Over 140 Roundtable members and state leaders attended the fall membership meeting and networking reception on October 15th at the Governor’s Mansion in Oklahoma City. Vice-Chairman Rhonda Hooper presided over the event which included reports from Lt. Governor Todd Lamb, Secretary of State (and incoming Commerce Secretary) Larry Parman and Governor Mary Fallin.
Roundtable President Carl Edwards said total membership and project funding remains steady.
The state leaders provided members with an “upbeat” view on the state’s economy, but stressed the need for continued focus on business reforms and workforce development programs. The group highlighted their recent efforts in working with company expansions, business recruitment, support of entrepreneurship and efforts to keep young professionals in the state
Both Governor Fallin and Lt. Governor Lamb hold the distinction of being chairman of their respective national leadership organizations (National Governors Association and National Lt. Governors Association) during 2013-2014. Governor Fallin recently announced her National Governor Association Chair’s Initiative which is focused on “America Works: Education and Training for Tomorrow’s Jobs.” The national initiative is focused on improving the capacity and effectiveness of state’s education and workforce training systems and aligning those systems with the needs of state economies.
Keynote speaker was Steve Felice, President and Chief Commercial Officer for Dell. The company, now privately held, employs appx. 2000 workers in Oklahoma City. Mr. Felice gave an overview of Dells’ presence in Oklahoma, praised the city and state for its long-term commitment and support to the company, and outlined its new business model as both a manufacturer and software solutions provider. He also gave members a glimpse of IT trends and highlighted Dell’s focus on helping new start-ups.
The Oklahoma Business Roundtable is Oklahoma’s primary economic development “support” organization. The Roundtable accomplishes this by providing critical private funding in support of the economic development efforts of the Governor, Lt. Governor and Oklahoma Department of Commerce by encouraging business investment and jobs in Oklahoma. Formed in 1991, the Roundtable is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization. We promote business investment throughout Oklahoma, including retention, start-up, expansion and attraction of business facilities and operations.