2020 September POINT!


September 2020

As Oklahoma City prepares to roll out the red carpet and welcome larger business and event groups than ever before, city officials will look to have the keys to the new expansive Oklahoma City Convention Center by year’s end. OKC’S NEW CONVENTION CENTER IS ON SCHEDULE, UNDER BUDGET CLICK FOR ENTIRE STORY



14|RIVERSPORT opens Surf OKC to public 12|Mask Up OKC campaign urges community to help stop spread of COVID-19 8|Elevate will use all-virtual format to address workforce trends

New Convention Center on schedule, under budget

A s Oklahoma City prepares to roll out the red carpet and welcome larger business and event groups than ever before, city officials will look to have the keys to the new expansive Oklahoma City Convention Center by year’s end. David Todd, MAPS Program Manager, said the project continues to go well and remains under budget. Contractors have to reach “substantial completion” by Oct. 7 before handing over keys to city officials. “It’s a beautiful building. It’s no longer a square, brown, windowless box. We’re excited to be reaching the end,” Todd said. “This is the largest single construction project in OKC’s history–bigger than the Bricktown Ballpark and Chesapeake Arena combined.” The $288 million project began in June 2018 along the east side of Robinson Boulevard, between SW Fourth and SW Seventh streets, across from the 70-acre Scissortail

Park. The site is also next to the 605-room Omni hotel where construction continues on schedule before its planned opening early next year. “We will do our walkthrough after Oct. 7. We will look for things that need corrected, fixed, or changed. We will develop a punch list for the contractor to make the modifications. They have 60 days to fix things before we consider it final. Then it will be city-owned and operated.” During that time ASM Global, the venue and event management team selected by the city, will take occupancy and begin setting up their operations to manage the building. The convention center will feature a 200,000-square- foot exhibit hall that can subdivide into up to four flexible spaces. An additional 45,000 square feet of meeting space can provide 27 individual meeting rooms. On the fourth level, a 30,000-square-foot ballroom

contains 10,000 square feet of pre-function space and a 4,000-square-foot balcony. The facility will also include informal meeting spaces, a kitchen, a potential café space, a loading dock and administrative offices. The angular facade with its glass walls should maximize the use of natural light. The landscaping will use native plants and trees suited to the local climate. A skywalk will connect to a new parking garage. At the two main entrances in the building’s front, installation of programmable color-changing LED rods are being hung at the atrium ceiling. “It puts me in mind of a gigantic wind chime,” Todd said. “It will compliment Skydance Bridge and other LED lighting in the park and on the outside of the building itself.” The $241 million Omni hotel under construction next to the convention center contains 605 guest rooms

and 29 suites, a spa, a fitness center, a pool deck with bar and grill, and multiple dining options. Its projected opening will coincide with the convention center. The additions of these two venues have the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau rapidly booking events into the venue with the hope of the COVID-19 impact lessening in 2021. Mike Carrier, president of the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, said his group has booked over 49,000 room nights which would create more than $30 million in direct economic impact from convention center bookings. In total, the CVB has over 660,000 room nights of prospective business in the works for Oklahoma City-area hotels through 2026.



Leadership Notes

We believe in getting you back to what you love.

Continuing to help through trying times T hroughout the pandemic, we have kept in touch with members through a series of point-in-time surveys to understand the status of businesses, their needs and how we may be able to make a positive impact. In the most recent survey, there were several key trends and insights I wanted to share with you – as we also heard loud and clear that knowing what is happening with the business community is important. TREND: We are getting back to work. More than half of companies’ entire workforce is back onsite, and only 7% remain entirely remote. TREND: Remote work may be here to stay, with 30% planning to leave a portion of their workforce remote permanently, and 12% considering remote work as a part of their future strategy. INSIGHT: Travel and events are coming back very slowly. The vast majority of companies aren’t traveling or are doing so on a very limited basis. Only 12% of companies are back to normal travel schedules. Another recent survey showed a strong reluctance to attend events of more than 20 people. INSIGHT: Business owners and managers are frustrated. This survey showed the months of managing through this process and its challenges is making work very difficult for almost every business. As an organization, the Chamber is no different. We are working through this new time and these trends each day as you do – and we hope that you will reach out if you need a connection, need to share a concern or need to help us see an opportunity or challenge we may not. Our association with each other and our shared work will get us through this crisis and create a better community for us all.

