It’s hard to believe that the first month of 2019 is already in the history books! It is always a busy month at the Chamber and affiliated organizations, and this year is no different.
January provided Chamber members with an opportunity to learn about the opportunities for our area that are provided by REI Oklahoma through the Southern Oklahoma Leaders Luncheon series. Scott Dewald provided great insight into the excitement around the new state administration and the renewed focus on economic growth, especially in rural areas. The Chamber had received feedback from our members about the desire to learn more about area schools, as well as the outlook from a state perspective. From this, we hosted the inaugural Education Forum this past week. Matt Holder, Assistant Superintendent of the Oklahoma State Department of Education provided valuable information for attendees to evaluate the potential for providing the support our schools will require. In addition, the superintendents of our local districts did an outstanding job providing updates on the projects, activities and accomplishments of their schools.
The Chamber annually creates a Program of Work. This document drives our activities and use of resources. The 2019 Plan of Work can be found on the Chamber website, www.ardmore.org. This year the focus of the Chamber will revolve around Education & Workforce, Community Development & Enhancement (for talent attraction), and Legislative Affairs, to ensure Ardmore is offering a business-friendly environment resulting in continued prosperity and growth.
The Ardmore Development Authority continues to respond to requests from a variety of industry for information on potential sites in the area where they might relocate or grow their business. The ADA recently participated in an event in Dallas, hosting Site Selectors and Corporate Real Estate professionals to focus on the great potential for locating their business in Oklahoma. In addition, plans are underway for additional improvements at the Ardmore Industrial Airpark.
The Ardmore Tourism Authority just returned from the American Bus Association Annual Conference. While at the Conference, Ardmore had the opportunity to meet with numerous tour operators to educate and encourage them to include Ardmore on their itineraries. We had a great marketing opportunity to promote “the sunny side of the Arbuckles” as the temperature in Louisville, Kentucky was below zero! The Convention Center will soon begin exterior renovation that includes a new roof and resealing of the exterior. It is hard to believe that the facility is 16 years old – it still is in incredible shape and remains Ardmore’s premier meeting location.
The community of Ardmore continues to thrive, and many partners make this progress occur. The Annual Ardmore Chamber Banquet Celebration will be held on Friday, February 22, 2019. This celebration will highlight the achievements of 2018 and provide a glimpse into the plans for 2019. It’s also provides a time where we honor community leaders, both individuals and businesses. Mark your calendar and plan to attend!