Show Off Your Business
The Southwest Oklahoma Business Expo is a unique way for local businesses to come face-to-face with the community.
Take Jim Landmark, president of The UPS Store in downtown Lawton, for instance, and his first experience with the expo. His store participated in the 2015 expo before the store’s doors were even open. He said it gave The UPS Store a “tremendous platform” to introduce his business to the Lawton-Fort Sill community, “as well as forge valued business relationships.”
“The exposure at this event ensured that we were off to a great start,” he said of his 2015 expo experience. “Thanks in part to the SWOK Business Expo, we hit the ground running.”
Landmark and The UPS Store will have a vendor booth at this year’s Southwest Oklahoma Expo on Oct. 26 because he believes it's “a great opportunity for businesses to market to other businesses, as well as consumers.”
“During the 2016 expo, we shared our expanded offerings and continued to build valuable relationships,” he said. “We anticipate the 2017 event will be our best yet. We plan to use the opportunity to introduce another exciting addition to our business.”
There’s still a chance for Chamber Members to participate as a vendor during the 2017 Southwest Oklahoma Business Expo on Oct. 24 at the Great Plains Coliseum. The deadline for Chamber Member vendor applications is Sept. 15. After that date, vendor applications will be open to the public.
“As an active Chamber Member, whose primary customers are small businesses, we strongly encourage other businesses to consider participating in the Chamber and at this event,” Landmark said.
SHRM Summit Set for Sept. 13
Needing clarity on employment law cases? Are you curious about different opportunities to provide employee benefits?
On Sept. 13, the Employment Law and Benefits Summit will host breakout sessions with attorneys who specialize in employee law. Hosted by the Great Plains Chapter Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), the summit will also feature keynote speaker Greg Hawks, a corporate culture specialist who has spent more than two decades mentoring leaders, developing teams, crafting culture and empowering employees. Lunch will be provided, and the summit will conclude with a networking event.
Cost to attend is only $10 for SHRM members and $25 for non-members. Registration can be completed here.
Mattie Beal to Celebrate Birthday
The Lawton Heritage Association will host Mattie Beal's Birthday Bash from 4-8 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Historic Mattie Beal Home, located at 1008 SW 5th. During the free event, Mayor Fred Fitch will declare Sept. 16 as "Mattie Beal Day."
The event will also feature free cake and lemonade, and live performances from South Central District Squaredancers and the Southwest Pride Barbershop Chorus. Food trucks will also be onsite, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets to picnic on the lawn.
Hurricane Harvey Prompts Immediate Need for Blood Donors
From Oklahoma Blood Institute
August 28, 2017 -- Catastrophic flooding in Houston and the aftermath of Tropical Storm Harvey are prompting Oklahoma Blood Institute to issue an immediate call for blood donors of all blood types. Blood centers in Houston and other affected areas are unable to collect blood, and Oklahoma Blood Institute is taking part in the nationwide relief effort to help shore up the life-saving blood supply.
Oklahoma Blood Institute has already sent 300 units of blood and 25 units of platelets to areas affected by flooding, and has been asked to provide 400 more units this week. This can only be done if generous donors step up and become part of the disaster response. A major problem blood centers in Southeast Texas are facing is transporting blood to hospitals. Oklahoma Blood Institute is working with a Dallas-based blood center to help transport the blood to hospitals and patients who need it.
“Blood centers affected by this disaster could be shut down for days or weeks,” said John Armitage, M.D., President and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “Oklahoma Blood Institute is ready to help our neighbors dealing with this unprecedented flooding in Houston, and we know that we can count on our donors to make the commitment to give blood or platelets.”
If you would like to donated blood to those affected by Tropical Storm Harvey, the Southwest Oklahoma Blood is located at 211 SW A Ave. in downtown Lawton. For more information, call 580-350-6100.
Early Voting Set for Special Elections
Early voting is set for the September Special Elections for new City Council Members for Wards 6, 7 and 8.
Those residing in City of Lawton Ward 6, Ward 7 and Ward 8 may cast their votes early from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 7 and 8 at Lawton City Hall, 212 SW 9th St. If unable to vote early, voters can vote at their polling place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 12.
On the ballots, qualified voters will only be asked to vote for a new City Council Member for their ward. No city questions will be on the ballots.
Below are links to the sample ballots for each ward.
If voters are unsure of their ward or polling place, they can visit elections.ok.gov or call the Comanche County Election Board at 580-353-1880.
Shop Local, Show Local, Share Local
By Chamber President Debra Welch
Shopping locally benefits the entire community -- neighbors supporting neighbors. Local shopping allows consumers to put a face to a business.
