The below is a general summary of the events and discussion at the July 2020 OKGIT meeting. It does not represent the official minutes, which will be distributed at a later date.

After the approval of the May 2020 meeting’s minutes, Executive Director Jared Scism gave an update regarding the finances of the organization. During the financial report, Jared informed the OKGIT membership of finances for May and June 2020. Jared Scism also announced that Chris Morriss graciously volunteered to take on the duties of the OKGIT treasurer for the remainder of the year.

Amidst discussion of the treasurer report, Douglas Price, chair of the Membership Committee reported that John VanPool from Citizens Potawatomi Nation had resigned, and there were no new perspective members considered for membership at this time. However, Douglas stated that there would likely be members considered for membership at the September meeting.

During the Marketing Committee report, Scott Thompson requested for nominations for a new marketing committee chair after the resignation of John VanPool. The OKGIT marketing committee chair is responsible for overseeing and updating all of the OKGIT social media channels. Immediately following the meeting, Jose Sagarnaga volunteered to become the new chair of the marketing committee. Thank you, Jose, for your service.

The Cultural and Education Committee chair, Cathleen Skinner, informed the membership of President Trump’s proclamation on J1 visas and the effect it would have had on international teachers that come to Oklahoma to teach foreign languages. Fortunately, the State Department made an exception for non-immigrant visas which allows for these teachers to continue teaching in the United States. As a result, Cathleen Skinner requested and received approval from the membership to send a letter of appreciation to the State Department for making these changes.

During the Program Committee report, Shalon Simmons announced the speakers for the program speaker portion of the meeting. The speakers represented the Small Business Administration and came to discuss the CARES Act and incentives for small businesses with the OKGIT membership.

Jamie Cummings from Oklahoma Department of Agriculture updated the group about a trade mission to Canada this month and another mission to Columbia in September. Jamie also informed the group that the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture has received funding for a couple projects through the CARES Act to assist smaller companies and from the United States Department of Agriculture to support the meat processing industry.

Jesse Garcia from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce informed the membership that all but one of ODOC’s trade shows for the year had been cancelled. Jesse also updated the group about ODOC working to repurpose it’s STEP grant that will run through the end of September next year. The next STEP Grant, STEP 9, will start in October 1 and run for two years. ODOC has applied for STEP 9 and currently awaiting results. Jesse finished his report by informing the group about the ODOC three-part webinar series. The final and third part entitled, “What every exporter needs to know about export controls” will be held at 9:00 am on July 28th. For more information or registration, click here.

Dr. Cathleen Skinner had several updates from the Oklahoma Department of Education. Dr. Skinner stated that approximately 2,000 students have been affected as a result of J1 and H1B visas and another 3,000 students in Tulsa, including Chinese students. Dr. Skinner also highlighted that Oklahoma now has a seal of biliteracy that allows students to demonstrate levels of proficiency to employers and educational institutions. Dr. Skinner closed her remarks by telling the OKGIT about the different discussions taking place about the reopening of schools. More and more school districts will be requiring masks for staff. There will be a meeting of the state school board next week to discuss this issue.

Jared Scism reported for Debbie Blanke that Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education were happy that Homeland Security rescinded their order to send international students home should a university have to go 100% online.

Chief Protocol Officer Chris Morriss reported that the Consul General of India contacted her to set up a Zoom meeting with Governor Stitt in August and that she was asked by USCIS to set up a meeting with the Oklahoma Consular Corp.

Jared informed the group that the U.S. Department of Commerce is actively counseling companies using various platforms and working on STEP assistance. The U.S. Commercial Service is also organizing a Women’s Global Trade Empowerment Forum: a FREE six-part digital series from July 28 – September 22nd. Additionally, 50 women business owners in the Aerospace and Defense, Automotive, Education, Design and Construction, Medical Devices and Services, ICT and Energy sectors have the opportunity to register for the six-part virtual forum plus industry-focused activities for a reduced fee of $50. For more information click here.

