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.