- What drew you to be a part of the OKGIT?
My new role is focused on international trade and the movement of products across borders, both importing and exporting. As I spoke with Oklahomans with a global perspective, I continued to hear positive things about OKGIT and how the organization is working hard to promote our state in the global economy. As someone with strong roots in Oklahoma and a love for all things cross-cultural, I want to see Oklahoma thrive in the international trade scene and I want to be connected with the thought-leaders in our state moving international development forward. I’m excited about the opportunity to join OKGIT and really look forward to the forum in October!
- Tell us about our international experiences and how that is reflected in your life/work in Oklahoma
I lived in Ankara, Turkey for four years, where I taught English and coached American football. Through that experience, I developed a love for building relationships cross-culturally, and in work I am interacting with people across cultures on a daily basis. I also work with Oklahoma businesses to bring in important products from overseas and to export Oklahoma-made products overseas. On a personal note, I am very interested in world affairs and do my best to stay informed on global events because these events have an impact on world supply chains, which affect Oklahoma businesses. Lastly, I love meeting people in Oklahoma from all backgrounds, like the local Turkish community, which I have been connected to.
- Why is it important for you that Oklahoma has strong international ties?
Oklahoma businesses are strong and produce great products and offer great services. In order to promote our local economy, we have to make our products and services readily-available across the world. So through strong international ties, we can support the Oklahoma economy. Additionally, strong international ties lead to a more well-informed population—It’s important for people to be aware of events in their own back yard and around the world, so we can better understand others’ perspectives. As the father of a young child, I want my daughter to be well-educated and aware of other cultures, which comes through international experiences and ties.