WCEDC elects officers, discusses donor appreciation event
December 18, 2022
On Tuesday, members of the Woods County Economic Development Committee (WCEDC) elected officers and discussed the donor appreciation dinner held recently. Dr. Bo Hannaford, chairman, opened the meeting. Other members present for the meeting were Susan Bradford, Dr. Kay Decker, Jeremy Eaton, Cale Leeper, Randy McMurphy and Jack Staats.
WCEDC Executive Director Jeremy Zeller reported on pledges for the new fiscal year. He reported success in getting Oklahoma Natural Gas to pledge after dropping out. Cargill increased their pledge, and Edward Jones is a new pledge.
Discussing the donor appreciation dinner, Hannaford told Zeller he did a great job on the event, and they had a great turnout. Zeller said he had a lot of businesses contact him later to get data for them from OG&E resources. Committee members discussed making this an every year event or an every two years event. Zeller suggested a full dinner one year followed by mixer the next year with stations to learn about county communities and services that WCEDC offers. Committee members liked that approach.
When it was time to nominate new officers, Hannaford said he’d like to step down from the chairmanship although he still wants to remain on the committee. He said he talked with Eaton who agreed to take on that role. No one else was nominated and voting confirmed Eaton as chairman. McMurphy was elected vice chairman, and Decker was elected secretary. Hannaford turned the rest of the meeting over to Eaton.
Zeller provided the committee with a couple of quotes regarding website updates and adding a social media presence. He talked with OC Digital Strategies, LLC of Woodward and Emma Cline of Alva. Possible use of NWOSU student interns was also considered. Committee members looked over proposals by OC and Cline. The budget for the new fiscal year includes $5,000 for this purpose.
Zeller said OC has a lot of good experience with optimizing search engines while Cline is more content oriented and has social media experience. A decision was put off until the March meeting.
The 2023 Lt. Governor’s Turkey Hunt has been set for April 19-21. Zeller said Decker has been helping him on this event. Decker said she had a meeting set with the Department of Commerce for Wednesday, Dec. 14. The Lt. Governor is scheduled to be at the Thursday night dinner, but it will be around 7:30 or 8:00 p.m. The event begins with check-in on Wednesday with hunting and the dinner on Thursday. On Friday, there will be time for business discussions and tours.
Zeller said when he talked to the local banks where the WCEDC has accounts, he learned that people named as signatories are no longer members of the committee. After some discussion, it was decided the committee officers should be the signatories on the accounts, and that was passed as a motion with all other signatures to be removed.
No action was taken on goals and objectives for FY 22-23. Zeller said he has been going by his job description as a guide for what he should be doing.
Zeller presented a budget for FY 22-23. He said the revenue involves pledges that have not come in yet, but revenue is slightly over expenses for a positive result. Decker asked if anything was budgeted for the donor dinner or reception, and Zeller said no. He said they spent around $1700 on the event and suggested they budget $2,000. The budget was approved with that amendment.
Zeller expressed his thanks to Northwest Technology Center in Alva where his office is located. He said they have given him free rein in using equipment such as printers and copiers. He’s also made use of their photography equipment. He talked about getting some students involved in projects for WCEDC. Hannaford said he’s still working on getting a possible college intern to assist Zeller.
For his report to the board, Zeller presented a list of what he has done since June with an estimate of the number of hours spent in each category. In addition to the list provided, he said he has probably spent an additional 158 hours working at home on WCEDC projects.
Zeller said he’s had a lot of involvement lately with Avard Rail. He was pleased that he finally got AT&T to drop what he considered to be an excessive bill and even give a slight credit. Zeller said a lot of his time is spent in building contacts. At the end of the meeting, the committee voted to go into executive session for the year-end evaluation of Zeller.