Business After Hours July 2017
The summer fun continued at Goodwill Adult Day Services for Business After Hours on Thursday. Several joined the party to mingle and build relationships. We would like to thank Goodwill Adult Day Services for hosting this month’s event.
If you missed this event, don’t miss out on Breakfast B4 Business at Crutchers Western Wear on Aug 1, or our next Business After Hours on August 17 hosted by Audio Tech.
The Boys and Girls Club
The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Lawton is currently servicing 100 kids ranging from 4-17 years of age in their Summer Program. Their current activities include Summer Brain Game, Computer Lab, Arts and Crafts, Sports, Next Level, Ribbon Dancing, weekly Field Trips and much more.
The Summer Program will end on July 31st with their end of the year party,“Water Day,” which includes water games and pizza supplied by Classic Chevrolet. At the end of the Summer Program the kids receive free school supplies and are encouraged to come back and join the After School Program.
Change in Leadership
Lawton Community Blood Drive
The Chamber and Young Professionals along with the Oklahoma Blood Institute held the Lawton Community Blood Drive on July 14. The Bloodmobile was parked at the Chamber and donors received an OBI t-shirt, two tickets to the OKC Zoo, and a free appetizer at the White Buffalo for the day of the drive.
Since there is no substitute for human blood, and supplies must be constantly renewed, the need for donation is great. About three gallons of blood is required to support the entire nation’s blood need for just one minute.
Volunteer blood donors give more than a quarter-of-a-million units of blood annually with Oklahoma Blood Institute to provide a safe and adequate blood supply. Scheduled surgeries are NOT canceled in Oklahoma because of lack of blood thanks to volunteer donors, but it is a common problem in other parts of the nation.
Once tested and processed by Oklahoma Blood Institute’s medical professionals, blood and its components are transported to patients across our state. Oklahoma Blood Institute is the ninth largest, independent nonprofit blood center in the United States.
Young Professionals After Hours Social - July
Young Professionals of Lawton held their monthly social, only the second one since the beginning of the program! Thursday, July 13, at The White Buffalo many Young Professionals showed up to network and have fun. Attendees had a chance to meet their fellow YP members, expand their network, and enjoy some marvelous food and drink. As a reminder, if you haven’t signed up as a member of Young Professionals of Lawton you can do so at www.yplawton.com today.
Cameron University has more than half of students graduate debt free!
Dr. McArthur reported at the June Chamber Board meeting that Cameron had presented 850 degrees to students this year and 63% of those students graduated debt free!
Oklahoma one of Best States for Business
Despite a recent economic downturn, Oklahoma continues to position itself well for business, according to a recent survey compiled by Chief Executive magazine. Its annual Best & Worst States for Business Ranking, which is compiled from surveys of chief executive officers, shows Oklahoma at No. 17, up one from 2016 and up from No. 21 in 2008.
The state received above-average scores when it comes to taxation and regulation (6.82 out of 10); workforce quality (6.63 out of 10) and living environment (6.69 out of 10). Oklahoma’s position as a right-to-work state was also mentioned in the findings.
“We are constantly working to promote Oklahoma as a desirable place for business, and to further strengthen our business climate,” said Governor Mary Fallin. “States like California, New York and Illinois find themselves among the worst states for business according to CEOs. Issues like high taxes, governmental red tape and increasing regulations are making it hard for businesses to operate in these places. Oklahoma has the opportunity to showcase our strengths and set ourselves apart.”
In addition to the rankings, Chief Executive highlighted other specific areas of interest, including Top 10 States for High-Tech. Oklahoma is ranked No. 10 in that category.
View the full rankings at www.chiefexecutive.net/2017-best-worst-states-business
Staff Prepares for new year
Friday, the Chamber team held their staff retreat. The day was dedicated to brainstorming ways to improve in the coming fiscal year. Each year the employees take a day and get together to come up with new and creative ways to meet the goals set by our board in order to better serve YOU, our members. The entire team is excited to put into practice what they prepared at the retreat.
Purple Heart City Ceremony & Monument Unveiling
Wednesday, June 21, the Military Order of the Purple Heart Mount Scott Chapter 602 held a celebratory ceremony acknowledging Lawton's invitation from the Military Order of the Purple Heart to become a Purple Heart City.
