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  • Writer's pictureCourt Newkirk

Okmulgee's Elevator Speech

If you’re familiar with the term ‘Elevator Speech,’ you know that sometimes we meet people who only have a few minutes to receive a briefing about our town. About the length of an elevator ride. So you can use this as your “elevator speech about Okmulgee.” It’s short and sweet and to the point.


Most of the world has never heard of, read about or visited Okmulgee. But we have probably touched your life many times, you just didn’t know it.


So, let’s imagine a day in your life where you will be touched by Okmulgee. It starts before breakfast. Like many people you might start your day by brushing your teeth and let’s assume you use toothpaste. You glance down and see the ingredients list on the back of the tube. You see, Xanthan Gum on the ingredients list. Xanthan Gum? Oh yeah, I remember Court talking about CP Kelco being one of the world’s largest Xanthan Gum plants. Interesting that it’s in toothpaste.


So you’ll know and be able to amaze your friends, Xanthan Gum is a suspension agent that keeps disparate ingredients mixed together. You’ll probably get another bite of Xanthan Gum at lunch if you order a salad. Salad dressings almost all use Xanthan Gum to keep the spices mixed up.


Your day then moves to the airport for a short commuter flight to your next meeting. You notice it’s a small Turboprop Aircraft. Could this be a Covington Aircraft turboprop jet from Okmulgee? Yes, more than likely.


You’re just about to land in the next city and you are instructed to return your tray table to the upright and locked position. Remember M& M machine, in Morris, right next to Okmulgee, they make replacement airline tray tables and hundreds of other products.

While your plane is taxing to the gate you text a friend to come pick you up. The electronics that allow you to text from the airplane, just could be from Liberty Partners, in Okmulgee, they developed the system for over 200 different airplanes.


You arrive at your destination and prepare to make your presentation and you reach for the marker pen to write your name on a dry erase board. That dry erase board has magnets to hold up your notes and other displays. That board was made in Okmulgee, at Polyvision.

You get into your UBER to return to the airport and the driver stops for gasoline, that’s made from oil, that was pumped out of the ground by a Thompson Submersible Pump, made in Okmulgee.


You get back to your office and there’s a message from your City’s Public Works Department. They have an emergency. They want you to help them locate a very large electric motor for the water treatment plant. It needs to be big, really big. You tell them to call Pump and Motor Works in, Okmulgee. Your city also needs a huge winch to move the motor into position, call Okmulgee again for Paccar Winch, they’ve got you covered.


You get a call from a good friend who is in charge of IT at a local data-center. They need a cyber security expert that is ABET Certified. You give them the phone number of Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology.


Not your average day, and Okmulgee is not your average town. Okmulgee, a small town that’s big on manufacturing.

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