Economic summit focuses on future of northeast Oklahoma


Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker presents the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Businesses Crossing Borders Collaboration Award to Dr. Craig Clifford and Joe Schneider of Tahlequah Community Campus during a recent NORA Summit in Tahlequah.

Tahlequah, Okla. – Northeast Oklahoma Regional Alliance’s 5th Annual Regional Summit recently concluded in Tahlequah with more than 300 community and elected officials in attendance.  

The summit’s focus this year, Building Tomorrow’s Communities Today, included topics ranging from the future of health care and education to infrastructure and promoting innovation.

“The fifth year of the NORA summit had a record number of attendees. Three visiting speakers shared their knowledge and experience with regional development efforts,” said NORA Chair Jim Wilson. “We also had workshop presenters address the status and goals important to the progress of northeast Oklahoma.”

Area and regional experts hosted workshops on different aspects of the northeast Oklahoma economy, such as reimagining infrastructure, promoting innovation, transforming economies and capitalizing on human capital.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Northeastern State University President Steve Turner, Rogers State University President Larry Rice and NORA Chairman Jim Wilson gave welcome and introductions. Keynote speakers included Dr. Andy Hines, futurist, Marilyn Feaver, executive director of the Southwest Oklahoma Impact Coalition, and Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, deputy chief medical officer for the American Heart Association National Center.

This year’s awards included the Google Community Champion Award presented to Lake Region Cooperative, the NSU Innovative Collaboration Award presented to the Muskogee Healthcare Scholarship and the Cherokee Nation Businesses Crossing Borders Collaboration Award presented to the Tahlequah Community Campus.

The summit concluded with an inspirational dinner featuring NBC News Correspondent Bob Dotson and emcee Liz Bryant from KJRH.

Sponsors included Northeastern State University, Cherokee Nation Businesses, Grand River Dam Authority, Google, Indian Capital Technology Center, Northeast Technology Center, Rogers State University, MidAmerican Industrial Park, Pryor Chamber of Commerce, Arvest, AT&T, McDonald's, Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Tahlequah City Hospital and USDA.

For more information, visit the NORA website at

Cherokee Nation News Release
Julie Hubbard - 918-207-3896 

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