2019 Accomplishments

Mission

The mission of the Ardmore Chamber is to promote economic vitality and quality of life for Southern Oklahoma.

 EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

                The Chamber will champion the cause of education in order to develop the most efficient and productive method for delivery of quality education and workforce development services that span cradle to career.

  • Provided programming to enhance student experiences in K-12, utilizing best practices to

produce improved student outcomes.

  • Held the first Education Forum for Chamber members that included area schools, Southern Tech, the University Center and an update from the State Department of Education.
  • Participation in U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Business Leads Fellowship addressing the need for improved educational opportunities for all students.
  • Continued programming with Partners in Education to provide resources for students and teachers such as the MEE Competition and Chickasaw Career Fair.
  • Coordinated with local business and industry as well as Southern Tech to introduce Career Readiness Activities at different grade levels.
  • Coordinated with Southern Tech for introduction of Industrial/Career Certifications. 
  • Research into an aeronautics and aviation curriculum to area schools lead to the determination to add the programming to area schools in 2020-2021.
  • Coordinated College Nights; FASFA Workshops and Chickasaw Career Exploration and Speakers
  • Provided support for the continued development of the Southern Oklahoma University Center Campus, including research on programming such as logistics, cybersecurity and continued promotion of health-related programs.
  • Continued work with Murray State College and Langston to expand program offerings in Ardmore.
  • Participated in the “reach Higher – Direct Complete” program of the Regents for Higher Education.
  • Support for development of rigorous academic standards to ensure that all students are career ready, including active involvement with US Chamber Foundation.
  • Provided support to the ADA Regional Labor Study for the implementation of strategic initiatives.
  • Provided funding for Program Manager for the Ardmore Young Professionals organization.
  • Continued support of the Ardmore Business Roundtable.
  • Hosted the Annual Teacher Appreciation Reception, attended by over 400 area educators.
  • Served on the State Chamber of Oklahoma’s Education and Workforce Committee.

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT/QUALITY OF LIFE

                The Chamber will be the catalyst for coordinating and initiating activities to improve the community and the quality of life in the Ardmore area.

  • The initial class of the Bridges Out of Poverty Program was held and graduated in the fall of 2019.  Funding for the program came from local business and industry.
  • Coordination of Community Visioning Program held in the Fall of 2019, resulting in the development of the Ardmore Vision 2025.
  • Assisted the ADA with the creation of a strategy for talent recruitment and retention.
  • Active involvement with Main Street Promotion including participation on the Board, activities to support merchants such as the “Cash Mob” during the street reconstruction, and other retail promotional activities.
  • Active support for local Chamber retail members such as “Tax Free” Weekend Promotion, Small Business Saturday and the Dash for Santa Cash, as well as “No Cook Thursdays”
  • Introduced Showcase for Cars and Spotlight on Restaurants in the Business After Hours series.
  • Committed financial resources for the development of Depot Park.
  • Purchased “sandwich boards” for use by chamber members at no cost.
  • Aided individuals/companies interested in new or expanded retail opportunities in the community.
  • Continued efforts to review opportunities for additional attainable housing,
  • Provided support for the continued development of the Create Ardmore Program.
  • Coordinated Leadership Ardmore programs for both youth and adults with an emphasis on revising curriculum to include the engagement and empowerment of all segments of the community, including encouragement for participation in area boards.
  • Provided administrative support for the Ardmore Young Professionals Program including employment of Program Manager with new “branding” to be unveiled in January 2020.
  • Successful coordination of the Festival of Lights in 2019.  The activities included a record for the sponsorship dollars for display sponsorships through the TRC Campaign; conducting the FOL Auction and coordination of volunteers for the Festival of Lights Drive Thru Display at Regional Park. The 2019 efforts resulted in $11,144.64 distributed to fifteen (15) non-profits in Ardmore.
  • Coordinated support for programs aimed at improving the health of area citizens such as “Fitness Challenges”, TSET Programming, Regional Food Bank, support of Health Department and sponsorship and promotion of the Corporate Fitness Challenge as well as activities to support the Behavioral Health Initiative and activities with the Ardmore Institute of Health.  Introduced the Community Garden effort by chamber members.
  • Promoted the Certified Healthy Business designation for Chamber Members and received recognition as Certified Healthy Business 2019.

 

 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT/IMPROVING THE BUSINESS CLIMATE

                The Chamber will spearhead efforts to maintain a viable economy by improving the business climate, expanding the business base and assisting local businesses.

