March 24, 2015 – White House and SBA Representatives Visit REI Oklahoma

REI Oklahoma was pleased to host representatives from the White House and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on Monday for a review of the organization’s programs and services. The guests included Nathan Segal – Office of Native American Affairs, SBA; Yolanda Garcia Olivarez – SBA Regional Administrator; James Kvaal – Domestic Policy Council, White House; Jodi Gillette – Sr. Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs, White House and Erin Andrew – Office of Women Business Ownership, SBA.


During the meeting, specific discussion focused on REI Oklahoma’s Foreign Trade Zone designation, Native American programs, commercial facility offerings and the other encompassing economic development services that the organization delivers to Oklahomans.


“REI Oklahoma is led by a committed Board of Directors that continues injecting effective programs benefiting state small businesses to help them start, grow and create good paying jobs that have a major impact on the state’s economy,” said SBA Regional Administrator Yolanda Garcia Olivarez.  “For more than 35 years, REI Oklahoma has been an exemplary champion for small businesses – Women-owned, Native-American-owned, Exporters, and Federal Contractors.”


Following the discussion, REI Women’s Business Center hosted a roundtable meeting between Andrew, Olivarez and local women business owners. Organized, in part, to recognize March as Women’s History Month, the enterprising women communicated their frequently occurring obstacles to the representatives. Andrew shed light on helpful and emerging tools available from the U.S. Small Business Administration to assist women in navigating common business challenges. Olivarez summed up the discussion as a dose encouragement amid her goal of strengthening the network of small businesses across the country. A similar meeting is slated to take place in Tulsa.


“This was an outstanding and appreciated opportunity to strengthen our working relationships with these diligent proponents of small business,” said Scott Dewald, REI Oklahoma President & CEO.