November brings the retirement of the Christie Cooper Myers, Director of National Recruiting for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. On Nov. 30, after 14 years of service, including two as Director of National Recruiting, Christie will retire from Commerce.
“I have had the opportunity to work with Christie for more than 10 years,” said Brent Kisling, Executive Director, Oklahoma Department of Commerce. “From my days as an economic developer in Enid to my current role at Commerce, I have been constantly impressed by Christie’s professionalism, vast knowledge of the state and its unique communities and her dedication to sell Oklahoma. Our team has big shoes to fill which makes me even more thankful for the leadership role Christie has had at Commerce and the way she has trained other members of the team to represent Oklahoma well.”
During her tenure with Commerce, she was the project lead on dozens of projects that resulted in more than 5,000 new jobs in the state and more than $800 million in new investment.
“Christie always had a desire to create new jobs and new investment dollars for the State of Oklahoma,” said Tommy Kramer, retired Executive Director of Durant Industrial Authority. “Christie was 100% faithful, true and honest to the company and to the community she was representing in order to grow and expand Oklahoma.”
Some of the larger projects Christie led included:
- Commercial Metals Company, Durant
- Ductmate Industries, Wagoner
- Gannett Broadcasting, Tulsa
- Greenheck Fan, Tulsa
- Hyatt Shared Services, Moore
- IFS Coatings, Ardmore
- Milos Tea, Tulsa
- Niagara Bottling, Oklahoma City
- Star Pipe, South Coffeyville
- Trinity Industries, Oklahoma City
“Christie, with her leadership skills, worked very long hours from the first day to the last day of completion on one of the largest new projects in Oklahoma’s history – which was CMC, the Commercial Metals Company of Dallas, Texas steel mill in Durant,” said Kramer. “The project timeline from start to finish took over two years with her full dedication to all parties involved in the project. Christie had a designated office chair in our boardroom in the Durant Industrial Authority office for the CMC Project.”
She has been responsible for leading the outbound business development efforts to recruit new business to Oklahoma as well as leading and directing the team of site selection project managers. She also directed many of the event planning endeavors for Commerce’s Business Development Team.
“Although incredibly well-rounded, Christie absolutely mastered the personal relationship aspect of economic development,” said Josh Bays, Partner at Site Selection Group. “I can’t think of a state economic developer that knows the assets of their state better. Christie knew exactly how to competitively position a community for any given project.”
“First and foremost, Christie listens and understands your needs,” said Dave Cooley, Principal at Cooley Public Strategies. “She then matches companies with the best-in-class professionals from around the state to find the fit and package that sets Oklahoma apart from other states. Christie has an extraordinary ability to connect with people. She is authentic and highly experienced in her field. Working with Christie has been like night and day compared to her contemporaries in so many other locations across the country.”
Christie shared a story about a memorable project she worked during her time with Commerce:
“Every project win is important to our state, and especially the individual communities, but there are some that stick with you. My favorite small project was Project Slumber, which turned out to the Southerland Mattress company. They were looking for an existing facility to set up a small operation in Oklahoma. Although they eventually ended up in south Oklahoma City, we conducted a site visit in a very tiny town in Southwest Oklahoma that had an old Levi cut and sew facility that was available. As the company representatives and I got close to the town limits, a police car pulled in front of us, turned on the siren and escorted us into town. It was their only police car, there was only one officer, but he and the car were both in formal presentation mode. Some community members made cookies for us and the mayor took us to his house for lunch. The streets had been swept, the trees trimmed and the sidewalks washed, all courtesy of residents of a nearby detention center. Sadly, the location was just too remote for the company. But this story illustrates exactly why I loved my job and always said I have the very best job in the State of Oklahoma. The heart and soul of Oklahoma lies in these small towns. This was so important to this small town and I will never forget them.”
In her retirement, Christie plans to visit all three of her children and their families as soon as possible which means trips California and Washington. She and her husband also have plans to play golf in Palm Desert. In addition to trips and visits, Christie and her husband will be reinvigorating a small company they started – MGI (Myers Group International) – which will give them the opportunity to do contract work. His focus is process engineering (Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, Quality Control) and her focus will be on business development.