Roy H. Williams, CCE President & CEO


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Roy H. Williams, CCE Chamber CEO & President


(Events are subject to change. Consult okcchamber.com/events for the most recent updates.) Sept. 11 Enlighten Noon to 1 p.m. okcchamber.com/enlighten Sept. 16 Chamber Forum 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. okcchamber.com/septemberforum Oct. 2 Enlighten Noon to 1 p.m. okcchamber.com/enlighten2 Oct. 13 Member Orientation 3:30 to 5 p.m. okcchamber.com/orientation Oct. 21 Chamber Forum 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. okcchamber.com/octoberforum Oct. 29 Elevate 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. okcelevate.com Nov. 4 MegaLunch 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. okcchamber.com/megalunch Nov. 6 Enlighten Noon to 1 p.m. okcchamber.com/events Nov. 10 Rise & Shine 9 to 10:30 a.m. okcchamber.com/riseshine Nov. 19 State of the Economy 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. okcchamber.com/econ

Chamber to provide Enlighten webinar free of charge through December To help provide more resources and information to the business community, the Chamber is making its popular Enlighten webinar series free for the remainder of 2020. Held one Friday a month, Enlighten provides access to industry experts and networking opportunities to both Chamber members and nonmembers. At the September Enlighten, attendees will have the chance to hear from the leaders of the START Coalition, a group working to build COVID- safe communities starting with Oklahoma City. Experts will give an update on their research and how businesses might apply it to help create safer workplaces. Learn more about their work on page 9 of this issue of The POINT! Panelists at the September Enlighten include Mark Beffort, CEO of RobinsonPark; Dr. Salmaan Keshavjee, professor of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Jason Sanders, senior vice president and provost of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Bruce Lawrence, founder of Lawrence Strategic Solutions, will moderate the panel discussion. To register, visit okcchamber.com/events. Special thanks to Enlighten Presenting Sponsor MassMutual Oklahoma.

State of the Economy to feature economic forecaster as keynote speaker A ttendees can join in on a virtual dialogue from expert economists on trends in the local and national economy at the OKC Chamber’s State of the Economy on Nov. 19. The keynote speaker is Marci Rossell, expert economic forecaster and former chief economist for CNBC and co-host of Squawk Box. Rossell will discuss the impact of seismic surprises such as environmental disasters, swings in the regulatory regime and epidemics such as the coronavirus. Rossell is an expert separating fact from fiction of the potential impact as she carefully analyzes past events to predict economic effects, such as postponed spending and a decreased value of retirement savings.

Individual tickets are $25 for Chamber members and $40 for nonmembers. Sponsor ticket packages are available and range from the $500 to $1,500. Special thanks to Presenting Sponsor Arvest Bank and Platform Signature Sponsors American Fidelity Assurance Company and Hobby Lobby. For more information visit okcchamber.com/econ.

Economic forecaster Mari Rossell will keynote the State of the Ecomony event.



Online Elevate experience to include two keynotes, 24 breakout sessions


E levate 2020 has transformed into an all-virtual experience that gathers thought leaders across the nation to address workforce trends and leadership development. All the value, without travel expense or time, will put Elevate’s enhanced experience at your fingertips on Oct. 29. Throughout Elevate’s unique virtual experience, participants can connect with dozens of industry leaders and create connections with other attendees who, like you, are part of the new modern workforce. Elevate’s goal is to provide meaningful networking opportunities as you grow, become inspired, and prompt thinking about how to improve your career performance. Elevate’s robust programming hosts two live keynote addresses, including 24 live breakout sessions, and provides countless networking opportunities. You also gain access to many digital resources that focus on issues like leadership in virtual workspaces and advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion.

