Welcome Chairman Mark Brace
As our fiscal year comes to a close, we welcome our new Chairman of the Board, Mark Brace. Mr. Brace is the President of BancFirst, and we look forward to his leadership.
Outgoing Chairman Jacob Brox, Vice President of Brox Industries, and Mr. Brace exchanged name plates following the last Board meeting of the 2016 fiscal year, symbolically marking the change in leadership.
We want to thank all of our sponsors for the 2016 Annual Celebration!
Annual Celebration 2016
Redcoat Rookie of the Year
Redcoat of the Year
Small Business Person of the Year
Norris Graves with WasteSolutions LLC
Shelia O. Lee Volunteer of the Year
Wayne Gilley Ambassador Award
Small Business Family Owned Business of the Year
Edward’s Mens Wear
Community Spirit Award
Armed Service YMCA
We would like to thank our sponsors for making this event happen. See the sponsors here.
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
Jacob Brox, Brox Industries
Mark Brace, Bancfirst
Chris Fowler, Magic by Chris Fowler
Nicole Bucher, Cosmetic Specialty Labs
Chearlene Glover-Johnson, Johnson & Johnson Locksmith and Door Company
Sheila Swanson, Express Employment Professionals
Shelly Fields, Arvest Bank
Tanna Vu, Hilton Garden Inn
Lavonne Bynum, Cosmetic Specialty Labs
Katie Western, KSWO-TV
Clarence Fortney, Great Plains Technology Center
Rafael Santos, First National Bank & Trust
Leadership Lawton Class XXVI
The Leadership Lawton Fort Sill class XXVI graduated on Thursday! We want to congratulate the entire class as their hard work and dedication paid off!
Our Executive Vice President Jamie Southerland was awarded the Reuben Brown Award at the graduation luncheon.Congratulations Jamie!
Leadership Lawton Class XXVI
Commanding General's Farewell
MG John G. Rossi and Liz took time to say goodbye to the Lawton Fort Sill community on Thursday.
The Military Affairs committee held an farewell for MG Rossi as he will be leaving Fort Sill soon.
MG Rossi is in line to receive a third star, and become a Lieutenant General. MG and Mrs. Rossi, will be greatly missed by our community, but we have no doubt they will go on to do great things!
Business After Hours June 2016
We would like to thank Backporch Saltwater Grill for hosting June's Business After Hours.
This was the last Business After Hours for our Chairman, Jacob Brox. He will be officially passing the gavel at our Annual Celebration this Friday, June 24th. You can register for the event here.
If you missed this month's event, make sure you mark your calendars for July's Business After Hours at Lawton Motorsport on July 21st.
FLSA Rule Change - Affects YOUR BUSINESS December 1.
The Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce is hosted a seminar concerning the FLSA rule change at on June 17 at Great Plains Technology Center.
The new FLSA rule concerning overtime wages will begin affecting businesses December 1. Virtually all businesses will be affected by this new rule.
Courtney K. Warmington of Fuller, Tubb, Bickford & Krahl presented the seminar.
“Millions of additional workers will become eligible to receive overtime pay as a result of significant revisions by the Department of Labor to the regulations implementing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA),” Warmington said.
The presentation covered all of the changes in the regulations, how to identify who will be affected, what provisions did not change, and what HR professionals and business owners need to consider as the regulations are implemented.
Legislative Wrap-Up Luncheon
As the state legislative session comes to a close, our local legislators attended the Legislative Wrap-Up Luncheon to give an update on everything that happened during the session.
We also said goodbye to two local legislators Senator Don Barrington, and Representative Ann Coody, as this was their last legislative session. Again, we want to thank them both for all the work they've done over the years. They will be greatly missed, but we know they will continue to serve their community.
Last but not least, we want to thank our sponsors Comanche County Memorial Hospital, Fort Sill Federal Credit Union, and Goodyear Tire and Rubber. Without their support this event would not have been possible.
Brox Industries Receives Mark Costello Award
Brox Industries received the Mark Costello Entrepreneurial Excellence Award from the Oklahoma Labor Commissioner on Friday, June 10. The Mark Costello award is given to an Oklahoma based business that has created profitable employment, and fostered a positive business atmosphere. Brox Industries has been a family-owned business in the Lawton Fort Sill area for 58 years. They have increased the size of their business, and this led to them providing over 100 jobs.