At the event the new Purple Heart monument, a tribute to the recipients of the Purple Heart Medal, was unveiled.
LLFS Class XXVII
The Leadership Lawton Fort Sill class XXVII graduated on Thursday! We want to congratulate the entire class as their hard work and dedication paid off!
Leadership Lawton Class XXVII
2017 Annual Celebration
The Chamber's Annual Celebration was Friday, June 23. The theme for this year’s event was Lawton Proud – A New Day. Attendees were entertained by the comedy stylings of one of Oklahoma’s favorite sons, Will Rogers, dancing, and a celebration of Chamber volunteers.
This year’s event featured many new aspects that haven’t been featured at the event before. Dressy Western attire and vibrant Oklahoma decorations set the stage for the one event this year that celebrated all we have to be proud of in Lawton.
Redcoat Rookie of the Year
Redcoat of the Year
Shelia O. Lee Volunteer of the Year
We also want to thank our Annual Banquet Committee Task Force for all of the time and hard work they put into the event.
Committee Chairman: Chris Martin, chrisMARTIN.tv
Mark Brace, Bancfirst
Nathan Slate, Northrup Grumman
Chearlene Glover-Johnson, Johnson & Johnson Locksmith and Door Company
Tanna Vu, Hilton Garden Inn
Monica McCleary, Hilton Garden Inn
Lavonne Bynum, Cosmetic Specialty Labs
Rafael Santos, First National Bank & Trust
Yvonne Landmark, The UPS Store
Chamber Offices Closed June 30
Chamber Offices will be closed June 30th so that our staff members can attend the Staff Retreat. This gives our staff a chance to plan for the upcoming year and make it the best we can for you, OUR MEMBERS!
Business After Hours June 2017
The summer heat did not stop the party at The White Buffalo for Business After Hours on Thursday. Many gathered to network and mingle with friends. We would like to thank The White Buffalo for hosting this month's event!
If you missed this one, make sure to attend Breakfast B4 Business at Springhill Suites on July 11 and Business After Hours July 20 at Goodwill Adult Day Services.
Teach for America
Lawton will have 6 new Teach for America teachers next school year. They came by the Chamber on Wednesday to hear more about our great community. Presenters included Cameron University, Kim Thomas with Re/Max, the City of Lawton, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Young Professionals and the Chamber.
Teach For America is a nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to "enlist, develop, and mobilize as many as possible of our nation's most promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence." The organization aims to accomplish this by recruiting and selecting college graduates from top universities around the United States to serve as teachers.
Breakfast B4 Business - June 2017
Tuesday, June 6, The Salt Cellar hosted Breakfast B4 Business. Attendees got to mingle and learn more about what the store has to offer.
We would like to thank The Salt Cellar for hosting this event! If you missed this event, mark your calendars now for Business After Hours at The White Buffalo on June 15, and our next Breakfast B4 Business at Springhill Suites on July 11.
What is "Dressy Western"?
Remember your roots and show up in boots! The "dressy western" attire for this year's Annual Celebration was inspired by our Oklahoma heritage. Clothing provided by Crutcher's Western Wear.
Look for the bloopers on our Facebook page!
Young Professionals After Hours Social
Young Professionals of Lawton had their first social following last month’s launch
Thursday, June 8, at Red Dirt Reloaded Bar & Grill many Young Professionals showed up to network and have fun.
Attendees had a chance to meet their fellow YP members, expand thier network, and enjoy some marvelous food and drink.
As a reminder, if you haven’t signed up as a member of Young Professionals of Lawton you can do so at www.yplawton.com today.
Legislative Wrap-Up Luncheon 2017
The Legislative Wrap-Up Luncheon was held June 9 at Apache Casino Hotel.
As the state legislative session comes to a close, our local legislators communicated to attendees the events from this last session.
The community had the chance to hear first hand what has gone on from the legislators themselves.
At the Legislative Kick-Off Luncheon in March, local legislators came and spoke with community members about their plans for the legislative session.
Young Professionals After-Hours Social – June 8
Attention all Young Professionals of Lawton, YPL is having their first social following last month’s launch!
Who: Enrolled members of Young Professionals of Lawton (if you haven’t joined, sign up now at www.yplawton.com.)
