Small Business Committee hears from Fire Marshal
Thursday July 28 the Chamber’s Small Business Committee held their monthly meeting. Different this time around was a special presentation from City of Lawton Fire Marshal Mark Mitchell.
Mitchell was invited to the committee to discuss the processes and procedures surrounding business inspections; for more clarity to the business owner, but ultimately, to participate in the Chamber’s discussion of how to build more cohesive relations between our business owners and City inspectors.
Also in attendance were a few City Council Members, City Staff, and of course, the Chamber’s committee members who represent Small Business in Lawton. The committee, chaired by Morgan Gould, has focused efforts over the past year at a project labeled “Business Friendly Lawton”.
CVB welcomes 1,000 Visitors to Lawton
There were 1,000 visitors in the community last week. The Convention and Visitors Bureau worked dilligently to provide welcome events for each event, and to ensure every visitor felt welcomed to Lawton Fort Sill. The Grand National Horseman's Association hosted their Play Day Finals at the Comanche County Fairgrounds July 25th - 30th. The 20th Engineering Brigade hosted a conference July 28th - 30th at Best Western. The Oklahoma State Department of Education hosted one of the Engage Oklahoma Conferences on July 28th at Lawton High School. There was also an ASA Youth Softball Tournament that ran last week bringing many families to town. It is always wonderful to have visitors in our community. #SeeYourselfInLawton
Chamber Strikes Gold at Cameron University
Business After Hours – July
Lawton Motorsports hosted Business After Hours for the month of July.
The evening was full of fun and networking in the gorgeous summer weather. Door prizes were given out to lucky attendees. There were 62 in attendance at the event.
If you missed last month's Business After Hours, your next networking opportunity will be at Classic Chevrolet on August 4th for their One Year Anniversary Celebration!
The “Strategies to Become a Better Leader” seminar was on Friday, July 22 at Cameron University CETES Conference Center. The seminar was about building yourself by learning new and unique ideas so that you are worthy of following.
The event is designed to be interactive and informative. The speaker, Mike Rodriguez, has trained thousands across many industries on his proven techniques, including clients like Hilton and the Federal Government. This seminar provided the necessary training for those who are seeking to improve or who simply want to advance their career.
Did you miss this chance at professional development? We are offering another seminar on September 8 on “Closing the Generation Gap”
Classic Chevrolet One Year Anniversary Celebration
Join us in celebrating the One Year Anniversary for Classic Chevrolet.
On August 4th we invite everyone to come to Classic Chevrolet to mark one year of their business being in our community.
We look forward to celebrating this achievement.
The Retail Coach
Local retail business owners, developers and City of Lawton officials met with Kimberly Allred, Project Manager with The Retail Coach to review the results of their research on Lawton's retail market. The Retail Coach shared findings of the primary and secondary markets of our retail trade area, psychographics of our shoppers as well as a gap analysis. All of their research is available to local business owners and you can contact the Chamber for access to the recent presentation and additional information.
Why Baldrige? Presentation from Tom Perkins
Do you run a Small Business? Come to the Chamber from 10:00am - 12:00pm, Tuesday July 26, to hear from Tom Perkins (Cynosure of Lawton OK) on what the Malcolm Baldrige program can do for you!
The Baldrige Program oversees the nation's only Presidential award for performance excellence while offering criteria, assessments, tools, training and a community for those dedicated to helping organizations improve.
Visit http://www.nist.gov/baldrige/ for more info!
Power Forward with PSO
On Wednesday, July 20th, the PSO trailer will be inside Central Mall and there will be people who can answer questions about the new meters that have been installed at homes and businesses in Lawton.
This is the perfect opportunity to pose questions to knowledgable people.
This is just an informational exhibit, they are not selling anything and the everyone is invited to go through it at no charge.
GET YOUR FIT ON! - INTRODUCING A NEW “MEMBER-TO-MEMBER” BENEFIT
The Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce a BRAND NEW member benefit that includes a partnership with the Lawton Family YMCA. Both organizations are focused on enhancing quality of life programs for the youth, the families, and the businesses that reside in our community. Effective July 11, 2016, the Lawton Family YMCA will now offer Chamber Members a corporate rate to become a member at the YMCA.