After the U.S. Department of Trade report, Chuck Mills reported that the District Export Council held elections and chose new officers and also informed the membership that DEC will attempt to hold a virtual World Trade Conference on Thursday, October 22nd.

Following the committee reports and discussion of the World Trade Conference, Jim Collard mentioned that he would like to try and work with the District Export Council to hold a virtual Oklahoma Consular Summit as an additional event on the same day in the afternoon or a different day of the same week as the World Trade Conference. More details coming soon.

Chairman, Scott Thompson reported the Oklahoma Business Roundtable is still discussing funding for the year. At this time, no final decisions have been made.

Lindsay Robertson stated that his wife, Lynne is a past president of the Oklahoma Foreign Language Teacher Association and that they will be hosting a conference soon and are currently seeking sponsorships. Anyone interested in sponsoring this conference by contact Lindsay.

In closing, Jared Scism reported that donations to assist international students with relief efforts had been sent to the universities who currently have members represented in the Oklahoma Governor’s International Team.

Upcoming meetings are as follows:

  • September 15thfrom 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM at Dept of Commerce
  • November 17thfrom 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM at Dept of Commerce

For our program, four employees from the United States Small Business Administration presented information about the CARES Act and incentives for small businesses with the OKGIT membership. For a copy of the presentation, contact Jared Scism.

People around the world find themselves in the midst of one great, shared experience. Social distancing and large-scale quarantine measures became the norm in the months of March and April for many in the U.S. Colleges and schools stand empty, workplace conversations take place on laptops around kitchen tables or, in many industries, not at all. We spoke with a few of our members whose lives, work and studies have been directly impacted since governments across the U.S. took measures to slow COVID-19’s spread. The answers have been lightly edited for clarity.

Representative Mark McBride – Oklahoma State Legislature

Mark McBride

Representative Mark McBride

What is your title and what does your organization do in “normal” times?

“I am the Oklahoma State Representative for District 53 (Moore, Oklahoma). I introduce and vote on bills that represent the interests of people in my district and the state. I’m the Chair of the Appropriations and Budget on Education Subcommittee, Assistant Majority Floor Leader and a member of the Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Capitol Restoration Oversight Committee.”

How did the COVID-19 issue impact your day-to-day work?

“Our members and staff worked remotely, while voting by proxy was allowed for elected representatives. We limited physical meetings, enforced social distancing and medical screenings and created a totally different working environment.

“The volume of constituents reaching out to my office drastically increased. The majority of issues were with difficulties filing for and/or receiving funds for unemployment benefits and PUA. Many constituents lives were in crisis. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission was not prepared with enough qualified staff nor the technology to keep up with thousands and thousands of claims, many of which were for self-employed and 1099 employees that typically do not qualify for benefits (because unemployment taxes are not paid by those entities).

“The Oklahoma Legislature was able to pass a budget, but there was limited legislation this year due to the crisis.”

What are the biggest challenges you face in your work in the coming months?

“We are currently living uncertain times with global markets in decline and the oil and gas industry at an all-time low. Our state budget is heavily reliant on oil and gas production.  There are concerns about the COVID-19 situation and the effects our state and the health of our citizens in the coming months.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, I worked tirelessly for two weeks to get five Oklahomans back from a medical mission trip in Kenya. We were finally able to get them home, just 24 hours before the country shut down.

“As a board member of the Maisha Project, the decline in contributions might not allow me to return to Kenya again this year.  I was also hoping to return to Nicaragua in the fall, but that is also questionable.”

Have there been any positives you could point to during this time?

“It has been a huge positive to witness how Oklahomans have joined together during this crisis.  It is also a positive that Oklahoma has taken the lead in state response to COVID-19 preparedness.”

