The below is a general summary of the events and discussion at the July 2021 OKGIT meeting. It does not represent the official minutes, which will be distributed at a later date.

After the approval of the May 2021 meeting’s minutes, Treasurer Andrew Ranson gave an update regarding the finances of the organization. During the financial report, Andrew informed the OKGIT membership of finances for May and June 2021. Andrew Ranson also presented an amended budget report after recognizing an error from the May treasurer’s report.

Amidst discussion of the treasurer report, Jose Sagarnaga, chair of the Marketing Committee reported that the Marketing Committee is still seeking a new chair. There is an OSU student ambassador willing to assist the Marketing Committee chair with all of the work, but needs the guidance of an OKGIT member. Anyone interested in chairing the committee can contact Jose Sagarnaga if you are interested.

During the Cultural and Education Committee chair, Cathleen Skinner, requested for the membership to share information about how they are meeting the mission of OKGIT in Oklahoma through a virtual forum. After Cathleen’s report, Honorary Consul of Peru Enrique Villar mentioned that several South American students are interested in studying in Oklahoma, but are unable to do so due to many of the U.S. embassies and consulates around the world being closed. The discussion concluded with the Culture and Education Committee agreeing work together to draft a letter to members of Congress. Anyone interested in helping in any of these efforts may contact Cathleen Skinner.

Following the Cultural and Education Committee Report, Vice Chair Jose Sagarnaga introduced Consul General Alexis Andres of France as the guest for the program speaker portion of the meeting. After introductions were made, Jose shared that the program for the October meeting would highlight why FDI investors choose Oklahoma and how OKGIT can add value and recruit more companies to invest in Oklahoma and the November meeting would include a panel of university presidents from various universities in Oklahoma.

After the Program Committee report, Treasurer and Chair of the Sponsor Relations Committee Andrew Ranson discussed the upcoming Trade Summit and requested assistance from the membership in providing names of organizations that might be willing to help sponsor the upcoming event. These sponsorships are a great opportunity for the OKGIT to earn revenue beyond the income our dues provide. Anyone in the membership that might know of a company in their network that could be a sponsor for the event should contact Treasurer Andrew Ranson or Executive Director Jared Scism as soon as possible.

At the completion of the committee reports, Marcus Verner from the U.S. Department of Commerce kicked off the reports from the various government departments. During his report, Marcus reported that the USDOC continues to counsel U.S. companies, particularly those affected by COVID and with supply chain issues and educational institutions trying to get students to study in Oklahoma. Marcus closed his report by announcing a new global diversity export initiative that is being launched by the USDOC to help underserved communities become aware of export services.

Jesse Garcia from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce reported that Luis Domenech would be in Oklahoma for several days in August to meet with Oklahoma companies interested in doing business in Mexico. Anyone interested in meeting with Luis may contact Jesse Garcia. Jesse also announced that the Oklahoma Consular reception in Houston has been scheduled on August 16 from 5:00 – 7:00 at Trulucks in the Galleria District. Any interested in attending the reception may RSVP by contacting Sarah Short.

Jamie Cummings from Oklahoma Department of Agriculture updated the group about Oklahoma companies that would be participating in the Fancy Foods Expo and that Made in Oklahoma would also hold its expo on September 1.

Dr. Cathleen Skinner from the Oklahoma Department of Education informed the membership about the New Skills for Youth holding a webinar series that gives youth an opportunity to see what careers are available in different sectors. Anyone who has a company that is interested in sharing may contact Dr. Skinner. Dr. Skinner concluded her report by announcing to the membership that the Oklahoma Seal of Biliteracy website will be launched soon with information for Oklahoma businesses on hiring people who are bilingual.

Executive Director Jared Scism closed out the department reports by announcing that the Guatemalan Consul General recently left Oklahoma and was transferred to the Los Angeles Consulate. The Vice Consul General will fulfill the duties of the position temporarily.

At the conclusion of all of the reports, Ashley Wilson from the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the OKGIT would hold their Oklahoma Trade Summit in collaboration with the District Export Council’s World Trade Conference on October 27th and 28th. The Trade Summit will include trade representatives from over twenty countries. These trade representatives will discuss opportunities in the areas of aerospace, agriculture, automotive, bioscience, and energy. The OKGIT is still seeking monitors for the breakout rooms for these industries. The task of the monitor would be to simply monitor the chat and technology while the subject matter experts make their presentations Anyone interested in serving as a monitor can contact Executive Director Jared Scism.

The OKGITJuly 2021 meeting concluded with Chairperson Shalon Simmons announcing her resignation after being given the opportunity to take another position in another state. Thank you Shalon for your service to the OKGIT. Effective immediately, Jose Sagarnaga will step into the role as Chairperson and Cathy Webster will become Vice Chair.

During the program, Alexis Andres, Consul General of France spoke to the membership. For a copy of the presentation, contact Jared Scism.

Upcoming meetings are as follows:

·       September 21, from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM at TBD

·       November 16th from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM at TBD