Tulsa Metro Chamber Goes Regional

By EMILY RAMSEY
Assistant Editor

SYNERGISTIC MOMENTUM: From left, top photo, Tulsa Chamber President Mike Neal, County Commissioner Karen Keith and Mayor Dewey Bartlett recognize the importance of regional collaboration coupled with downtown development. Area chamber representatives are showing their support.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers


The Tulsa Metro Chamber is changing its name but not its focus.
On Dec. 1, the chamber will officially change its name to Tulsa Regional Chamber. The chamber’s board of directors unanimously voted for the name change as a way to continue fostering a unified commitment to the success of all communities in Northeast Oklahoma.

The chamber understands that today’s fastest-growing economies across the country are taking a regional approach to success in economic development. The organization’s mission will remain the same, to be a business-driven organization focused on improving the quality of life through development of regional economic prosperity.

Area chamber presidents have united in their support of regionalism.

“We understand that if jobs go away, there is a regional job loss,” says Wes Smithwick, Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce president. “The mindset that all leaders need to share is that we all live, work and play in each other’s backyards.”
In 2011, Broken Arrow’s population hit 100,000, making it the fourth largest city in Oklahoma. As Broken Arrow grows, so does its chamber’s focus on business growth and regionalism.

Owasso Chamber President Gary Akin realizes that when a region unites, it can get much more accomplished. “We are a body of influence as a region,” he says. “It helps to have the support of all the other cities around us. That way they see that it isn’t one city requesting something, but the region identified this as important for economic development.”

In the coming years, Krystal Crockett, Bixby chamber president, expects to see continued collaboration between cities. “There’s a lot of areas of the country for businesses to go, lots of competition,” she says. “We’re going to do better regarding bringing businesses to the area if we work together. Regionalism is where everything is going.

“Anywhere within this region that a business moves to is going to be good for all of us.”

Updated 11-26-2012

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