Claremore Collective's Government Relations crew kicked-off their monthly crew meetings on Friday, February 5th at the North Block Common in downtown Claremore with guest speaker Dr. Keith Ballard.
Ballard, a long-time Claremore resident and lifelong public servant within higher education spoke to the responsibility young professionals have in becoming educated on the issues facing the city and state. His emphasis underscored the immense opportunites that Claremore Collective has in shaping the face of the city's future.
"This is the opportunity to become educated and informed on the issues that matter most to you. There is an excitement in the air and you have a right to be at the table when decisions are made and an opportunity to hold public leadership accountable," Ballard stated in his remarks.
Ballard recently retired in June 2015 as the superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools (TPS). During his tenure in this post he collaborated with Tulsa's Young Professionals on passing Tulsa Public School's largest bond issue with overwhelming success.
"As someone who has spent a great deal of time in Rogers County, I am so excited to see this movement happen. Claremore Collective is the hope for Claremore. You can and you will make a difference in this community," he stated.
Ballard currently serves as a professor of educational leadership at OU-Tulsa. Before becoming the TPS superintendent, Dr. Ballard was executive director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA). He has more than 37 years of service in public education.
In 1974 he moved to Oologah where he taught and served in several administrative positions, including superintendent from 1986-1992. Dr. Ballard then moved to Claremore where he served as superintendent of Claremore Public Schools before assuming the position with OSSBA in 2000.
He currently serves as the Vice-Chairman for the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority. He and his wife, Christie, reside in Claremore along with two of their three grown children and six of their eight grandchildren.
Claremore Collective is a group of young professionals assembled as one voice to move the city forward. The association is organized into five key areas-- Arts and Entertainment, Attraction, Development, Government Relations, and Next Gen Leadership.
Each crew holds monthly meetings, organizes initiatives, hosts events, and promotes volunteer opportunities related to their area of focus.
The Government Relations crew seeks to identify and address issues affecting young professionals and the future growth of Claremore.
They meet the first Friday of the month during the noon hour over lunch at the Rogers County Courthouse. Full details can be found on ClaremoreCollective.com.