Greater Oklahoma City Chamber - The ePoint! E-Mail Newsletter

The ePoint! E-Mail Newsletter

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In this issue:

Governor to outline major legislative objectives

Recent land deal exemplifies community’s support for Tinker AFB

Chamber forum to talk about commercial districts

Learn about the Greater OKC region’s past, present and future economy

Meet the Chamber’s newest vice president

Meet with defense, economic and transit leaders in Washington

Come to the Greater Grads Career Fair March 5

Your ideas matter at the Creativity World Forum 2015

Oklahoma City’s upcoming conventions

In case you missed it



Governor to outline major legislative objectives

Come hear Gov. Mary Fallin discuss key issues facing Oklahoma businesses and outline major objectives for the legislative season during the Chairman’s Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, March 9, 2015, at the Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens.

Register. Special thanks to Signature Sponsor Cox Communications and Host Sponsor Renaissance Oklahoma City Convention Center Hotel and Spa.


Recent land deal exemplifies community’s support for Tinker AFB


When 158 acres of land west of Tinker Air Force Base changed hands this month, it represented another example of the Chamber’s longstanding support of Tinker and its mission.

The land that now belongs to Tinker is the future home of a U.S. Air Force depot maintenance facility for the Air Force’s next-generation aerial refueling aircraft, the KC-46A Pegasus by Boeing. The acquisition also helps protect the base by ensuring that Tinker’s land is contiguous.

The Chamber has worked closely with area leaders to support the base since 1941, when it raised funds to purchase Tinker Field in order to make Oklahoma City a candidate for a new federal air depot. A year later, the War Department chose Tinker for the Midwest Air Depot and the Air Logistics Center. From then on, this foresight led to the Douglass Aircraft Plant at Tinker Field, which manufactured C-47 cargo planes and the CAA (now known as the FAA) moved from Houston to Oklahoma City. These combined earned OKC a designation of being the only aeronautics campus in the world for a time.

The strong partnership between the Oklahoma City community and Tinker continues today, as seen in this most recent land purchase from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. The Chamber led a coalition of local and state government to support it.

The acquisition required the joint effort of the U.S. Air Force ($8 million), the City of Oklahoma City ($23.5 million) and Oklahoma County ($12.5 million). The Air Force formally received the property during a recent ceremony at Tinker moderated by Chamber Chairman David Rainbolt and featuring Kathleen Ferguson, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy; Gov. Mary Fallin; Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield, Air Force Sustainment Center Commander; Brian Maughan, chairman of the Oklahoma County Commissioners; and Oklahoma City Vice Mayor Meg Salyer.

BNSF operated a rail yard that primarily served the former General Motors manufacturing facility.

Read more on the Chamber’s website, as well as from local media sites, including The Oklahoman, The Journal Record, the Edmond Sun, KFOR News Channel 4 and KWTV 9. The acquisition also received nationwide attention, with stories on the websites of Aerospace News, the Association of Defense Communities, the U.S. Air Force and more.


Chamber forum to talk about commercial districts

Learn about how the strength and growth of commercial districts are playing an important role in Oklahoma City’s overall revitalization during the upcoming Chamber Forum from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, at the Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown Hotel, 1 N Broadway.

Success stories abound in the Paseo, Midtown, Plaza and Film Row districts and others because community-minded investors combined financial risk, expertise and time to catalyze development. Join the Chamber for this lunch and panel discussion, along with an audience Q&A.

Register. Special thanks to Series Signature Event Sponsor Cox Business.


Learn about the Greater OKC region’s past, present and future economy

Take a look at the wealth of data in the 2015 Greater Oklahoma City Economic Forecast, which examines the region’s economic diversity and its successes of the past year. It also projects how the fluctuations of oil prices will affect Oklahoma City’s economy. You can also download the report at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber’s Regional Data web page.

Prepared by Russell Evans, an Oklahoma City University economist, and Eric Long, the Chamber’s research economist, the report analyzes historic economic trends and the present at the national, state and metro level, and provides a 2015 forecast for the region.

Meet the Chamber’s newest vice president

Sunny Cearley joined the Chamber staff this month as vice president of membership development. She comes to the Chamber from The Journal Record Publishing Co., where she was director of sales and community relations.

As a key member of the Chamber’s executive leadership team, Cearley will lead the programs, campaigns and services to increase Chamber membership and retention, and she’ll manage the Chamber’s Total Resource Development Campaign (TRDC). Read more.

Meet with defense, economic and transit leaders in Washington


Join the Chamber on a two-day trip to Washington, D.C., in April to advocate for pro-business legislation at the nation’s Capital. The D.C. Visit will be Wednesday, April 15, and Thursday, April 16.

