The below is a general summary of the events and discussion at the July 2019 OKGIT meeting. It does not represent the official minutes, which will be distributed at a later date.

OKGIT Executive Director Jared Scism talked about updates made to www.okgit.com to be more mobile-friendly, adding an upcoming events tab and dividing the members section by what position members are in terms of being a regular member, executive team member, ex-officio or an honorary consul. Jared also discussed his work updating the calendar every week, requesting that members contact the executive committee to see if they may need help with anything, email requests.

Jared Scism also discussed the financial report for Treasurer Randy Kellogg and informed members that all remaining members who had not paid their dues would be removed from the OKGIT roster.

Vice-Chair John VanPool encouraged members to check the website and update their bio, profile, or photo by emailing theokgit@gmail.com. He also encouraged everyone to send articles or press releases about organizations and/or members so we can share and show how diverse our group is on our website and social media pages.

Dr. Cathleen Skinner of the Oklahoma Department of Education was announced as the new chair of the Education and Cultural Committee. Dr. Skinner updated the OKGIT about the Ambassador program that the committee is currently working on.

Chair Douglas Price shared with everyone that arrangements for the International Recognition Day at the State Capitol are underway with Representative Mark McBride. We are currently trying to plan to host the event at the beginning of March.

Jon Neff has continued working on writing and highlighting the history of the OKGIT. Jon is continuing to look for people who are interested in helping in with this project. Those interested in helping may contact him at jonneff@bruneneff.com.

In membership news, Marc Nuttle and Mark Stansberry were approved to receive emeritus memberships due to their longtime service to the group and institutional knowledge. Additionally, Nyla Khan was approved for membership. Jared Scism also updated the group that Edie Roodman from Oklahoma Israel Exchange has stepped down from being a member of the OKGIT.

Oklahoma Senator Tom Duggar shared that the Parliamentary Vice Minister of Japan of land, transport, tourism and infrastructure will meet with senior state officials about the sister-state relationship between Kyoto, Japan and Oklahoma on July 25-26.

Meeting Program Chair Scott Thompson informed the group that the OKGIT has a program speaker for November, but is still looking for someone to speak at the September meeting. If you know anyone who might be a good fit, contact Scott at sthompson@mercervalve.net.

Jamie Cummings from the Department of Agriculture shared about a group from Taiwan they are meeting with to look at wheat industry opportunities, while an Indonesian group is set to meet with businesses in the state’s cotton production, beef and commodities industries.  The DOA has also applied for the STEP Grant which will explore incorporating Oklahoma Native American communities, private businesses and other mentors.  They also have a priority in helping those smaller businesses with their international trade.

Jesse Garcia from Department of Commerce talked about Mexico Trade Representative Luis Domenech making a business visit on October 6 with business companies within the Mexico market.  DOC will be exhibiting at Gastech Conference Sept. 17-19, Houston Texas.  DOC can provide information to companies that may be interested in attending the conference. Canadian Consul General Douglas George wants to possibly meet with OKGIT team members at the conference. Anyone who is planning to attend the conference, and interested in meeting Consul General Douglas George, let Jared Scism know by next Wednesday, July 31. DOC is also still waiting to hear the STEP grant details to help companies prepare for international exporting.

Dr. Cathleen Skinner shared the Department of Education will be having professional development days throughout cities in Oklahoma.  She also discussed the ongoing dual immersion program with Spain. The dual immersion program is a good experience for families and the schools that participate.

Marcus Verner from U.S. Department of Commerce shared that Luis Domenech will be making a business visit to Oklahoma Oct 7-11.  Disaster assistance for business owners affected by the recent storms that occurred during May and June, there is funding now available, those interested in learning more or who may have been impacted can reach out to Marcus through the theokgit@gmail.com address. USDOC will also be present at the Gastech Exhibition Conference will be on Sept 17-19, have a presence at the Discovering Global Markets Middle East and Africa conference on Sept 30 and have set the date for the Oklahoma World Trade Conference April 2, 2020 in Tulsa.

Dr. Jim Collard, chair for organizing the 2019 Oklahoma Consular Summit, said it is still to take place this fall. The group is still waiting on Governor Kevin Stitt to confirm the final date. We are currently planning to invite 12 countries and are still looking for two individuals or companies to sponsor a dinner for Italy and India respectively. If you are interested in sponsoring one of these two countries, contact Jared Scism at theokgit@gmail.com.

Douglas Price shared with everyone that the OKGIT would be going paperless and asked that all GIT members print and bring copies of items they might want to look at to the meeting.

