Cameron University and City National Bank & Trust have been selected as recipients of a 2021 Business Partnership Excellence Award by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE).
The award is designed to highlight successful partnerships and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants. Institutions involved in these joint ventures provide $500 in financial support and receive a matching $500 State Regents’ Economic Development Grant.
Throughout the first year of the pandemic, Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Jason Hensley of City National Bank & Trust assisted CU in the delivery of more than 20 online SBA disaster assistance webinars. The partnership was supported by and in collaboration with CU’s Center for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies (CETES), the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center (OKSBDC), the Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce, and other private media channels.
“Based on the total number of trainees who participated in the webinars, this partnership trained and helped keep afloat more than 500 small businesses,” said Dr. Samantha Lankford, Director, CETES and Southwest Regional Director, OKSBDC. “Through our combined efforts, small businesses across the state secured tens of millions of dollars in federal and state grants and loans, and saved thousands of jobs.”
Lankford cited Hensley as being a key participant in the webinars.
“Above all, City National, and especially Jason Hensley, brought their financial expertise to the table to enrich our efforts,” she said. “They took the time to become a southwest regional expert on SBA disaster loans, educating themselves on the continual flow of updates in order to keep our trainings current. They worked tirelessly with clients, regardless of their affiliation. This is noteworthy of City National’s commitment to southwest Oklahoma and Cameron University.”
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education celebrated 27 partnerships facilitated by institutions throughout the state with the 2021 Regents Business Partnership Excellence Awards. OSRHE believes these type of collaborations between businesses and state system colleges and universities ensure that Oklahoma is building the skilled workforce needed to be globally competitive.
Small business owners interested in learning more about CETES and OKSBDC can contact Lankford at 580-581-5446 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.