 

People around the world find themselves in the midst of one great, shared experience. Social distancing and large-scalquarantine measures became the norm in the months of March and April for many in the U.S. Colleges and schools stand empty, workplace conversations take place on laptops around kitchen tables or, in many industries, not at all. We spoke with a few of our members whose lives, work and studies have been directly impacted since governments across the U.S. took measures to slow COVID-19’s spread.

Dr. Nyla Ali Khan

Dr. Nyla Ali Khan is a professor at Rose State College, Midwest City, Oklahoma and taught as a Visiting Professor at the University of Oklahoma. Formerly, she was a professor at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. She received her Ph.D. in English Literature and her Masters in Postcolonial Literature and Theory at the University of Oklahoma. Author of several published articles, book reviews and editorials, she has edited Parchment of Kashmir, a collection of essays on Jammu and Kashmir, written four books, including The Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism and Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir: Between Indian and Pakistan.

Nyla Khan

Dr. Nyla Ali Khan

How did the COVID-19 issue impact your day-to-day work?

“The transition to the virtual world has not been a cakewalk for everyone. Several people, particularly of my parents’ generation, are not technology friendly but are now having to adapt to talking with friends and family via Skype or Zoom.

“I have several students who are trying to make ends meet in the midst of this unforeseen crisis. Some of them are now working two jobs, so they can pay their bills.

“Others are working hard to support those of their family members who have been furloughed. There are some who don’t have Wifi access or erratic internet connections, and cannot participate in Zoom meetings as efficiently as they would like to. A couple of days ago, one of my students participated in a Zoom meeting from her car, because her entire family was in the house and she couldn’t concentrate. I saw determination and perseverance in these kids. Several of them pushed themselves to meet deadlines and step up to the plate. They learned to see their challenges as opportunities to grow, and, as an academic, I am here for them.

“While the transition to online classes came with its set of challenges, my students did not throw in the towel. On the contrary, they adjusted to their new reality with a newfound confidence. In the last Zoom session with one of my classes earlier today, everyone got a little sentimental while acknowledging how much we had learned from one another. I am glad that my students and I were able to create a safe environment in which we examined our locations of privilege and sought emotional empowerment in order to understand systems that have generated a culture of silence about systemic discrimination. It has been an invaluable educational experience to hear my students make presentations on their intellectual interests in a world transformed by COVID-19.”

Have there been any positives you can point to in terms of new ways of doing business or working that have come during this time?

“In the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19, bewilderment reigns supreme. Self-imposed isolation is the new social order. People are experiencing a loneliness epidemic because of social distancing. Compassion is rarely expressed, because everyone is looking out for her/himself. I have realized that we need a global response not just to COVID-19 but to humanitarian disasters that have followed in its wake. A lot of us focus on big achievements, forgetting that the small moments count as much as the big ones.

“When it comes to my students, I want to be present not just for the big moments, but for the small ones as well. There is potential for meaning in every moment. COVID-19 compels me to rethink perceptions that some of us thought were unquestionable and self-axiomatic.

“During this period, my students and I built bridges and worked with sincerity. We cannot afford to hamper progressive political and social change. We realized more than ever that we cannot afford to section off humanity into various “races” and various “worlds,” because that robs us of our power to prevent disease from destroying the world. In spite of the physical delineation of the boundaries, we all live in one zone. Our hopes, aspirations, fears, and dangers are the same.

“During this period, my students and I realized more than ever that we are all connected by the common bond of humanity, and that we can take control by holding up with dignity and resilience when adversity knocks on our doors.”

In terms of your international activities, how have those been impacted by the past three months?

“All of us are trying to adjust to the unforeseen changes brought about by the onset of COVID-19. Although traveling to other parts of the world has been incredibly difficult, my life has not been devoid of meaning.

“I have continued to write for international periodicals/ publications, and my work on issues of global import has been appearing in print as well as online editions of those publications. I was also interviewed by the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, Pakistan, which has recently launched a digital live show, “Global Women Insight,” to talk with “inspiring women leaders about their lives, struggles, and leadership.” My interview was watched by an audience comprising people from various parts of the world, particularly South Asia.”