What: YP After Hours Social
When: Thursday, June 8, 5:00-7:00
Where: Red Dirt Reloaded Bar & Grill, 6425 NW Cache Rd, (adjacent to IBC Bank)
Why: Nearly 250 joined our organization during the launch weekend in April. Stop by for a chance to meet your fellow YP members, expand your network, and enjoy some marvelous food and drink. We will socialize, give out door prizes, and talk about the future of our organization! Heavy hor d’hourves will be served, and 1 FREE drink ticket per person will be provided!
RSVP: If attending, please RSVP here at https://www.facebook.com/events/1626610560700191/.
As a reminder, if you haven’t signed up as a member of Young Professionals of Lawton, you must do so before attending. Visit www.yplawton.com and join today.
SEE YOU THERE!
TIckets on sale for Annual Celebration
The Chamber's Annual Celebration will be at 7:00 p.m. Friday, June 23, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 135 NW 2nd. Get your tickets here.
The theme for this year’s event is Lawton Proud – A New Day. Attendees will be entertained by the comedy stylings of one of Oklahoma’s favorite sons, Will Rogers. As well as dancing, and a celebration of Chamber volunteers.
"This is a chance to come together,” said Nathan Slate, incoming Chairman of the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce, “join with friends and neighbors and enjoy an entertaining evening that celebrates our wonderful community.”
This year’s event will feature many new aspects that haven’t been featured at the event before. Dressy Western attire and vibrant Oklahoma decorations will set the stage for the one event this year that will celebrate all we have to be proud of in Lawton.
“Every year is different,” said Chris Martin, Chair of the Annual Celebration Task Force, “but this year you can expect something completely new. We have really worked to make the whole event interactive and fun for the audience”
The event will include a social hour, a VIP reception, music, dancing, a unique performance, words from the outgoing and incoming chamber chairmen, and presentation of volunteer awards.
“The Annual Celebration serves as our Annual Meeting,” said Mark Brace, outgoing Chairman of the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce. “This event is for our Chamber members. We celebrate both the past year's successes and the promising future of the next year.”
Social hour starts at 6 p.m. and the program will begin at 7 p.m. Dinner will be provided. Tickets are $50 for chamber members and $75 general admission.
We would like to thank our sponsors
Apache Casino Hotel, Anderson Pharmacy, Audio Tech, Brox Industries, Cameron University, City National Bank, CCMH, Classic Lawton Chevrolet, LLC, EZ Go Stores, Great Plains Technology Center, Hilliary Communications, Hilton Garden Inn & Lawton-Fort Sill Convention Center, IBC Bank, Johnson & Johnson Locksmith and Door Co, Inc / AAA Insurance - Robinette Agency, KSWO TV /KAUZ , Laugh Out Loud, Lawton Constitution, Liberty National Bank, Northrup Grumman, Pam & Barry's Team @ Remax, Paragon Apartments, Signal Mountain Associates, The UPS Store
AUSA, Cosmetic Specialty Labs, Corvias Military Living, Crutcher's Western Wear, Fairfield Inn, Fidelity Communications, JAMARK, LLC, PSO, Springhill Suites
News from the State Capitol
The Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce will host the Legislative Wrap-Up Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on June 9 at Apache Casino Hotel.
As the state legislative session comes to a close, our local legislators will be conveying to attendees the events from this last session.
Albert Johnson, Jr., Vice Chair for Military and Government Affairs said this event, "allows our legislators to report back to the community what took place during the legislative session."
“We welcome the community to come and interact with our representatives about the recent session,” said Albert Johnson, Jr., Vice Chair for Military and Government Affairs. “We are fortunate to have a forum like this luncheon that creates an environment to provide feedback as well as hear about the decisions that are made that affect Lawton Fort Sill.”
The community will have the chance to hear first hand what has gone on from the legislators themselves.
At the Legislative Kick-Off Luncheon in March, local legislators came and spoke with community members about their plans for the legislative session.
“The luncheon is a chance to gain a better understanding of legislation passed in our state,” said Mark Brace, Chairman of the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce. “We will have the representatives here, face-to-face, to talk about what this means for Oklahoma residents. For those who attended the luncheon in March this will be an update as to what took place at our capitol”
RSVPs are required no later than June 1.Registration is $25 for general admission, and $20 for Chamber members. Register for the event here.
