The Oklahoma Department of Commerce recently announced the creation of an advisory council to lead Oklahoma’s economic growth and business recruitment efforts. The Department of Commerce Advisory Council will meet monthly to provide advice and counsel to Secretary of Commerce & Workforce Development, Sean Kouplen, and Department of Commerce Executive Director Brent Kisling.
“Our goal is to create a top 10 economy to benefit all Oklahomans. To achieve this bold vision, it will require an all-hands-on-deck approach, with Oklahomans from across the state and with various backgrounds working together to grow and expand opportunity,” said Governor Kevin Stitt.
“We are excited to announce this esteemed advisory council of business leaders to help lead our state to unprecedented prosperity and economic growth,” said Secretary Kouplen. “Together, we will leverage Oklahoma’s entrepreneurial talent and knowledge to achieve our economic goals.”
“Our goal is to quickly accelerate Oklahoma’s economic growth by bringing subject matter experts around the table to help us create our strategic plan,” said Director Kisling. “I am so grateful to these nine business leaders for agreeing to serve in this important effort.”
Members of the Department of Commerce Advisory Council and their areas of focus are as follows:
David Castillo, President & CEO of the OKC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, will focus on minority business growth by helping develop a plan for promoting inclusion and ensuring business leaders of all ethnicities and backgrounds have a voice in our state government.
Bill Lance, Secretary of Commerce of the Chickasaw Nation, will focus on tribal economic development. In his role, Lance will provide valuable input on how to develop stronger economic development partnerships between the State of Oklahoma and our tribal entities.
Erika Lucas, Founder of StitchCrew and CEO of Thunder Launchpad, will focus on developing Oklahoma’s innovation economy by increasing the commercialization of technology and developing a stronger pipeline of startup and growth companies in our state.
Rick Nagel, Managing Partner of Acorn Growth Companies, will focus on enhancing private equity investment in Oklahoma. His goals include developing strategies for bringing private equity and investment opportunities together, as well as attracting more outside investment capital into our state.
Marc Nuttle, Attorney at Law and Chairman of Governor Stitt’s transition team, will develop strategies to enhance international business recruitment, foreign direct investment and export relationships.
Matt Pinnell, Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Tourism & Branding, will focus on Oklahoma business growth and retention. His efforts will include educating all Oklahoma businesses and local government officials about our state’s business and industry programs, and working with the legislature to create a pro-business environment.
John Reid, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, will focus on partner relationships and serve as a general advisor. In his role, Reid will focus on building strong relationships with Department of Commerce strategic partners, economic development groups and professionals throughout the state.
David Stewart, Chief Administrative Officer of MidAmerica Industrial Park, will focus on workforce development. He will focus on streamlining and branding Oklahoma Works to meet our state’s tremendous workforce needs.
Marnie Taylor, CEO of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, will focus on non-profit business growth. In her role, Taylor will help create strategies to ensure all Oklahoma nonprofits are well-represented by our government and are fully supported in their mission.
Kisling will have implementation responsibility for the Department of Commerce strategic plan and will also focus on rural economic development. Kouplen will focus his efforts on domestic business recruitment to bring new companies and jobs into our state.