Attention New Members!
The Chamber hosts a New Member Welcome Reception approximately every 6 months to greet and socialize with our newest members. If you (or your representative business) have recently joined the Chamber within the past 6 months (approx September 2016 through now), stop by on March 29th at 3:30 for a great social hour, a chance to meet the Chamber Staff, Board, Volunteers, and Committee Chairman, but most importantly a chance to voice your business to others!
Business After Hours January 2017
Thursday, January 19, we had our first Business After Hours of 2017. It was a great way to start the new year!
Attendees were able to form new connections, and mingle with friends at the newly renovated Red Dirt Reloaded.
We would like to thank Red Dirt Reloaded for hosting this event! If you missed this month’s event, mark your calendars now for February 3 at Apache Casino Hotel’s new event center!
Oklahoma Receives REAL ID Extension through June 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin along with legislative leaders today announced that Oklahoma has received an extension through June 6, 2017, to meet the requirements in the REAL ID Act. But the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned that failure for the state to act during the 2017 legislative session on legislation committing Oklahoma to all the REAL ID requirements could result in the denial of future extension requests.
Without the extension, federal agencies later this month would have been prohibited from accepting Oklahoma driver's licenses and identification cards, meaning those without identification that complies with the REAL ID Act won't be able to enter a federal building, military base or courthouse. REAL ID enforcement for boarding commercial aircraft is scheduled to begin Jan. 22, 2018.
The letter states that “for the duration of this extension, federal agencies may accept Oklahoma-issued drivers’ licenses and identification cards for official purposes in accordance with the phased enforcement schedule and existing agency policies.”
“Although this is great news for Oklahomans, this is only a temporary fix,” said Fallin. “While there will be no restrictions on individuals using Oklahoma licenses to fly or access federal buildings through June, legislation must be approved this session to make this permanent. I will continue to work with legislators, the state Department of Public Safety, Oklahoma’s congressional delegation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to ensure a permanent solution is passed into law before this extension expires in June.”
Identical letters sent to Fallin and Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz and House Speaker Charles McCall state that DHS “recognizes Oklahoma’s efforts in enhancing the security of its driver’s licenses and identification cards” and granted the extension “indicating the plans of your administration and state legislative leaders to move forward on a legislative solution and their expectation that a vote will occur in the 2017 legislative session. This extension is intended to provide Oklahoma with the opportunity to take any necessary steps needed to meet all the requirements of the REAL ID Act and implementing regulation.”
“I’m pleased Oklahoma has been granted an extension by the Department of Homeland Security,” Schulz said. “DHS recognized Oklahoma’s sincere efforts to resolve issues in complying with the federal REAL ID law. This is an important issue for the thousands of Oklahomans whose livelihoods depend upon access to federal buildings and military installations, and it is an issue of convenience in regards to airline travel. There’s still more work to do to solve this issue permanently, but addressing REAL ID compliance will remain a high priority when the Legislature convenes in a few weeks.”
McCall said: “I am very pleased that the federal government is giving us additional time to develop a legislative solution to this issue. This extension will allow our citizens to continue to interact with our federal entities without interruption. House Republicans are committed to a solution that will bring Oklahoma into compliance with the Real ID Act while also protecting the privacy and liberty of our citizens.”
Fallin, Schulz and McCall wrote a letter last month to DHS requesting the extension.
Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 to make driver's licenses harder to forge. Oklahoma legislators in 2007 passed a bill forbidding the state from meeting provisions of the act.
Meet with your Legislators
Meet with our state legislators at the beautiful Oklahoma History Center. This is your chance to talk to our legislators face-to-face register here.
Join Fort Sill Federal Credit Union, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Cameron University, the State Chamber of Oklahoma, Comanche County Memorial Hospital, IBC Bank, Fidelity Communications and Southwestern Medical Center and get your business in front of our state legislators. Call the Chamber for more information 580-355-3541 or contact Sharleen.
