ePOINT - January 2016

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In this issue:

Improving Oklahoma County’s justice system

Be the voice of OKC in Washington

Recruit employees at Greater Grads Career Fair

Innovative dining in OKC

Grand openings in Oklahoma City

OKC hotel/motel tax receipts set new records

Become a public school partner

Sign up for pre-screening program at OKC’s airport

In case you missed it

Sponsored Content: “Best Places to Work” nominations due this spring



Improving Oklahoma County’s justice system

Because of the efforts by a new Chamber-led task force to take a holistic look at the Oklahoma County justice system, the U.S. Justice Department has loosened its immediate pressure to fix problems at the Oklahoma County Jail, Roy Williams, president and CEO of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, told members of the Downtown Rotary Club on Tuesday.

The justice department will now give Oklahoma County two years to institute changes without the threat of a takeover, Williams said, noting that the news came via Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater after recent briefings in Washington, D.C.

Late last year, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber pulled together a task force from a variety of people who have an interest in the county justice system and contracted with the VERA Institute of Justice to analyze ways to help reduce incarceration, increase efficiencies and better serve our community, Williams said at the Rotary Club Tuesday. VERA has presented preliminary information to the task force and will soon work with it on Phase II, which will include a seven- to nine-month analysis and detailed recommendations.

Read more about Williams presentation to the Rotary Club. See a video from the recent Chamber Forum in January's online version of The POINT.

Be the voice of OKC in Washington


Join the Chamber and local leaders on a two-day trip to Washington, D.C., in April to advocate for pro-business legislation at the nation’s Capital.

Our D.C. Visit ’16 will be Wednesday, April 27, and Thursday, April 28.

The annual event includes personal briefings with Oklahoma’s U.S. senators and congressmen and a reception on Capitol Hill with federal officials and defense leaders. On the second day, sessions will cover specific topics of interest on issues critical to our community.

Cost is $800 per person 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. Additional hotel nights are available.

RSVP by emailing Meredith Manley or by calling 405.297.8964 as soon as possible to reserve your space.

For a schedule, go online.

Special thanks to Signature Sponsor American Fidelity Assurance Company.

Recruit employees at Greater Grads Career Fair


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 Tuesday, March 1.

Nearly 1,000 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. This Career Fair was established as part of the Chamber's Greater Grads initiative to encourage students to live and work in Oklahoma after they complete their college education. Only employers with Oklahoma positions are allowed to exhibit.

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

Sign up for a booth. For resources and more information for students, go online to the newly designed website GreaterGrads.com.

Special thanks to Signature Sponsor The Boeing Company.

Innovative dining in OKC


The food scene in Oklahoma City has transformed as much as the city has in recent years, giving diners a wide range of cuisine choices and innovative chefs throughout the metro. The recent VeloCity explores many of them and features videos that you don’t want to miss, including on “OKC’s Evolving Restaurant Scene” featuring Jonathan Stranger and Russ Johnson with Ludivine talking about how supportive of each other local restaurateurs are and an interview with the city’s culinary pioneer, Chef Kurt Fleischfresser.

Be sure to watch them and read VeloCity for plenty of ideas of where you want to eat for your next meal and shop for farm-to-table ingredients in your favorite dishes.

Read more at VeloCityOKC.com.

Grand openings in Oklahoma City

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber welcomes many new businesses with grand openings. Below is a list of upcoming ribbon cuttings, and you can find a complete list at www.okcchamber.com/grandopenings.

  • LA Sun & Sport, 14201 N May Ave., Suite 205 (Jan. 21)
  • Labor Finders, 309 SW 59, Suite 302 (Jan. 21)
  • The Addiction Recovery Center, 700 NW 7 (Jan. 28)
  • Rock & Brews, 2737 W Memorial Road (Jan. 28)
  • TierPoint, 4121 Perimeter Center Place, DC2, northwest corner of NW 39th Expressway and Tulsa Avenue (Jan. 28)
  • Ember Modern American Tavern, 6300 Waterford Blvd. (Feb. 5)
If you are interested in helping the Chamber welcoming these businesses, volunteer to become a Chamber ambassador.

