TBJ Sets 40 Under 40 Celebration at TASM

The Tulsa Business Journal will celebrate its current and previous classes of 40 Under 40 in a special event at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium June 29.
The TBJ invites members of the 40 Under 40 classes for 2007-2009 for the breakfast event sponsored by the Cherokee Casino Resort and featuring a special guest speaker to be named.
Tickets are limited for the 40 Under 40 celebration. Please call Brooke Helms at 585-6655 or email brookeh@tulsabusiness journal to make reservations for each class member.
Kaiser Commits $40 Million to TU
The University of Tulsa announced last week a multi-year commitment of $40.2 million from the George Kaiser Family Foundation.
The foundation’s financial commitment strengthens a wide range of TU’s most important initiatives, including new campus facilities, faculty resources, academic programs, undergraduate research, community outreach and neighborhood beautification.
The largest portion of the financial support comes in the form of a low-interest loan to provide crucial bridge funding for constructing the Roxana Rozsa and Robert Eugene Lorton Performance Center.
The university has substantially completed fundraising for the center, but many of those gifts will be paid over the coming years. The $24 million in bridge funding from the Kaiser Foundation will cover construction costs during the pledge fulfillment period.
The low-interest loan is expected to provide TU with about $2.7 million in interest savings when compared to current bond market prices. TU will begin reimbursing the foundation in 2011.
In addition to the bridge funding, the Kaiser Foundation also committed a $13.5 million gift for select university programs and priorities.
The foundation also provided $4 million for operations and endowed positions at Gilcrease Museum, which is operated by TU under a management agreement with the City of Tulsa.
Philbrook Receives Highest Museum Honor — Again
Philbrook Museum of Art, 2727 S. Rockford Road, has achieved re-accreditation from the American Association of Museums, the highest national recognition for a museum. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public, said Philbrook representatives.
AAM accreditation is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability, and earns national recognition for a museum for its commitment to excellence in all that it does: governance, collections stewardship, public programs, financial stability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement.
Developed and sustained by museum professionals for 35 years, AAM’s Museum Accreditation program strengthens the profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and to provide the best possible service to the public.
Randall Suffolk, director of Philbrook said, “After such a rigorous process, we’re delighted, feel affirmed and are honored to have maintained this important designation.”
Of the nation’s estimated 17,500 museums, 775 are accredited and less than one-half of those are art museums. Philbrook is one of only 12 museums accredited in Oklahoma.
The reaccreditation process examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation, a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, review and evaluate the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation. While the time to complete the process varies by museum, it generally takes three years.
Philbrook Trades Tulips for Tomatoes
In a time when food stamp participation in Oklahoma is at an all-time high, Philbrook Museum of Art announces that it will convert its entire 3,600-SF south formal garden into a vegetable garden in an effort to help Oklahoma’s hungry get through the economic downturn. The produce will be donated to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, which will in turn distribute it to its 450 partner programs in 24 counties of eastern Oklahoma.
“Philbrook has an opportunity to capitalize on an area of the gardens that was to remain empty for the 2009 growing season,” said Melinda McMillan, garden manager at Philbrook Museum of Art. “Continuing Waite Phillips’ legacy of helping Oklahomans in times of need, we are just doing our part to assist others during these tough times by planting the empty gardens with vegetables.”
The Food Bank distributed more food in March and April of this year than any other time in the Food Bank’s 28-year history: Almost 1 million pounds each month. Of the nearly 8.5 million pounds of food it distributed last fiscal year, almost a million of it was fresh produce.
“Fresh produce is one of the most sought-after commodities at the Food Bank,” said Sara Waggoner, executive director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. “We are fortunate to be able to offer this kind of nutritious food that is grown locally and picked that very day.”
Produce planned this summer are tomatoes, peppers, beans, eggplant, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, okra, watermelon and cantaloupe as well as various herbs, such as basil, oregano, parsley and thyme. What the Food Bank cannot distribute as fresh will be processed in its Culinary Center into a form that can be frozen and distributed later as part of its Value-Added Processing Program.
Tulsa CVB Honors Local Heroes
The Tulsa Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Tulsa Hotel & Lodging Association celebrated National Travel and Tourism Week by recognizing local business people at the annual Local Heroes Luncheon at the Renaissance Hotel Tulsa.
Under the umbrella of the national theme “Travel Matters” and sponsored by the Tulsa Airport Authority, the Tulsa CVB publicly thanked local individuals who made an impact on the local economy by bringing meetings and events to Tulsa.
This year the bureau honored seven local citizens who, by working to place their groups’ meetings in town, will impact the future economy of Tulsa with more than $3 million in delegate/attendee expenditures.
Also recognized were top hotel employees, as nominated by their peers and managers.
Tourism produces more than $1.4 billion in economic impact in Tulsa County and employs more than 26,000 people.
2009 Honorees and their events/meetings: Brandon Jackson, Biker Boyz Weekend; James Fowler, Tokyo in Tulsa; Kerry Vincent, Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show; Doug Stuart, Spring 2009 BPCA Best Practices Meeting; Brother Benjamin Davis, PEAK/Annual Summit; Dr. Kay Backues, American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, and John Stairs, International Association of Electrical Inspectors.

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