OKGIT September 2022 Meeting Summary

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


After the approval of the July 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 July and August 2022.


During the Marketing Committee report, Marketing Chair Jason Baffrey shared with the membership about the development of the invitations for the upcoming Oklahoma Consular Summit in October. Jason concluded his report by recognizing Steffi Slivera, OKGIT student ambassador for her work in promoting local cultural events on behalf of OKGIT on social media.


Following the Marketing Committee report, Douglas Price presented on behalf of Cathleen Skinner for the Culture and Education Committee. During his report, Douglas reported that the committee was working to participate in International Education Week activities with Oklahoma universities in November.


After the Cultural and Education Committee report, Vice Chair Enrique Villar announced during the Program Committee report that Steffi Silvera would be presenting on Paraguay. Presentations for the remainder of the year will include opportunities in Guatemala, Peru and Panama.


During the Sponsor Relations Committee report, Treasurer Andrew Ranson informed the team that they received support from the Oklahoma Business Roundtable and the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce for the upcoming Oklahoma Consular Summit.


At the completion of the committee reports, Marcus Verner from the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC) kicked off the reports from the various government departments. During his report, Marcus discussed invited the group to participate in the following upcoming events:

a. A four-part series on how to do business with the World Development Bank. Information regarding this series was sent out earlier this morning.

b. The World Trade Conference on October 20 will take place immediately following the Consular Summit in Tulsa. Register here.

Following the report from Oklahoma Department of Commerce, OKGIT Executive Director Jared Scism shared on behalf of Jamie Cummings from Oklahoma Department of Agriculture that Oklahoma is currently working on a project to export feeder cattle to Israel.


After the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture report, Debbie Blanke from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education announced her retirement which is set to take place on November 1st. Debbie has been a member of the team since 2005. Congratulations and thank you for your service, Debbie!


During the Select Consular Corps report, Honorary Concul of Switzerland, Rico Buchli reported that there have been multiple Consular Corps events since August 31, beginning with the introduction of the Mexican Consul in Oklahoma. Rico went on to announce there would be a Global Achievement Award luncheon for Oklahoma Sister Cities. Honorary Consul of France,

Grant Moak closed the report by sharing the Oklahoma City Memorial has been developing relationships with France. As part of this relationship, Latifa Ibn Ziaten, award-winning French peace activist and founder of the IMAD association in response to the death of her son in the terror attacks in Toulouse, France in 2012, will be speaking at the Oklahoma City Memorial on Wednesday October 19. Registration is free but required.


At the conclusion of all the reports, John Curzon shared updated the group about the progress of the OKGIT Task Force to discuss the mission and makeup of the OKGIT. The process could last anywhere between four to six months. Following his report, John acknowledged the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and the welcoming of King Charles III.


After John Curzon’s acknowledgment of Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III, Treasurer Andrew Ranson and chair Cathy Webster invited OKGIT members to the Tuesday evening reception and the Wednesday breakfast as part of the Consular Summit. Canadian wine will be provided by the Canadian Consul during the reception. The reception and breakfast will take place at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City, and the luncheon will be held at the Governor’s Mansion. Click here to register for the reception and here to register for the breakfast. Invitations for the lunch will be emailed separately from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.


Chair Cathy Webster concluded the meeting by soliciting nominations for a new OKGIT Vice Chair. Anyone who is interested in nominating others or themself can contact Executive Director, Jared Scism.


During the program portion of the meeting, Student Ambassador Steffi Silvera presented over Paraguay – South America’s best kept secret.


Chairperson Cathy Webster adjourned the meeting by inviting the membership to the next meeting on November 15 at 9:00 a.m. at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. We hope to see you there.