OKC hotel/motel tax receipts set new records

Collections on the hotel/motel tax in Oklahoma City have set new record highs in the first two quarters of this fiscal year (July 1 through Dec. 31) and marked a 1.9 percent increase in collections over the same period last year. The city has tracked these receipts for the last 25 or 30 years, and these current numbers indicate a promising trend, said Michael Carrier, president of the Greater Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).

The hotel/motel tax, a 5.5 percent tax on hotel receipts, is used strictly for the tourism industry in Oklahoma City, including the Oklahoma City CVB’s efforts to promote tourism. Check out the CVB’s website, www.visitokc.com, to see some what’s going on for visitors to the area, including a monthly video showcasing events for the month.

Here are some of the conventions, trade shows and large events that Oklahoma City is hosting in the next few weeks, according to the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Find more.


Become a public school partner

Community partners are making a difference in the lives of the 46,000 students in Oklahoma City public schools as part of an effort launched last year by the school district and the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Called Partners in Action, this initiative allows community partners of all types to log on to a new website and view real-school needs. These partners also can post resources they have to offer schools such as volunteers or donations.

Some examples includes a St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Sunday School class that is mentoring students at Rancho Village Elementary, Cox Communications’ providing of high-speed Internet in students’ homes and the donation of food for school events by Ramiro Vasquez Padilla, owner of La Oaxaqueña Bakery.

“A community thrives when a strong public education system exists and public and private partners are rallying around our schools in support of the teachers, students and families,” said Percy Kirk, regional manager for Cox Communications in Oklahoma City.

Join Partners In Action by visiting www.okcps.org/PartnersInAction to create a profile and review a list of school needs. For more information, contact Ben Felder at The Foundation at 405-604-5977.

Sign up for pre-screening program at OKC’s airport

Passengers and airport visitors now can enroll in the TSA PreCheck® program from now until Friday, Jan. 22, (closed Saturday and Sunday) at the Will Rogers World Airport.

TSA PreCheck® is an expedited security screening program connecting travelers departing from the United States with smarter security and a better air travel experience. Passengers considered low-risk who qualify for the program can receive expedited screening that allows them to leave on their shoes, light jackets and belts and leave laptops and compliant liquids in carry-on bags.

More than 150 airports have dedicated TSA PreCheck® lanes, and 12 airlines participate in the program. After completing enrollment, successful applicants will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) via U.S. mail within 45 days that is valid for five years.

The enrollee then enters the provided KTN in the “Known Traveler Number” field when booking travel reservations.

Travelers, who have previously enjoyed TSA PreCheck® by “opting in” through airline frequent flyer programs, will now need to formally enroll in the program through TSA. The airline “opt in” is no longer valid. Cost is $85. To pre-enroll and set up your appointment, go to identogo.com/okc.


In case you missed it


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Sponsored Content

“Best Places to Work” nominations due this spring

Nominate your company for the okc.BIZ list of the 11th annual “Best Places to Work in Oklahoma.”

To participate, a business must be a for-profit or not-for-profit business, public or private, have 25 or more employees and be older than one year.

There are fees involved in the application process. Best Companies Group, an independent research firm, is facilitating the nominations and will conduct the employee surveys, analyze the data, determine the final rankings and share the feedback with employer applicants.

Partners of this effort include okc.BIZ, OK Human Resource State Council, The State Chamber of Oklahoma, The Economic Development Resource for Oklahoma (OEDC), Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives.

Registration deadline is May 20. Winners will be notified in August and highlighted in a September publication of okc.BIZ.

For more information call (877) 455-2159 or go online to http://www.BestPlacesToWorkOK.com/

This content sponsored by okc.BIZ.

If you are interested in sponsoring ePoint and highlighting your business in this space, contact Lillie-Beth Brinkman, content marketing manager, at (405) 475-8990 or lbrinkman@okcchamber.com.

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