- $29.00 Individual; $40.00 Family (which is nearly $10.00 less per month from the standard memberships. ($50.00 activation fee still applicable)
- Must be affiliated with the Chamber as a current ‘representative’ listed on a current Chamber membership account (Business, Individual, Student, etc) to be eligible for the YMCA Corporate Rate. If you are employed by a business that is a Chamber member, but you are not listed on the account, the Primary Contact of the Chamber account must bless off on your addition.
- Corporate Rate only effective for Chamber members that are NEW to joining the YMCA, existing YMCA members (that are Chamber members) are not eligible for this new rate until their next renewal is up with the YMCA.
- Chamber Members who already receive a YMCA Corporate rate by affiliation through another organization are NOT eligible to switch until their next renewal is up with the YMCA.
- YMCA will have access to a current membership roster sent by the Chamber at the beginning of each month. If you join the Chamber mid-month (after the list has been sent), the YMCA will then call the Chamber and verify the status of membership.
- To join the YMCA, approach the YMCA front lobby, inform the staff you are a Chamber member eligible for a corporate rate. Once they verify your affiliation on the list, you will receive the discounted rate.
Do you know a prospective Chamber member that would be interested to join if they knew they could receive a reduced rate at the Y? Help us spread the word!
Does YOUR BUSINESS have a “Member-to-Member benefit you would like to promote through the Chamber? The Chamber is always looking for ways to build value added services for our members. Contact Andrew Duffy today to add to our list of member-to-member benefits. What does it mean for you as the promoter of the member benefit? FREE PUBLICITY of your promotional offer on the Chamber’s website, in our Monday Minute newsletter, and on Facebook! For a complete list of current member-to-member perks, click here. Let’s add on to this list and help each other out!
For more information about Member-to-Member Benefits, contact the Chamber today at 580-355-3541.
Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce
302 W Gore Blvd
Lawton, OK 73501
200 TROOPS AND THEIR FAMILIES ARRIVING DAILY
2-20th troops and their families are arriving everyday until July 15th. With 200 troops this is a huge growth in the Lawton Fort Sill community. Do you want your business to make an impact? Welcome these families to our community!
YARD SIGNS NOW ON SALE!
We are giving you two for the price of one! Come get yours today before its too late!
Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce
302 W Gore Blvd
Lawton, OK 73501
Dr. Tom Thomas Retires from GPTC
Dr. Tom Thomas who wrapped up a 30 year career at Great Plains Technology Center (42 years in public education) when he retired as superintendent on June 30th. “Doctor Tom” has been involved with almost every major development at Great Plains the past three decades. He greatly expanded the technology center’s business and industry services through the Economic Development Center whether it was training maintenance technicians for Lawton Goodyear or helping a “mom and pop” business succeed. His latest project, the Great Plains Business Incubator is under construction with a completion date expected before the end of the year. The Great Plains Business Incubator will help small business entrepreneurs create jobs and economic wealth by effectively growing their businesses. It will fuel entrepreneurial spirit in Lawton-Fort Sill for years to come
Dr. Thomas is recognized as that rare person who can see both the forest and the trees. He is also acknowledged as an expert data analyst who understands the complexity of large issues and who is able to explain those issues in language that every person can understand. He is credited with using Great Plains REMI economic modeling software to assist with many local economic development projects—including providing critical data analysis to Defense Department officials during their “listening” session at Fort Sill last year. The outcome of that visit was that Fort Sill was the only military installation to gain significant numbers of troops during a period of mandated troop reductions in the overall U.S. military.
He has also been the critical driver behind Great Plains expansion of services to special populations such as high school dropouts, persons receiving public assistance or those who have battled substance abuse. Regarding the former, Great Plains SCORE program has reconnected more than 14-hundred dropouts to a high school diploma! He has always been a strong champion of the underdog and of giving folks a second chance at obtaining a better life through career education.
Dr. Thomas is an avid motorcyclist. One of his first goals in retirement is to motorcycle with his son through the great Northwest region of the U.S. We wish him well on that trip and along all of life’s highways.
Dr. Thomas’ successor as Great Plains superintendent is Clarence Fortney, formerly Deputy Superintendent, and a past chairman of the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce.
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.