Business After Hours April 2017
We would like to thank Lawton Marketing Group for hosting April's Business After Hours. it was a fun evening to network and celebrating their new office space and growing team.
They had a theme for the event which was "Creativity." There was also an incredible live painting show and a raffle to win one of two paintings. Proceeds from the raffle benefited the Young Professionals of Lawton and the Lawton Public School Foundation.
If you missed out on this month's event we hope you will make plans to attend Breakfast B4 Business at Jimmy John's Sandwiches on May 2 and Business After Hours at Lawton Country Club on May 18.
MEETING WITH CONGRESSMAN RUSSELL
Many gathered to meet with Congressman Steve Russell at the Chamber on Aprill 11.
Congressman Russell gave a brief legislative update - what Congress and specifically the House has been working on.
Then he opened up the floor for questions from attendees. Congressman Russell serves on the Hours Armed Services committee.
Bill Smith Memorial Golf Tournament
Lawton Fort Sill Co-Op held the Bill Smith Memorial Golf Tournament last Friday. 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.
The golf tournament continues to represent the true spirit of the Lawton Fort Sill Co-Op. Local businessman Kelly Harris was chairman of this year’s event. Teams were made up of a mixture of military and civilians.
We owe a great deal of gratitude for the following individuals and partners who helped make this a fun event!
Alan & Debbie Sing
Fires Chapter – Association of the United States Army
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Johnson & Johnson Locksmith and Door Company, Inc.
Comanche Home Center
Coldwell Banker Crossroads, Realtors
EZ Go Stores
Fort Sill Federal Credit Union
Goodwill Industries of SW OK and N Texas
Hatch, Croke & Associates
Hilton Garden Inn
Pam & Barry Team at Remax
Cosmetic Specialty Labs
Breakfast B4 Business - April 2017
Tuesday, April 4, Planet Fitness hosted Breakfast B4 Business. Attendees got to mingle and learn more about getting healthy and fit before heading off to work.
We would like to thank Planet Fitness for hosting this event! If you missed this event, mark your calendars now for Business After Hours at Lawton Marketing Group on April 20, and our next Breakfast B4 Business at Jimmy Johns on May 2.
Planning for the Celebration
The Annual Celebration Task Force has been hard at work preparing for the event. There will be many changes this and we are looking forward to celebrating with all of you. Look for the announcement of this year’s theme in the coming weeks!
The Annual Celebration will be held on June 23, 2017 at the Hilton Garden Inn and Convention Center.
Welcoming Brad Cooksey
The Lawton-Fort Sill Economic Development Corporation held a welcome reception for new LEDC Vice President, Brad Cooksey.
In March, The Lawton-Fort Sill Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors announced that Brad Cooksey would assume the role as Executive Vice-President with the intent to assume the role of President no later than the end of the calendar year. We are excited to see the success Mr. Cooksey brings to this position.
37th Annual Bill Smith Memorial Golf Tournament
Bring a Legislator to your table
The Legislative Wrap-Up Luncheon is at 11:30 am on June 9 at the Apache Casino Hotel. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For $500.00 our sponsors receive reserved seating and lunch for 7, name recognition on agendas and all promotional materials, and the opportunity to place promotional items on entry table at luncheon.
To sponsor the event contact Sharleen Gehers at 580-355-3541 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
CHAMBER URGES SUPPORT OF CURRENT LEGISLATION
Lawton, OKLAHOMA – The Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce strongly supports legislation that is beneficial to the business community, educators, and the state as a whole.
Recently two bills were passed in the House of Representatives, House Bill 1845 and House Bill 1114. HB 1845 also passed the Senate and has been signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin.
HB 1845 gives Oklahomans the choice of either getting a Real ID compliant license or keeping their current Oklahoma driver’s license. HB 1114 calls for teacher pay raises across the state.
“The Chamber applauds the House for passing both bills making us Real ID compliant and taking steps to raise teacher pay,” said Chairman of the Board Mark Brace. “The Chamber absolutely supports a sustainable pay plan for our educators and is hopeful our legislators will craft a bill offering such a plan this year.”
The Chamber tracks bills at the Oklahoma Capitol every legislative session. This session the Chamber is tracking 16 bills.
Two of the bills the Chamber has monitored closely are HB 1187 and HB 1427. Both bills have passed the house and have been introduced in the Senate.
HB 1187 requires specific sunset dates on any new tax incentives. HB 1427 requires the Tax Commission to establish one field office in a state other than Oklahoma for purpose of collecting taxes owed. It allows the Commission to maintain a full time employee and not less than five out-of-state tax auditors
“Each year we survey our members when we begin putting together our Legislative Agendas,” said Jamie Southerland, Chamber Executive Vice President. “Part of the benefit we offer to our members is our ability to advocate for legislation they think is important.”
To learn more about Legislative Affairs at the Chamber go to www.lawtonfortsillchamber.com.
Do you have job openings?
Do you have positions to fill at your business?
Did you know that as a Chamber member you can post your job openings on our website for free?
Our website receives over 70,000 visits a year, and users spend over 2 minutes on our website on average.
Only members can post to our job board, but anyone can visit it to find job openings.
