7-7 Business briefs

Commerce announces new South Central regional development specialist

Steven Bratcher is the new regional development specialist (RDS) for South Central Oklahoma. Bratcher joined the Oklahoma Department of Commerce in May and serves the 10-county region, which includes Grady, McClain, Stephens, Garvin, Murray, Cotton, Jefferson, Carter, Love and Marshall counties. He offices in the area as well.

As an RDS, Bratcher works to assist regional businesses, connecting them to appropriate state and federal programs, providing retention and expansion assistance, and interfacing with workforce development entities. Additionally, he provides development assistance for counties and municipalities in his service region and on-going support for existing regional partnerships such as local economic development organizations and CareerTech campuses.

“Steven is a welcomed new member to the Commerce team and will play a valuable role in his region,” said Charles Kimbrough, director of the business group. “He has the very important job of connecting communities, businesses and people with the resources and opportunities they need to grow.”

His region includes the cities of Ardmore, Chickasha, Duncan and Pauls Valley, and a diverse group of industries — oil and gas companies; manufacturers of vehicle tires, paper and plastic products, metal grating and manhole covers, and machinery for the food and baking industries — as well as multiple distribution and warehousing facilities.

Before coming to Commerce, Bratcher worked in county government as the 911 coordinator for Garvin County. Prior to that, Bratcher worked at Pre-Paid Legal Services, where he became the youngest vice president of marketing in the company and led a sales team of more than 5,000. He lives in Pauls Valley with his wife, Sharon, and four children.

“I am so excited to be working for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce as the South Central Regional Development Specialist,” Bratcher said. “I believe that the I-35 corridor can and will play a major part in the future economic growth in Oklahoma, and every town in South Central Oklahoma could be the beneficiary of that growth.”

BOK Financial announces earnings conference call

TULSA — BOK Financial Corporation announced that financial results for the second quarter will be released before the market opens July 24. The company will have a conference call at 9 a.m. to discuss the financial results with investors.

The live audio webcast and presentation slides will be available on the company’s investor relations website, bokf.com. The conference call can be accessed by dialing 201-689-8471. A webcast replay will be available shortly after conclusion of the live call at bokf.com or by dialing 412-317-6671 and referencing replay PIN 13692252.

BOK Financial Corporation is a $38 billion regional financial services company headquartered in Tulsa, with $78 billion in assets under management and administration. The company's stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the Global Select market listings. BOK Financial Corporation's holdings include BOKF, NA; BOK Financial Securities Inc., The Milestone Group Inc., CoBiz Wealth LLC and BOK Financial Insurance Inc.

BOKF, NA operates TransFund, Cavanal Hill Investment Management and BOK Financial Asset Management Inc. BOKF, NA operates banking divisions across eight states as: Bank of Albuquerque; Bank of Arkansas; Bank of Oklahoma; Bank of Texas; BOK Financial in Colorado, and Arizona; and Mobank in Kansas and Missouri; as well as having limited purpose offices Nebraska, Milwaukee and Connecticut.

Through its subsidiaries, BOK Financial Corporation provides commercial and consumer banking, brokerage trading, investment, trust and insurance services, mortgage origination and servicing, and an electronic funds transfer network. For more information, visit bokf.com.

11th month of grain crop year finishes on high note

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — CN announced that western Canadian grain movement in June exceeded 2.3 million metric tonnes (MMT), compared to the three year average of 1.80 MMT and June 2018’s result of 1.99 MMT.

The cumulative total of tonnage moved for the 2018-19 crop year is on record pace at 25.5 MMT, or one million metric tonnes ahead of the previous record pace, despite the restrictions on Canadian exports to China.

“Our dedication to providing outstanding service for the Canadian economy contributes to Canada’s reputation as a strong and stable supply chain provider,” said JJ Ruest, CN president and chief executive officer. “We are investing $210M in rail capacity in north Vancouver to support the expanding coal and grain export terminals and to further encourage the growth of natural resources export supply chains.”

“Our investments and dedicated grain team focused our efforts onto what is going to be a record year,” said Allen Foster, vice president of Bulk at CN. “We are optimistic that the strong pace of shipments we’ve seen in June takes us through to the end of the crop year and we can build on our record shipment pace.”

CN transports more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of about 20,000 route miles spanning Canada and mid-America.

