Becky Frank: Let's work in harmony to advance region
BY BECKY FRANK
Saturday, November 10, 2012
11/10/12 at 3:15 AM
The past 10 months have been a blur, serving as chair of the Tulsa Metro Chamber. Leading an organization committed to economic development, tourism promotion, legislative priorities and community betterment has been an honor.
It seems only yesterday, yet it was last January, I spoke at the Tulsa Metro Chamber's inaugural luncheon and proudly claimed that "I love this town." Today, I feel the same way. In fact, I love this entire region.
This region has continued to work together, week after week, on initiatives that are designed to move the region forward. Those initiatives don't just happen and are not developed out of a vacuum.
Each chamber in the region has an annual, extensive review of its goals and objectives. These involve hundreds of people who commit their time and talent to work for a better Broken Arrow, a better Jenks, a better Owasso, a better Tulsa, etc.
Not all of our ideas are perfect. However, to do nothing is not an option.
We are fortunate to have citizens who volunteer to become engaged in the process. My heartfelt appreciation and gratitude goes to our Vision2 co-chairmen, Mayor Dewey Bartlett, Commissioner John Smaligo and Don Walker, who tirelessly worked to preserve jobs and sustain a better quality of life.
Sometimes our ideas are popular, like Vision 2025, and sometimes they are less so, like Vision2. While last week's verdict was a setback, it was not an indictment for progress. In fact, it was just the opposite. It opened the door for more dialogue, more collaboration and increased emphasis on building consensus for our future.
One of the traits of effective leadership is the ability to listen, learn and adapt. We heard the voters last week. They spoke loudly and clearly. All of us in the region have a lot of soul searching and work to do. And that's what will happen in the coming months. What the new focus and emphasis will look like is anyone's guess.
This is not a time to insult the opposition; they have, and had, every right to voice their opinions and to campaign against the initiative. That is what a democracy is all about and that is what our forefathers fought for when our great nation became independent.
The ideals and the ideas that came to be known as Vision2 were an outgrowth of concern for preserving jobs and improving our quality of life.
The charge that it was rushed was heard. The charge that it was corporate welfare was heard. While I disagree with those claims, I can also respect and empathize with those who fought hard for the defeat of Vision2. I am a firm believer in civil discourse, tenets that John Adams and George Washington strongly advocated.
Recently my beautiful 84-year-old mother, granddaughter, Bea, and I stood atop a downtown building and watched the sunset. The scene was breathtaking in spite of an Arkansas devoid of water. Mom mentioned that, when she and my father bought their first Tulsa home some 50 years ago in Brookside, the river looked much the same as it does today. It is my dream and hope that, someday soon, Bea will enjoy the sights and sounds of a river freely flowing with water surrounded by the beautiful parks we enjoy today, emoting even greater pride throughout the region.
I love this town; we all do. So let's get the conversation started on how we all best work together in harmony as a region to grow and advance this beautiful community toward a more robust and vibrant economy. I'm ready.
Original Print Headline: Let's work in harmony to advance region
Becky J. Frank is chairman & CEO of Schnake Turnbo Frank | PR and serves as the Tulsa Metro Chamber 2012 board chairwoman.
Becky Frank: While last week's verdict was a setback, it was not an indictment for progress.