The award is named after the late Labor Commissioner Mark Costello who died in 2015, and the award was renamed to honor his memory. This is the first time the award has been presented in Lawton.
Employee Health Insurance
Lawton area business owners and managers were invited to this quick-study session on health insurance and benefits, featuring Brian Birdwell, MD and Craig Scurato of Simplifi Benefits. Scurato offered creative approaches for employers to maximize health insurance and benefits for workers, and presented specific techniques for compliance with ACA rules. Case examples were provided for employers with between two and 49 employees and for those with 50 or more employees.
Dr. Birdwell presented a new concept being offered in the Lawton area called “Care First” where employers offer direct primary care clinic membership as a central group health benefit.
“How can a doctor really help? By allowing time to come to know you, and being available when you need a doctor’s time - in the office, or through text, phone or email. That’s what makes ‘Care First’ the most valuable health benefit you can offer to every employee,” said Dr. Brian Birdwell.
Brox Industries to receive award from Labor Commissioner
Brox Industries will receive the Mark Costello Entrepreneurial Excellence in Oklahoma Award from the Oklahoma Labor Commissioner at 10:30 a.m. on June 10th at the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce.
The Mark Costello award is given to an Oklahoma based business who has created profitable employment, and fostered a positive business atmosphere.
“For over 50 years Brox Industries has carried on the tradition of providing quality jobs for all of Oklahoma.” said Jacob Brox, Vice President of Brox Industries, LLC and Chairman of the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce, “We are humbled by this award and will have great pride in showing it off to our employees and customers.”
Melissa McLawhorn Houston, Oklahoma Labor Commissioner, will be presenting the award. Houston is the new Labor Commissioner.
“I am honored to award Brox Industries with the Mark Costello Entrepreneurial Excellence in Oklahoma Award as they celebrate over 50 years being a family-owned business providing Oklahomans with quality roofing and remodeling,” Houston said. “Their commitment to their community embodies the meaning of entrepreneurial excellence and Oklahoman principles.”
While at the Chamber, Houston will also be meeting with the Lawton Employer Council along with other community members.
2-20th is arriving!
Help us welcome 200 soldiers and their families into our community from Fort Hood. The 2-20th FA BN has been arriving in Lawton since May 15th. Help us show them our support!
The signs are $10 a piece and can be purchased at the Chamber. Get yours today!
HISTORY HAS BEEN MADE – RECORDS HAVE BEEN SET
WOW!! A record breaking week at the Chamber! Are you ready for the results? "Ervin's Green Team Gains the Most". Team Green led by Chairman Ervin Randle with a clean sweep! 49 sales totaling $17,150.00!”
HERE IT IS LADIES AND GENTLEMAN: 165 NEW MEMBERS EQUALING OVER $59,000 IN REVENUE! It’s no lie, history HAS been made and records HAVE been set. Here’s the record: Lawton Fort Sill Chamber is the ONLY Chamber in Oklahoma to raise $59k in 2 days through the YCC Membership Event. Here’s the history making: OUR CHAMBER IS NOW OVER 1,050 MEMBERS, NEVER HAVE WE REACHED 1,000 MEMBERS IN OUR HISTORY! Our YCC Membership event was incredibly successful and we are so thankful to each of our amazing community volunteers that made this dream a reality. Our chairpersons, team captains, and team members worked tirelessly last week to ensure the success of this event and the success of our Chamber – and for that, THANK YOU!
To our new members: WELCOME TO THE GREATEST NETWORK OF BUSINESS LEADERS IN SW OK! Thank you for believing in our community and investing in the mission our Chamber holds. Through a larger Chamber will come more economic growth opportunities, a larger platform for business partnerships, and more leaders to help progress our community forward! See the entire list of new members from our drive here. See all of the photos from last week here.
Jacob Brox, Andrew Duffy, MG Lee Baxter, Amy Ewing-Holmstrom, Matt Bonnette, Jennifer Ellis
Most Competitive Group
The Camo Group
Consumed The Most
The Pink Group and The Green Group
Top Dogs (6 or more sales)
Amy Ewing-Holmstrom, Jorge Rodriguez, Bridget Randle, Benjamin Randle
4 or Mo’
Bob Medina, Ryan Knowles, Jill Wilkerson, Janice Baker, Tom Deighan, Annette Wiseman
Youse’ Got Nuttin’
Top Sales Individual
Amy Ewing-Holmstrom & Jorge Rodriguez with 10 sales totaling $3,400.00
Team 34, Captain Bridget Randle, with 34 sales totaling $11,750.00
Green Group, Chair Ervin Randle, with 49 sales totaling $17,150.00
MAY BUSINESS AFTER HOURS
We would like to thank Central Mall and El Chico for hosting this month's Business After Hours.
