OKGIT September Meeting Summary

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

After the approval of the July 2020 meeting’s minutes, Chairman Scott Thompson gave an update regarding the finances of the organization. During the financial report, Scott informed the OKGIT membership of finances for July and August 2020.

In membership news, Dr. Charles Mambula from Langston University and Vivi Milakovic from Citizen Potawatomi Nation were affirmed by vote as new members.

The new Marketing Committee chair, Jose Sagarnaga announced that he was working with his graduate assistant, Devin Wilber and Executive Director, Jared Scism to begin making marketing upgrades to the OKGIT website. Jose also announced that he will begin working with Devin on making post updates to the OKGIT Facebook page regularly and create a public OKGIT LinkedIn page.

During the Cultural and Education Committee report, Past Chair Douglas Price updated the membership about a fall internship program that the Cultural and Education Committee was working on. Douglas also informed the group that three student ambassadors had been identified for the upcoming year and that he would arrange for them to participate in the November OKGIT meeting.

After the Cultural and Education Committee report, a Program Committee report was presented by Vice Chair, Shalon Simmons. During her report, Shalon presented the biography of Dr. Rachel McCormick, Consul General of Canada and introduced her as the program speaker for the program portion of the meeting. Shalon also requested for OKGIT members to submit any suggested program speakers to her for the upcoming November meeting. These suggestions may be emailed to Shalon, here.

Jamie Cummings from Oklahoma Department of Agriculture updated the group about virtual food export missions that are currently taking place, including a mission that was recently completed with Canada. These missions have been popular and convenient for several companies to participate in. Jamie concluded her report with by informing the team about a virtual fair campaign that was launched due to the cancelation of the state fair. During this fair, 4-H, livestock projects, and Made in Oklahoma companies will be featured.

Jesse Garcia from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce informed the group that ODOC is continuing to work on the STEP grant and hopes to have more information at the November meeting.

Dr. Cathleen Skinner had several updates from the Oklahoma Department of Education. Dr. Skinner stated that the School of Design and Innovation was recently added to the Oklahoma Department of Education. Dr. Skinner also highlighted that the Oklahoma Seal of Biliteracy which allows students to demonstrate levels of proficiency to employers and educational institutions went into effect last Friday, September 11. Dr. Skinner closed her remarks by informing the membership of a variety of factors that are currently taking place in Oklahoma public schools due to COVID. These items included: a crisis response team to assist districts with issues, CARES Act funding being used to help students connect to internet access, and a number students leaving public school districts to go virtual This has resulted in Epic Charter Schools having the largest school district in the state.

Executive Director Jared Scism reminded the group that the U.S. Department of Commerce is continuing to actively assist Oklahoma businesses in virtual format. Jared also informed the group that USDOC has been working with Shalon, Chuck, and Dr. Collard to plan the upcoming World Trade Conference. Jared concluded his report by encouraging the OKGIT membership to participate in the Discover Global Markets Program on October 7-9. To learn more about this program, click here.

Following the committee, Dr. Jim Collard and the Oklahoma Consular Summit Committee discussed the joint collaboration between the District Export Council and Oklahoma Governor’s International Team to hold a virtual World Trade Conference and Oklahoma Consular Summit on Thursday, October 22. During this discussion, final event and schedule arrangements were made, and room hosts were determined. The cost to attend the conference and summit will be $50 per person/$10 per student. Registration for the event will close on Thursday, October 15th. More details and a registration link will be sent to the OKGIT membership soon.

Chairman, Scott Thompson reported the Oklahoma Business Roundtable is still discussing funding for the year. At this time, no final decisions have been made and OKGIT funding is still pending.

A new platform is currently being discussed for the November virtual meeting to allow for additional OKGIT members to attend the meeting. This meeting will take place on November 17th from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM.