Over 100 Business Roundtable members participated in the annual meeting of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable in Tulsa on June 16.
The business meeting included approval of 2021-2022 slate of Officers and Directors and the annual budget. Officers include Chairman - Mita Bates, Ardmore Chamber and Development Authority; Chair Elect & Vice Chairman - John Patrick Lopez, Lopez Foods, Oklahoma City; Secretary/Treasurer - Dave Stewart, MidAmerica Industrial Park, Pryor and Past Chairman Steven Hendrickson, The Boeing Company, Tulsa.
Roundtable membership as of June 16 was 156 members.
President Mark Funke presented an overview of the recent Roundtable member survey. Overall, members felt the Roundtable was aligned with its mission to support state leaders and partners with job retention/creation, new corporate investment activities and networking.
The survey suggested the Roundtable should be a strong advocate and “convener” for the development of a sustained statewide economic development plan – that supports existing industry and markets Oklahoma to the world.
Other recommendations included enhanced communication, development of useful business climate index, and support for the new SelectOklahoma economic development marketing and education group. Top business challenges identified were: Providing a skilled workforce to meet the needs of existing and new industry; improving education and health care and continued efforts to diversify the economy.
Governor Kevin Stitt praised the ongoing work of the Roundtable and said Oklahoma’s economy was greatly improved and led the nation in emerging successfully from the COVID pandemic. He discussed the focused role of the state’ Washington office, the recent successful legislative session – which included unprecedented funding and support for economic development programs. He voiced continued concern over the federal McGirt court case and its potential implications for the state.
Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Scott Mueller outlined his current activities and teased the group regarding a soon to be announced corporate location. Commerce Executive Director Brent Kisling provided an extensive overview of Commerce programming – which included a 6 Point tactical plan of Workforce Development, Growing Our Own Established Companies; Marketing and Branding, Targeted Recruitment, Community Growth Initiatives, and Creating a Culture of Innovation.