CN serves the cities and ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minnesota/Superior, Wisconsin, and Jackson, Mississippi, with connections to all points in North America.

For more information, visit cn.ca.

Pratt & Whitney expands Military Aftermarket Services

Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp., announced during the Paris Air Show an expansion of its Military Aftermarket Services in Oklahoma. Pratt & Whitney plans to make a multimillion-dollar investment to upgrade existing facilities, supporting sustainment operations at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex based at Tinker Air Force Base. This expansion will create more than 100 jobs over the next several years.

“Pratt & Whitney has a long-standing partnership with Oklahoma City and the State of Oklahoma. This expansion gives us access to a talented workforce, which will help us to continue to deliver on customer commitments. Oklahoma City has been a great municipal partner, and we are pleased to grow our operations here,” said Kevin Kirkpatrick, Pratt & Whitney’s vice president for military engines sustainment operations.

“Aerospace has a $44 billion impact on our state, and we are working to further strengthen and grow this industry,” Gov. Kevin Stitt said. “As the site of the largest air depot in the U.S. Department of Defense, Oklahoma is a natural fit for companies like Pratt & Whitney. I appreciate their commitment to growing and investing in Oklahoma and look forward to seeing the company continue to advance.”

Pratt & Whitney’s presence in Oklahoma City has grown tenfold over the last 15 years, as sustainment operations at Tinker Air Force Base have grown to support more than a dozen engine types, including Pratt & Whitney military engines such as the F135, F119 and F117. Additionally, this expansion will help meet the depot-level maintenance demands of the ever-growing F135 engine fleet, which is expected to double in the next three years.

“Aerospace is rapidly becoming one of the pillars of Oklahoma City’s economy, and it’s because of the investments being made by companies like Pratt & Whitney,” Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said. “We’re excited for this announcement and the promise of more high-paying jobs for our citizens.”

With more than 7,000 military engines in service around the globe, Pratt & Whitney is laser-focused on sustainment and maintaining mission readiness for our customers’ fleets. The partnership with Tinker’s Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex enables Pratt & Whitney and the U.S. Air Force to perform depot maintenance on F117, F119 and F135 engines, in addition to special technology coatings operations.

Under the partnership arrangement, Pratt & Whitney provides the overall management, technical support and materials management, while the Air Force provides highly capable mechanics and extensive back shop capabilities.

Commerce, workforce development to share success stories

Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development Sean Kouplen knows thriving businesses are widespread. But he also recognizes that many Oklahomans are not aware of the numerous company success stories.

Kouplen is placing an increased focus on growing existing businesses in the state and encouraging more start-ups.

“Bringing in new companies is great, but if we want to achieve our goal of being a top 10 economy, we have to grow the businesses that are here in the state. That is our top priority,” Kouplen said. “Part of our job is to tell the success of Oklahoma businesses — hopefully by sharing these stories, we can shed light on what effective Oklahoma business leaders say make their operations here successful, raise awareness of some of the business resources that are available to existing businesses and inspire more entrepreneurs to start and grow their companies right here in Oklahoma.

“For example, I would bet most Oklahomans don’t know that Frederick is home to Henniges Automotive, which manufactures parts for companies like GM, Ford, BMW and others,” Kouplen said. “Henniges is a perfect example of a thriving company that has a great story to tell.”

Frederick may only have 4,000 residents, but it is also where you’ll find one of the state’s automotive parts manufacturers providing world-class vehicle sealing and anti-vibration solutions for well-known auto manufacturers, and where Henniges Automotive has found four decades of success.

The company’s leaders attribute much of their success to their people.

“Our workforce is our biggest asset. We have a very strong and senior workforce that takes pride in providing quality parts to our customers,” said Chase Massie, human resources director at Henniges Automotive.

But growing a successful operation comes with some new challenges.

“One of our most recent obstacles was finding the number of qualified employees we need as we continue to grow,” Massie said.

Henniges formed a partnership with Great Plains Technology Center to work together and identify specific needs and create a certification class that is offered multiple times a year, helping the company maintain and grow its workforce of more than 300 Oklahomans.

“We are celebrating 40 years this year in Oklahoma. Oklahoma is a place you can find long-term success and great partnerships throughout the state,” Massie said.

— Submitted Content