People around the world find themselves in the midst of one great, shared experience. Social distancing and large-scale quarantine measures became the norm in the months of March and April for many in the U.S. Colleges and schools stand empty, workplace conversations take place on laptops around kitchen tables or, in many industries, not at all. We spoke with a few of our members whose lives, work and studies have been directly impacted since governments across the U.S. took measures to slow COVID-19’s spread.

George Lee III – Red Devil Inc.

George L. Lee, III serves as Vice President of Red Devil, Inc., a manufacturing company with its headquarters in Tulsa. Red Devil manufactures a broad and diversified line of hand tools and chemical products for professional and home maintenance and improvement – more than 400 different products in all. In addition to producing caulks, sealants and tools under its own brand name, the company also manufacture private label products for some of the nation’s largest hardware and home center chains. Its 135,000 square foot production facility is located in the Mid-America Industrial Park in Pryor, OK. The company has been a family owned business since 1872.

British Consul General in Houston Karen Bell and Red Devil Inc.’s George Lee at an OKGIT event in 2015.

What is your title and what does your company/program do in “normal” times?

“I am Vice President,  I handle the legal/benefits/intellectual property work in varying degrees for Red Devil Inc which is a chemical manufacturer and tool distributor to over 40 countries globally and all 50 states.”

How did the COVID-19 issue impact your day-to-day work?

“In an abundance of safety we closed our Tulsa office while keeping our factory up and running. We implemented social distancing, mask usage and other appropriate sanitary routines to keep employees safe while at work.

“Our office employees who are able to work from home are doing so until beginning of June when we will reassess opening out Tulsa office.”

If you’ve been forced to shut down or work from home, how has that impacted your job?

“I have been working from home and what annoys me the most is the lack of my ability to gather all the information I need to answer questions and make decisions in a timely matter. Also the technology to link to my work desktop is slow and laggy as bandwidth is troublesome which ups the annoyance factor.”

What are the biggest challenges you face in your work in the coming few months?

“Ours is reopening the office in a manner that provides a healthy and safe environment for our employees, and filling orders from our factory as we begin starting up new production on lines we have been putting in during this period and continuing from last year.”

Have there been any positives you can point to in terms of new ways of doing business or working that have come during this time?

“I think the forcing of employees to work from home has shown our IT people what needs to be adjusted to make this more efficient.”

In terms of your international activities, how have those been impacted by the past three months?

“Some of our customers have had problems more due to the currency cross rates causing our product to be more pricey, but payments, shipping and orders seem to not have been affected too much.”

The below is a general summary of the events and discussion at the May 2020 OKGIT meeting. It does not represent the official minutes, which will be distributed at a later date.

Due to public health concerns, the group held the meeting over Zoom video conferencing. After the approval of the March 2020 meeting’s minutes, Chris Morriss gave an update regarding the finances of the organization. During the financial report, Chris and Jared informed the OKGIT membership of finances for March and April 2020.

Amidst discussion of the treasurer report, Douglas Price, chair of the membership committee reported that Anthony Cambas from Oklahoma State University had resigned and there were no new perspective members considered for membership at this time.

During the marketing committee report, John VanPool requested for GIT members to answer some questions about how people and organizations have reacted to COVID-19. This information would be placed on our social media pages. John Vanpool also asked GIT members to check their bios to make sure they’re up to date. Anyone interested in answering these questions or needing to update their biography are encouraged to contact John VanPool or Executive Director, Jared Scism.

The Cultural and Education Committee reported on the inaugural GIT ambassador, Olivia Nguyen and the work she has done as a GIT ambassador over the past year. Douglas Price also stated he announced the ambassador program to students at International Recognition Day at the State Capitol, and we now have three candidates for future programs.
During the Program Committee report, Shalon Simmons announced Dottie Overal from Small Business Administration will be our program speaker at the July meeting. Dottie will be speaking about the CARES Act and incentives for small businesses.

