Tulsa young professionals' organizations: how to tell 'em apart


Last October, I gave you an anecdote illustrating how the Tulsa Metro Chamber works to throttle innovation:

There's a new group called Young Professionals of Tulsa, whose aims include rediscovering and promoting the "people, places and things that make Tulsa original" -- to that end they're working to raise the money to reopen Nelson's Buffeteria and to revive the Greenwood Jazz Festival. The Tulsa Metro Chamber bureaucrats pushed to make YPT a branch of the Chamber, and when rebuffed, threatened to set up a rival young professionals group and to spread the word that it would be very unwise to join YPT instead of the Chamber's knockoff group.

The Chamber has followed through on its threat, creating a group called TYPROS, which is headed up by Andrea Myers, who works for (surprise, surprise) the PR firm of choice for the Cockroach Coalition, Schnake, Turnbo & Frank. The Tulsa Whirled is doing its part to promote the Chamber puppet group, most recently with a puff piece by Ken Neal in Sunday's paper.

The real, independent group, Young Professionals of Tulsa (ypTULSA) got some good press in August and mid-October of last year, but once the Chamber began to promote its bogus group, the Whirled has had a blackout on the genuine organization.

What's funding the Chamber's effort to crowd out an independent organization? City tax dollars, since this is under the umbrella of the Chamber's economic development department, which is funded by City of Tulsa hotel/motel tax. I hope the Council will keep this kind of wasteful duplication in mind when they consider whether to renew the Chamber's economic development contract for the next fiscal year. If the Chamber can't cooperate with existing groups, the Chamber doesn't need the City's money.

ypTULSA (that's the real group) has its official kickoff event this Friday, April 8, at 4 p.m. Visit their website for details and to RSVP.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 4, 2005 10:23 PM.

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