New Member Cookout and Open Mic
What a terrific Wednesday afternoon it was last week as the Chamber conducted the largest New Member orientation event to date.
Under a large commercial tent placed on the Chamber’s parking lot, over 80 new members joined Chamber staff and board members for a delightful cookout. One couldn’t have picked better weather for an outdoor event.
To top off the excellence, 3 food establishments made an already great day, a premier day, as new members had a buffet style of options to choose from.
A special thanks to Chick-Fil-A Cache Rd, 360 Restaurant Apache Casino Hotel, and The White Buffalo Food & Beer Co.
The best part of all was seeing the eagerness and excitement these new members expressed to be a part of an organization striving to better our community. Thank you to all whom participated!
MG & COL McKiernan's Welcoming Reception
Last Thursday, the Military Affairs Committee had the pleasure of welcoming the new Commanding General to Lawton Fort Sill.
MG Brian McKeirnan and his wife, COL Sharon McKeirnan, are pleased to be back in Lawton Fort Sill community and hope they are able to stay here for some time. MG McKiernan and his family were previously stationed at Fort Sill when he served as the Commandant of the Field Artillery School. The next Military Affairs event will be our Fall Social scheduled for Thursday, November 10th where we will welcome the rest of the new Fort Sill leaders!
Governor Mary Fallin to Take Part in Bring Small Business Back Event in Oklahoma City
Part of nationwide bus tour highlighting hurdles facing small businesses
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin will be among the speakers at a Bring Small Business Back event this week in Oklahoma City. The event is scheduled from 9:30 until 11 a.m. Friday at the student center building on the Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City campus, 900 N. Portland Ave.
The Job Creators Network (JCN) is hosting the event. Fallin and JCN President and Chief Executive Officer Alfredo Ortiz will talk about threats facing small business owners. Reservations to attend the event can be made here.
The event is part of JCN’s Bring Small Businesses Back campaign which consists of a nationwide bus tour to hear the challenges that real local small businesses are facing.
“Governor Fallin’s participation in our Bring Small Businesses Back campaign showcases her commitment to the small business job creators that power her state’s and the nation’s economy,” said Ortiz. “If more legislators understood the importance of small businesses to the country as a whole, the economy could finally start working again for everyone.”
The event will focus on finding solutions to the problems most commonly cited by small business owners: overregulation, over taxation, and lack of access to credit. Small businesses in Oklahoma make up 97 percent of all employers in the state.
In a nationwide poll of small businesses commissioned by JCN earlier this year, two-thirds of respondents identified over taxation as preventing their businesses from thriving. Three out of five said the same about overregulation. As a result, the survey found that only one in five small business owners plan to hire additional employees over the next year, and only around one-quarter believe that doing business over the next year will be easier than the previous one.
To address the over-taxation hurdle, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill., recently announced the Bring Small Businesses Back Tax Reform Act (H.R. 5374), which would reduce the tax burden on the nation’s small business job creators, which make up half of the nation’s jobs and two-thirds of its new jobs.
The proposed legislation would lower the tax rate to 10 percent on pass-through businesses’ first $150,000 worth of income. And it would lower the rate to 20 percent on income between $150,000 and $1 million.
Read the full text of the Bring Small Businesses Back Tax Reform Act here. Read the white paper JCN released earlier this year assessing the state of American small businesses here. Find out more information about the campaign at DefendMainStreet.com.
To schedule an interview, contact Andrew Ransom at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (916) 258-2396.
For more information on JCN, visit www.JobCreatorsNetwork.com
Cameron University Bill W. Burgess Jr. Business Research Center to present “The Power of the Wind – Challenges and Prospects of Wind Energy in Oklahoma”
Cameron University’s Bill W. Burgess Jr. Business Research Center (BBRC) will present a public forum on “The Power of the Wind – Challenges and Prospects of Wind Energy in Oklahoma” on Wednesday, October 5 at 1 p.m. The keynote address will be presented by Dr. Scott Greene, Professor, Department of Geography & Environmental Sustainability, University of Oklahoma. The forum will take place in the CETES Conference Center and is open to the public at no charge.
“According to the American Wind Energy Association, Oklahoma ranked third in the nation in 2015 for total wind energy generation,” says Dr. Syed Ahmed, Director, BBRC. “Wind power has emerged as a viable, alternative form of energy for the state. The forum will provide an overview of the Oklahoma wind industry, its economic impact, challenges and prospects of the industry.”
A panel discussion will follow Greene’s keynote address. He will be joined by Kylah McNabb, Energy Policy Advisor, State Energy Office, Oklahoma Secretary of Energy & Environment; and Russell Philpott, Co-Founder and Lead Consultant, Precise Building Performance LLC.
Greene will provide a brief primer on wind energy, an overview of the wind industry in Oklahoma, a description of some of the economic impacts, and case studies illustrating the relative importance of the industry, particularly in those areas with fewer revenue sources.
For the last 15 years, Greene has also worked with, and is currently director of, the Oklahoma Wind Power Initiative (OWPI), an award-winning collaboration between the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. The initiative is focused on researching various social, economic and physical science issues associated with wind energy in Oklahoma. Under his supervision, OWPI has received awards for excellence in research and outreach from the American Wind Energy Association, the U.S. Department of Energy, and The Journal Record.
For more information, contact Dr. Syed Ahmed at 581-2430.
Members ONLY Opportunity
Time is running out. Is your business looking for sponsorship opportunities. SPONSOR THE EXPO TODAY!
