2014 Economic Development Day at the Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY (February 12, 2014) – The Oklahoma Professional Economic Development Council (OEDC), a statewide organization of economic developers, met at the state Capitol today to highlight its top legislative issues this year. Those include investment and job creation, education and workforce development training and creating a quality workforce.

The OEDC has a pro-business, pro-jobs agenda to improve Oklahoma’s overall business climate, attracting more jobs and investment to the state. OEDC’s Economic Development Day at the Capitol featured remarks from Governor Mary Fallin, Sec. of Transportation Gary Ridley, and President Pro-Tempore Brian Bingman. Newly elected Speaker of the House Jeff Hickman has also been invited to participate.

The program also included discussion led by OEDC’s lobbyists Jami Longacre and Margaret Erling on the importance of being engaged and actively involved in the promotion of economic development legislation. OEDC members are advocates for a prosperous economy in Oklahoma and strive to be active economic development resources for state elected officials and leaders.

During the program, Oklahoma Senator Rick Brinkley, (R-Owasso) was named 2013 Legislative Advocate of the Year by OEDC.  This award, selected annually by the OEDC membership, recognizes one legislator for outstanding support of economic development legislation.  Brinkley joins a list going back to 1996 of distinguished past recipients including Senate President Pro-Tem Bingman, Senator Clark Jolley, Representative Skye McNiel, former Speaker of the House Chris Benge, former Senate President Pro-Tempore Glenn Coffee and former Representative Daniel Sullivan.

“Over the course of my career in economic development, I've had the pleasure of working with many state leaders to enhance Oklahoma's economy, including Senator Rick Brinkley, OEDC's 2013 Legislative Advocate of the Year,” said Brien Thorstenberg, OEDC Chair and vice president of economic development at the Tulsa Regional Chamber.

“Senator Brinkley has championed reforms that have dramatically changed Oklahoma’s business climate, including improvements to the Quality Jobs program. His leadership has contributed to recent success in his district and across Oklahoma.” said Brent Kisling, Executive Regional Development Alliance and Legislative Chairman for OEDC.

Following the program, members of OEDC took their 2014 agenda to legislators to discuss the importance of the key economic development bills and the impact those bills have on job growth and business in Oklahoma.

“OEDC is an integral part of the State Chamber’s unified voice of business in Oklahoma,” said Gwendolyn Caldwell, senior vice president of government affairs at the State Chamber. “Local economic developers are able to educate lawmakers on how policy affects businesses in tangible ways. We have had successful, pro-growth legislation in recent years, but we must keep the momentum going.”

For more information about OEDC or for the full 2014 legislative agenda, visit www.oedc.net.

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