By KELSY LORIN TAYLOR
Web Editor and Feature Writer
KELSY LORIN TAYLOR for GTR Newspapers
For the last six years, Annette Bowles has been an important part of the Jenks Chamber of Commerce. She recently decided to begin a new chapter of life and move forward with her career in a different way by joining the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Having moved to Jenks from Florida, Bowles searched for a way to become involved in the community. “I found out that the Jenks Chamber of Commerce needed volunteers for the Centennial Celebration. I volunteered and it was a great experience.”
Following the event, she was asked to become the director of public relations for the chamber. “I was then promoted to the director of community marketing.” When her predecessor left the position, Bowles took her place as president of the Jenks Chamber of Commerce.
One of the most enjoyable events for Bowles to help organize in her role has been Art on Main. “The event began when the Chamber’s Community Development Committee wanted to find a way to fill a few empty shop windows on Main Street. The committee decided that a few pieces of art in the windows would bring the street to life. Within a few days of deciding this, they moved forward with the added idea of combining that with an art show and it has grown from there. It really brings the whole community together.”
“One of the highlights of my career was when Art on Main was chosen to receive the Community Impact Award two years ago. There were many other groups nominated for the award. From what I understand, we won because the entire community comes together to plan and be a part of this event, including the boy scouts, church groups, senior citizens and many others.
Her experience with the Jenks Chamber of Commerce could not have been more rewarding. “I have had the opportunity to work with every kind of person imaginable. There is no one that you don’t get to work with. Recently, a Boy Scout interviewed me in order to earn a badge. I was explaining what I do for the chamber when he sat back and said, ‘So you’re like the mother of Jenks.’ That pretty much put it into perspective and it is something that I will never forget.”
Since her involvement within the community, Jenks has changed in many ways, the most notable of which is growth. “It seems that development has shifted from the downtown area towards the river.”
One of the projects that Bowles implemented with the Jenks Chamber of Commerce was the branding of the area. “I want everyone to know what Riverfront South is for example. That is defined by the borders of the river all the way from the River Spirit Casino to Kings Landing, to the Aquarium, back over to RiverWalk Crossing and downtown. With the help of many, the Riverfront South website was just launched. I really wanted to see that happen before I left.”
In addition, she enjoyed giving a voice to the Jenks Chamber of Commerce. “The One Voice Regional Agenda is composed of business leaders from Tulsa that go to Washington D.C. once a year to meet with state representatives. We are not just a small little town next to Tulsa and it is important to take our concerns all the way to the capitol.”
Even though Bowles is beginning a new chapter in life, she intends to stay involved in the community in every way possible. “Jenks is my home and will remain so. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. I look forward to volunteering.”
Bowles last day as the president of the Jenks Chamber of Commerce was Oct. 10. Josh Driskell, director of communications and public affairs, will serve as the interim president until a replacement is found.
- — Roger Scott Oct 25, 10:30 PM #