  • The Chamber was involved in workforce development, coordinating activities with the ADA to encourage K-12 interaction, focus on skills certification and retention of labor force.
  • Began implementation of strategic initiatives from Site Selection Group Report to improve Ardmore marketability.
  • In coordination with Southern Tech, reviewed opportunities for creation of co-working and “Makers Space/Innovation Labs”.
  • Created improved process to assist industry partners with relocation of professional staff such as Linked In group.
  • Assisted with the ADA’s coordination of the Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team Southern California Call Trip to prospective industry.
  • Provided management services to the Ardmore Development Authority with continued refinement of reporting and coordination of activities.
  • Partnered with the City of Ardmore to recruit and support business and industry, including the announcement of ATS in November 2019 and the National Guard Readiness Facility in December.
  • Participated in workforce initiatives including the Governor’s Workforce meetings; interaction with Southeast Oklahoma Workforce Board, served on the State Chamber of Oklahoma Workforce Committee.
  • Assisted with the coordination of the Lt. Governor’s Turkey Hunt.
  • Provided the coordination for Manufacturing Dinner in October.
  • Conducted the Annual Ardmore Community Forum to update members on city projects and priorities as well as an opportunity to meet with city departments.
  • Hosted meetings with State and Federal Officials and legislators to educate them on Ardmore area needs and to promote a pro-business climate.
  • The Ardmore Business Roundtable continued its programming for area CEOs.
  • Coordination with statewide strategies to promote Oklahoma as a place to do business.
  • Served on the Economic Growth Transition Team.
  • Served on the Oklahoma Business Roundtable Board of Directors.
  • Served on the State Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
  • Elected to serve as Treasurer of the Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team.

 

 GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

        The Chamber will promote a sound business climate and represent the interests of sound policy that allows businesses to compete globally, to hire more workers, and expand in southern Oklahoma.

  • The Chamber actively participated in the State Chamber’s Chamber Action Network.  This program provided accurate information for our members and allowed engagement with local legislators on bill that were important to our area business and industry.
  • The Chamber held an Annual Ardmore Day at the Capitol. 
  • The Chamber held bi-weekly luncheons during the session to provide information for members and access to elected officials.
  • The Chamber was an inaugural partner in the Council of 100 to develop a continuing strategy for the State.
  • The Chamber took an active role in the support of the OK 2030
  • The Chamber hosted small group meetings between organization leadership and elected officials to discuss issues, including Senator Lankford, Congressman Tom Cole and Lt. Governor Pinnell
  • The Chamber conducted the Annual Community Forum in July.
  • The Chamber was involved with recruitment of qualified candidates for both school board and commission candidates.
  • Participated in the State Chamber’s “Boot Camp” for new legislators.
  • Member of the State Chamber Board of Directors.

 

 

MEMBERSHIP SERVICES

                The Chamber will deliver programs and provide activities that will increase Chamber membership and add measurable value to Chamber membership investments.

  • Conducted a successful TRC Campaign, meeting goal.
  • Continue to enhance member interaction through new database.
  • Chamber providing increased exposure to chamber member businesses impacted by streetscape project.
  • The Chamber significantly improved digital presence and continues to evaluate options for increased effectiveness and measurement.
  • Completed Website redesign for all organizations creating better interaction and experience for Chamber members.
  • Coordinated quarterly “Chamber 101” orientation sessions for both new and existing members.
  • Support of the Southern Oklahoma Leaders Luncheons to provide valuable information to our chamber members. Speakers included the OKC Federal Reserve Chair, Manufacturing Alliance and the Labor Commissioner.
  • Coordinated efforts with the State Chamber and others to provide an affordable health insurance option for Chamber members.
  • The Chamber developed and began implementation of program for member retention, recognition and improvement of communications with all members.
  • Continued promotion and coordination of health initiatives including involvement with the Behavioral Health Initiative.
  • Promotion of the programs that increase Shop Local activities such as “Tax Free Holiday,” Small Business Saturday and the “Dash for Santa Cash” Christmas Retail Promotion.
  • Supported enhancements to Business After Hours and the quarterly Business Before Hours networking events.
  • Continued enhancement of all non-dues activities to ensure they meet the goals of both the chamber and our members.
  • Host the monthly Tax Information Seminars and coordinate with the OSBDC to assist new/small businesses in the community.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL AFFAIRS

                The Chamber will evaluate the financial operations and organizational structure to improve the delivery of services and efficiency.  The Chamber will effectively utilize resources to advance the interest of the organization.

  • Provided management services to the Chamber Foundation, Inc., ADA and ATA.
  • Successfully redesigned all organizational websites.
  • Continued to improve the processes for IT, Human Resources and Payroll.
  • Provided programs to various civic and community organizations.
  • Increased digital presence, and introduction of metrics for measurement.
  • Provided regular articles to the newspaper to inform members and the public of pertinent issues and special events.
  • Provided all new members with free advertisement in Ardmoreite and radio.
  • Coordinated the Leadership Greater Ardmore and Youth Leadership Programs with record numbers of applicants.
  • Completed a successful Total Resource Campaign.
  • Initiated process for Chamber Accreditation renewal.