If you are looking for exposure this is the best opportunity where you will get exposure to over 300 people to include the public, networking with other Chamber members, Showcasing your business, Marketing opportunities and establishing one on one relationships.
Grand Prize Sponsor
Hilton Garden Inn Lawton-Fort Sill & Convention Center
Lawton Living Magazine
Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO)
2016 Buffalo Burger Cookout
MG Brian McKiernan and incoming chamber chairman Nate Slate flip burgers as part of the annual Lawton Fort Sill Co-Op event hosted by Fort Sill Family and MWR.
Members BE AWARE
The Chamber is not selling, endorsing or distributing any magnets. It has come to our attention a company has been contacting our members using the Chamber as leverage to sell ad space on their products. We are in no way affiliated with this company and have not told them to contact our members.
When we do contract with a company to sell ad space in our publications we always make you aware by sending an email prior to commencement of advertising sales. Please be aware of companies using the Chamber's name to sell their products, and if you have any questions feel free to call us at 580-355-3541
Business After Hours Springhill Suites
We would like to thank Springhill Suites for hosting Septembers Business After Hours. Springhill Suites had art on display from a local artist! It was a wonderful night of networking and fun.
In lieu of Business After Hours in October we ask that you join us at the SW Oklahoma Business Expo October 13th! The event will be from 4:00 - 8:00 at the Great Plains Coliseum. Find out more about the event here.
State of the City Luncheon 2016
Friday, September 16th was the 2016 State of the City Luncheon at the Lawton Country Club.
Attendees were able to hear from Mayor Fred Fitch about the what is taking place in Lawton right now. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear from our City Leadership.
We would also like to thank our sponsors:
Federal Focus Group
The Federal Focus Group will meet Thursday, September 15th at 3:00 pm in the First National Boardroom at the Chamber. We will receive an update from our DC Consultants regarding the current Federal environment, review the 2016 agenda and consider the input received from the legislative survey sent to our members as we set forth the Chamber’s 2017 Federal Legislative agenda.
Barry Albrecht's Farewell
Barry Albrecht is leaving the LEDC. On August 17th we bid farewell at a reception hosted at the Chamber. There was a special presentation for Albrecht to thank him for his dedication and hard work.
We wish him luck in his future endeavors.
Business After Hours August 2016
We would like to thank Holiday in the Park for hosting August’s Business After Hours at City Hall. We are all excited for this year’s Holiday in the Park!
If you missed this month's event, make sure you mark your calendars for September’s Business After Hours at SpringHill Suites on September 15th.
Find out what Co-Op is all about!
On August 24th the Co-Op Coordinating Council will meet to plan the events for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. With many events on their calendar they look forward to a busy year of community service and new friendships! You are invited to come find out more about Co-Op.
The Lawton Fort Sill Co-Op works to promote unity between Lawton businesses and Fort Sill Soldiers. Co-Op builds lasting relationship through partnership. Business leaders look forward to developing relationships with Fort Sill Soldiers, Marines and their families in the coming year. If you aren’t a Co-Op member yet, it is never too late to join. For more information contact Sharleen Gehers today.
Classic Celebrates One Year
Classic Chevrolet celebrated their one-year anniversary on Aug. 4.
At the YCC Membership event in May, the Randle’s were dubbed the "Godfather" and Godmother" due to their team, The Green Team, obtaining the highest number of memberships. In honor of this accomplishment, they were awarded "green Fedoras" during their 1 year anniversary event.
It is always great to see our members’ accomplishments and we congratulate Classic Chevrolet on their One Year Anniversary.
AT&T Makes Huge Announcement
Steve Hahn, President of AT&T Oklahoma was in Lawton to announce plans to provide the highest level of technology for the Innovation Campus currently planned for development at the Lawton Fort Sill Regional Airport.
The Innovation Campus, a project of the Lawton-Fort Sill Economic Development Corporation (LEDC), will be marketed as a facility for businesses to relocate or expand their operations in Lawton.
Don't Miss Out - Cameron University Benefit ends in ONE WEEK
ATTENTION BUSINESS MEMBERS! There is only ONE WEEK left to take advantage of this amazing benefit from Cameron University!
Cameron University has offered Chamber members a benefit to say thank you to the business community in our area. The program, called Learn While You Earn, will provide scholarships to 180 Chamber Members to take a TUITION FREE three-credit-hour class.
Through Learn While You Earn, Chamber members are invited to take one TUITION FREE class during the Fall 2016 semester. Members are welcome to take any Fall 2016 course for which they are eligible and for which space exists. See here a list of courses Cameron offers that are most often requested by employers for immediate applicability of skills.
To ensure success of this quick enrollment process, please reply to the Chamber promptly if you are interested. The first 180 members to notify the Chamber will be accepted. Eligible participants must complete the admissions and enrollment process prior to August 15, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
In order to start the process, call the Chamber today (580-355-3541) to receive the Tuition Waiver Request Form. Following receiving the form from the Chamber, the student must submit it to the Admissions Office at Cameron University at Go2CU@cameron.edu or 580-581-2289
Do you lead a multigenerational team?
Turn your challenge into an opportunity for growth.
On September 8 the Chamber will host a workshop with Meegan Mackay from Artes pro Vita at Cameron University’s CETES Conference Center. Mackay will use principles introduced by Zig Zigler, Stephen Covey, and other pioneers in the field of teambuilding and motivation.
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.