Michael Rogers, the Oklahoma Secretary of State was one of our two speakers for the July meeting. During his speech, he spoke about Governor Stitt’s long-term thoughts about making Oklahoma more global and to look for more ways to bring industry back to Oklahoma. He also talked about the Governor Stitt’s recent visit to the Paris Air Show.

State Representative Melodye Blancett was our other speaker. Blancett is the Executive Director of Creative Oklahoma spoke to the OKGIT about the organization. She explained that their mission is to advance innovative and creative thinking in the areas of education, culture and commerce with the end goal of creating a more robust and prosperous state.

The next OKGIT meeting will take place on September 17 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

The below is a general summary of the events and discussion at the May 2019 OKGIT meeting. It does not represent the official minutes, which will be distributed at a later date.

The decision of the hiring committee to hire Jared Scism as the executive director was affirmed by the group.

Desa Dawson with her gift from the OKGIT for her longtime service to the group.

Treasurer Randy Kellogg discussed the financial report and push for members to pay dues. The final few group members who have not paid for 2019 have been contacted and their memberships will lapse before the July meeting. In an effort to raise additional funds, corporate memberships will be available for OKGIT partners to purchase. The executive director will send out the membership listing to the group who can distribute it through their network.

In membership news, the group discussed adding Mark Stansberry and Marc Nuttle as emeritus memberships due to their longtime service to the group and institutional knowledge. Due to time constraints, the decision will be tabled to the next meeting in July.

Another emeritus member, John Neff, sent along with his written history of the OKGIT to the group for review and revisions. Group members are encouraged to review the document (sent by Jared Scism ahead of the meeting) and send their edits/suggestions in track changes back to John.

The group added three new members, Young Chappell, Muhammet Ali Sezer and Shalon Simmons.

The Education and Cultural Committee made the proposal for the OKGIT Ambassador Program for students at area universities. The group agreed it was a worthwhile endeavor and the committee will present a final plan for implementation at the July meeting.

Doug Price also shared Governor Kevin Stitt’s citation to the OKGIT for it’s organization of International Student Recognition Day at the capitol. The citation is online at okgit.wpengine.com/news.

Scott Thompson, program chair, is looking for additional program speakers in the coming year. November is set but July, September and January remain open. There are hopes that the July meeting will be available for Oklahoma Secretary of State Michael Rogers.

Rico Buchli spoke about past, present and upcoming Consular Corps activities including their  recent participation in the Asian Society of Oklahoma’s Asian Festival. Enrique Villar Gambetta, the honorary consul for Peru, is working with Oklahoma City to form new Sister City relationship. He also reported that Edmond is in talks with making sister city with an unnamed Peruvian city.

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture was at the United States Meat Export Federation meeting. She also sent word that with Japan’s recent opening of its market to U.S. beef could increase U.S. beef and beef product exports to by up to $200 million annually.

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce’s reports that ODOC will be applying for State Trade Export Promotion grant and working department of agriculture. Currently applying as Application Process deadline is Friday, June 7

The state Department of Education reported that Oklahoma will continue it’s paraprofessional teacher program. They have also signed an MOU with Spain that meets the needs of immersion programs in Spanish and English in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. A similar program for teachers from Puerto Rico is also ongoing. Western Heights Public Schools is planning to develop a dual language program.

The Secretary of State’s Office reports that the governor will meet with Canadian Consul General in the coming weeks.

The U.S. Department of Commerce said the 2020 World Trade Conference will take place in Tulsa, and announced an upcoming May 23 webinar for those interested in working for the Department of Commerce as an overseas trade representative.

USDOC also reported on the June 5-6 events in Tulsa, called Access Asia, where Oklahoma firms can learn about major export markets in Japan, Taiwan and Indonesia. Reach out to ODOC’s OKC or Tulsa representatives for more information.

Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Jim Collard discussed the upcoming Inter-Tribal International Trade Association summit in OKC June 2-4.

Preliminary planning for fall Consular Summit also began. Tentative countries discussed were:

  • Italy, India, Mexico, Canada, Guatemala, France, UK, Germany, South Korea, Japan, China, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, Australia

The OKGIT is waiting on dates from the governor to finalize – but looking at late September-late October as possible. The group would like to narrow countries down to ten invitees.  Anyone who is interested in sponsoring a dinner, volunteering or suggestions of what countries to invite can contact Jared Scism and Jim Collard to be added to the planning committee. The planning committee will begin regular conference calls in the coming weeks.

Last but certainly not least, longtime member Desa Dawson was recognized at the meeting for her contributions to the OKGIT and presented with a globe for a gift. She will continue as an emeritus member going forward.