To sponsor this event contact Sharleen Gehers at 580-355-3541 or by email at email@example.com
Military Affairs Spring Social
The Military Affairs Committee hosted their Spring Social Thursday evening at the Lawton Country Club. It was a time to catch up with friends as well as a chance to both welcome those coming to Lawton Fort Sill and bid farewell to those leaving our community. Military Affairs works to promote unity between business leaders and military command staff.
The Military Affairs Committee hosts a social every Fall and Spring.
If you are interested in becoming a part of the Military Affairs Committee contact Jamie Southerland today!
Give the Gift of Membership
Do you know a business owner that needs some assistance? Why not give them a one year Chamber membership? Within our Chamber, there are so many positive benefits that a member experiences. The Chamber is considered the “resource center” for the Lawton-Fort Sill community. We are a network of over 1,000 business members that create opportunities, share ideas, help drive new business, build relations with our military partners, and most importantly – we work together to build economic empowerment across our community.
Want to give a non-profit the gift of membership? Call the Chamber today at 355-3541!
New law will assure greater tax compliance for out-of-state companies doing business in Oklahoma
A measure to assist the Oklahoma Tax Commission’s (OTC) efforts to ensure all taxes owed by out-of-state companies are remitted has been signed into law. Rep. Kyle Hilbert, R-Depew, and Sen. James Leewright, R- Bristow, are the principal authors of House Bill 1427, the Out-of-State Tax Collections Enforcement Act of 2017.
The legislation authorizes the creation of a dedicated division within the agency so the Commission will be able to use its trained personnel to focus solely on out-of-state vendors who may not be in compliance with Oklahoma tax code.
“I’m pleased that my colleagues in the legislature and the governor have realized the potential of this legislation,” Hilbert said. “Many other states already do this, and it’s a way to ensure that companies that operate in Oklahoma will pay their fair share of state taxes. Very simply, this is money these out-of-state vendors owe our state.”
OTC Executive Director Tony Mastin expressed his thanks to Hilbert and Leewright, adding the Commission strongly supported the measure.
“I am very appreciative of the legislative support strengthening the Tax Commission’s ability to ensure out-of-state companies are complying with Oklahoma state and local tax laws,” Mastin said.
Leewright said when looking at tax policy in the state, he felt it was important to make sure those out-of-state companies doing business here in Oklahoma were correctly remitting what they owed.
“This legislation is about giving the Tax Commission the tools necessary to ensure these companies are in compliance,” Leewright said. “It’s good management and assists our efforts to be the best stewards possible of public resources on behalf of our citizens. We appreciate the support of our fellow members and the governor.”
HB 1427 takes effect beginning November 1, 2017.
Business After Hours May 2017
A little rain didn't stop the party at the Lawton Country Club on Thursday.
Many gathered to network and mingle at Business After Hours. We would like to thank The Lawton Country Club for hosting this month's event!
If you missed this one, make sure to attend Business After Hours June 15 at The White Buffalo.
Armed Force Day 2017
We kicked off Armed Forces Day with our Annual Armed Forces Day Luncheon. The luncheon was hosted at the Patriot Club on Fort Sill. The New York USO Show Troupe provided wonderful entertainment for attendees. It was a great way to start Armed Forces Day Weekend!
The Armed Forces Day Parade was on May 20. We are so glad we can honor our brave servicemen and women with this fantastic parade!
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!
United in Strength
Guardians of Peace
Pillars of Freedom
Candlewood Suites - Fleet Way Car Sales - Fort Sill Federal Credit Union Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. - MedExpress Urgent Care - Ross Estates Apartments Springhill Suites - USO - Veterans United Home Loans - Webster University
Teamed for Defense
Arvest Bank - Corvias Military Living - Dolese Brothers Company - Hilton Garden Inn Survival Flight Inc.- Whataburger
Lawton Economic Development Corporation hosts Annual Luncheon
The Lawton Economic Development Corporation is hosting their Annual Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 17, at the Hilton Garden Inn.
This annual event is designed to give businesses and community leaders insight on the previous year as well as a forecast for the year ahead.
