Rush: Oklahoma Needs Emphasis to Lure Industry

Article excerpt

Richard P. Rush, who was named Thursday as new president of the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce and Industry, called for a leg islative and regulatory emphasis on improving the general impact of the state economy to attract industry.

"There must be a proper economic climate so the state can compete with other states in attracting corporate citizens," said Rush, a former Southwest regional manager for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,

Rush was addressing the state chamber's first annual Legislative Planning Summit. Out of that session, which continues today, Rush expects the chamber to identify issues which are important in attracting new industry and important to the growth of existing business.

"We're going to look at the impediments to growth," he said. "The proper legislative and regulative climate is necessary for economic development."

Rush expects a major emphasis to be on educating citizens of the importance of economic issues to the quality of life.

"There is great potential in Oklahoma for strengthening the economy of the state through the legislative and regulatory processes," Rush said. "Leaders in the private and public sectors appear ready for a higher level of partnership in addressing the needs of the citizens of Oklahoma.

"I look forward to the new challenge with enthusiasm."

He expects coalitions between the chamber and special interest groups and trade associations to be formed for the purpose of informing the public on the economic realities of pending legislation.

"Rush has had more than 14 years of experience in Chamber of Commerce work," said Ralph S. Rhoades, chairman of the State Chamber Board of Directors and president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma.

"He brings to this important position," said Rhoades, "the experieence and leadership qualities to build the member services, the organization of our legislative and economic development activitiesand staff. …

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