The Chamber’s Small Business Action Group will gather 62 local businesses under one roof to showcase their services and products. Entry to the expo is open to the public and the only cost is a chance to share prosperity with the Lawton Food Bank through a donation of two non-perishable food items. Enjoy a convenient opportunity to shop local, showcase your business and share with the community.
The convenience factor is critical for shoppers with hectic lifestyles. Early adopter shoppers get a chance to see the latest and greatest in their community in this up close and personal format. More analytical consumers take advantage of options to speak with people that know their products best and can answer questions immediately without being put on hold or losing a computer connection. Social shoppers know this event offers a fun atmosphere to enhance the shopping experience and win prizes. The best benefit is that local businesses get to see the support they depend upon from our local citizens.
Local businesses can choose to promote their name through sponsorship with or without a vendor booth. Both sponsors and vendors will receive new trade show training from marketing professionals as well as experienced vendors that will help them prepare for and enhance this unique marketing opportunity. These short training opportunities are being developed in a new delivery format for optimum availability.
Shop local, show local and share local by contacting the Chamber for more information on how you can benefit from this economic opportunity created for our community. Make the Southwest Oklahoma Business Expo your destination of choice on Oct. 26 at the Great Plains Coliseum.
Chamber Welcomes Fall Intern
We’re pleased to welcome Edward Muniz as our Communications Intern for the 2017 fall semester.
Edward is a junior at Cameron University studying communications. He’s a Cameron PLUS Scholar, an officer for the Student Alumni Association and a slightly above average disc golfer. He graduated from Lawton High School in 2015 and was a left tackle and team captain on the 2014 State Runner-up Wolverine football team.
He’s excited for the experience he’ll receive while interning for the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce.
“I believe this experience will not only benefit my school experience, but also prepare more for my career,” he said.
The Chamber’s new Communications Manager, Kaley Patterson, will be Edward’s supervisor during his time with the Chamber.
“I’m looking forward to working with Edward and guiding his knowledge in his future career path,” she said. “As a Cameron graduate, I know the university’s goal is to efficiently prepare students for their next story post-college. I’m proud to say that the Chamber supports this mission.”
According to Chamber Executive Vice President Jamie Southerland, the Chamber began a mutually beneficial partnership with Cameron University’s Communications Department in June of this year.
“We began working with an intern to assist us with getting our message out there in social media and other platforms,” she said. “This venture was so successful we decided to engage again this semester. We are pleased to announce that Edward Muniz joined us last Monday. It’s very exciting to bring these bright minds with fresh eyes into our workplace to observe what we do and assist us in telling our story. We are looking forward to seeing how Edward improves our communications.”
Welcome aboard, Edward!
Chamber Welcomes New Communications Manager
We’re excited to welcome Kaley Patterson to the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce team.
She’s joining us as our Communications Manager after working two and a half years as a staff writer for The Lawton Constitution. As a 2015 graduate of Cameron University and Frederick, Oklahoma, native, Kaley is knowledgeable in the Lawton and Southwest Oklahoma communities.
“I’m overjoyed to have this opportunity with the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce,” she said. “From growing up in Frederick, to attending Cameron University and working for The Lawton Constitution, I’m excited to be able to serve Lawton and Southwest Oklahoma in this new capacity.”
Executive Vice President Jamie Southerland said the chamber is thrilled to welcome Kaley to the team.
“With her prior experience and natural talent, she will be such an asset as we continue to tell our story about the Chamber’s efforts to create economic opportunities and why our members make us Lawton Proud,” she said.
Welcome aboard, Kaley!
Oklahoma Museum Association Coming to Lawton
For the first time in Lawton, the Oklahoma Museum Association will host its annual State Conference.
On Sept. 20-22, Lawton will receive an influx of people and business from the conference, which will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn Lawton Fort Sill and Convention Center, 135 NW 2nd. All staff, volunteers and board members from the 523 Oklahoma museums are invited to attend.
This year’s conference is hosted by Lawton’s own Museum of the Great Plains and the Lawton Fort Sill Convention and Visitors Bureau. A few topics being presented at the conference includes Mobile Museums, Museums and the Military, Economic Impact of Cultural Organizations and much more. For more information, visit the Oklahoma Museum Association’s website.
Southwest Oklahoma Business Expo Set for Oct. 26
It's time to gear up for this year's Southwest Oklahoma Business Expo set for Oct. 26 at the Great Plains Coliseum.
The four-hour exposition will feature piped and draped booths, as well as a reception for sponsors, booth holders and Chamber members. Sponsors will receive extensive promotion through television, radio, newspaper and email blasts, offering a tremendous opportunity to attract new clientele.
JAMARK To Host Breakfast B4 Business
In 2004, Mark Rodriguez founded JAMARK as a janitorial company. Today, it offers not only comprehensive janitorial services, but also security services and vocational training throughout Southwest Oklahoma.
