Editor's Notebook: Brenda's Business advocacy, Mayor Mick's bride, better health for aging
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Published: 29-Nov-2014

OKLAHOMA CITY – From an editor's notebook, a leading public relations specialist leads the charge for the annual “Small Business Saturday” in Oklahoma City, Mayor Mick takes a bride, and plans for a “Healthy Aging Summit.”

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Brenda Jones Barwick has been a visible presence in the local efforts to promote “Small Business Saturday,” a nationwide effort intended to focus on smaller enterprises rather than the “Big Box” retailers that dominate Black Friday stories.

She organized many of the local efforts, and spent recent days promoting the cause, which was established nationally in 2010 through focused effort by American Express, the national credit card behemoth.

In statewide reports Friday and Saturday (including in The Oklahoman), Jerrod Shouse of the National Federation of Independent Business, encouraged consumers to consider the merits of “shop local” programs. Mayor Mick Cornett urged people to “shop, network and collaborate on ways to promote local businesses for a more vibrant Oklahoma City.”

Barwick said, “We appreciate Mayor Mick Cornett issuing a Small Business Saturday Proclamation urging everyone to shop, dine and conduct business” with local enterprises. “Shopping local during the holiday season boosts each neighborhood's economy.”

The owner and operator of Jones PR, Barwick created a niche for herself as a key player in the Reagan Administration. She is a member of the Oklahoma “Reagan Alumni Association” and has served on the state Commission on the Status of Women, as Gov. Mary Fallin's appointee.

Earlier this fall, Mrs. Barwick was a ramrod for Fallin’s fifth annual Feeding Oklahoma Drive. The project raised enough for 4 million meals for less fortunate Oklahomans during the holiday season. According to Gov. Fallin's press office, “The drive, which ran October 1-31, exceeded its goal of raising 2 million meals. In total, the drive collected $519,543 in donations and 1,692,743 pounds of food.”

Fallin's Feeding Oklahoma Drive benefited the Regional Food Bank, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and partnering agencies across Oklahoma. In the past five years, some 4,271,036 pounds of food and $1,659,114 has been raised through the annual drive, providing more than 11.8 million meals.

Businesswoman Laure Majors led the statewide drive for Gov. Fallin, along with co-chairs Laura Watts and Mrs. Barwick.

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Speaking of Mayor Cornett, this week he married Terri Walker in the latter's hometown of Tulsa
Having worked as a sales manager for KTUL Television in Tulsa, she plans to leave the station in a few weeks and come to live in the capital city.

According a press release, the newlyweds first met on a blind date. Mrs. Cornett has been in the city often in recent months, including at a fall dinner party where she captivated a group, including this writer, who gathered to celebrate the marriage of former City School Board member Ron Bogle to Amy Flanagan.

Bogle, who played a leading role in the MAPS for Kids campaign of 2001 and earlier, is now president and CEO of the American Architectural Foundation in Washington, D.C.

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And, speaking of Gov. Fallin, her “Healthy Aging Summit” is slated for Monday, Dec. 15 at the Reed Center on the campus of Rose State College (5800 Will Rogers Road) in Midwest City. Topics will include tribal and local initiatives to promote healthy aging, partnerships to improve the quality of care and life in long-term facilities, and strategies linked to the summit's theme, “Living Longer Better, 2015-2019.

In addition to the state's chief executive, speakers will include Dr. Terry Cline, Cabinet secretary and commissioner of Health/Human Services, Betty Wharton of the Choctaw Nation and Yukon Mayor Ken Smith.

For information, or to register in advance, telephone 405-325-1022.

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