USAO News Bureau

Southwest Oklahoma Impact Coalition Wins Prestigious Economic Development Award

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

CHICKASHA – The Southwest Oklahoma Impact Coalition took top honors among more than 450 economic development organizations from the United States and Canada at a recent forum in Chicago.

The SOIC won the “Raising the Bar” 2006 Synchronist Award at the annual Synchronist User’s Forum, hosted by Blane, Canada Ltd., for its front line team’s work on collecting and compiling information based on approximately 150 interviews with southwest Oklahoma manufacturers.

The SOIC is being led by four Oklahoma universities, including the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha, Cameron University in Lawton, Western Oklahoma State College in Altus, and Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.

Members of the SOIC front line team include Marilyn Feaver, Chickasha Chamber of Commerce; Leo Turner, Cameron University in Lawton; Glenna Lunday and Duane Zeman, both of Western Oklahoma State College in Altus; and Tanner Corbin and Don Nigus, both of Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.

The front line team continues to use the e-Synchronist™ economic model in its interviews with regional businesses engaged in convention, retail and wholesale, tourism and services. The information derived from these interviews is combined with previous data received from interviews with manufacturers, which serves as the basis for determining action activities implemented by the SOIC organization. The SOIC strives to improve economic development potential and growth for southwest Oklahoma.

“This award acknowledges the superiority of SOIC’s efforts to retain and increase the number of jobs generated by employers who have a long-standing commitment to the community,” said Eric P. Canada of Blane, Canada Ltd. “The Southwest Oklahoma Impact Coalition has made a substantial commitment to gaining a detailed understanding of Southwest Oklahoma’s businesses and their future potential as well as challenges they face in order to drive appropriate economic development resources to the companies where they will have the greatest impact on the area’s future economy.”

Front Line Team Members will continue to contact regional businesses for the next 60 to 90 days. An updated summary report will be presented as part of the program at the annual SOIC Conference scheduled for January 12, 2007 at the Quartz Mountain Conference Center in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma.