraged the audience to continue their support next session as the Legislation looks for a way to fiscally support the fund.
Other issues Fallin identified for next session included tax reform and looking for more ways to become competitive with neighboring states, health care, pension reform, protecting the rainy day fund, standing up for the Oklahoma oil and gas industry and reviewing issues identified by Fallin’s newly-established “Game-Changer Committee,” which looks for ways to set Oklahoma apart in the coming years and establish our state as a top choice to live, work and play.
TulsaBizPac receiving contributions, scheduling candidate interviews
The Tulsa Metro Chamber’s local Political Action Committee, TulsaBizPac, began accepting individual contributions from members three weeks ago, but a significant amount is needed in order to impact the elections for city office, leaders say.
“We’ve seen a rapid response from members,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO. “Interest in making a difference this election year is among the primary reasons given by contributors.”
The Chamber established TulsaBizPac to actively support local candidates who display leadership, diplomacy and a focus on issues facing Tulsa.
Filings ended July 13 with a record number of candidates running for a seat on the city council. TulsaBizPac leaders will hold lengthy interviews of contenders in the coming weeks intended to provide insight into the candidates’ priorities and platforms. At the conclusion of the interviews, PAC leaders will distribute funds to support selected candidates.
“This is the perfect avenue for our members to become involved in the local political scene,” said Neal. “Every level of contribution from every individual will assist in ensuring this endeavor is successful.”
TulsaBizPac is not affiliated with any political party and is non-partisan in its support of candidates. Contributions are only accepted from individuals and not businesses or corporations.
For more information or to contribute to the TulsaBizPac, please contact Tulsa Metro Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs Gwendolyn Caldwell at (918) 560-0211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to download the form.
New option for adult learners brings opportunity for workforce and economic development
Another option for adult learners seeking to increase their talent value will open this fall, giving Tulsans another way to better themselves and their community.
Northeastern State University will open the new College of Extended Learning, created specifically for Tulsa-area adults who want to complete a college degree or advance in their careers. Housed on the Broken Arrow campus, the college offers degree programs that focus on both quality and convenience, offering a mixture of accelerated eight-week courses; blended, online and weekend classes; and expanded support services.
“The College of Extended Learning will serve as a valuable resource for the region’s employers, and it fits perfectly into the Chamber’s Talent Dividend Initiative to increase the number of college graduates in the Tulsa region,” said Susan Harris, senior vice president of education and workforce at the Chamber.
Research by CEOs for Cities, a national business and education organization, revealed 185,000 individuals in the Tulsa area have some college credit but do not hold a degree. According to the organization, raising the number of college graduates by just 1 percentage point, or around 5,900 graduates, would mean a $646 million impact for the Tulsa region.
“This is not just an education issue; it is an economic development issue,” said Dr. Christee Jenlink, dean of the NSU-Broken Arrow campus. “Increasing the number of college graduates in the Tulsa region provides companies – both existing and new – with the talented workforce they need to meet the demands of today’s global economy.”
The Tulsa Metro Chamber is currently participating in CEOs for Cities’ Talent Dividend Prize competition. A $1 million award will go to the city that exhibits the greatest increase in post-secondary degrees granted over the next four years.
For more information on CEOs for Cities and the Chamber’s efforts to encourage economic development through college degree attainment, please contact Denise Reid, director of talent strategies and recruitment, at email@example.com.
Tax credits for rehab of historic buildings support downtown development
A large crowd gathered at the Capitol last Friday to attend the first meeting of the Task Force for the Study of State Tax Credits and Economic Incentives, which is studying a tax credit program that helps pay for restoring historic buildings.
Chamber staff joins Tulsans at Capitol to support program
Among the crowd of supporters was Delise Tomlinson, executive director of downtown development at the Chamber, who said the tax credits are integral to the revitalization of downtown Tulsa.
“The bones of downtown Tulsa are historic buildings,” said Tomlinson. “These tax credits further allow the economic development of our city’s core, and encourage new investments to the area.”
The tax credit pays up to 20 percent of qualified costs for rehabilitation of historic buildings, according to Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society.
The redevelopment of historic buildings across Tulsa without the tax credits is unlikely, said Tomlinson.
Another Tulsan in the crowd, Amanda DeCort, a preservation planner with the city of Tulsa, said the restored sites also affect public schools, libraries, health departments and the area’s ability to attract newer facilities.