There were 86 people in attendance.
Did you miss this month's event? Come to the next one at Backporch Saltwater Grill on June 16th!
Armed Forces Day 2016 - Luncheon and Parade
We kicked off Armed Forces Day with our Annual Armed Forces Day Luncheon. The luncheon was hosted at the Patriot Club on Fort Sill. Our guest speaker, Coral Porch, spoke about her experience in the military, and her accomplishments as a Veteran. It was a great way to start Armed Forces Day Weekend!
The Armed Forces Day Parade was on May 22nd. There were over 80 parade entries. We are so glad we can honor are brave service men and women with this fantastic parade!
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!
United in Strength
Guardians of Peace
Pillars of Freedom
Cameron University - Candlewood Suites - Chick-Fil-A (Cache Rd) Fort Sill Federal Credit Union - Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Johnson & Johnson Locksmith & Door Company, Inc - Springhill Suites Webster University
Teamed for Defense
Arvest Bank - City National Bank - Corvias Military Living First Naional Bank & Trust - Hilton Garden Inn - KSWO TV 7 - Omni Financial Pecan Valley Apartments - The Territory - Veterns United Home Loans Visiting Angels Living Assistance Services
Show Me the $$ Event
Business leaders and students at Gateway Success Center practice techniques for a great handshake as one portion of a special session on employability skills.
Many thanks to James Taylor, Meegan Mackay, Lynn Null and Sheila Swanson for presenting information on Business Ethics, Super Skills, Effective Listening and Faces of Change.
Redcoats Give Back
The Redcoat Ambassadors gave a check to Marie Detty on Tuesday. Every year the Redcoats get an angel from the Salvation Army's Angel Tree, but this year every angel had been picked! So the Redcoats decided to pull their money together and donate to a cause. This year they chose Marie Detty.
Employee Healthcare a Challenge?
Need a better grasp on how to navigate through healthcare options for your employees? Attend “Innovative Solutions to the Group Health Benefits Puzzle,” Friday, June 3, 2016, from 11:30 to 1:00 pm at the Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce. Register here!
Need somewhere to start? Click here for a list of health insurance providers.
Lawton Fort Sill Breaks Ground on New Firestation
Construction has begun on a new fire station in Lawton to provide better protection.
The new station will be located on SW Bishop Road between 52nd Street and 67th Street.
The construction was approved by voters in the Sales Tax Extension election which focused on additional public safety needs.
Ensuring sustainable water sources in Beaver-Cache region
Community members from southwest Oklahoma will come together to discuss a regional approach to sustainable water sources on May 18 at Cameron University. Col. Glen Waters of Ft. Sill has led the charge in organizing this event after months of regional meetings that focused on research and consensus building. The community is invited to participate in this conference and help initiate action.
EXCEPTIONAL Customer Service
Friday the 13th was lucky for us! We got to learn about how to provide EXCEPTIONAL Customer Service from Best Selling Author and Motivational Speaker Mike Rodriguez!
Most of us understand what keeps us in business. Sometimes though, we get caught up in tasks and routines that cause us to lose sight of our most valuable asset – our customers. In today’s marketplace, people think, shop, buy and conduct business differently. They also have more options than they used to. As a result, it’s up to you to ensure that your staff has the right skillset, knowledge and resources to interact, adapt, win and keep new customers. This seminar covers the 4 core essentials that allow you to keep and grow your customer base.
Miracle Field Buddy Program
Our Membership Director, Andrew Duffy, and our Convention and Visitors Bureau Director, Jacob Russell, participated in the Miracle League's Buddy Program. The both partnered up with special needs kids to play America's Favorite Past-time, baseball.
Many special needs kids have a safe place to play thanks to Lawton's Miracle League.
