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.