Sheri Stickley worked for 25 years seeking economic development
opportunities for Oklahoma.
Until earlier this summer, she had been with the Oklahoma Center
for the Advancement of Science and Technology since it was formed in
1987 and served as interim executive director for her last year with
the state agency. Before that Stickley worked with the state
agencies that became the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.
Although still based in Oklahoma, Stickley has expanded her
technology-based economic development efforts to a national level as
a vice president of the State Science and Technology Institute,
based in Westerville, Ohio.
The State Science and Technology Institute, known as SSTI, is a
national, private nonprofit organization serving agencies involved
with technology-based economic development.
SSTI acts as sort of a trade organization for tech-based economic
development organizations across the country, she said.
OCAST is a sponsor of SSTI and i2E is an affiliate member.
Stickley would like to see more Oklahoma involvement in SSTI.
I would hope to see more affiliate membership by Oklahoma
organizations, she said. There is a tremendous asset here for
Oklahoma organizations, including universities that are getting more
into economic development.
Technology-based economic development has substantial potential
for Oklahoma, she said.
It is that portion of economic development that is interested in
growing the technology sector of the economy, Stickley said.
That is different and has more benefits than general economic
Regular economic development tends to be more focused on
recruitment, she said. Tech-based economic development is more
focused on in growing your own.
Recruitment is a zero-sum game, Stickley said. Your state gains
but another state loses. Tech-based economic development raises all
Tech-based economic development is not as competitive as
They are willing to talk across state lines about what works and
what does not work, she said.
SSTI has developed a strong base of technology-based economic
groups across the country. It is a source of information and
networking opportunities for members. SSTI also is an intermediary
between state-based economic development groups and federal
They are able to look at different efforts and see what works and
does not work and transmit that information to members, she said. …