The Jenks Chamber of Commerce resumed Monthly Luncheons at its July 15 event while recapping the organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and unveiling new and revamped programs for 2020. The program, entitled “Moving Forward,” was sponsored by the Oklahoma Aquarium.

Past Chamber Chair Mark Tedford, Tedford Insurance, kicked off the program by recounting the numerous programs and hours of research executed by Chamber staff as coronavirus and shutdowns spread in Oklahoma.

Tedford noted the Jenks Chamber held multiple webinars featuring elected officials and provided professional development on topics ranging from marketing a business on a tight budget to creating a healthy workplace.
The Chamber also dedicated a lot of staff time to researching federal relief programs, Tedford added.

Chamber Chair-Elect Rob Loeber, Jenks Public Schools, also spoke on the role of the Jenks Chamber as a unifying voice for the community.

“We love this place (Jenks) and we love what this place represents because it is home and we can all agree we can do right by each other,” Loeber said. “These are the things that you are declaring as members of the Jenks Chamber of Commerce. You are invested in this place because you care about this place. You believe in building those partnerships and forming those relationships because when you do, you know that your customers see a benefit and you know our economy grows stronger.”

The luncheon also featured the announcement of several new programs and the revamping of others.

Chamber staff unveiled a new leads program, designed to connect businesspeople in curated groups to share business leads with each other. The program, which will begin with two groups – a morning and a lunch group – will kick off later this summer and will allow only one representative from each industry sector per group. For example, each group will only have one insurance agent.

The Chamber also unveiled an overhauled Leadership Jenks program, which will host its 34th class this year. Staff also updated attendees on Sharklahoma, a tourism effort in partnership with the Oklahoma Aquarium.

Oklahoma Aquarium Chief Marketing Officer Andrea Leitch also addressed the new tourism campaign headed up by the Jenks Chamber. recently launched to promote Independence Day in Jenks as well as Sharklahoma.

Leitch noted that version 2.0 will launch later this summer with robust content including itineraries, calendars, attractions and more.

Chamber staff also updated attendees on Elevate Jenks, the chamber’s economic development effort, and new programs being launched under that effort including a business retention and expansion program and a mentorship program.