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2018 Intercity Visit destination unveiled

Published Monday, June 18, 2018

The Tulsa Regional Chamber unveiled the destination for its 2018 Intercity Visit, the ninth in an annual series of visits to peer cities to learn best practices and hear success stories. This year’s destination will be Columbus, Ohio.
“Columbus has a great deal to offer, especially on the topics of education and workforce,” said David Stratton, managing director and Oklahoma region head for commercial banking for JPMorgan Chase. As the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s chair-elect, Stratton will serve as host for the trip, which will take place October 9-11.
“With education and workforce being such important topics for our region, I’m convinced that a closer look at the programs and impact of The Ohio State University, as well as Columbus State Community College, may well yield powerful insights,” said Stratton. “For example, Columbus State has built important relationships with several of their major local employers, including Amazon and Honda. Columbus also offers us some unique learning opportunities related to their diversity efforts, arena district and entrepreneurship.”
Intercity Visits are an opportunity for Chamber members and staff, elected officials, business leaders, educational administrators, young professionals and regional partners to gather ideas and insights from cities overcoming challenges similar to our own.
“Last year’s trip to Fort Worth drew about 100 people from all across our region,” said Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal. “What I hear over and over again from attendees is that they find great value in what we hear from the destination city and from the conversations they can have with one another during the course of the trip. It’s about both idea gathering and relationship building in a fun environment.”
The presenting sponsor for this year’s Intercity Visit is Flying Colors. Online registration for the trip is now open.
Each year, the Chamber assembles a volunteer task force to examine different peer cities and what they offer in areas relevant to our region. Past trips have included in-depth looks at topics ranging from river development, healthy living initiatives and tourism to regional branding, workforce and the arts.
This year’s task force considered five different destinations before ultimately selecting Columbus based on a number of factors, including its strong, diverse economy and success in talent attraction. Columbus is home to a handful of Fortune 500 corporations – including American Electric Power, parent company to Public Service Company of Oklahoma. The Columbus economic base includes education, insurance, banking, aviation, logistics, energy, health care and technology. The city has also done a lot to foster entrepreneurial activities like microbrewing.
“When you look at how diversified Columbus is – and what industries they include – you begin to see a lot of symmetry between our region and theirs,” said Stratton. “And that’s what makes these trips so powerful. They’re all about the chance to evaluate, and improve, our own approaches relative to comparable cities.”
Past Intercity Visits have gone to Fort Worth (2017); Cincinnati (2016); Nashville (2015); Portland (2014); Pittsburgh (2013); Charlotte (2012); Indianapolis (2011); and Louisville (2010).

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