Rico Buchli informed the membership that the Oklahoma Consular Corps had been on hold and that there had been no updates since the March Governor’s International Team meeting. Enrique Villar Gambetta, Honorary Consul of Peru also informed the membership about a coordination between OSU and Peruvian fisherman that would send saltwater fish to Oklahoma to be processed by Native Americans in order to help tribal nations grow economically. A presentation about this partnership can be found here.

Jamie Cummings from Oklahoma Department of Agriculture updated the group about a beef task force that is working on creating a beef processing plant in Oklahoma. She also mentioned a program called “Localhoma” was created to promote local producers. Jamie informed the group that most food exporting programs have been canceled and that OK Ag has been working to refund travel and registration fees. Jamie closed by informing the group that Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture will be talking with Azerbaijan to focus on educational exchanges with Oklahoma State University. Azerbaijan is also planning an agriculture forum in November and hoping Oklahomans can travel there.

Jesse Garcia from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce informed the membership that many of the ODOC’s trade shows for the year had been canceled and that Jennifer Springer was promoted to Director of the Business Group. Jesse also provided the group an update regarding the ODOC’s 2019 Global Report. Jesse finished his report by asking the group to inform him of any companies interested in doing business in Mexico. To contact Jesse, click here.

Dr. Cathleen Skinner had several updates from the Oklahoma Department of Education in regards to COVID-19. Dr. Skinner stated that reopening the state did not change school closures for the Spring. However changes in summer in fall such as schools starting earlier or later may occur. OSDE has also recognized a huge digital divide between districts since COVID-19. OSDE is working to support different districts, families, and students to fill in the learning gaps. Dr. Skinner also mentioned that some school districts would be holding graduation ceremonies later this year and OSDE was also developing a statewide program.
Dr. Skinner closed her remarks by telling the OKGIT membership the Seal of Biliteracy was approved by the Board of Education on March 25th and waiting for the Governor’s signature.

Debbie Blanke reported that the regents transitioned 175,000 college students online who were offered a pass/no-pass option. Debbie also revealed that higher education will see at 3.9% cut in FY’ 21. A website that shows how each university is responding to COVID-19 statewide can be viewed here.

Chief Protocol Officer Chris Morriss reported that Oklahoma received a surprise visit from Taiwan to donate 100,000 masks to the state of Oklahoma.

The U.S. Department of Trade reported that they are continuing to assist Oklahoma companies during this time by providing assistance virtually (Telephone, Microsoft Teams/Skype for Business/Cisco Webex). A complete report from Marcus is listed below.

Paycheck Protection Program (NEW Funding Authorized 4/24/20 – check availability):

  • If you are a small business (e.g., <500 employees, or other conditions) that needs help to cover payroll, rent and utilities for eight weeks, click here. This is a 24-month loan with a 1% interest rate, and may be forgiven if at least 75% of the funds are used for payroll and related costs. To find an eligible lender by state, click here.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) (NEW Funding Authorized for Agricultural Businesses – check availability):
 If you are an agricultural small business the EIDL are working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue. Applicants for Economic Injury Disaster Loans may also be eligible for an advance for up to $10,000. This loan advance will not have to be repaid for eligible applicants. Apply at SBA.gov/disaster

SBA Loan Debt Relief: If you are a small business that has a current or plan to get a future SBA loan, SBA will pay the principal and interest on loans through 9/27/20. Click here for more information.

SBA Express Bridge Loans: This loan allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000.

EXIM Programs for Exporters: You may have also seen that Exim Bank has made some adjustments to their export finance programs, including extending deadlines and streamlining the application requirements. If I can help facilitate an introduction to an Exim Bank Specialist, I would be glad to do so.

Bridge Financing Program, Pre-delivery/Pre-Export Program, Supply Chain Financing, and Working Capital Guarantees and revised procedures. Companies of all sizes are eligible to apply here.

