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  • Court Newkirk

The Thankful Season

I truly hope that everyone of us takes time to stop and smell the pumpkin spice candle, or cappuccino, or cup of hot chocolate during this fall season and the short days that take us

to the heart of the holiday season. I have noticed more and more of my friends say that

Thanksgiving is now their favorite holiday. I started feeling that way many years ago. I’ve pondered that transition many times and I’ve come to the conclusion that Thanksgiving is a very traditional time of remembrance and renewed ties to both friends and family, but without the “Gift giving pressure.” Not exactly what the retail world wants to hear and I hope we don’t ever add the layer of gifting to Thanksgiving.


Family, Friends & Food, (to me) the three most important elements to living a life of any degree of sanity in this crazy-weird world we live in now. No agenda, no appointed time to be anywhere. If you want, fall asleep on the couch. That Thanksgiving Day NFL game rarely lives up to the hype. You can avoid people if you need to catch your breath and no one will notice. Or you can head to the retail side of town and get an early start on our next holiday.


Enough Pondering! Let’s talk “Thanksgiving.” What am I thankful for.? A renewed optimism in Okmulgee County. Development organizations in Henryetta and Okmulgee are actually meeting on a regular basis, and with purpose. (More on that in the coming months) I’m thankful for a strong Board of Directors for the OADC. They are measured, but not afraid to take risks. I’m thankful for the faith and trust they have in me as their executive director and in our Assistant Executive Director Deb Marshall. I’m thankful for those citizens, both men and women who have stepped forward and run for public office. They are serious about their jobs, they are asking good questions, and challenging old norms looking for ways to improve.


I’m thankful for the almost two years of work putting together a US EDA Grant Application that is bringing over $2 million dollars to Okmulgee to finish the infrastructure of the Okmulgee Business Complex. I’m thankful that the Oklahoma State legislature has approved a funding stream for additional economic development infrastructure.


I’m thankful for the many companies from around the Country who have read our proposals and decided to come take a look at Okmulgee for future business growth.


Of course I’m thankful for Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology. In so many ways, they put Okmulgee on the map. I really need to write a full article just on OSUIT and Economic Development.


I’m thankful that so many Okmulgeeans jumped in and helped the whole community live and survive through the Covid-years.

I’m thankful to be where I am, doing what I love, and seeing results. For those who don’t think we’re making enough progress fast enough? Well,,,,I’m thankful you’re paying attention. What a great year, rejoice and be happy in it. The best is yet to come.


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