This is just one more place you can look for your next great employee.
New Members Welcomed
Twice a year the Chamber hosts a reception for our New Members. Wednesday, March 29, we invited Chamber members who joined in the past 6 months and Board of Directors to network, have some fun, and learn about the Chamber.
This reception is a chance for our newer members to meet the entire staff, Board members, and other Chamber members, as well as learn how they can best utilize their membership at the Chamber.
Please join us in welcoming this latest group of Chamber members!
Washington DC Fly-In
Last week we held the annual Washington DC Fly-In. March 22 – 23, 2017.
The Chamber organized a group of local citizens to travel to Washington DC to meet with legislators, Army and agency officials.
Highlights of the event included a reception for attendees to meet with legislators and their staffs, as well as a high-profile breakfast hosted by Senator Jim Inhofe with Army leadership. This is an opportunity that is rare and valuable to our community. Special Advanced Teams met concerning the following areas: Transportation, Fires Center of Excellence Capabilities Portfolio, Regulatory and Education.
We hope you make plans to attend next year's trip if you were unable to this year.
DC Fly In
This week a group of local citizens will travel to Washington D.C. to meet with legislators, Army and agency officials.
“This is a chance for Chamber members to meet with some of our Nation’s leaders,” said Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce Chairman Mark Brace. “There are many new faces in Washington, and this will give them first hand experience with Lawton Fort Sill.”
Highlights of the event include a reception for attendees to meet with legislators and their staffs, as well as a high-profile breakfast hosted by Senator Jim Inhofe with Army leadership. This is an opportunity that is rare and valuable to our community. Special Advanced Teams will meet concerning the following areas: Transportation, Fires Center of Excellence Capabilities Portfolio, Regulatory and Education.
State Legislative Updates
Governor Mary Fallin, joined by Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz and House Speaker Charles McCall, signed House Bill (HB) 1845, the REAL ID compliance bill. The new law will allow persons to obtain a compliant REAL ID driver's license or identification card.
Governor Mary Fallin also signed House Joint Resolution (HJR) 1028 to approve the assessment and accountability report recommendations required by legislation (House Bill 3218) passed and signed into law last year. The key components of the report include recommendations for new assessments for Grades 3-8 and for high school students as required by the federal government, as well as a study of an enhanced accountability system. In addition, the report contained recommendations on graduation requirements, and remediation and interventions.
DC Fly-In Briefing
Attendees of the 2017 DC Fly-In met for a briefing to go over the expectations of the trip, and gain valuable information to make their experience a success.
Legislative Kick Off Luncheon
We hosted the Legislative Kick-Off Luncheon on Friday, March 10 at the Lawton Country Club.
As the state legislative session begins, this was an opportunity for guests to meet with state legislators and engage with them.
We look forward to hearing about the events of the Legislative Session at the Legislative Wrap-Up Luncheon June 10.
Thank you to our sponsors!
Business After Hours March 2017
We would like to thank Billingsley Ford of Lawton for hosting Business After Hours for March!
At the event we celebrated the Grand Re-Opening of the renovated dealership.
If you missed this event, mark your calendars now for April 4 at Planet Fitness for Business B4 Breakfast and for our next Business After Hours at Lawton Marketing Group on April 20!
Breakfast B4 Business - March 2017
Tuesday, March 7, Sleep Inn and Suites hosted Business B4 Breakfast.
Attendees got to mingle and get a great breakfast before they headed off to work!
We would like to thank Sleep Inn and Suites for hosting this event! If you missed this event, mark your calendars now for April 4 at Planet Fitness for Business B4 Breakfast and for our next Business After Hours at Lawton Marketing Group on April 20!
Young Professionals of Lawton Fort Sill (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 Young Professionals Board is making progress and inching closer to the GRAND LAUNCH to the entire community April 27, 28, 29 at the Apache Casino Hotel Event Center – If you’re a Young Professional in Lawton, you don’t want to miss out on the launch weekend
Corporate Sponsorship information and ticket information will be released in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Lawton-Fort Sill Economic Development Corporation hires community leader
The Lawton-Fort Sill Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors announced that Brad Cooksey would assume the role as Executive Vice-President with the intent to assume the role of President no later than the end of the calendar year.
Prior to joining the LED, he worked in commercial real estate for Insight Commercial Real Estate Brokerage. During his tenure with Insight, Cooksey procured new tenants for a portfolio of commercial properties that would bolster the growth of the Lawton-Fort Sill Community. He also has a background in commercial insurance working for J.T. Neal Insurance Agency, Inc. and Wilcox & McGrath.
“Brad is a long-time Lawton resident who has spent his 19 year career in roles focused on strengthening his community,” said Phil Kennedy, Chairman of the Board. “We are pleased to have him lead the Lawton-Fort Sill Economic Development Corporation.”
Cooksey began his professional career as a teacher and high school coach at Eisenhower High School. He has served the Lawton-Fort Sill area in his community involvement, as well. He has served as the President of the Lawton Public School Foundation, member of the Spirit of Survival Marathon Committee, Chamber of Commerce Board Member, AMBUCS, Board Member of Cameron University Foundation, and Leadership Lawton Fort Sill.