Access to Elevate is available in three ticket tiers depending on what suits your needs. The Essential ticket package is $49 for Chamber members and $69 for nonmembers and includes day-of access to Elevate. The Preferred ticket package, which is $99 for Chamber members and $119 for nonmembers, also includes access to a replay of all general and breakout sessions for one month following the event and a VIP swag box delivered to your home or office. The Premier ticket, which is $149 for Chamber members and $169 for nonmembers, includes an additional live masterclass with keynote speaker Valorie Burton.

View the most current list of speakers at OKCElevate.com.



K E Y NO T E S P E A K E R S :

VALORI E BURTON National bestselling author, international speaker and life strategist Valorie Burton will provide the closing keynote address at this year’s Elevate. Burton is the founder and CEO of the Coaching and Positive Psychology (CaPP) Institute. Her life-changing message has an intriguing, research-based emphasis in the pioneering field of applied positive psychology – the study of what happens when things go right with us. She teaches that resilience is a skill that can be learned – and anyone who wants to have fulfillment, high impact and success must learn it. Burton’s keynote address “Resilient & Ready: How to Thrive Through Challenge & Change” will help attendees understand and create the building blocks of resilience so they can bounce back from setbacks, withstand pressure and maintain a positive perspective.

Elevate your career with breakout sessions!

• Managing Your Team (sessions geared toward people who are managers of other people) • Increasing Your Skills (sessions that focus on practical and actionable skills to use in the workplace) In addition to experiencing three sessions live, Preferred and Premier Pass ticket holders will have on- demand replay of all breakouts and keynote sessions. To view confirmed speakers and their topics, visit OKCElevate.com.

Attendees of Elevate can customize their professional development experience by choosing three live breakout sessions. Sessions will be part of one of the following educational tracks: • Starting Your Career (sessions geared toward college students, interns and new professionals) • Growing Your Influence (sessions geared toward all experience levels who want to become better leaders) • Boosting Your Sales (sessions geared toward people who are in sales)

Valorie Burton

She has been a regular guest expert for the TODAY Show, CNN, Dr. Oz, and Essence, and has spoken for hundreds of organizations around the globe. She was named one of the top 60 motivational speakers in America, one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in the field of personal development, and featured in Ebony Magazine’s “Power 100” List. Two of her books received the Bronze Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, an honor given to high-quality books that are among the top-selling books in the last decade.

LEARN 20+ live breakout sessions covering a variety of career stages. Interact with experts and other attendees with similar interests via chat and Q&A

DR. NATHAN MELLOR A thought-leader, two-time TEDx speaker, author, and President of Strata Leadership, Dr. Nathan Mellor is recognized for his ability to connect at the heart level with a wide range of audiences. A proven executive coach, who has provided in excess of 2,500 coaching sessions for executive leaders, he believes providing the highest quality feedback requires caring deeply about others. He serves as a sounding board, sparring partner and a source of encouragement for leaders seeking to maximize their effectiveness.

PERSONAL I ZE You decide your path for the day. Share who you are with a custom profile.

INSP I RE Main stage will host two keynotes to motivate your growth. Continue your professional development afterwards with access to all sessions for one month.

ENGAGE Interact with Chamber members at the virtual expo, including live stream video, chat, lead retrieval and more!

CONNECT 1:1 speed networking Request meetings with peers

Dr. Mellor earned the Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership degree from Pepperdine University, where he was a Colleagues Grant recipient. He earned the Master of Dispute Resolution degree from the prestigious Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law. He earned the Master of Science in Education degree from Harding University while serving as the Graduate Assistant to the University President. He earned his Bachelor of Arts also from Harding University. Dr. Nathan Mellor



Mask Up to keep our city open

T he City of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City- County Health Department (OCCHD) and Greater Oklahoma City Chamber launched a campaign in late August urging the community to follow public health guidelines regarding mask wearing during the coronavirus pandemic: MASK UP OKC - it’s for you, it’s for me, it’s for OKC. By encouraging residents to follow the Centers for Disease Control and county health guidelines, the group hopes businesses will continue to be able to safely serve the community, stay open during this critical time and help halt new transmissions while keeping our economy moving in the right direction.