We would like to thank the volunteers from Fort Sill Federal Credit Union. They took time out of their day to take down the Lawton Fort Sill Co-Op light display in Holiday in the Park!
Breakfast B4 Business
Have you wanted to host a Business After Hours, but have been unable to due to it being booked many months ahead? We have a solution!
The Chamber’s newest program, Breakfast B4 Business allows you to have a unique opportunity to introduce your organization to business professionals who may not be familiar with who you are and what you do. This is the perfect way to bring business to your door. People can stop in on the way to work between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. to learn about the business, get a cup of coffee, light breakfast refreshments and meet the host business. Attendance varies, and is held the 1st Tuesday of the month. What a great way to get your day started by coming and meeting new people!
Call Sharleen Gehers at 580.355.3541 to get your date reserved.
This is your shot to reach visitors
There will be over 400 visitors in town next weekend. Is your business ready to welcome them?
The Lawton Kiwanis will be hosting the 4th Annual “On Target with Kiwanis” Archery Shoot January 7, 2017 held at the Great Plains Coliseum. Registration starts at 8:15 am. Admission is $3.00 for all ages, 8 and under are free. This an archery competition for 3rd through 12th graders to qualify for the State competition in February in OKC. There are 3 divisions: Elementary (3rd- 5th), Middle School (6th-8th) and High School (9th-12th) They are expecting over 400 participants this year, with 50 from out of state. The Kiwanis are Supporting Lawton families “one child at a time”.
Chamber Open House
Friday, December 16, we held our annual Holiday Open House. The evening was filled with food, fun, and celebration.
We host this event every year to share in the Holiday spirit with our members. Guests were able to enjoy themselves while networking and creating relationships.
We wish you and your's a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
We hope to see you in 2017 at Red Dirt Reloaded for Business After Hours, January 19.
Are you community minded?
Are you looking for a way to give back to the Lawton Fort Sill community? We are looking for volunteers who see the value in a “community of one”.
Every week we welcome hundreds of families who arrive into our community to celebrate the graduation of their soldier at Fort Sill. Many of them are new to the Army life and what military community should look like. We want to enhance their experience while in the Lawton Fort Sill community but cannot do it alone. We are looking to increase the number of volunteers that help us to greet these visiting families to our community.
Help us show the families of our brave service members that we are not Lawton and Fort Sill, but the community of Lawton Fort Sill. Call 580-355-3541 to volunteer.
Young Professionals Group forms
The Lawton Fort Sill Chamber is launching a new civic organization in our community, called "Young Professionals of Lawton Fort Sill". The first board meeting was held at the Chamber Friday, Dec 9.
Over 25 young leaders, from many different facets of the community, met at the Chamber for the inaugural planning meeting. YPLFS will serve as a developmental hub to connect young career bound leaders to the social, civic, and business resources within the community.
Alike, it will serve as the voice of the arising career bound generation while continuing to promote the positive image of Lawton, the successes of Lawton, and the reasons to live and pursue careers in Lawton.” The first few steps have been achieved: 1) to establish a mission and vision statement, 2) establish core values, 3) establish a leadership team (Board of Directors), and conduct the first planning meeting.
Redcoat Ambassadors celebrate with a Christmas Cabaret
The Redcoat Ambassadors took time out of everything they do for the Chamber and the community to celebrate the Holiday Season.
The event was like none that had came before it with a fashion show, a beautiful dance, and the Sweet Adelines performing.During the event, the Redcoats recognized their members for what they do throughout the year.
It was a great time and a chance for our amazing Redcoat Ambassadors to relax and celebrate another great year!
Get your business noticed by 5,000+ people a month
As a member of the Chamber, you receive various benefits. One such benefit is the ability to advertise on our homepage. The 5 spaces on our homepage are seen, on average, 5,000 times a month. More than half of our website visitors are new each month, so exposure to new clients is maximized.
The cost of placing an ad on our homepage is only $150/month. Most web ads are for a consecutive six or 12-month placement. A contract is required for all web advertisements. Six and 12 months ads will receive a 10% discount if paid in full in advance.
