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By: Kinnee Tilly

Members of Select Oklahoma an Economic Development Partnership and the Oklahoma Governor’s International Team met on March 23 at 10:00 a.m. for the annual gavel ceremony at the Oklahoma History Center. Governor Kevin Stitt honored the contributions of outgoing Oklahoma Economic Development Corporation (OEDC), Chair Lisa Powell, outgoing Governor’s Economic Development and Marketing Team Chair (GEDMT), Kinnee Tilly, and outgoing Governor’s International Team Chair (OKGIT), Scott Thompson.

Incoming Select Oklahoma Chair Kinnee Tilly and Governor’s International Team Chairperson Shalon Simmons accepted their 2021 leadership positions and recognized the groundwork laid for them by their outgoing chairs. Gavels made by the woodworking class at Mustang High School were presented to the incoming chairs as part of the ceremony. Mustang High School’s woodworking class has been participating in this event for the past 37 years.

All speakers acknowledged the difficult circumstances 2020 presented for international and marketing events. Thompson said 2021 is going to be a good year not because we are leaving our adversity behind, but because of what we learned that made us better. Simmons added, “We are looking forward to continuing to use new and creative ways to connect with international dignitaries while representing the State of Oklahoma.”

Kinnee Tilly said past OEDC chair Lisa Powell’s contribution laid the groundwork for the future of Select Oklahoma. “Our goal is to leverage the collective strengths in marketing our great state.”

The members of Select Oklahoma represent rural, suburban and urban interests that are all investing in the development of key economic sectors throughout the state in partnership with the State of Oklahoma, as well as leaders in the public, private, tribal and philanthropic entities. Select Oklahoma members recognize that growing the State of Oklahoma’s economy serves a larger mission than only focusing on the needs of their individual communities and regions. Currently the membership includes over 130 professionals representing economic development organizations, utilities, non-profits, and higher education.

The OKGIT brings 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. Its members are as diverse as the interests they serve, but committed to a prosperous and globally focused Oklahoma.