OKGIT July 2022 Meeting Summary

The below is a general summary of the events and discussion at the July 2022 OKGIT meeting. It does not represent the official minutes, which will be distributed at a later date.


After the approval of the May 2022 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 2022.


During the Marketing Committee report, Marketing Chair Jason Baffrey shared with the membership about the development of the logos for the upcoming World Trade Conference and Oklahoma Consular Summit this fall. Jason concluded his report by congratulating OKGIT Chair Cathy Webster for being selected as one of Journal Record’s 50 women making a difference list.


Following the Marketing Committee report, the Culture and Education Committee presented the new GIT Student Ambassadors Grace and Arpana to the group. These ambassadors are currently working on a career fair for F1 (degree seeking) international student to help them find jobs after hearing several international students at International Recognition Day express the challenge of finding careers following their graduation this past spring.


After the Cultural and Education Committee report, Vice Chair Enrique Villar announced during the Program Committee report that a Green Hydrogen MOU is currently under development between the Oklahoma Department of Energy and Uruguay.


During the Sponsor Relations Committee report, Treasurer Andrew Ranson informed the team the Sponsor Relations Committee needs to meet to set up sponsorship levels with target dates and amounts and to determine what organizations to request from. A meeting to meet with the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce is currently in the process of being scheduled.


Jim Collard closed the committee reports by discussing the continuous challenges and supply chain issues with the group during the Trade and Foreign Direct Investment committee report. Jim concluded his report by sharing updates with the group about the upcoming Oklahoma Consular Summit on October 19 and requested sponsors for the dinners. Anyone interested in sponsoring a Consul General may contact Executive Director Jared Scism.


At the completion of the committee reports, Kevin Chambers from the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC) kicked off the reports from the various government departments. During his report, Kevin discussed the Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom and talked about Oklahoma and the Federal Department of Commerce’s large presence there. Kevin also invited the group to participate in the following upcoming events:

  1. The Discover Global Markets in Rhode Island will take place from September 20 – 22. This year’s focus is on ocean technology
  2. The World Trade Conference on October 20 will take place immediately following the Consular Summit in Tulsa

For more information regarding these events, contact Kevin Chambers.

During the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) report, staff from the ODOC talked about the large delegation that attended the Farnborough. Governor Stitt and Penny Mordant, UK Minister of Trade are currently developing an MOU for a five-year plan to interact more on a state level


Following the report from Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Jamie Cummings from Oklahoma Department of Agriculture shared information regarding the following upcoming events:

  1. Private Label Show in Chicago from November 13 – 15
  2. Cattleman’s Congress in Oklahoma City from January 1 – 14

For more information regarding these events, contact Jamie Cummings.


After the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture report, Cathleen Skinner from the Oklahoma Department of Education informed the membership at Tulsa might be closing their Chinese program at Booker T. Washington due to alleged affiliation with the Confucius Institute. Shortly following the OKGIT meeting, Cathleen corrected her report and shared with Chair Catherine Webster and Executive Director Jared Scism that Booker T. Washington would not be closing their Chinese program, but that Carver Middle School lost their Chinese teacher and is currently in the search process for a new one.


During the Select Oklahoma committee report, Dr. Jim Collard invited the team to the International Economic Development Council conference that will take place September 17 – 21 in Oklahoma City at the Oklahoma City Convention Center. For more information about the conference, click here.


Following the Consular Corps report, Honorary Consul Grant Moak from France updated the membership about the reception the Consular Corp held for the new Consul General of Japan in June. The membership was also informed by Katherine Ho from the U.S. Department of State that any delegations coming from the People’s Republic of China must be approved by the U.S. State Department going forward.


At the conclusion of all the reports, Andrew Ranson updated the membership about OKGIT’s progress with the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OKCNP) and the possibility of restructuring the organization. The Executive Committee recently contacted a former chair of the OKGIT to chair the task force and plans to share the name of the chair in the future. Other future plans include meeting with an OKGIT focus group in November and a second focus group of former members and stakeholders in order to form a survey for input about the organization. Anyone interested in joining this effort can contact Executive Director Jared Scism.


During the program portion of the meeting, the Vice Chair Enrique Villar presented a travel guide to Argentina.


Chairperson Cathy Webster adjourned the meeting by inviting the membership to the next meeting on September 20 at 9:00 a.m. at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. We hope to see you there.