If you’re interested call Andrew Duffy today at 355-3541
Lawton Proudís First Annual Christmas Crawl
Saturday, December 3rd, Lawton shoppers had a chance to rack up big discounts during the Lawton Proud Christmas Crawl! Participants started at The Brew Coffee House (inside Cherry Berry at Sheridan and Gore) to get an “I Shopped Local” sticker. Wearing it around town got them special discounts all day at participating locally-owned stores and restaurants. They also received a flyer listing all of the participating stores and restaurants, and who was offering special Christmas treats like hot cocoa, cookies, wassail or gift wrapping. More than 30 local businesses participated in the inaugural event.
Lawton Fort Sill Co-Op Dinges Awards
Congratulations to all our Dinges Awards winners for 2016. Thank you to Fort Sill Family MWR and the Patriot Spouses' Club for helping to make this event a success.
Most Impact from a Project
Goodyear and 428th Field Artillery Brigade
Most Volunteers on a Project
Comanche County Memorial Hospital and 428th Field Artillery Brigade
Most Creative Partnership Project
Arvest Bank and Fires Center of Excellence
Hassen Cara Volunteer of the Year
Specialist Kiara Holton
Honorable Mention Volunteer
Most Events for a Partnership
Goodyear and Fires Center of Excellence
Upcoming Legislative Events
Give the gift of membership
The holiday season is upon us, and you may be wondering what you can do for a non-profit in the community. 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!
Lawton Fort Sill Co-Op Dinges Awards
The Lawton Fort Sill Co-Op Dinges Award Celebration has moved to Thursday, December 1, 2016. Co-Op members can attend the event free of charge but must pick up their tickets at the Chamber.
Questions? Call the Chamber at 355-3541.
Business After Hours November 2016
We would like to thank Fairfield Inn for hosting November’s Business After Hours.
In lieu of Business After Hours in December we ask that you join us for our annual Holiday Open House. The event will be from 4:00 - 6:00 pm on December 16, at the Chamber.
Miss Oklahoma in Lawton
Miss Oklahoma 2016, Sarah Klein, will be in Lawton for the Great Plains Technology Center Foundation Scholarship Luncheon on November 30th, 11:30 – 1:00 p.m. at the GPTC Worley Center.
Sarah is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Elementary Education. During her undergraduate career, she was involved in many campus organizations and activities including: Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, Dance Marathon, Big Event, Campus Activities Council, University Sing, Sooner Scandals, Sooner Scouts, Camp Crimson Counselor, and Pre-Education Majors Club. Sarah was awarded Big Woman On Campus, The Sylvia Corwin Excellence Award, and the OU Honor’s Scholarship. She was selected to be in the prestigious President’s Leadership Class and was placed on President’s and Dean’s Honor Roll, Kappa Delta Pi Honor Fraternity, Sigma Alpha Lambda, and Alpha Lambda Delta for her scholastic achievement.
Sarah plans to travel the state as Miss Oklahoma and spread the awareness of her platform, supporting our Troops from Deployment to Employment and the importance of taking care of our military men and women who have done so much for us. As an educator herself, she is excited to empower students throughout the schools of Oklahoma.
The event cost $50 per person and proceeds will help provide Business Development Center Scholarships.
Military Affairs Fall Social
The Military Affairs Committee hosted their Fall Social November 10 at the Lawton Country Club. It was a time to catch up with friends as well as a chance to welcome new officers to our community. Military Affairs works to promote unity among 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!
Economic Development Forum
Board members of Lawton Economic Development Corporation and the Chamber of Commerce focus on Lawton’s economy, incentives and plans to move forward in a special forum.
The group heard presentations from Dr. Mark Sneed and Joe Gallagher, Deputy to the Commanding General, then received a reality check from Dr. Tom Thomas.
Chamber Management Institute
Membership Director, Andrew Duffy, graduated from the Chamber Management Institute.
