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."
Meet with the Director of Corrections
Visitors in Lawton
Did you notice an influx of people in our community this past weekend? Well, there are two big reasons why. One is The Wichita Mountain Quilt Guild held their bi-annual quilt show this past weekend. This event was held at the Great Plains Coliseum. This event promoted the art and history of quilting in our local community and state. The second reason is The Lawton Fort Sill Duplicate Bridge Club had their annual tournament at Apache Casino Hotel Event Center. Overall there were around 1,000 people who got to visit our great community!
Legislative Luncheon Opportunity
Success By 6 Receives State Grant
United Way of Southwest Oklahoma (UWSWOK)'s in-house education program, Success By 6, received notification that the program had been chosen as one of five grant recipients from Smart Start Oklahoma for the remainder of this fiscal year.
For over a decade, Success By 6 has been working with community partners in Southwest Oklahoma to ensure that all children have access to books through several programs. "This grant is unique in that so few applicants were selected for funding," stated President and CEO of United Way of Southwest Oklahoma, Lauren Ellis. "Being awarded this grant validates the good work that Success By 6 and our community partners have been doing for over a decade. We are excited to see our state continue to see the importance of early childhood education."
The over $30,000 in funding from Smart Start Oklahoma will allow Success By 6 to research the deeper issues affecting early childhood education and make a plan for workable solutions. Success By 6 will report on the findings of the research at an Oklahoma Partnership School Readiness board meeting in May of 2017.
To find out more about Success By 6 or United Way of Southwest Oklahoma please visit their facebook page or website at www.uwswok.org.
2017 SW OK LEGISLATIVE RECEPTION
The Chamber, along with 6 other Southwest Oklahoma Chambers, hosted the 22nd Annual Southwest Oklahoma Legislative Reception on Tuesday February 7, 2017 at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City.
Attendees had the opportunity to mingle with their current delegation and meet new area legislators. The Reception is an event where chamber members, legislators and state officials gather for an evening of hors d'oeuveres, socialization and discussion.
Every state senator and state representative was invited to attend. Many state agency leaders have been invited as well. The Chamber co-hosts this event with Chambers from: Altus, Chickasha, Duncan, Elgin, Frederick, and Walters.
Breakfast B4 Business
Tuesday, February 7, we had our first Business B4 Breakfast. We saw a wonderful launch to this new program!
Attendees got to mingle and taste some fantastic coffee at CherryBerry before they headed off to work!
We would like to thank CherryBerry for hosting this event! If you missed this event, mark your calendars now for February 16 at Apache Casino Hotel’s new event center for Business After Hours and for our next Business B4 Breakfast at Sleep Inn on March 7!
SMA Preston Luncheon
The Fires Chapter of AUSA, the Military Affairs Committee and the Co-Op Committee hosted a luncheon in honor of Sergeant Major of the Army (Retired) Kenneth O. Preston. Attendees learned about the future of the Army and celebrated our community’s cohesion and patriotism.
SMA Preston was the 13th Sergeant Major of the Army, and now serves as the Director of NCO & Soldier programs for AUSA National in Washington, D.C.
National Job Shadow Day
Three students from Gateway Success Center shadowed staff members at the Chamber on National Job Shadow Day.
"Today I got a look at the business community," said Olivia, one of the students, "and I think it is something I want to pursue after high school."
The Chamber’s Education Action Group encouraged members to use this day to better connect Lawton students with our business community.
"It was interesting to see how everyone works together," said another student, Breonna. "Everyone here is equal parts of a whole system."
While at the Chamber the Convention and Visitors Bureau took time to show them a little bit about the community they live in.
"I had no idea there was so much to do in Lawton," said Chyna, another one of the student shadows. "Today showed us what all there is to do in the community."
Fires Patriot Breakfast
On Friday, February 3rd, Fires Patriots (formerly known as Cannon Cockers) received an update from Consultants, Bob Milner and Mike Hogan.
Congratulations Ervin Randle!
One of our very own members received the Abner V. McCall Humanitarian Award from Baylor University. On behalf of the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce, we are very proud to say Congratulations to Ervin Randle! Keep up the great work Erv!
New Member-to-Member Benefit
We have a brand new Member-to-Member Benefit from Auteur Management Solutions!
Want to be more productive at work? Boost motivation in the office? Reduce stress and sickness? A new janitorial service for your business could be the answer! Auteur Management Solutions is offering a member to member benefit for commercial janitorial services. Inclusive of Chamber members only, included in this offering is a free consultation and a 15% discount off regularly priced services (with a signed contract). Call 580-574-4092 or e-mail email@example.com to take advantage of this exclusive offer!
Doing Lawton Fort Sill Good!
We have many organizations in our community that go above and beyond to make Lawton Fort Sill better. One of those organizations is Hearts That Care Clinic located at 304 SW A Avenue.
The purpose of the Hearts That Care Clinic is to provide care to people without health insurance who do not have access to physicians and clinics in the area. The clinic is run on a volunteer basis. Providers donate their time to assist in running the clinic.
To learn more about Hearts That Care or to volunteer visit their website at www.heartsthatcarelawton.org
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