The below is a general summary of the events and discussion at the November 2020 OKGIT meeting. It does not represent the official minutes, which will be distributed at a later date.

Upon the approval of the September 2020 meeting’s minutes, Treasurer Chris Morriss gave an update regarding the 2020 September and October finances of the organization.

Marketing Committee chair, Jose Sagarnaga announced that he would begin highlighting the Oklahoma Consular Corps, international businesses in Oklahoma, and OKGIT members one to two times per year on the OKGIT Facebook and LinkedIn pages. Jose encouraged the OKGIT membership to follow and engage with the OKGIT on these social media posts and announcements.

During the Cultural and Education Committee report, committee member Vivi Milakovic updated the membership about the committee’s recent meeting where the committee reviewed the current OKGIT cultural and education committee programs – the Student Ambassador program and International Student Recognition Day at the State Capitol.  During their meeting, the committee also discussed the Oklahoma seal of biliteracy, possibilities for funding, and other new initiatives such as educational Facebook panels.  Upon the completion of Vivi’s report, Past Chairman Douglas Price led a discussion with the OKGIT membership and concluded with team that the 2021 International Student Recognition Day at the State Capitol would be best held virtually. Douglas will work with Executive Director Jared Scism to provide a stakeholder analyses and report over the impact of international students in Oklahoma to provide to Oklahoma legislators.

After the Cultural and Education Committee report, a Program Committee report was presented by Vice Chair, Shalon Simmons. During her report, Shalon introduced the meeting program speaker Scott Klosky from Future Point of View.  Shalon also requested for OKGIT members to submit and email any suggested program speakers to her for the upcoming January meeting.

Rico Buchli from the Oklahoma Consular Corp informed the OKGIT membership of a meeting with other members from the Oklahoma Consular Corp and Mary Blankenship Pointer to discuss Sister City relations. Rico was also encouraged by the recent news of the COVID-19 vaccine and that Switzerland was currently working on the production of the Moderna vaccine. Rico believes there is a possibility of being able to begin returning to in person events by spring 2021.

Jamie Cummings from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture updated the group about a virtual mission to Korea with several participating midwestern companies. Samples were shipped in advance of the mission for clients to have during their meetings. Jamie also revealed Secretary Arthur would be hosting a virtual free trade agreement roundtable on December 3 with Congressman Lucas on Zoom. For more information, contact Jamie Cummings.

Jesse Garcia from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce publicized that ODOC was awarded STEP Grant #9 for over $300,000 that will be launched at the beginning of January.  Jesse also told the group that ODOC will be participating in a virtual trade show on December 9 – 11 in Bogota, Columba focused on agro industry, manufacturing, technology in services. Jesse closed his report by informing the group of the ways ODOC is working with the Indian Consul General’s office in Houston to develop a virtual roundtable to discuss higher education, commerce and agriculture. Any industries interested in India should contact Jesse directly.

After the Oklahoma Department of Commerce report, Executive Director Jared Scism informed the group that the Oklahoma Department of Education had no updates and that current activities were continuing as usual. Debbie Blanke also told the group that little international activity was taking place at the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the state was primarily continuing to deal with COVID-19 issues.

Following the education reports, Chris Morriss reported to the membership she was working with the Indian Consul, Dean Kluver at Oklahoma State University, and the Department of Agriculture. Chris also shared with the membership the Taiwan Director General from Houston will be visiting in early December for a dedication of a Sister Cities signpost and that there would be no further formal celebrations with Kyoto or Gansu for their anniversaries. However, the University of Oklahoma and Kyoto are currently preparing a virtual exchange together.

Upon the completion of Chris Morriss’s report, Executive Director Jared Scism provided a list of highlights from the U.S. Commercial Service. These highlights included:

  • The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security has established an online archive of export control policies, regulations and procedures. Exporters can view free videos, training modules, and archived webinars at: https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/online-training-room
  • On December 2, 2020 @ 11:00 AM PT the U.S. Commercial Service will present a free Doing e-Commerce in China webinar. Join the webinar to learn how to reach the 1.44 billion consumers in China.

Registration: CLICK HERE

  • The International Trade Administration (ITA) will hold a virtual roundtable on U.S.-Bangladesh energy cooperationon December 8, 2020.  Announced on September 30, 2020, the U.S.-Bangladesh Energy Industry Working Group (EIWG) will be held under the auspices of Asia EDGE Energy Industry Working Group Network, which is a “one stop shop” for the U.S. private sector to participate in U.S. Government programs and connect to regional market opportunities.  Submission Deadline: December 3, 2020. For more information, such as registration information, selection criteria, and more, find the announcement here. Questions? Please contact Suzanne

Rothman (Suzanne.Rothman@trade.gov) and Jonathan Goldberg (Jonathan.Goldberg@trade.gov)

  • Exposibram – Mining Expo and Conference(All virtual)
    Dates: Nov 23, 2020 – Nov 25, 2020 | Click Here to Register.
    For more information: correa@trade.gov
  • Rio Oil and Gas (All virtual)
    Dates: Dec 1, 2020 – Dec 3, 2020 | Click Hereto Register.
    For more information: cunha@trade.gov I rodrigo.correa@trade.gov
  • The Oklahoma City and Tulsa offices of the U.S. Commercial Service remain open as usual while teleworking to serve Oklahoma exporters and economic development organizations.
  • Kevin Chambers stated will be operating his office at the US Embassy in Romania Jan – March if anyone has a particular interest in the Romanian market.

Following the report from the U.S. Commercial Service, Dr. Jim Collard and the Oklahoma Consular Summit Committee discussed the outcome and requested feedback from virtual World Trade Conference and Oklahoma Consular Summit that took place on Thursday, October 22. Anyone with additional feedback should contact OKGIT Executive Director Jared Scism. If you were unable to attend the event, but would like to access the content, click here. A Google account is required.

After receiving feedback about the World Trade Conference and Oklahoma Consular Summit, Vice Chairwoman, Shalon Simmons presented the OKGIT officers for the upcoming year. The officers are as follows:

      1. Past Chair – Scott Thompson
      2. Chair – Shalon Simmons
      3. Vice Chair – Jose Sagarnaga
      4. Treasurer – Vacant
      5. Secretary – Bob Lieser

Anyone interested in serving as the treasurer may contact OKGIT Executive Director Jared Scism.

Upon the completion of all the reports, program speaker Scott Klosoky from Future Point of View gave a presentation over the Digital Amplification of 2020. A copy of his presentation can be viewed here.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, there will not be an OKGIT holiday party in January. As a result, the next meeting will take place virtually on Tuesday January 19, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. We look forward to seeing you there.