Governor Kevin Stitt issued a gubernatorial citation to the Oklahoma Governor’s International Team for its role in organizing the 2019 International Student Recognition Day at the state capitol.

The OKGIT partnered with Representative Mark McBride to bring more than 40 students from around the globe who attend Oklahoma higher education institutions to see the state government at work. In addition to remarks by Governor Stitt and Representative McBride, students had the opportunity to hear from Secretary of Native American Affairs Lisa Billy about the distinct role that the state’s 39 tribal nations play.

International Student Recognition Day is one of many cultural, educational and diplomatic events that the OKGIT organizes each  year to grow the state’s international ties. The group consists of professionals in the private, public and non-profit sector interested in developing a more international Oklahoma. For more information email info@okgit.com.

The Oklahoma Governor’s International Team today announces that Jared Scism will serve as executive director effective May 1, 2019, on a part-time basis.

As executive director, Scism will manage several global events for the OKGIT that promote international economic development, cultural, diplomatic and education initiatives in close cooperation with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and other agencies. Each year, the OKGIT hosts a Consul Summit attended by 10 or more nations that are interested in doing business with Oklahoma companies and an International Student Recognition Day at the Capitol for 50-60 selected international students to experience democracy in action.

“Jared brings a breadth of international experiences to the executive director position,” said OKGIT Chairman Dr. Douglas Price. “As an active member of the OKGIT board coupled with his passion for international work and strong organizational skills, he was a natural fit for this position.”

Scism has been a member of the OKGIT since 2016. He has served as marketing chair, education and culture committee chair, and co-coordinator of the OKGIT’s International Student Recognition Day at the State Capitol. This year, more than 60 international students currently studying at Oklahoma colleges and universities attended the event where they engaged with Gov. Kevin Stitt, Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, Rep. Mark McBride, several Supreme Court justices and legislators.

Currently, Scism serves as the Assistant Director of the International House and Programs at the University of Central Oklahoma. He is the co-founder and president of the Japan-America Society of Oklahoma, a member of the Edmond Sister Cities Board and former president of the World Experiences Foundation. He has also volunteered for Let’s Start Talking, an English-teaching program in Tanzania, participated in a fellowship program as a United States delegate with Oklahoma’s sister state in Gansu Province, China, and studied as a foreign exchange student at Ibaraki Christian University and returned to Japan after graduation to be  a full-time English teacher.

“I have a deep, rooted passion to work with people from all over the world,” Scism said. “I want to make a difference in our state, and I’m excited to pursue my passion in this new position.”

Trade representatives from nine countries met with Oklahoma government and business leaders ahead of the 2019 World Trade Conference at the Oklahoma International Trade Representative Reception on April 2. The event, hosted and organized by the Oklahoma Governor International Team using funding from the Oklahoma Business Roundtable and CCK Strategies, brought more than 100 people to the Petroleum Club Oklahoma City to network and discuss opportunities to connect Oklahoma with international commerce and trade opportunities.

The nations attending included:

  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Belgium
  • South Korea
  • Guatemala
  • Taiwan
  • The United Kingdom
  • France

The OKGIT, OKBR and event sponsor CCK Strategies of Tulsa worked alongside the Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team and staff from the U.S. Department of Commerce and Oklahoma Department of Commerce to make the event a success. It was a busy week for Oklahoma’s international ties, with the following day’s 2019 Oklahoma World Trade Conference taking place at MetroTech OKC concurrent with the International Student Recognition Day at the Oklahoma Capitol.

The deadline is closing soon, but if you’re an Oklahoma-based company in search of a stable market with solid partnership opportunities, look north to our largest trade partner.

StitchCrew is working with the government of Canada to identify 10 U.S. companies interested in exploring investment, trade or R&D opportunities with Canadian firms.

No sectors are ruled out, but there is a particular focus on firms interested in energy, aerospace or Native American Tribal-owned firms.

The deadline for applying is Wednesday, Mar. 27, 2019. Application link is here.

Reach out to Erika Lucas at StitchCrew for more information.

 

Oklahoma City played host to the 36th annual 20th & 21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium on March 14-16, 2019, with organizing efforts from staff and students at three Oklahoma universities assisting in its production.

The University of Central Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma and University of Tulsa helped prepare and organize the event, which brought academics, Francophone artists and diplomats and other experts from around the globe to the state’s capital. An organizing committee of Dr. Pamela Genova (OU), Dr. Karl Pollin-Dubois (TU), Dr. Priya Wadhera (Adelphi University) and Oklahoma Governor’s International Team member Dr. Catherine Webster led the preparations.