Chamber Management Institute (CMI) is a 4-month program offered through OCCE (Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives), and housed at the State Chamber of Oklahoma. During the 4 month period, the program is geared at developing new Chamber Executives across the state to educate them on all facets of the Chamber industry (to include membership, governmental & legislative affairs, budgeting & finance, tourism, volunteer management, and event management.) Seminars and panel discussions are provided to the students from many top-tier senior executives across the state, representing many different communities, both large and small.
Senate President-elect Mike Schulz
Senate President-elect Mike Schulz will be in Lawton for the Great Plains Technology Center Foundation Scholarship Luncheon on November 30th, 11:30 – 1:00 p.m. at the GPTC Worley Center.
Schulz was born on March 5, 1964 in Cheyenne, Oklahoma. He received a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from Oklahoma State University. He is an active member of Oklahoma Farm Bureau, he served as chairman of the Young Farmer and Rancher Committee in 1996 and also worked for the organization for many years as Field Representative. He is a graduate of Oklahoma Agriculture Leadership Class V. He continues to be an active member in the Altus Kiwanis Club as well as the First United Methodist Church. He won election to the Senate in a special election in May of 2006. He married the former Reenie Reid. The couple has two children, son Benjamin and his wife, Emily, and daughter, Abby.
He currently serves as the Majority Floor Leader and as an Ex-Officio member of all Senate committees.
Lawton voters faced with 4 propositions
Lawton residents will have 4 propositions on their ballot November 8.
Proposition 1 will change the definition of how many meetings a council member may miss before he or she would lose his or her office.
Proposition 2 will bring charter provisions into compliance with the city code and state law.
Proposition 3 will remove specific dates for council primary and general elections.
Proposition 4 will require the City Council to conduct review of the charter and its provisions at least every five years.
See a sample ballot here.
2 new Member to Member benefits
1040 Fhitness Studio is offering all Lawton Chamber Members a 25% discount on ALL of its fhitness packages.
- Sapphire $50.00 (37.50 for Chamber) 7 class package
- Emerald $75.00 (56.25 for Chamber) 10 class package
- Black pearl $125.00 (93.75 for Chamber) Unlimited package
- Diamond $200.00 (150.00 for Chamber) Unlimited w/vip guest
- Walk in $10.00 (7.50 for Chamber)
Total Nutrition would like to offer all Chamber members a 25% discount in our store!
Take advantage by stopping by to see them today!
Reserve your seat now
Limited tickets remaining!
Oklahoma Works Summit
Dr. Tom Deighan, Superintendent of Lawton Public Schools, and Patty Neuwirth, Chair of the Education Action Group, attend the Oklahoma Works Summit where Lawton was featured for its progressive programs.
This November ballot is going to be long and you can expect the lines will be too. One way to save time this election is to skip the line altogether. You can vote early at the Comanche County Courthouse November 3-5. This gives you more freedom in when you choose to go vote. Mark your calendars now!
SW Oklahoma Business Expo
The Southwest Oklahoma Business Expo was a huge success!
The Small Business committee worked to plan the event. We want to thank the committee and our volunteers for all their hard work to make this event happen.
We saw many people from the community come out to enjoy the expo, win prizes, and network with local business.
To enter the expo, guests brought two non-perishable food items that we donated to the Lawton Food Bank to help local families during the upcoming holiday season.
At the end of the night our Grand Prize winner went home with a Smart TV and a sound bar from Apache Casino Hotel.
A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:
Grand Prize Sponsors
Hilton Garden Inn & Lawton-Fort Sill Convention Center
Lawton Living Magazine
Public Service Company of Oklahoma
Senator Lankford Introduces Bills to Delay Overtime Rule and Protect Small Businesses, Colleges and Nonprofits
We would like to thank Senator Lankford for hearing our concerns and moving legislation forward to provide regulatory relief in delaying the enforcement of the overtime rule. The overtime rule would have unfairly effected small businesses, and Senator Lankford saw that and acted accordingly. We appreciate his continued support.