“I am proud to be from Lawton Fort Sill,” said Cooksey. “Lawton is my home, and I want to make it a choice location for new businesses to bring their operations here.”
Cooksey is the son of the late Mildred and Johnny Cooksey. He graduated from Eisenhower High School, then went on to graduate from Cameron University with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Science with a Minor in Mathematics. Cooksey attended Cameron University on a full scholarship for the Men’s Basketball team.
Cooksey and his wife, Karen, reside in Lawton where they are raising their boys, Carson and Colin. Cooksey continues to remain committed to the Lawton-Fort Sill Community and working to ensure it continues to thrive and prosper.
Business After Hours
Director of Corrections
Director of Corrections, Joe Allbaugh, addressed overpopulation, understaffing, aging facilities and budgeting issues related to prison facilities.
Education Action Group
Show Me the $$ - James Taylor with Workforce Oklahoma guides students in the preparation of resumes.
Bridges Out of Poverty
Leadership Lawton Fort Sill Class XXVI has chosen to support the Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ By World program that is presented by The Salvation Army. This program takes individuals in poverty through a journey that builds their resources for a more prosperous life for themselves, their families, and their communities. Getting Ahead in a Just Getting’ By World is a hand-up based program and not a handout, however, they provide those attending with weekly stipends, meals, childcare, class material and knowledge to empower and invest. All this takes place through a 20 week, 45-hour workshop experience. As we all know, poverty is an ongoing issue, Leadership Lawton Fort Sill Class XXVII has made it a priority to be part of the solution to ending poverty.
- Knocking Down Poverty One Pin at a Time:
Join the Leadership Lawton Fort Sill Class XXVII at our first fundraiser! Bowling for the cause, Five Person Best Ball Tournament!
March 18, 2017
2PM – 6PM
$30 – Per Person (5 people to a team)
1st Place Prize - $250
Register to win: 32” TV, Goodyear Oil Change, Goodyear Tire Rotation and a 35% off Tires Coupon
Other activities: 50/50 Drawing and Information Booth for LLFS Class XXVII with bracelet sales.
- Applebee’s Flapjack Fundraiser
Join the Leadership Lawton Fort Sill Class XXVII for breakfast before a busy Saturday!
April 22, 2017
8AM – 10AM
Co-Op Coordinating Council
On February 22, the Co-Op Coordinating Council met to begin planning the events for the coming year. With many events on their calendar, they look forward to a busy year of community service and new partnerships!
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 Jamie Southerland today.
Supporting the Arts
On February 24, Arts for All held their Fund Drive Kick-Off Luncheon and Lawton Arts & Humanities Council Awards. It was a great opportunity for our community to support the art community here in Lawton Fort Sill.
The luncheon's guest speaker was Ervin Randle, owner of Classic Lawton Chevrolet. A gifted athlete and leader, he spoke about his life from Mumford, Texas to Lawton, Oklahoma shared why he believes it is important to give back to one's community.
Congratulations to all of the award winners at the event!
Business After Hours - Apache Casino Hotel
We would like to thank the Apache Casino Hotel for hosting the largest Business After Hours to date. 224 people attended Thursday Night's event.
Attendees were able to get a look at Lawton Fort Sill's newest event space, while mingling with friends new and old. The Apache Casino Hotel Orchestra provided a great ambiance while guests mingled.
If you missed out on this fantastic event, make plans to attend Breakfast B4 Business at Sleep Inn on March 7 as well as the next Business After Hours at Billingsley Ford on March 9.
Chamber Board members and committee chairs met to outline the 2017-2018 Business Plan.
Attendees evaluated progress on the current business plan, reviewed the long range plan, added new ideas and decided the best course of action to reach their goals. This plan advances to the Finance Committee to determine the necessary financial resources to achieve results.
2017 Member Verification Forms
Make sure your business is accurately represented! It is up to you to tell us about changes.
ATTENTION: Rather than sent by standard mail, this year Verification Forms were e-mailed on February 28, 2017. This will not change the action for you, the Chamber still expects them to be returned either by email, by FAX, or standard mail.
They are due April 28, 2017, which allows 2 months to complete and return. Whether you're an Individual Member, a Student Member, or a Business Member of our Chamber, please monitor your e-mail to receive the 2017 Verification Form. If you have changes to be made, or if no changes, we ask that ALL members return the form to assist the Chamber with keeping accurate records. We plan to print our annual Member Directory in July, so it is very important to make appropriate revisions/corrections on your account in the allotted time.
1) Check your email February 28, 2017. If you do not see the email subject “Chamber Verification Form” in your INBOX, we ask you check your JUNK or SPAM folders. Once you identify the email, review your Chamber profile on your form to ensure accuracy and correctness.
2) Mark through and make any necessary changes on the form. If no changes, state "no changes."
3) SIGN & Return to the Chamber either by standard mail, e-mail, FAX, or in person.
"Research shows that 68 cents out of every dollar spent in local businesses stay here in our community. The sales tax on these purchases made locally fuel economic development, fund road improvements, parks, schools as well as provide jails and detention centers, just to name a few."