JAMARK Cleaning is a no hassle professional solution to commercial and office cleaning needs. JAMARK Security features first-class protection with 24-hour patrol services, marked and unmarked patrol units, business property patrols, mobile patrols, alarm response, emergency response and private investigation services.
JAMARK Training offers vocational training in CLEET training phase I-IV, defensive tactics, defensive shooting phase I-III, first aid and CPR training, Oklahoma Concealed Carry class and taser and stun gun training.
JAMARK is the host for September’s Breakfast B4 Business, which will take place at 8 a.m. Sept. 5. JAMARK is located at 201 SE Lee Blvd. For more information, call the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce at 580-355-3541.
Business After Hours at Audio Tech
Thursday, August 17th, Audio Tech hosted Business After Hours. Many gathered to network and mingle with friends. We would like to thank Audio Tech for hosting this month's event!
We would like to thank Audio Tech for hosting this event. Stop by their store this week to find awesome items for your home or vehicle, located in Cache Road Square. If you missed out on this one, be sure to mark your calendars now for and our next Breakfast B4 Business at JAMARK on September 5 and Business After Hours at Jimmy John's Sandwiches on September 21.
See all pictures from event here.
Lawton Soccer Club presents Taya Kyle
POSTPONED TO DECEMBER 8
The Lawton Soccer Club presents Taya Kyle
Tickets are on sale at McMahon Auditorium | 801 NW Ferris Ave | Lawton
Southwest Chemical Co | #1 SW C Ave | Lawton
Life with my husband taught me many things, shares Taya Kyle. "Probably the biggest thing it taught me was how to turn a life of fear into a life of faith. I learned strength and humility through Chris. I do my best to share that strength with others." Of course, Taya is referring to her late husband, "American Sniper" Chris Kyle, Navy Seal.
New York Times Best Selling author, and perhaps the deadliest man to ever peer through the scope of a military rifle. Since his tragic death in February of 2013, Taya has focused on keeping the spirit of his service alive. As Taya puts it, "Chris left us with a lot to do. Everyone struggles. I believe if we are open to it, we can see how God prepares us ahead of time for the hardships we will face in our lives. He also takes care of us afterward and shows us how to help others."
For sponsorship of this fundraiser or for sponsorship at The Big Green Soccer Complex, email Shawn Mcgrath at email@example.com or call 580-647-2020 for more information.
Congressman Tom Cole
Congressman Tom Cole
Identified by Times Magazine as "one of the sharpest minds in the House," Congressman Tom Cole will be coming to Lawton to engage in political discussion.
Congressman Tom Cole will be hosting the Lawton Town Hall Meeting on August 29th in the Main Auditorium of the Great Plains Technology Center.
Since 2009, Cole has served on the House Appropriations Committee, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies; he is also assigned to the Subcommittees on Defense and Interior.
In 2017, Cole was reappointed to the House Budget Committee for the fourth consecutive Congress. He serves on the panel as one of the three members of the majority party who also sits on the Appropriations Committee. He is currently considered the Senior Appropriator on the panel.
Cole was appointed in 2013 to serve on the House Rules Committee. In addition, Congressman Cole serves as a Deputy Whip for the Republican Conference. In October 2013, he was appointed to serve as one of four House Republicans on a House-Senate joint budget conference committee that negotiated a bipartisan budget deal for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.
To find out more about Congressman Tom Cole and see his Town Hall schedule visit his website.
State of Fort Sill Luncheon
Commanding General Brian J. McKiernan will be speaking on items concerning Fort Sill at the State of Fort Sill Luncheon. The Luncheon will begin at 12:00 pm on September 22 at the McCasland Ballroom at Cameron University.
Tickets are $20 for Chamber Members and $25 for General Admission. Purchase of tickets will be available until September 13th. Sponsorship slots are also available for a limited time.
For more information about this event please contact Sharleen Gehers at 580-355-3541 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to our current sponsors!
Young Professionals After Hours Social - August 2017
Young Professionals of Lawton had their second after hours social since their initial launch.
Thursday, August 10, at Back Porch Drafthouse West 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. See all photos from the event here!
Attendees were asked to bring non-perishable items for entry into the event. The Young Professionals of Lawton ended up donating 116 pounds of canned goods to the Lawton Food Bank.
Don't miss the next YP Social on September 14 at Mike's Sports Grille. 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.
Audio-Tech, Advancing Technology
Audio-Tech has recently undergone new management and is now an employee owned company. Despite these changes, the employees at Audio-Tech average over 15 years of experience working at the store and with the equipment. When you walk in to Audio-Tech you know that you will be speaking with someone who knows about their equipment and is loyal to it.