“Another round of closures would be devastating to small business, impact more jobs and significantly harm the economy,” said Roy Williams, CEO and president of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. “This affirms our commitment to keeping our residents safe and healthy so our city can remain open. We believe our residents want our community to succeed and we are so appreciative of those who volunteered to help us in this effort. This is another time where we need to pull together for the good of OKC.” The campaign includes commercials, billboards, digital media and social media platforms. The citywide effort features OKC celebrities, business owners,

officials, neighborhood leaders and other residents wearing masks and delivering a message to follow health protocols for face coverings & social distancing. “ The people of Oklahoma City have really stepped-up this last month and the wearing of masks has brought the COVID-19 numbers back down,” said Mayor David Holt. “This new campaign keeps that momentum going. The virus is still here. The simple act of wearing a mask keeps our numbers down and allows our small businesses to continue their recovery. Mask up, OKC!” In more than a month since OKC introduced a mask mandate, Oklahoma County has seen its seven-day averages for daily infections fall from 213 infections in

mid-July to 136 daily infections by mid-August. “The most effective step society can take to stem the tide of the virus is to wear a face mask any time and every time we are in public,” said Dr. Patrick McGough, DNP, executive director of OCCHD. “They provide a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face-covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice.” Find more info, get links to social media sites and downloadable, shareable media at maskupokc.com.




O klahoma City has pulled back the curtain on its new inland Surf OKC experience RIVERSPORT Adventures in the Boathouse District. The $1.9M surf complex was built with funds from MAPS 3, a $777 million, debt-free capital improvement program to improve the quality of life in Oklahoma City. “We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” said Mike Knopp, executive director of the RIVERSPORT Foundation. “We can’t wait to introduce surfing to Oklahoma City. It’s going to bring a whole new dimension to RIVERSPORT.” Surf OKC’s wave uses high-volume pumps to generate a continuous sheet of flowing water over a specially designed soft riding surface. The sheet-like wave rides like a similarly shaped ocean wave and can accommodate two surfers at a time. “We originally anticipated being open much earlier in the year, but the coronavirus caused multiple slow-downs in construction and inspections,” Knopp said. “We’re just excited to have it open now. Snowboarders and skateboarders are going to take to the surfer naturally. Everyone will watch a short how-to video and our surf guides will help novices get started, but we expect people to catch on quickly.” Knopp said Surf OKC will be included in the adventure park’s day and season passes. RIVERSPORT offers white water rafting, flatwater kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, a bike park and land adventures including zip lines, high-speed slides and a six-story adventure course. “The MAPS 3 RIVERSPORT project was designed to offer unique outdoor amenities to our residents and visitors, and Surf OKC certainly furthers that vision,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt. “I can’t wait to hear people say that they learned how to surf in Oklahoma City.” Surf OKC is presented by Lopez Foods. “We are excited to be part of Oklahoma City’s first surf attraction,” said Ed Sanchez, CEO of Lopez Foods. “We also believe in what RIVERSPORT is doing for undeserved youth. Their summer camps, rowing and kayaking programs are giving these kids access to outdoor sports and recreation they never would’ve had before.” Surf OKC will remain open on weekends through the end of September and will also hold special “sunset surfing” sessions from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays through the end of the season. Surf OKC is open to ages 8+ and day passes for surfing start at $19.99.