Here is a rundown of the schedule:

Wednesday, April 15, 1:30 to 5 p.m.
  • Personal briefings with Oklahoma’s congressional delegation – Oklahoma’s U.S. senators, Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, and U.S. representatives, Tom Cole, Frank Lucas, Steve Russell, Markwayne Mullin and Jim Bridenstine; 6-7:30 p.m., a reception hosted by Inhofe with federal and military officials.

Thursday, April 16, 8 to 11:30 a.m.

  • A military defense briefing from Kathleen Ferguson, the U.S. Air Force’s principal deputy assistant secretary for Installations, Environment and Energy.
  • A presentation on “The Impact of Federal Tax and Regulatory Policy on Economic Growth and the Business Environment,” by Dr. Dino Falaschetti, senior research fellow and director of outreach for financial and economic policy at the Mercatus Center, George Mason University. He is a former senior economist for President George W. Bush’s Council on Economic Advisors
  • A presentation on “Regional Transit Systems: Opportunities and Challenges for Cities and an Update on Federal Transportation Funding” by Michael P. Melaniphy, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Public Transportation Association.

Cost is $750 and includes one night’s lodging at The Henley Park Hotel, 926 Massachusetts Ave., and all affiliated events. Air travel to and from Washington, D.C., is not included, giving attendees the option to extend their stay for additional business in the area.

RSVP by emailing Meredith Manley or by calling 405.297.8964. More information.

Come to the Greater Grads Career Fair March 5

Whether you know a college student looking for an internship or a job or you are an employer looking to fill an open spot, make plans for the Greater Grads Career Fair on Thursday, March 5.

More than 600 local college students are expected to meet with Oklahoma employers during the Career Fair from noon to 4 p.m. at the Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens.

Recruiter booths are $400, with special rates for government and nonprofit agencies.

Buy a booth. More information for students.

Your ideas matter at the Creativity World Forum 2015

Make plans now to attend the 2015 Creative World Forum in Oklahoma City from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker.

Hosted by Creative Oklahoma, the forum, with a theme of with a theme of “All Our Futures: Ideas That Matter,” will welcome creative-minded entrepreneurs, business professionals, educators, artists and students from around the world. Take advantage of the chance to network with them.

The lineup of speakers includes Michael Strautmanis, vice president of strategic programs for corporate citizenship for The Walt Disney Co.; and Stephan Turnipseed, president emeritus and executive director of strategic partnerships, LEGO Education; among many other renowned and innovative luminaries.

Be part of the discussion on Facebook and Twitter, and submit your ideas for panel discussions on social media, with the hashtag #yourideasmatter.

Events leading up to the March 31 forum include a “Shark Tank” entrepreneurial competition; a gala; and more.

For World Creativity Forum sponsorship information, go online. To volunteer, email Taylor Lawrence, communications coordinator. Tickets for the forum start at $200 for students and educators and $285 for individuals before Feb. 20. Chamber members can attend for $225 by registering with the code “Create2015.” Register to attend.


Oklahoma City’s upcoming conventions

Take a look at some of the conventions and trade shows that Oklahoma City is hosting in the next few weeks, according to the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Find more. Among them are:


In case you missed it

  • Oklahoma City once again earned AAA bond ratings from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s for the fifth consecutive year. The city’s obligation bonds received AAA ratings from both financial rating services. Oklahoma City’s high reserve levels, stable and diversified economy and financial management practices are three factors that led to the ratings. Additional factors that contributed to Oklahoma City’s ratings included: low unemployment rate, moderate debt levels, voter support and the city’s role as a regional economic center. Oklahoma City received the highest ratings possible, reflecting the highest credit quality.
  • Forbes ranks Oklahoma City No. 19 Best City for Hispanics. Forbes examined 52 of America’s largest metropolitan statistical areas using four factors: homeownership, entrepreneurship (measured by self-employment rate), median household income and Hispanic population change from 2000 to 2013 to determine the best cities for Hispanic Economic Opportunity. In addition to Forbes, read more from New Geography.
  • Check out the February issue of The POINT! newsletter, which includes more of the Chamber’s legislative agenda, a feature on Oklahoma’s destination for sporting events and a look at the state’s economy.
  • Check out the Chamber’s retail website,, for features about successful Oklahoma City retailers and demographic data, as well as news about the most recent developments in the city’s retail scene.
  • The BBC World Service interviewed Chamber President and CEO Roy Williams for a broadcast feature called “What can Oklahoma teach the rest of the US?

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




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