Rural Community Resources: And for rural communities, USDA and its Federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. These programs can support recovery efforts for rural residents, businesses and communities through technical, training, and management assistance; financial assistance; and state and local assistance. Click here for more information. Rural Communities Resource Guide

Lastly, click here to see the operating status for U.S. Commercial Service offices around the world.

Chuck Mills also mentioned that the Oklahoma World Trade Conference is set for September 24th in Tulsa.

Following the committee reports, Jim Collard mentioned there was nothing new to report on the Consular Summit. At this time, the Governor’s International Team is uncertain when the next summit will take place. Further discussions about the Consular Summit will occur at the July meeting

Chairman, Scott Thompson reported the GIT submitted our annual reports to Oklahoma Business Roundtable. At this time it is uncertain whether GIT will receive funds from BRT for the next year. As a result, GIT will form a fundraising committee. Anyone interested in leading or helping with this committee should contact Jared Scism.

Executive Director, Jared Scism informed the membership that dues and sponsorship could now be paid on the OKGIT website. Members interested in sponsoring the OKGIT may visit https://okgit.com/sponsorships/. For further questions, contact Jared Scism at theokgit@gmail.com.

In closing, Jared Scism reported several international students studying at universities in Oklahoma are struggling to purchase groceries or pay rent because they cannot receive money from family or return home. After brief discussion, a committee was formed by GIT members working at universities to determine the best way for GIT to assist Oklahoma international students moving forward.

Upcoming meetings are as follows:

  • July 21st from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM at Dept of Commerce (TBD)
  • September 15th from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM at Dept of Commerce
  • November 17th from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM at Dept of Commerce

For our program, Scott Stone from Euler Hermes presented about the ways Euler Hermes offers trade credit insurance and solutions worldwide.

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Governor’s International Team elected Scott Thompson of Mercer Valve as chairman.

Other officers include Bob Lieser of Tulsa Global Alliance, secretary, Shalon Simmons of Global ICT as vice-chairwoman, Douglas Price of Tulsa Community College will serve as immediate past chair. Executive Director Jared Scism remains in his role.

“My background is in accounting, manufacturing and information technology, but the beauty of a group like the OKGIT is there are so many of us from different sectors and professions that want to grow Oklahoma’s international ties,” said Thompson. “I am happy to help lead that mission through the course of the next year.”

Thompson is the Director of Accounting and Information Technology at Mercer Valve, Co., Inc., a manufacturer of American-made, high-quality safety relief valves. A longtime employee at the Oklahoma City-based company, he spent 19 years as accounting director and deployed financial strategies that empowered the firm to grow beyond the OKC metro area. He played a key role in restructuring the Mercer Valve Co.’s financial operations and supporting the opening of 13 branches, including three located in Australia and Canada.

Prior to his appointment as chair, he served as the program chairman at the OKGIT bi-monthly meetings. A member of the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants, he is an active volunteer in his community with Epikos Speech and Debate club to encourage high school students to participate and compete in local, regional and international-level National Christian Forensics and Communications Association designated tournaments. Scott’s business and personal interests have taken him to Australia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

The mission of the Oklahoma Governor’s International Team is to be an advocate for sustainable economic development through export trade and foreign direct investment and to encourage and facilitate the globalization of Oklahoma. It was established in 2001 as an advisory and coordinating entity.

Banner photo: Outgoing chair of the Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team Richard Cornelison, current OEDC chair Kinnee Tilly, Governor Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma Governor’s International Team Chair Scott Thompson and outgoing OKGIT chair Douglas Price at the February 2020 Gavel Ceremony in the state capitol.

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt made the announcement and OKC added it’s eighth Sister City with the addition of Piura, Peru.

Thanks to the advocacy and hard work of Honorary Consul of Peru in Oklahoma Enrique Villar-Gambetta and the Sister Cities International Oklahoma team, Oklahoma City residents will have another new relationship to celebrate.