YCC – TEAM CAPTAINS TRAINING WITH JIMMY CUSANO
THE ENERGY IS HERE! Over 35 volunteer community leaders, referred to as “Team Captains” showed up at the Chamber Friday afternoon, May 6, ready to be taught the “ins and outs” of how to recruit their team members for the upcoming YCC Membership Event May 24-26, 2016. Jimmy Cusano, ringleader of Your Chamber Connection (YCC), showed up in an outlandishly amazing “zuit suit” and spent 90 minutes over lunch with these Captains and their Chairpersons.
He motivated, he inspired, he told the truth! Ultimately, he showed them the ropes of why the YCC membership program is successful! His energy brought a unique, out of the box, fun filled atmosphere inside the Chamber – something special that will carry this upcoming Membership Event into success mode.
Over the next two weeks, these 35 captains will be seeking 5 Team Members each to join the movement and help their team boost the Chamber’s membership numbers in the upcoming event. Hang on tight…..a wave of new Chamber members are soon to come. #LFSCC1000
Open Meeting Act Session
The Oklahoma Open Meeting Act went into effect in 1977, requiring all meetings of public entities must be open to the public, and the public must be given advanced notice of those meetings. Such notice has to include a specific time, place, and purpose of the meeting.
Jan Preslar, Deputy Attorney General with the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office presented the Open Meeting Act on May 4th.
“Oklahoma’s Open Meeting Act was enacted to provide the public access to its government,” Preslar said, “Attendees can expect to learn about transparency in government, particularly the laws citizens can expect and demand public bodies follow in conducting the government’s business.”
Many public entities violate this law unknowingly. There are consequences for violation on the Open Meeting Act that are easily avoided.
Senator James Lankford in Lawton
Senator James Lankford met informally with Chamber members on Tuesday.
The Senator answered questions related to the upcoming presidential election, the budget, energy regulations and the Affordable Care Act.
Show Me the $$
James Taylor (Oklahoma Works), Meegan MacKay (Artes pro Vita Academy), Mark Mattingly (Lawton Public Schools) and Sheila Swanson (Express Employment Professionals) work through details for the Employability Skills event scheduled for May 18 at Gateway Success Center. The event will provide students six short sessions related to skills employers want to see in areas of working successfully with multiple generations in the work place, handshaking and professional conversations, listening skills, ethics and communication. James Taylor with Oklahoma Works is heading the committee.
THANK YOU HURRICANE GRILL & WINGS AND TOWNSQUARE MEDIA FOR HOSTING BUSINESS AFTER HOURS
Bill Smith Memorial Golf Tournament
(First Place Winners from left to right: Jimmy Crews, Josiah Crews, and Chris MacMurry. Not picture: Joe Morales)
Lawton Fort Sill Co-Op held the Bill Smith Memorial Golf Tournament last Friday. Though it was a rainy day, the teams competing powered through the 18 holes. The Bill Smith Memorial tournament is held every year in memory of a community leader and long-time chairman of the Lawton Fort Sill Co-Op Executive committee. Mr. Smith organized the first Co-Op golf outing in April of 1992.
This tournament is unique, because it's goal is to foster relationships between the military and civilian personnel of Lawton Fort Sill. In fact, the teams consist of both military and civilians.
This year Classic Chevrolet donated a car to the first person to make a hole in one!
The golf tournament continues to represent the true spirit of the Lawton Fort Sill Co-Op. With local businessman Kelly Harris as chairman of this year’s event, 22 teams signed up to play with a mixture of military and civilian on each team. Kelly put together a hard working committee consisting of Cody Dupler, Chris Zeller and Johnny Kinder.
We owe a great deal of gratitude for the following individuals and partners who helped make this a fun event!
Classic Lawton Chevrolet
Fort Sill Golf Course
Alan & Debbie Sing
First Command Financial Services
Great Plains AMBUCS
Goodwill Industries of SW Oklahoma & N. Texas
Hilton Garden Inn
LUNCH PROVIDED BY:
Lawton Coca Cola Bottling Co.
THANK YOU! DC Congressional Reception 2016
We would like to thank the following companies for their support of our 2016 Congressional Reception in DC:
Thank you for your support! We could not have made this possible without you.
Armed Force Day Speaker
CORAL DENISE PORCH
Fourth Generation United States Army Veteran / Chief Warrant Officer Two (CW2), Quartermaster Branch
92Y, Logistics/Supply 1995 thru 2002 (PFC thru SSG) /920A Property Book Warrant Officer in 2002 - 2012
Coral is a fourth generation United States Army Veteran from Andalusia, AL. She was born overseas at Kuma Army Station in Japan to SPC5 Carl and Cynthia Shaw. Coral Denise Shaw joined the United States Army in April 1995, only a few months before her 25th birthday as a Private First Class (PFC) 92Y, Supply Clerk. To say the least, her military life was far from being boring and dull.
