Greater Oklahoma City Chamber - The ePoint E-Mail Newsletter

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In this issue:

Last chance to soar with Chamber campaign

Chairman’s Breakfast to feature federal legislative update

InternOKC finishes up with more interns than ever

Numbers reflect strong showing for Oklahoma’s bioscience industry

OKC: One of top places in U.S. to find a job

Save the dates for these additional important events

Upcoming conventions and events in Oklahoma City

Warning: Awards program not affiliated with local entity

IRS rule could hurt small businesses providing funds for health care

In case you missed it



Last chance to soar with Chamber campaign

There’s still time to get involved in the Chamber’s Total Resource Development Campaign (TRDC), which is in its last month. As of June 30, volunteers had raised $2,077,306 of the Chamber’s $3 million goal for 2015 and recruited 89 new members.

The campaign directly funds the Chamber’s work as the visionary organization of Oklahoma City and strengthens the voice of business in the community.

Since the campaign kickoff, John Higginbotham, Bank of Oklahoma, and Michael Laird, Crowe & Dunlevy, have led Chamber volunteers to connect with local companies and individuals and identify sponsorship, marketing and advertising opportunities available through Chamber programs and publications.

“The Total Resource Development Campaign offers Chamber members the chance to be engaged in what this organization does for Oklahoma City, and it also lets members get in front of a large audience of business-minded people through advertising and sponsorship opportunities,” Higginbotham and Laird said. “We believe the campaign is a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

For more information about how to take advantage of marketing opportunities during the campaign, visit

Chairman’s Breakfast to feature federal legislative update

On Tuesday, Aug. 4, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber will host Chairman’s Breakfast at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd Street, from 8 to 9:30 a.m.

Start the day by gathering with members of the city’s leadership to consider issues at the forefront of the region’s future development. U.S. Rep. Steve Russell will provide the Chamber with a legislative update on key federal issues facing Congress and Oklahoma, as well as describe his first few months of service in Washington as Fifth District Congressman.

Admission for the event is $40 for Chamber members and $60 for nonmembers.


Special thanks to Signature Sponsor Cox Communications.

InternOKC finishes up with more interns than ever


The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber's Greater Grads initiative concluded its largest-ever InternOKC summer program on Wednesday with Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb urging interns to stay in Oklahoma after college graduation and H&8th Market's Brian Bergman telling them what it means to contribute to the culture in their hometown.

The 465 interns who participated in 2015 brought the total of interns who have participated in InternOKC since its inception to nearly 3,300. This year's group of interns represented 73 companies, 26 states, 69 colleges and universities and 75 majors. They came from within Oklahoma and from as far away as Alaska, North Dakota and Florida.

InternOKC is one part of Greater Grads' efforts to retain college graduates in the area and is designed to introduce Greater Oklahoma City-area interns to the region and foster networking. They attended a series of sessions over the summer that covered topics that included professional development and information about living in Oklahoma City.

Special thanks to InternOKC Signature Sponsor SandRidge Energy, Inc. and Greater Grads Benefactor Sponsors The Boeing Company, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Continental Resources, Devon Energy Corporation, OGE Energy Corp., and SandRidge Energy, Inc.

Numbers reflect strong showing for Oklahoma’s bioscience industry


Oklahoma’s delegation of more than 60 scientists, business leaders, educators and economic development officers from across Oklahoma participated in a record number of partnering meetings with potential collaborators and business partners at the 2015 international Bioscience Industry Organization (BIO) convention in Philadelphia from June 15-18.

During the convention, the Oklahoma delegation participated in more than 190 partnering meetings, 172 of which were held in Oklahoma’s pavilion. More than 4,000 attendees of the BIO convention connected with the Oklahoma delegation. The Chamber was one of 26 organizations represented during the event.

In Oklahoma the bioscience industry supports 51,000 jobs and more than $6.7 billion in economic activity.

For more information, read the July edition of The POINT! and go to

OKC: One of top places in U.S. to find a job

Fortune ranks Oklahoma City No. 8 best city to find a job in 2015

Unemployment is down to 5.5 percent nationally, Fortune says in introducing its list of cities that have jobs "begging for workers." In Oklahoma, that rate is 3.4 percent, putting it in eighth place among best cities to find a job. For more information about top industries in these communities, job-seeking tips and other cities with less than 4 percent unemployment, go online.

