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Business professionals invited to first Workforce Summit

Friday, January 28, 2022

Most would agree that the current economic landscape is driving change for the US workforce. But in what ways? OSU Spears School of Business invites you to join us on Feb. 23 in a wide-ranging conversation covering trends and pressing issues that affect today’s workforce. Choose to attend in person in Oklahoma City or via livestream.


Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business invites business professionals to attend the Workforce Summit: A Call for Change: Recruiting and Retaining the New Workforce. The summit will be held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City or via livestream on Feb. 23 from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.


Experts in the field will lead a wide-ranging discussion about today’s workforce, which include looking at ways to improve how we work, how to attract people back to jobs, and a closer look at flexible work schedules, working from home and accountability, and automation and its impact on jobs. Attendees will have an opportunity to share ideas and experiences about promising practices.


"Over the past year, we've heard from countless organizations who have struggled to maintain their operations due to workforce-related issues,” said Abbey Davis, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice for Business Administration in Spears Business. “Our hope is to help companies get a better feel of what is happening in our state and walk away with some very practical ideas to help during these challenging times."


The summit will also include the results of a 2021 survey of Oklahoma employees and those not in the workforce.


Scheduled to present at the Workforce Summit include the following:

  • Scott Mueller, Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development for the State of Oklahoma, will present opening remarks.
  • Abbey Davis, PHR, SHRM-CP, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice & Eastin Fellow, OSU Spears School of Business, will co-present “Understanding the Labor Shortage and Needs of Oklahoma’s Workforce.”
  • Jim Priest, CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma, will co-present “Understanding the Labor Shortage and Needs of Oklahoma’s Workforce.”
  • Kris Steele, Executive Director for The Education and Employment Ministry (TEEM) of Oklahoma City, will provide introductory remarks for “Becoming a Second Chance Employer.”
  • Jennifer Ellis, President and CEO of Cosmetic Specialty Labs of Lawton, will present “Becoming a Second Chance Employer.”
  • Vincent Lombardo, President of Payroll for Heartland Payment Systems of Oklahoma City, will present “Creating a Culture of Belongingness in a Hybrid Setting.”


  • Panels include the following:
      • “Rethinking the 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.”
        • Richard Wright, CPA and Assurance Partner, of HoganTaylor of Oklahoma City
        • Shelley Zumwalt, Executive Director of Oklahoma Employment Security Commission for the State of Oklahoma 
        • Casey Kidwell, Director of Administration at AAON of Tulsa
      • “Determining How to Automate Shallow Work Activities”
        • Jerry Crabb, Senior Director of Data Science, Sam’s Club, Bentonville, AR
        • Michael Waits, Continuous Improvement Senior Manager, SSM Health, Tulsa
      • “The Future of Work: Are you Ready?”
        • Moderator: Dr. Bryan Edwards, Joe Synar Chair and Professor Management, OSU Spears School of Business
        • Dr. Jim Utley, Vice President of Operational Excellence at Niagara Bottling Company of Blanchard, OK
        • Melinda Stinnett, Managing Director of Stinnett & Associates of Tulsa

The Workforce Summit is presented by the OSU Spears School of Business, the Department of Business Administration, and the Center for Executive and Professional Development.


Sponsorship opportunities are available.  Current sponsors are Heartland as a Gold Sponsor and HoganTaylor and Interworks as Bronze Sponsors.


Registration for individuals is $250 per person. The discount for three to nine individuals from the same organization is $225 per person, while a discount for 10 or more individuals from the same organization is $195 per person. Registration includes digital materials for all participants. In-person participants will also receive a continental breakfast, lunch, and refreshments.


For more information, please contact Shyanne Yeager at or call 405.744.5208. For additional conference information or to register, visit

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