OBR Hosts Membership Meeting in Oklahoma City

October 14, 2021 - 10:20am

Over 100 members of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable were treated to a wide ranging economic development program at the recent fall meeting in Oklahoma City on October 6.  

Click here to view the entire meeting.

Governor Kevin Stitt provided an upbeat message highlighting the state’s continued growth continue and economic recovery. He cited business expansion in nearly all areas of the state – leading to new jobs and investment. 

Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell gave a detailed overview of this successful efforts to promote Oklahoma in the region and nation. In his role as Secretary of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, Pinnell oversees the state’s efforts to promote tourism, the third largest industry in Oklahoma. Pinnell continues to lead a successful effort to rebrand the State of Oklahoma, a component of the overall effort to retain and recruit more jobs to the state of Oklahoma. He discussed a recent marketing effort in Dallas focused on business executives who have the potential to expand or locate their business in the state. He outlined the need for a much stronger targeted marketing and promotion effort going forward.

Roundtable President Mark Funke thanked the members for their continued commitment to the organization. Membership now exceeds 160.  He said the Roundtable assisted state leaders and partners with 157 projects this past fiscal year. This included focused marketing campaigns, trade show support, visiting and hosting business prospects and site consultants; site development, foreign direct investment and exporting, supplier networking sessions, small group meetings with the Governor, industry development focus groups and a first-ever business leader survey. The annual audit and August financials were also approved.  

Chairman Mita Bates moderated a Roundtable member panel highlighting various segments of Oklahoma’s economy. Jimmy Cagle of Goodyear discussed the company’s long-time presence in Lawton and southwest Oklahoma.  Since 1979, more than $1 billion has been invested and the plant has more than doubled in size – now at 3 million s/f. To date, the plant has manufacturing more than 700 million tires. He said the success of the plant is primary due to the great work ethic of Goodyear’s employees.

Nathaniel Harding, Managing Partner of Cortado Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm based in Oklahoma City discussed their role in investing in growth-driven technology companies. He outlined the great potential for growing the industry in the state. 

Michael Davis of the Oklahoma Finance Authorities introduced members to the state’s new economic development marketing organization, Select Oklahoma. Over 120 economic development professionals have joined together to recruit new and retain existing primary jobs and capital investment in the state. In addition to marketing efforts, the corporation will support a healthy economy for the State of Oklahoma through legislative advocacy, education, training and development and professional collaboration.

Keynote speaker was Canoo President Josette Sheeran –who provided an update on the company’s plans to build an electric vehicle manufacturing facility in the  MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor. She said the company considered several hundred sites nationally for the manufacturing operation.  She commended state and local leaders for their assistance.

Click here to view the entire meeting.