The Oklahoma Governor’s Minority Business Council (GMBC) is hosting its second Spark Event, a series of meet and greet events for minority business owners across the state. The event will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in the Skyroom in Tulsa on Thursday, March 5, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Spark Event is designed to bring together minority business owners from across the state and is sponsored by the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Oklahoma, Utopia Genetics, DBG Construction LLC, Omega Investments LLC and Dobson Technologies.
The GMBC was established in March 2019 by Governor Kevin Stitt and Sean Kouplen, Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce & Workforce Development, to help make Oklahoma a more inclusive and attractive business environment for people of all ethnicities and backgrounds. The council is the first of its kind in Oklahoma history.
“Part of becoming a Top Ten state is ensuring that our state welcomes and seeks input from every entrepreneur, innovator and business owner, regardless of ethnicity or background,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “The purpose of this council is to discuss how Oklahoma can play a role in helping every person have access to opportunities for growth and job creation in a modern economy, and remove barriers that are unnecessarily holding back the best talent in our state.”
GMBC members will be present at Spark Event to meet with attendees and discuss the council’s mission. In addition to networking and providing information on existing resources for minority business owners, council members will also be asking for ideas on how the state can break down barriers for minority entrepreneurs and provide more opportunities for minority business growth. The event will also highlight Native American-owned businesses on Historic Route 66.
“As minority business owners and community leaders ourselves, the council members are well aware of the common issues that minority entrepreneurs run into, like access to capital,” said David Castillo, GMBC chairman and President & CEO of the Greater OKC Hispanic Chamber. “What we really need from the minority business community are ideas to help break down those barriers to help minority businesses not just survive but thrive in our state. What additional services are needed at the state and local levels? What legislation needs to shift to ensure minority businesses have equal opportunities?”
An online survey for ideas and feedback on minority-owned business services is available now at okcommerce.gov/gmbc
During the Spark Event, attendees will hear from members of the council as well as Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development, Sean Kouplen. Attendees will have an opportunity to win a door prize of Oklahoma City Thunder tickets. Those interested in attending the Spark Event in Tulsa can register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spark-event-tickets-97332669635.
GMBC members include Amada Alvidrez, James Arati, Layla Bokhari, David Castillo, Angela Chambers, Sherry Gamble-Smith, Eran Harrill, Jason Holuby, Jennifer Jezek, Scarlet Le-Cao, Charity Marcus, Ayala Medrano, Fred Mendoza, Wes Mitchell, Tiffany Nguyen-Ngo, Pete Patel, Sharina Perry, Deemah Ramadon, Gee Rios, Ed Sanchez, James Sanchez, Bailey Walker, and Gary Woods.