“The Sister Cities program is very active in OKC & I find the program and especially its events are a great way to connect with our immigrant community as well as the leaders & residents in our Sister Cities around the world,” said Mayor David Holt in a press release upon signing the agreement with the Alcalde (Mayor) Juan Jose Diaz Dios in late January 2020.

The city of approximately 484,000 lies on the river that shares its namesake, and was the first Spanish city founded in Peru by Conquistador Francisco Pizarro.

The Sister City agreement signed by both leaders says the relationship is intended to expand mutually beneficial cooperation between citizens of both cities while promoting good will, economic relations and foster charitable, scientific and commercial activities.

Honorary Consul Villar-Gambetta is an Oklahoma City-based attorney originally from Peru. He has practiced law for 31 years in Peru and through partner law offices handles diverse proceedings in other countries like Chile, Colombia and Panama. In December 2011 by Supreme Resolution No.450-2011, dated December 15, 2011, signed by the President of the Republic of Peru, Mr. Ollanta Humala Tasso and his Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Rafael Roncagliolo Orbegoso appointed Enrique Villar-Gambetta Honorary Consul of Peru in the City of Oklahoma City, United States of America, with circumscription in the State of Oklahoma.

He has been a member of the OKGIT since 2013.

Header Photo – Honorary Consul Villar-Gambetta with his son Alonso alongside Sister Cities International Oklahoma City representatives Jane Abraham, Mary Blankenship Pointer and Dr. Mucky Right at OKC City Hall for the proclamation signing. 

In conjunction with the 2020 Oklahoma World Trade Conference to be held on April 2, 2020 at the Tulsa Tech Owasso Conference Center in Owasso, you are invited to nominate your company for the annual Governor’s Award for Excellence in Exporting.  Nominations will be reviewed and the winners selected by the Awards Committee of the Oklahoma District Export Council.

The Governor’s Award for Excellence in Exporting recognizes one or more Oklahoma firms annually for noteworthy success in maintaining or increasing export sales.  Firms selected to receive the award represent role models for excellence in international business.  In addition, this award provides an opportunity to build public support for international business activity by Oklahoma firms.

 

Click here for the Oklahoma Export Champion Awards Full Description –  Created by the OkDEC to recognize Oklahoma small and medium-sized enterprises that have successfully entered in the international marketplace emphasizing the important role that exporting plays in the U.S. economy, while highlighting the contributions made by exporters to their local communities and the world.

Click here for the Oklahoma Export Achievement Award Full Description – The Export Achievement Award was created to recognize small and medium-sized enterprises that have successfully entered the international marketplace for the first time or that have successfully entered a new market. Nominations are encouraged and can be accepted throughout the year from local businesses, elected officials and community leaders. Nominations should be submitted to the local U.S. Export Assistance Center.

 

Oklahoma-based manufacturers, agri-businesses, service companies or suppliers engaged in exporting products or services are eligible to apply.  Applicants should demonstrate one or more of the following:  breakthroughs in existing competitive markets, introduction of a new product into export trade, opening a trade area previously closed or successfully overcoming threats to their existing export activity.  Unique and successful solutions to problems of export trade, such as financing, transportation, marketing or successful promotional programs should also be demonstrated.

 

Are your competitors being recognized for their work while you’re missing out? Click here to see the previous years winners and consider nominating your firm today!

 

For a nomination application (3 pages) for the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Exporting, e-mail ashley.wilson@trade.gov or call 405/608-5302.  The application must be completed and returned by February 28, 2020.

All applicants will also be considered for the *U. S. Department of Commerce Export Achievement Certificate and Oklahoma District Export Council Export Champion Award.  Information explaining the Export Achievement Certificate and Export Champion Award is attached.

* Eligibility for the U.S. Department of Commerce Export Achievement Certificate will be on a one-time basis

For more information, contact Marcus Verner at marcus.verner@trade.gov.