Outgoing TYPros Chair Looks Back

As 2009 TYPros Chair Karisha Arnett prepares to hand off leadership of the 6,500-strong organization, she sat down with Tulsa Business Journal to examine her administration and hopes for the future.
Arnett, vice president of Arvest Next, said she started with three main goals, the first of which was to focus on downtown development, a push incoming chair Michael Christian said he will continue.
“One of the things we focused on was continuing to push downtown development,” Arnett said. “When you survey young professionals around the area, especially your top talent young professionals that every city wants, the thing that attracts many of them to an area is a strong urban core.”
Arnett said TYPros served as a sounding post for the young professional set to voice its wants to city officials.
“We were able to work with (Mayoral Urban Design and Planning Adviser) Jack Crowley while he was putting together his downtown master plan and be really involved with PLANiTULSA,” she said. “We also made sure that when we interviewed the mayoral candidates, they knew what young professionals wanted.”
Arnett said the also wanted to focus on diversifying TYPros members.
“Continuing diversity throughout the group, not only ethnicity and religion and lifestyle, but also profession — that was something I wanted to focus on,” she said. “We have a lot of people who have office jobs, and we’re starting to get a lot more artists and different professions, but we could still improve.”
Arnett pointed to the group’s cooperation with Teach for America as an effort to include a more diverse group of people in the mix.
Arnett said her third focus was wellness.
“We focus on professional stuff, but I wanted to focus our group on health and wellness as well,” she said. “We actually had a group that got together to run the Tulsa Run this year, and I hope we can continue to make that something we focus on.”
Arnett said the only advice she would offer for the 2010 chair is to utilize the passion of the group’s members.
“Honestly, Michael doesn’t need a whole lot of advice,” she said. “He is very talented and very capable. I would tell him that the key to running a big organization is the volunteers. I get to be the face, but it’s our leadership team and our volunteers that dedicate as much time as me that make TYPros successful.”



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