Her first duty station was Ft Stewart, GA where she got to see the 24th Infantry Division (ID) change to the 3rd (ID), which was the home of the most decorated World War II combat soldier, 1LT Audie Murphy. Coral had taken eyes upon a Ft. Stewart fellow Quartermaster soldier, CW3 Lewis Porch (PBO of 92nd ENG BN) and married him after she transferred to Ft Rucker, AL in summer of 1996 to be closer to her 7 year old daughter Kristen Whitehurst. She learned early what it was like to live geographically being dual military. Miss Kathryn Denise Porch was born near Ft. Rucker in summer 1997. In the spring of 1998, CW3 and SPC-Promotable Porch, PCS’d to Grafenwoehr/Vilseck, Germany to finally live together under the same roof with eight month old, Kathryn. She was the supply SGT for 7th Army Training Command comprised of nearly 600 soldiers. Oh the fun and struggles of being dual military family, traveling through military assignments. Miss Kathryn was only a toddler when Coral was deployed to Bosnia for nine months in 1999-2000 for a multi-national support unit managing inventory throughout the Bosnian Theater with Operation Joint Forge. Her promotion to Staff Sergeant (SSG) was 01-01- 01, then shortly after she moved to Ft. Knox, KY and was the G4 Logistics NCOIC in 2nd Region ROTC managing all the logistics for the summer camp ROTC students. She was in BNCOC spring of 2001 and Warrant Officer Candidate Course in fall of 2002. She went without her family to Korea for 18 months where she managed property accountability for a Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion. Out of those 18 months, she was selected to be the Rear Detachment Commander for 8 months cumulative time while the MI unit was in the field; She also was property liaison for 1/6 Cavalry, Apache troop. She returned to Ft. Knox, KY to 16th Cavalry Regiment as the Regimental S4/Logistics Property Manager from summer of 2004 until spring of 2006. Her husband retired while she was in Korea, and then accepted a GS13 Logistics job in spring of 2005 in Heidelberg, Germany. Coral took Kathryn there in summer of 2005, and didn't move there until summer of 2006 to be assigned as the 7th Signal Brigade Property Book Officer. In April of 2008 the Porch family moved to the country dirt road living in Loveland, OK where CW2 Coral Porch finished her career from April 2008 thru Dec 2012 at Ft. Sill, OK in the 428th Field Artillery Brigade as the Supply/Property Management Instructor for various officer courses. She received the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal for all the community volunteer work in 2008 thru 2009 supporting Comanche County Veterans. From 2010 thru 2013 she instructed Team Sill Leadership classes as well as being a collegiate instructor for Central Texas College, Columbia College, Upper Iowa University, and Cameron University.
The highlight of her service schools include: Master Fitness Course, various Instructor Courses, Army Family Team Building Instructor Courses, and Master Resiliency Training Course.
Her Bachelor’s degree is from Western Kentucky University, Social and Behavioral Studies in 2006, and her Master’s degree is from University of Oklahoma, Human Relations/Psychology in 2009.
Since Coral has exited the United States Army, she has kept the spirit of helping Veterans near and dear to her heart by being a Veteran Service Officer, and being active with the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) in the Lawton area. She’s been a Paid for Life Legionnaire for 21 years, and an active member in posts in Georgia, Alabama, Germany, Korea, Kentucky and Oklahoma. She’s been a member of the VFW since 2006 in Germany, and was elected as the VFW Oklahoma State Surgeon this past summer, which is progression as the State Commander in 2018-2019. For all the selfless dedication to Veterans in and around the state this past year, she received a Quilt of Valor in summer 2015 and was the recipient of the 31st Annual Oklahoma Woman Veteran of the Year in October 2015. She is definitely an advocate for our Veterans !
Coral is married to CW3R, Dr. Lewis Porch and mother of Kathryn Porch (freshman at Cameron University) from Loveland, OK. Her parents are Carl and Cynthia Shaw; her 99 year old maternal grandmother, Bonnie Allen, all from Andalusia, AL; her oldest daughter is Kristen Huffman of Opp, AL with two grand-daughters, Chloe and Sofie