Back L to R: Davis Johnson, Willie Ng, Brandon Parduhn, Erin Griffiths, William Golden, Kevin Fortna, Chip Shepard. Front L to R: Amber Gilliland, Kaleigh Hossack, Sarah Sharp, Ashley Orf
The 2018 Class of Leadership Rogers County kicked off the New Year touring the facilities of Catalayah Elementary, AXH Air Coolers, Baker Hughes, and The Port of Catoosa. Their focus was on learning about some of the economic development partners and industries of Rogers County.
Starting the morning at Catalayah Elementary was as good of a substitute for your morning coffee as anything as Principal Kelly Shuck led the entire school in their daily dance-filled “Rise and Shine Assembly.” Catalayah Elementary School is a Great Expectations model school. Great Expectations and their professional development program enables teachers with the skills needed to create an excitement within the school atmosphere and elements that are basic for inspiring students to pursue academic excellence.
After the assembly, the class had the opportunity to sit in on 3rd grade classes to see the different ways that children are learning to better prepare for future careers in Rogers County. “I was blown away to see teachers and students using iPads, learning how to utilize technology,” said Leadership Rogers County classmate Davis Johnson. “Teaching kids how to operate basic software at this age will be pivotal to their success in the work place later in life.”
The rest of the morning was spent touring AXH Air Coolers and Baker Hughes, getting an in-depth manufacturing floor tour at each facility. Learning about each detailed product and the lengths each company takes to produce them gave a new appreciation for the companies and their economic and personal contributions to Rogers County. Classmate Brandon Parduhn said, “The impact that these businesses have on a local, national, and even global level is far greater than I could have ever imagined. It is incredible that these companies choose to invest here and care and contribute to this community.”
Our lunch was graciously provided by the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority and full of Q and A’s with John Feary, Executive Director of CIEDA, Ron Burrows, Rogers County District 3 Commissioner, and Jill Ferenc, City Planner. The three talked about their efforts to make Rogers County attractive to new businesses and what Rogers County has to offer.
The class loaded up in vans and headed to their final stop at the Port of Catoosa. At the port, the Maritime Education Coordinator, Sheila Shook, gave the class a history lesson on why the port was created and how it is utilized by industry in the region. Following the information session the class toured portions of the 2500 acre parcel that the Port of Catoosa calls home. With over 4,000 employees, 70 businesses, and 2.5 million tons of cargo shipped annually, Oklahoma’s Seacoast creates an economic impact that shows no signs of slowing down.
If you would like more information about Leadership Rogers County, please visit our website at leadershiprogerscounty.org or visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/pg/leadershiprogerscounty