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For more information on the Chamber’s downtown development initiatives, contact Delise Tomlinson at DeliseTomlinson@tulsachamber.com or 918.560.0243.
Top federal OneVoice priority sees support from House and Senate
The House and the Senate are both looking to support transportation funding, and have each presented bills that focus on long-term transportation reauthorization.
Two bills seek to reauthorize transportation funding
“We’re happy to see this crucial aspect of our infrastructure whole-heartedly supported by not just the Chamber and regional partners, but by our national Legislation as well,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Chamber. “Transportation is a vital piece of our state’s economic well-being and I look to our federal delegation to pass a bill that will keep funding and support at a level that allows the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to continue with the eight-year plan.”
Congressman John Mica developed a bill in the House’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that will reauthorize $230 billion in funds over a six-year period, allowing greater planning by state transportation organizations.
The second bill, developed in the Senate Public Works Committee and supported primarily by Sen. Barbara Boxer, reauthorizes $109 billion over two years.
Draft transit plan will be presented to public July 21
A top regional priority to create a financially viable public transportation program in the Tulsa region takes a step forward next week as INCOG presents the Fast Forward Transit System Plan draft to the public, giving community members a chance to review and submit comments for consideration by planning staff.
The draft plan identifies and prioritizes key traffic areas across the Tulsa region, and will next be analyzed for possible transportation modes and recommendations for future public transportation needs.
After the plan is presented, a 30-day period for comments submitted by email, fax or web will be open. Attend the unveiling next Thursday, July 21 at the Central Center located at 1028 E. 6th St from 6 to 8 p.m., view the plans online at www.fastforwardplan.org or visit these Tulsa County Library locations to see renderings: Central Library, Rudisill Library, Zarrow Library, Hardesty Library and Martin Library.
O’Reilly to manage Holiday Inn City Center
O’Reilly Hospitality Management LLC is taking over management of the Holiday Inn City Center, Tulsa, from Noble Hospitality Management Inc. of Kansas City.
The 201-room hotel will be added to the four-year-old company’s portfolio in the coming months.
"We are excited to be adding this award-winning 15-story Holiday Inn City Center hotel to our growing hotel management portfolio," said Tim O'Reilly, the company’s chief executive officer. "The hotel is ideally located within walking distance to the BOK center, ONEOK field, the Williams Companies, Helmerich and Payne, IBM, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, OSU teaching hospital, the Cherry Street entertainment district and many other downtown Tulsa venues.”
This week's top prioritiesExecutive:
• Meeting with JETRO-Houston Chief Executive Director Makoto Kimura.
• Hosting executive committee meeting.
• Presenting to the City of Tulsa Economic Development Commission.
• Hosting the VisitTulsa Advisory Council Meeting.
• Attending the DMAI Conference in New Orleans.
Tulsa Sports Commission:
• Marketing and operations planning for AC Milan.
• Hosting Advisory Council Meeting.
• Sending out BIDs and brainstorming fundraising ideas.
• Planning the final health care forum for 2010-2011, “The Economic Impact of Graduate Medical Education.”
• Recruiting new college and career coaches for Tulsa Public Schools.
• Hosting mid-year leadership team event.
• Planning family friendly event at MeadowBrook.
• Preliminary planning for D2: Diversity and Dialogue.
• Developing overall investor relations strategy for members, sponsors and investors.
• Planning for Visit Tulsa / Tulsa Sports Commission funding campaign.
• Preparing membership data verification for printed membership directory.
• Hosting Governor Fallin State of the State Luncheon.
• Presenting at Tulsa Chamber Board Executive Committee and Tulsa Economic Development Commission meetings.
• Hosting HR Forum on HB 2033, Oklahoma’s Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act.
• Official signing of economic development compact with the Bixby Chamber of Commerce
• Meeting with Chicago-based companies and consultants and participating in the Governors Economic Development Team event in Chicago
• Working with two companies on Quality Jobs applications and three companies on expansion efforts
• Discuss private-public financing options for downtown development
• Meeting with future tenants of a new downtown development
• Participating in OneVoice task force meetings on small business priorities
• Meeting with local professional services company regarding growth and workforce needs
• Hosting Listening to Your Business seminar for small business owners
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.
Anderson & Associates
CMC Holdings LLC
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Mid-American Communications Alliance
Roops Frozen Yogurt
Roops Frozen Yogurt
Jatin Bhakta, Owner
4107 S. Yale Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74135