This year’s event focused on “catastrophes, cataclysms, adaptation and survival.”

“The new century has brought with it what seems like an endless series of disasters, both manmade and natural, throughout the Francophone World. Acts of terror in Paris, including the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan attacks, have shaken and moved us. Moreover, cataclysmic forces of nature and global weather catastrophes that include recent flooding in France, earthquakes in Haiti, and Hurricane Irma’s direct hit on Saint Martin, have affected millions of people …

“What is the nature of catastrophe? What can be considered cataclysmic — both literally and metaphorically? How do catastrophes, cataclysms, adaptation and survival translate in literature? What is a literature of survival?”

The OKGIT was one of the event’s sponsors, donating funds for proceedings in accordance with its mission of bringing together business people, members of government at the local, state and federal levels, educators from kindergarten all the way through to post graduate studies, and international, cultural and other non profit organizations.

 

 

Brexit is in the air, and information on the proceedings comes quick and fast. Ireland-based TPA Research issues a weekly brief on all things EU, and they have up-to-date information on what Oklahoma exporters and their EU-based partners need to know.

Check out their Monday morning Week Ahead here.

More highlights in their up-to-the-minute brief can be found below:

EU Intelligence: Brexit

12 March 2019

Key Dates

  • 12 March           ‘Meaningful vote’ scheduled
  • 13 March            Possible ‘no deal’ vote
  • 14 March            Possible Article 50 extension vote
  • 29 March            Currently scheduled Brexit day
  • 2 May                  UK Local Elections
  • 23 – 26 May      European Parliament Elections
  • First week July  New European Parliament sworn in – affecting legal status of any Art. 50 extension

Summary

While yesterday’s update does not provide the time limit to the backstop that Brexiteers demanded, in our view the concessions granted by the UK are not insignificant.  Ireland’s view of unilateral declarations to EU treaties is that they are meaningful – indeed this is the very mechanism by which the Irish government persuaded Irish citizens to approve the Lisbon Treaty by referendum at the second time of asking.  Furthermore, a strengthened referral mechanism to an arbitration panel to rule on issues pertaining to the Irish border makes for uncomfortable reading in Dublin.  The last time an arbitration panel ruled on the Irish border was in 1925 and resulted in a disastrous outcome for Dublin.

The position of the DUP, which will rely to a large extent on the legal advice offered by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, could be decisive.  Should the DUP oppose the deal, as Sammy Wilson’s initial reaction suggests they might, the deal is all but certain to fail.  In this scenario, Theresa May has committed to offering a vote on no-deal and an Article 50 extension on 13 and 14 March respectively.

Need more information? Read the full briefing by subscribing to TPA Research’s briefings and policy updates by emailing here.

As we prepare for another year’s events, the OKGIT wanted to look back and share a great video from our friends at the Consular General of South Korea, based out of Houston, Texas.

The United States Department of State will hold it’s ninth Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kansas City in mid-March and there are a few remaining open spots for entrepreneurs from America’s heartland. U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon and Secretary of State – and Kansas’ own – Mike Pompeo will give keynote addresses. Learn about opportunities for your American small business to connect with international partners, you don’t have to be on the coasts to capitalize on the global economy.

Take a look below for more information on that event or the June meeting in the Netherlands!

MARCH MEETING: The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), now in it’s 9th iteration, will be in the Netherlands in June and the “Road to GES” will be in Overland Park, Kansas March 18-19.  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon will deliver keynote addresses at this event, which will celebrate the entrepreneurs and innovations of America’s heartland.  2.19.19 Notional Agenda.

Anyone interested in attending the March meeting in Overland Park Kansas should send an e-mail to RoadToGESHeartland@State.gov to receive an invitation to attend.

JUNE MEETING:  The GES Summit will take place in June in The Hague, the Netherlands, June 3-5, 2019.  .  The State Department is encouraging investment-ready entrepreneurs to apply at GES2019.org.  Participants don’t have to have raised significant funding already, but the idea is that they should have advanced beyond the idea stage, be ready to scale, and be operating in one of the  five focus sectors (Health, Ag/Food, Energy, Water, or Connectivity/Tech).   Apply to join by March 1 at GES2019.org.  At GES 2019, the State Department expects 2,000 participants, including 1,200 entrepreneurs, 400 investors, and 400 policy makers from over 120 countries.  The State Department expects business, government, and non-government leaders will bring billions of dollars of investment funding to the table in hopes of finding investment-ready entrepreneurs.