Cities in the Fortune's top 10 by rank include:
1. Lincoln, Neb.
2. Omaha, Neb.
3. Austin, Texas
4. Lubbock, Texas
5. Madison, Wisc.
6. Irvine, Calif.
7. San Antonio, Texas
8. Oklahoma City
9. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.
10. Honolulu, Hawaii

Save the dates for these additional important events

  • Make plans to attend the Chamber’s State of the Schools luncheon on Aug. 20 featuring Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma’s state superintendent of public instruction; and other key education leaders, including Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma secretary of education and workforce development; and Robert Neu, superintendent of the Oklahoma City School District. Bring school supplies to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma City.
  • Learn about the value of the Oklahoma Health Center to the community at the annual Oklahoma Health Center Breakfast on Sept. 24.
  • Buy your tickets for Metro 50, the event on Sept. 29 to honor the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the area.
  • Sign up for one of the Chamber’s golf tournaments on Oct. 12, Oct. 19 and Oct. 26.
  • Buy an exhibitor booth for SchmoozaPalooza on Oct. 29 to showcase your company’s work.

See all upcoming Chamber events.


Upcoming conventions and events in Oklahoma City

Take a look at some of the conventions, trade shows and events that Oklahoma City is hosting in the next few weeks, according to the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Tourism is the city’s third-largest industry, generating $2.9 billion in domestic travel expenditures in the OKC Metropolitan Statistical Area, and it supports more than 35,000 jobs with $969 million in payroll. Among upcoming events and conventions are:

Find more in the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau’s convention calendar. While you’re online, explore the CVB’s new website.

Warning: Awards program not affiliated with local entity

A company operating under a vague/changing name is alerting businesses in the Greater Oklahoma City region that they have won an award recognizing them as “The Best” in certain categories. The qualifications for this award are also vague.

Before you accept an award like this, please be aware that the recognition is not tied to the Chamber or the City and may be only from a company asking you to pay for the award in order to receive it.

These awards often operate under different names, but the Chamber has received recent reports of the “Oklahoma City Award Program” honoring businesses in certain categories without a clear definition of how these businesses were nominated and what criteria were used to select them.

After responding, businesses are then asked to pay for the award for which they never applied.

This current program operates under the auspices of Before you accept an unsolicited honor like this, please be aware and verify its origin first.

IRS rule could hurt small businesses providing funds for health care

A new Internal Revenue Service regulation that went into effect July 1 could affect small businesses (less than 50 employees) that choose to help their workers purchase health insurance or pay for healthcare-related expenses.

This regulation allows the IRS to fine employers that do not offer a group health plan but give their employees additional pay to compensate for the purchase of health insurance or direct medical expenses $100 per day for each employee. That means employers could be fined $36,500 per employee up to $500,000 in total.

If you are providing such a payment arrangement for your employees, you may want to consider discussing this with your accountant and ending that arrangement before your company accumulates excessive fines. A temporary exemption and relief for small business from this fine expired June 30. The IRS regulation appears to drive employers to offer potentially more expensive group health care plans or have their employees buy insurance through health insurance exchanges, even though this fine on small businesses does not appear explicitly in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Currently, there are two bills pending in Washington that will revisit this issue: Senate Bill 1697 by U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and House Resolution 2911 by U.S. Rep Charles W. Boustany Jr., R-Louisiana. Both are being referred to as “Small Business Healthcare Relief Act.” Jack Mozloom with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) stated the bills to repeal this IRS regulation have bipartisan support and added that the business federation is urging people to contact their U.S. senators and representatives in support of this legislation.

Read more on, the NFIB website and Read the IRS rule here.

In case you missed it

  • Read about some potential new developments from Oklahoma’s bioscience world. In Bringing a new drug to market in Oklahoma is not for the faint of heart (The Oklahoman), i2e’s Scott Meacham talks about a promising new drug in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. And there’s new hope in the fight against pancreatic and liver cancers, according to this story in The Oklahoman.
  • Development and population growth in certain areas in the metro shine a light on the city’s future transportation needs, as The Journal Record reports about the results from the Oklahoma City Area Regional Transportation Study.
  • Read an interview with Dr. Thomas Kupiec, chief executive of Analytical Research Laboratories (ARL) and DNA Solutions, Inc., about his longtime experience with Oklahoma’s bioscience community both in the state and at the international Bioscience Industry Organization (BIO) Convention.
  • Oklahoma City gets some love from The Meeting Magazines (featuring corporate and incentive travel) for its appeal as a convention destination.
  • Wallet Hub recently analyzed the 150 largest U.S. cities and determined Oklahoma City was the 17th best city to start a career in 2015.
  • Millennials are changing Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Gazette reports.
  • Oklahoma City can be a blueprint for bringing back Colorado Springs’ downtown (The Colorado Springs, Colo., Gazette)
  • Glassdoor has named Oklahoma City as one of the cities in the United States that has recovered most from the recession.

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Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
123 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73102



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