RIVERSPORT to make a big splash with Surf OKC



T he Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City Inc. and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber announced a partnership today aimed at creating a stronger dialogue and engagement of the Oklahoma City business community around issues of social justice and anti-racism. The partners plan to work together on five priorities: initiating a business community conversation about Anti-Racism; establishing a diversity council and business community working group; creating leadership and mentoring programs; developing an annual research publication that tracks and reports on diversity and economic equality in Oklahoma City; and launching an ongoing initiative to increase minority supplier networks and employment. Work will begin immediately on the first two priorities and planning on the development of the final three. “Our leadership understands the importance of a diverse and inclusive community – and is anxious to be an effective

Community partnership aims to create stronger dialogue for social justice and anti-racism

part of the anti-racism movement,” explained Roy Williams, President and CEO of the Chamber. “We could not have a better partner in this work than the Urban League, as they have decades of experience in this work, and shared goals around workforce development, criminal justice reform, and more.” “The Urban League is thrilled to be working with the Oklahoma City Chamber to explore and expand opportunities for the business community to help our city become more inclusive,” said Dr. Valerie Thompson, President and CEO of the Urban League. “When we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become the catalyst for economic development.” The groups plan to begin a series of online workshops in late October. More information will be available at okcchamber.com/diversity



R esearchers from the START Coalition continue to ramp up their efforts to find alternative ways to fight COVID-19 and make public places safer as people return to work. Stephen Prescott, M.D., president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), is leading a team of experts from across the United States studying how to better create COVID-safe communities. Oklahoma City, Birmingham, Ala. and Cambridge, Mass. are the three test cities researchers will use to study the effectiveness of a variety of preventative measures planned. “We hope to be an example for other similar- sized cities,” Prescott said. “We will share the data collected to allow other cities the option to choose the methods that worked here and disregard the ones that failed.” In Oklahoma City, the START Coalition’s network includes OMRF and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. With their medical partnership, the two are custom- designing studies for the unique attributes of the Oklahoma City population. Lessons learned and data sharing with state and national partners will be a priority in the coming months. “COVID-19 allows us to work together to pioneer approaches that will save lives and restore our economy,” Prescott said. “Our initial discussions have been how we can sensibly and safely reopen from a scientific basis. Our coalition is broad and we talk about projects with insight from leading experts in diverse fields.” The challenge, according to Prescott, is sifting through the ideas and determining what products

they can replicate in Oklahoma City with the skills and technology the city has available. One strategy receiving considerable analysis is disinfecting the air in public places using ultraviolet light, which has a proven germ- killing history stretching back more than a century. A natural germicide, UV lighting damages the genetic material in bacteria and viruses. Some hospital systems irradiate rooms with UV lighting after discharging patients, and many household water purifier systems use UV disinfection. “We have taken a terrific step forward with the testing of ultraviolet light. It has gotten a tremendous amount of attention,” Prescott said. “We had a group of experts in from MIT, Duke and Harvard that met with scientists, engineers and facility experts from a variety of companies in Oklahoma City.” The group agreed to first begin with nursing homes, long-term care facilities and jails before expanding to schools, businesses and other public places. “UV lighting is in front because it’s so effective and simple,” Prescott said. “It’s straight- forward technology. Installation is easy and will run on a normal power source. It was an early thing we could attack and it could expand to other sites quickly.” Prescott said other studies the coalition is examining include the treatment of sewage waste, expanding testing capabilities and studying the antibodies effective in blocking the spread of COVID-19 in the hopes of the development of a vaccine soon.

START Coalition exploring ways

to combat COVID-19

Stephen Prescott, M.D. is president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.



O fficials at the Oklahoma State Election Board are expecting more people than ever before to vote by mail, as the state prepares to hold an election under the conditions of a pandemic. The Election Board is encouraging people to request absentee ballots now if they have concerns about in-person voting. The easiest way is to apply for an absentee ballot is at the Election Board’s website at elections.ok.gov. Oklahoma voters will need to verify their absentee ballots for the election by either having them notarized or by attaching a copy of their valid ID. For more information about absentee voting in Oklahoma, visit elections.ok.gov.