Two of the State’s top economic experts, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and Dr. Mark Sneed, Ph.D., will provide insight into both Oklahoma and Lawton Fort Sill’s economic future.
Lamb has served as Lieutenant Governor since November 2010. After a term in which Lamb advocated for workers’ compensation reform, higher pay for Oklahoma’s Troopers, and growing Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry.
Snead is an economist and president of RegionTrack. His research interests focus primarily on regional economic modeling and forecasting, local area economic development, and the economic role of the nation’s energy-producing regions.
The luncheon is open to the public. Tickets for the luncheon are $45, and table sponsorships are available.
If you are interested in registering for the event please contact Inga Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for RSVPs is May 10.
2nd Street Complete
City of Lawton officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of 2nd Street on May 3. The 2nd Street enhancement project was completed in three phases. 2nd Street serves as the main entrance to Lawton's downtown area, and to Elmer Thomas Park, the Museum of the Great Plains, McMahon Memorial Auditorium, the downtown shopping district and hotel accommodations. This project has provided the following:
- Removed and Replaced ~4,000 LF of roadway (5 – 12’ lanes) and Sidewalk (10’ wide) (roughly 9 blocks)
- Placed 4 new traffic light assemblies
- Planted ~75 new trees
- Placed ~1280 LF of 10’ wide pedestrian/bicycle pathway and 52 new ADA Access Point/Ramps along 2nd street to include crosswalks at all cross streets and pedestrian crossing signs at all 3 major intersections on the traffic lights (C Ave, Gore Ave, and Ferris Ave).
- Installed 98 new high-efficiency street lights
- Installed irrigation along both sides of the roadway to ensure the newly planted landscaping was low maintenance.
- Upgraded storm water systems throughout the project area to help minimize any future flooding concerns.
2017 Annual Celebration
Are you proud to be from Lawton? Do you want to celebrate the successes of the past year? Are you ready to look toward a new day?
Our Annual Celebration is where we recognize the contributions of our volunteers, wrap-up the previous year with the outgoing chair and a vision of the future is given by the incoming chair. We will also present awards for Shelia O. Lee Volunteer of the Year, Redcoat Rookie and Redcoat of the Year.
This is going to be an event unlike anything you've been to before. The Hilton Garden Inn will be the place to be on June 23, 2017. Come for a delicious, Oklahoma inspired dinner, amazing entertainment and come prepared to dance the night away.
The attire for the event is "dressy western" so break out your nicest boots, your rhinestone belts and your best pearl snap shirt
Our Annual Celebration is for YOU, our members, we want you to come out and have a great time, show your Lawton Pride, and get excited for the upcoming year. Mark your calendars now for this one of a kind event!
We have Full and Half table sponsorships still available. Get yours in while you can! To sponsor please call Sharleen Gehers at 580-355-3541
We would like to thank our sponsors:
Liberty National Bank, Brox Industries, Audio Tech, Pam & Barry's Team @ Remax, Cameron University, Great Plains Technology Center, IBC Bank, Johnson & Johnson Locksmith and Door Co, Inc /AAA Insurance - Robinette Agency, Laugh Out Loud, Apache Casino Hotel, Comanche County Memorial Hospital, EZ Go Stores, The UPS Store, Lawton Constitution, Signal Mountain Associates, Classic Chevrolet
Cosmetic Specialty Labs, PSO, KSWO-TV, Fidelity Communications, Crutcher's Western Wear, Corvias
Students Saw the $$
Thanks to First National Bank & Trust, EZ-GO, Patty Neuwirth, Arvest Bank and James Taylor, Gateway Students who participated in the Show Me the $$ series saw financial rewards for superior performance.
The program was created by Meegan McKay, Lynn Null and James Taylor to assist high school students enter the workforce ready to meet employer expectations.
The eight-month program provided summer-fun gift baskets from First National Bank & Trust for students most accomplished in professional business communications including eye contact, handshakes and conversation.
For students who excelled in completing job applications, cash rewards were part of James Taylor’s curriculum. All students created resumes and practiced interviews with local human resource professionals.
Most recently, a promotion ceremony for those who students who most successfully completed the course, included 7 gift cards were provided by First National Bank & Trust, EZ-GO, Patty Neuwirth and Arvest Bank.