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January 18, 2013

Stillwater Chamber president/CEO reviews successes of 2012

STILLWATER, Okla. — Lisa Navrkal has been the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce’s president/chief executive officer for one year, two months and 14 days as of Thursday’s annual chamber meeting and banquet.

Records and change have been the buzzwords of her tenure so far.

The chamber rolled out 22 new programs, gave its website a facelift and added  a record 152 new members in 2012, she said.

The first female president/CEO of the Stillwater chamber credited the vision of the chamber’s Board of Directors and the dedication of the chamber staff for a successful 2012.

Industrial recruitment was 2012’s biggest achievement.

The chamber played a key role in landing ASCO, a Belgium-based aerospace leader that selected Stillwater for its North American manufacturing facility, and Total Energy, a pressure vessel maker.

“ASCO put Stillwater on the map in international development and the aerospace industry,” Navrkal said.

In all, the chamber, she said, worked with 23 companies. Those companies added 1,217 jobs to Stillwater’s economy. They had a capital investment of $146 million and generated $45 million in revenue.

Navrkal said she expects the oil and gas industry to continue to grow in Stillwater and Payne County. Devon Energy and Select Energy added corporate branches in Stillwater in 2012.

She also praised the creation of a chamber, city of Stillwater, Oklahoma State University and Stillwater Industrial Foundation consortium that will coordinate all economic development in Stillwater in the future.

The Stillwater Economic Development Advisory Council is still getting organized. The hope is to have its first meeting next month.

Stillwater’s designation as Oklahoma’s first certified retirement community also will be a key to 2013, she said, adding the city will become a prime location for retirees.

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