Greater Oklahoma City is in the geographic center of North America equidistant from the east and west coasts and major trade partners of Canada and Mexico. The ten county region is at the crossroads of the U.S., sitting at the heart of three major national highways on the NAFTA corridor.
There's a reason Greater Oklahoma City is such a great place for business: Location. The ten county region is positioned within a day's drive of the rapidly-growing south-central region (OK, TX, AR, LA) projected to grow more than 44% during the next 25 years.
Jane Jenkins will be the fourth president of Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. and is the first hired through a national search.
Fred Hall, who oversaw the search committee, said they compiled a list of 15 semifinalists with similar qualifications and then whittled it to three, including Jenkins.
"We wanted to get an experienced professional, and that's what we were advertising for," Hall said. "We got people responding from all over the country. Word about downtown Oklahoma City is really great."
She has state ties Hall said he was just as impressed with Jenkin's Oklahoma ties, which include an early career teaching in Tulsa and graduation from Oral Roberts University. "This is someone who really loves Oklahoma," Hall said. "We just meshed with her."
Working with downtown Boulder, Colo., Jenkins has spent much of her time focusing on retail development.
Under her leadership, the organization developed a brand campaign, maintained 95 percent retail occupancy and renewed the business improvement district for a 20-year term.
Jenkins said downtown Oklahoma City enjoys a good reputation at the International Downtown Association, which bestowed honors last year to former Mayor Ron Norick and The Underground.
The group is also entertaining a bid to host the group's conference in 2011.
"One of our board members in charge of that made a visit and had a lovely report of what's been accomplished there," Jenkins said.
Jenkins is looking at living at the Sieber Hotel apartments, which recently opened in MidTown after a two-year restoration.
She said she's excited about upcoming opportunities for downtown Oklahoma City.
"I just love and believe in downtown and community," Jenkins said. "It's great to get up and go to work every day."
This is someone who really loves Oklahoma."