What drew you to be a part of the OKGIT?
There is no other organization like the OKGIT, anywhere. It is unique because the OKGIT brings leaders from five sectors – academic, business, cultural, diplomacy and government – to the table for a common purpose. Rather than working in silos, each sector collaborates together. The result is a comprehensive and integrated approach to furthering the state’s international interests, which benefits all Oklahomans.
How does your international experience come in to your day-to-day work?
As a partner in the world’s largest partnership of independent agencies, PROI Worldwide, we offer access to the best communications agencies in 100+ cities worldwide that saves Oklahoma companies time and money when seeking global representation. A recent example is an Oklahoma entity that needed a news conference planned and coordinated for a major global announcement in the Middle East. By connecting our client with our partner in the host country, it saved them time and money from traveling back and forth to interview several agencies.
Why is it important Oklahoma has international ties?
While some may say the world is shrinking, I would argue that opportunities are expanding. It is important for Oklahoma to be engaged on the global scene in all of the five core areas — academic, business, cultural, diplomacy and government — in order to capture these opportunities. A student who participates in a cultural exchange program with an Oklahoma university or entity may have a parent with business interests in Oklahoma or a relative who serves in their country’s government or diplomatic corps. Connectivity is key to identifying global opportunities, which in turn enriches Oklahoma’s diversity, culture and economy.
Executive Committee – Past Chair
Brenda Jones Barwick has a 30-year career practicing strategic communications at the highest political levels in Washington, DC and the Foreign Service, as well as Fortune 500 companies and national associations.
In 2001, she founded Jones PR that has grown to a leading integrated communications and public affairs agency and is listed in the Inc. 5000 fastest growing private companies in the U.S. Jones PR is a partner of PROI Worldwide, the world’s largest partnership of independent agencies, which offers Oklahoma companies a global marketing reach.
Previously, Brenda was Vice President of Public Relations for Ackerman McQueen. She served in The White House West Wing and U.S. State Department for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush. She was appointed to the Foreign Service serving at the American Embassy in Switzerland, the U.S. Information Agency (now the State Department’s Office of Public Diplomacy), the Foreign Press Center and a Presidential Commission studying foreign aid. Also, she worked with the United Nations to rescue a Bosnian teen who lost both legs in a bombing and brought her to the U.S. for prosthetics.
Brenda has served as a Vice Chair for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Board of Directors and Executive Committee and as a National Delegate to the Public Relations Society of America International Conference. She received the National Headliner Award by the Association for Women in Communications, and the agency has won over 85 national and local awards.
She earned her BA in Journalism from The University of Oklahoma and gained national Accreditation in Public Relations in 1999. She is married to James Barwick, Esq., and resides in Edmond.