Voters urged to act early if opting for absentee ballots


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COR E Victory Real Estate LLC Real Estate - Commercial Mr. David L. Meadows........... 240-8757 12352 Market Drive Oklahoma City, OK 73114-8136 www.victorycre.com

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THE POINT! ISSUE #3547 - September 2020

TOM J. MCDANIEL American Fidelity Foundation Vice Chair, MAPS Development JENNY LOVE MEYER Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores Vice Chair, Marketing and Communications J. LARRY NICHOLS Devon Energy Corporation Vice Chair, Strategic Planning NATALIE SHIRLEY National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Vice Chair, Convention and Visitor Development KENT SHORTRIDGE ONE Gas, Inc. Vice Chair, Economic Development ROY H. WILLIAMS, CCE Greater Oklahoma City Chamber President & CEO

CARL E. EDWARDS Price Edwards & Company Vice Chair, Innovation and Bioscience DAVID HAGER Devon Energy Corporation Vice Chair, Forward Oklahoma City STEVE HAHN AT&T Oklahoma Vice Chair, Membership JUDY J. HATFIELD, CCIM Equity Commercial Realty, LLC Vice Chair, Military and Aerospace BRADLEY W. KRIEGER Arvest Bank Vice Chair, Government Relations BILL LANCE The Chickasaw Nation Vice Chair, Member Health Care Initiative

PERCY KIRK Cox Communications Chair SEAN TRAUSCHKE OGE Energy Corp. Chair Elect RHONDA HOOPER Jordan Advertising Immediate Past Chair JOHN HART Continental Resources Treasurer

Editorial staff: Nate Fisher, Cynthia Reid and Justin Tinder Designer: Josh Vaughn


297-8900 thepoint@okcchamber.com okcchamber.com twitter.com/okcchamber facebook.com/okcchamber

State of Oklahoma ranks in Top 10 for highway bridge conditions

DAVID E. RAINBOLT BancFirst Corporation Corporate Secretary CLAYTON I. BENNETT Dorchester Capital Vice Chair, Strategic Planning TERESA ROSE CROOK Communities Foundation of Oklahoma Vice Chair, Education

The Point (ISSN 1075-6264) is published monthly by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, 123 Park Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.

Top 10 States with the Best Highway Bridge Conditions

e-mail thepoint@okcchamber.com.

Overall Rank


Total # Highway Bridges

# Bridges Rated Poor

% Bridges Rated Poor

Advertising rates upon request. Publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertising.

1 Georgia 6,794

33 34 13 32

0.49% 0.67% 0.70% 0.77% 0.77% 0.90%

2 Kansas 3 Utah 4 Iowa 5 Texas 6 Florida 7 Arizona

5,111 1,852 4,144

We’re here to help you keep going.



5,656 4,873

51 44 12 86 78

0.90% 1.04% 1.27%

8 Nevada 1,152 9 Oklahoma 6,749 10 Alabama 5,769


•Oklahoma ranked as the ninth-best state for highway bridge conditions. •In 2004, Oklahoma was ranked 49th in the nation for highway bridge conditions. Nearly 1,200 of our 6,800 bridges were considered structurally deficient.

•In the most recent report, produced by the Federal Highway Administration, only 86 bridges are now considered structurally deficient. •Oklahoma’s highway system is valued at $60 billion, making it Oklahoma’s No. 1 physical asset.

For comprehensive Economic Indicators and Regional Data, please visit your Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Economic Development Division at greateroklahomacity.com/economicindicators or contact Eric Long, Research Economist – 405-297-8976; elong@okcchamber.com

Adjusting to a new way of working isn’t easy, but we’re here to help you keep business moving. With tools for working together, even when you’re apart, and dedicated 24/7 support, we’ll help make this new way of working work better for you.

To learn more about our resources for making it work, visit coxbusiness.com/working or call (405) 286-5000.


Not all services are available everywhere. Learn more at coxbusiness.com. © 2020 Cox Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.


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