By: Shelly Robinson | Category: Other | Issue: February 2008
RDIDA Administrative Assistant Debi Ward and Executive Director Don Cochran have been busy making plans for the 2008 Entrepreneur Day.
Rogers County Industrial Development Authority will host its 9th Annual Entrepreneur Day and Business Expo on Thursday, February 28. The best and brightest from Rogers County will fill the Claremore Expo Center for the chance to showcase their products and services and network with other business owners. This free event is open to the public and everyone is welcome.
Each year RCIDA sponsors the event with the purpose of promoting, stimulating and encouraging growth and development of agricultural, commercial/industrial and natural resources within Rogers County. Working with the Northeast Technology Center gives added depth to resources available.
A Networking Breakfast starts the day and has quickly become a crowd favorite. RCIDA Administrative Assistant Debi Ward said “The breakfast was so popular last year, we had standing room only, so we’re planning for a much larger crowd. It’s a great time to let others know about your business.”
Don Cochran, RCIDA Executive Director, added that the event has grown every year. “We started the trade show aspect 3 years ago and it’s just taken off. The first year we had a few people ask if they could set up a booth and we said sure. In 2006 we had 62 booths and last year we had 78. We are expecting that number to go up again this year.” Booth space (10’ x 10’) is still available for a fee of $30 for business owners and includes lunch for one. City and government organizations such as local chambers, colleges, universities, etc. are not charged for space. Ward said interested vendors or businesses should contact her by phone or email at the RCIDA office.
Following the Breakfast and welcoming ceremonies will be breakout sessions featuring Jim Mason from the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce. An expert in Nanotechnology, Mason will explain this emerging industry and its explosive growth. A special break-out session, “20 Great Marketing Tricks that will Drive your Business Through the Roof”, will also be held by Roger’s State University.
The highlight of the day, the Awards Luncheon will feature DJ Clay Clark as the Keynote Speaker. Clark is the 27- year-old owner of DJ Connection and several other businesses. He and his company have won numerous awards including the 2007 Oklahoma SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year, the 2006 Wedding Decisions Wedding Service of the Year and the 2002 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce. Clay is known for his humor and incredible business sense and should make for a very entertaining luncheon.
RCIDA will award three $1,000 prizes to a selected business from three specific categories; manufacturing, service and retail. Businesses in the three categories, with 75 employees or less, qualify. A fun way to cap off the afternoon is the chance to win an additional $500 cash drawing. Attendee’s are encouraged to browse the booths, answering trivia questions for a chance to enter the drawing. “It’s a fun way to get everyone involved in checking out the booths and what other businesses have to offer,” said Ward. Rogers County Young Entrepreneurs in attendance will also be recognized, as well as their leader, Ginger Reimer, who teaches and mentors these youth at area schools.
Oklahoma has been home to entrepreneurs in many fields since before statehood. Items such as the parking meter, Yield signs and grocery carts were invented right here in our state... who knows what the future might hold? Come on out and see what our current and future business people have to offer!