Audio-Tech has a wide range of audio, visual, and lighting services and products in categories such as home, commercial, and 12 volt. They do custom car installations and only stock the best brands for a quality you can count on. Their newest project is the Control 4 smart home system. For only one upfront fee you can control as much or as little of your home as you desire such as lights, AC, locks and so much more directly from your phone.
Stop by their store to see demonstrations and learn how you can get the most for your money. Don’t miss Business After Hours this Thursday at Audio-Tech and learn how they can get you the most for your money.
Lawton Soccer Club Benefit Concert
The Lawton Soccer Club Presents William Michael Morgan
As a Grammy nominated producer and Executive Vice President of A&R at Warner Music Nashville, you might say that Scott Hendricks qualifies as an expert on country singers. So when he gets excited about someone, it's worth paying attention. And right now he's excited about Warner Bros. Records newcomer William Michael Morgan.
"William Michael Morgan is seriously one of the very best singers I have ever recorded and I have recorded a bunch," Hendricks said, "Recording a voice typically reveals any and all imperfections. I will never forget the first time we went into the studio and heard William Michael's voice come across the speakers. It was a jaw-dropping experience. I'm anxious for the world to hear what I heard. It truly is a special voice."
Tickets on Sale NOW!
McMahon Auditorium | 801 NW Ferris Ave. | 580-581-3472
Southwest Chemical Co | #1 SW C Ave. | 580-355-5926
For more information contact Shawn Magrath at email@example.com or call 580-647-2020
Breakfast B4 Business - August
Tuesday, August 1, Crutcher's Western Wear hosted Breakfast B4 Business. Several members came together to mingle and learn more about the store and win some door prizes before starting their work day.
We would like to thank Crutcher's Western Wear for hosting this event. Stop by their store this week to find awesome articles for your Rodeo apparel, located on C Ave. If you missed out on this one, be sure to mark your calendars now for Business After Hours at Audio Tech on August 17 and our next Breakfast B4 Business at JAMARK on September 5.
See all pictures from the event here.
Lawton's 116th Birthday
Celebration of Lawton's 116th Birthday kicked off at 5:30 Thursday evening at City Hall with the Lawton's Birthday Reception and Ceremony. The Lawton Award in Excellence was given to Gilbert "Gib" Gibson for outstanding excellence in service to community, state, and nation. The Lawton Rangers and the Pioneer Women's Club were also recognized for their 79 years of service. See more pictures from the event here.
The celebration continues this week with the Lawton Rangers Rodeo and Parade. Parade activities include contests for best dressed Cowboy, Cowgirl, and Rodeo Clown. Also, the Marlow Gunfighters will be performing.
For more information on Rodeo activities, click here!
We invite you to voice your opinion with our Legislative Survey. Make your concerns known at the federal, state, and local levels through our advocacy program. Legislative actions impact our economy, and part of our economic development program is monitoring what is happening on all levels of government to keep our community actively engaged as well as our economy conducive to business growth.
To be heard today, click here.
New Membership Director
We are excited to welcome Monica McCleary to our team as the new Membership Director. Monica is joining us from Hilton Garden Inn where she was successful as Sales Manager.
"I look forward to continuing growth and maintaining support for our community and its businesses," McCleary said, "My main priority is to preserve our current membership while building stronger relationships to better the community and its services."
Welcome Monica McCleary!
Audio-Tech 43 Years
Located in Cache RD Square, Audio Tech has been serving southwest Oklahoma for 43 years. They have an excellent team of qualified salesmen and technicians who are here to serve you. They offer a range of products and services to enhance audio experience at home, in the car, or at work. Their specialty is home and car audio/video sales and installation. Plan to visit them on August 17 at Business After Hours.
Visit their website to check out all of their products and services.
An entire two weeks of events are planned that honor the past, present, and future of the City of Lawton and its citizens starting Tuesday, August 1 through Saturday, August 12. The City of Lawton, Lawton Rangers, Pioneer Women’s Club of Lawton and Lawton Heritage Association sponsor these events.
One way the Lawton Rangers plan to honor Lawton is with the Birthday and Rodeo Parade in downtown Lawton beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 12 as one of the final activities of the Birthday Celebration and of Rodeo week. All individuals, businesses, civic groups, school groups, military units, riding clubs, and political candidates are welcome to enter. Lawton Rangers Rodeo website here.
LPS Online Enrollemnt
Students kindergarten through 12th grade who are new to the Lawton Public Schools (LPS) district or those who have had a lapse in enrollment can now register online. Registration went live on July 1 and has generated good feedback from families. The project headed by Kim Elam, the school district’s data administrator; Mark Mattingly, executive director of Douglass Learning Center for the district; and David Erwin, Data Center director has allowed LPS to process about 300 students in only a week’s time.
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.
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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.